Archive for April, 2008

Mike Spoodles’ Old-Timey Hobo Vegetable Soup

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

For the past three weeks, I’ve been actually cooking. Homemade vegetable soup, sir. Sure, it’s a meal that requires absolutely no maintenance, but it is fresher than anything you’re going to nuke up in the microwave. In a world drowning in preservatives and sassafrass (the ‘frass is not to be confused with sassafras, which is a fresh oil used to make root beer and ecstasy), you can never have enough fresh, unrefined produce.

My favorite part about my Old-Timey Hobo Vegetable Soup is that it is literally made of whatever you have laying around, assuming that whatever-you-have-laying-around is not your kid brother.

THE BROTH

Hobo Soup at workStewed tomatoes (canned–no salt added). This was a recommendation that initially turned me on to this “recipe” of sorts. You dump a can of stewed tomatoes (113 calories total) into a pot and add two- to four cans-full of water, making a nice, red, tomatoey broth. Any canned tomato will do, really. I accidentally bought diced tomatoes and they seemed to work fine (just fine). Watch out–most canned vegetables are doped up on sodium. Do yourself and your heart a favor. Go low-sodium and season your soup to taste later.

V8 Juice (low sodium, natch). If you’re looking for something with a bit more of a bouquet, V8 100% Vegetable Juice will work in a pinch. The reddish gunk is a mixture of tomatoes, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, and spinach (AND IT TASTES AS GOOD AS IT SOUNDS). As a juice it is probably the most horrid thing known to man. As a broth? Well, it’ll do. Water it down to taste and plunk in your miscellaneous fillings. Tomato juice will also work, although at that point shouldn’t you get the actual tomato goodness of a can of stewed tomatoes?

Vegetable broth. Somehow there is an option even lazier than the previous two options. Available in convenient off-the-shelf can form, vegetable broth is the boiled-down essence of any number of stinky vegetables. You’ll probably fare better, though, making your own vegetable broth if you have the time.

OTHER BROTH ALTERNATIVES: Of course you could make the broth out of just about anything. You could use plain old water and spice it up. If you’re a meat-eater, you could obviously go for the old standby chicken broth.

AND NOW TO THE VEGETABLES

Once again, the sky is the limit here. Whatever you have that is fresh and lingering around your kitchen can go into this pot. As a for-instance, here are the things that went into my soup tonight:

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 green pepper (my peppers were shriveling)
  • 100g fresh onion
  • 10g garlic
  • 2 beets
  • 3 spears asparagus
  • 30g baby portabello mushrooms
  • 10 radishes

Beets have been a must-have in my soups for the past week. Not only do they add a subtle hint of sweetness (which is sorely lacking in most vegetables), but they will turn your soup blood red. For a less-messy option, you can chop up an apple to offset the veggies with sweetness.

Other favorites of mine include: zucchini, cabbage, carrots, celery, eggplant. You can boil an egg (or an egg white) in the broth as well.

Experiment gone horribly wrong: fresh jalapeo peppers, which are apparently as unappetizing in soup as they are in bulk eating contests.

PREPARATION

After all of the ingredients are tossed into a pot willy-nilly, bring the concoction to a boil. Once your soup has been boiling for several minutes, reduce the heat and cover your pot. Leave covered until you are ready to serve. Everything will get tender. Your veggies and broth will begin to influence each other with their flavors.

This soup can serve one or many. The nutritional value of an entire batch is generally less than 400 calories. With that said, it’s a very filling dish. If you attempt to eat the whole thing in one sitting, your stomach will probably rupture.

I’d strongly recommend this soup if you are looking for a filling, low-calorie, fat-free meal, or just a way to experiment with new and different vegetables. The only thing missing is the stone.

Mike Spoodles' Old-Timey Hobo Vegetable Soup

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

For the past three weeks, I’ve been actually cooking. Homemade vegetable soup, sir. Sure, it’s a meal that requires absolutely no maintenance, but it is fresher than anything you’re going to nuke up in the microwave. In a world drowning in preservatives and sassafrass (the ‘frass is not to be confused with sassafras, which is a fresh oil used to make root beer and ecstasy), you can never have enough fresh, unrefined produce.

My favorite part about my Old-Timey Hobo Vegetable Soup is that it is literally made of whatever you have laying around, assuming that whatever-you-have-laying-around is not your kid brother.

THE BROTH

Hobo Soup at workStewed tomatoes (canned–no salt added). This was a recommendation that initially turned me on to this “recipe” of sorts. You dump a can of stewed tomatoes (113 calories total) into a pot and add two- to four cans-full of water, making a nice, red, tomatoey broth. Any canned tomato will do, really. I accidentally bought diced tomatoes and they seemed to work fine (just fine). Watch out–most canned vegetables are doped up on sodium. Do yourself and your heart a favor. Go low-sodium and season your soup to taste later.

