Cooking With a Writer – Grilled Miso Vegetables of Awesome

So, we are currently hanging out in a camper and renting out our house because you make big money renting out your house for the summer when you live in Bar Harbor, Maine.

And this means….

That we’re cooking outside a lot and the man is winning in his quest to be Captain Carnivore and I am losing in my quest to make us a happy vegetarian household… or is it camper-hold?

And to make it worse, Captain Carnivore is not into vegetables, thus his name. He won’t touch cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini or anything actually good.

But I made this anyway because sometimes I want to make something I like. And I like this… I like it a lot.

Miso Grilled Vegetables of Awesome

This recipe owes everything to Cooking Light and Naomi Duguid. All poorly thought out deviations are my fault. 

Course dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American, grill, outdoor
Keyword miso, vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 Shaun sized people
Calories 180 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2.5 tbsp miso - white
  • 1.5 tbsp water or enough to make it right
  • 3 tbsp olive oil plus a bit more if needed for consistency
  • 1 lb zuchinni cut into slices about ⅓-inch thick
  • .5 lb eggplant cut into slices about ⅓-inch thick
  • 2 whole peppers red and orange and yellow are the coolest. Sorry. Green. Cut each into six pieces
  • 1 whole red onion cut into wedges
  • 1 big spray cooking spray
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves optional
  • 1 whole lime optional

Instructions

  1. Use the cooking spray to coat your grill rack. Not the outside of the grill. Then turn the grill on to high heat. 

    Think about how some writers write under the influence of illegal drugs. Wonder how they keep track of their plot. 

  2. Put miso and water together. Wonder if they like each other or are eyeing each other warily, wondering what will happen next. 


    Shout, "IT'S A PARTY," and  slowly add oil. Stir them all up with a whisk and sing your favorite party song. Are there writer party songs? There should be. 

    Put the vegetables EXCEPT THE ONION in a pan, say, "Now it's really a party, babies!"

    Add about 5 tablespoons of the miso party mixture. 

    Toss it up.

    Think about parties from your younger days.  

    Feel badly for the onion, out on its own with no miso mix, unable to be tossed around because it's too fragile and will break apart.

    Feel like the onion.

    Brush onion with what's left of the miso marinade, and whisper, "It's okay... You can party, too. You're okay. You're loved and included."

  3. Put everyone on the rack on the grill, even the onion.

    Zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper can only party for about 4 minutes on each side. 

    They don't have the onion's stamina. Be proud of the onion and grill it for 6 minutes on either side.

    Basically, grill the veggies until they are tender veggies.

    Put some mint on them and serve them with lime wedges. Because they are done. 

Shaun Verdict: You are trying to kill me.

Dog Verdict: Rub some dirt on it, we’ll call it good.

Carrie Verdict: THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!

Writing News

Next and Last Time Stoppers Book

It’s out! You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere. The official release date was August 7!

Please buy it so I can keep buying food for the dogs… and stuff…

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People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Moe Berg

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

Writing Coach

Carrie offers solo writing coach services. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.

Appearances

Carrie will be at the Maine Literacy Volunteers Festival on September 8. She is not sure where it is in Maine. She thinks… Augusta?

 

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Cooking With a Writer – Mujaddara

When I was a kid, my uncle Charlie was one of my favorite people. This was mostly because he was super mellow. His family was Lebanese and settled in Manchester, N.H. and married my aunt Rosie. Aunt Rosie was the best cook in our family, which annoyed my mom so much. SO MUCH!

My mom was the best baker though, which I have to say or her ghost will strike me down or something. Hopefully, Aunt Rosie’s ghost is holding her back.

Anyway, Charlie’s real name was Kalil, but I never knew that when I was a kid. I can’t imagine that was the easiest name to have in Manchester, N.H. back when he was alive.  He died when I was ten, but I have the best memories of him making me try food that nobody else made. It was pretty awesome. So was he.

