Introducing Kevin’s Recipes

I’ve been thinking about posting more recipes to my blog here but then realized I didn’t want to clutter it with just recipes and a few posts about other things mixed in. That’s not the purpose for my blog being here. So with that in mind I have created a new blog that will be strictly for recipes I want to share! So if you love food like I do and would like to try some of my recipes, head over to it and follow along.

https://kevinsrecipes.wordpress.com/

Kevin’s Tofu Primavera

Several weeks ago I was doing something I really enjoy doing…experimenting with food. In a box of recipes that belonged to my mother was a recipe for Pasta Primavera. But I wanted to make it without the pasta and use something that was lower in carbs. Tofu came to mind, as it has about 2g of carbs per serving, which is a ton less than pasta. But the tofu by itself was terrible – so I decided I needed to marinate the tofu first. So I was experimenting with devising my own recipe based on the original Pasta Primavera. Here’s what I came up with and it tastes friggin’ amazing!

TofuPrim

 

 

 

 

KEVIN’S TOFU PRIMAVERA

== INGREDIENTS ==

1 pkg Firm Tofu
1 bottle Mrs. Dash Garlic-Herb Marinade

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced
1 medium Yellow Squash, halved and cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium Orange Bell Pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
3 cups Broccoli Florets
2 cups halved Grape Tomatoes
8 Green Onions, chopped
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
2 Tbsp Sea Salt
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese, for garnish

== DIRECTIONS ==

-Marinating the Tofu-

1. Slice Tofu into 1″ x 1″ thin squares (about 1/4th of an inch thick).
2. Place slices of Tofu onto several paper towels, then cover with several more pieces of paper towel. Gently press out the moisture.
3. Place tofu squares into a ziploc bag and pour marinade inside. Seal bag and gently massage the bag to insure coverage on all the tofu pieces.
4. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

WHEN TOFU HAS BEEN PROPERLY MARINATED…

1. Remove Tofu pieces from marinade, gently removing excess marinade. Discard marinade and set Tofu aside.
2. Combine Olive Oil, Garlic, Lemon Juice and Basil in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Add sea salt to a medium pot filled with water, bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium. Add squash and bell pepper. Cook for 4 minutes.
5. Two minutes before end of cook time, add Broccoli.
6. Drain vegetables, reserve 1/2 cup of the water.
7. Return vegetables to pot, stir in the tomatoes, green onions, oil mixture, reserved cooking water and tofu.
8. Cook over medium-low heat until tomatoes and tofu are heated.

Garnish with shaved Parmesan on top, serve immediately.

New York Trip – Days 3 & 4 (wrap-up)

On Saturday, I went to a girls softball game. My cousin’s daughter Delaney pitched the last 3 innings and did an awesome job. I managed to get a wonderful sunburn, which is now turning into a tan. The weather was awesome on Saturday. After the softball game we headed back to my cousin’s house, crashed and watched some tennis on TV. After that I drove over to St. Peter’s Cemetery in Haverstraw, NY to pay my respects to my sister. I haven’t been to her grave since the day she was buried and it was a very emotional moment for me. I stayed there for over 20 minutes and just talked to her, told her how much I miss her and said some prayers for her. My sister was lost after being in a persistent vegetative state for almost six years. She was hit by a drunk driver in 2005 and suffered severe brain trauma. It’s been hard living without her, she always gave me great advice. She was always the one I turned to when I needed to confide in someone. Sadly that’s now gone and the only person I confide in now is myself, which is of no help. LOL! Saturday evening I enjoyed a delicious dinner at my cousin Mark’s house. His wife is of Italian descent and made the most awesome Lasagna and Meatballs ever! I really enjoyed that. They have a lovely home and are really working to add even more great stuff to it, like a garden and a deck for their pool. After that I headed back to my hotel and crashed for the night. Photos from Saturday: IMG_4010 IMG_4067 IMG_4079 IMG_4082

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning I awoke WAY earlier than normal so that I could attend church with my cousin, Ann. We went to church at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Haverstraw, NY. There I met up with another family member, George. He’s in his eighties, weighs more than he should, but he’s an awesome guy and I love him to death. He invited us to breakfast at Gannero’s Restaurant ( https://plus.google.com/100047540467388084569/about?gl=us&hl=en ). But before we could enjoy breakfast we needed to attend a special soccer game. My cousin Mark’s twins, Tanner and Teagan, were playing. They’re 5 years old and I gotta tell you they play hard for being that little. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the other kids. They’re so tiny that when they run and kick the ball they look so awkward. But Tanner and Teagan both put them to shame, scoring one goal each. Again, it was another beautiful day in New York, slightly chilly, but comfortable for me. Everyone else was in sweatshirts and drinking hot chocolate. I was in a short sleeve shirt and wasn’t cold, it felt good! After soccer we headed over to Gannero’s for that breakfast. And OMG, it was the most incredible breakfast I had ever had!! This place has been in Stony Point, NY for as long as I can remember and further still. It’s a classic, old school, diner style restaurant. It was great. After breakfast we headed back to Ann’s place and just crashed for a bit. She read the newspaper and I just watched TV. Around 2:50pm I got up and drove over to another classic diner, Hogan’s Family Diner ( https://plus.google.com/local/Stony%20Point,%20NY/s/Hogan’s%20Family%20Diner?gl=us&hl=en ), where I met up with two friends of my sister’s, Tina and Cathy (who is also my cousin), and my cousin Jim. It was a very special meeting because I had to deliver something very special to Tina, one of my sister’s friends. It was a ring that my sister wore a lot and was actually her favorite ring. It was an aged metal ring with an eye staring at you, surrounded on each side by two cobras and a skull over top. This was the kind of stuff my sister loved to wear. I had promised two years ago to give that ring to Tina, but I never got around to sending it to her. So made sure I had it with me on this trip. She was very happy to get it. We enjoyed lunch together, talked about all kinds of stuff and relived memories of the times with our grandparents and parents and so on. Afterward we said our goodbyes to Jim. But Tina, Cathy and myself decided to head back over to the cemetery and pay our respects to Kelly, my sister. We talked about so many things just standing there by her grave. So many wonderful memories of an incredibly giving and loving person whose life was snuffed out by a drunk driver. All three of us shared our pain at losing her. Sunday night, my last night in New York, I went with my cousin Ann to another girls softball game. This time my cousin Michael’s daughter, Reagan, was playing as catcher for the Haverstraw Angels. While there were some sprinkles in the air, the game was awesome and the Angels won 8-4. I rode back to Ann’s place and there we said our goodbyes and I fought back tears, I wasn’t sure when I’d be back up again. But I had an amazing time in New York. I enjoyed experiencing a day in the life of my cousin Ann. She is a wonderful grandmother who goes to nearly all of her grandkids games. She is wonderful person and I was sad to say goodbye to the fun we had. But as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” I am very proud of myself for making the solo trip to New York, because I had a great time and got to see my extended family, people whom I love and appreciate. Most of all, I needed to make this trip to change my lonely existence for a short time. Being by myself isn’t fun, so this was a much needed vacation from that existence.

