Sunday, September 03, 2006

Our own Olive Garden

I had planned to make sushi tonight, but had a craving for spaghetti sometime today. So Bob and I got in the kitchen together, and prepared a wonderful Italian meal all from ingredients we had on hand!

On the menu: Whole wheat spaghetti with The Grit's red sauce, topped with a tofu ricotta inspired by VWaV, and a green salad with lettuce, cukes, and green olives. All told, it took under 45 minutes to prepare. And it was a delicious, elegant meal! We used to love the Olive Garden, but after a meal there I would feel so heavy that I wasn't worth anything afterward--but this meal was light and healthy, and still quite satisfying! And we had a blast cooking it together. Here's a closer shot of the spaghetti:

Other than that, here's what I've been making (which was not much yesterday, because we went a-visiting).

I made this for Bob yesterday morning, and it came out pretty well.

Pumpkin Smoothie

1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup chilled canned pumpkin purée
2 small spoonfuls brown sugar (maple syrup would have been good too)
1 6-ounce container vanilla soy yogurt
Splash vanilla extract
Pumpkin pie spice to taste

Blend all up and top with a dollop of Soyatoo! whipped cream.

It was really quite tasty. Next time I would use a different yogurt brand--Silk soy yogurt tastes kind of sour to me. It helped that the pumpkin was chilled--I've made pumpkin smoothies before that were warmish because the purée was not cold.

Plantains sautéed in brown sugar and vegan margarine. This was inspired by Teddy's post a couple of weeks ago about making plantains. We'd never had plantains before, but we decided to try it. We liked it alright, but it wasn't a favorite. Do any of you have experience with plantains? What do you do with them?


Pure Zuke 2 said...

YUM! Your pasta looks delicious!

I love fried plantains, although I've never made them for myself before. The best ones I've had are usually from cuban restuarants, so you might want to try to find a cuban recipe. And I've always seen them cut rather large and on an angle... not sure if that would affect the taste at al though :)

Anonymous said...

We love plaintains and where we live in FL, they are very common. Plaintains come in two forms: green and forms of blackened yellow ones. Plaintains are ripe when they are blackened yellow (almost look like rotten bananas). This type of plantain is sweeter and gives off more sugar. You peel them, cut them (they are still on firm side) and fry them until nicely browned on both sides. They are softer and sweet (without any additional sugar).

Green Plaintains: you peel them, cut them on a angle, soak in slightly salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain, pat off water and fry in a little oil until golden brown on both sides. Remove them from the oil and press them in either a tostone (wooden press) or use the bottom of a sturdy glass. Once pressed, put back in the pan and refry until nicely brown and crisp on both sides. Can sprinkle with a little salt if you like.

The great thing about plaintains is that you can buy them green for tostones and then leave them on the counter to get ripe so they never go to waste.

funwithyourfood said...

I looked up this recipe site for plantains. I think I'd like to try them mashed (they are starchy when green- like potatoes- could be good). You'll have to veganize the recipes but that's easy-peasey right ;)


Johanna3 said...

your food looks good girl!
well here in p.R. we eat lots of plantains in a lots different recipes, i eat ot mashed, cooked, fried! ripe or green they are so good.

Kate said...

Pumpkin smoothie! What a good idea, I have to try that.

laura jesser said...

Thank you for all your plantain suggestions! When I searched for recipes before, I never found much information about how to handle them and such. Your comments are a great help. I'll try these again soon!

Thanks for coming by, and take care!

KleoPatra said...

Where to begin? GREAT POST!!

The Soyatoo-topped smoothie had to be so great! Wow! What a great combo of stuff in there. Bananas and pumpkin and vanilla yogurt - oh my! Spicy and sweet, i would love that!

I don't think i have ever had plantains... good for you to give it a try.

The spaghetti looks gorgeous and wonderful! Tofu ricotta? WOW!! I'll never go back to regular ricotta, so i have to try this out sometime. And you know i loooooooove that plate! Delicious.