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Monday, January 31, 2011

I Hate My Camera

Dinner was beautiful and colorful and tasty but you wouldn't know it from the photos. My camera refuses to focus.
Almost the whole meal was another test for Dynise - Island Tempeh marinaded in a pineapple base! and her Gentrified Coleslaw. We also had rice on the side, topped with the tempeh marinade. Coleslaw over spinach because I love spinach.


The tempeh was beachy and but the coleslaw was amazing. It includes fennel and raddichio, both of which I resolve to start eating more often because they are badass! I included them in last night's dinner, a salad - spinach, carrot, raddichio, fennel, cucumber, silken tofu, and tapenade. They give a really nice bitter bite and contrast.


Also, here's the coleslaw for lunch with natural light and therefore a clear picture. Served with a chipotle Field Roast sausage.


I'm going to work on the camera. Or Greg will for me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Working with Leftovers

There was one more small head of bok choy to use up in the fridge after V'con recipe, so I healthified it a little and made a modified version of the meal.
I steamed the bok choy, topped it with chopped ginger, low sodium soy sauce, sesame seeds (they add a lot more than I thought they would!), scallions, and red pepper flakes.
On the side, miso soup with tofu and more scallions and red pepper flakes to keep with the Asian theme.


No oil, more flavor, and actually more filling than the original meal. Yum yum.
Green tea and a small bar of dark chocolate for dessert - to up the antioxidants.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Mario Mustache

Happy Vegan Pizza Day! Did you guys know about this? I was so excited I took off work to prepare (I was also not excited to go to work and really wanted an excuse to stay home).
Pizza is nice because there are so many options with toppings. I had originally wanted to make two small pizzas with different toppings but the dough came out to less than I imagined it would be so I just went with a single larger one.
I used the recipe from Kris Holechek's 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes for Herbed Pizza Dough. I mixed in some cornmeal which gave a nice crunch to the crust.
I topped it with some jarred TJ's marinara sauce mixed with tomato paste, sliced onion, green peppers and broccoli, spinach, and spicy Field Roast sausage slices. Plus a dusting on top of nooch, red pepper, and black pepper. Less streamlined than I had orignially envisioned with the two separate pies, but as G said, "load it up." It worked. Pretty spicy, but very good!



Small salad on the side of romaine, spinach, carrot, cucumber and tomato. Hope you all got to celebrate! Now I'm gonna go top it all off with some wine.

Friday, January 28, 2011

More Tester Stuff

I made Cinnamon-Date scones from Dynise's upcoming cookbook even though the recipe was technically closed. That's how bad I wanted to make them. Can you tell I've been itching bake lately?



They were really delicious. I had one warm right out of the oven. I could have done with a little more cinnamon taste, but that's just me - I put cinnamon on everything I can. The batter also was a little less firm than I think scones are supposed to be, but I didn't want to add more flour so I just scooped them out like sweet biscuits rather than slicing the dough into wedges. I brought them to work the next day and people seemed to like them, scone-y or not.

I also made her Mega Israeli salad, which despite being a little out of season was a really nice, fresh change from my usual leafy salads. I was pretty anxious for my avocado to ripen but it was worth the wait - has anyone heard you can speed-soften an avocado by microwaving it? Egh! The idea of that kind of freaked me out so I just did the ole wrap it in paper trick.


That isn't the best photo of it (I still don't exactly have the hang of focusing the new camera..) but I thought it was a funny contrast because you can see the fresh foot of snow in the background.
You can also see the major chunks of red onion in there...Perhaps not the best meal to bring as lunch to work. Oh well. It certainly brightened the white up.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Why did you make a soup that looks like pee?"

Well, sure, fine. But it tasted good.


Soup is so awesome. And especially awesome for using up random things that would otherwise go to waste. This is a brassica soup: onion+garlic (as all soups worth anything start with), veg broth, broccoli stalks (the tops were for the polenta), the last of the celeriac (from the harvest crumble), and cabbage (from the wild rice soup). I added turmeric for pee color (and liver detox, among other things), caraway seeds and black pepper.

