Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Stuffed Mushrooms February 16, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 12:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

First of all, I’d like to apologize for my unannounced leave of absence these past few weeks.  I was busy packing up and moving from AZ to FL again and then I just got out of the habit of remembering to update the blog.  I have a collection of pictures and recipes that need to be updated so hopefully, I get those up soon.  Rather than try to keep everything chronological, I’m here to tell you about some amazing stuffed mushrooms I made for a midmorning snack today.  My Aunt Kathy gave me a cookbook titled “Carb Conscious Vegetarian” by Robin Robertson,  I was excited to try some recipes as my recent food intake has seriously lacked nutrition.  My roommates both returned home on February 15th so I wanted to have Valentine’s Day goodies ready for them…. that roughly translates to me baking multiple batches of cookies and eating most of them and then needing to bake more until I finally filled their packages and refrained myself.  Miraculously I managed to maintain my weight after a weeks worth of the “cookie diet” but mostly because I just didn’t eat much besides cookies… not a good way to go, trust me.  In an effort to feel healthy and energetic again I’m going to try to “cook real food” (my mom’s suggestion).  It makes sense though, stop baking cookies… why didn’t I think of that?!?! Alright, enough about my dieting, these mushrooms are quick and easy and absolutely delicious!!! Definitely try them, they’d be a great side or appetizer for any meal.

RUMAKI-INSPIRED STUFFED MUSHROOMS

8 ounces white mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup chopped canned water chesnuts

2 tablespoons soy bacon bits

2 tablespoons sherry or port

1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari soy sauce

DIRECTIONS: Remove the stems from the mushroom caps and chop them.  Set aside the caps.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the ginger, water chestnuts, bacon bits, sherry or port, and tamari.  Cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Stuff the mushroom caps with the filling and arrange them in a single layer in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish.  Cover loosely with foil and bake until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Apparently my camera skills are out of practice

KATIE’S NOTES:  I used diced ham since I forgot to buy soy bacon bits at the store (sorry for the vegetarians out there…)  Fresh ginger can be kept in the freezer for quite a while so its not a bad investment, my roommates had bought it for some other recipe. Of course, if Asian isn’t your cup of tea feel free to play around with the stuffing ingredients.

SERVES 4

PER SERVING: 62 calories, 4g fat, 3g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 178mg sodium

 

Cardamom/Thyme Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla January 21, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 4:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today, I got off work early because my LT really didn’t have any tasks for me.  Partially because I don’t have a CAC card (meaning my ID does not log me into their computer system), to which Senior Chief told me, “Good Job!” with a wink and a thumbs up.  I actually spent the morning reading a book about investing and playing deal or no deal on my iphone after I made exactly 3 phone calls and had a short conversation with the Master Chief about the book I had just finished reading.  It’s a tough life getting paid to hang out doing nothing all day :).  I arrived home at lunch time and my mom bombarded me with lunch options since she was apparently starving.  She seemed to favor the quesadilla option (since it would use up some fresh vegetables) so I offered to cook for her.  We’ve had fresh thyme sitting the fridge from the Chicken Couscous recipe a few days ago so my mom suggested that I throw that in.  My experience with quesadillas did not involve thyme but like I said before, they’re a great blank canvas for any flavor combination.  On the tv show The Next Food Network Star, I have seen contestants bite into random ingredients that they’ve not cooked with before so they know what flavor they’re dealing with.  That example led me to munch on some fresh thyme leaves, to my dismay… they tastes like leaves.  Yup, I literally felt like I was just eating part of a bush from the backyard.  Online research seemed like the next logical step, from which I discovered that thyme is often overlooked because it does not have a strong “centerstage” flavor profile.  Thyme cannot compete with the distinctive smell/taste of tarragon, basil and sage, however it is the perfect herb to blend into recipes and enhance the other flavors.  With this knowledge, I realized that I needed another flavor for the thyme to enhance.  Rather than researching anymore, I went to the spice cabinet, read through the labels and essentially just picked one at random… cardamom.  Sounds good, smells good, why not?  Clearly I’m on the path to culinary genius.  I sauteed Red onions and green peppers in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, a dash of cardamom and a handful of fresh thyme leaves.  Then I assembled my mom’s quesadilla with mexican blend cheese, chopped tomatoes, the herbed onion and green peppers and a slice of cheddar cheese (the extra cheese was her request).  I wasn’t hungry enough for the tortilla so I served myself a plate of steaming hot vegetables topped with shredded cheese and a dab (yes that’s a legitimate measurement) of mango salsa.  The food was really good, I don’t know if the flavors were the best compliments for each other but it definitely worked.  If you’re feeling adventurous try it out and let me know what you think.

