Thursday, February 12, 2009


everything in the fridge salad

so we got busy and the big cook faltered. gohan is still big cookin on the west coast but i can't seem to pull my weekend together. though i am meal planning which is saving a ton of time and money. anyway, the site will start back up slowly with us posting some of our favorite recipes or plans! so, hi again!

above is an "everything in the fridge salad" i threw together for lunch the other day. this one included romaine, cukes, green pepper, left over brown rice, the last two pieces of sliced chicken breast, and three little mushrooms that i sauteed with olive oil and rosemary. yum.

let's start adding recipes

god bless my chestnut farmsmeat share for making the best sausage on this earth! it helped me throw together a fantastic dinner in minutes while also playing race car with the bean, wearing the pea, and chatting with gohan.

pine nuts
red pepper
baby spinach
italian sausage
olive oil
white wine
chicken broth


grated parm

first i toasted the pine nuts on a cookie sheet in the oven and set them aside. then i browned the sausage and broke it up into little bits and set it aside. i sauteed the shallot and red pepper in some olive oil. then i cooked them in some white whine. added the spinach and let it wilt. threw the sausage back in the pan and added some broth.

meanwhile i boiled the water and cooked my pasta (i used whole wheat egg noodles).

put the pasta in a bowl, topped it with the sausage/spinach sauce, sprinkled on a generous handful of pine nuts and a bit of cheese.

we both went back for seconds.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

chili time of year

where we live it is now truly fall. crisp nights and leaves changing colors. i have been on a walking kick so i am more aware of the season changing around me. you see, the bean decided that he didn't want to fall asleep laying down in his bed for his nap. at first this made me insane as all sleep related issues do but then i decided to find the silver lining. this forced me to get some exercise outside everyday. so, i load him up in the stroller with a snack and some rice milk, put the chickpea in her wrap and start walking. i am sure it is quite a sight but the neighbors must be getting used to it since i walk the same route everyday.

at the beginning of this new routine i was in a tank top everyday and the leaves were all on the trees. then things started changing. leaves turned from green to orange and red. instead of only hearing the sound of my feet hitting the pavement i now also hear the crackle as i stomp on the dried and fallen leaves. it is actually my favorite part of the day. and even on a day like today, when i am so sick i want to be curled up on a ball in bed, i am looking forward to trekking my little route.

in honor of the fall weather and falling leaves i feel it is time to start cooking chili. one of my favorite foods. i made up a huge batch the other day because my newest discovery is that if i can't do the original "big cook" by making lots of meals on the weekend i can do a new "big cook" when i get time to cook i cook a ton of the one thing i am making. so, two huge pots of chili were made. luckily it came out fantastic.

first fall chili
red onion
red pepper
hot pepper
ground meat
ground tomatoes
black beans
kidney beans
cayenne pepper
chili powder
bay leaf
frozen corn

sautee the onion, peppers and meat. add the tomatoes and beans. spice to your liking with chili powder, cumin and cayenne add bay leaf. add the corn. simmer as long as you can!

notes: i like a lot of garlic so i use what seems like a crazy amount. the red pepper adds some sweetness to the chili that was really nice. i did not drain or rinse my beans this time. i saw rachel ray say this was ok in a bean soup she made once so i went for it. mostly to save time. it tasted fine!

i like to serve my chili in a bowl on top of brown rice with grated cheese and sour cream. when i make it for ds i call it taco dip soup because he has the idea that he likes taco dip. the cheese and sour cream seem to disguise the beans enough that he will eat them. woo woo dada likes the who thing on a plate with no sour cream. got a favorite chili recipe? let me know, i love chili!

the big bake

this last week we were busy doing a lot of baking. baking isn't usually my thing because it requires an exactitude that i don't possess but i was inspired to make some healthy treats for some reason. on the list two recipes from jessica seinfeld's "deceptively delicious." the bean was hesitant to eat both of these but he doesn't like to eat almost anything these days except annies bunny crackers and bacon. a nice balanced meal. i enjoyed them though and some other kids we had over also ate both things with no complaint. so, get cooking and enjoy! or rather, get baking ;)

i altered both of the recipe's slightly so i am going to post them up here the way i made them. but i am still citing her recipe's appropriately i hope.

first i made chocolate chip cupcakes with pumpkin. i had a pumpkin from the farm which i roasted at about 425 with a splash of water in the pan until it was soft. then i pulled the peel off and mashed it up.