With collard wraps:



These blurry wraps included garlic hummus, sliced carrot, cucumber, and roasted red pepper. I love these things.



Also, 4 Things: From Michelle, but a la Shen because I can't think to answer my own.
4 TV shows:
Celebrity Rehab
Real Housewives
Cougartown
Kitchen Nightmares

4 Things I am Passionate About:
Cheap wine
Lentil soup
Blessed Mama’s desserts
My privacy

4 Words/Phrases I Use Too Much:
“No memes”
“Delicious”
“Hello I’m Shen”
“It’s hard to come up with a blog title.”

4 Things I’ve learned from the Past:

Blessed Mama can do no wrong
Gratuitous pet photos will increase comments by 100%
Dip cookies in wine
New restaurants are not always worth it

4 Things I’m Looking Forward to:

Lunch tomorrow
Dinner tomorrow
Finishing these desserts
Playing with the pets

4 Things I love about Winter:

Soups
Snuggles
Wine
The crisp clear mornings of VA

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cookbook Club 1.2 AND 1.3

Pardon the absence, I had to transfer to a new camera and was too lazy to actually install the software onto my computer. I am also still learning to work with the damned thing, so it might be a while until the food is distinguishable.
When not avoiding electronics, I was cooking more out of Veganomicon for Lindsay's Cookbook Club.
The second recipe I turned to was due to peer pressure from Shen, who frequently posts some really good-looking bok choy and tofu. Veganomicon's recipe is Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Shallots and Sesame Seeds. I served it with pan-seared tofu, as that seemed fitting, and bok choy alone a meal does not make.


In all honesty, even all this a meal did not make and I think both Greg and I supplemented with a salad or something more; I can't remember exactly what.
I don't often use much oil in my cooking so we both found this a little greasy. It tasted good, though. I bought scallions instead of shallots because I wasn't at home to check the ingredients when I bought them (d'oh!)and ended up subbing plain old onions. They also didn't get particularly crispy but that could have been due to either my impatience or because they aren't shallots.
I could have done with a bit more flavor - I used apple juice instead of mirin, and felt it probably could have been omitted completely. As I ate the dish, I also added more soy sauce and topped it all with some red pepper flakes.
I wouldn't call the recipe a total winner but the flavor and recipes can be varied to liking. I think this may have been my first time making bok choy! The sesame seeds on top were also nice; I'm glad I actually did buy them.

And last night, I made V'con's Broccoli Polenta. I found this a little bland too. I never had much of a taste for salt, but really! I did use low-sodium vegetable broth but I don't think a recipe should depend on something like that. I'm also a little stunned that there were no herbs or spices whatsoever in the recipe to even complement the subtle broccoli and polenta. No garlic, Isa? Nutritional yeast would also have helped. Isn't polenta usually a little cheesy? When I ate mine, I topped it with hot sauce.
Other than that, I did enjoy making the recipe - It gets hectic as soon as you pour the cornmeal into the broth and it starts bubbling and popping all over the stove but that is just excitement. This recipe ALSO allowed me to use my broiler for the first time! I think I've previously just high-temperature baked polenta. Look how nice and crispy they got.
This recipe I would definitely try again, tweaking a few things here and there. Polenta is also one of those recipes that can have so many variations, and it's easy to make.


One more Veganomicon recipe to go, and G picked it out this time so maybe he'll finally enjoy something I make.

Friday, January 21, 2011

OCDs of Cooking

Halloo. My camera is being wonky and honestly, also, I haven't been photographing much because I've been busy finishing the 15th! issue of my food zine, Marmalade Umlaut. In lieu of a food post, here's an essay from the zine. Let me know if you want me to mail out a hard copy. There are a few essays, a cookbook review (Appetite for Reduction), some doodly comics, and a coupla recipes.
This is something I think a lot of you may(?) be able to relate to. Ainslie in particular just recently posted about (something like) this. Read her post; I don't want to misrepresent her here.

