Sunday, August 06, 2006

A weekend of cooking

I'm finally back at my apartment in good old Athens, with my well-stocked kitchen. Yesterday I didn't get to blog--in fact, I really didn't even get to cook much--because a wicked thunderstorm blew through around dinnertime. The power went out for a while, and even once it came back on I didn't want to try to cook anything for fear that it might go out again. So yesterday for dinner I had a hummus sandwich on fresh whole wheat sourdough that I purchased from the farmer's market in Atlanta before I came back that morning. I just found some prepared hummus in the fridge, and I threw on some cucumber slices and a tomato slice and some mung bean sprouts. I never had mung bean sprouts before, but they were so yummy--juicy and kind of sweet.

Lunch yesterday was a little more fun. Also at the farmer's market that morning I had bought some portabella mushroom caps, and I decided to grill myself a portabella steak for lunch. I marinated it in Worcestershire sauce (veg, of course), a little liquid smoke, and some salt and pepper and garlic powder. Then I popped it on the old George Foreman and in five minutes had a grilled mushroom. I had a nice salad with it and it was a very lovely lunch. No picture--my camera was still packed up and I was too hungry to rummage around for it. But I'm going to duplicate the meal one night this week, when my husband can partake with me, and I'll share a photo then.

This morning I made French toast, but it didn't come out as well as it usually does. A little too dry, I think. I don't know why; I make French toast often and usually don't have a problem with it. Oh well, sometimes recipes flop for inexplicable reasons. Anyway, I used:
Nutritional yeast
Whole wheat sourdough bread

It still came out well enough, and I served it with sliced bananas, maple syrup, and some Soyatoo! whipped soy topping. And I can't complain!

I had a girlfriend over this afternoon, and I planned to cook lunch for us. Never decided what I would make. But we spent so much time just chatting and catching up that we completely missed lunch time, and she had to leave. But I'm going to have her over again one night this week and really cook something--I'm thinking sushi, maybe... Anyway, I just had a plain salad for lunch, and then some crackers with crunchy peanut butter.

I made some pumpkin bread from my new vegan cookbook (called Vegan Vittles), with just a couple of modifications. The recipe called for maple syrup but I replaced it with blackstrap molasses because I don't really like the flavor of maple syrup except on pancakes, French toast, etc. As a result the loaf came out pretty dark and not very beautiful. It still tastes great though. It really is like a bread--most pumpkin "bread" recipes are really pumpkin cake, but this is drier and denser, just what I was hoping for.

For dinner I made an adaptation of Leslie's sloppy lentils (which was an adaptation of JenniferShmoo's recipe!).
Here's a picture of it cooking in my lovely big soup pot! I left out the carrot because I didn't have one, and I added Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. I used a whole lot less cayenne pepper than I usually use when making legumes, and it had just enough spice to make it interesting enough for me but the heat didn't overwhelm the dish. I loved the kale! I just shredded mine instead of mincing it so I had some pretty big kale leaves simmering around in there, but it was so yummy! I'm hooked on kale now--maybe I'll cook it every day. I served the sloppy lentils with a slice of mine and Bob's favorite bread (from The Grit).

Oh, and I made a new friend when I was chopping the kale--there was a ladybug hanging out among the leaves. I tried to take a picture but apparently he was camera shy. Anyway, he's been chilling in my fridge ever since yesterday morning, the poor guy. I took him out and put him on the lawn, and I'm sure the August evening heat is thawing him out quite nicely.

Thanks for all your cookbook suggestions! I got the one I did because it is short and has some very basic recipes in it that I can do a lot with. I'm going to make some almond cream "cheese" to put on the pumpkin bread. I'll let you know how it comes out! The cookbook also has a lot of good information about cruelty in the egg and dairy industries. It's hard to read and hard to talk about, but I would recommend Vegan Vittles for the intro alone to anyone who is considering becoming vegan but just not sure (like I was) that these industries are really as cruel as the meat industry. Posted by Picasa


KleoPatra said...

I love how busy you are, and what you are busy preparing. So wonderful, Laura!! Love the bowl the sloppy lentils are in. And how nice of you to befriend a ladybug. Very sweet!! :o)

vegancookiemonster said...

Yum, I love bread! That pumpkin bread would be EXCELLENT in my belly!