Thrive Energy Cookbook black bean burgers

The Thrive cookbook is nice and attractive but I don’t like how every recipe calls for some weird superfood ingredient that costs $12 and then you use 1/2 tsp of it or else things that I cannot buy at the normal store, like lucuma powder and wildwood brand aioli (used in an aioli recipe, what?!) and sunflower sprouts. However this black bean burger recipe is easy, normal and delicious. I do roll my eyes at how there is a “recipe” in the next chapter that tells you how to take this patty and put it on a bun with lettuce and tomato (and aioli!).



That is not dirt on the plate but instead shadows and balsamic vinegar. I do not eat this on a bun because it is already carby but it is tasty on a plate with melted fake cheddar. Also I do not measure anything in this recipe. Also the first time I just put everything in the food processor and mushed it up. This time I did it as written. I think the blender onion is the genius part so do it that way. I mean I liquefy it in the vitamix with that other stuff. Don’t chop it before you put it in the vitamix because why. Also I bake them in the oven instead of frying. Also I use premade breadcrumbs and much much much less of them because why would you make a burger out of mostly bread. Also muchmuchmuch less that 3 tbsp salt unless you are completely crazy.

Whenever I look at this cookbook I want to make something else from it but I just don’t see it happening. There is a curry rice bowl recipe that calls for 23 ingredients including 4 cans of coconut milk for 4 servings. What. Why don’t you go run another ultra marathon Brendan Brazier.

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Green Juice of the Day


Contains: garden kale and parsley, 2 apples, a lime, an English cucumber, and an old nectarine.
Tastes like: sweet delicious grass clippings.

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Isa Does It: An East Coast Update

I bought Isa Does It in November and I just knew it would be so delightful that I bought an extra copy for Jemnifer. Then my mom bought me another one for Christmas so I advised her to keep it. So many Isa Does Its! As usual, I was correct, and this book is highly enjoyable. Firstly, it is a handsome tome and the photography is lovely, just like the finest Instagrams. Secondly, it is a joy to use as the layout is so nice, with each recipe all on one page and so easy to consult. Is anything more infuriating than being forced to turn a page while cooking?! Thirdly, the usage of bizarre ingredients is minimal, which is nice because although I can usually find whatever weird thing at my hoity-toity suburban supermarkets, I am super cheap lately. I had a sad realization about how much money I waste through my egregious allowing-of-leftovers-to-rot, which happens because A. Mr Hubbins is a priss princess about leftovers and 2. because I am in the middle of a 4-month long pity party I am throwing for myself, and eating something I don’t feel like eating makes me want to have a temper tantrum, therefore I must cater to my whims with fresh foods prepared daily. As a result the New Year dawned on me being 10 pounds fatter than I was at the beginning of my pity party, which does not even seem possible? Also, poor. On top of the egregious Wegmans bills, we’re still paying for our dang thousands-of-dollars dog containment structure from last year. At this rate we could have just bought a new dog every time one ran away. What was the point? I forget. Perhaps also am dumber this year. Moving on. Oh, the upside, well the upside of trying to lose 10 lb extremely impatiently* is that I am constantly starving and obsessed with food. This means I am totally interested in cooking again!

I present to you, the recipes I have thus far made from Isa Does It, in such order as they appear in the book, sort of.

Chapter 1 is SOUPS.
Right this very moment I am eating some leftover Sweet Potato & Red Curry Soup with Rice and Purple Kalethat I made yesterday.

such a pleasing pastel shade

I went to my most-local supermarket for the kale since it was on the way to walk the dog so it is just regular kale, not purple. It was all rubbery and deflated too, but, did you know? You can cut off the stems at the bottom and put it in a glass of water and wait an hour and it will be like real fresh perky kale that you did not buy at the rotten most-local supermarket. Anyway I cut the rice in half because I did not want it to mucilaginize the leftovers and I added some tofu. Delightful! Tangy and unusual yet not so weird as to upset the tum. And the color is so pleasing. I am sure it would look even better with the purple kale.

