*Pokes head out of woodworks*
...Hi. I wanted to come out of hiding for a quick post. Then I'm gone again until next Tuesday. I've just been having the itch to blog a little... I've been sneaking looks at all your blogs, though I have not been able to comment much. But let me tell you, I'm seeing so much fresh, colorful springtime food that you are all making me jealous! I can't wait to get back in the kitchen some. I've been cooking a little bit, but mostly Bob's been pulling through for me. And then there are frozen leftovers, which have just been the greatest help lately. But here's something fresh to look at:
I realized I never showed you what I did with my Thai eggplants! I made this quick Thai curry stir-fry, including the eggplants, an onion, a green pepper, some garlic, and some cauliflower, all sautéed in some peanut oil. And a sauce made mostly out of green curry paste, tamari, and rice vinegar. There's also some ginger in there somewhere... And I used a water-arrowroot slurry to thicken the sauce up. It was really delicious, and so quick.
I made the Basil Walnut Pesto from Vive Le Vegan, which actually came out really creamy and not much like pesto. It was so delicious, though! I served it over some whole wheat gnocchi I had picked up at Trader Joe's. I'd love to try making my own gnocchi sometime soon--it looks not hard at all. This was a really tasty meal. I garnished it with some parsley, which made it more lovely because it brought out the beautiful green of the basil in the sauce. A dash of "parm" to finish it off!
I found a new way to eat Trader Joe's strawberry jam--on a salad! I mixed a dollop of jam with some balsamic vinegar and just a small drizzle of olive oil. Strawberry and balsamic is a winning combo, and it worked great this way too. A little freshly ground black pepper sprinkled on top of the salad really helped turn an ordinary thing into something special.
Finally, I wanted to share with you about my backpacking trip. Last weekend my backpacking class went to Blood Mountain, Georgia, which is right on the Appalachian Trail. I saw so much beauty there, including this:
And then there was food. My favorite hiking snacks include granola, fresh apples, and peanut butter-raisin-cinnamon pita pockets. But my group stopped on the summit of Blood Mountain and cooked ourselves a nice lunch of cashew coconut couscous curry. Couscous is the easiest thing to cook on the trail because it's done in no time flat.
We just packed the dried couscous with curry spices (curry powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, etc.) and cooked it up, then added some cashews and a small can of coconut milk. It was quite rich and filling--exactly what you want when you're hiking all day carrying a 31 pound pack!
In the midst of studying I have been staying sane and enjoying the beautiful spring weather. I hope you all have been, too! I will be back with more to show sometime soon. Happy Easter and thanks for being awesome people.