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Monday, August 15, 2011

Greek Dinner: Two Cookbooks, One Meal

Breakfast this morning, while delicious, is not what I want to talk about here. (Okay, okay - green smoothie with spinach, banana, a beautiful peach, and Vega vanilla powder.)
Rather, let's talk about the delicious dinner we had!  A while back, Rose suggested making collard dolmas to use up some greens I had in the fridge. It took me a while to get to, but I made those tonight, using the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum.

Thanks so much for the idea, Rose! I usually eat my collards raw, but these leaves are blanched and filled with a rice/onion/garlic/lemon/thyme mixture. On top is a cranberry tahini sauce which I was very skeptical of but could not not make. I do that a lot - "What the hell?! Hmm..." And I'm glad I went with it! The filling itself wasn't super flavorful despite a lot of lemon juice but the cranberry tahini sauce pulled out some undertones in the rice, while adding a slight sweetness. It also made a crap ton, so now I have the pleasure of drizzling it on pretty much everything. So there are quite a few separate steps, but I kind of just moved about leisurely through it, reused some pots and it wasn't a huge deal.
This was the meal I was planning on making yesterday that G thought wouldn't be enough - and he was probably right. So keeping with the Greek theme, I made a tomato-cucumber-olive salad with vegan feta cheese, which is something I've wanted to make for a long time.

I basically used the recipe from the Happy Herbivore website, but didn't have red wine vinegar. I subbed half red wine (that's been in the pantry forever) and half apple cider vinegar. I also left out the dried basil (didn't have any - but fresh probably would have been good on top now that I think about it) and salt because I thought there would be enough salt with the miso. I think it came out well, if not tasting exactly like what I remember feta to taste like. And G, who says Greek food is his favorite, was really pleased. It's important for this recipe to drain the tofu as much as possible. I squished the hell out of it, but a tofu x-press (Jessica, I'm looking at you) would probably be great here. I also think the longer you let the marinade sit, the better.
Definitely a success and with some promising leftovers. I can't help but wonder about a raw interpretation of the dolmas...
Do you have a favorite world cuisine?


  1. OMG YUM! Greek/mediterranean food is def in my top 3 favorite cuisines. ANd as I'm sure you can tell from my blog I LOVE dolma. Yours looks great I definitely want to try making my own! So jealous of your meals!

  2. great idea on the subs (red wine vin) i made tofu feta once, i didnt think i would like it but its not to bad.your dolmas are so well made:) i think Greek is my fav, Mexican is awesome too:)


  3. Hey,

    Your dolmas look great! I knew they'd be something you'd ace! The cranberry tahini sauce is intriguing! I'm going to have to look into that.

    Good idea subbing red wine vinegar with wine and cider vinegar. I made some tofu feta once...must try it again. I'm craving Greek salad now.

    World cuisine...hmm, I think my favorite one to eat out is Thai. I don't think I have a favorite to cook myself...but it's definitely not Indian...I love it, but whenever I make it at home I can't get the flavors right; it's never delicious like in restaurants.

  4. i've also been wary of making that dolma recipe because of the cranberry tahini. glad to hear it was a winner. they look great!

    fave world cuisines - italian is #1, but i also love mexican and indian!

  5. That's a great idea to blanche the collard greens to make it a little more tender. I'll have to try that! As for international, I believe I love food from other countries more than my own. My top favorite is Thai - I crave it just about daily. :)

  6. Never had dolmas but after seeing yours, I now want one! I would have been skeptical of the cranberry tahini sauce too. I'm so glad it all came together.

    I think Mexican would have to be my favorite world cuisine...that and Italian. :o)

  7. Wait? What? Where did all this food come from? I thought you were down to 'pickins'?

  8. Wow, those collard dolmas look good! I think you did a great job on them. Since I've expanded my ability to eat almost everything veggie, I'd have to say that I love every ethnic take on food. Food is great!

  9. Ok, thanks for calling me out on the tofu xpress. I use it all the time, actually. I didn't think I would.

    I need to try vegan feta. The tomato/cucumber salad sounds amazing, what a great summer combo.


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