Sweet Tea and Tacos

Unveil the Art of Speedy, Satisfying Eats

March 25, 2024 Sweet Tea and Tacos
Unveil the Art of Speedy, Satisfying Eats
Sweet Tea and Tacos
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Sweet Tea and Tacos
Unveil the Art of Speedy, Satisfying Eats
Mar 25, 2024
Sweet Tea and Tacos

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Ever felt cornered by the clock, scrambling to dish out a wholesome meal? We've been there, and that's exactly why we're peeling back the kitchen curtain to reveal our time-saving cooking strategies that don't skimp on flavor. This episode is your culinary life raft, as we dive into how to transform the simplest ingredients into mouthwatering meals, including our signature 'border lays' sauce—a game-changer for pasta lovers. We're ditching the pre-packaged path, advocating for fresh, punchy flavors that can be whipped up faster than you can say "dinner's ready!"

We're not just talking the talk; we're walking the wok through a garden of quick vegetarian delights that promise to satisfy without chaining you to the stove. Hear about our love affair with bean stews, the art of a versatile baked potato bar, and why steaming greens can be your weeknight hero. We're even sharing our secret homemade waffle recipe that's causing quite the breakfast-for-dinner buzz in our homes. Trust us, whether you're a veggie veteran or a meat-free Monday newbie, this episode has got a plateful of ideas to make your kitchen life a breeze.

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Send us a Text Message.

Ever felt cornered by the clock, scrambling to dish out a wholesome meal? We've been there, and that's exactly why we're peeling back the kitchen curtain to reveal our time-saving cooking strategies that don't skimp on flavor. This episode is your culinary life raft, as we dive into how to transform the simplest ingredients into mouthwatering meals, including our signature 'border lays' sauce—a game-changer for pasta lovers. We're ditching the pre-packaged path, advocating for fresh, punchy flavors that can be whipped up faster than you can say "dinner's ready!"

We're not just talking the talk; we're walking the wok through a garden of quick vegetarian delights that promise to satisfy without chaining you to the stove. Hear about our love affair with bean stews, the art of a versatile baked potato bar, and why steaming greens can be your weeknight hero. We're even sharing our secret homemade waffle recipe that's causing quite the breakfast-for-dinner buzz in our homes. Trust us, whether you're a veggie veteran or a meat-free Monday newbie, this episode has got a plateful of ideas to make your kitchen life a breeze.

Support the Show.

Dave:

Welcome to Sweet Tea and Tacos. I'm Dave and I'm Jen and so we've been real busy.

Jen:

Oh crazy busy.

Dave:

And we know a lot of people are. So we got to thinking, okay, what can we? What's something that we've been struggling with and that's cooking? So what are some quick things that we've cooked that we like that maybe other people haven't, I don't know. Would like to know about.

Jen:

Right, so we, you know, cooked a lot during kind of the lockdown the quarantine, all that I mean. I'm sure a lot of people can relate because you know you're just at home. But as things have opened up more and life has just gotten crazy busy, yeah, we have been pressed for time to do a lot of real kind of authentic, kind of from scratch. Yeah, big cooking, completely from scratch cooking and that kind of thing. So we were talking about some quick meals, like Dave said.

Dave:

And like when you're busy. Going out is easy, you know.

Jen:

Yeah, but it can get expensive it can get expensive and disappointing, honestly, if you like to cook because you know right maybe depending on what you spent and how much better it can be You're saying, oh, I could have done just as good or better at home for cheaper For cheaper.

Dave:

Yeah, I mean it's great when you go out, and it's great.

Jen:

Yeah, I mean it fits like a really, really nice restaurant. And it's a kind of like an anniversary treat or a birthday treat? Well, not even that.

Dave:

But if you just go to, you know you go somewhere and it's just great, but whatever kind of restaurant it is. But too often you go out and it's like yeah, that's just fuel and really yeah and and for a lot of people that might be alright for us. I guess we have a hard time with that.

Jen:

We're a little food snobby because we're just like that was. That was really just mediocre. And who wants to spend their hard-earned money on mediocre Right?

Dave:

Okay, so some quick meals. So obviously, you know, I think we may have touched on a couple of these here and there.

Jen:

Right.

Dave:

So some quick things. So a couple of the little caveats that we tried. So we, we don't do like boxed, pre-made meals, like pre-seasoned things, usually very much at all. Yeah, and part of the reason is it has so much stuff in there you don't quite know what you're getting, whereas when you can cook from scratch quote unquote you know a little bit more of what's in your food.

Jen:

Right, and we're not trying to slam any brands? No, that's just kind of an example of a type of category Right.

