Tag Archives: vegetarian

Make a steak on the austerity plan? Don’t mind if I do.

I make healthy look good.

I make healthy look good.

Hot diggity damn—I made a five ingredient dinner!

Behold, a roasted cauliflower steak dressed with a sauce of olive oil, butter, red pepper flakes and chopped Manzanilla olives. Spicy, healthy and actually really cheap to make.

Set a jelly roll or sheet pan inside your oven, and pre-heat it to 450 degrees. While the oven heats, cut two one & a half inch “steaks” from the center of the cauliflower; save what’s left for another use (like steaming and throwing into your lunch salad tomorrow).  Brush olive oil on one side of the steak and generously sprinkle with Old Bay. When the oven is ready, carefully set the slices on the pan, oiled side down, and repeat the oil brushing and Old Bay sprinkling on the top of each slice. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 14 minutes.

Once your timer goes off, use a spatula to gently flip the cauliflower steaks, then continue baking for another 14 minutes. In the meantime, grab a small pan (not nonstick) and set over medium-low heat. Add about 2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons butter, and a generous shake of red pepper flakes to the pan. As the butter melts, give 1/4 cup of small Manzanilla olives a rough chop, then add to pan. Give it a gentle shake, reduce heat, and continue cooking on low for another 3-4 minutes.

The steaks are ready when they are easily pierced with the point of a knife. Remove each steak from the pan gently [again], and dress with the sauce. Ta-daa.

Note: this recipe is vegetarian, but could easily be made vegan by eliminating the butter and just using more olive oil in its place.

Note Part Deux: One large cauliflower will yield two steaks.




A Week of Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert—In One Day

It’s been a very successful afternoon.

Keep reading...

Keep reading…

After a delightful & filling brunch with my friend Jessica, I shivered all the way home to plot out my Sunday afternoon cooking. There are usually two goals of my Sunday cooking: make a knockout dinner for me & the bf (his name is Paul. Have I mentioned that?), and make a variety of healthy hot lunches for the week ahead. Today, I added a third goal: make a special treat for my coworker & friend John, who is celebrating his birthday tomorrow.

First up: breakfast. It’s much easier to face a cold & cloudy day when I start it off with a belly-warmer of a breakfast. I like oatmeal, and I REALLY like steel-cut oats. They have a chewy texture similar to barley and farro, but more tender, and you can cook one big pot on Sunday and make enough for 5 breakfasts. It keeps really well in the fridge, and I’ve read that you can freeze it, too (though I have never tried). IMG_6329

Today, I made my oatmeal a little differently. I call this MRS Oatmeal, as the recipe comes courtesy of the great Martha Rose Shulman. She cooks the oats in a mixture of water and 1% milk, and then adds sweetener (I used brown sugar), dried fruit and butter during cooking. I tweaked the recipe slightly and added cinnamon. The results: hearty, creamy, loads of flavor, and each portion can be reheated in the microwave in 1-2 minutes. Easy mornings await.

Next: Lunch, and an experimental one at that— I wanted to make something hot, filling, and light, so I could actually get up out of my chair and walk around comfortably post lunch. I looked in my pantry and fridge and began to strategize. IMG_6325White beans—healthy, protein-rich, good with tomatoes. Well, lookie here! A can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Here’s a zucchini. I can chop that up. Onion and garlic will be necessary. Olive oil, of course. I did a lot of eyeballing and not a lot of measuring, so once i make this again I will take careful notes and repeat the recipe.

Before I got cracking on dinner, I set about the business of making John’s birthday treat. My inspiration was Paul’s father, Bob—an excellent baker—who made these crazy addictive peanut butter & chocolate chip bars a few weeks ago. I don’t think Paul thought they were addictive, probably because I didn’t leave him any. They were that good. Sadly, Bob couldn’t remember where he found the recipe, but a few minutes of skimming The Google’s search results led me here.

IMG_6307The ingredients are all or mostly pantry staples—peanut butter, butter, white and brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. I subbed 1/2 cup whole wheat wheat flour for a half cup of the AP flour that was called for. I didn’t have chocolate chunks, but I did have mini-morsels, though less than the amount listed. There were still plenty. The bars themselves are chewy-crumbly, and very intensely peanut-buttery. Like, if you turned Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into cookie bars. That’s what you get.IMG_6373

Finally, I moved onto dinner. I’ve been trying to clear our freezer, and I did a good job of it tonight. I defrosted about 4 cups of cauliflower and a whole lot of skirt steak. I marinated the steak in a mixture of soy sauce (1/2 cup), sriracha (1 tsp), brown sugar (1 tbsp), pinches of garlic & onion powders and a little hit of sesame oil (1 tsp). Five steaks with marinade in a Ziploc for 2 hours, then grilled in a pan, 3-4 minutes each side for medium rare. Ta-daa.


As for the cauliflower, I really wasn’t sure what to do until I looked over at my credenza and saw two small Yukon Gold potatoes sitting in a basket. I decided to make a mash, though I never had combined cauliflower and potatoes. I figured it couldn’t be that hard, and both vegetables go so well with cheese. CHEESE. There was leftover muenster in the fridge (2 thin slices), and some grated parmesan (1/4 cup). Some milk (1/3 cup), some butter (2 tbsp), some pureeing… bam! A mash. But I went a step further and put it all in a casserole dish, then baked for 20 minutes at 425 degrees until it developed a light crust. IMG_6358

I will totally make this again. It paired really well with the steak, and the glass of Malbec didn’t hurt, either.

It has been a great day for cooking, and for eating. Depending on the outcome of the Saints game, it may not be a great day for football. Carolina is kicking my team’s collective butt. Sad face.

In this week’s Dining & Wine section…

I came upon this treasure from the always helpful Melissa Clark in The New York Times.  Like she says, if you’ve got a can of chickpeas in your pantry, you can put together a hearty meal in no time.

Check out the recipe for this Chickpea Stew with Orzo and Mustard Greens. I can’t wait to make this one, and I’m sure there are endless variations.

Happy cooking.

PS – The latest from Bittman—PANCAKES!