OCDs of Cooking

No, not the ABCs; these are not cooking tips. These are my itemized (because I loooove itemizing!) “woblems” as Greg says. Or “wroblems” as my mouth like to say. “Wrowbelemps.” Man that word is fun.
Anyway, as I said, G and I are trying to cut back on sugar as one of many New Year’s Resolutions. That’s all well and good except for my love and need of baking. Another of my resolutions was to generally try to be calmer and nicer, which I expected to be easier without sugar making me jumpy and anxious. When I did the raw-then liquid-then lemonade diet cleanse early last year, I found a gliding calm towards the end of the cleanse and I suppose that’s what I’m looking for again. However, what I’ve found to be the case so far is that I’m always anxious and stressed and easily upsettable. It’s not the sugar; it’s me. What a great realization.
The exception to this state is when I’m busy and more and more lately, “busy” has translated to “baking or cooking.” I believe I’ve touched on this before, but cooking and baking can give great relief to people with OCD, though it too can be stressful at times. Idle hands are said to be the Devil’s plaything, and while my fingers don’t itch to do evil the nervous energy of my unoccupied hands has me tapping things compulsively, straightening and moving objects until I forget where I’ve put them, and worse, harming me physically: I’m prone to pulling patches of my hair out and scratching and picking at my arms and hands until they rash up and bleed. Yuck and ow. Much more productive are measuring, stirring, timing, and cleaning up after a cooking mess.
However, the problem I do have with cooking is also related to anxiety: I wash my hands constantly to make sure I don’t contaminate the food and then wash the food extensively to rid it of pesticides and germs. Also, even amid the calming, rhythmic chopping or slicing of vegetables, I need to constantly be vigilant of dropping vegetables or flying chunks. I can remember at least one instance when I swept around Greg as he was grating carrots. Sorry, G. It’s not you; it’s me.
Generally, I do enjoy the process as cathartic. Just as I enjoy picking and “collecting” ingredients at a store, I enjoy piecing them together to create a whole. It’s a cleansing process albeit one that never remains expunged since I need to replenish and restock our food stores on a regular basis. It is almost a problem unto itself.
The confliction continues: OCD is a very cyclical disorder and every accomplishing mania comes complete with a despondent low. I enjoy the catharsis, yes, but am constantly faced with the prospect of waste. I rarely use the numerous cookbooks I have because of this fear of waste. I dislike to spend money on ingredients that I’m never sure I’ll use more than once, which would lead to an excess that I wouldn’t be able to clear out. I also have trust issues: “How would figs and onions ever taste together? Will it actually be good?” I don’t want a recipe to taste bad and then go bad if we never eat it. However, if I don’t make a recipe I’m intrigued by there is always a persistent nagging in the back of my mind until it’s made.
With trust issues as such (and ones that MAY extend beyond the kitchen) it’s hard for me to try or commit to new things. I’m very much a person of habit and am typically set in my rituals. Occasionally mania, or whimsy, or a positive feeling settles down that leads me to sign up to be a cookbook tester, join a cookbook club, buy Pimms No. 1 for a totally improbable picnic punch, or purchase three new cookbooks because I just must despite never touching so many of the ones I already own. Then follows the cloying, paralyzing fear of new waters.
This is when I realize

-Wait, I need Garam Masala for this?
-But...that costs money. The cheapest place to get it is at an Indian store and that means I need to go...downtown??!
-I am NOT going into the city on my day OFF! That’s just TOO FAR.
-And..well, I really just like to go straight home after work...the crowds, you know?
-Um, I can just have salad again tonight. Bah! Who needs Garam Masala anyway?

It’s not for nothing that I took to a hobby that allows (nay, forces me!) to mostly stay home, alone, inside all day. Social interaction be damned.
When I do let loose and make recipes from my obscene collection of cookbooks I am always pleased and feel accomplished and promise myself I’ll do it more often but then the depression overwhelms the euphoria and I hate that I eat so much and hate how much money I spent on the meal ingredients and then feel guilty about those who can’t afford food and guilty about how I could have better spent my time...
I am working on not being so crazy and stressed and fat and worthless. Ack! I mean, it’s good that I’m not eating sugar. Go me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

This Wasn't My Lunch Today

This was lunch yesterday. I'm working my way through leftovers oldest first to get to more leftovers. Who knew eating could be such a chore!



