As I mentioned in my 2017 goals, I wanted to attempt going meat-free for one full day once a week, at least through the month of January. As fun as I think this is going to be — simply for the excitement of exploring new recipes and protein sources — I found that I had to remind myself of this multiple times throughout the day. Especially in the morning. I found that sort of humorous because not often do I actually eat meat for breakfast.
Anyway. Since one of my other goals is to get better at taking pictures of food, I thought a good way would be to share my meals and some of the recipes I try out.
I maybe got preoccupied that morning getting ready for the new semester, as well as making an attempt at narrowing down my thesis focus. Which sort of backfired because I came up with more ideas. By 10:30am I realized I hadn’t eaten yet, and so rather than have a traditional breakfast or attempt lunch early, I just went with a larger snack like meal: chips with homemade salsa. I like to tell myself this is healthy. I mean, salsa is just vegetables. (Also, since it’s homemade there’s no added sugar.) And yes, I am washing that down with a giant cup of orange flavored water.
I made a huge batch of salsa months ago, and am still eating my way through it. That salsa was a lot hotter than I typically eat it, so I’ve been using it as a mother batch and adding it to containers of crushed tomatoes. After that I give it another blend with my immersion blender because I am not a chunky salsa fan. Salsa’s actually really easy to make, so much so it doesn’t really require its own recipe card. It’s essentially tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers. For mine, I use crushed tomatoes, fresh sweet onion, garlic powder and salt, a little cumin, a little lime, and this last time I added three jalapeños and an entire little can of chipotle and adobo. That last part is why it was a bit much for me to eat as-is.
Chips and salsa weren’t enough to hold me over all day. Which I knew. The hardest part of the challenge so far has been reigning back my desire to cook awesome meatless dishes for each meal. Unchecked, I’d end up with a fridge full of leftovers again — and I’m currently attempting to work my way through my last cooking frenzy’s leftovers. So I made myself keep it simple for lunch.
It feels like forever since I’ve had — or at least made — a baked potato. It’s was a common, quick and simple dinner at my mom’s house. I’m a fan of loaded baked potatoes, though. However, I tend to forget that extra toppings doesn’t necessarily mean extra work. I just topped mine with feta and almonds. Definitely didn’t require much effort at all. Definitely was pretty tasty and also filling.
Finally allowing myself to explore recipes and cook something new, I really went at it. In my last cooking frenzy, I made a lot of casseroles and soups and stews. So I wanted something different this time. And I was craving cauliflower. Cauliflower can be a main dish, but often it’s designated as a side. I had to find a recipe that would be able to hold its own. So I chose to adapt this recipe: honey-garlic cauliflower. I adjusted the sauce a little bit. And unfortunately over-breaded the cauliflower. (I’ve never been good at getting panko to turn out like it does in recipe pictures. Mine look like some sort of mutant nuggets, actually…) Anyway. I plan on using the sauce on more thing — it’s a good sweet and a little spicy Asian-style sauce. Oh, and as you can see, I added green beans.
Honey Garlic Cauliflower
Sweet & spicy Asian-inspired vegetarian dish
- 1 head cauliflower chopped into florets
- 2/3 cup flour (all-purpose, or whatever you prefer)
- 3 eggs beaten with a little water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- 1 tps garlic powder (to taste; or 2 cloves minced)
- 1 tps lime juice (to taste)
- 1 tbsp sriracha (or chili sauce of preference)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 tbsp corn starch
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
Toss the cauliflower in flour, then dredge in eggs, and then finally coat with the bread crumbs. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minute or until desired crispiness.
In sauce pan, whisk together honey, soy & teriyaki sauces, garlic, and sriracha over medium heat. As that comes to a boil, in a small bowl, mix together water and corn starch until dissolved. After the sauce boils, reduce heat to simmer and stir in corn starch solution. Stir occasionally until it thickens. (2-3 minutes, ish)
Toss cooked cauliflower in sauce, and either return to oven for a few minutes (original recipe suggest broiling for 2 minutes); or sauté in a wok with additional vegetables.
Garnish with scallions or sesame seeds, serve with rice (or grain of preference)