In Charlie’s honor, I tried to make mujaddara, which is something I remember vaguely having when I was little. It’s cheap. It’s filling. I hope you like it.  And if you are Lebanese and you know a better recipe for this or tweaks? Please let me know.

 

Mujaddara

This calorie count is not exact. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, lebanese, vegetarian
Keyword lentils Mujaddara
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 humans
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 onions yellow, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp allspice
  • .5 tsp cloves ground
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup rice long grain, jasmine if you can
  • 1 cup lentils brown
  • 1 stick cinnamon if you have it
  • .5 tsp black pepper peppercorn if possible

Instructions

  1. Find a pot. Put lentils in pot. Cover with water that rises over it about one inch. 

    Bring to boil.

    Lower to simmer.

    Cook about 20 minutes.

  2. On another burner with another pot, put the temperature to medium-high heat .

    Add oil. Let oil warm for a minute.

    Add in cumin, pepper, allspice, cloves, and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. 

    Add all those onions. Think about how much you cried slicing those onions. Wow. That is how much you want people to cry when they read your book.

  3. Cook those onions for about 15 minutes until they are no longer white. 

    You want those onions to be a dark caramel brown. You will have to stir often.

    Good results, transforming characters, books and food that makes you cry? It requires effort. You've got this, writer. You're used to effort.


  4. Take out half the onions and set them aside. 

    It's okay. They are not gone forever. I promise. 

  5. Add in any more ground cumin, and add the cinnamon stick.

    Saute about 1 minute.

    Add the rice. Stir a lot.


  6. Add the cooked lentils, broth, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt; bring to a boil. 

    Turn the heat to low, simmer 30 minutes. 

    Turn it off and let it rest for 10 minutes.

    Do not take off the lid! NO LOOKING! SERIOUSLY.

    Okay. Take off the lid. Is there any water left? If so, simmer about 5 minutes.

  7. Fluff it up and make it pretty like editors at traditional publishing houses do to stories. 

    Put those saved onions on top.

    Eat! 

This is all part of my lifelong experiment to convince The Man (Shaun of the “Dogs are Smarter Than People” podcast to give up meat.

 

Man Verdict: I am okay with this.

Dog Verdict: WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EAT THIS BECAUSE ONIONS! AND LENTILS! AND WHY DO YOU HATE US, HUMAN?

Carrie Verdict: It reminds me of Uncle Charlie so it’s a win.

Writing News

Carrie’s  super excited about the upcoming TIME STOPPERS book coming out this August.

This middle grade fantasy series happens in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and it’s all about friendship and magic and kids saving their magical town.

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal 

“A wild and fresh take on fantasy with an intriguing cast of characters. Dangerous and scary and fun all rolled into one. In the words of Eva the dwarf, I freaking loved it!” –  Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series

“Effervescent, funny, and genuine.” –  Kirkus Reviews

It’s quirky. It’s awesome. It’s full of heart. You should go by the first two books now. 🙂

 

 

 

CARRIE’S BOOKS

For a complete round-up of Carrie’s 16-or-so books, check out her website. And if you like us, or our podcast, or just want to support a writer, please buy one of those books, or leave a review on a site like Amazon. Those reviews help. It’s all some weird marketing algorhthym from hell, basically.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can.

Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

My Post Copy-2

Cooking With a Writer – Migas (Portuguese style)

The Portuguese part of my family were great cooks. Brilliant cooks, honestly. And I think a reason for that was because for so long they had to learn to create goodness out of little; they had to feed many people out of not too much, right? And because they loved each other, they wanted what they shared to taste… Well, they wanted it to taste good. So, they developed ways to use up leftovers and ways to make simple things taste special.

You can compare this to my Nana Morse (totally not Portuguese) who had a tendency to put peanut butter inside a celery stick and call it good.  Sometimes she put in cream cheese instead. You avoided those sticks.

The family rule was to not eat anything Nana made if it had a dairy product in it because… Well, people in my family preferred not to vomit, basically.