Actually, this wasn't toooo much of a chore. It was pretty delicious. Spinach, wild rice, roasted butternut squash with tahini sauce.

Today's lunch was different but my camera is being lame.

Cookbook Club 1.1: Veganomicon's Tempeh-Broccoli Rabe-Rotelle

The first book up in Lindsay's cookbook club is Veganomicon.

I've had this book probably since it came out but have only made a few recipes here and there. Widely considered to be the ultimate vegan tome, I'm glad for a chance to use and critique the book.
There are a ton of recipes in here but for the first recipe I picked "Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Rotelle" because I thought it would appeal to G and because all the ingredients interested me. Plus, it seemed like the perfect hearty dinner: a protein, a carb, and a vegetable. Also, for a cookbook of this depth, there are not a lot of photos, so I wanted to pick a recipe that did have a photo so that I would kind of know what I was going for.
The meal was one of those with a 45 minute icon and even for someone like me who runs back and forth constantly checking the book to see if I'm doing it right, the whole thing came in under an hour. I got the ingredients at Whole Foods - that's another post, but I love that place - though most of them probably could have been purchased at a regular grocery store except for the tempeh.
Anyway, as I served it, Greg mentioned how he never eats pasta as sauceless as this was. It has a sauce, but it is absorbed into the tempeh. We agreed that it probably would have been better with more sauce on top. Both the tempeh and broccoli rabe are a bit bitter which I generally don't have a problem with but they would have improved, or at least been more widely palate-friendly, with a bit more sauce. I might make some more up today to throw on top of the leftovers (which it looks like I'll be eating solo). Luckily the sauce is pretty simple.
Apparently G doesn't like tempeh and now I feel bad because I also deliberately skipped a step of frying the tempeh. I actually do enjoy it and even eat it straight out of the package sometimes so I felt there was enough oil in the rest of the recipe that I didn't want to fry the tempeh, despite that probably firming up the texture and perhaps selling G a little more on the tempeh. Oof. Sorry.
Anyway, I'd still recommend the recipe even if I don't make it again. It makes a lot and it's pretty healthy (except for the oil! What is up!). I love the addition of fennel seeds and I love any opportunity to eat broccoli rabe. If you make this (or have) and don't skip the frying of the tempeh, let me know if that changes anything taste or texture-wise. It might even help if you dry-bake it but that would obviously be another step.


Poor Greg suffering through both the horrible meal I served him and my taking a photo of his bowl:


What a trooper.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Breadless

If you know me, you know I like bread. I even half-jokingly created a "smoothie sandwich" for a friend's sandwich collection (which, since he doesn't seem to be getting on, I'm using it in MY zine): 1 banana, 1/2 avocado, handful of greens - yr typical smoothie ingredients - all on two fluffy slices of delicious grain bread.
However, in trying to be more careful of what I eat calorie-wise, sugar intake-wise, etc. as well as moving towards a more raw diet, my dinner two nights ago was a typical sandwich filling without the bread. While it was delicious on its own, no, I didn't eat it right out of the bowl but rather made a raw collard wrap, as inspired by Gena most obviously, but raw-eaters everywhere. It's only now that I'm catching on to this brilliance. Especially now that with the cookbook testing and cookbook clubbing (cue flashing lights and drug intake) my salads are sadly missing, I feel like deliberately upping my greens is important.
So, dinner wasn't exactly raw, but it was vegan, soy free, breadless, and still delicious!

Crudites to begin (I was pretty hungry when I got home): carrots, celery, green pepper with tapenade and hummus


Chicken salad-inspired Chickpea mash: chickpeas, onion, green pepper, lemon juice, mustard


Rolling,


And plated,


Yes, those are cooked collards on the side with my collard wraps. Like I said, I'm upping my greens, haha! I was making some anyway for Greg to eat with the leftover jambalaya.
I've only had collards maybe once or twice before, and never raw, but these were good! They're lighter than a sandwich would have been, healthier, and you can't really taste the leaves' bitterness because of the filling. Plus I love rolling things up and eating them. Last night's dinner was similar in that I took cabbage leaves and rolled up the jambalaya in those. Sort of like a cabbage roll that wasn't steamed.
Now to figure out how to sub bread in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich...I have a feeling collards wouldn't work with that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hay is for Horses but Oats are for Me

I love oatmeal in the mornings. It's so versatile, though that's kind of moot since I eat it pretty much the same way every time.



