Recently in lunch Category

Loaded baked potato with bacon, broccoli and cheese

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I made a delicious loaded baked potato with the leftover baked potato.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

If the baked potato is refrigerated, warm it up for 45 seconds (maybe a little longer) in the microwave.

Put on an oven-safe plate.

Add a little butter, salt and pepper.

Add the cooked, sliced bacon.

Cut the broccoli into small pieces, put in a small bowl, add a little water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 45 seconds.

Top with shredded cheese. I used a nacho and taco blend of seasoned cheddar, colby and Monterey jack.

Bake for 8 minutes so the cheese melts.

Update 6/11/2013: Since it's not that hard to pick up the potato, I cooked it on a little sheet pan and transferred it to a plate after cooking. That worked better.

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Grilled ham and cheese sandwich

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This is my quick, tasty and pretty small grilled ham and cheese sandwich. It's made with:

1 slice of Barowski's whole wheat bread, cut in half
2.2 oz. deli ham
3/4 slice of Cabot Swiss cheese

Preheat a sauté pan over medium-low heat.

Since I don't eat that much bread I keep my bread in the freezer. This helps with this sandwich because I assemble the sandwich and then microwave it for 25 seconds. This helps soften the cheese and defrost the bread.

Add some butter (about a 1/8" thick slice of a normal stick of butter) to the pan and melt. You don't want the pan too hot or the butter will burn.

Add the sandwich starting with the cheese side down and cook until lightly browned. Flip over and brown the other side.

Served with a few Kettle Chips barbecue potato chips.

Cheese hot dog #1


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I used to love to get the "Wisconsin cheese dog" at the Frank 'n' Stein at the Fair Oaks Mall in Fair Oaks, Virginia, when I lived down that way. I probably haven't had one in a decade since I was unsure of how to get the cheese to melt.

There is an updated version of this recipe as Cheese hot dog #2, and that version worked better.

A search of the Internet provided a wealth of bad answers, the most common being the microwave, which I don't like. You have to microwave it with the bun, and microwaving bread first makes it moist and soggy, then it quickly turns into a rock. The other answers were along the lines of using Cheez Wiz. No, thanks.

I know those hot dog places melt the cheese using a steam drawer. While I have a lot of appliances, I don't have a steam drawer. Can you make a cheese hot dog using a steamer insert in an ordinary pot on the stove? The answer: Yes.

I cut two thin slices of Cabot cheddar cheese. Here it is next to my whole wheat hot dog roll, which is still wrapped in plastic wrap because it was previously frozen.

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Here is my saucepan with a little water in the bottom and the steamer insert. I covered it and brought it to a boil, before adding the hot dog.

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I reheated the hot dog, which I previously grilled, vacuum sealed and froze, boil-in-bag for 9 minutes from frozen. Here is the hot hot dog with the cheese and some jalapeños on the bun, ready to go into the steamer.

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I put it in for 1:00, but the cheese wasn't completely melted under the jalapeños. Maybe 1:15 or 1:30 would be better, but the bun was getting pretty soft. The jalapeños were raw, like they would be on a cold sandwich, but I think that's okay. Maybe sautéeing them first would be better; I'm not sure. Maybe they should be added after melting the cheese, since they don't really get soft, anyway.

Also it was a little hard to get the hot dog out of the steamer because the bun was so moist. I'm considering putting it in a little aluminum foil sling before putting it in the steamer so I can just grab the sling to pull it out the steamer.

I'd say it was pretty much a success. The cheese was mostly melted and the bun was soft but manageable and didn't turn into a rock while eating it. And it was tasty.

Incidentally, other ideas I rejected:

I use a propane torch to melt cheese on my sausage, egg and cheese English muffins but I was pretty sure the torch would set the bun on fire because the hot dog pretty much needs to be nestled in the bun to melt the cheese, unlike a breakfast sandwich.

Oven/toaster oven. I was pretty sure that everything would be overcooked before the cheese melted, which I guess would take about 8 minutes at 350°F, or at least that's what it takes for nachos.

Broiler. This was a runner-up, but I was pretty sure the bun would get overly toasted before the cheese melted.

Pork fried wontons

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This was a tasty!

2.1 oz. pre-cooked pork, minced
green parts of scallions
garlic
ginger
oyster sauce
soy sauce

Combine the ingredients in a bowl.

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Put a teaspoon in a wonton wrapper and fold. Deep fry for 1 to 2 minutes at 360°F.

I have a similar vegetarian recipe made with tempeh that's really good too (and vegetarian).


Red lentils and kale in coconut curry sauce

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This is something a little different than what I normally make but I spotted it on Pinterest and it looked good! The original recipe is here and mine is basically the same.

1 cup red lentils
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green part separated
1 bunch of kale (5 leaves), stems removed and leaves cut into 1" wide strips
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (14 oz.)
1 shallot
1 tsp. Thai red curry paste or curry powder
salt
freshly ground black pepper
oil for frying

Rinse the lentils and pick out any bad looking ones.

Boil 2 cups of water and use it to soak the lentils. I use my electric tea kettle to heat the water, then put the lentils in a Pyrex measuring cup and pour the boiling water over them. Soak for 15-20 minutes. Or you could put the lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil then remove from the heat.

Thinly slice the shallot so it forms rings or strips. Add a small amount of oil (I used canola) to a sauté pan and cook the shallots until crisp and brown, then pull them out and set them aside.

Drain the lentils.

