Remember that cold I mentioned a while back? I’m pretty sure it was more than that. Maybe one of the flu strains. Maybe diptheria or malaria or typhoid. Whatever it was, it kicked my fanny quite nicely.
But I’m back, almost, and feeling closer to my normal perky self. It helps that we had a few mild days, weather-wise, and I was able to get out and breathe some fresh air. While I was at it, I cleaned the gutters on my house and got all the leaves raked and bagged. It’s nice to have that to-do item to-done!
I also played around in the kitchen over the weekend, and I’m sharing.
No, don’t run! It’s good stuff!
Now, for those of you who aren’t running from my less-than-spectacular food photography, here’s what we have, starting at the top and moving clockwise:
Barbecued Tofu Bites
An oldie but a goodie. This time, I made use of the Jack Daniels Swineapple BBQ Sauce I purchased on my fall visit to Lynchburg, TN. It’s a rich and full-bodied sauce that really adds a lot to the tofu, and face it, tofu needs all the help it can get.
To be honest, while the sauce is good, I’ll probably just stick to my homemade version of pineapple-BBQ sauce, which involves stirring in some pineapple juice, or sometimes a bit of crushed pineapple, with my regular spicy BBQ sauce. (Note: apple juice and/or orange juice also do the trick.) A bit of fresh juice adds some sweetness and flavor, as well as thinning out the sauce so that you can be a little more generous in the application. And I like being generous!
Baked Sweet Potato
I’m so used to baking sweet potatoes in the microwave that I had forgotten the baking time for the conventional oven. In googling the answer, I stumbled upon an interesting baking technique on Empowered Sustenance. You can click on her link for the full details, but basically, you prick the potatoes a few times and pop them in the oven for a good long while. You don’t even wrap them in foil or put them in a dish. Just put them right on the oven rack in all their naked glory. Here’s what you end up with, if you’re lucky:
One word: DEE-vine! I ate it the first time without any extras like butter or sugar, but I did stir in some pecans for tonight’s edition. It was delicious both ways. Added bonus #1: the skin separates during the baking which makes it super simple to peel. Added bonus #2: it tastes great straight from the fridge, so you could easily make several during one baking and have some for leftovers. Like breakfast.
Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
Another oldie, but you really can’t go wrong with roasted green beans. Ever.
This isn’t really a “recipe”, just a shortcut I thought of when I was at a Mennonite grocery store in Virginia back in October. I spotted a jar of orange marmalade and thought it might make a nice substitute for the orange juice-sugar combination in my cranberry sauce. And it does. I used a 12-oz. bag of cranberries, a scant cup of water, a cinnamon stick, and about 2/3 cup of orange marmalade. I cooked the cranberries down with the water and cinnamon and when they were soft and squishy, I pulled the pot from the heat and stirred in the orange marmalade. It’s a keeper! Bonus: it stores beautifully in the fridge.
Besides the deliciousness, I especially loved that this meal is about 350-400 calories. Add in that it’s packed with nutrition, and you’ll see why I consider it a winner-dinner, for sure! But any tweaks or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.