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Monday, February 28, 2011

A Tale of Two More Cities

How many times can I reuse this post title? Hmmm.
This first dinner is Italian inspired and G inspired by his watching Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. I don't really watch it, unless I catch it over his shoulder, but apparently there was an Italian restaurant on the show and G started craving some vegetable roll-up smothered in sauce. He was tawkin eggplant - and I was thinking of Rose's eggplant rolls. She mentioned having sauteed spinach on the side. I put it inside the eggplant roll-up with sauteed mushrooms and roasted zucchini.
I also made tofu ricotta and tomato sauce, both from recipes in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Vegan Table.
I layered one slice of roasted eggplant, one slice of roasted zucchini, the ricotta, and the sauteed spinach and mushrooms and pierced the little rolls with a toothpick and baked them at, oh, I don't even know - 350 for about 10 minutes.
I plated them with linguine and topped everything with the tomato sauce.


I'm pretty proud of this dish. It was simple overall, but there were a lot of components and I wasn't exactly sure what G was looking for but he ended up liking it a lot. I'm also really happy about this recipe because we already had everything in the fridge - it just all came together. I did have to pick up some basil and the linguine but that's nominal. G and I make a good team, I think, because he has definite ideas of what he'd like to eat and challenges me to try new things. I just carry out his wishes. And both the zucchini and eggplant were probably about two days from going bad. He swooped in just in time to SAVE THE PRODUCE.
Then, tonight for dinner I wanted to use up an oldening avocado in the fridge, plus a bit of rice I had from...maybe a week ago? I also happened to have a package of seaweed, so I attempted sushi rolls with avocado, cucumber, and carrot. No photos of that because they were a mess and hard to hold together. I think I really need to start with one of those larger sheets. They were tasty, however, and I used up the stuff that was leftover from the 5 mini seaweed sheets to put together a sushi salad. I added mushrooms to this plate and topped it all with soy sauce and red pepper flakes.


Good stuff. I'm stuffed.
One more thing - the Kuntrageous Vegan is now at a new site and is giving away a change to win the Happy Herbivore cookbook. Take a look!

12 comments:

  1. Mmm, that looks so good.

    I now have an idea of what to do with my leftover cashew ricotta. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. i love veggie roll up things! yours looks really good, thats exactly the kind of food i like to eat!and your ricotta looks great too, is it tofu based or cashew?

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  3. Jessica - inspiration for everyone!

    Michelle - these are tofu based: tofu, garlic powder (or cloves), lemon juice, basil, salt. I made a lot so there's extra and I've been putting it on everything :)

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  4. This is the way I like to eat pasta - a little on the side with lots of veggies doused in tomato sauce. The roll-up looks really good.

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  5. The eggplant rollatini looks amazing. Veganomicon has a recipe for it, but it looks so involved so I haven't made it.

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  6. That eggplant roll and pasta looks amazing! You did a great job! I can just taste it now.....YUM!!!!
    I saw that show the other night too. It has me craving pasta also. I'm trying to be patient and wait till the end of the week though. :o)
    I still haven't tried to make sushi rolls. I need to do that soon!

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  7. The veggie roll ups look so yummy! Fantastic idea; they're like little lasagna rolls, sounds like an impromtu meal that came together superbly. I'm a little shaky with seaweed, but I love the idea of the seaweed salad to use up the broken sheets.

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  8. I thought the spinach should be inside the eggplant, too, but I didn't think of adding tofu ricotta. That's a great idea! I might try it this weekend.

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  9. Jessica, yeah I'm not the biggest fan of pasta but it works well with so many things.

    VB - D'oh! I didn't even think to check a cookbook for a similar recipe - that might have worked as a good guide. Shows how well I browsed through V'con, eh? I'm going to take a look!

    Thanks Michelle! Technically I haven't made sushi rolls either; they were a complete mess!

    Rose, thank you for the inspiration! I think this was a communal effort. It did come together really well, though. As for the seaweed, I definitely want to work on my technique and try again. It's so healthy for you, and tasty too!

    Andrea, it was pretty easy despite the multiple steps - I think the ricotta definitely adds something to it.

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  10. Very impressive roll-up. Plus after finish eating, you can use the toothpicks to pick the spinach out of your teeth. Dual purpose!

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  11. Pretty rolls! My husband often requests these seemingly impossible things to make, and I sort of inwardly groan because why is he suggesting I make something like that when he sees how busy I am. Then I realize I'm glad he does that because I need to be pushed and challenged. And he has good ideas.

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  12. Shen, I was terrified I'd just bite into the damn thing and get a toothpick to the roof of my mouth!

    Thanks, Jenny! I feel the same way sometimes but always feel really proud when I've accomplished something like that. Thank goodness for those guys.

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