PS.  When I remembered to take pictures my mom had almost completely polished off the quesadilla so you may see some teeth marks in there.

 

Chile-Cheese Cornbread January 12, 2010

Filed under: Bread,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 8:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I added a tag cloud to my blog (you may notice it if you scroll down the right hand side).  I was anxious to see which word appeared the biggest, meaning it’s the most common tag for my recipes.  Most people who know me would assume that my most common tag has to be cookies, brownies, sugar, syrup, chocolate or any other sweet word imaginable.  To everyone’s surprise my most common tag is actually cheese!  I apparently can’t cook without it.  Looking back through my recipes, I have made a lot of quesadillas, pizzas and other cheese related dishes.  I make no promises to continue or discontinue my excessive use of cheese but it’s nice to be aware of my cheesy bias.  I chose to cook today’s recipe before I had seen the tag cloud so here’s another cheesy food I’ve made.  I bought a Weight Watchers cookbook at a thrift store for 50 cent a while back and I just found it at my mom’s house.  Since my cookbooks of choice are all in Florida I decided to try making a few from this book.  The batter was very easy to whip up and clean up after.  Aside from waiting 30 minutes for the bread to cook this is a great quick and easy recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup egg substitute

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded 40% less fat Cheddar cheese

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

2. Combine water, egg substitute, and oil; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in cheese and green chiles.

3. Pour batter into an 8in square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden.  Yield: 16 servings.

NUTRITION: (per serving) 107 calories, 15.3g carbohydrates, 3g fat (.9g saturated), 0.7g fiber, 4.6g protein, 4mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 138mg calcium

 

Restaurant Rave January 10, 2010

Filed under: Sandwiches,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 4:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

For anyone who lives in the Phoenix,AZ area I’m posting a photo of the delicious sandwich I had from Liberty Market.  Liberty Market is this great cafe and coffee place that my parents found through twitter.  The founder is a coffee fanatic and was the originator of the Coffee Plantation chain (it has since been sold and run into the ground by the new own

ership).  He spent some time in Italy and was able to purchase and refurbish a traditional “E61” espresso machine.  It is proudly on display (and in use) at Liberty Market’s E61 bar where you can order up traditional Italian style espresso drinks.  Keep in mind that many of these selection are served in tiny little cups containing only a couple of sips by the American coffee standards.  I was really excited to see this after spending some time in Italy this summer, despite the high price for such a small cup I really enjoyed all of our coffee stops in Rome.  Also, if you’re unfamiliar with Italian coffee, they don’t serve “drip coffee” the closest you can get is called an Americano which is espresso mixed with water.  While the coffee alone is worth the long drive to Gilbert, their food offerings are equally noteworthy.  The coffee fanatic partnered with a brilliant Italian chef, David, who has prepared a creative menu of flavor combinations that most wouldn’t have considered pairing.  The scones are to die for so at least order one to go along side your regular menu selection. I ordered a grilled vegetable sandwich with sweet potato salad on the side.

 

Dan Good Chili January 9, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 7:28 pm
Tags: , , , ,

My flights back to Pensacola went well and I arrived about 5 hours before my roommate Desiree with whom I was driving home.  Fortunately I had the car keys and I was able to leave the airport and spend some time shopping in Alabama while I waited.  We spent that evening relaxing and watching TV.  Sunday morning I got up and made the same chorizo breakfast pizza that I tried at home a few days ago.  Unfortunately,  people in the SouthEAST don’t define chorizo the same as people in the SouthWEST.  I found a package of “chorizo” near some specialty mexican cheeses but it didn’t smell or look right when I cooked it.  Aside from that disappointment the pizza was pretty good and I decided to cook dinner for Desiree the next night. (Most of the story so far has nothing to do with this post’s recipe, I just feel like sharing :)…)  Desiree has already started ground school classes so I have taken on the role of housewife since I have all the time in the world.  I thought it would be nice to have dinner ready for her when she came home and we agreed on a menu of chili and jalepeno poppers.  Both recipes are from my Hungry Girl cookbook so they are low calorie healthy alternatives.  The Chili took about 2 hours to make but only because it needed to slowly simmer and be stirred occasionally (slow cooker next time maybe?).  It does not look like a typical chili due to the abundance of vegetables but it was delicious.  I was a bit liberal with the addition of spices via diced jalepenos and a can of rotel, so our meal was on fire.  Then I cooked the jalepeno poppers for less time than usual so they would be spicer!  As we sat at the table chugging water and wiping sweat from our brows, we still raved about how delicious it all was.  I am currently back home in AZ and unfortunately left my cookbook in Florida so I’ll have to post the recipes later.  The basic process for the jalepeno poppers was to cut and trim the jalepenos into two hollow halves (I used 6 peppers), then fill with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar cheese and spices, dip the cheesy jalepeno half into egg beater and then into crushed fiber one cereal.  After all have been coated and placed on a baking sheet they go into the oven for 25-30 minutes.  I apologize for not posting the full recipes at this time but at least you can salivate over the pictures (assume you like it hot!).

