Archive for October, 2009


Lunch Quesadillas

In our house, lunch is frequently prepared by frying a flour tortilla in some butter, layering  leftovers and cheese and topping it with another tortilla. Frying it until lightly browned, and flipping it over to brown the other tortilla.  Sound gross? It’s really very good. We’ve done all sorts of cheeses;  swiss, sharp cheddar  or  gruyere.  Leftovers have ranged from prepared tuna, or leftover roast beef, or chicken in spaghetti sauce. If there are no suitable leftovers, we simply dip our cheese quesadillas in ranch dressing. You’d be surprised how much the kids love having a hot lunch and you’ll love a one pan meal that puts those pesky leftovers to good use.


Mushroom Reminders

  • You want to you buy organic mushrooms. Why? Because to wash a mushroom is to ruin it. Mushrooms are sponges, they will taste like whatever you cook them with. So if you run them under water to wash them, they will absorb some water and be rather rubbery and tasteless. If you must wash them, take a dry paper towel and dust off the dirt.
  • When browning mushrooms,  do not use salted butter or add any salt until after they have browned.  For more tips click here.

One Pan. Vegetarian. Healthy. Affordable.

Not to worry, we aren’t going vegan or anything. Ben and I have just been contemplating the amount of meat we consume. Questions along the lines of, yes, God gave us permission to eat steak, but still some cow has to die and shouldn’t we show respect by not eating beef every night of the week? That’s another tangent, but my point was, that we are cutting back on meat. We have been finding other places to gain protein through food (I’m not a big fan of vitamin supplements). Lots of legumes and cheeses. I’ve learned to soak the beans in salt water to add flavor and to slow cook lentils for 12 hours to make very filling and delicious soups. But sometimes life gets in the way of meal prep and I’m stranded at 6 o’clock with no dinner on the table and not an idea of what to do about it. Yesterday was one such night. I’ve been reading a lot of Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food, in which she provides a list of food to keep on hand for such emergencies. It is because of that inspiration that I did have potatoes, olive oil, thyme and frozen asparagus on hand. I prefer red or little golden potatoes, which have so much flavor and are easy to quarter into bite sized pieces, but you could just as easily use russets. I washed and quartered my reds and spread them into a glass cake pan. I laid full sprigs of thyme (stripping them takes so much time and I didn’t have it!) on top, and poured a generous amount of olive oil on top of the whole she-bang. Fresh ground sea salt and pepper topped it, of course. I baked it at 375′ turning the potatoes occasionally, which allows for the cooking thyme leafs to fall off and mix in. Once the potatoes were soft, I turned up the heat to 425′ and placed some frozen asparagus spears on top of the potatoes. I kept it in there about 10 minutes until the asparagus had heated through. Ben and I like to dip our roast potatoes in prepared horseradish for an extra kick.

Approximate cost for serving 3 (1/2)

  • red potatoes  =  $1.75
  • fresh thyme = $2.00
  • 1/8 c. olive oil = $1.00
  • s & p = $0.25
  • frozen asparagus = $1.00
    Total meal cost: $6.00
    Cost per serving: $2.00

Optional prepared horseradish will make each serving about 15 to 20 cents more.