Sunday, May 10, 2009

This and That

Wow! I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last post! I had to work last Saturday, and I spent Sunday in the garden and the week was so hectic...well, you all know how that goes. I actually had a draft with all the pics - it just never got any words :) So, here are two weeks worth of drool-worthy food!

Actually, it was pretty simple fair these past couple of weeks, what with being so busy and all. We start with steamed asparagus, on a bed of greens with a light "honey" mustard vinaigrette (can't really see it here). I over-did the asparagus the first time - 3 minutes is all it really needs! I eat as much asparagus as I can this time of year because it's gone so quickly! I hate to say it, but BJ's wholesale club has had the best deals on asparagus - the skinny stuff, too! Our first CSA pickup starts this week, so hopefully I'll be local and organic the rest of the year!

One of my favorite dishes these past few days has been these Raw Soft Tacos with fresh salsa, from Rawvolution, my newest cookbook acquisition. I can't tell you how amazing these things taste. You use ground walnuts in place of the meat and then with the fresh, homemade salsa, there is nothing quite like it! You don't even care that it's not piping hot (especially during hot summer days). The only thing not raw was the whole wheat tortilla, which I used in place of the chard leaf - I was trying to use them up before they went bad. The only change I would make (and after talking to other raw chefs they have the same comment) is to use less nama shoyu, or soy sauce. I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which also appears to be raw, because I didn't have the raw shoyu, and either way, it was waaay too salty :P You can halve the shoyu if you make this. I guess it would need some additional water, then, though. Four stars for this bad boy! **** And the best part? No cooking time means dinner is on the table in record time!

Husband and I explored a new Indian recipe from Vegan Fusion World Cuisine - Sat Cit Ananda's Chana Masala with Padma Baba's Spelt Chapatti. We just love chana masala, but thought this one could have used much more spice! There is no garam masala in this - that's what I'll add next time. But the coconut milk made it nice and creamy - even hubby liked it! I sprinkled it with black sesame seeds, too. Three stars *** Unfortunately, the chapatti didn't fare as well. It burned very quickly and turned out pretty tough and hard. After speaking with an Indian friend (experienced with these foods), she said that that recipe didn't sound like chapatti. She recommended adding more fat (olive oil was in this recipe, but she recommends yogurt - I wonder if soy or coconut yogurt would make the grade?) to make it more pliable. She also promised to make us some homemade chapatti herself! Yay! Two, maybe one star for this poor thing *. Barely edible.

As you can see, we also added cauliflower to up the nutritional standing of the masala. Yummy!

These pics are from last year's Indian Wraps, from The Candle Cafe Cookbook. I was so excited this year, to use up some leftover broiled eggplant (from a previous dish) and a bit of tofu I had kicking around, too! I just broiled the tofu, too, as it was raining too hard to grill. At any rate, the grilled version of last year was much preferred except....

This time around, I didn't just halve the marinade/dressing recipe, I cut it into thirds at least! This made it way less greasy and much more yummy. This chickpea salad that went into the wrap used up some olives and chickpeas I also had kickin' around.

As I did last year, I served this year's wrap with leftover brown rice, instead of couscous. Better nutritional value, and just as good!

Ummmm..... Still, only three stars *** because grilled is better!!

Speaking of leftovers, my husband has this habit of not using up all the marinara sauce in a jar (we have a great homemade recipe, but he doesn't have time). So, I used up the rest of a jar last week with some new rice penne pasta. With a sprinkle of Parma, it was darn good!

Last weekend's dinner was a delectable Tofu Stir-Fry, adapted from the Vegan Fusion World Cuisine book, with shiitake mushrooms and snow peas and an orange bell pepper. We added asparagus, of course! And, the omnipresent black sesame seeds :) The tofu turned out great and the sauce was perfect! Three and a half stars ***1/2. I'm kind of burned out on stir-fries, not that we have them that often...

Using up some more veggies, these roasted grape tomatoes were previously from a scene of, "Veggies Gone Wild." I bought this ginormous case of them from BJ's when my parents were here to stay (they were from the US, while the smaller case was from Mexico!) and I just couldn't get through them all. They were starting to get wrinkled and shriveled. So, into the oven they went, halved and sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper. The results? Amazing! Saved the day and the veggies...

Then came my second favorite meal of this post: Roasted Tomato-Pesto Pasta! This was my own homemade concoction and sooo simple. Just tossed a cube of frozen pesto into the hot bowl of hot noodles, mixed until it spread all around, and then tossed in the roasted tomatoes from the above photo. Results? Four stars **** and the easiest meal in the past two weeks! Wish I had thought of it this past winter...Well, off I go to bake some muffins, oat bars and other snacks for work, along with some seitan that I'm also craving. I'll need the energy after my first 1/2 marathon tomorrow morning!! :) Go vegan athletes!!

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