Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Leftover Tofurkey Scrambler

If you’re like me, you enjoy leftovers but sometimes get bored of eating the same thing 3 times in one week. As a chef I’ve spent most of my life enhancing leftovers. I add olives and vegetarian bacon bits or veggie burgers to Mac-n-cheese, throw some spices and extra veggies into pasta, and I have been tossing leftover Indian food into a pan with some eggs to make leftover omelets. I recently realized that I can use just about any leftovers (save for pasta and pizza) for omelets or scramblers. I’ve been experimenting for months and I do have a few finished ‘leftover’ or “garbage” omelets but I haven’t had the time to type them up yet. In honor of the holiday season I’m posting my leftover Thanksgiving omelet and scrambler recipes first.

Leftover Tofurkey and Cranberry Omelets

  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 piece of a cooked tofurkey roast (diced or chopped) and the rice that was in the middle of the slice.
  3. 3 or 4 tbsp of cranberry sauce (more if it doesn’t have whole or chopped cranberries in it)
  4. Splash of milk
  5. Dash of poultry seasoning
  6. Butter flavored cooking spray
  7. 1 tsp butter or margarine (to grease pan)
  8. ¼ cup or less tofurkey gravy (heated)

  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add milk, and beat with a fork until blended.
  2. If you haven’t already done so, cut separate the tofurkey “meat” from the rice, and cut it into medium sized cubes. You don’t want them to be too much larger than the pieces in the picture.
  3. Add the tofurkey chunks, rice, and cranberries/ cranberry sauce to the eggs and stir until evenly mixed.
  4. Melt the butter or margarine in a medium sized frying pan and add cooking spray. Do not overheat. If your butter starts to bubble, the flame/ burner is on too high.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pan and cook over a medium flame.
  6. Allow the scrambler to cook evenly, stirring occasionally so there won’t be any raw bits.
  7. The time it takes to do this will vary depending on your stove, and how high of a flame you use. The eggs should be fluffy when finished. The rice may prevent your omelet from holding together as one big piece which is why I listed this as a scrambler.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Simple Spinach and Mushroom Cups

Simple Spinach and Mushroom Cups

This meal will take approximately 30-45 minutes to cook, and you are going to make two to three large pastry cups.
1. ½ a package of frozen spinach or about 1/2 pound of cooked, drained, and chopped spinach)
2. 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
3. ¼ cup of milk
5. 1 fresh peeled, and chopped garlic clove.
6. 1 large Portobello mushroom
7. 3 tablespoons of julienne sun-dried tomatoes
8. ½ to ¾ of a package of soft goat's milk cheese
9. 2 Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry shells (Any type of vegetarian pastry shell or cup will work just fine).
1. Pre-heat the oven 400 degrees (or the temperature listed for that product), and cook the shells, on a cookie sheet, according to the directions on the box.
2. While they cook, heat the frozen spinach in the microwave, put half away for another time, and leave the remaining spinach in the bowl or dish it was cooked in.
3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
4. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook them for about 5 minutes
5. Add the milk and garlic, sauté over a low heat for 10 minutes, until they are soft and juicy.
6. Drain any excess juices from pan, and add the spinach, tomatoes, and cheese to the mix.
7. Heat (stirring occasionally) for 10-15 minutes.
8. Pour the mixture into the cooked cups. You will have a little extra.
9. Place filled cups in the oven for another 2 or 3 minutes.

Spinach and mushrooms are two of my favorite vegetables, and I am always looking for ways to mix the two together or with other ingredients. One evening I was cooking mushrooms the way I always do (in melted smart balance spread with milk and garlic) and I thought, what if I made a dip with spinach, goat’s cheese, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes? I originally put the spread on a slice of bread. When I made this for my family the first time, I wanted to serve it in one large pastry shell, , but when I got to the store I couldn’t find any vegetarian pie crust.
I found the Pepperidge Farm shells, and turned out to be perfect for several reasons.
1. They didn’t have lard or any other animal products in them. They don’t even contain eggs or milk!
2. They are tasty. The shells are soft, crisp, light, and airy, everything you would want in a pastry dish.
3.I've always been able to find them.
4. The shells are simple to cook, just stick them in the oven at 400 degrees, cook for about 25 minutes, and stick a fork inside to remove the center part. Then you can put whatever you want inside of it. I’ve made this dish for family and friends, and everyone loves it.