Friday, September 08, 2006

Gonna Go Back in Tiiieeeme

Yes, I have been a horrible blogger. The truth is, now that I am back in school, and no longer chained to a desk chair, suckling on internet pop culture to survive each day (yes, part of me misses that)...I find it more difficult to sit down and do this when I know I have hundreds of pages to be reading and papers to be writing. So, I thank you for your patience. Stay with me, you few readers of mine, and I will strive to post more often than I have been. Also, my fellow classmates and I are looking into speed-reading techniques, so that should help...if it works out.

With that out of the way, let's get this time travel thing off the ground. Starting from this week and going backwards, I present to you (didillidilldoo, didillidilldoo, didillidilldoo, didillidilldoo, didillidilldoo,.....):

Macaroni n' Sneeze
I got a really nasty cold this week, and this super simple feast of deliciousness hit the spot. The best part is that it reminds me of my family's potato and onion pierogis, without the hours of intensive labor. It's from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and consisted of just a few simple ingredients...
- 2 sliced onions sauteed until beginning to brown in 2-3 T. of the oil/butter of your choice
- 4 potatoes (I used Yukon which was fantastic) diced up and boiled until just fork-tender
- a pound of macaroni (I used whole wheat - also fantastic) boiled in the potato water after they are fished out
- a cup or two of grated Gruyere (I used a .4 lb chunk)
- a big 'ol handful of chopped parsley
- salt n' pepper
It's super easy - saute onions, boil potatoes, boil macaroni, toss in bowl with everything.

I do have a couple of
- Deborah suggested pouring the onions on top of the other mixed ingredients, but I say mix it all, so your leftovers will also have onions.
- When the potatoes are done, and the pasta is boiling, cover those potatoes in the bowl with plastic wrap - "keep 'em hot"
- Definitely eat this with a salad, preferably one with apples on it, or better yet, saute apples with your onions. Believe me, the apple combo is one you will not regret.
- Also better yet, why not add green beans, or peas, or broccoli, or....? (but not with the apples)
- A pat of butter or drizzle of oil won't hurt the mixture either :)

Nut Butter French Toast
In my quest to use less eggs, I haven't actually bought eggs in a while. So, when I decided to whip up a batch of french toast the other day, I just looked at a few recipes online and made up my own conconction with what I had. A lot of vegan recipes use tofu (which I didn't have) or bananas (which I hate), so I used peanut butter. Although not exactly a substitute for eggy french toast, the peanut butter worked nicely and was a good twist on the breakfast classic. It works well in terms of texture, but it does stick to the pan more than regular french toast does, so prepare the pan accordingly. Next time, I think I'll top it with jam and crushed peanuts.
Place the following ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth:
- 1/4 c. nut butter
- 2/3 c. soy milk

- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 1/2 t. vanilla
That's it! I think you know the drill from there...

Coconut-Crusted Tofu Salad
I went out to dinner with my friend Emily at Upland Brewing Company a couple of weeks ago, and we split an amazing combo of the tofu salad (coconut-breaded deep fried tofu on salad greens with tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and cucumbers) and the famous mac n' cheese. I love coconut-crusted I whipped up my own version of the salad. I think I need to do some research into the best way to coat tofu to get maximum coconut coverage, but other than that - this was really tasty. The salad at Upland was served with their amazing homemeade orange-ginger vineagrette. Since I had a bottle of sesame orange dressing on hand, I just used that, but any sweet-ish asian inspitred dressing would do. Enjoy!

- 1 package of extra firm tofu, drained, cut into pieces, and rolled in soy milk and sweetened dried coconut, and toasted to a golden brown in a non-stick pan with a tablespoon or two of oil
- salad greens
- sliced red bell pepper

- shredded carrots
- bean sprouts
- sugar snap peas
- dry roasted peanuts
- thinly sliced scallions

Double Berry Smoothie
So, there is not much to this - strawberries, blueberries (thanks E & A!), soy milk and ice in a blender. I made this when it was still officially August in celebration of the fleeting days of summer...which are almost gone now. I decided after making this that I need to make more smoothies with fun recipes, so let me know if you have any good ones.

Giada's Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
I made this after watching the Everyday Italian episode, "Italian Street Food," so this recipe was intended to be served on sandwiches. For dinner, I decided some whole wheat pasta was a better fit. I know a lot of us like to poke fun at poor Giada, but every time I have made a recipe of hers, I have liked it. Granted, she makes a LOT of meat, much of it being roasts and shoulders and the like that isn't easily replicated with soy or gluten, so I can't speak for that. Anyways, I encourage you all to have this recipe for sausage, peppers, and onions at the very least. She has a tendency to do things that are so simple, but that I might not have thought of if I were attempting the same thing from scratch - like tomato paste (which I find I LOVE in dishes like this) and wine. Simple, inexpensive ingredients....but she usually layers a lot of flavors for good depth of flavor in the final product. One note about the substitute meat that I used here - they were out of my favorite Boca Italian Sausage, so I tried Tofurkey Italian Sausage...and I don't recommend. The flavor was good and spicy, but the texture was like a damp kitchen sponge. Me no likey. Use something else (unless you like that damp kitchen sponge feel in your mouth).

I hope you have enjoyed this trip going back in tiiiieeeme (didillidilldoo,
didillidilldoo, didillidilldoo, didillidilldoo, didillidilldoo,.....).

1 comment:

emily said...

thank jeebus! i've not had much time myself, but i somehow always make time (at the expense of other schooly things...) to check other people's blogs. yay! good for you on this awesome post! i'm not much of a cook, you know, but maybe i'll be inspired.

and i don't care what you say, i hate giada. did you make sure you said "mozz'a rrrell'a"? i can't do IPA. but you know what i mean. grrr...