Thursday, March 27, 2008

Getting a quick fix

This Jamaican Red Bean Stew was the first recipe I tried from Quick-Fix Vegetarian. While it was a crock-pot meal, which means that it did take some time to cook, it certainly was a low-fuss meal. I made it on a Saturday, as I was in and out of the house running errands. It was always pleasant to come back to an apartment that was filled with the spicy-sweet smell of this stew--filled with kidney beans and sweet potatoes and other lovely veggies, and cooked in a base of coconut milk and Jamaican-inspired spices. I served it over whole-wheat couscous (another quick fix), and the entire batch was good for a whole week of lunches. The flavors became even more complex and interesting on day two.

I'll be looking to explore some other quick fixes this weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Operation: Zucchini

I recently acquired some reduced-price organic zucchini at my local food co-op. I love zucchini so much, and I couldn't just pass them by, knowing they were in desperate need of a loving kitchen to make use of their potential. So I bought them and brought them home.... and Operation: Zucchini began.

The first zucchini dish I made was the Tomato-Zucchini "Frittata" from Vegan Planet. You may have noticed that there are no tomatoes in this picture. That's right; I just had to make do with what I had... which included zucchini, onions, and baby bella mushrooms. You know, I have made vegan frittatas before, but it still amazes me, every time, how nearly the silken tofu mixture can mock the firmness and texture of the traditional egg-based frittata. Anyhow, this was good. Very good. The only thing that could have made it better, I think, would have been to mix the veggies in with the tofu, instead of the layering technique that I used. Oh, yes... and frittatas are one of my favorite things to have left over. In fact, they are one of the few foods that I almost prefer the next day.

My mission was well underway at this point, but I thought for the rest of the zucchini that I would like to take a slightly sweeter approach. So next up were Dreena's Zucchini Spelt Muffins from ED&BV.

I loved these muffins. They were so soft and moist, and just sweet enough to be a delicious treat while still being wholesome and nutritious. I enjoyed these muffins for breakfast for an entire week, alongside a glass of almond milk. I threw a handful of raisins into the batter for a little something extra; some chocolate chips would be fun as well.

With that, Operation: Zucchini was just about over--the few stragglers I consumed in various ways, sautéed with garlic and red pepper flakes or raw as hummus dippers. I knew that with my busy work schedule, using up all the zucchini before they were past their prime would be a challenge. But it was a challenge I am glad to have risen to and succeeded.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thai Peanut Burger Wraps and a new blogging initiative

I have been in a funk over the past several months, as you may have noticed by my absence from the blogosphere. My whole life has been that way; I've fallen into a few unhealthy habits and given up on some things that I used to love--and it's time for me to get back to life as usual. Granted, work will be extremely busy until mid-April, but I can and must still find time to do the things I like to do--getting outside, writing, cooking, blogging, reading your blogs... So that's my new initiative. As far as this blog is concerned, I am going to try and update it at least twice a week. There's time for me to do that. There's also time for me to leave comments at your blogs a couple of times a week. And since there's not time for me to cook as much as I'd like to, I am going to start writing some posts about being vegan in Atlanta--no west-coast town, but a pretty good place for a vegan lifestyle if you know where to look!

These Thai Peanut Burger Wraps with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce are from Vegan Planet. I had a difficult time getting them to firm up--I think I used firm tofu whereas it would have turned out better if I had used extra-firm. But no worries... They still tasted delicious, peanutty with a spicy kick, and a satisfyingly crunchy coating. The sauce made a perfect accompaniment--I was worried that it would be a bit excessive on the peanut flavor, but to the contrary, it really helped to bring out the different flavors that were going on.

I had leftovers, which were actually not quite as tasty as they were when they were fresh. I'm not really complaining... Maybe that's just me, anyway. I can definitely be funny about leftovers, and there are certain foods that I just don't really like when they have to be reheated. Oh well--the simple solution is to halve the recipe next time. Problem solved!

Have a great week. I'll be back around soon!