From the soup chapter I have also made the Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage – this was fine but it did not pass the Ultimate Leftovers Test (ie we eat it before it rots). Also the Cheddary Broccoli Soup. The Cheddary Broccoli Soup was great and I think it would have passed the U.L.T. if I had not made it right before we went away for Christmas. I even took a picture of it but then I had to delete it to make room on my phone to take a picture of something important, which was probably Kate Middleton sitting in a box. I hope to be a better planner in the future in so many ways.

I have my eye on the New England Glam Chowder recipe for nexties.

I have not made any salads but I am intrigued by the Quinoa Caesar (did I mention I have 12 pounds of quinoa) and the Kale with Butternut and Lentils.

I have not made any sandwiches either. Bread is the Devil (see “10lb weight gain, hormonally-stabilized, unloseable”). But as soon as I get over this attitude or get some bigger pants, the Shiitake Banh Mi sounds delightful. The Korean BBQ Portabella looks good too but since I don’t care for kimchi and Mr. Husband hates mushrooms, I guess that one might not end well.

By the former logic (Carbs Bad) I should have not made anything from the next chapter, Pasta and Risotto, either, but I sure did.

num num mushrooms

Number first, the Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff. I guess I chose to disregard Mr. Husband’s preferences for this one. Anyway how can anyone hate mushrooms? Probably he is lying to annoy me.

This was delicious and had such a fancy taste, unlike most of the slop-n-glop I cook. It even passed the leftovers test. I would be careful to use a very dry white wine next time. I think I just sloshed in whatever syrupy riesling I was drinking and with the sweetness from the cashew it was a bit much, perhaps. But it was still lovely.

drinkin’ before photographin’

I made the Olive Angel Hair with Seared Brussels Sprouts on New Years Eve. This was just ok. There is a “timesaver” where you steam the brussels sprouts over boiling water, then cook the pasta in that water. However after steaming the sprouts the water looked and smelled completely vile (it was green and farty, for the record). So that trick did not work for me. Then, there is a lot of vegetable broth used in this book and for a while I was being compliant and buying the tetrapacks of Wegmans brand veg broth. It has a distinctive flavor though and I think I was sick of it by this point. I should become a real person and make my own broth and freeze it but for now I am using water in everything and it has been fine. Also the method of sprout searing (steam then sear) makes them kind of soggy for me. This is the only acceptable method for cooking brussels sprouts. In conclusions, since pasta is also the devil one cannot squander it in sub-ideal preparations, but other people liked this, so maybe it’s worth a try for you personally.

I’ve also made the Eggplant and Bread Crumb Fettucine – more an idea than a recipe but a good and tasty idea to keep in mind. And the Roasted Butternut Alfredo which of course was delightful. Wow aren’t a lot of these recipes online, and I am linking to only legit sources not some buttnutting bloggers who put them up without permission. PS you guys are butts.

From the chapter of Stews and Curries, I’ve made the Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings. After I made it I realized that I had made it before years ago from Isa’s blog. This time I used chopped prepared seitan instead of the beans and I completely ruined the dumplings by using whole wheat pastry flour which turned them into dense gummy goo balls. I do not recommend you do that. Otherwise it was good but I will probably forget I ever made it in a few months and make it again.

And of course the Quinoa Stew. Although I hoped otherwise, I really think this stew got worse the next day. The combination of tarragon and thyme tasted like a cleaning product. (Is it because I have a thyme-scented bathroom cleaner from Seventh Generation? It seems to be discontinued. Maybe it was ruining everyone’s stew experiences.) And perhaps I overcooked my quinoa to begin with, because my lentils were old and I had to boil longer than instructed, but by the next day the quinoa was totally devolved into a mucilage. So vile. Sorry stew. Blog partner, how was it for you?

So no big winners from the Stews although one definitely my fault. Do not despair as there are many other nice looking stews.

I have thus far neglected the Stir Frys and Sautes chapter.

Next is Bowls. The Bowls all sound so delightful but I wish someone else would cook them for me because so many components, wah, exhausting.