V8 Juice (low sodium, natch). If you’re looking for something with a bit more of a bouquet, V8 100% Vegetable Juice will work in a pinch. The reddish gunk is a mixture of tomatoes, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, and spinach (AND IT TASTES AS GOOD AS IT SOUNDS). As a juice it is probably the most horrid thing known to man. As a broth? Well, it’ll do. Water it down to taste and plunk in your miscellaneous fillings. Tomato juice will also work, although at that point shouldn’t you get the actual tomato goodness of a can of stewed tomatoes?

Vegetable broth. Somehow there is an option even lazier than the previous two options. Available in convenient off-the-shelf can form, vegetable broth is the boiled-down essence of any number of stinky vegetables. You’ll probably fare better, though, making your own vegetable broth if you have the time.

OTHER BROTH ALTERNATIVES: Of course you could make the broth out of just about anything. You could use plain old water and spice it up. If you’re a meat-eater, you could obviously go for the old standby chicken broth.

AND NOW TO THE VEGETABLES

Once again, the sky is the limit here. Whatever you have that is fresh and lingering around your kitchen can go into this pot. As a for-instance, here are the things that went into my soup tonight:

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 green pepper (my peppers were shriveling)
  • 100g fresh onion
  • 10g garlic
  • 2 beets
  • 3 spears asparagus
  • 30g baby portabello mushrooms
  • 10 radishes

Beets have been a must-have in my soups for the past week. Not only do they add a subtle hint of sweetness (which is sorely lacking in most vegetables), but they will turn your soup blood red. For a less-messy option, you can chop up an apple to offset the veggies with sweetness.

Other favorites of mine include: zucchini, cabbage, carrots, celery, eggplant. You can boil an egg (or an egg white) in the broth as well.

Experiment gone horribly wrong: fresh jalapeo peppers, which are apparently as unappetizing in soup as they are in bulk eating contests.

PREPARATION

After all of the ingredients are tossed into a pot willy-nilly, bring the concoction to a boil. Once your soup has been boiling for several minutes, reduce the heat and cover your pot. Leave covered until you are ready to serve. Everything will get tender. Your veggies and broth will begin to influence each other with their flavors.

This soup can serve one or many. The nutritional value of an entire batch is generally less than 400 calories. With that said, it’s a very filling dish. If you attempt to eat the whole thing in one sitting, your stomach will probably rupture.

I’d strongly recommend this soup if you are looking for a filling, low-calorie, fat-free meal, or just a way to experiment with new and different vegetables. The only thing missing is the stone.

Eating out: it’s not ONLY beneficial to your ladyfriend

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

Just like every other aspect of eating, restaurant-dining and I have had a bit of a tenuous relationship over the past three or four years. Oftentimes, I would accompany my family and friends to restaurants, only to order “just a Diet Coke,” or “decaf coffee, black.” More often, though, I would just avoid the whole eating-out situation altogether.

I’ve been better lately–I’ve been eating veggie burgers and salads. Pintos and cheese is a new Taco Bell mainstay. Hell, I’ve even scarfed down a slice of pizza or two since I’ve started trying to fix myself.

A great source of inspiration–or at least a handy resource guide towards not being crazy at restaurants–can be found on Crack Fitness NYC. Melissa offers seven helpful hints for actually enjoying your dining experience, still remaining healthy, and avoiding the shame you would invariably bring your friends and accomplices over dinner. Here is an interesting excerpt, although I would strongly recommend reading this entire article:

Tip #2 *The ONE request rule. This is huge. This can transform your relationship with eating out if it makes you uncomfortable. You can only ask the waiter to make one substitution for the entire meal. So if you want your omelet with egg white only, don’t ask for it to be cooked without oil. If you want you salad dressing on the side, don’t drill the person about the way the cook your fish. If you want your fish cooked with olive oil not butter, make that your request. So let’s say your fish comes drenched a top a pool of teriyaki, just move it to a separate plate, so you have a reasonable amount of sauce.

One of these tips is to look at a menu and see if there is something you will actually eat on there beforehand. It saves you a whole lot of hassle. You don’t want to get seated at Denny’s (the epitome of fine dining, of course) and find yourself torn between the Grand Slam Breakfast, the Grand Grand Slam Breakfast, and the Fatboy Special–eight pieces of deep-fried french toast spread thick with lardo.

There are a number of items and sites that facilitate my particular brand of obsessive-compulsive, mildly-disordered crazyeating, which probably goes completely against the intentions of Melissa’s article but dag-nabbit it’s progress.

