In This Issue...
This week’s food diary is getting cut short, because I’ll be traveling to Montreal on Thursday to watch the F1 Grand Prix. The meals are mostly fridge cleanout type dishes that I threw together.
★ My weekly Food Diaries are a way of tracking what I cook, buy, and eat every day. They provide insight into my eating preferences, allow me to analyze patterns in my spending, and help improve my cooking. And I always share my recipes! ★
Fridge Cleanout Mexican Inspired Pizza
Is it wrong to say something is Mexican-inspired because it has jalapeño peppers and red onion on it?
I tried out a new pizza crust recipe today, from Sugar Spun Run. This one is probably my favourite so far. It’s soft, quite easy to work with, and smells sooo good. I did two things different with this crust, as you can see (both were suggestions I followed from the recipe website):
- Roll up the edges: this gives it a nice thick edge, like what you’d buy from a pizza shop. Personally, I don’t like the end pieces on store-bought pizzas and would rather do without them, but Kevin wants them, so I obliged for this one.
- Poke holes in the dough before baking: according to the recipe website, this prevents large bubbles from forming in the dough—not that I’ve had this problem with previous doughs.
I baked the crust on its own for ten minutes while I prepped the rest of the ingredients.
For this pizza, I cut up half a can of garlic-flavoured spam (Kevin discovered like five different varieties of spam the other day at T&T and we are LIVING). To that I added two beef sausages, two slices of bacon; diced up a few tablespoons of red onion, garlic, and jalapeño peppers; and topped it with thickly-sliced mozzarella cheese. The sauce was a blend of tomato sauce and garlic BBQ sauce.
It smelled amazing coming out of the oven! The crust turned out better this time—it was no longer droopy and soft—and I think that was really down to leaving it longer in the oven. The extra ten minutes in the oven by itself before toppings gave it the time it needed to firm up. I’ve been afraid of burning it in the past, but this time I forced myself to wait until the crust looked like a nice golden brown.
Pizza-making is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I give a lot more credit to pizza shops now. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a pizza stone or I haven’t yet found the right crust recipe, but perfecting the crust is turning out to be a real struggle.
Kevin noticed the improvement in the crust structure, but he said it could still be crispier next time. I guess I will try baking it even longer! Overall, I’m very happy with how this one turned out and it’s another encouraging milestone on my journey to achieving the perfect takeout-style pizza.
Red Onion Egg–Aquafaba Scramble
Hello, in the journey to becoming a good cook you learn many lessons. The lesson I learned today: Aquafaba doesn’t solve everything.
I tried making a simple egg omelette today from Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap, subbing half of the eggs for soybean aquafaba by weight. It didn’t work. Turns out the reason there are no vegan omelette recipes that rely on purely aquafaba is because, it’s not possible. I still don’t really understand how aquafaba can so perfectly mimic egg whites in whipped dishes like meringues, yet fail in replicating an egg white omelette.
The fillings were simple: diced red onion and dried dill weed. Things started well enough, and the smell of the onion sauteeing was delicious! However, this omelette had the problem of being too watery and fragile to hold its structure, and ended up collapsing into something resembling scrambled eggs. I don’t even know what to call this; “red onion egg–aquafaba scramble” is as good a descriptor as any. Even though it smelled pretty good in the pan, eating it wasn’t enjoyable. The caramelized onion was way too sweet and the water seeping out really made me lose my appetite :-/
I may have been overzealous in my excitement to use aquafaba in every possible application, but I’m glad I learned something this morning. I’ll stick to using aquafaba in my baking for now.
Meal Prepped American Goulash
I’ve been feeding Kevin a lot of goulash for the past few days. It’s been turning out to be the perfect busy man recipe: very easy to cook a big batch and store leftovers in a tupperware, to eat out of for the upcoming week. This picture doesn’t do the size justice, but there’s enough food in this container for at least 3–4 more servings! It’s been great not having to worry about dinner for the bf for a few days.
The only problem keeping me from making this as a staple is Kevin doesn’t love it. He says he likes it, but I can tell there’s not as much enthusiasm as there is for pizza, say. I appreciate that he is still eating it heartily, but I won’t be making it too often.
Carrot Corn Fritters
The other day, I discovered a new vegan food blog called Veggie Jam and was excited to find a recipe for “carrot corn fritters.” Both carrots and corn are things I’m trying to cleanout in my fridge before we leave for our trip this Friday. A couple of things threw me off about the recipe:
- no mention of cooking the corn, even though I wasn’t sure raw corn would cook fully in the short time used to fry fritters up on a skillet
- no use of fat to give them any kind of crispy, oily goodness
but I put my faith in this recipe and followed it exactly.
This is probably one of the worst recipes I have ever followed. I say this with no qualifications because I followed the recipe to the letter and they still turned out nasty.
As expected, the corn did not fully cook. Hell, not even the chickpea flour was fully cooked (raw chickpea flour is disgusting, please don’t try it). Parts of the outsides were getting burned while the inside remained wet. I tried frying them on high heat, low heat, adding some oil—nothing really made these any better tasting.
In frustration, I started cooking them in my wafflemaker! This was actually the most effective method, although it was still annoying because they were really fragile and tended to fall apart when I tried to take them out. And these ones, like the others, were still raw in the middle. At this point, having eaten like five half-cooked fritters, I gave up. So disappointed! Now I have this huge bowl of raw carrots, corn and red onion that I don’t know what to do with. I’m going to keep them in the fridge for the weekend, pray they don’t turn bad by the time I come back, and hopefully I’ll have come up with a solution by then. I don’t want to waste so much food, but I’m at a loss what to use them for… maybe dumpling filling? But maybe that’ll end up spoiling the dumplings too.
Anyways, sorry guys for ending this week on such a bummer. But the next post is going to be a blast because Kevin and I already have so many food places on our Montreal to-do list! Au revoir!