I need a nap

To be fair I made this the worse for myself. This is the Good Gravy Bowl. The original has pan-fried seitan and brown rice and I made the variation with breaded tofu and mashed potatoes so that was more work for me on both fronts. Yet so delicious. The gravy is made with lentils and is quite tasty, but I do think it needs a Vitamix to puree it. The book suggests immersion blender but after that blenderizing the lentil bits were still apparent and too beany, and much better when completely smooth.

Leroy appreciates anything involving broccoli.

broccoli monster will rudely remove broccoli from your fork as it travels to your mouth with dirty litter box paw

Today since I have the day off I will be making the Pizza Bowl with Greens, Sausages and Olives! Unfortunately I must first venture to my rotten local store because in all my giant disorganized pantry, it is hard to believe, but I have no gluten. Otherwise in the future I must strategize my leftovers better because so many nice bowls await the lucky people with leftover grains and sauces.

The next chapter is Sunday Night Suppers, for more elaborate things.

click here for virtual romantic night with handsome bearded man

For Thanksgiving, which we stayed home for, see “pity party, 4 months duration” above, I made Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Seared Brussels Sprouts and Tarragon Cream. This was great. I served the b-sprouts separately because we also had a Field Roast and it seemed to make more sense that way. You can sort of see the gnocchis on the left hand side. They were kind of a lot of work but it was appropriate for the holiday. The dough was sticky and almost made my head explode but I ended up just semi-scraping them off the cutting board into the boiling water, spaetzle-style, and they turned out very nice. Sometimes cashew cream tastes too sweet to me but it worked well here even with the tarragon and everything.

I have my eye on the Malai Kofta and the Nirvana Enchilada Casserole for future Sundays.

From the Breakfast chapter, I’ve made the muffin pan mini omelets, which we ate on bagels with a slice of cheddar Daiya. This was lovely but obviously the good old days of bagels came before I weighed myself and had an aneurysm. God I know it is so tiresome how I am now. Poor Mr. Husband. As soon as I get over myself I am planning on the Carrot Cake Pancakes. I’ve also made the Banana Nut muffins twice. The first time a certain scavenging hound ate seven of them. There was one that was rescueable and I hid it from the hound. It was a straight-up fossil by the time I found it again a couple weeks later. Sad. The second time I replaced the sugar with 1 T Trader Joe’s maple sugar, used whole wheat flour, extra applesauce instead of oil, and the muffins resisted all my sabotage attempts and were totally adequate, of course do not pull that shit if you will be serving to judgey regulars. Obviously the first batch was more delicious.

I am pondering making the Lemon Blueberry Loaf today too since I have to go to the store anyway. All I’ve accomplished with my three weeks of obsessive calorie counting is that I feel like death and have a cold so maybe this nice loaf will be my break out food where I break free of my misery-inducing self-obsessed whining and moping. Like with real white flour and the full amount of sugar and everything. Ha…

And oh the desserts chapter I am not even looking at it, except the rosemary chocolate chip cookies – and isn’t that a nice picture, like straight out of Kinfolk – sound so weird yet intriguing.

In conclusion, there are so many delicious sounding things in this book that it is hard to decide what to make next. I got FIVE other cookbooks for christmas but this one is still dominating. How I hope we shall make many future delicious items from Isa Does It.

* Ugh I know, ten pounds, who could possibly even care and why on earth does this make any difference in the grand scheme of things or in any way having to do with anything important in the world at large. I’m in a bad place right now people. It is a 100% perspectiveless miserable belly meats fixation.

