Flavored veggies

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Again, going with the “gourmet” theme, I am going to share two more “gourmet” lunches that I had yesterday and today. But first, yesterday’s breakfast, because it was different.

I usually always have a bowl of fruits and a bowl of oatmeal every morning. The mix-ins may be different; sometimes a granola bar, sometimes corn, sometimes pumpkin, sometimes peanut butter, sometimes yogurt. But that’s the standard breakfast I always have. No fuss, no hassle, no need for any planning. But I woke up 2 hours later than usual yesterday! I panicked, because I knew if I had the usual breakfast I would totally still be stuffed come lunchtime, and I have quite an OCD about eating schedules especially since I’m in ED-recovery weight-gain mode right now.

So I just mixed together something that would be light on my stomach: Pumpkin yogurt with mixed fruits.

Just plain yogurt mixed with pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, grapefruit, mangosteen, pineapple, apple, white nectarine, grapes, tangerine.. Light, fast, easy, nutritious, and oh-so-delicious. Why is pumpkin so good in everything?

Anyway, on to lunch. Since my breakfast was lighter than usual, I needed something more heavy on the calories for lunch. And I knew exactly what I wanted: a burger. But not the usual beef or chicken burger. My burger was a mixture of minced pork and tofu, adapted from my mother’s recipe for Korean pan-fried patties. This is super fast and easy!

Just mix together equal parts of minced pork and extra-firm tofu (make sure to squeeze out excess liquid from the tofu first), with minced ginger and garlic, salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too wet, add in some breadcrumbs until you are able to form firm patties with your hands. And then you can cook it however you want it! Roll it up into cabbage rolls and steam it, or dust with flour, coat with egg and panko, and deep-fry it into croquettes.

As for me, I made two variations from this pork/tofu mixture. I formed little golf ball-size patties, dusted it with flour, dipped it into a beaten egg, then pan-fried it into little nuggets. Here is the result:

For the other variation, I formed a giant burger patty, popped it into the fridge to firm up for a bit, then cooked it on a skillet until cooked through. Then I beat together two eggs with salt and pepper, and poured it over the burger and turned off the heat. The heat from the burger cooked the egg mixture to a lovely, soft, velvety consistency. And then, the grand finale: cream of mushroom sauce spooned on top. The creamy mushroom sauce is just basically some mushrooms and onions sautéed in 1/2 cup of homemade cream of mushroom soup I had made earlier the day before.

So I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, my “fancy” lunch: Pork-tofu burger in Egg bath with Creamy Mushroom Sauce~

Okay, this doesn’t look that appetizing, especially since all the colors are just different shades of brown. But I assure you,it was absolutely divine!

The burger was extremely soft and juicy, with the perfect ginger and garlic background. The egg was infused with the flavorful pork juice from the burger, and was steamed to lusciousness.

The sauce had a bold, meaty, mushroomy flavor, adding a depth of texture and intensity. Absolutely freaking amazing!

You want a bite, don’t ya? Come one, you know you want it!

On the side I also had a big salad. Man, I was stuffed after this!

But I’m even more excited to share today’s lunch with you, because I am aware that many of the bloggers in this community are vegetarians. Most of my meals are probably unappetizing to most of you because I consume so much animal products (mainly eggs, but still) so today’s lunch is a tribute to all you lovely vegetarians out there! (But it’s not vegan, sorry)

This was what was on the menu: Open-faced Broiled Cheese and Vegetable Sandwich. The fixings: Two types of cheese (herbed cheese spread and Parmesan), grilled eggplant, tomato, and marinated mushrooms and onions on whole-grain bread.

Basically, I just spread a liberal amount of herby cheese spread onto two slices of bread, topped it with grilled eggplant and tomato. Then I marinated mushrooms and onions in a mixture of soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, sake, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic, sautéed it in a skillet, piled it over the eggplant and tomato, topped it off with some Parmesan cheese, then popped them into the oven for a few minutes until the cheese and vegetables merged together in their delicious scents and flavors. Man, it smelled freaking incredible!

It was the first time I had a sandwich without some kind of animal product like ham or eggs, and I was bowled over by how incredibly flavorful the sandwich was. This tops all tuna/egg/ham and cheese/BLT/etc sandwiches! Definitely one of my favorite sandwiches from now on!

I also had some yogurt with those awesome sandwiches, the perfect end to the perfect lunch. Yum, yum. I can’t wait to make these again.

For afternoon snack, I had the usual sweet potatoes. And then dinner was something I had not had for awhile: Omelet with cheese and chicken hotdogs. Always good, always welcoming.

Well, that’s it for today. I kind of failed on the aesthetic part of my attempt to make “gourmet” food, but met my satisfaction taste-wise!

By the way, let me leave you with yet another question: Are you a vegetarian? If so, what kind, and what made you become one? And if you’re not, have you every considered becoming one?

Hope you all have a great weekend!