Another week, another couple of feet of snow, another round of food! Is it a little too early to say I'm ready for Spring already?? Looking over my food for this week, there's a little bit of a split personality between hearty, warming dishes and cool, crunchy food more reminiscent of warm weather.
Last Saturday was the anniversary of our first date, and Daiku baked his famous moussaka for the occasion. This time, we decided to bake it more as an eggplant/mushroom casserole, leaving out the bread crumbs. For another photo of the moussaka and the recipe, click here.
A simple salad made by marinating beets and red onions in tarragon vinegar for a few hours.
Ouch! Can you feel that? It's Candi and Gaia poking me--they found out my shameful secret that I've never made the Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy from Vegan With a Vengeance, and said I must do it a.s.a.p. And I am so glad they poked me, because this gravy truly rocked! (We altered it by using lime juice instead of lemon juice, because that was what we had on hand). I had made the chickpeas at home instead of getting them from a can, so they were a bit harder to mash. Next time, I might consider pureeing them.
These were our yummy little biscuits. I got them from this recipe on Vegweb, since I needed a recipe that used oil instead of margarine or shortening. I increased the whole wheat flour to 1/2 instead of 1/4, and they came out just fine. Daiku loved this meal--and having lived in the south, he knows from biscuits and gravy! (Tempeh sausage recipe here)
Of course, you can't let a meal be all beige like that, so we had a side of steamed broccoli with an avocado sauce (avocado, garlic, soymilk, vinegar). The sauce was a revelation! We bought more broccoli just so we could eat more of this sauce.
A couple of smoothies--the little one, made "ice cream" style for Bazu, the big one, made smoothie style for Daiku. We both used frozen bananas, berries, and soymilk, but Daiku added wheat germ and spirulina to his.
One of my favorite breakfasts this week: plain oatmeal mixed with warm rice milk, topped with chopped date. SO simple yet soothing and satisfying.
Another breakfast: sliced organic Fuji apple, and a slice of Ezekiel toast with almond butter divided into 4 parts, one each with apricot/orange spread, peach butter, raspberry spread, and my favorite Polish plum jam. This stuff is so tart and true to the flavor of plums- mmmm. On the side, a mug of herbal tea. Do you see the almond floating on top of the tea? That's my favorite little treat-- I put almonds in hot beverages when I make them, and by the time I'm done drinking, I have soft, sweet, easily peeled almonds. They taste so good!
Have I mentioned I've been on a chickpea kick this week? I found this intriguing recipe for chickpeas and barley in eggplant and red lentil sauce on the Fatfree Vegan blog. Susan had tinkered with the original Madhur Jaffrey recipe and I ended up tinkering with it some more. In the end, we loved this dish, mint is an herb I love but don't cook with often enough. I agree with Susan though, it could use a little more of a kick- I squeezed lime juice on it. This is something I'd make again.
A salad with mesclun greens, red onions, and more of those raspberry oranges, which turned out to be regular Moro or blood oranges-I'd been deluded into thinking these were something new this whole time! I made the dressing with: orange juice, flax oil, raspberry preserves, and rice vinegar. The sweetness perfectly complemented the tart oranges.
We love buying our spices in bulk. This way, we can buy smaller amounts to use before they lose their flavor, and get higher quality, organic spices at a better price than buying them pre-packaged.
In this photo you see our latest haul from one of our favorite health food stores, Natur-Tyme: chili powder, sassafras root, black peppercorns, thyme, cinnamon, rosemary, bay leaves, nettle, and burdock root. Total: under $10. (In comparison, if I wanted to buy a box of nettle or burdock root teabags, I would have spent $5 or more)
My kind of salad: spinach, mixed greens, mushrooms, avocado, carrots, apples, beans, sprouts, tomatoes, and scallions.
This turned out to be my favorite dinner this week. A simple soup made of potatoes, carrots and cabbage in a miso broth, served over some udon noodles and sprinkled with dulse seaweed. It was so simple, and I can not describe exactly how or why it hit the spot, but boy, did it! Today, I had the leftovers with soba noodles instead of udon, and they were just as good.
With the soup we ate this magical avocado. Why magical? Well, it was like sushi in a neat little package. Daiku learned this from a Japanese friend of his: cut an avocado in half, fill with tamari, sprinkle with wasabi powder, and furikake (ours has sesame seeds, nori flakes, salt, and sugar). Take a bite. Be transported to happy land.
Have a great weekend, and keep warm, everybody!