Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Spent Grain Pizza

My husband and I occasionally brew beer and when we do we have tons of grains leftover (we’re talking about 15 lbs worth!) There’s no way I could use it all, but I did find a great recipe to use some of those grains to make pizza dough.


1 pkg. dry bread yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 cup spent grains
1/2 cup water
3 cups additional flour
olive oil for bowl
flour to sprinkle bread board

Proof yeast by mixing with 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 tsp sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes–a nice layer of foam should prove that the yeast is alive and well. In large mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, sugar, and salt. Blend in yeast mixture. Stir in 1 cup flour until well blended. Set aside while you prepare the grains. Add 1 cup spent grains (drained well, but still wet) and 1/2 cup water to bowl of food processor. Process until you have a semi smooth mixture. It doesn’t ever get really smooth, but you don’t want it too chunky either. Add grain mixture to yeast slurry and mix together well. Add remaining 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well with each addition. I do this by hand with a wooden spoon. It goes quickly, but you could do it in a mixer with a dough hook if you wanted. The last cup of flour will make the dough seem pretty stiff if you are mixing by hand, but it’s ok! Don’t worry. It’s still a bit sticky, but will clean the side of the bowl. I just use my hands at the end and knead it together right in the bowl. When you have a rough lump of dough together and the sides of the bowl are clean, push the dough ball to one side and add a bit of olive oil to the bottom of the bowl. Push the dough into the oil and flip it over, smoothing the oil over the top of the dough. Reshape the dough into an even round. Cover lightly and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
When ready to use, push dough down, deflating it. Bring sides in to center and flip dough over. Put dough out onto floured board and pat out evenly. Cut dough into equal sized pieces for each pizza you will make. If making all pizzas, you should have 8 equal sized pieces of dough. Shape each piece into an evenly round ball and place on a cookie sheet. Cover lightly and let sit 20-30 minutes. When ready to bake, take each little round of dough and pat it out on the floured board into an evenly round shape. You can use a rolling pin if you want to speed the process up a bit. I like them about 9″ around for a thin crust pizza. Obviously, a thicker pizza would need to be pushed or rolled out to a smaller round.

For toppings I used marinara, crimini mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. It was delicious!!


Fried Okra

Okra is in season! I love okra and have been getting a lot in my csa boxes. This was the first recipe I made because it’s one of my favorites and definitely a classic!


okra, cut into 1 inch slices
corn meal
egg whites
salt and pepper
oil for frying

Put egg whites in one bowl and corn meal in another. Add salt and pepper to corn meal. Pour about 1 inch worth of oil in a pot (I actually used a saucepan) and put on high heat. Meanwhile put a handful of okra in egg whites and mix to coat. When the oil is hot enough transfer the okra to the cornmeal and then into the oil. Fry stirring occasionally to brown the entire okra. Once they are completely browned transfer to a plate covered with a napkin. Repeat the eggwhite, cornmeal and frying process until all your okra is cooked. Serve with ranch or in this case buttermilk dressing.

Grilled Veggie Fajitas

One of my all time favorite meals are vegetable fajitas. Fresh veggies coming together with soft homemade tortillas, salsa and guacamole is divine and the summer is one of the best times to indulge since the vegetables are fresh and plentiful.

I like to use a cast iron skillet to cook the vegetables. It keeps the marinade from putting out the fire! It also helps keep them from drying out.

Fresh tortillas are so much better than store bought. When I moved to Austin from San Antonio I realized that fresh made tortillas are very hard to find! My husband and I are tortilla snobs, so I had to start making my own. Store bought just isn’t the same as the fluffy and rich ones you can make at home!

Here’s the tried and true recipe I use. (not my own)

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk (regular or I use almond milk)

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook. In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat. Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil. While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.


Pair these with some fresh made guacamole and salsa and you’ll be set. I made some recently for my sister-in-law and her boyfriend (who’s an avid meat eater) and he said “I usually miss meat in meals, but this is so good I feel like I’m not missing anything!”

Eggrolls and Egg Drop Soup

The other day I made some eggrolls and egg drop soup. The eggrolls are filled with an assortment of veggies including cabbage, carrot,  and onions. For the soup I cheated a little and used a packet of mix and added the egg in.

Stuffed Pepper

Sorry for the low quality picture, I was so hungry I just took a quick pic on my phone.


1 package Smart Grounds Original Crumbles

1/2 c. pico de gallo (mine was homemade. You could also use cut up onion,peppers and tomato)

1 1/2 cup cooked rice (wild rice is best, I used forbidden rice)

1/2 tsp olive oil

salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder to taste

4 or 5 bell or other large sweet peppers

Heat peppers in oven or over the stovetop to burn outside skin. Once they have cooled a bit pull of the skin part. This makes it easier to cut up and eat. Then add olive oil to medium/hot skillet then add the ground crumbles. Once it has slightly browned add the pico de gallo and cook for a couple minutes, making sure to turn down heat if necessary. Add cooked rice and seasonings. Go back to the peppers and cut the tops off and pull out the seed part. Make sure they’ve cooled enough so you don’t burn yourself. Then stuff the cooked crumble/rice mixture to the peppers, filling as much as possible but taking care in not ripping them apart. Heat up if needed and serve!

You could also just make the filling part and use it for soft tacos or on nachos. I made the whole batch but only stuffed 2 peppers so I have leftovers for lunch today 🙂

Estimated calories – 200 per pepper

Pimento Cheese Spread

On a magazine cover at work I saw a great picture of some homemade pimento cheese spread made into a grilled cheese and it looked so good I had to try it out for myself. I found the recipe online which was a little different from classic pimento cheese because it had horseradish in it. The recipe is pretty simple and I was able to whip it up pretty easily and we made the grilled pimento cheese sandwiches for dinner!

Pimento Grilled CheeseIt was extremely rich!! It was hard to get through the whole sandwich and then afterwards we were both kind of put off from eating any more. It was good though!

Here it is not in grilled form

Pimento CheeseCheese + Mayo… how could I have NOT thought it would be super rich!!

Horseradish Pimento Spread


2-3 tbsp. prepared or fresh horseradish

12 oz. package sharp cheddar shreds, or shredded

1 (4 oz.) jar pimentos

1/3 to 1/2 cup mayo

1 tsp. Dijon mustard (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

Combine ingredients, cover and chill. Use for spreads on celery, chips or grilled cheese.

Mock Chicken Noodle Soup

A couple days ago my husband was feeling kind of sick and asked if I could get him some chicken noodle soup. The canned version is full of sodium and I never thought it was that good so I asked if he’d like a homemade version instead. Only a crazy person would turn down homemade soup versus canned so he said yes! Since he’s not a vegetarian I decided to treat him and make the “real” version for him. But I needed dinner too I thought I’d try to make a vegan version.

chicken noodle soup

It turned out delicious!! I used this recipe for the base but replaced the butter with margarine, chicken broth with veggie broth, and chicken with Morningstar’s Chick’n strips.
I will definitely be making this again!!!