Dave:

So we tend not to do those kind of things too well, and if you do do it, if we do do it, do you do it. That it's. We've looked at the ingredients and it's as clean as it can be.

Jen:

Right. We're very and we've touched on this we're very much label readers and and it can be tricky because there's some things in there you don't really know if that is that good, is that bad, what is that Right? Just like, for instance, if it says yeast extract, it's usually MSG.

Dave:

Right To the name.

Jen:

Glutamate, and, and that can be tricky because you know it's not what it looks like.

Dave:

Right, but then, like pasta sauce is kind of a Kind of a safe category. Yeah, you can get a lot of them that are really clean and Right and organic. And organic, but honestly, that's how tomatoes are preserved a lot anyway, right? Is they make it what they call a tomato passata, which is just basically crushed tomatoes? And they might put a little bourbon or something, but which is essentially what you're getting in a pasta sauce.

Dave:

So, but okay, so obviously, pasta while we're talking about pasta. Pasta is a quick one. Everybody does pasta, sure, but what are some things that you can do to make it a little bit different?

Jen:

Right? Well, I would say Buy organic pasta, yeah, and try to buy organic sauce. I think the taste is just better, you know.

Dave:

And there's lots of different types of pastas out there. We use a lot of lentil pasta here, yeah, but then doctor it. We always quote unquote doctor it.

Jen:

Right, and one way that we really like, that we think helps a lot, is do you in fresh garlic and you know the other is pretty quick. I mean pop and open the jars quick, corn it in, boil in the water and Doing the process fairly quick. Take the time to do something that's gonna make it special. So take the time to do those garlic cloves.

Jen:

I mean it takes 30 seconds to throw well, yeah, I mean it's a little bit to do the preparation, you know, to kind of peel that Garlicy flaky skin off, and you know you may want to Smoosh it with the back of your knife or put it through a garlic press or something. But right it's, it's worth it.

Jen:

But that also goes to having those pantry staples, whether it's garlic, fresh garlic or right garlic or dry herbs or something and we like to Not just throw it in the the red pasta sauce, and we like to do it in a little oil you know, and kind of Heat it up and and not like let it get real, real brown, but just it just pulls out the flavor.

Dave:

Yeah, and that's. That's a border lays, which is something that your mom cooked a lot. But, it's kind of from New Orleans, the area that we from here, where we get it, but it's. It's basically olive oil, butter and garlic and you let that garlic infuse, you throw your pasta.

Jen:

In it and then some herbs and parmesan.

Dave:

Yeah, yeah that, there you go, that's it. That's pretty easy sauce and it's different. You know, right, we doctor the sauce lots of garlic, we got dried herbs, we have fresh herbs, there you go, boom, it's a different flavor sauce. It's a fresher, right, right or tasting than just a jar.

Jen:

Yeah, just just try to add something that's gonna, and then we had a little different a lot of times.

Dave:

Some some olive oil to the Sauce right. That really helps you know, fat helps with flavor right. It's a big flavor and that just helps get in there. All right, so pasta, that's pretty easy.

Jen:

Oh, and also adding the fresh grated parmesan at the end and parmesan, again one of those. Having the staples on hand helps you cook faster, and yeah, but just spend a little extra and don't buy that stuff in the shaky don't buy. You know, just just get them. You buy it at the big box store, but it's, it's genuine parmesan and your last three oh ours last for several months. You know, we just keep it in the fridge in a ziplock bag.

Dave:

And we're so lazy we keep the shredder the greater with it.

Jen:

Yeah.

Dave:

Just cuz hey, why not right? That's the only we use it for, so pretty much pull the bag out. There you go.

Jen:

Yeah.

Dave:

All right. So that's pasta, All right. Yeah, we talked a little bit about this on the soups one, but we've made really quick soups right and really quick chilies and really quick gumbo with canned things either canned or frozen. Or frozen, right. So soup, you know. I mean, if you're you know like we eat a lot of vegetarian, not exclusively a little lot, but yeah, real quick soup. You know, frozen mirepoix, some stock. Yeah, good quality stock and a rotisserie chicken, if you want meat, or, or frozen shrimp for gumbo for gumbo.

Dave:

You know I've done a quick gumbo and my caging friends don't hurt me. But you know I may maybe never let me back in Louisiana. But you know I start a roux, oil and flour or butter and flour. I get that going. I pull out my pan. I throw my frozen mirror paw in there. The Cajun mirror paw you can get here in the groceries. The onion, celery bell, frozen pre-cut. Throw it in there with a little oil. Get that going.

Jen:

Yeah, in a separate, in a separate pack.

