Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Food Round-up

Welcome to the Friday food round-up, everyone! This week had some good food, but also some, uh, interesting food experiments. You will see them all...

[click on any photo to enlarge]

On Sunday, we wanted a special breakfast, and decided to go for pancakes. We had buckwheat pancake mix, and made it with "buttermilk" (a teaspoon of vinegar in a cup of soymilk) and chocolate chips. You can't see the chocolate chips very much in the photo, but we topped the pancakes with raspberries and a bit of maple syrup.

Later, it was time for a serious sandwich. We had some nice crusty bread, but didn't know what to put in it. We decided to make falafel burgers topped with onions and tomatoes sauteed with fresh oregano, avocado, and fresh basil.

The sandwiches were served with "apple fries"... fresh apple cut to look like fries. It was a nice crisp accompaniment to these huge and messy sandwiches!

Daiku picked up some fresh beets and a head of romaine lettuce at the co-op one day (both organic.) These made it into a really refreshing and tasty dinner. We roasted the beets in the oven. We decided to put the beet greens to good use (did you know that beet greens have more nutrition than the beetroot that we normally eat?) and sauteed them with some balsamic vinegar. These went with some potatoes roasted with garlic and rosemary. Our romaine turned into an incredibly crisp salad made with cucumber and purple pepper (from the garden) and some daikon.

All of this week, I'd been craving cookies. I finally decided to bake some, and I honestly don't know what went wrong! I used this recipe from Vegweb, replacing the walnuts with hazelnuts and adding a bit of hazelnut syrup.

We call these gimp cookies, and you can see why!

Yikes! I decided to go biscotti on them and bake them again, because they were fluffy, uncooked monstrosities. After being separated and baking 3 or 4 times as long as they were supposed to, they ended up ok. They were great with a hazelnut latte (sense a theme?) made with coffee and hazelnut milk.

I love the Whole Foods recipes website. They have a huge selection of vegetarian recipes (even a lot of their recipes that are not filed under vegetarian are actually veg- or can easily be adapted) that are healthy and often use flavors or combinations that I would not have thought of. I've never made any of their recipes that I'd been unsatisfied with. For dinner one night, we used a couple of their recipes but modified them quite a bit based on what we had.

Recipe 1: "Thyme for Tempeh"
This recipe called for tempeh cooked with mushrooms and onions, served with fettucini and a side of carrot and cabbage. Daiku cooked the tempeh together with the carrots and cabbage, and we had it with brown rice instead. The flavors of this recipe were amazing- the thyme gave it a very savory, winter-like flavor, the sauce was a rich gravy, and the tempeh was really tender. Daiku thought it was like a tempeh moo shoo.

For dessert, I made Recipe 2: "Apple Pie" but I made it without the crust. Since it had a topping, I decided a crust was unnecessary, and so it was more like an apple crisp instead. The flavor was great! I might have sliced the apples too thinly, though, since they were a little dry. Whole foods is my kind of recipe site: "peeling the apples is optional"-yes! You guys will quickly learn about me that I have an aversion to peeling anything- beets, apples, potatoes, kiwis, carrots... I obsess that peeling gets rid of nutrients and other good things! I know it's a bit much, but I'm grateful that Daiku puts up with it.

Here is a coconut trembleique (pudding) that Daiku made one night. He followed this recipe from Vegweb. The result was tasty, but very firm- perhaps less cornstarch next time.

And now, I present you with a Friday food flashback. This meal was from August, but it was one of the funnest dinners we've had, and I would hate to not blog about it!

This summer I found a line of very "Le Creuset-looking" enamelware at Ikea. I've always wanted to have a few Le Creuset pieces, but they are way out of our price range. These Ikea pieces, which are made in France, look beautiful and are very heavy-duty. When I noticed that they included a fondue pot, I had to grab one. I had always wanted to make the fondue recipe from the Vegan Lunchbox, and now I could finally try!

Here was our first fondue meal. I can't get over how fun it was, and if a 27 year-old could get that excited, imagine how an actual kid would feel!

For dipping, we had green beans, zuchini, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, bellpeppers, and white and whole grain bread. The fondue was really tasty, but the original recipe was a little bland for our taste. We added more miso, more mustard, more lemon juice, more spices. If you haven't tried this yet, I would totally recommend it.

Finally, on a slightly sad note. Last night, after waiting as long as possilbe, Daiku and I knew it was time to pick the final harvest from our garden, since there was a very high chance for a frost during the night. What is sad about it was that we had several heirloom tomato plants that had produced late in the season, so we were faced with the prospect of picking gorgeous, but green heirloom tomatoes. This whole summer, we only had 3 that made it to ripeness, and now we had to pick 10 or more that never had a chance. Booo. Here's the sad harvest:

So here is my question/plea to all of you bloggers... do you know of any good fried green tomato, pickled tomato, or other green tomato recipes? Please help us! Some of the bigger ones may ripen a little, but most of them are hard, and we will cry if they go to waste.

Lastly, I came across this website called Weird Foods, where people have written in some of the unusual or crazy foods that they have had. While I found the list interesting and informative, I also found it frustrating and even offensive! A lot of these "weird" foods are foods that I eat regularly. If someone who has never tried these foods reads this list, it would turn them off forever! For example, I think of Miso as one of the most sophisticated and nuanced tastes ever, but if you read that it's "fermented bean goo soup" would you ever try it? Yikes!

