I’m still here! Massive Weekend Cooking Spree
I’m still here, still vegetarian, still cooking!
My days have been insanely busy, more-so now than ever. I just became a legitimate, full-time, office manager/grown-up. When I’m not at work for 9 hours a day (-1 hour lunch break), I’m walking to and from work, refreshing my driving skills, trying to keep up on everything I need to get done on my way home and once I return to my abode. Oh, and due to my walking around 6 miles a day, I definitely have to squeeze a shower in there. Oh, and sleep. Sleep is good.
Last weekend I did some power cooking. Now that I actually work long enough hours for a lunch break, I needed some easy options that varied a bit from Tofurkey or PBJ sandwiches.. and, because I don’t have a car, I really don’t have time to go get something on my break, nor do I want to fork up the money it would cost to eat out every day. I’d much rather have a car.
With some assistance from my lovely mother, I made up some big batches to freeze/thaw/microwave at work of:
-Authentic Mexican Rice: I had made this recipe before with amazing success, so I went ahead and doubled the recipe. Well, something went wrong- I’ve made it enough times to know that it wasn’t a normal result. I’m not sure, but I think it was due to using the Better Than Bouillon Vegetable.. Broth? I originally thought it was a powder when I purchased it- only to open up something resembling molasses. I made my usual changes (no onion or tomato, add some salsa), but that never made my rice turn to such mush. Okay, it still tastes great though. A tortilla and/or some TVP or beans can help!
-Taco TVP: Rehydrated TVP and added taco seasoning and more water, and then reduced until absorbed. Super simple and delicious taco “meat.” I believe I used 2 cups of TVP (prior to rehydrating) and 4 packs of taco seasoning. TVP definitely needs a ton of flavor to absorb, but it’s a great pantry staple to have.
-Pinto Beans: Just soaked and cooked up a bag of dried beans- I had been meaning to for years now (so much cheaper), but for some reason I just never got around to it.. technically, I still haven’t- my mom did this one.
-Pineapple Chili Quorn Cutlets and Seitan: I only used the sauce portion of this recipe and added to some of Quorn’s fabulous Naked Chik’n Cutlets and some Westsoy Seitan because those are the veggie “meats” I had on hand. The sauce is amazing- I used 1 tbsp Sriracha for the chili sauce. I think if I had used more it would have had too much kick with the rice below accompanying it. I’ve had some of the Quorn cutlets version so far- freaking amazing. I accidentally left my rice at my parent’s house, but I had some more fresh pineapple to add to it, as well as a single-serving steamable bag of broccoli that I scored at Target. Now that I know how awesome the sauce is, I definitely think I will multiply the recipe in the future.
-Pineapple Fried Rice: Used white rice, omitted the 1 tsp oil, onion, bell peppers & chili peppers, used ground ginger instead of fresh, used a pea & corn mix instead of just peas and added almost another cup of pineapple and a tbsp of sweet and sour sauce to mellow out the spice a little. Turned out terrific!
I forgot to take pictures prior to freezing everything. Next time around! Instead, I’ll present you with a photo of a cow shaped stress “ball” on my desk at work.
Well, I’m set on lunches for a while. It was a ton of work, but it was definitely worth it. My rapidly shrinking time during the day has been exhausting, but it is only bringing me closer to my goals. I would have never thought that one move across the country could spur on a series of life-altering events in the right direction so rapidly, but I’m grateful. Time will slow down again once I get accustomed to waking up so early and get a car which will save me a minimum of 520 hours a year of walking to and from work. In the mean time, I’m excited about my full size desk which comes fully equipped with drawers, filing drawers, a double monitor, a printer, space! I am a full on office supply NERD. I’m also very excited to get to bed.. once I shower.