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Vegetarian *30 day challenge. help a buddy out.

*LOL* You must be in the South! If you really mean vegetarian and not vegan, you have all kinds of options:

Banana pudding (with real milk, not tofu)
Okra stewed in tomato sauce with onions
Veggie spaghetti or lasagna with real Parmesano Reggiano
Veggie egg rolls/spring rolls/summer rolls
Miso soup (with veggie broth instead of fish stock)
Upscale mac-n-cheese
Vegetarian sushi (cucumber rolls, cream cheese rolls, mushroom rolls...)
Pita loaded with veggies and homemade tzatziki
Gazpacho or ajoblanco
Fresh squeezed lemon- or limeade
Any of the traditional Southern fruit cobblers or pies
Baked beans (with liquid smoke instead of pork)
Fresh roasted corn-on-the-cob with butter and salt. (Really good corn doesn't need anything else).
Bean nachos/enchiladas/burritos
Cuban black beans
Caprese salad and/or pasta with pesto
Falafel and/or hummus
Nut-butter spread
Rice-stuffed grape leaves or cabbage rolls.
Super-luxurious chocolate cake or pie
Chocolate mousse and/or pots du crème
Caesar salad without the anchovies/anchovy paste
Pancakes/flatbreads, topped or not
Greek spinach or cheese pies
French onion soup (no meat broth. CI has a well-publicized technique for caramelizing onions in the oven for the easiest way I know to do it. Load up on the cheese, though!).
Broccoli/cauliflower and cheese.
Lemon rice, olive rice, almond rice, curry rice, or fried rice.
Green beans amandine.
Stir-fried vegetables.
Creamed vegetables.
Don't forget grits/grit cakes/polenta!
Donuts! Or bagels or Danish or French toast.

You can also look for Indian recipes --LOTS of them are vegetarian or vegan (and they're tasty!).

Jul 16, 2014
Chowbird in Vegetarian & Vegan

What to Cook When Your Allergic to Just About Everything

I hear that sorghum can be popped like popcorn (it looks like itty-bitty popcorn kernels). I bought a bag but haven't tried to pop it yet.

Is tomato sauce off the list (check the ingredients)?

Eggs? You could make a nice omelet without dairy, just add lots of fresh veggies.

Salad with homemade citrus-based dressing.

Legumes, toasted nuts (unsalted, of course).

Pesto (no cheese) over rice pasta.

Check your local Asian market for "Rice paper wrappers." The main ingredients for the ones I bought last week are rice flour and tapioca. They may also have "soy wrappers," as well as rice noodles.

Possibly my more useful suggestion is to clear out some freezer space, make homemade stock with lots of meaty bones and veggies, strain and reduce it, and freeze it in ice cube trays. It'll give anything you cook a flavor boost, and you'll know exactly what went in it.

Jul 16, 2014
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Fellow 'Hounds, What Plant Is This?

I've found a red-lentil soup recipe to use it in tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Jul 14, 2014
Chowbird in Gardening

Possible to hire a Mexican fruit cart vendor for a party?

Clearly what the OP means is "Seeking fruit vendor for a party, nationality and ethnicity not important, to prepare chopped fruit Mexican-style with chili powder and lime juice." :)

Jul 14, 2014
Chowbird in Los Angeles Area

Chicken Skin Uses

That sounds delicious! When I bake chicken thighs, I usually strip the skins off, season the meat, then drape the skins back over the meat, where they belong. If it's a big pan of thighs, sometimes I take the leftover skins (after the thighs are cooked) and roast them on fairly high heat to make chicken cracklin's. Season them AFTER cooking because spices, especially garlic, will scorch!

Jul 11, 2014
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Fellow 'Hounds, What Plant Is This?

I think you're right, Pinehurst! I had no idea the greens were edible, though of course I've run into the seeds before. Thanks for the info!

Jul 11, 2014
Chowbird in Gardening

Fellow 'Hounds, What Plant Is This?

I picked it up yesterday at the local Indian market, but there was no sign next to it. Does anyone recognize it? And which parts are edible?
(Thanks in advance!).

Jul 11, 2014
Chowbird in Gardening

Looking for a griddle pan that is NOT nonstick

Lodge also has a smaller, square griddle:

Apr 30, 2014
Chowbird in Cookware

how to get onions to soften

Onions normally take a LOT longer to soften than that, and if your aiming for a deep dark mahogany, such as for French onion soup, 45 minutes would be the bare minimum.

Apr 30, 2014
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Weeping Quiche

My quiches didn't stop weeping 'til I started making them with halfnhalf instead of lowfat or skim milk.

Apr 30, 2014
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Uses for "spicy vegetable juice" aka spicy v8

V-8 (though in my case *not* spicy) is the secret to my mother's shrimp Creole ...sauté trinity (celery, onions, and green bell peppers), add V-8 and thicken, add shrimp, cook 'til done, then serve over white rice. Yum!

Feb 07, 2014
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Store-bought miso paste - how long can it be be kept in the fridge ?

You'll probably have to buy a new refrigerator before the stuff actually goes bad (as opposed to getting dry).