Have a great Friday and a great weekend, everyone!



Jackie said...

Your food this week looks absolutely wonderful as usual.

As you know I always crib others recipes. The link for some interesting green tomato recipes is

Enjoy :)

islandgirlshell said...

All the food looks amazing once again! I love your pictures. Wanted to tell you that I've had great success with the Dilled Green Tomatoes Recipe from Ball Blue Book (plus some dried hot chilies.) and here's a page with some ideas for green tomatoes Can't wait to hear what you come up with!

aTxVegn said...

This pickled veggie condiment looks really good,,FOOD_9936_14815,00.html

I LOVE falafel. There's a place close to me (TOO close to me!)that sells huge balls of the best falafel in town for 65 cents each. Four of those and some hummus is so good.

The Whole Foods website is very inspirational. I probably wouldn't have looked twice at that tempeh recipe, but yours looks so good I may try that for a b'day dinner this weekend.

Emmy said...

The pancakes look scrumptious and that falafel sandwich looks so yummy. Wow, I had no idea beet greens are even more nutritious than the root. That's a bummer about the "gimp cookies". Thanks for the heads on a recipe not to try :)

The Thyme for Tempeh sounds fabulous and it looks just like something you'd get at a restaurant. Love that square plate!!

I can totally relate to what you said about Le Creuset being pricey. All but one piece of Le Creuset I own were gifts. That's a great score you made at Ikea!! I don't have a fondue pot but it always seemed like it would be a fun thing to have.

Hope you and Daiku have a wonderful weekend :)

Raw Vegan Momma said...

Oh my the food looks delicious! I love your name for the apple slices aka apple fries. I usually slice my daughters apples.

Nikki said...

Whatta spread! I love the WF Recipes too! I have to checkout the Thyme for Tempeh. I love tempeh...

I'm also glad to see that someone else as an aversion to peeling things! For me it's mostly laziness, but in terms of apples, I feel like I'm getting jipped if there is no peel on there. I really like apple peel, odd as it may sound.

bazu said...

Thanks, guys!
Jackie, thank you so much for the link- I'm already getting some ideas. I'm glad fried green tomatoes don't need egg in any way.
Shelly, excellent! I just bought some dill at the farmer's market today, so we'll see... thanks for the book idea and the link!
Atxvegn, thank you for your link too. I'm so grateful for all the ideas you guys provided- these green tomatoes are not going to go to waste.
And, isn't the Whole Foods recipe site great? There's no WF by me, but I get tons of use out of their website.
Emmy, I know, your le Creuset piece that you blogged about is gorgeous. I know someday I'll have one- for now, it's Ikea all the way! ;-)
Raw vegan momma, thanks for your visit. I like eating a sliced apple on the side of anything- sweet or savory- it's like an all-purpose salad/condiment for me!
Nikki, glad to find another non-peeler! Sometimes I think it's so weird of me, but you are right- it is just so much better with the peel. And when you juice, the peel gives that gorgeous pink color off...mmm! Glad to hear you like/are confused by the Gilmore Girls as much as we are- we are not alone! What is the deal with that show this season?...
Great to hear you'll be at Veg Fest-maybe we'll see each other at Isa's talk! Yay! (There's a 95% chance I'll be there- as long as everything goes well for a road trip)

Chris said...

That's some great lookin' grub Bazu! I love fresh raspberries on pancakes, or waffles or anything else for that matter. The fondue looks like so much fun too!

springsandwells said...

Your blog rocks! I love all the great pics and info... I'll definitely check out the Whole Foods site, I haven't ever looked there before. Three cheers for your hazelnut feast... I'm there with you in spirit!
:) Amey

Eat Peace Please said...

I like the new page colors!

Theresa said...

That sandwich looked deeeelish. We picked some green tomatoes yesterday morning, since we're going away and they are taking so damn long to ripen. I was trying to use up potatoes so made some home fries for brekky, and we threw in a few sliced green tomatoes to that. They got all brown and yummy... they are a bit tart-er than ripe ones, but they were good. A nice change!

Village Mama said...

Another great week at your place, what fun, thanks for letting us in for more than a peek!!!

Aren't apples, baked, raw, fried, sugared, sniffed, licked, just sooooo magical?!!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

That is so much amazing goodness! I made falafel this weekend too, and it totally hit the spot. Sliced apples alongside a hearty sandwich are also a big favorite of mine~

FYI - I think I'm in one of the flickr groups you talked about, but I don't upload my photos much, I forget!

Urban Vegan said...

That is some serious food porn, Bazu. My fave is the fondue.

The photo of the produce is esp. wonderful.

KleoPatra said...

I love it all! Haven't had fondue in years, what a great idea... totally fun for kids and bigger kids alike... Your apple pie is melting my heart since i would love it. The only part about pie that i don't like is the crust, so you can see why i'm enamoured by yours!!! Love the green mug and plate - beautiful! And that sandwich on the crusty bread *sigh*

meesh said...

Gosh, now I'm really hungry! What an inspiration you are. Mmmm, fondue...And here I was all proud that I managed to make the walnut basil pesto from Vive le Vegan tonight. :) Can I come over to your house for dinner? lol

I wish I knew some green tomato recipies. That's really too bad about your tomato plants. Maybe next year...

How did the Walk for Farm Animals go? I can't wait to hear what yours was like.