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Today I made “Lentil and Quinoa Stew with Lots of Kale” from Isa Does It, a recipe selected by my illustrious blog partner on the merits of its inclusion of quinoa. My decision to partake had to do with how once Costco was out of quinoa, so the next 3 times I saw quinoa there I remembered how once I wanted it and couldn’t get it, forgot how I had bought it before, and am now the proud owner of 12 pounds of organic quinoa. Also I was too cheap to buy “lots” of kale so it is only 0.57 as much as it should be.

cookin’ buddy

I was assisted by the cookin’ buddy dog. He likes all fruits and vegetables which we think is so adorable. Also it is adorable how he peer pressures the other dog into also eating vegetables, although the other dog clearly does not like vegetables one bit. Cookin’ buddy dog always sits next to me while I chop and enjoys morsels. It becomes only slightly less cute once you get to know him better and realize he also likes to eat every other item in the world including paper towel rolls, shoe insoles, anything plastic, stink bugs, and all varieties of poops.

That garlic thing is the garlic rocker. The idea is that you press it over the garlic, and its little cutty holes in the middle turn it to bits, then the garlic bits end up in the little scoopy thing for easy transfer to the pot. And then the thing is made of stainless steel so it takes the garlic smell off your hands as you wash it. It is kind of great but kind of not great. It takes some practice and muscle to get it to chop the garlic nicely. The transfer part is great. Then it is kind of hard to get the bits out of the cutter holes. Also maybe the bits are bigger than some might like, although I don’t mind them. But the part where it gets the smell off the hands is amazingly great. I hate washing my stupid garlic press so I use this all the time.

There is a convenient 40 minutes boiling time where you can perform your Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30″ video in a vain attempt to lose some of your medication- and holiday-induced fat bloat.

When I returned from the aforementioned endeavor, the pot contents were looking a bit porridgey for my tastes so I decided to go off-recipe and add a can of diced tomatoes.

If I were to name this recipe I would probably call it “Big Pot o’ Slop.” It reminds me of something you might feed a very fancy, healthy pig. It does taste ok but something about it makes me sad, like after you give up on everything about food other than it being nourishing, this is what you can shovel into your gullet. Also the quinoa:lentil ratio seemed too high to me. Also to be fair she says to put hot sauce on it but I don’t like hot sauce. Also in my prejudicial mind “put hot sauce on it” is only given as advice for something when you know it is not tasty on its own. But, I am in a weird place with food right now. I am starving all the time but trying to lose 10 lb before the end of this month which is obviously not possible so I am thinking about food constantly and my standards are outrageous as far as how healthy and delicious and low calorie everything needs to be. To be even fairer this is the first thing I have not thought was great from Isa Does It and perhaps for my next entry I shall illuminate the more pleasing things I have made from this book.

Bowl o’ slop. I mean it’s not terrible or anything.


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3 things I made over the summer and photographed badly with my iphone

This is a good tomato recipe! “Fresh Corn Polenta with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes” from Peter Berley. I have a different cookbook from Peter Berley and everything in it looks delicious and also takes ten hours to make because each recipe includes five other recipes that you have to make first but this recipe is quite simple and delicious and uses up some of one’s nine bazillion cherry tomatoes. I added nutritional yeast to the polenta, and arugula.

I made my first giant zucchini of the season into a stuffed zucchini and I meant to do it with the rest but then I let them sit too long and they turned into wood. I made up this recipe but I used Helen’s Organic Veggie Ground for the first time, which is really quite tasty, has nice big slices of mushrooms in it, and no isolated soy so that is nice, also an onion, brown rice, and a red pepper, and topped with canned tomato puree and a bit of fake cheese.

A blueberry pie.


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from the mushroom council

Here is a recipe from The Mushroom Council by way of my Wegmans Nature’s Marketplace Flier. Chris O says The Mushroom Council is part of the royal court from Super Mario Bros. but then he started reminiscing about Princess Peach and got confused so who knows. This recipe used to be “Quick Mushroom and White Bean Stew.” Theirs looks more delicious, probably because of all that delicious glycermicy white rice.  I changed all the measurements because I can’t believe the mushroom council expects me to use 1 lb of mushrooms when they should KNOW that mushrooms come in a 10 oz container. Also who has time to measure 1 cup of chopped onion and what the heck are you going to do if there is an onion fraction left over. Also I added some celery because WHY NOT.

olive oil for sauteeing
1 large yellow onion, chopped
10 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 large stalks celery, sliced
14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes – I do believe this to be a critical ingredient as stewed tomatoes are delicious. I guess the responsible thing would be to use garden tomatoes…
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained; 1/3 of can mashed well with fork
vegetable stock, or water and a bouillon cube, or water plus whatever random seasonings you may have, such as dry rosemary and herbamare and a squirt of bragg’s liquid aminos, to your desired level of soupiness

1. Saute onions, mushrooms, garlic and celery until mushrooms are golden and onions are tender.
2. Add other ingredients and simmer 15 minutes.