Red Robin’s website is my favorite. They have a burger customizer, which allows you to get accurate (but limited) nutritional information of all of their food, including the condiments you want and the side dishes you shouldn’t be eating. By the way. a lonely, bunless Gardenburger sitting on a cold plate is a mere 100 calories, which is a small price to pay for being the laughing-stock of your table.

Of course, everyone is familiar with those cheap paper menus they make available at the fast food joints now. Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Subway (which is, by no means, a healthy weight-loss regime, by the bye) have had the most easily-available nutritional information in my opinion, but these days they all have some sort of guide or calculator on their website. Even Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken have gotten in on the game, although I think that’s simply to rub their fiendish coronary-murder-plot in your face before you croak.

Anyway, I guess this post was my successful attempt to crazy up a perfectly good and valid link. If you want real advice from somebody who is not a crazy crazy that is crazy, see the post at Crack Fitness NYC.

Eating out: it's not ONLY beneficial to your ladyfriend

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

Just like every other aspect of eating, restaurant-dining and I have had a bit of a tenuous relationship over the past three or four years. Oftentimes, I would accompany my family and friends to restaurants, only to order “just a Diet Coke,” or “decaf coffee, black.” More often, though, I would just avoid the whole eating-out situation altogether.

I’ve been better lately–I’ve been eating veggie burgers and salads. Pintos and cheese is a new Taco Bell mainstay. Hell, I’ve even scarfed down a slice of pizza or two since I’ve started trying to fix myself.

A great source of inspiration–or at least a handy resource guide towards not being crazy at restaurants–can be found on Crack Fitness NYC. Melissa offers seven helpful hints for actually enjoying your dining experience, still remaining healthy, and avoiding the shame you would invariably bring your friends and accomplices over dinner. Here is an interesting excerpt, although I would strongly recommend reading this entire article:

Tip #2 *The ONE request rule. This is huge. This can transform your relationship with eating out if it makes you uncomfortable. You can only ask the waiter to make one substitution for the entire meal. So if you want your omelet with egg white only, don’t ask for it to be cooked without oil. If you want you salad dressing on the side, don’t drill the person about the way the cook your fish. If you want your fish cooked with olive oil not butter, make that your request. So let’s say your fish comes drenched a top a pool of teriyaki, just move it to a separate plate, so you have a reasonable amount of sauce.

One of these tips is to look at a menu and see if there is something you will actually eat on there beforehand. It saves you a whole lot of hassle. You don’t want to get seated at Denny’s (the epitome of fine dining, of course) and find yourself torn between the Grand Slam Breakfast, the Grand Grand Slam Breakfast, and the Fatboy Special–eight pieces of deep-fried french toast spread thick with lardo.

There are a number of items and sites that facilitate my particular brand of obsessive-compulsive, mildly-disordered crazyeating, which probably goes completely against the intentions of Melissa’s article but dag-nabbit it’s progress.

Red Robin’s website is my favorite. They have a burger customizer, which allows you to get accurate (but limited) nutritional information of all of their food, including the condiments you want and the side dishes you shouldn’t be eating. By the way. a lonely, bunless Gardenburger sitting on a cold plate is a mere 100 calories, which is a small price to pay for being the laughing-stock of your table.

Of course, everyone is familiar with those cheap paper menus they make available at the fast food joints now. Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Subway (which is, by no means, a healthy weight-loss regime, by the bye) have had the most easily-available nutritional information in my opinion, but these days they all have some sort of guide or calculator on their website. Even Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken have gotten in on the game, although I think that’s simply to rub their fiendish coronary-murder-plot in your face before you croak.

Anyway, I guess this post was my successful attempt to crazy up a perfectly good and valid link. If you want real advice from somebody who is not a crazy crazy that is crazy, see the post at Crack Fitness NYC.

“And it was the best thing I ever done!”

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

I was perusing my non-food blogroll, I stumbled across Hump Day Stories, which had a wonderful, food-relevant post this morning in regards to the late, apparently-great Williams Smoke House ribs.

I swear to God, [the rib] was so good that I dropped it and stared at it. My eyes were wide. I was looking at the rib like I just watched it punch my mother in the face, like I was angry at it for what it had done to me. In a sense, I was, but only because I equate pleasure with anger due to my damaged childhood. The bite of meat was already starting to melt in my mouth, the sauce mixing with fat and salt. Simply put, it was the most perfect bite of food I’ve ever taken.

I read this and just knew. Back in my younger, fatter, meat-eating days, I had one goal in life: to recreate my first Tony Luke’s experience.