Oats, banana, almond butter, dried fruit: raisins or cranberries of late. Maybe it'll get more exciting some other time.

Then for dinner, another test recipe for Dynise. This one was so delicious! There are quite a few steps to the recipe, but I think it is great and was totally worth it. This is Harvest Crumble with figs, squash, and onion. Also included is celeriac, which I have never used nor probably eaten, but it's very good. I also LOVE figs, so this was a real winner. The crumble on top also includes the ubiquitous oatmeal.



I served it with a fresh, beety side salad, which has been missing lately, what with all the fancy. Sorry about the crappy photo.


Oatmeal has even subconsciously worked its taste into some baked goods I made for work: they were FAIL scones but tasty "breakfast cakes." No oatmeal in those, just raisins, walnuts, spices, and the usual, but a friend kept insisting they tasted like oatmeal. Then he ate three of them, oatmeal or no.

The downside to all these great eats so far this month? I just calculated I've spent $207.66 already this month! And that's sobering in the face of this news I found on Rick's site. Sad. I'm hoping to start volunteering with some food organization soon, either with distributing food stamps or working at a food pantry or helping poorer neighborhoods learn about health. It's a long-term goal and something that I don't think about often but is a real, serious problem even in the U.S. Not to be a Debbie Downer. I'm grateful to be able to live and eat how I do; I have to remember to more often "eat to live" and not "live to eat."
Also, I'm sorry if I haven't been commenting much lately - I still and always have a bunch of things I want to get done but I'm reading! Keep up the good work - or take a break if you want so I won't have so much to catch up with!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two Classy Lunches

Leftover Roasted Vegetable salad from the lunch/dinner party. The croutons are the last of the homemade foccacia, toasted. Topped with nooch, balsamic vinegar, and pepper.



On the side, I stuffed a few mushroom caps with garlic hummus and dashed paprika on top.



And yesterday's leftover lunch, all dolled up: Spinach, chopped red pepper, black beans, sliced olives, wild rice. Really fresh. Topped with nooch and a little hot sauce.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cooking from Actual Recipes

I'm a cookbook tester for Dynise's upcoming cookbook but have not made a damn thing yet, despite a whole lot of delicious looking recipes. Sometimes I'm just too lazy to actually go buy what I need for a recipe and give up on making it. Is that ridiculous? It is. Especially for someone who has as many cookbooks as I do.
Anyway, I just stuck it out and made her jambalaya. I'm really glad I did. This stuff is hearty and smoky; perfect to have around for the next few days (hello 8-12 more inches of snow). Despite having visited NOLA once about 6 years ago, I was already vegetarian and have never had authentic jambalaya. My brother, however, has lived in the South for the last five years and I'd love to hear what he has to say about this dish. With both vegan bacon and sausage, it's not something I'd usually make but it seems pretty omni friendly. The spice mix was very spicy and very good. I love it when I actually use my spices, which usually muster away in their box.



Has anyone ever had the real thing, or any vegan version of jambalaya? What did you think? Any recommendations on what kind of vegetable I can serve this with? As good as it is, I'm a girl who likes my greens...

Speaking of following recipes, I've also signed up for Lindsay's ingenious Cookbook Club! The first book we'll be cooking from is Veganomicon, so in the next month, I'll be making four or so recipes from that book as well. I have acutally USED this cookbook, but I'm excited to try out some more stuff. Both testing for Dynise and critiquing via Lindsay's guidelines and questions is really helpful and fun. It brings out the editor in me. Things are about to get fancy. And tasty.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Something Soup with Stuff: The Recipe

Scooping....


and....


Bingo.

More soup recipes, as if you ever need one. This was originally based off of a vegetarian chicken-noodle soup from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. It didn't stay that way for long.

