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Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms’

Well, it is almost zucchini season. I am almost afraid of it, this year – we planted a bunch, and I am expecting a literal ton of zucchini. Besides grating them into pasta sauce and cakes (which I can’t have these days, with the gluten restrictions and all) and giving them to neighbors, I don’t know of all that many things to do with zucchini. However, I actually like them just grilled on the BBQ, to eat as a side to my burger.

 

Of course, my ‘burger’ can’t be beef, anymore, nor can I have real (cow-based) cheddar on it, or put it on an actual bun. I can’t finish it off with ice cream, either. This kid’s allergies are killing me! My vegetarian sister introduced me to great recipe several years ago, though, that actually is quite possibly tastier than burgers anyhow, so I really can’t complain too much. Instead of hamburgers, she eats barbecued portobello mushroom caps.  While not dairy-free or vegan in my recipe, it is easy to make them so – just use Daiya or other vegan cheese, and (for vegans) skip the mayo – an easy way to accommodate a range of dietary needs at a backyard barbeque.  These are satisfyingly hearty, and fit perfectly on a bun. Or, as the case may be, a gluten-free bagel…

 

Grilled Zucchini:

 

Wash the zuke, and slice on an angle to get wide rounds.

 

sliced zucchini

 

Set in a dish, and pour olive oil over the slices, and toss to coat.

 

Sprinkle liberally with Italian seasoning blend.

 

zucchini with herbs

 

Grill on the BBQ on low-medium heat until lightly browned.

 

 

 

Grilled Portobello Caps:

 

portobello mushrooms

 

Wash the mushroom caps and pat dry with paper towel. Break off the stems. Rub both sides liberally with olive oil. Barbeque, cup down, on low-medium heat for a few minutes until the mushroom begins to soften. Flip, and sprinkle cheese or vegan cheese (in my case tonight, goat feta, though cheddar or mozzerella is also tasty) in the cap (optional – spoon a dollop of green basil pesto into the cap, before sprinkling with cheese, though be aware that most canned pesto has dairy in it). If you don’t add the green pesto, sprinkle a little Italian seasoning mix over the feta. Leave the mushrooms on low-medium heat until the cheese melts and begins to brown. Serve on a hamburger bun, or (in my case) a gluten free bagel with a bit of mayonnaise (garlic mayo is a nice touch, if you’re feeling creative):

 

vegetarian BBQ 'burger' with grilled zucchini

 

Unfortunately, I can’t help you with the whole ice cream problem…

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It’s been hot here this week, with a forecast for more hot days.  I took advantage of a bit of cloud cover this afternoon to make up a pasta salad.  I am not good at following recipes when I cook, but here is an estimation of what I did:

 

Boil one box of penne pasta (we like whole wheat)

 

In the meantime, slice up and fry one package of halloomi cheese until browned on both sides (this is amazing stuff.  You can slice it,  fry it, brown it, and use it like vegetarian bacon!).  If you can’t find halloomi, or don’t like it, I have also been known to just cube cheddar or mozza cheese into the salad – don’t try to fry it, though!

 

Coarsely chop the following vegetables:

 

one red pepper

 

one yellow pepper

 

a small head of broccoli

 

a handful of green onions

 

several mushrooms

 

In a separate bowl, mix up the herb topping:

 

a generous handful (several tablespoons) each of oregano, basil, and Italian seasoning

 

1/2 to 1 tsp of garlic powder, depending how garlicky you like things

 

salt to taste (probably at least a teaspoon, but under-estimate it, as you can add more later)

 

pepper to taste

 

1/2 to 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

 

Mix the cooked pasta, fried halloomi (or cubed cheddar) and the raw veggies in a large pot or bowl.   Pour several tablespoons of olive oil over the mixture and stir well.  Start adding the herb mixture, a bit at a time, mixing well.

 

Voila, lunch.  It is great hot or cold, so it is a convenient summer meal!

 

 

resized IMG_9456

 

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Hubby has been on a real water conservation kick, lately.  It was a real eye-opener to him to have to wait until the water truck comes to be able to take a bath, and the cost bothers him.  It is $140 for 2,000 gallons (approximately), which fills our cistern about halfway, and does not last nearly as long as Hubby suddenly thinks it should.  I feel somewhat like saying “I told you so”, but I shall refrain.  I have spent years harping on water conservation, but until he could actually see the water come and go, I guess it wasn’t very meaningful.  Now, he can take a peek in the cistern anytime to see how much it has gone down, and suddenly we are collecting meltwater from the roof and only flushing solids.

Two thousand gallons sounds like an awful lot, but then you start doing math.  One single toilet flush is around five gallons, at least with our vintage toilet.  A bath is probably thirty gallons, maybe more (I haven’t measured, though I should).  A load of laundry is probably forty or fifty.  So, if you flush, say, four times a day (a very conservative estimate in a household of even two), each bath every other day, and do three loads of laundry a week, that is 500 gallons in a single week, without even looking at cooking, washing dishes, mopping the floors, watering the dogs and houseplants, and all the other things you do with water.   What we should do is get a front-loading washer and a composting toilet, but both are beyond our budget for the time being.   When we get the shower running, I plan to install a shut-off valve right at the shower head, for conservation.  I threatened to get Hubby a washboard, but that one did not go over so well.  Maybe this summer, we’ll dig an outhouse.

We decided, tonight, that the ‘cold’ portion of my bathwater could come from the buckets of snowmelt that Hubby has been collecting from various drips off the eaves of the roof.  The ‘hot’ portion came from the cistern via the hot water tank, which made as good a bath as any other, and I’m happy enough to keep bathing this way, as long as free water continues to drip off our roof.  We’ve also figured out that the initial wash cycle in the washing machine could be meltwater as easily as drinking water – you should be able to just pour in the water before turning the machine on, though this is only theory so far.  The rinse would still come from the cistern, but that’s still 50% less paid-for-drinking-water used for non-drinking purposes.   We’ve thought about plumbing the roof gutters into the cistern and getting lots and lots of water for free every time it rains, but I am not 100% sure this is a great idea, based on the asphalt shingle grit that is sitting on the bottom of the buckets.

Meanwhile, my Shitake mushroom growing kit from The Mushroom Patch arrived in the mail today.  I wonder what the postman thinks of us now?  I read the instructions while I soaked in the tub, and they amounted to leaving the thing completely alone for the next month or so, then sticking it in the fridge, soaking it in water, and waiting for the mushrooms to form.  I am sure it is not quite that simple, though I kind of hope it is.  I will report back sometime after May 6th.

We also found little green sprouts in our seed starting flats, of cabbage and broccoli.  I am now certain we’ve started them waaaayyyy too early, but we’ll enjoy watching them grow while we are waiting for everything else to sprout…

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