In a large sauté pan add some oil. I just used the oil that was left after cooking the shallots. Add the minced ginger, white parts of the scallions and cook for a minute. Add the kale and cook until wilted, a few minutes. Remove everything to a bowl and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and add the lentils. Cook for a few minutes, turn them over, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the coconut milk and curry paste or curry powder and stir.

Cook until thickened, then add the kale mixture and combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and top with the crispy shallot. Serves 3 or 4.

This was good but not great, but I'm pretty sure the problem is that I used lite coconut milk. I know I'd had really bad luck in the past when I'd used it, and I must have grabbed the wrong can by accident at the store and I only had the one can in my cupboard.


Sautéed baby Swiss chard with pancetta

ate.2012.06.28.l.jpgThis was delicious! My new favorite way to cook Swiss chard, kale, etc..

This was baby Swiss chard so I only removed a few of the larger ribs and cut off some of the larger stem ends.

Sauté 1.5 oz. of diced pancetta until fully cooked and the fat rendered.

Add 1 minced clove of garlic and cook for a minute.

Add the Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, tat soi, arugula, whatever you like and cook until wilted.

Add a splash of champagne vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Here it is with tat soi:

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Sautéed arugula, sardines and rice

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You might have noticed a trend here. I've made this same dish with spinach, kale and tat soi, and here's the version with arugula from CSA Week #3.
 
Wash and spin dry the arugula.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add a little oil (I used canola, but it doesn't really matter). Add the arugula.

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Sauté until softened and it reduces in volume. And reduce it does - that whole pan of arugula made the amount on the plate!

Season with black pepper and granulated garlic. You could also use a minced clove of garlic instead.

Add hana katsuo (Japanese dried bonito fish flakes). These could be left out, but I think it adds good flavor to the dish, so add it if you can. And finally, some soy sauce. That's it!

I normally eat a half can of Wild Planet sustainably caught sardines in water. That's half a can of King Oscar sardines in olive oil and I don't like these at all. The Wild Planet ones are more like eating fish, these were all mushy.

The rice is reheated in the microwave (40 seconds from refrigerator temperature, covered) and seasoned with furikake.

Sautéed tat soi, sardines and rice

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Tat soi is a slightly spicy Asian braising green, and it works great in this dish. I think it's my favorite version, even better than the version I make with kale or spinach. I got a head of it in CSA Week #3. This a simple but tasty and healthy lunch, though probably not everyone would be a fan.

Remove the tough ends of the stems. They're edible, but not as good in this dish. Or you could put them in and cook them down a bit before adding the tender leaves. You don't have to remove the stem like kale or chard.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add a little oil (I used canola, but it doesn't really matter). Add the tat soi.

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Sauté until softened and it reduces in volume.

Season with black pepper and granulated garlic. You could also use a minced clove of garlic instead.

Add hana katsuo (Japanese dried bonito fish flakes). These could be left out, but I think it adds good flavor to the dish, so add it if you can. And finally, some soy sauce. That's it!

The sardines are a half can of Wild Planet sustainably caught sardines in water.

The rice is reheated in the microwave (40 seconds from refrigerator temperature, covered) and seasoned with furikake.

This is basically the same recipe as Sautéed spinach, sardines and rice.


Update: July 10, 2014
: I started eating a whole 4.375 oz. can of sardines instead of half. This solves the problem of what to do with a half can of leftover sardines, and is still a reasonable serving size.

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Sautéed kale, sardines and rice

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This a simple but tasty lunch, though probably not everyone would be a fan.

I used a good amount of kale, 5 leaves, the entire amount from CSA Week #2. Stems removed, chopped, washed and dried.

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Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add a little oil (I used canola, but it doesn't really matter). Add the kale. Sauté until softened and it reduces in volume.

Add a splash of vinegar (I used rice vinegar). I don't add vinegar when I make this dish with spinach, but I think it helps with the kale.

Season with black pepper and granulated garlic. You could also use a minced clove of garlic instead.

Add hana katsuo (Japanese dried bonito fish flakes). These could be left out, but I think it adds good flavor to the dish, so add it if you can. And finally, some soy sauce. That's it!

The sardines are a half can of Wild Planet sustainably caught sardines in water.

The rice is reheated in the microwave (40 seconds from refrigerator temperature, covered) and seasoned with furikake.


This is basically the same recipe as Sautéed spinach, sardines and rice.

It also works great with mizuna.

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Red lentils and rhubarb with Indian spices

ate.2012.06.11.l.jpgA savory rhubarb dish? This is a little odd, but pretty good. I don't think I'd make it every week, but I'd make once every rhubarb season. It certainly is healthy!

The recipe here is pretty much a half recipe of this recipe. That, in turn, is apparently from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

1/2 cup dried lentils, washed and picked through for any defective ones
2 stalks rhubarb, diced into 1/4" pieces
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 cardamom pods
1/2 tbsp. mustard seeds
1 whole clove (the spice, not garlic)
1 dried mild chile (the recipe calls for ancho; I used California), seeds removed and diced
salt
freshly ground black pepper

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Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and add water to cover by 1/2" or a little more. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer.

Cook for 20 - 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and it's not too soupy. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. It would probably be good to pick out the clove, but I couldn't find mine.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve with rice.

It's vegan (and therefore also vegetarian, dairy-free and lactose-free). It's also gluten-free. It's also non-fat, as there isn't even any cooking oil in it. Lentils are high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, including iron. So I guess maybe I should make this more often!

From caloriecount.about.com (not including the rice):
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