3/4 c. wild rice
4 c. water

1 TBS olive oil + 2 TBS water
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. cabbage, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 c. veg broth
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 c. water
1 1/2 mushrooms, chopped (I used cremini, whatever, no big)
1/2 can chickpeas
salt + pepper to taste

-Prepare wild rice: Boil water, add rice, let simmer about 45 minutes and drain. Set aside.
-In a separate stockpot, heat olive oil and water. Add onion, garlic, cabbage, and carrots and cook until soft.
-Add vegetable broth and diced tomatoes with liquid, as well as about 1 c. more water. When this is bubbling, add mushrooms and chickpeas. Let simmer about 20 minutes.
-Add salt and pepper to taste. (I didn't include or add any spices because the tomatoes had some spices in them, as well as the veg. broth and I didn't want to mess around too much with what was already there since the recipe was already from 3 separate soup recipes. Certainly add any spices you think would work: thyme, basil, bay leaf, etc.)
-Add cooked wild rice and heat through. Serve.

As with all soups, this tastes better the next day. You may want to add more liquid if it's going to be sitting around for more than a few days, as it absorbs and lets the flavors mmmmingle. This was actually my first time cooking with wild rice, which is apparently a swamp grass? So my foodie sister said. Anyway, it was good and I hope to be able to use it in a lot of ways because it was also sort of expensive.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some Sort of Soup, with Other Stuff

Hey hey well of course I forgot to take pictures of the food for you guys...but G didn't!
The morning was spent cleaning and then I ran out at around 1 to get groceries for the (late) lunch with my sister. Since she's ONLY my sister and not someone too important (kidding, Liz), I was a little less stressed about hosting than usual - she's a good conversationalist and knows how to chill so I wasn't too worried about getting everything exactly on the table as soon as she arrived, or about scouring the toilet seat lest she make a judgment about my standards of living. I didn't even Windex the coffee table! (Those chores will be for tomorrow...)
Anyway, good thing she's chill because the she was at the apartment for about an hour as I was still cooking. The kitchen got a little overwhelming at times but it was okay. It's a little rough to have four things going at once and a cake that refuses to bake.
The meal was a small step up from your very simple soup and salad. I made a roasted vegetable salad, wild rice-chickpea soup with tomatoes, and a plain vanilla cake for dessert.
But first, G laid out a really nice fruit/cracker plate:


Tossing and plating the salad:



The salad consisted of spinach, mixed greens, olives, roasted cauliflower, roasted carrots, roasted beets and roasted red pepper.
The soup, which evolved from "un-chicken noodle soup" to "chickpea wild rice soup" to "soup with wild rice...and those roasted tomatoes!" Whatever this soup was, it was tasty. I'll try to post the recipe tomorrow.


All together now:


You see that blue Magic Hat in the back? That's the one and only beer I drank with the meal!
And the...cake. Weird bird, she. I'm glad we had that fruit plate. (Oh, and backup chocolate!)


So, yeah. I'm glad my sister brought a bottle of wine to bide time but I think she (and her friend who came along) enjoyed herself. Happy Back to School, Liz. Lesson is: lunch with a sibling is way more laid back and fun than dinner parties for the parents.

Eats and Repeats

Eat and Repeat were in a boat...
I've been sort of burned out on computers of late and am trying to work on my zine, and read (a history of the NY working class..which takes a lot of concentration), and still eat, and clean and live and stuff. A lot of the food lately has been leftovers, or scraps thrown together, or a series of snacks instead of a meal, or depressing unphotographable food. I even ate...a cookie that wasn't homemade! (It was worth it.)
But my sister is going back to school for her last semester tomorrow so I invited her over for luncheon (oooh!) today. I'll try to get some shots for you.. Til then, eat strong, live proud.


Green tea with Goji berry Yogi tea, banana bowl with granola and almond milk


TJ's Veggie Flax chips, leftover rice with black beans, salsa, and lettuce greens


An ABC Company Mac the Chip cookie! (Please excuse my foregrounded fingers.) I won Aimee's cookie giveaway and was eagerly checking the mail until this came last night. I split it into four to share with G - these things are huge! Thanks Aimee!


