Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Food

I gotta be honest.

I really don't like "This Moment."

It's a relief to not have to find something to yak about, but I'm always slightly disappointed to just get a picture.  Sometimes I even feel resentful that all I'm getting is a damn picture.

It's better than nothing, but I'd rather have something!

Words! Words!  I need words like I need color!

So ... I'm gonna try a Friday Food thang.

I've been wanting to talk at length about food, and food budgeting, and meal planning, but my head explodes every time I try to get my thoughts in order.

My food budget is out of control and I've got to try to find a way to make a budget,  meal plan, and stick with it.  

It seems so simple.  Make a plan, shop, eat.

Never happens.

We're all guilty of falling off the wagon; it's not just me.  

We have a taco problem around here.  I think it's safe to say that we buy tacos out every single day.  Now, sometimes this is just a bean and cheese taco for $1.25, but it's the habit that's the problem.  You know what I  mean?

OK, well, I digress because I just have talk more about that in depth and it's not a good morning for that.

SO, for now,  ... Friday Food:  a recipe that I tried, liked, and would make again.

Let's start with a creation of my own:

Risotto with stir fried tempeh.  Sauteed with spinach and topped with a lentil mix.


Do not make it.

Fortunately, there is another option ...

THE best butter beans, ever, and a baked portobello cap.  (You can spell it either way, I know you're wondering.)


Some people call these lima beans.  I think limas and butter beans are the same thing,  right?  The bag says lima, so let's go with that.  But when you go to Luby's (all you southerners know what I'm talking about here), they're gonna call 'em butter beans.

The trick to the fantabulous butter bean is to soak and cook them in vegetable broth!

Now some people sort the beans, and rinse them off, and all that crap, but, as you can imagine, I skip this step.  I just dump the bag o' beans in a big pot.

Get yourself some very high quality veggie broth like Pacifica and pour it over the beans.  For this recipe I do use Pacifica and not my own homemade broth.  The beans do take on the flavor of the broth so, you want to make sure the blend is really good and I leave that to the "experts." You want to fully cover them by about an inch or two.  Now turn up the heat until the juice boils rapidly.  Boil for 2 or 3 minutes, then take the beans off the stove, put a lid on it (don't forget this), and let them sit for a couple of hours.

Then, pour off all that juice.  (Use a colander and save the juice for something else.  You can always put it in your homemade veggie broth.)  Now, cover the beans again with more veggie juice, bring them to a boil for just a minute or two, then turn the heat way down and simmer, partially covered, for, oh, 45 minutes or until soft and puffy.  Just keep poking them - you'll know when they're done.

I like mine heavily salted, but don't do this until after they are cooked.  I don't know why, but the old wives will tell you that so just do it.   Little pepper won't  hurt either.


Baked Portobello Caps

However many Portobello mushroom caps you're going to use.  One per person.
1 lbs of small mushrooms sliced or chopped up.  You can use baby portobellas or any kind really.  Get fancy, if you like, with some shitake or oyster shrooms. (You need one large handful of raw small shrooms per big mushroom cap.)
Fresh spinach
Some garlic
Some olive oil
Smoke seasoning
Some feta cheese 
Panko (Panko is just a type of bread crumbs.  I find mine in the baking aisle down by the cornmeal and stuff.  I highly recommend using it instead of bread crumbs in this recipe.  It's very inexpensive and really does taste different than the regular crumbs you make yourself.)

Preheat oven to 450
Slice the stem off the big mushroom  caps and save for them homemade veggie broth.  To be honest, I just slice them up and use them, but I think most people do not.
Take a butter knife and gently scrape the gills of the underside of the portobello caps.
Chop up some garlic really fine and mix it with some olive oil in a bowl and brush that mixture all inside the bottom of the caps.  You can just use your fingers. Give them a little salting to boot.  (You know that the bottom is the side that is like a cup, not the top that is round and flat, right?)

