Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Vegetarian Chili with Tofu and Eggplant

This recipe tastes better than it looks and sounds.  It’s a simple vegetarian chili, that’s really satisfying, and if you skip the cheese, it can serve as hearty vegan meal.  I had something similar to this at a restaurant a few months back, and this is my rendition.  While tofu is not the most appealing ingredient, it adds a nice heft and texture to this chili.  I ate 2 small bowls of it, and I woke up still full in the morning.  You definitely don’t have to worry about going hungry with this as your dinner.  You can pick and […]

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Spicy Pan-Fried Noodles

I love noodles.  All noodles.  They are inexpensive, and a limitless blank canvas for a quick and delicious dinner.  Italian pasta is what I cook most frequently, but I gravitate towards noodles no matter what the cuisine.  I recently went to a Chinese market on a Sunday afternoon, to stock up on authentic Asian ingredients.  I was the only person in the market that wasn’t Chinese; one elderly woman seemed to think I was lost, as she was kindly trying to guide me towards the exit in the parking lot.  Yet, I emerged victorious with a variety of Chinese and […]

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Quinoa Salad

  My new kitchen has by far the most counter space and storage of my adult life.  It has opened me to so many new tools and little indulgences, simply because I have the space to use and stow them.  Vases for flowers, tea light candles, a food processor, a huge cutting board, a salad spinner: these are things that I now have space for, and being ever committed to simple pleasures, I see them as a currency that improves the quality of my daily life.  While I’m not using it daily, the food processor is certainly broadening my culinary […]

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Curried Chickpea Salad

Make a mental note: when it’s too hot to cook, you’ll make this for dinner.  Vegetarian?  Vegan?  On a budget?  Looking for something healthy, but satisfying?  Just plain hungry?  This recipe will fit the bill.  This is a Mark Bittman original recipe.  Truth be told: I have a sweet spot for ol’ Bittman, but this recipe is particularly tasty, and functional.  The requirements are simple: chop a couple vegetables, and stir a few things together, and you have a light summer meal at your disposal.  Chickpeas, curry powder, red bell pepper, lime, scallions, cilantro, peas, and coconut milk: that’s all […]

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Eggplant, Chickpea, and Tomato Casserole

I am behind with my writing.  I’m a little embarrassed, but there are foods that my readers need to know about, and this is one of them: eggplant, chickpea, and tomato casserole.  This dish is so much better than it sounds.  It sounds like a boring, watery, vegan, gluten-free dish, which will leave you digging in your pantry for cookies immediately after dinner.  It is indeed gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian, but it is satisfying and surprisingly rich, without weighing you down. This baked casserole consists of lush tomato sauce, punctuated with chickpeas, like little crunchy golden nuggets.  This mixture is layered […]

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Scrambled Eggs with Beans

This is my comfort food, weeknight meal of the moment.  I tend to find something I like, eat on it repeat, and then burn out.  My current food crush is scrambled eggs with cheese and refried beans.  This simple preparation of store-bought ingredients results in a quick, satisfying meal.  It consists of slightly doctored refried beans, topped with perfectly scrambled eggs and shredded cheese, along with a splash of hot sauce and a little avocado, if you have it.  I have made it a few times now, and timing is essential for success.  Everything must be ready and waiting for […]

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Easter Egg Pasta

The most recent issue of Bon Appétit is pretty brilliant; while I read it every month upon arrival in my mailbox, this month’s copy has myriad recipes that I truly want to make, flagged with hot pink Post It notes.  On the list of intriguing items, there was a short article on various uses for leftover Easter Eggs.  Though I don’t celebrate Easter, but I do enjoy eggs.  One of the recipes was for a garlic-olive oil-anchovy-based pasta that was finished with grated hardboiled eggs and parsley.  I would never in a million years imagined adding hardboiled eggs to my […]

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Curried Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup with White Cheddar

I am heading out of town in a few days, and I wanted something to eat this week that would be readily available and somewhat detoxifying, as I know calorie-laden food will probably abound while I’m on vacation.  I settled on broccoli soup, akin to the one in this post, but as I contemplated my plan of attack, the recipe evolved throughout the day, into a new and blog-worthy form.  Initially, it was supposed to be the vision of simplicity: broccoli, onion, and potato, simmered in chicken broth, then pureed and finished with a little white cheddar, but this beast […]

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Spanikopita

When I was kid, New Year’s Eve meant three things: a slew of movies from Blockbuster, Best Kosher cocktail hot dogs wrapped in cresent dough (a company that has since gone out of business), and my mom’s spinach cheese pie.  Spinach cheese pie is, in reality, the Greek speciality Spanikopita (a mixture of spinach and feta cheese wrapped in flaky layers of phyllo dough), but that’s not what we called it in my house.  Also, traditionally, Spanikopita is wrapped in individual pieces and ours was always prepared more like a casserole, with spinach-feta filling, and a phyllo dough floor and […]

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Grilled Tofu and Vegetables… And Sandwiches

I actually really enjoy tofu.  Truly.  I like it so much that I will eat cubes of it cold, straight from the package when I am cooking.  You may not believe me, but after perusing my other recipes, I think it will become quickly obvious that I am not trying to impress anyone with my healthy eating habits.  Sometimes, it’s nice to marinate some tofu and vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, and cremini mushrooms), and get them on the grill.  They don’t require much time to marinate or grill, and they make for a virtuous, complete dinner when paired with some […]

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