Delicious treats courtesy of me

I like to cook, and since cooking is something I do like to spend some time on while I am unemployed, I feel like the things I prepare should be shared here. That said, here are some recipes that tend to be my go-to for quick dinner after a long day. The first is one that I believe should be credited to Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, although Mark Bittman can essentially tell you what to do in less-ingredient-specific terms.

Boiled amaranth:

  • 1/2 cup amaranth
  • 1 1/2 cups water (or other liquid, like stock)
  • pinch of salt to taste
  1. Heat liquid to boiling over high heat.
  2. Add salt and amaranth, cover, turn down heat and let simmer for 25 min./until tender and slightly gummy/until water is absorbed, whichever happens first.
  3. Drain if necessary.

A good inclusion: shichimi togarashi, which Mark Bittman definitely has a recipe for.

Now for my custom recipe.

Fried tempeh bits with amaranth:

  • Single-serving portion of tempeh (a third or fourth of a packaged block), cut into small, thin bits (diced-ish)
  • Tamari to taste (2 or more regular spoonfuls, in my experience)
  • Nori furikake (called “Nori ‘shake'” by Mark Bittman; another recipe his veg cookbook boasts) to taste
  • Tbsp-ish of ginger (to taste), minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp-ish of minced garlic (I love garlic)
  • Grapeseed oil for frying (best choice in my opinion)
  1. Put diced tempeh in a bowl and add just enough tamari to coat tempeh bits plus a tiny bit more to keep the nori from sticking to the bowl.
  2. Sprinkle nori furikake generously on tempeh. Stir so everything is evenly distributed and covered in tamari. Let marinate while preparing other ingredients.
  3. Mince garlic and ginger.
  4. Heat pan/skillet/wok over medium-high heat with oil.
  5. Fry garlic and ginger for no more than 15 seconds, then add tempeh. Fry until golden on at least one side. Warning: sesame seeds from the furikake may pop a little in the skillet, so be careful.
  6. Serve atop reheated or just-boiled amaranth, depending on what you have time for.

I hate titling banal things like this

Lots of baseball last weekend–the Cards picked up two wins against the Angels, both of which Suraj and I went to. Tower Grove Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning yielded the first mostly sweet strawberries of the season, which I could have eaten all at once instead of taking home. I stopped by Hartford Coffee Company again (where I wrote from the other weekend) to have lunch and do a little work. I don’t know how often they do it, but their lunch special on Saturday was from-scratch black bean burgers, and this was definitely the best one I’ve yet to eat. We also saw Iron Man 2 Saturday night.

My ankle has been feeling better for the most part, until this evening. I’m hoping to try out an upright cycle on Friday for a little while. I’ve been wearing a brace since last week to keep it compressed and icing it periodically, which I might do tonight despite not having gotten around much on it today.

I was able to find black sesame seeds in bulk at the local Indo-Pak grocery store on my way home from the gym on Monday evening, so today I made Japanese seven-spice blend from a recipe in my Bittman cookbook. It smells wonderful and was quite easy to make (aside from having to wash out my coffee grinder, which I, like a horrible person with no respect for my coffee, never do). I can’t wait to try it on tempeh and other things this week. I also bought amaranth at the farmers’ market along with the strawberries, so if I can finish the rice I have in the fridge, I will try cooking some of that this week. I’d like to use it to make pilaf. On another food note, caffeine withdrawal symptoms seem to have stopped, so I will take that as a sign I can start drinking coffee again.

If it ever stops raining, I might wash my disgusting car later this week and plant my wildflower seeds in my parents’ backyard.

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