Dave:

get that cooking. For a while I let that cook, I throw the stock in there. I get that liquid building up, I throw my shrimp in there and maybe frozen okra and I get that going, and then once I, and then I throw that Rue in there and it's done, you know, and I mean a little bit of Louisiana, louisiana type of seasoning.

Dave:

Preferences on the hot sauce and there you go and that doesn't take very long. I mean maybe 30 minutes and yeah, it really the only special thing we purchased for it is the frozen shrimp. That was frozen and it's a USA frozen shrimp right Right. So those kind of things um soups like the stock, the veggies, or maybe I picked up some fresh Leeks and it's a leek soup, you know.

Jen:

Yeah, like if you're gonna do it, you can see. I mean, just always I had some fresh leaks.

Dave:

Mm-hmm. That that's kind of a hack, that kind of like with the garlic in the pasta sauce that's gonna bring out a tremendous amount of Good flavor picked up at one of the warehouse stores, while back a big thing of dried mushrooms.

Jen:

Big.

Dave:

Thing is really expensive. Handful dried mushrooms and frozen veggies. Put your stock, get a rotisserie chicken, shred it up, put it in there, but soot yeah yeah, yeah, and we really like to do chili, you know, with canned beans. Canned chili beans yeah, organic ones. You can usually get the grocery open up for those.

Jen:

Throw some Viet in there or some stock, yeah, some chili powder, paprika, whatever Chili powder paprika for your seasoning. Bay leaf.

Dave:

Bay leaf. We've done it with spinach, we've done veggies, we've done whatever Mushrooms.

Jen:

You can do white bean chili and if you want to do white bean chicken chili, you know put some rotisserie chicken in there, right?

Dave:

so that's all pretty no-brainer stuff there, yeah, but there's a few things we've done I thought were unusual and turned out pretty quick. One of the ones you kind of you did you one of your favorite French guy Chef.

Jen:

Jacques Pepin.

Dave:

Jacques Pepin, a cassolet yeah. You don't think about cassolet being quick.

Jen:

Right, I think it traditionally is not, but he showed a quick version which is nice, yeah, and I think he's had ham in it and we're. You know we're trying to avoid meat these days, but we just didn't put any meat in it Right. And did like garlic and onion and then these kind of canned.

Dave:

Candleny, candleny, beans Right, but it didn't take long and you just kind of and stock. Yeah, stock Whatever kind of veggie we had on hand to throw in there. I think you did it with broccoli one time, you know Maybe.

Jen:

But it was just quick and it's kind of a combination between like a soup or a stew and just I don't know. It's just kind of this hearty, like Right Thing, just to eat, you know.

Dave:

You know, sometimes quick meals can be even just more like no fuss meals too.

Jen:

Right. Right, I mean, one of our favorites is baked potatoes you know, yeah, I like to to, just you know, do baked potatoes and then we kind of have a toppings bar.

Dave:

You know like some Maybe not even that much Steamed broccoli or a little grated cheese or a little sour cream, right, and then recently we did some sweet potatoes, but they were these Japanese sweet potatoes.

Jen:

Oh yeah, those were good.

Dave:

Yeah, and we did like Japanese sweet potatoes and some greens we just picked up. We literally walked in the whole foods and they were just oh, these look cool. So we grabbed some of those, some collard greens.

Jen:

Mm, hmm.

Dave:

And I can't remember what else it was. I can't remember either, but I think some squash, and just you know. I mean you threw the greens in a stock pot, put a lid on there with some water and salt and pepper and let it rip.

Jen:

Yeah, you know, but that's, that's a pretty no fuss, yeah.

Dave:

And then you could put lid on it, turn it down low and walk away and do some stuff and come back, and there you go.

Jen:

Right, but like with the potatoes, I mean the oven does pretty much all the work. Yeah, you know, I mean it's not exactly quick because it takes about what an hour to to bake a potato, but you don't have to sit there and and futs over the stove.

Dave:

Yeah, cornbread, that was the other thing I had with it, oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. So and we keep you know, we've got the, you know, an organic um hot rot, you know corn meal corn meal mix ready to go. You know, and, and, and. If you don't have buttermilk which sometimes she may not have picked up buttermilk if that's the only thing you use it for, like us, then we've done it with lemons and Right.

Jen:

You can kind of do a faux buttermilk where you add lemon juice to either half and half or whole milk or something, and it kind of, kind of curdles it.

Dave:

you know I actually like it for biscuits almost better than the regular buttermilk, but anyway, so those are some quick things. What else?

Jen:

Uh well, like the other night, you know you did those.

Dave:

I don't know what you call them soft tacos. Yeah, some veggie fajitas.

Jen:

Right.