I must have been in middle school. We were just settling down to a warm winter’s intolerable Philadelphia 76ers basketball game (intolerable not because of the fact that the Sixers were playing poorly, but because watching organized sports makes my eyeballs want to bleed).

With not much time before we had to hit the nosebleeds, we stopped by what looked like a rinky-dink shack under a bridge–Tony Luke’s. My father and brother grabbed Philly cheesesteaks (or as “Philly cheesesteak” as my family gets, which is to say that they were simply beef and American cheese, topped with far more ketchup than any one bun can hold), and I opted for the Roast Pork with Sharp Provolone.

I’m not sure what did it for me. Was it my first-ever taste of sharp provolone cheese? Fresh, tender pork? A big old white bun full of fat? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I had my first-ever orgasm then and there. From that moment on, it was my goal to recreate that heavenly experience in my own kitchen.

Problem number one: I was thirteen years old, and without a source of income or outside food. Problem number two: we never had pork just plain-ol’ lying around. I was stuck with Steakumms. The cheese situation was slightly–but barely–better. We usually had a block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese sitting in the refrigerator. It was close, but clearly not the same, I chopped up four-to-five Steakumms and melted upwards of a quarter pound of fatty, delicious cheese. They fried in their own fats and juices until the whole thing was one congealed patty of cheese and low-grade cowmeat.

Needless to say, I had no success in recreating that first Tony Luke’s moment. In fact, the only success I had was in the weight-gain department. These experimental cheesesteaks brought me from a plump 260 pounds to a morbid 300, which in turn caused me to take control of my life and become an obsessive-compulsive, anorexic, vegetarian freak.

Thanks a lot, Tony Luke’s.

So I would like to ask the readership (which is, at this point, nonexistent): what is the absolute best meal you’ve ever had? Did you have a transcendent experience like Geth over at Hump Day Stories? Do you find yourself “chasing the dragon” to relive a certain food-type experience that will never come?

"And it was the best thing I ever done!"

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

I was perusing my non-food blogroll, I stumbled across Hump Day Stories, which had a wonderful, food-relevant post this morning in regards to the late, apparently-great Williams Smoke House ribs.

I swear to God, [the rib] was so good that I dropped it and stared at it. My eyes were wide. I was looking at the rib like I just watched it punch my mother in the face, like I was angry at it for what it had done to me. In a sense, I was, but only because I equate pleasure with anger due to my damaged childhood. The bite of meat was already starting to melt in my mouth, the sauce mixing with fat and salt. Simply put, it was the most perfect bite of food I’ve ever taken.

I read this and just knew. Back in my younger, fatter, meat-eating days, I had one goal in life: to recreate my first Tony Luke’s experience.

I must have been in middle school. We were just settling down to a warm winter’s intolerable Philadelphia 76ers basketball game (intolerable not because of the fact that the Sixers were playing poorly, but because watching organized sports makes my eyeballs want to bleed).

With not much time before we had to hit the nosebleeds, we stopped by what looked like a rinky-dink shack under a bridge–Tony Luke’s. My father and brother grabbed Philly cheesesteaks (or as “Philly cheesesteak” as my family gets, which is to say that they were simply beef and American cheese, topped with far more ketchup than any one bun can hold), and I opted for the Roast Pork with Sharp Provolone.

I’m not sure what did it for me. Was it my first-ever taste of sharp provolone cheese? Fresh, tender pork? A big old white bun full of fat? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I had my first-ever orgasm then and there. From that moment on, it was my goal to recreate that heavenly experience in my own kitchen.

Problem number one: I was thirteen years old, and without a source of income or outside food. Problem number two: we never had pork just plain-ol’ lying around. I was stuck with Steakumms. The cheese situation was slightly–but barely–better. We usually had a block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese sitting in the refrigerator. It was close, but clearly not the same, I chopped up four-to-five Steakumms and melted upwards of a quarter pound of fatty, delicious cheese. They fried in their own fats and juices until the whole thing was one congealed patty of cheese and low-grade cowmeat.

Needless to say, I had no success in recreating that first Tony Luke’s moment. In fact, the only success I had was in the weight-gain department. These experimental cheesesteaks brought me from a plump 260 pounds to a morbid 300, which in turn caused me to take control of my life and become an obsessive-compulsive, anorexic, vegetarian freak.

Thanks a lot, Tony Luke’s.

So I would like to ask the readership (which is, at this point, nonexistent): what is the absolute best meal you’ve ever had? Did you have a transcendent experience like Geth over at Hump Day Stories? Do you find yourself “chasing the dragon” to relive a certain food-type experience that will never come?

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

Hello, world!  You can find me f’rizzle at http://uglydudefood.com.  See you there!