Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lots of yummy protein!

With spring in full swing (actually feeling more like summer down south here!), it's time to eat as much asparagus as humanly possible - before it's out of season!

Due to a late start on Saturday, I was too late at the local farmer's market, and missed the local asparagus! We had to make do with the thicker, tougher kind from the grocery store (sigh- from California!). However, grilling can often take the sub-par to the sublime! The nuts on this asparagus are pine nuts, and boost the protein level of any veggie! This is the Lemony Grilled Asparagus with Pine Nuts, from our newest addition to the cookbook family, "
The Vegetarian Grill," by Andrea Chesman. I checked it out of our local library, and found myself (and my significant other!) tagging every other recipe in the book as a, "must make this!"

Luckily, our local Border's had it in stock and we're all smiles now (quick, what movie?). Anyhoo, on we went to create the following recipe, which were very good. Below is the BBQ Tempeh Sandwich (mine is here on a bed of greens with the asparagus), my hubby's on a sandwich. We were pleased with the flavor and texture, but there wasn't nearly enough sauce! It was a bit dry. Luckily, Dreena's Sesame Mustard Tahini Sauce saved the day!

Unfortunately, the Memorial Day weekend did not go off without a hitch. Here is the Couscous with Asparagus and Snow Pea salad from the most recent issue of Vegetarian Times. I didn't have the couscous, and thought that quinoa would be healthier. I also didn't have enough quinoa, so I used half bulgar, half quinoa. On first taste, it wasn't too bad. A little dry and could use more flavor, but decent overall. But then I realized that its funny taste was due to me forgetting to rinse the quinoa! This grain has a natural insect repellent (very bitter!) that you must rinse off thoroughly before cooking! Needless to say, this might end up in our composter, despite my best efforts to eat the bitter stuff. I tried nutritional yeast but I ran out of Dreena's sauce. Any suggestions for what to try next? I'm thinking a lemony vinaigrette. Too bad, since quinoa holds so much calcium and protein!

To end this post on a happy note, here are Leslie's Raw Almond-Oat Balls, (scroll down the page on this link for the recipe) which were incredible! I made them the night before my Memorial Day race (third in my age group - yay - but not any faster than last year - boo). When I returned, they were a great way to get a protein boost for my tired muscles (eating protein less than twenty minutes after you work out is important). It was like eating a granola bar in two bites! YUM - and thanks for ending my long weekend with a smile!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Summer Eats

I know that summer is technically still about a month away, but the temperatures in my hometown have already shot way up! It has made us crave grilled goodies, like the seitan skewers shown here. They were made from the Candle Cafe Cookbook, and were so eerily like meat, I almost couldn't enjoy them! I had made a new batch of seitan (see previous post on how to make it), and with my meat-eating dad in town, wanted to impress him with some vegan vittles! The recipe calls for marinating them in an olive oil and citrus sauce, then grilling them until slightly charred. The flavor, moisture, and texture were all to die for! The grilled veggies didn't need marinating, but were enhanced by the Chimchurri Sauce that was drizzled over everything. Overall, the meal was excellent, but the marinade and sauce were very oily - probably not as healthy as other meals we've made! Wonder if I could cut down on the oil next time? The sauce recipe also made way more than I needed.
Anyhoo, the other recipe pictured here was made just last night: Seitan BBQ "pulled pork" style, from the latest Vegetarian Times magazine. It was pretty good, but since I've never had the real thing, I didn't have much to compare it to. My omni husband said that the sauce wasn't all that great (not sweet or tangy enough) so we decided to try it again sometime with our own sauce. Pretty quick and easy to make, though! Did a side dish of olive oil and garlic stir-fried kale (collard greens are out of season) and that is his non-vegan coleslaw pictured there.