Homemade waffles, reheated, with raw almond butter, apricot jam, and banana slices. Goji Green tea and I had applesauce on the side, which I ate before taking the photo.


EXTREME CLOSE UP!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Granola

More of that soup, finally fresh salad; the usual. Tasty but not such pretty pictures.
The only thing interesting of late is the granola I made last night. I've really been wanting to make some lately and also wanted to use up some of the random nuts and dried fruits I have around from other baking and cooking endeavors of late.

Anyway:


Obviously there are seven million granola recipes out there. This one I wanted to keep simple and warmly flavored.
Oatmeal, pistachios and cranberries spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg + oil, honey (I'm sorry!), and applesauce.
Baked at 300* for about 45 minutes, mixed every 15 minutes.
This morning I had it on top of a chopped apple with some almond milk. That amazing cinnamon-vanilla tea on the side. I hope I'm not hyping it too much for those of you who do go look for it.

"
Lunch was a salad, a snack of a clementine, and a Naked Green Superfood drink. I had dinner at my parents' house because I needed to drop something off and ate a roasted sweet potato and red cabbage with some oil dressing. It was good but I was still a little hungry and came home and ate a hummus/cucumber/lettuce sandwich.
Keeping tabs on the New Years' goals: I'm doing alright with the sugar, I think. Obviously the granola had honey in it, and I did have a bite of a candy cane at my parents' house, but just a small piece. Overall I think I'm eating better, smiling a little more (?), keeping track of my money at least, I've been doing a small, small about of exercise and I'm still drinking. Eh.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Final Destination: Dinner

I am so bad at not buying unnecessary food. And so bad at not going to Trader Joe's when I really only needed to get cat food a few blocks from there.
I fueled up for errands with leftovers:


Quinoa and kale, both with a little bit of hot sauce on them. Not really a fan of Frank's Red Hot, but I need to use it up.
Here's the haul, not including cat food:


Vanilla-Cinnamon tea (this flavor is delicious), yeast, salsa, chickpeas, blueberry jam, jarred roasted peppers, LARAbars, 2 organic apples, 2 red peppers, dried cranberries, raisins, bagged lettuce, 2 bags cut cauliflower, walnut pieces, sweet potato soup, tortilla chips, whole wheat bread. That black blur to the side would be my cat Haxan, mid-jump to investigate. This came to 45.57, and I was on the verge many a time of buying more. It took a lot of willpower to put-the-chocolate-back-on-the-shelf. Luckily I can only buy as much as I feel like hauling on public transportation also carrying about 15 lbs. of canned cat food. So that's good?
And here's the final product:


A small salad (lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes), the focaccia from yesterday, and Curried Red Pepper and Cauliflower soup.

1 TBS Earth Balance
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red peppers, chopped
1 lb. cauliflower, chopped (one of those TJ pre-cut bags)
5 TBS curry powder (this might be a lot but my curry is really old and might have lost some spice)
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp red pepper flakes
dash of powdered ginger
2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 c. vegetable broth
2 TBS almond milk

-Saute the garlic and onion in EB on a low flame until onions soften. Throw in red pepper chunks and chopped cauliflower with about 2 TBS water to speed the cooking.
-Add spices and salt, stir to coat. Cover and stir occasionally.
-When vegetables are just tender, add vegetable broth and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until vegetables have mostly softened. Taste and adjust spices if necessary. Remove from heat and let sit
-Transfer a little more than 2/3 of the pot to a blender and puree. Add almond milk and blend again. Transfer back to the pot to incorporate with the chunks and heat to serve.

This soup is pretty spicy, and I wanted it so - partially so Greg could taste it through his cold. Feel free to adjust spices, obviously. The almond milk cuts the heat a bit while adding a subtle sweetness and flavor and makes the soup a little creamier. Looking at my groceries, I had no idea what I'd be making with them really but apparently peppers were really playing in my mind.

Any interesting piece of produce you're looking forward to cooking with soon? As soon as I find a rutabaga I'm going to grab it!