Sunday, September 13, 2009

I nearly choked on my green tea the other morning. I was actually home with a bit of a fever, so I was flipping through the TV channels for the first time in ages. I ended up with the Today Show, although I was disappointed that they didn't mention anything about the 9/11 anniversary until much later in the program.

It was when they mentioned fall food trends that I perked up. And guess what made me nearly choke? They presented agave nectar, millet, quinoa, bulgar, smoked paprika, and dinosaur kale. Many of these seemingly strange or exotic foods (a show host actually tried the agave with pleasant surprise) are all ones I use on a daily basis. Dinosaur kale is excellent in green smoothies, agave nectar is my tea sweetener of choice for just about anything, and millet and quinoa are both wonderful grains. I have yet to buy smoked paprika yet, just because it's so expensive.

My point being, becoming vegetarian or vegan doesn't mean that you eat nuts and seeds, or salads every day. You don't get bored and you never EVER run out of foods, recipes or meal ideas to try. I have nearly 50 vegan cookbooks, almost 100 total cookbooks, and have made nearly 700 new recipes (meaning, I had never tried them before) over the past three years since starting this blog. It saddens me sometimes, to think that I'll never get to make all the recipes in those books (well, not unless I quit my job and cooked full time, all day, which doesn't sound too bad, hmmm....) At any rate, here's to being TRENDY! :)

Meanwhile, here's what delicious things we've been noshing on lately. Many of them are potato and squash based, since that's what we got from the CSA this past week.

First up, we were surprisingly impressed by the Potato-Fennel Pizza with Tempeh Sausage Crumbles from Vegan with a Vengeance. This is definitely my favorite cookbook of all time, since it was my first introduction to vegan cooking, and Isa's writing always gives me an excuse to laugh out loud! Even my husband, who loves sausage and potatoes, was skeptical of this combination on a pizza. However, he commented that it was one of his all time favs AND was really impressed with the tempeh sausage (which basically, is tempeh, which you crumble, boil to release bitterness and soften, and stir fry with some spices). On a side note, I think we (meaning I) have finally perfected the homemade pizza crust. I found that you just have to roll it really thin, to avoid thick, uncooked parts. Three and a half stars! ***1/2

The next night, while I munched on a salad covered with CSA produce (beets, carrots, my own tomatoes, arugula, shiitake mushrooms, to name a few), Mr. PLV made something more up his alley. These Beer Bratwurst Pepper and Onion Sandwiches were his own creation, based on a typical PA meal. They were Tofurky brand sausages and his only comment was that perhaps they could be seasoned as well as our homemade tempeh crumbles! :)

We wandered back a bit in time to Dreena Burton's first cookbook, The Everyday Vegan, which has some great basic recipes in it, good for the first-time vegan but not quite as original and exciting as her later books. This Spicy Thai Stew was a great way to use up some CSA carrots, sweet potatoes, swiss chard and red bell peppers. The almond butter really gave it a unique flavor! You could use peanut butter if you're being more frugal, and it would be just as good (I think peanuts are a typical flavor in this cuisine). Yum, yum, yum! Three and a half stars *** 1/2 and easy to boot.
Finally, as I've been receiving squash after squash from the CSA every week (butternut, delicata, acorn, and some others I can't name), I decided to try another stuffed squash this week, this time an acorn one (delicata one was last week- see previous post). This one had brown rice, tomatoes, corn, currants, pine nuts, and a few spices and herbs. Pretty darn good! Three stars *** only because I liked the other one better. I was sooo full, after eating this plateful of sauteed kale with my favorite tahini sauce, and then that entire stuffed squash! But a nice, Thanksgiving-type full, like, "ahhh! now that was a filling meal!" Looking forward to fall in about a week (wow! a week!) so we can really enjoy our stews, squashes, and chilis!

1 comment:

Noah said...

Hi, I would email you privately, but since I don't see an address, I'm commenting here. The food on your blog is making me hungry! :)

I wanted to thank you for the link to the Why Honey is Not Vegan site. I've just launched an effort to completely update & revise the site.

You can also find an interview about the update project at The Vegan Ideal.

If you want to support and/or promote the project in any way, I would be grateful for the assistance. Thank you!