Dave:

I mean, we had some avocados that were ripe and needed to be used, so I stopped by to pick up some tortilla chips and I thought you know what? Let's just make fajitas.

Jen:

Right.

Dave:

We had some onion. We had an onion and I picked up two bell peppers and some portobello mushrooms and I mean literally. It probably took me all of 10 minutes to get it cooking you know, you know there. But to make that even easier you have the frozen like sliced onion and pepper blends now. Right, and the portobello reason. One of the reason I got the portobello is it was easier to clean two big portobello than it is a bunch of mushrooms Right, right and chopped them up real quick and threw them in there.

Jen:

Yeah, and that's the mushrooms we've talked about that. That's a great meal.

Dave:

Meat replacement, yeah, and the other thing I like about the vegetarian stuff is it is almost, I think, quicker than cooking meat. I mean, obviously it is quicker, but it's less cleanup, it's less.

Jen:

You don't have to worry about the. You know the contamination and all that or hey is it?

Dave:

did it cook all the way through, right? So that's well, boom, it's not. You know, all right, what else Breakfast we've done. We did breakfast for dinner, I could be it right and we love that.

Jen:

I would say it's pretty quick yeah, try not to get too complicated with it.

Dave:

It's easy for me to do.

Jen:

Of course, when you cut meat out it might not be too complicated. But, like Not too long ago, we did some really good waffles. Yeah, and we kind of came up with our own recipe.

Dave:

We were on a waffle kick because we, you know, you can actually get out there a fair amount of good Pancake and waffle mixes out there with hardly any junk in there, and you just add water right, you don't even have to add egg, right.

Jen:

But this, we added some cornmeal to, right we?

Dave:

didn't have any, so we had a little bit of flour, a little bit of right.

Jen:

Cornmeal came up with our own. Yeah, through a little cinnamon, and yeah, yeah some really yummy spices, and then we just did some scrambled eggs.

Dave:

You know.

Jen:

And then we, I think, brewed some coffee or made some hot tea or something right but it was a very excuse me filling meal and, um, I mean our kids, our teenagers loved it and and I mean Right. It was just super easy.

Dave:

Yeah, I mean, you know, if you don't have, usually we have some sort of syrup on the in the cupboard, you know.

Jen:

But yeah, sometimes y'all will put peanut butter on top of your waffles from my mom. Yeah, and I mean that makes it even more kind of hard to you, oh yeah, and filling you know right, but yeah, that's, that's a good one.

Dave:

So yeah, there's some quick things we like to cook that are cooking not just heating up a container, because it's a little healthier for you, you know right.

Jen:

We try to, like David said, eat as clean as we can and it's you can.

Dave:

I'm more economical than, say, just a premade Organic casserole or something you know which those are kind of hard to find.

Jen:

But yeah, if you do find them they're, they're pretty pricey pre-made organic meals yeah and sometimes you have to do that, but oh sure, you know the more we can cook, you know, like last night.

Dave:

I mean, I think I spent 10, 12 dollars for all of that.

Jen:

We still have leftovers you know, for those veggie fajitas.

Dave:

Yeah, I think the only thing that was probably the not the cleanest were the tortillas right and sometimes you can find organic.

Dave:

They didn't have any organic tortillas, right, you know. So, yeah, you know, I mean, anywhere you live, you might have a better source, right? Or you get jiggity and you make some jiggity, but anyway, yeah, so we like to cook some quick things and sometimes we cook, you know, a little more elaborate, but a lot of times we just have to cook quickly and inexpensively. But we still want it to taste good and be good for us, be good for us, mm-hmm, which is kind of the goal right.

Dave:

And I mean we cook a lot of other things, but these are kind of quick things.

Jen:

Right, just to get a supper on the table, you know, within about 30 minutes.

Dave:

Yeah, that's the goal, you know get it on table, make it be healthy and economical and good for you, right and?

Jen:

as long as our, as long as it gets the seal of approval for our teenagers you know it's. You can pretty much count, count. You know most people liking it because they're.

Dave:

They're the picky ones. Pretty good, I mean, I don't think we have too much trouble with them. There hasn't been a whole lot of Lulu's.

Jen:

You may mess ups. Yeah, yeah, no, not too many. Not too many disasters every now.

Dave:

But anyway, hopefully they gave you some ideas for cooking a quick meal and doing something quickly that is a little more from scratch. Then you know, you might think it's possible. But hey, if you got any ideas, let us know. You get some things you like to cook quickly? We'd love some yeah, absolutely. Hit us on Facebook, twitter, instagram or shoot us an email. Subscribe and share with your friends. We appreciate it. Thanks for listening. I'm Dave and I'm Jim.

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