I served with Lundberg wild rice blend a la Costco.

If I were being my regular self, I would eat this with a giant white flour baguette with ten tons of earth balance on it. Since I am being protein-conscious I might add a fake sliced sausage next time.


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(West Coast version) tomatopalooza

Funny, so many weeks of neglect and I am going to write about our abundance of tomatoes as well. Our garden is nowhere near as insanely ginormous as Heather’s, but tomatoes make up a huge percentage of what we are growing. We have 13 tomato plants, 9 are very big and have fancy heavy-duty expensive tomato cages that my sweetie loves.

This is the only picture I have of the tomato plants, it is from 11 weeks ago, so you just have to imagine that they are now gargantuan.

The other 4 are in upside-down planters that sweetie made, they are doing ok but they don’t get as much sun so they don’t make tons of tomatoes. Also we don’t really like any of the small kinds that are in the upside-down ones, I can’t remember any of the names of them except the one we do like, Michael Pollan. I think they will all be Michael Pollans next year. The big ones have crazy names, chocolate stripey and berkeley tie-dye and brandywine and six more I can’t remember. Alice can remember all the names, I’ll have to ask her. So we have many, many, many tomatoes, it is a good thing that I like eating raw tomatoes since I am too lazy to attempt to can them. We all enjoy eating raw tomatoes, Alice and Galen will split a huge one for a snack.

Oh the bounty, it is bountiful

I’ve been making lots of bruschetta with dinner lately, I tried a creamy tomato soup last weekend that was smooth because of the Vitamix but not all that creamy (recipe from 1000 Vegan Recipes), a tomato, black bean, and quinoa salad (also from 1000 Vegan Recipes) that was quite good and a welcome change from the same quinoa salad I always make with corn and black beans (was from the CSA I used to support back before we had two child care bills, someone put the recipe here), I used farro for the first time on Saturday to made a yummy summer vegetable salad from a modified Weight Watchers recipe, and I make the creamy tomato pasta sauce from Vegan Yum Yum all the time. In fact I think I will make it for dinner again tonight. I will attempt to make some tomato sauce the weekend after next modeling Heather’s lazy recipe, since I use a ridiculous number of jars of Trader Joe’s organic tomato-basil marinara sauce.

Unrelated, and I am at least 5 years behind the times on the “superfood” front, but thoughts on Kombucha? I’ve only tried the citrus one but I am kind of in love with it.

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Dear blog, my, how we have neglected you for one whole year! Poor thing, I just deleted 2000 spam comments for you. I think one of them MIGHT have been real but it was a lady saying that her Hamilton Beech immersion blender is just as good as a vitamix for making green smoothies which is pretty much as ridiculous than buying term papers and cheap pandora charms online…

Let’s see. Last spring,  the husband and I bought a house with a one acre yard. I proceeded to ignore all the indoors things, like the terrible bathroom, and put in a gimungous garden and spent a head-exploding amount of money to fence in a half acre for the dogs. Then I couldn’t really take care of the garden because I got seventeen mosquito bites every time I stepped outside from the middle of June until last weekend, and it made my head really explode, and I had to spend all the minutes before I lost a lethal amount of blood mowing the grass in the front half acre so I weeded maybe twice and good thing it rained a lot so I didn’t have to water much. I need to develop a better system next year. Good thing most plants just grow on their own although I did lose all my beautiful rutabagas to some jerkface harlequin bugs.

