The Vegetarian Cheeseburger


Lunch has always been my favorite meal of the day, the delicious simplicity appeals to my tastes. And yet, I realized that I have never posted some of my favorite things to eat for lunch. Or anything in the lunch category at all! So I decided that it was about time to post a series of my favorite lunch foods. The Vegetarian Cheeseburger is something that I only indulge in on a special occasion. Okay okay maybe I eat it once a week or so. But that’s all I’m going to say about that. Now that we are in Kroger territory I have enjoyed getting to know the type of food they carry and how I can transform it into greatness. Let me just say, the bread is SO good. Especially the potato buns, so if you want to enjoy this lunchtime delight to the fullest, I recommend using one of those little babies to carry your burger to greatness. We have always eaten soy based burgers, I know, healthy right? But once you develop a taste for them, they are so good. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and Friar Tyst.

What ya need: 1 potato hamburger bun, 1 soy burger (any flavor, we like the Boca and Morning Star brands), 1-2 tbsp. three cheese ranch dressing, 1/2 tsp. mustard, 1 slice of tomato, 2-3 pieces of lettuce, 1 slice of cheese.

Microwave the burger for one minute or grill it on the stove top for 3 to 5 minutes. Toast the potato bun in the same grill pan with a little butter (this step is optional). Spread the dressing on both sides of the bun. Layer the burger, the mustard, and the cheese in this order. If you have lettuce and tomato, which I did not this time around, put them on now with top half of the bun. Now the most important step, enjoy it!

I know I did!



Western Style Fried Rice

Fried Rice is traditionally a Chinese dish, however, I decided to make it…..Western Style….. When made with brown rice, it is not only delicious, but good for you. Brown rice contains an essential natural fiber that your body needs to function properly. I guarantee that once you make the transition from white to brown rice, there will be no turning back. I admit that this was my first attempt at making fried rice, and that I was a bit unsure as to how it would turn out. However, it was deliciously different and provided a nice change up to our traveling diet as of late. On a side note (these happen often), on this moving adventure we have discovered THE, BEST, Corn bread mix. Miracle Maize Cornbread pairs beautifully with rice, potatoes, soup, chili, I could go on and on! I have had an aversion to cornbread mixes in the past as they are obviously artificial, but not this one! It tastes just like the real thing! I know that this has nothing to do with fried rice, but it was SO good. Now, let me tell you how to make the dish that started this post.

The Ingredients: 2 cups brown rice, 15 oz. diced tomatoes, 15 oz. black or red beans, 15 oz. corn (optional), 1/2 yellow onion, 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups tomato broth, varying amounts of salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, no salt seasoning, parsley, cilantro, cumin, Old Bay seasoning, and 1/4 tsp. sugar.

Place rice and both of the broths together in a deep saucepan, place the lid on the pan and cook over medium high heat for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove the cooked rice from the pan and add the vegetables and spices, put the lid back on the pan and let sit for ten minutes. Add the cooked rice back into the pan and stir well. Turn off the heat and let it sit on the stove top until you are ready to serve it. Serves 6-8.

Pictures coming soon!


Garden Fresh Pot Pie


Garden Fresh Pot Pie is similar to my Harvest Vegetable Pot Pie recipe, but different in that it contains fresh vegetables rather than canned. I will admit that this version is more time-consuming, but it is SO worth it! On a side note, you may have noticed that my most recent posts have been short and to the point, and that lately I have not been able to post at all. This is because my family is in the process of moving out of state. As we all know, moving a large family and all of our stuff out of state is very time-consuming, leaving little to no time for hobbies and extravagant cooking. Anyway, enough about me, back to the recipe. Fresh vegetables are an essential component in this dish, not only are they better for you, but they have a distinct flavor that canning takes away. While I am not in any way opposed to using canned vegetables, I do prefer to use fresh if they are available. So if you have a little extra time and access to fresh veggies, go wild and make this veggie-packed dish that is sure to be a comforting, satisfying meal for your friends and family.

The Ingredients: 1 lb. baby carrots, 1 large yellow squash, 1 large zucchini, 1/2 yellow onion, 14 oz. can green beans, 1 family size can condensed chicken soup, 1 can refrigerated jumbo crescent roll dough, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2-3 tbsp. melted butter.

Dice carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, and onion. Bring the vegetables to a boil in a large pot of water for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, halve the beans. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain the cooked vegetables and add them, the beans, the chicken soup, and the spices to a large casserole pan. Stir well. Top with the crescent rolls, brush with the melted butter and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

The good thing about pot pie is that it is attractive, and it feeds a crowd.;)



Triple Chip Trail Mix Cookies

Some may see trail mix as M&M’s with obstacles, but I see it as a tool to be used in the project of creativity. Because who eats plain trail mix? I myself only eat it as an ingredient in other desserts.:) These Triple Chip Trail Mix Cookies have a delicious crunchy sweetness. Not only that, but they are a true experience you have the saltiness of the peanut and cashew, the hardiness of the almond, the sweet flavors or three different chocolate chip flavors, and a nostalgic chocolate chip cookie texture. As you can see, we certainly enjoyed them! This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and La Critico.

