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Unemployed Cooking: Asparagus Mushroom Primavera

Posted by kathleenerindavis on May 17, 2010

Dear loyal Food Babies readers, I am happy to inform you that after many many months of unemployment I now have a job! (starting June 7). Which means there will not be very many more installments of “Unemployed Cooking.” However, I’ve gotten in to a lot of healthy habits during my unemployment, and I hope to be able to keep them up as much as I can when I start working again. So I’ll still be posting new recipes that I try just perhaps not as frequently.

Anyways, here’s what I made for dinner last night (along with a great salad and garlic bread), the red pepper gave it an interesting kick:

Asparagus Mushroom Primavera

Servings: 4 servings

Prep: 15 mins

Total: 20 mins


1 pound fresh asparagus spears

8 ounces dried linguini

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 8-ounce package fresh button mushrooms, halved

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup shredded fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


1. Snap off and discard woody bases of fresh asparagus. Rinse. Bias-slice asparagus into 1 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ground black pepper; cook and stir for 30 seconds.

3. Add asparagus, mushrooms, wine, and salt to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in butter.

4. Drain pasta; add pasta to vegetables in skillet. Toss gently to combine. Garnish with basil and crushed red pepper.


Posted in Foodstuffs, KK, Uncategorized, unemployed cooking | Leave a Comment »

Unemployed Cooking: Barbecue Tempeh Sandwiches

Posted by kathleenerindavis on May 3, 2010

It’s abnormaly hot and humid in NYC right now, so I made a kind of a summery dinner Sunday night. Barbecue Tempeh Sandwiches with roasted red potatoes. Along with a brewski, it hit the spot.

Here’s the recipe:

Barbecue Tempeh Sandwiches

Rinse the tempeh before using to eliminate bitterness. With tempeh, the longer the marinating time, the better.

20 min | 10 min prep

4 sandwiches

  1. Pour the barbecue sauce into a medium bowl. Crumble the tempeh into the sauce, and let it marinate a little, about 10 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the red and green peppers, and the onion. Cook, stirring frequently until tender. Stir in the tempeh and barbecue sauce, and heat through.

    Spoon the tempeh mixture onto kaiser rolls, and serve.

    Posted in KK, Uncategorized, unemployed cooking, Vegan-friendly | Leave a Comment »

    A decade late: a vegetarian discovery

    Posted by kathleenerindavis on April 30, 2010

    I decided to make Hilary’s grilled tofu and veggies last night, but I couldn’t be bothered to set of the grill and haul everything from the kitchen to the backyard so I tried out Shawna’s George Foreman Grill. I’m aware that I’m over ten years late on this trend, but man-o-live is this a great cooking machine! I had never thought to use it since I thought the main appeal was the fat drainage that’s not an issue with vegetarian cooking.

    However it worked really well for my marinaded tofu, red and orange bell pepper, pineapple, portabella mushrooms, and red onion.  I made it pretty much the same as Hilary (here’s her post), with a slightly different marinade. The results? Delicious!

    Posted in Grilling, KK, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »


    Posted by Hilary on April 19, 2010

    Posted in Uncategorized, Words to the Wise | Leave a Comment »

    The Truth About Tofu

    Posted by kathleenerindavis on March 16, 2010

    Yes dear readers I am still unemployed, and thusly cooking semi-regularly for my lovely boyfriend. However there hasn’t really been any exciting new recipes to share with y’all.
    But I did write an article about tofu for my once employer For the article I did lots of research on tofu and interviewed experts like the Today Show’s Joy Bauer and Food Baby co-author Hilary Stratton.

    I’ve been cooking with tofu for years, but turns out I was never getting the water out properly, and that’s the key to get tofu to soak up the most flavor. I had always just drained the water and started cooking, but you need to press it between towels or freeze it to get more of the water out. Life changing.

    I put my new found knowledge to work this past Sunday with a simple tofu veggie and brown rice stir fry. It was filling and yummy.

    Here are some more ideas I got from my experts:
    Regular Tofu
    1. Stir-fry with veggies and soy sauce and serve over brown rice.
    2. Crumble it for a tofu scramble (with or without eggs).
    3. Bread it and panfry with oil like a chicken cutlet.
    4. Panfry crumbled tofu with taco seasoning to substitute for beef in tacos.
    5. For a summer BBQ, marinate extra-firm tofu with barbecue sauce or soy sauce and grill it along with bell peppers, red onion and pineapple.

    Silken Tofu
    1. Blend dried onion soup mix into it for a healthier version of onion dip.
    2. Use it to replace all or part of the cream in cream-based soups.
    3. Purée it and substitute for part of the mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese or ricotta cheese in any recipe.
    4. Mix it with other ingredients in a food processor to make a salad dressing.
    5. Use it to substitute for milk or yogurt in a smoothie.

    You can read the whole article here


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    An Honorary Food Baby for the Day

    Posted by kathleenerindavis on March 15, 2010

    While perusing the interwebs today I came across this food blog: The Chubby Vegetarian ( Written by Justin Fox Burks of Memphis, TN, the blog is filled with tons of recipes, great links and since he’s a professional photographer, very pretty photos of all the eats. Check it!

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

    Camera files evidence intent to blog

    Posted by Hilary on February 25, 2010

    I am a delinquent blogger! However, a cursory look through by camera files shows that I must have at least intended to blog on occasion.

