Category Archives: Recipes

Natchetno Salad

I generally enjoy savory breakfasts like big omelette piles. I don’t usually eat sweet unless I’m indulging in dessert and I usually wouldn’t consider a salad for my first meal of the day. Leave it to a creative TFR captain to push paradigms in delicious ways with something like a Natchetno salad.

Interesting origin: Sharon’s six year old daughter had woken up in the middle of the night and made herself a generous portion of Greek yogurt and honey that stayed in the fridge till morning. This dressing was the unexpected catalyst for today’s breakfast.

This bed of spinach topped with quinoa, yogurt, honey, and berries had the delight and fulfillment of sweet oatmeal, the nutrition and fiber of a salad, and the whole foods boost to start the day. This is certainly a recipe I’ll be repeating for myself an others.

Gumbo on the Cheap


It’s a cold, dank winter day and this revolutionary is strapped for cash. Most of us are. It’s Tuesday, though, and we’re feeding many at our weekly Tune-in-Tuesday Potluck.

I go to the market with $10.

I walk home with a can of crabmeat, a can of clams in clam juice, 2 yellow onions, 1 bunch of celery, 3 ears of corn, and I could even afford some more chili powder for the rack. Spices are scant at the headquarters right now.

I’ve got olive oil, flour, okra, serrano peppers, and carrots already in the kitchen.

I put a gallon of water in the pot. I realize it will be too much. I scoop a big glass of water out and chug it. Gotta stay hydrated. I bring it to a boil.

I cut both onions, the entire bunch of celery, two serrano peppers, and two carrots into thin slices and toss them in the boiling water. This is going to be casual gumbo, no need to rush on a winter day like today. I go ahead and shake some cajun seasoning into the boil.

I cut the corn off the cobs and slice the okra thin, and dice it again.

I feed the cat. I check the email. Some friends arrive and we say some brilliant things, and some silly things.

I heat up the skillet with oil of olive and toss in the corn and okra. I mix this around, tossing in chili powder and hoping for a grilly flavor from the frying. I shake nutmeg in the boiling broth along with some more seasoning salt. When the corn and okra look cooked I toss them in the broth. I open the crab and the clams and drop them into the pot, juice included. The concoction is filling the air with its spice, the soup is coming alive. Roux is the final step.

I keep the skillet hot but turn the heat below medium, I add some liberal splashes of olive oil. I shake in some flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon. The color is a dijon yellow, mostly from the olive oil. It looks too loose, I add a few more clumps of flour and mush and stir them in. The consistency looks perfect, like mixing clay paints. The edges of the roux bubble. I keep stirring, the yellow turns to an earth tone desert brown. This is a crucial time. The roux is beautiful. How long will I let it wait? How dark do I want the roux today? There it is.

I dump the roux in the stew and I do not know it is Gumbo until the third bite, when I remembered my father’s gumbo and the quintessential taste of a soup arrangement that plays the proud theme, “Gumbo.”

“This soup is amazing, I love spicy-ness,” said Roxanne.
Lana hadn’t tried it yet, “Mmm, like Mexican spicy or like Asian spicy?”
Virginia paused her eating, “Cajun spicy.”

Cooking Tips from a Utilitarian Bachelor

Texas Food Revolution Captain Obvious

I suppose the tips below are quite obvious, but that does not mean that they are not valuable. Stir-fries, Salads, and Soups are responsible for 3/4 of the local goodness that I’ve enjoyed the past several years. These are not tips from a chef, they are tips from a local-ingredient loving bachelor with a big appetite. These tips are not meant to blow your culinary mind, they are solutions for anyone who utters the phrase “But I don’t/can’t cook.”

Definition of Terms:

Salad: Pretty pile of mostly raw ingredients

Stir-Fry: Pile of ingredients cooked on skillet or pan

Soup: Pile of ingredients boiled in water

In picture, beans, kale, eggs, pepper on top posing for

Never again let good veggies go bad because you don’t know what to do with them. Fearlessly acquire good food from the markets and gardens and give them a home on your plate. If you have the energy or skill for something fancy, great, if not, make a pile and let the local-food-energy power your human machine in the way that it knows best while you continue to go about your job of saving the world.

What’s in your kitchen? So long as you have the following items you should be ready to invite any new vegetable to your eating experience:

-Oil: Olive, Coconut, or other. (Or butter)

-Seasonings and Spices. (Can be everything! Or just salt and pepper and hot sauce)


Soup Philosophy

It’s cold, your girlfriend is coming over, you have extra ingredients, make a soup.

I have made countless soups that people have raved about, always requesting a recipe. I’ve never had a soup recipe. I am a nomad who cooks in other people’s kitchens and the ingredients have never, ever been the same.

A broth can be made from any tough vegetable. Collards, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, peas, any of these can be boiled in water for a period of time to make a good base. How much water and how much time? I don’t know, just wing it. How much soup do you want? How many veggies do you have? Do you want the veggies to be crisp, or mushy? Use your eyes to watch the water change color, use your tongue to taste the progress.

What else goes in your soup? Anything you want except for lettuces or spinaches.  So throw any weird vegetable, legume, or spice in there and let their flavors be liberated as you stir, simmer, and observe. 

Sometimes we have cayenne, sometimes we have curry, sometimes we have dried herbs, sometimes we have only salt and pepper. Every time we have a nose – and this is what you will use to spice your soup.

You can be generous or modest with almost every spice or herb with little concern. Salt, or salt based seasonings, however, you must be more careful with. Add them lightly throughout the cooking process and be aware this is practically the only seasoning you can have too much of.