Anyway I had some San Marzano tomato plants, which I don’t get the hype. They taste gross uncooked, and are mostly made of air. One plant got some nasty wilt and I had to rip it out, and a lot of the tomatoes had nasty blossom end rot. There were still a lot of tomatoes though. Good thing Roger the dog likes to eat tomatoes although not nearly as much as he likes cucumbers. I also had a few black cherry tomato plants, which are delicious, but 3 plants is waaaay too many and I had to foist many of them off on my coworkers. Those all are mostly over and now I have a few mystery heirloom tomato plants from a mixed packet of seeds, so I don’t even know what they are, bombarding me with tomatoes.

Anyway a lot of the tomatoes have been rotting out there which is gross but there are just TOO MANY. Last weekend I went out and rescued some of them.

Last time I made sauce I thought I had so many tomatoes and it took a million years and I ended up with 3 teaspoons of sauce and it was so annoying. This time I just chucked all the cherry tomatoes in the vitamix and liquified them, seeds and skins and all. The plum tomatoes, I cut in half and cooked until soft, and then ran them through a food mill. Then I sauteed a finely chopped onion in olive oil, then added all the tomato liquids and pulps and cooked it until it thickened up. This seemed to work delightfully. I feared the seeds would make it bitter but it was not and it was nice and tomatoey. I froze 2/3 of it and used 1/3 to make this:

I thought that disgusting picture would be good for setting a low bar for our return to food blogging. For personal crisis reasons that I do not wish to describe, I am having an obsession with eating lower carb and higher protein. I know this is such an annoying dietary thing to do and I annoy even myself and I am putting protein powder in everything and making everything taste disgusting. But it is only for a few months. Anyway this is a lasagna type concoction but with eggplants and no noodles. I roasted 2 slices eggplants and 2 bell peppers and a red onion, then I layered all that junk with tomato sauce and tofu ricotta and put some fake cheese on top. I think I put protein powder in the ricotta. This was actually delicious but I think maybe because the sauce was so delightful and tomatoey. It might be gross with jar sauce.

This post is not good enough to be the sole representative for 2013 so maybe I shall see you again soon, blog.




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vegetarian times p 74


The “warm salad of millet and roasted Brussels sprouts with cranberries and walnuts” from the October Vegetarian Times. It was ok. I reduced the oil from 5 T to 1.5 T and I added a minced shallot to the sprouts and more lemon juice. I couldn’t figure out what to eat with it but it ended up being a gardein breast and a pile of raw arugula but that wasn’t ideal. Sweet potatoes would be good but then it would be like a carb explosion. Maybe leave out the millet then which undoes the whole point of the recipe since it is in the Amazing Grains article.

Also they have cheated by photographing theirs with the Brussels sprouts halved but instructing you to quarter them.

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dehydration situation

My mother bought me a dehydrator a few months ago as an advance Christmas present, either that or advance birthday present, I am about 2 years ahead on holiday gifts. Anyway I used it to make some weird raw crackers and things but then it seemed the least I could do would be to dehydrate some meals for my mom to take on her week-long kayak camping trip to the Georgian Bay in Canada. This is her first time camping out of the kayak and the ones we both have do not have very big hatches so space and weight were a concern, also because my mother likes to take a million tote bags of books on every trip so I can only imaging what she has with her right now.

I used the book “Another Fork in the Trail” by Laurie Ann March. I really like this book. For one thing, I find the cover extremely aesthetically pleasing. It makes me want to force Chris O to go hiking, stat. I have no personal need for dehydrated meals as I have made peace with my level of laziness as far as carrying heavy things while hiking… there was a time when I was buying all kinds of backpacking junk before I came to terms with my non-hardcore-ness and accepted that I would much rather car camp with my zillions of belongings. Then I stopped investing in tiny light things and started buying 25 lb cast iron dutch ovens and a tent the size of my current bedroom and whatnot. Anyway. I would say these recipes are good enough to make even at home. Also, they are nearly all vegan or veganizable so do not fear that you are going to be wasting your time with a bunch of cheesey vegetarian recipes.