I got in my car at 10am Monday morning and hit the road, saying goodbye to New York. Hoping that my next trip is under the same good circumstances.

To my family and friends in New York: I love you! Thank you for 4 wonderful days!

 

Photos from Sunday:

St. Peter's Church
St. Peter’s Church
Tanner goes in for a goal
Tanner goes in for a goal

IMG_4111 IMG_4126 IMG_4160 IMG_4165

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos were taken using an iPhone 5S.  😉

New York Trip – Day Two

I just got back to my hotel after an awesome day with my New York family. This morning my cousin Ann and I drove up to West Point, the United States Military Academy, where I paid my respects to my father, who is buried there. I fought back tears as I laid my hand on his headstone.

My Dad's headstone at West Point cemetery
My Dad’s headstone at West Point cemetery

 

Afterward we walked around the cemetery for a short time reading some of the headstones. Then we headed over to the Post Exchange (PX) and Commissary. I grabbed myself a mouse for my laptop since I forgot to take the one from my desktop at home. Well I needed to have a mouse for my MacBook Pro anyway.

Then we went back to my cousin’s place, relaxed and watched tennis, ate some lunch. Then we hooked up with her son Mark, and his family, at the Nanuet Restaurant and OMFG we had the most awesome pizza I have ever had. Hands down, New Yorkers know how to friggin make pizza!! Down in Virginia, there’s no place so awesome as this that serves decent pizza. No delis either! The delicatessen’s up here are ridiculously good. This is one reason I hate living in Virginia (besides the traffic).

It was a good time, I enjoyed their company and now I am ready to just collapse on my hotel bed and watch TV until I fall asleep later tonight. Well, maybe, I might get some time in on Diablo III. LOL!

More to come tomorrow!

New York Trip – Day One

Drove up to New York (state) yesterday and had a good trip. There was some traffic north of Baltimore and also near the Delaware border, but I got through it. I arrived at my hotel in Nanuet about an hour later than I expected. I then drove up to see my cousin, Ann. We went out for dinner and talked for a while. Today we’re heading up to West Point so I can pay my respects to my father, who is buried there. Ann and I will spend the day together up there and then probably have dinner again somewhere close to “home”.

This was my first time driving to New York solo. I usually had my Mom with me in the past, but that’s not possible anymore. I was pretty anxious but I handled it well and got up here in one piece. It’s really weird being up here by myself, but it’s something I had to do.

Stay tuned for day two…

Two Awesome Recipes

If you didn’t know it already, I love to cook…almost as much as I love to eat. LOL! Anyway I found a couple awesome recipes in a cookbook the other day that just knocked my socks off. They were concocted by Dr. Gabe Merkin, who has an awesome pescetarian style diet that my Dad did for a while. He lost a lot of weight eating beans, greens and grains. So these two came from that very cookbook. I tried them both and they were incredibly good, so I am sharing them with you. They’re also really easy to prepare…so anyone can make these recipes.

 

MANHATTAN CLAM CHOWDER WITH BEANS

— Ingredients —

1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups bottled clam juice (sounds worse than it really is)
1 28oz can Plum Tomatoes, chopped (keep the juice)
1 tbsp Fresh Thyme
2 16 oz cans White Beans, undrained (the original recipe called for Lima Beans – which I hate)
2 7 oz cans minced clams, undrained
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped

Cayenne Pepper to taste.
Serve with course ground black pepper.

— Directions —

1. Cook the onion, celery, clam juice and tomatoes for 10 minutes or until onions are softened.

2. Add thyme, cayenne and beans and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add clams and worchestershire sauce, cook for 5 more minutes.

4. Stir in parsley just before serving.

Serve with black pepper.

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EASY VEGGIE BURGER CHILI

— Ingredients —

4 frozen veggie burgers
1 16-ounce bag frozen pepper-onion mix
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 16-ounce can pink beans
1 16-ounce can chick peas
2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch cayenne, to taste

Cooked barley or other whole grain of your choice

— Directions —

1. Break the veggie burgers into 1” chunks. Combine them with all of the other ingredients in a large pot.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer 5-10 minutes or more, until ready to serve.

Ladle over the cooked whole grains of your choice.