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Post Recipes 
So I'm cooking dinner for my boyfriend and myself tonight, and I'm realizing that I know how cook approximately...3 things. All of which we eat quite a bit, as you can imagine. Embarassed

Thing is, I don't like to cook meat. I'll eat chicken or turkey or fish, but I don't want to cook it. I don't trust myself. I'd probably give anyone who ate it salmonella (sp?) poisoning.

So the few things I cook pretty regularly are:

Variations on beans and rice (burritos, etc.)
Veggie wraps (tofu, peppers, avocado, spinach, cheese in a wheat tortilla)
Pasta dishes
Boca burgers with sauteed veggies and maybe a baked potato

Anyone have any other good, simple vegetarian recipes? (I'm no Julia Child).

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Just in case anyone's dying to know, I ended up making wheat spaghetti in a garlic peanut sauce with sauteed julienne carrots, red bell peppers, garlic, and cilantro. It was yum-MY! Very Happy

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You could always try tacos! It's pretty simple and not that expensive. (I'm not exactly a vegetarian, but my wife is allergic to all red meats, so I only get beef when we dine out; and we eat kosher, so pork and shellfish are NEVER on our menu.)

VEGETARIAN (but not vegan) TACOS!

2 Cans of Vegetarian Refried Beans (very important to get the vegetarian ones; others use pork!)
1 package of your favorite soft-shell tortillas
2 packages of Sundried Tomato and Basil shredded cheese (personal favorite)
1 container of your favorite salsa
1 container of sour cream
2 fresh whole tomatoes, hand-diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1/4-head of shredded lettuce
A couple shakes of your favorite Mrs. Dash flavor
About a 1/4 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 small bowl of sliced green olives, stuffed with sundried tomatoes (Olive Bar at Lunds!).


Empty both cans of veggie-head refried beans into a skillet at a LOW temperature. Stir in the Mrs. Dash and soy sauce to taste. Simmer and stir often, so they don't burn to the bottom. Heat tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds, so they're served warm.

Once the refried beans are thoroughly heated, spoon into shells and add other ingredients to taste.

Sure, it's not fancy, per se, but the Mrs Dash and soy sauce for flavor is a nice touch and the sliced green olives are a flavor treat.

The vegan version would have to eliminate the cheese and do a soy-based sour cream.

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Sounds great! Thanks, Craig!

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I made a red curry soup the other day that was relatively simple and yummy. I can't remember off the top of my head everything I put in it, so I don't know how helpful this will be, but here's what I do remember:
-veggie stock (or you could use chicken stock)
-red curry paste
-coconut milk
-stewed tomatoes
-japanese eggplant
-tofu or chicken, if you want. I didn't use either.
-onions, maybe. I think. yellow or red? this probably isn't helpful.
-green beans
-other veggies :/

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Post Learn to cook, eat fish for life 
Jesus said something like that.

There are two falsehoods about fish:
1. You’ll get food poisoning by even looking at a fish the wrong way.

You eat sushi. I read it on the net so it must be true. Those fishes never saw anything close to a pan and didn’t hurt you. Don’t fear the fishes.

2. Cooking fish safely is tricky, or at least takes skill to make them taste good.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s simple to do and takes nothing more than an oven. Don’t fear the kitchen.

Making salmon for one, two or more is just this easy:

First, go to a decent grocery store and look for “Soy-Vay!” brand marinades. Buy as many as you want. They’re all top-notch and they each have a hundred uses.

Second, walk over to the fish aisle. If your cooking for two, figure 6 ounces of salmon per person, so grab one that weighs .8 lbs or more. If you like, grab a bag of frozen fillets (they’ll be 4-6 oz each. To thaw, leave wrapped in a pot of COLD water for at least a half hour.)

Marinade the thawed fish- skin side up- for a while. Preheat the oven to 375-400, depending on size of fillet.

Place salmon in whatever you bake things in and cook for 20 minutes. If you like, throw some asparagus that you kissed with olive oil and kosher salt in the same pan.

I promise, you won’t get sick, you will get your fatty Omega acids, and you’ll be eating better than anything Boca can provide.

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The boyfriend actually makes a mean salmon. That's one area where I defer to him in the kitchen. He knows what he's doin'! I just show up with a fork and everyone's happy.

But yeah, we are looking into taking a sushi-making class together. We eat it quite a bit, and it ain't cheap.

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All things sushi start at Coastal Seafood Company. They distribute to just about every seafood restaurant in the Cities. When you buy fish there, you know it's as safe as it can be. You'll find their MPLS store at 24th and Minnehaha.

Grab some sack and surprise your boyfriend with this e-z spicy tuna roll:

Go to Coastal and buy 1/2 pound of the #2 tuna. It's half the price of the sashimi grade. Confirm the freshness with any of the nice people at the counter. If you have the cash, go ahead and get the #1, but it's not that important.