choc chip pumpkin cupcakes

adapted from deceptively delicious p. 164

beat together 1 1/2 cups pumkin puree, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/2c water, 1/3 c canola oil, 2 tsp vanilla extract.

add 2 1/4 cups whole what pastry flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 c choc chips and mix.

divide batter into 12 greased muffin cups and bake about 25 mins. at 350*

for frosting beat 8 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 c agave, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp salt. when the cupcakes are cool frost them then eat and enjoy!

you can store these at room temp for 2 days or freeze them for up to a month. with the help of friends and extended family we ate them in two days ;)

choc chip cookies with chickpeas

adapted from deceptively delicious p. 177

beat 1c brown sugar, 3/4 c margarine, until smooth. add 2 egg whites, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 15 oz can of washed chickpeas, and 2 c choc chips. then add 2 c whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 c oats, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt and beat until a thick dough forms.

drop dough onto a greased pan and press the cookies down slightly with a fork. bake 11 - 13 mins at 350*. these can story for three days at room temp.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh that Oprah!

So, tonight after I got my kids to bed, I grabbed some leftovers from the fridge and popped on some dvr'd Oprah.  

It was a pretty cool episode all on saving money, and it highlighted planning meals ahead in order to really save.  But what some of the thrifty mamas were doing was not only planning ahead what you'll make for the week, but planning EXCLUSIVELY based on the sales and coupons you have for that week.  

Over the years, I have had seasons of being good about taking my coupons to the grocery store.  But, they'd end up expiring or I'd forget to bring them etc.  But, with grocery prices being what they are now these days, it's time to bring it back.  

Here's to the revival and hopefully lifestyle change of incorporating coupons into the meal planning.  

To help us all get a good boost on it.  I found an excellent source that has coupons for Organic grocery items!  WooHoo, Bonus!

Happy Coupon Printing 

Thursday, September 25, 2008


This week I've decided to feature someone who really has to get the BIG cook going and probably does more on a daily basis than our proposed weekend times. 

Kate Gosselin.  Mother of twins and sextuplets, from the show Jon and Kate Plus 8.  

One episode that impressed me the most was when Kate was going to be out of town for a while (I believe for a free tummy tuck?), she spent an entire day cooking somewhere in the range of 15-20 meals for her family, knowing that Jon wouldn't have cooked or would have opted for take-out while she was away.  Fifteen to twenty meals.  In one day!  Now, that's a serious big cook. If I'm able to get 4-5 meals prepped over the weekend, I'm super psyched.  

So, here's to a well deserved shout out from the Big Cook bloggers themselves.  Props to you Kate.

-Gohan Mama

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

east coast 3

the big cook hasn't happened all at once but i thought i should try to accumulate it for anyone trying to get organized for a week. i'll tell you what post the recipe's are in if not this one. i am currently on a roasting kick, you may notice, so i have found it easy to big cook in the mornings and get a few meals out of it.

tortilla espanola

green pepper
yellow onion
olive oil

this is easy:
slice the potaotes up pretty small
chop up onion and pepper
sautee them all together in a fair amount of olive oil until the potatoes are fully cooked
meanwhile beat the eggs in a bowl
pour potato/onion/pepper into bowl and coat with egg
dump into frying pan and brown - flip and brown other side

notes: you want to use enough potato to basically fill your pan and smaller amounts of onion and pepper. the egg is just enough to stick things together. this is great as a meal with salad and/or meat sauce. it also turns into a nice lunch eaten cold on toasted bread as a sandwich (especially with mango chutney).

the big cook hasn't happened all at once but i thought i should try to accumulate it for anyone trying to get organized for a week. i'll tell you what post the recipe's are in if not this one. i am currently on a roasting kick, you may notice, so i have found it easy to big cook in the mornings and get a few meals out of it.

roasted veggies and crazy rice (or roasted veggies 1)
see "confession and a recipe"

roasted veggies 2 - pictured above

delicata squash (or another winter squash)
green apple
pistachio (roasted unsalted)
raw pepitas
curry powder
white wine
chicken broth
olive oil

cut up all the veggies and apple
douse them with olive oil and curry powder and a little salt
stir well
add raisins and a little white wine
stir again
roast until almost done
add a splash of chicken broth
serve with pistachio and pepita as topping

note: woo woo dada didn't like the nut/seed topping because of the texture change. i loved it for exactly that reason...feel free to place your votes through comments!