The Chef: “La Critico, a word on these little delights?” La Critico: “These are pretty good cookies, that kind of flour is definitely better than all those wheat kinds.” The Chef: ” Well it is better tasting but probably not as good for you.” La Critico: “Well you never know about these things.”

The Ingredients: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1/2 to 3/4 cup indulgent trail mix (the kind with peanut butter, white chocolate, and semi-sweet chips), additional 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 tsp. salt.

Using a hand mixer, cream together the egg, butter and sugar until crumbly. Alternate adding once cup of flour and half of the oil until both are used up. Fold in the trail mix and chocolate chips by hand. Spray two cookie pans with cooking spray, add half of the dough to each one. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

We like to make giant cookies…..:)




Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Sigh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE macaroni and cheese. It is my love language, my one and only, my ultimate comfort food, and my favorite food. Here on the blog I have a really simple, easy recipe for macaroni and cheese…..but….For a little more time and commitment, you can have THIS baked mac and cheese, which is the ultimate food in my book. Not only is it smooth, creamy, deliciously delectable, awesome, wonderful, and the best thing ever, it is also relatively healthy when made with coconut milk. That being said, let’s move on to what the public thought about this delicacy. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, Queenbee, and Friar Tyst.

The Chef: “Queenbee, what do you think about the macaroni?” Queenbee: “Mmmm….it’s very good.” The Chef: “Well, that says it all doesn’t it?”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, your thoughts and opinions?” Friar Tyst: “It was real cheesy.” The Chef: “Granted, anything else?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it tasted like macaroni on a spring day.” 

The Ingredients: 2 cups macaroni, 2 cups evaporated or coconut milk, 10 oz. condensed cheese soup, 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. pastry flour, 2 tbsp. sour cream, 1 cup grated Colby cheese, 1-2 tsp. dry or spicy brown mustard, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. no salt seasoning, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic.

Boil macaroni for 5-8 minutes or until it is halfway cooked, remove it from the heat and set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add flour, whisk together and cook for a couple of minutes. be careful to not let it burn. Add the milk and whisk until thickened. Now add the spices and the cheese soup, whisk slowly but constantly until well combined. Remove from the heat and mix together the sauce and noodles in a casserole pan. Top with the grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Look at that comforting cheesy goodness!:)


Skinny Baked Potato Soup

Doesn’t everyone love those creamy, smooth, delicious soups that they serve in restaurants? You know, those ones that usually contain half and half or heavy cream….While they are delicious, those of us with sensitive stomachs have not been able to enjoy said delicacies. Until now. I decided it was time for me to post a dairy-free soup recipe that lactose tolerants and lactose intolerants alike will love. Coconut milk, whether it be in a can or a carton, is sweeping the nation as a substitute for many milk products. It is absolutely delicious in soup as it is naturally creamy and smooth, creating the perfect consistency and texture. Skinny Baked Potato Soup is the perfect choice for those of us who have longed to experience rich foods but have been held back by our traitorous digestive systems. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef (who else?), Queenbee, Friar Tyst, The Health Inspector, and La Critico.

The Chef: “Queenbee, lover of potatoes, expert on potato soups, what dost thou think of this delicacy?” Queenbee: “It was very good, well-flavored and soothing to the taste buds.” The Chef: “I will consider this high praise from an expert such as yourself.”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, do elaborate.” Friar Tyst: “I thought it was kinda soupy.” The Chef: “Hmm, anything else?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it kinda tasted like soup.” The Chef: “Thank you for your detailed comments sir.”

The Chef: “Mr. Health Inspector, your assessment of today’s specialty?” The Health Inspector: “I find that the onion flavor greatly added to it.” The Chef: “Well onions often do.” The Health Inspector: “You also seem to be practicing cleaner kitchen methods.” The Chef: “I am!?” 

The Chef: “And last but not least, La Critico, your thoughts?” La Critico: “The soup was really good but it would be better with peanuts.” The Chef: “That’s…..certainly something to consider…” La Critico: “Cinnamon, that’s just the thing.” The Chef: “Let’s not get carried away.” La Critico: “But what you need is cinnamon.” The Chef: “Cinnamon belongs in the world of baking, NOT cooking.” La Critico: “Well I don’t know about that.”

The Ingredients: 8-9 red potatoes, 4 cups vegetable broth, 8 0z.  coconut milk, 1 medium yellow onion, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2-3 tbsp. sour cream, 1 large vegetable bouillon (optional, if you don’t have vegetable broth, dissolve the bouillon in 4 cups of water), 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. parsley flakes.

Peel and dice the potatoes. Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, and spices to a large soup pot. Bring this to a rolling boil for fifteen to twenty minutes. Puree the soup in three batches in your blender or food processor. Add the pureed soup back the the pot with the coconut milk, sour cream, and cheese. Stir well. Let sit for ten to fifteen minutes over medium heat before serving.

Sigh, simple deliciousness, comforting thoughts, warmth for the soul, all in one picture.