I made a bunch of things and they were all pretty winnery. As my first foray into dehydrating cooked foods, I made the Roasted Sweet Potatoes. The potatoes are cubed and roasted with rosemary and garlic, and then food processed, and then spread onto sheets and dehydrated, and then you have a a big translucent sweet potato sheet, and I ground that into a powder in the vitamix.





Sweet potatoes are delicious as usual. It is suggested that you can use these as ravioli filling or toss them with broken lasagne noodles for deconstructed ravioli. I am totally going to do that at home next time I am carb-loading for a 5k.

Incidentally, I also dehydrated a raw sliced sweet potato, because it is supposed to make a delicious dog chew. Lenny loves cooked sweet potatoes but he would not even deign to touch his princess lips to the raw sweet potato chews. He is a huge disappointment in the area of homemade dog treats.

I made the Roasted Tomato Dip. This is roasted tomatoes and onions and then food processed with a can of beans and some other stuff. I had a crap ton of mini roma tomatoes from my CSA so I used those. This was pretty good. I was expecting more of a hummusy texture but it is nice and tomatoey. I wasn’t sure how I would eat this (it did not go that well with the super healthy fiberous crackers we had) so I just passed it on to my mother and let her worry about that. It would be a nice pasta sauce, probably.

In the area of entrees, I first made Mushrooms Burgundy. The difficulty here was that it calls for frozen pearl onions which do not exist at Wegmans. Well, they exist in a mixture with peas, or in a “Real Cream Sauce.” I will admit that I considered both picking them out of the peas and washing off the Real Cream Sauce and I would have gone the peas route if I had not just recently bought a giant bag of frozen peas. Instead I bought some fresh ones but they were not very small and cute, they were kind of monstrous.

I had some doubts about their ability to dehydrate, which I am prescient because they were totally not dehydrated at all the next morning, so I cut them into bits at that point, which was annoying because they had a creepy amphibian like consistency at that point, and then kept dehydrating for ten thousand more years, so that I am not totally sure this item will ever rehydrate itself, but, my mother has a camping stove, so she can boil it for a while.

Thirdly, or whatever number I am on, I made the Butter Bean and Kale Ragout. This was quite good and dehydrated/rehydrated easily. I added a minced red pepper because I had one. I tried it out with Bob’s Red Mill potato flakes, which are supposed to make instantaneous”fluffy” potatoes, but instead they made gooey goop, possibly this was a user error, but I passed them all on to my mother anyway. Everything tastes much better when you are starving in the wilderness so I am sure it will be fine.

I also dehydrated a bunch of cooked quinoa, which makes it “instant” so you just add boiling water to it, it works really well. So my mother is out camping right now and we will see how it went next week… probably she will not starve to death.

I also made a few non-dehydrated things, such as the Maple Walnuts, which are so delicious there is no picture since we ate them all, and Harvest Apple Granola, which is sweetened with boiled-down apple juice. I ate this all myself and I am going to try making more with less oil because I do not need backpacking amounts of calories and am on a granola binge lately.

Finally (finally!) I bought everything to make the Harvest Chili but then I ran out of time for dehydrating so I made it last weekend just for eating. I couldn’t find any reviews of this online and I was slightly apprehensive because it has no tomatoes and 3 cups of pumpkin. But it is totally my favorite.

I added some corn because I had a languishing ear of CSA corn. Also the ingredients were slightly off (high on pumpkin and low on beans) to use the amounts of things that were in the cans I bought. Next time I would double the beans and possibly a small can of tomatoes although that might not be great. Usually we end up throwing out leftovers (especially since I kicked the microwave out of the kitchen to make room for Excalibur) but I gobbled this all up. I am going to make it again for Labor Day car camping. It is great! However Dr. Oetker’s Corn Muffins mix is way too sweet.

In conclusion, Another Fork in the Trail is a very nice book and if the world of dehydrated backpacking food is completely mystifying to you as it was to me, then you should get it. There is also a lot of stuff about baking in backpacking ovens, if you are into that. Apparently you can also make a dry cookie mix and then fry cookies in a frying pan.


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