Feb 06, 2014
Chowbird in General Topics

Why Are My Eggs SO Watery?

Try adding some fat to the eggs. My quiches ALWAYS leaked water the next day until I started making them with halfnhalf instead of 2% milk.

How do you keep your cut veggies fresh?

You can tell when lettuce has gone bad -- it gets browned edges, then turns brown and slimy. Believe me, if it's bad you won't WANT to eat it!

If you're going to be using your veggies in a cooked application and not for salad or stirfy, you can wash, chop, parboil if needed, and freeze. You can also cook them and then freeze them. I don't have one right now, but I try to cook and freeze a "French Onion Soup Starter" once or twice a year, since caramelizing onions takes so long and they're cooked to mush anyway.

I've heard rumors of vacuum-sealing washed lettuce to make it last longer but haven't tried it myself. Here's a post about it:

Hope this helps!

Feb 06, 2014
Chowbird in General Topics

Cooking demo for kids

Guacamole (with prechopped ingredients: let the kids smoosh the avocados themselves.
Instant pudding -- easy to make and ready to eat in 5 minutes! (Not sure if kosher, though, check label).
Assemble trail mix.
Homemade nut butter or tahini. Kids can dip apple slices or celery sticks in it.
Miso soup, assuming you can find kosher miso, dashi, tofu, and wakame.
Pretzel dip -- anything from honey mustard to ranch to tangy BBQ.
Microwave oatmeal-- kids add their own sweetener and/or dairy, dried fruit and nuts.
A sundae bar might go over well if you decide not to do smoothies.
How about homemade lemonade/limeade?

Feb 03, 2014
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Any food historians out there? Looking for early 13th cent. Italian honey almond cookie

This is going to be difficult. I found a bit of info, no telling how accurate it is, here:

Evidently the lady was a noblewoman, so her recipe may well have included not just almonds and honey but expensive spices like saffron, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, and sugar (regarded as a spice at that time).

Ancient and medieval desserts also had many forms, from a primitive cheesecake with honey and bay leaves (think proto-Danish) to layered pastry dipped or coated in honey (think baklava) to custards in pastry (daryoles: think mini custard pies) to crisp fried cookies (wafers: think pizzelles) to super-dry-and-crispy cookies that would keep a long time (think biscotti or hardtack) to medieval gingerbread, which was closer to a no-bake sticky bread pudding than anything called "gingerbread" today.

She wouldn't've had any chocolate or vanilla extract, or modern leaveners like baking powder or baking soda. Chicken eggs would've been available only in the spring.

Sherri's right about orange or rosewater often being used, too.

If you can find it, mahaleb/mahlepi (cleaned roasted cherry pits, believe it or not), ground up, are wonderful added to cookies and pastries, as are bitter almonds (unfortunately, if you're in the United States, they're also illegal. King Arthur Flour Company sells an all-synthetic bitter almond extract to use instead).

If this were my project I'd go for the biscotti-like option, especially since the lady had to travel all the way to Rome with them. "Travel Bread" was well-known. :)

Feb 03, 2014
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free: Suggestions?

Rice milk?

Jan 29, 2014
Chowbird in Special Diets

Pots de Chocolat

Recipe calls for 2 cups of light cream twice. Is this a typo? And where's the CHOCOLATE????

Jan 24, 2014
Chowbird in Recipes

Rabbit in Tampa Bay

Full Circle Farm usually has dressed rabbits for $15 each. The contact e-mail is . Sorry, I don't have their street address 'cause I'm in Tallahassee (yes, a local person acts as a product courier every week or so).

I hope they have one in stock for you!

Jan 24, 2014
Chowbird in Florida

Homemade Low Carb Food Gifts

It's because they work synergistically and make the cocoa taste more like sugar. :)

Dec 06, 2013
Chowbird in Home Cooking

I finally tried Publix subs.

Their Cubans are AWESOME!! Be sure you ask for it to be heated and pressed. If you're interested, I usually order mine with honey mustard instead of regular, and without pickles.

Dec 04, 2013
Chowbird in Southeast

Homemade Low Carb Food Gifts

Lentil-soup-in-a-jar, or other bean soup mix? Just adapt it to be lower-carb by leaving stuff like rice out.

Homemade salad dressing (would have to use fast)?

Refrigerator Pickles (easier to make, assuming you're not shipping!).

BBQ meat rubs (assuming your friends aren't also vegetarian).

Homemade coconut butter, yum! Easy to make and keeps a long time without refrigeration.

Herb-infused oils or vinegars (not garlic oil: tends to botulism!).

Lactofermented veggies (needs an airlock)

Pineapple-infused vodka, yum...! "Cherry Bounce" is also pretty good!

Spice packets for mulled wine or cider (if you want to be extra nice, also provide the liquid).

Homemade vanilla extract?

Provide-their-own-milk sugarfree hot cocoa mix. Here's how I make a big mug -- you'll have to play with it and see how well it would work for a mix:

Put a splash of milk in the bottom of a large mug. Add one heaping spoonful cocoa and 2 packets of **different** artificial sweeteners (Splenda and NutraSweet, Splenda and Stevia, Nutrasweet and Stevia, whatever you've got on hand).