If you use meat in your soup, either put it in at the beginning so it add to your broth and fully boil, or cook it elsewhere and throw it in mid-way.

Your soup will be ready when it tastes good and you have no more room in the soup pot.

Salad Philosophy

You want to eat the power of the sun! Or you just need a good, solid bowel movement.

If you have a bunch of spinach, kale, mustards, arugula, or any kind of lettuce, then you have the foundation for a salad. Dice any vegetable or fruit you have, and mix it around with your fresh greens. Add any sort of dressing, or even just olive oil and spices, and magically the fibrous or bitter natures of the veggies on their own will get together for a harmonious salad experience.

Salad is simple. Let yourself go, and make a pile of freshness. A good guiding light for a food salad is their aesthetic quality. If you take your harvest and dice them and mix them in a way that looks appealing and you add some oils to help them along, then there is a good chance you’ve made a tasty salad.

*Food Processor

If you have a food processor, you don’t even really need lettuce or spinach. You can just throw any random veggie in there, add some oil or some nuts, and you have created a chopped pile of goodness.

Stir Fry Philosophy

You only have 10 minutes and you want something hot and awesome.

Heat a pan, lay down butter and oil, and cook the tough veggies first, and the soft veggies last. Add soy sauce, hot sauce, spices and garlic to taste, and you will have made yourself a satisfying stir-fry. The magic of stir fry is in your hands, all latent vegetables await your improvisation.

A cousin to the stir fry is the omelette, wherein you cook any veggies you have, and once they are cooked to your liking, you add a bunch of eggs on top and boom, you’ve made a omelette.

The application of various piles in my food life has allowed me to consume many calories and not have to resort to pastries, microwaved meals, fast food, and other seemingly satisfying treats. Make a pile and stuff your face… with goodness.

Decadent Seasonal Feast: Cod on Spaghetti(Squash) with Lemon Butter


If only the picture could capture this rich treat. About a month ago I wanted to really have a binge day. I wanted to pig out. But I wanted to keep it wintery and from scratch. The results were better than anything I’ve ever taken out of a package, and near better to anything I’ve had from a restaurant.


-1 Spaghetti Squash

-1 stick of Grass Fed Butter, I like Kerrygold Irish Butter

-1 Leek

-1 bunch fresh spinach

-2 Carrots

-1 big fat Cod Filet (or more)

– 1 Lemon

– Herbs of your choice

-Olive Oil


1.  Preheat Oven to 375, Put in whole spaghetti squash. Relax. (Leave top rack open for the fish later)

2. Bring some olive oil in a pan to a low-medium heat. Chop leaks thinly, put them in pan, they’ll need to cook for a while. After a little bit, throw in the thinly sliced carrots. Add a teaspoon of butter or more olive oil if needed.

3. Prepare the Cod to stick in oven with 20 minutes to go on the Squash timer. Cod prep: Tin foil large enough to hold and cover cod and contain the juices (which you will use later). Put cod on foil. Place several dollops of the butter on top of fish, along with slices of lemon, and liberal use of herbs (I liked parsley, rosemary, and Mediterranean blend). Close foil and put on top rack. Relax.

4. When timer goes off, remove whole squash and cod. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop seeds and seed guts into trash(you will need to hold squash with an oven mit). Pull out the rest of the spaghetti meat with a fork into a bowl. If this is your first time making spaghetti squash, don’t be intimidated, the “noodles” strip out easily and naturally with a fork.

5. Throw a couple heaping spoonfuls of minced garlic into the simmering leeks and carrots. Then throw in spinach, turn up the heat, and right when the spinach gets soft, dump in about half of the spaghetti squash (the rest will be leftovers).

6. Now you add the rest of the butter (2-3 tbsp) and season with other herbs, salt, and pepper to taste as you mix the spaghetti, spinach, leeks and carrots together evenly.

7. Finally, serve the noodles, place the cod on top, and drizzle the lemon butter cod juice on top on the meal as your sauce.

Eat slow, and say mmmmmmm

South Texas Favorite: Mango Shrimp Ceviche


Ahh yes. Mango Shrimp Ceviche.

There was a time when the Texas Food Revolution Captains had a consistent hook-up for fresh gulf shrimp. After the gumbos and grills most of the shrimp landed in this most excellent use of the tortilla chip.

It’s simple.


Boiled Shrimp.

Juice of Lime to taste.

Sea Salt to taste.

Carrots and/or Jicama.

Hand dice or food process(but not too much, chunks are good)

This recipe will be the hit of any party of food demo and served just fine chilled.

Warning: Mango Shrimp Ceviche is often consumed by the shrimp before it’s even served so make sure your hungry crowd is close.

Raw Veggie Sushi Rolls

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Ingredients: Nori wraps, minnced carrots, avocado, cucumber, mango (optional), squash flower, sprouts, anything! Soy sauce, or any sauce.

Tools: Bamboo roller, sharp knife, cutting board, and food processor (optional)

Directions: 1. Layout nori wrap onto bamboo roller. 2. Spread a shallow bed of minnced carrots along the bottom 2/3 of the nori wrap.  Make sure it is not too deep or the sushi will be too fat and split open. 3. In the middle of the carrot bed, lay a line of sliced avocado, cucumber, and other improvised ingredients. 4. Fold the open veggie sushi into a roll, like you’re rolling up a yoga mat. 5. Before you close the roll, rub a piece of wet mango on the edge to seal the nori wrap. (Water will work too) 6. Cut into 6-8 sections with a very sharp knife. Moist nori will cut easier. 7. Dip in sauce. Enjoy.