Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cooking again!

Thanks for all your sweet comments! I took part of the CPA exam this morning, and I have never been more relieved that an exam was over. How did I do? Ehh... I'm not going to speculate, I will just wait and see. In the meantime, I am just thrilled that I have some time to cook again. So though I don't have a whole lot to show right now, I will be in the kitchen plenty in the next few days--you'll see.

I tried this tempeh recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen, and let me tell you, it was out of this world. Seriously. I found that the marinade was only enough to really coat half a block of tempeh, so I doubled the marinade recipe, adding about two teaspoons of siracha sauce to the marinade to give it a little something extra. It was a perfect addition. I also let the tempeh marinate overnight. This is one of my new favorite quick-cooking meals--definitely eat it on a wrap with sprouts and dijon mustard. Mmmm....

Bob and I have turned out some pretty awkward-looking loaves of bread in our day, but this one takes the cake:

It's good, though--we took one of our standard bread recipes and used 1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten, per a suggestion by Melody, in place of some of the flour. It made the dough a little more difficult to work with (hence the lopsidedness of the finished product), but with a bit of practice I think we can figure it out. Using the wheat gluten seemed to give the bread a nice, sturdy texture that we really like.

The following photos are from Bluebird Cafe, a vegetarian restaurant here in Athens that we have visited a few times. The menu is rather small and only about half the items are vegan, so we don't really go that often. But we ended up there for lunch yesterday--there is a story behind this--and there you go.

I ordered the hummus plate, which was actually quite delicious--though I thought they kind of skimped on the veggies. It came with pita wedges too, though.

Bob ordered a veggie plate with an Indian sweet potato curry over basmati rice, some tasty collard greens, and some sautéed tofu coated in nutritional yeast. Overall, it was a fair lunch but not exciting enough to tempt us back.

So how did we end up at Bluebird for lunch yesterday? Well... we heard over the weekend that our beloved Indian restaurant, Bombay Cafe, would be closing soon. We were so sad, but we decided we wanted to go one last time as a farewell. This was easily the most vegan-friendly restaurant in town, and we are both crazy over Indian food anyway. Well, when we showed up at their door yesterday for lunch, our hearts sank when we found out that Bombay is already closed--I guess "soon" meant much sooner than we had imagined. Sigh... we have had such good experiences there, and we will miss the place dearly. It seems that they were not able to compete with the other restaurants in town anymore.

Since we had gotten ourselves so worked up over Indian cuisine only to be let down, we decided to make up for it tonight by making aloo gobi matar. We referred to the recipe in LDV as well as to prior experience, and what resulted was near perfection (well, at least as far as food goes).

It's really not hard to make at all, and homemade roti is not too tricky either. I was scared for quite a while to try cooking Indian food on my own; now I'm very glad I got over that.

Dear friends, I promise to catch up with all your blogs soon! I had to stop looking at them because it was driving me crazy to look and not comment... so I have quite a pile of posts to go through! And I cannot wait!

Until next time...


aTxVegn said...

How sad about Bombay Cafe! I saw your oomment on my post after I just did a new post on Indian food! I love toasting all the spices and now you've inspired me to not be afraid of making my own roti or nann. Your aloo gobi looks fantastic! The tempeh looks great too. I haven't tried that recipe yet. A beautiful loaf of bread is wonderful, but it really is only the taste that counts.

aTxVegn said...

Forgot to say I'm glad your exam is over. I know you did well.

Urban Vegan said...

I am salivating over that Indian food....

theONLYtania said...

Ooh, the tempeh wrap looks great. I want to do more with tempeh. I have a minimal repertoire of main entree type meals hehe.
I enjoy the funky bread loaf, that will make a neat sandwich haha.
That Bluebird Cafe doesn't look too bad, you're right about the skimpy veggies, but Bob's plate looks good.
I've never made Indian food, is that just cauliflower and peas?

bazu said...

Your bread cracks me up! At first, before I read your description, I thought it was a loaf cut in half- hee hee. It still looks delicious, though.

Kris said...

Good luck with your results!

Oh, you! You always make me hungry for Indian food! Yum! That marinaded tempeh looks amazing too!

funwithyourfood said...

I'm back in school now so i fully understand the insanity of work and school! Good luck :)


KleoPatra said...

I'm so proud of you, Laura, and hoping the CPA test results are positive positive positive! I'll hold good thoughts, of course!

The tempeh is tempting, for sure. Really nice with that marinade and all!

That plate w/that hummus is in dire need of more veggies for sure, i'm in total agreement with you! But as long as it had the pita wedges, i guess we can forgive, 'eh? Bob's plate looks pretty good, but sorry it was overall kinda "meh," as it's said.

Too bad about Bombay Cafe closing! BOO! :( Well the good nooz is WE have a great Bombay Cafe here in San Diego... if you come on out, i'll show it to ya. :o) i know, it's not the same, but i'm hopeful you'll come visit just the same...

The food you made looks really good, by the way. Don't mean to ignore your great Indian cookin' there, Laura.

laura jesser said...

Diann, the smell of the spices tempering in the pan is just about unbeatable...

Urban Vegan, thanks. :) Your comments are always fun.

Tania, aloo = potatoes, gobi = cauliflower, matar = peas. It's not hard so if you think you would like it, definitely give it a try! You have LDV, right? The recipes in there are a good place to start.

Bazu, I reacted in just about the same way when I took it out of the oven! :)

Kris, thanks. Lots of bloggers have been delving into Indian food lately, and it makes me hungry for it too!

Teddy, thanks--and good luck to you too!

Kleo, I would loooove to come visit and let you show me your Bombay Cafe! :) Seriously... I have never been out to the west coast, and I think I'm due for a trip out there. If/when it happens, I will let you know. ;)

Johanna3 said...

I'm glad your exam is over!!

funny bread :)

here we dont have indian restaurant, and lately i want to try some indian food. i must investigate a little about it. is very spicy or hot?
did you now a simple recipe of indian cooking?


Johanna3 said...

i forgot to ask in what page of the la dolce vegan you found the recipe for aloo gobi matar. i cant find it lol,im so silly!

Urban Vegan said...

forgot to say good luck on the CPA exam. I'm sure you CPAced it!

laura jesser said...

Johanna, the recipe I used was on page 141 of La Dolce Vegan, but I didn't follow that recipe exactly. It's a good place to start, though. It's fairly spicy but I don't think it's that bad. Good luck with it--I hope it works out for you!

Urban Vegan, thanks! Hehe. I hope you're right.

vko said...

Good luck on the CPA exam, but I'm sure you don't need it!

I love all things tempeh and I definitely am going to siracha my next marinade- great idea!

Sorry to hear about your beloved restaurant, maybe another great place will open in it's place- one can hope!

onward and upward! said...

I stumbled on your blog when googling how difficult is the CPA exam. My husband is considering taking it.

Anyway, we are mostly vegetarian and adore Indian food. I found a Web site that is amazing--it is a woman and husband who share their Indian food recipes that are adapted to products available in the US. They too, take into consideration ecological and economic and spiritual aspects of cooking and eating. It is:

Enjoy. Try something so I'll be inspired to do the same.