Microwave one minute on high (time may vary with wattage of your microwave). Stir very well until the solids are completely dissolved in the milk.

Top off mug 3/4 full with more milk and microwave 2 1/2 minutes on medium. Stir. Add vanilla extract (you may want to substitute powdered vanilla for the mix), stir again, and drink.

Top with sugarfree whipped cream if available.

The mix and suitable mug(s) would be a GREAT gift!

Dec 04, 2013
Chowbird in Home Cooking

3 oz. heat-resistant shot glasses for SOUP?

You could also try small Styrofoam cups, although IMHO, then can't handle liquids that are TOO hot:

Dec 03, 2013
Chowbird in Cookware

Searching for a non-alcoholic bitters recipe

Maybe OP's friends avoid alcohol for religious reasons.

Dec 03, 2013
Chowbird in Spirits

Salmonella in spices - how to protect ourselves?

The FDA study focused on spices *imported into the U.S.*; if you live in the U.S., look for domestic sources or for stores with high quality standards.

Dec 03, 2013
Chowbird in General Topics

Cooking Red Lentils Via Steeping?

It would free up another eye on the stove while they steep.

Nov 23, 2013
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Cooking Red Lentils Via Steeping?

I read a rumor the other day that split red lentils can be cooked by steeping -- basically, pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit, without further heat.

Has anyone tried this, and does it actually work? And what's the best ratio of liquid to lentils?

Nov 22, 2013
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Homemade turkey gravy advice?

Well, here's what I would do:

1. Roast the turkey on top of some onions and celery, possibly with a few carrots in a disposable pan or roaster lined with aluminum foil.

2. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven, let cool, and strip the meat from the bones. Save all the scraps and skin, as well as the veggies. (You can always freeze the meat for another meal after Thanksgiving, after you're no longer tired of turkey!). Strain the drippings, put them in a container, and refrigerate.

3. Crank the oven up to around 400 F; add veggies and turkey scraps/skin, and roast for at least an hour (two is better!). This should give you the crunchy, crispy fond on the sides of the pan, and probably the turkey skin as well.

If you want to go to the trouble, you can add the turkey scraps and some FRESH veggies to your slow-cooker and let it run on LOW overnight. Otherwise, take the solids out of the pan and deglaze the pan with water, wine, or, yes, canned broth. Strain and save the stock or deglazing liquid and put it in the fridge.

Check the drippings you stashed in the fridge. If they're cool enough the fat will be congealed and floating on top. Save this fat to make your roux later. (If they're not cool enough yet, they should be in the morning).

No matter whether you deglazed right away or used your slow cooker, strain and refrigerate the resulting liquid. If the container you put the drippings in has enough room, you can simply add it to them. The fat will STILL be risen to the top by morning.

Gravy doesn't reheat well, so you'll probably want to make it fresh for the Thanksgiving feast. Assemble the turkey fat, drippings and deglazed liquids, the veggies and spices you'll want to use, some all-purpose flour, and if you're Southern, some sliced hard-boiled eggs. :)

If you're using veggies in the gravy (like chopped celery and onions), sauté them in turkey fat until onions turn transparent; remove from pan and set aside. Make a blonde roux with equal parts turkey fat and flour. (This may take awhile, and you need to both stir and WATCH it constantly!). Add liquids and warm slowly, stirring all the while. Return veggies to pot, season to taste, and add eggs if you use them. Keep the gravy warm until eatin' time!

Homemade stock makes SUCH a difference! You'll be the gravy champ!

Nov 22, 2013
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Has Anyone Ever Roasted or Fried A Silky Chicken?

Check the label. My local Asian market (far away from you, though) carries silkies from Canada.

Nov 14, 2013
Chowbird in Home Cooking

Help me feed my father in law some vegetables

These aren't exactly breakfast meals, but some ideas:

1. Use low-sodium V8 juice to make a meat-and-veggie soup and/or Shrimp Creole.

2. Make homemade stock in the slow cooker, cook it down to sludge/demiglaze, freeze, and add a cube or two to everything you cook to make it taste meatier.

3. Thicken soups, sauces, and gravies with vegetable purees instead of flour or cornstarch.

4. Hide veggies (onions, spinach) in meatballs. Also meat loaf.

5. Homemade tzatziki is a beautiful thing. Use as a veggie dip or as a mayonnaise substitute.

6. Would bean/lentil soups count?

7. If you make him a meat salad (chicken, ham, etc.), use LOTS of celery.

8. You could try garnishing sandwiches, etc., with homemade refrigerator pickles (they don't have to be cucumbers: pickled red onions are favorites at our house!). Japanese pickles are pretty good, too.

9. Veggie gratin? Risotto (easier to make in a pressure cooker)?

10. Use coleslaw mix for a quick stir fry. It's already prewashed and shredded for you. You can find preshredded carrots and broccoli, too.

11. Spinach-artichoke dip.

Have you tried asking him what he dislikes about vegetables? I used to hate, them too, because my mom boiled them all to death. Once I discovered Asian cooking and crisp-tender veggies, I never looked back! :)

Nov 12, 2013
Chowbird in General Topics