After that, go across 24th street to United Noodles (it's in the back of a long drive way. Ask the Coastal guys to point it out if you haven't been there.

Kew-Pee Mayo from the Japanese aisle.
Nori (seaweed that gets wrapped around sushi rolls- Japanese aisle)
Sushi rice
Spicy chile oil (House of Tsang makes a good one)
Green onions
Lemon juice

1. Cook rice per instructions. Japanese rice is generally 1.2 parts water to 1 part rice.

2. At home, get a pan HOT. If using #2 tuna, sear tuna for no more than 10 secoconds per side. (You're burning off bacteria. If you bought sashimi-grade, ignore this step.)

3. Chop tuna in little bits. Start with a tablespoon of mayo, a few shakes of the chile oil, a little thinly sliced green onion, and just a bit of lemon juice (it's there to preserve the fish first, add flavor second.) Mix it up.

4. Turn your burner on and quickly roast the nori by waving it back and forth. It only takes a couple times before it dries out.

Serve with the rice in one bowl, the tuna in a second, and the nori cut into quarters. i forget the Japanese word for this, but it's a traditional "build it yourself" roll- people love to play with their food, so let them.

Oh, forgo the soy sauce and wasabi. There's more than enough going on with the flavors.

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Any alternatives to the mayo?

I hate mayo. Embarassed

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Post Kew-Pee is NOT Hellman's 
Kew-Pee mayo does not taste like Hellman's at all. It is quite a different beast all together. Besides, it's a small part of bigger recipe. You can try something else creamy if you want, but this isn't a mayo-featured dish. (Try not to think of tuna salad the way we Americans eat it.)

The chile oil and the tuna take up the bulk of flavor spectrum.

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Post fishy tacos 
4 pieces fresh halibut, steak or filets, 6 to 8 ounces each
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
1 lime, juiced
3 small to medium ripe Haas avocados, pitted and scooped from skins with a large spoon
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, eyeball it
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon coarse salt, eyeball it
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 heart Romaine lettuce
12 soft (6-inch) flour tortillas

Preheat a grill pan or indoor grill to high heat or, prepare outdoor grill. Drizzle halibut with extra-virgin olive oil to keep fish from sticking to the grill pan or grill. Season fish with salt and pepper, to your taste. Roll lime on the counter top, pressing heavily, to get juices flowing (learned this trick from the inimitabl Emeril Legrasse). Also, any under-ripe citrus may be placed in a microwave oven for 10 seconds at high setting to coerce the juices into flowing. Grill fish 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until opaque. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime down over the fish and remove from the grill pan or grill. Flake fish into large chunks with a fork.
While fish is cooking, in a blender or food processor, combine avocado flesh, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, yogurt and salt. Process guacamole sauce until smooth. Remove guacamole sauce to a bowl and stir in diced tomatoes and chopped scallions. Shred lettuce and reserve.
When fish comes off the grill pan or grill, blister and heat soft taco wraps. To assemble, break up fish and pile some of the meat into soft shells and slather with guacamole sauce. Top with shredded lettuce, fold tacos over and eat

5 yellow vine-ripe tomatoes
Salt and pepper
2 jarred pimentos, drained and chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, 1/4-inch dice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand
2 tablespoons, a handful, fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves, your choice, chopped
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the bowl

Cut the tops off 4 tomatoes and trim a thin slice off the bottoms so that they will sit upright easily. Hollow out the tomatoes with a spoon over garbage bowl or sink. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Remove stem of remaining tomato. Seed and chop tomato.
In a bowl, combine chopped tomato, pimentos, onions, zucchini, jalapeno, lemon juice, oregano and cilantro or parsley. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the bowl. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the bowl in a slow stream or about 2 tablespoons. Toss mixture to combine and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Fill the empty tomatoes with stuffing and serve.

Ps.: The original recipe, above, has since been modified in the following way: F•ck hollowing out four tomatoes and filling them with the mixture; just use the mix as part of the taco-filling. At the party wherein this was debuted by yrs. truly nearly everyone (including meself) did this and it's a major improvement not to mention saving oodles of preparation-time. Happy hunting.

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Post Martha Stewart's Jailhouse Mac & Cheese 
Need something for a big party? You can't go wrong with this.

"If you're like me, you've been eating Kraft's 79-cent version for years. But it's time for an upgrade; it's time for a mac & cheese that's boss- and I think we know who's wearing the Daddy Pants in that jail cell..."

Martha Stewart's Jail House Mac & Cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
plus more for casserole
6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 Pound elbow macaroni

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish: set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour melted butter into the bowl with the bread, toss. Set the bread crumbs aside.
2. Warm milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Melt remaining butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring 1 minute.
3. While whisking, add hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, peppers, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano), set the cheese sauce aside.
5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
6. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar & Gruyere (or Pecorino) and bread crumbs over top. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.
7. Transfer dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serves 12.

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