Anyways, this recipe was cheap, filling, and its main ingredients were garlic, bread, and water. So… yeah… There you go!

 

Migas (Portuguese Style)

You have bread left. You're poor. You need to eat it. The calories are totally an estimate. Sorry. 

You can add paprika, or onions. 

There are a ton of variations. I have seen it with mushrooms. I have seen black-eyed peas thrown in, but this is the most basic version that I had as a kid, most likely because it's the cheapest. 🙂 

Course Breakfast, dinner
Cuisine portuguese, vegetarian
Keyword migas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 normal people
Calories 290 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb crusty bread - old but not moldy because idk cut up or torn up
  • 6 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, hole
  • 3.5 cups water - about, may need a bit more
  • 1 bunch coriander

Instructions

  1. Find a saucepan. Boil water in it.

    Water should always be free, shouldn't it? And clean? Think about how you are spending all your time writing blog posts instead of working for clean water. Feel guilt. 

  2. Find another saucepan. 

    Put oil in that saucepan on low heat. Put garlic in there, too. 

    Cook for three minutes, stirring it a bit. 

    Decide if you write about clean water needs you don't need to feel guilty that  don't have enough money to donate towards the cause. You're a writer. It's okay to write. Feel better.

  3. Add the bread to the second saucepan where the oil and garlic are hanging out.

    Imagine you're hanging out with famous political activists at a party where there is an announcement about free, clean water available all around the world because of your inspiring blog post. 

  4. Gradually pour in the boiling water from the first saucepan and into the second. Let it mix and be warm. When the bread starts getting mushy and the water's gone. You're done cooking.

    Mourn the water. Realize how important water really is. Feel guilty again.


  5. Add coriander or kale to the top. Add salt and pepper. 

Writing News

Carrie’s  super excited about the upcoming TIME STOPPERS book coming out this August.

This middle grade fantasy series happens in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and it’s all about friendship and magic and kids saving their magical town.

An imaginative blend of fantasy, whimsy, and suspense, with a charming cast of underdog characters . . . This new fantasy series will entice younger fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.” –  School Library Journal 

“A wild and fresh take on fantasy with an intriguing cast of characters. Dangerous and scary and fun all rolled into one. In the words of Eva the dwarf, I freaking loved it!” –  Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series

“Effervescent, funny, and genuine.” –  Kirkus Reviews

It’s quirky. It’s awesome. It’s full of heart. You should go by the first two books now. 🙂

 

 

 

CARRIE’S BOOKS

For a complete round-up of Carrie’s 16-or-so books, check out her website. And if you like us, or our podcast, or just want to support a writer, please buy one of those books, or leave a review on a site like Amazon. Those reviews help. It’s all some weird marketing algorhthym from hell, basically.

OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can.

Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.

My Post Copy-2

Cooking With a Writer – RAH! MAN! Ramen with Miso and Roasted Vegetables

Sometimes, I have days when I want to scream, “RAH!!!” Today is like that.

This is for a bunch of reasons including someone saying, “Wow. You look tired.”

Me:

Me: Thanks? I am?

Anyway, as you know, I’m trying to convince the household to eat less meat. The household is stubborn.

Me: Hey! We’re having Ramen tonight.

The Man: RAH! MAN! RAH! I MAN! I EAT RAMEN!

Me: 

Dogs run off.

Man beats chest.

Me: Who even are you?

Man: I ate ramen forever. I was raised on ramen. I love ramen. Where are the spice packs?

Me: No! No! We aren’t using the spice packs. Those have animal byproducts.

Man: Why must you ruin all that is holy?

Ramen

I was sad when I was making this recipe. You can tell.