 

Diet Soda Baked Apples October 25, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,Dessert,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 7:07 pm
Tags: , , ,

bakedapple1

Before departing on the trip to my lovely new home in Pensacola, I visited my sponsor family in Annapolis is say goodbye.  They gave me some glass lock storage containers (which have been awesome for storing my leftover foods) and a wonderful appetizer serving dish which I haven’t been able to use yet.  We’re planning to have a dinner party soon so I’ll finally get to break it out!  On a side note, I found out that if you place one glass lock container inside the other… there is a pretty strong possibility that they will get stuck together!  I was trying to conserve packing space and managed to get two of them stuck! We tried cold water on the inside one and hot water on the outside one with no luck.  We tried brute force but didn’t want to crack the glass just to separate them.  We tried soaking them in soapy water for days right side up and up side down.  I was not present for the final separation but somehow my roommate was able to pry them apart!  Thankfully, I still have a fully functional set of containers.  The point of this explanation is that while I was visiting my sponsors they had just picked apples from an orchard and offered some to me.  I grabbed a couple of HUGE cooking apples. I’m not sure what type they were. Its hard to tell when they don’t have a cute little grocery store sticker with the name right on it.  I’ve been trying to figure out the perfect way to use them as I’m not a huge fan of apple pie.  I was flipping through my Hungry Girl cookbook today (shocker… I know… you’d think I didn’t own any other books).  I found a recipe for baked apples.  It seemed super simple too, just some diet soda, cinnamon and splenda.  So I baked them this morning and they were awesome!! Well worth the 45 minutes wait.  Plus, the apples were so big we still have 3 pieces left.  I had to cut them into pieces to fit in the pan, normally you would want to keep them hole and just choose smaller sized apples.  Here’s the recipe, just in time for fall season, so you can cook these at home.

bakedapple2

“Bestest Baked Apples”

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium Rome apples

1 can diet black cherry soda

1/2 no calorie sweetner packet

Dash of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Core apples.  Place in a casserole dish. Pour the entire can of soda over apples.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sweetener over apples.  Place dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve warm, hot or cold. MAKES 4 SERVINGS.

bakedapple3

PER SERVING: 72 calories, <0.5g fat, 10mg sodium, 19g carbs, 3g fiber, 14g sugars, 0g protein

bakedapple4

 

Holy Guacamole! October 18, 2009

Filed under: Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 9:51 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

guacamole2

My roomie Desiree was flipping through my Hungry Girl cookbook and found a guacamole recipe.  She excitedly asked if we could try making it sometime so we brought the cookbook on our shopping trip today in order to grab the ingredients on the way home.  (wow that was long sentence..)  This dip was a little hard to prepare, I would highly recommend getting a potato masher if you plan on making this more than once.  That aside, it really does taste like regular guacamole and its really good!  We ate it with some Guiltless Gourmet Baked Corn Tortilla Chips for an after dinner snack alongside freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  There’s some serious talent for matching food flavors in this house!! 🙂  The recipe makes a fairly large amount of this dip (about two cups, more if you add extra onions and tomatoes like I did).  I added the optional cilantro, which I would highly recommend and next time I’ll try the jalapenos, we just didn’t have any tonight.  Definitely give this dip a try sometime!!!

INGREDIENTS:

One 15 oz can early (young) peas, drained

1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium-small avocado’s worth)

1/3 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

4 teaspoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Additional salt and pepper to taste

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro, chopped jalapenos

DIRECTIONS:  Place peas in a medium bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher or fork.  Add avocado, yogurt, lime juice, garlic and seasonings.  Continue to mash until blended.  Stir in tomatoes, onion and, if you like, some cilantro and/or jalapenos.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings: PER SERVING (1/3 cup): 78 calories, 3g fat, 320mg sodium, 10.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 3.5g protein

guacamole1