    Early November, 2009: Homemade applesauce with honeycrisps. I remember this taking longer than expected, but being awesome.

    I must love apples, cause for the dessert party/ my birthday party on 11/7 I made apple oven pancake. This was a new recipe for me. Link to the recipe here.

    Flash forward to Thanksgiving. We actually had guests! Kelly’s friend Mike, who moved here from Michigan over the summer, and Nicole, my cat’s friend. The cats had a lovely turkey dinner:

    Nicole, Mike, and Kelly had a lovely turkey diner as well, whereas I had a lovely tofurkey dinner. We had a ridiculous amount of food, including a new roasted cauliflower recipe. No pictures of the cauliflower, and to be honest, no real recipe, but it involved olive oil and a lot of garlic. I made my traditional apple pie as usual, but tried a new pumpkin pie recipe, “sugar and spice pumpkin pie with brandied ginger cream”. This pie was more delicious than your every day pumpkin pie. I followed the recipe (linked above) pretty much to the letter. I even stole some brandy from Mango and Nicole! The only thing that I changed was leaving the brandy out of the actual whipping cream.

    I got nothing to offer for Christmas. I made my apple pie, but otherwise I can’t remember cooking anything, which is strange for me.

    And continuing on the path of the lazy graduate student, my attempt to make something semi-special on Valentine’s Day was chocolate-covered strawberries. On a side-note, these things are admittedly delicious, but why do people pay so much money for them (they sell one strawberry for $2-3 at a local store’s deli)? They’re possibly the easiest dessert to make.

    Kelly had to work all of Valentine’s weekend, but luckily I had my sweet feline fellows to keep me company.

    I can’t promise that I’ll be a better blogger anytime before the end of this semester, but I’ll try!


    Posted in Cute!, Desserts, HilHil, Parties, pies, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

    Where’s the Love?

    Posted by kathleenerindavis on February 12, 2010

    Every year for the past 5 years I’ve thrown a “Where’s the Love?” Ladies Only Valentines party. Here’s the menu from this year’s:
    Two of the recipes are from my giant veggie cookbook I’ve written about before, the artichoke dip was from and the cookies were a mix that Mark’s mom gave me for Christmas. I made the roasted veggies with herb sauce a couple year’s a go for Shawna’s birthday, and they were really good, but I remember them being a lot of work. We only had wheat flour so I used that instead of regular flour in the sauce this time. I don’t recommend it–it made it a lot more bland than I remember it being the first time.

    The pasta was good but not as amazing and I thought it would be. The artichoke dip however was a huge hit and the french kiss cookies were perfect ( I tried to cut them in the shape of hearts, but that didn’t work out so well).

    Here are the recipes:

    Artichoke Dip


    1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts,

    drained and chopped

    1 cup mayonnaise

    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Combine the artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, cheese and green chilies. Mix well and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.
    3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

    And here are two more photos from the dinner:

    On another note, bad news for me means good news for Food Baby readers: I’m unemployed again, so look out for more frequent posts.


    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

    Unemployed Cooking- Week 7

    Posted by kathleenerindavis on September 28, 2009

    So week six we were out of town at a wedding, riding rollercoasters, and visiting my family, so I didn’t make dinner. But here’s a cute picture of me and my nephew Andrew.


    But last night I was back to cooking. I had a really great sandwich at this place a few weeks ago and decided to try to recreate it.  It was an Apple, Brie and Tempeh sandwich.


    it’s very yummy, but kind of explains itself (slice up the thing and put them in a sandwich), so I won’t put up a recipe.

    With it I made this salad I’ve made for many an occasion.


    • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
    • 11/2 tsp chopped thyme
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 5-oz bag mixed baby greens
    • 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
    • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
    • 1 red onion, chopped


    Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Toss everything together in a bowl.

    Posted in Foodstuffs, KK, Uncategorized, unemployed cooking | Leave a Comment »

    Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

    Posted by Hilary on August 18, 2009

    If you know me, you know I love all things pumpkin (and well, all things autumn). In the spirit of autumn (which is hopefully on its way, but I tend to start early), I give you pumpkin cookies, with chocolate chips! Of course they could also be made without chocolate chips. Here goes:

    Wet ingredients:
    2 cups brown sugar (not all that wet, but it goes here anyways)
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 cups pumpkin 😀
    3/4 cup oil (original recipe calls for 1 cup, I can get it down to 1/2 cup- if you do this you might want to add applesauce to compensate)

    Dry ingredients:

    2 tsp baking soda

    2 tsp baking powder

    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

    1 1/2 tsp nutmeg

    1 tsp ginger

    1/2 tsp cloves

    4 cups flour


    Mix up wet ingredients. Mix up dry ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and beat. Add chocolate chips (if desired)- I’m a glutton so I add a whole bag. If you want to keep things vegan Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips contain no-milk (but do contain sugar, of course). Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes- mine do best at 13 minutes, but I’m in a weird climate with a cheap stove, so your results may vary.

    These cookies have been described as bread or cake-like. If that’s not cool with you but you still want to try them out, I would experiment with using less leavening (e.g., baking powder, baking soda).



    Posted in Desserts, HilHil, Uncategorized, Vegan-friendly | 1 Comment »