Course dinner
Cuisine vegetarian
Keyword miso, ramen, vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 Carrie people
Calories 80000 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 whole onion any color, but yellow is best here
  • 1 big leek
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped or minced
  • 1 3-inch ginger peeled, chopped
  • 1 oz dried mushrooms preferably shiitake
  • 1 lb sweet potato peeled, chopped
  • 1 whole head garlic NO VAMPIRES HERE, BABY
  • 1 lb shitake mushroom cleaned, sliced
  • soy or tamari sauce to taste
  • 1.5 lb ramen noodles fresh if possible
  • .25 cup miso white or yellow kind
  • 5 green onions chopped to look pretty

Instructions

  1. Find a large saucepan, empty it of your tears and put it on medium-high heat.

  2. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in that saucepan. Get it so it isn't cold, like the heart of villain.

  3. Realize it's really your heart that's cold. 

  4. Add the onions. Put some salt on top. DO NOT TOUCH THE ONIONS. Leave them there for 5 minutes until they are brown.

  5. Realize the onions are the book that you've been working on for 27 years and still doesn't feel done. Realize that tweaking your book is like stirring the onions. You can't resist. Wait for five minutes to pass.


  6. YOU CAN STIR THINGS NOW! Add leek, garlic, dried mushrooms, ginger, 6 cups of water. This will deglaze the pan if you stir and scrape up the bits. Do that. 

  7. Turn the heat down. It's too intense here, just like your plot. 

    Put the heat on medium-low. 

    Realize you feel medium low. 

    Partially cover the pan and let it be for an hour. A WHOLE HOUR! 

  8. Procrastinate for an hour. 

  9. Don't do any real work or revision or anything else. 

    Really.


  10. Preheat oven to 400 F. 

  11. Put sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil on them. Toss them so the oil is distributed. 

    Find a head of garlic. Cut off the top of its head. Imagine he's a writing expert telling you to kill your darlings. Drizzle oil on it and wrap it up in foil. Put it on the pan.

    Put the pan in the oven and close the door. Stir it once in awhile. Cook until it's tender. 

  12. BACK TO THE STOVE! An hour has passed! You've got this.

    Strain the broth through a sieve and get rid of all the solid bits. KEEP THE BROTH! 

    Realize this is like 'killing your darlings' like all those writing experts always say. Wonder if writing experts know that they are annoying.

  13. Find a blender. Free it of left over smoothie. Instead squeeze the garlic cloves into that bad boy.

    Add 1/3 cup of sweet potatoes.

    Add 1/2 cup broth that you saved.

    Puree until it's smooth.

    Add it to the big bunch of broth.


  14. Find a saucepan and put it on medium heat. 

    Add oil that's left.

    Add mushrooms. Cook them for about five minutes or until tender.

    Add broth.

    Season to your liking.

    Add tamari or soy sauce.

    Simmer.

    Reduce to low.

    Cover partially and cook until it's warm.

  15. Is it warm?

    Are you warm?

    Whisk in that miso of awesome.

  16. Take your noodles (cooked if dry!) Put them in bowls. Put the broth over it. 

    Top it with sweet potatoes. 

    Sprinkle with green onions.

    Breathe. 

    Marvel at your creation. 

    It wasn't that bad, was it? 

Recipe Notes

This is derived from a recipe from Cooking Light. 

Dog Verdict: WHERE IS THE BACON? We like sweet potato okay though. But… it’s not… you know… bacon.

Man Verdict: This would be better with bacon, honestly, or at least the spice packs full of MSG and other goodness.

Carrie Verdict: Writers need love. Ramen is love.

 

*P.S. My writer brain was too tired to do the actual math to count the calories for this. I am so sorry.

WRITING NEWS

I’ll be at Book Expo America on June 1 at the Lerner booth from 11:30-12.

There’s a free information and inspiration session from  Write! Submit! Support!, a six-month intensive program through the Writing Barn.

It’s a one-day only thing just to hang out and learn about the program. I swear! No weirdness involved at all. More info is here.

TIME STOPPERS THE MIDDLE GRADE SERIES OF AWESOME

Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People

And finally, the podcast DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE is still chugging along. Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of.

Dogs are smarter than people - the podcast, writing tips, life tips, quirky humans, awesome dogs