Sautee your spinach in a large skillet with some olive oil and garlic.  Spinach gives off a lot of water, so don't add any to the pan.  Just the bit of oil and the garlic.  You need a lot of spinach as it cooks down into nothing so, plan on THREE BIG handfuls of raw spinach per cap.  So, if you're making two caps, you'll need 6 handfuls of raw spinach.  Strain the spinach a bit in a colander  when you're finished so it's not too watery.

Next, saute all your little chopped or sliced mushrooms in some olive oil and some garlic.  I like to add a splash of Smoke seasoning to this mixture, but you don't have to. But you should.  Just a couple of shakes, don't go crazy with it.

(You could saute the mushrooms first, and then add the spinach to the same pan and cook it too, but I don't.)

Once the spinach and little shrooms are all cooked, put a big blog of each into each mushroom cap and spread them around.

Sprinkle (or douse, like me) the top o' that mixture with feta cheese.

Then sprinkle (or douse, like me) the top of that with Panko.

Put on a cookie sheet and bake for, oh, 10 minutes or until filling is hot and Panko is golden brown.


These two things were fantastic together.

Lemme know how it goes!


  1. "Supposebly" salting them before/during makes the beans tougher. I don't know this to be true because I salt after since I like salt and others might not. I do think there might be a difference in butters and limas but who cares?
    Today's blog was so totally unexpected. I am SO happy to read your words. They carry me all through the weekend.
    PS Did you put the knobs on the cabinets doors?

  2. I *love* the photo of your yard. Mine is a blank palette of blah and dog doo and that sticky weed (you know, Galium aparine. Other names: Beggar's lice, Catchweed Bedstraw, Cleaverwort, Cleavers, Everlasting Friendship, Goose grass, Grip Grass, Scratch grass, Stick-a-back, Sticky Willie, Scarthgrass, Sticky-willy, White Hedge). We have ideas but no plans. Your blog helps to keep me inspired. (I especially liked learning about Lawn Alternatives).

    Buttah beans vs. limas... my mom used to cook frozen "lima" beans and they were dry and grainy and icky, and green. I've had "butter" beans since I've moved to Texas, and they're soft and creamy and delicious, and yellow (Mann's BBQ on Research has especially yummy ones). I think they're the same critter with different regional names and definitely recipes. I'm going to try your recipe w/veggie broth! I also love Great Northern Beans and add them to chicken soup.

    Portobellos ... yum. I love the way you write recipes (the same way I do). Some of this, if you like this use a lot, use your hands, etc. I have an excellent recipe for veggie lasagne that's fun to make, if yer interested.

  3. OK, I want to maybe join you on the Friday food thing. But I'm so dysfunctional around food that I don't know if I can commit. But I agree with you about the wordless thing. This was way more fun. And thanks so much for sharing one that sucked. I like to know that others suck, too. :-)

  4. Yum! Look at that yard with wet stuff on it!

  5. I love creamycreamy butter/limas. mr.H likes what he calls Succotash so if I add corn then that's what it is. I could eat bowls of it. I'll even dump it over salad and call it dinner. I love this Friday Food day and hope you will give us more.
    ms mdd

  6. i always thought lima's were those green, icky things that make your teeth squeak like liver. eww! your buttah beans look way better. i'm definitely going to try that one, but still not sure how risotto can ever be disappointing!

  7. hi wabi! i just wanted to let you know that i've so been enjoying your recent posts. for the last year we have been trying to the forks over knives approach to eating, and we've actually had fun pushing our menu and cooking. but, yes, i've yet found a way to make that tempeh edible, let alone enjoyable. can't wait to try your shroom and bean recipe!! (i always loved lima beans, but they made my big sister gag and she used to pass hers under the dining table to me.)

  8. Butter beans and limas are different. I like them both, but especially butter beans. My homemade veggie stock kicks Pacifica's ass. I'll send you the recipe if you like, it's easy peasy!


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