Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is one of my favorite dinners I've made in the last few weeks! (and i love the pictures too!) Lemon-Garlic Hummus over Red Leaf Lettuce with Crudite. Rachele Ray can go to hell with her 30 minute good for you meals (when is dipping chicken in pancake batter and frying it good for you?) This can be done in 15-20 min.

The Salad
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped and washed
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium beet, peeled and sliced thin

Arrange beautifully in serving bowls and drizzle with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

The Hummus
1-15 oz can of Organic Chickpeas
2 cloves garlic, chopped a bit
1/4 cup tahini, add more or less depending on taste
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of cumin
pinch of paprika
olive oil, to taste
salt and pepper

pitted kalamata olives for garnish.

Throw it all in the food processor (except the oil). Drizzle the oil while the hummus is blending and season to taste. Add a large spatula-ful onto the already prepared salad and garnish with the kalamata olives. Squeeze some more lemon on just for kicks.
It is very raw garlic tasting which I happen to like in hummus..If you don't like that saute the garlic in a little bit of oil to tame the beast. I wish I had the inspiration to make this dish in the warmer weather because it would have been perfect for those too hot in the kitchen to turn on the oven nights of summer.

Monday Night

Our old standby Rice and Beans. Usually my rice and beans has a "special guest star" but this week I've been working later than usual which means no special guest star. The guest would have been roasted Kabocha Squash. Maybe next time. I've been struggling with this dish for awhile now. We always like it but its never the same and it's never as good as it use to be and i couldn't figure out why. I'm use to cooking in very large quantities so when I add spices I usually add A LOT especially Cumin..I can't get enough of it. On Monday I decided to try the less is more approach and VOILA its close to tasting how I remember it should taste. I cut down on the amount of spices that i use and even left out a few of the spices that are usually in it..I pretty much stuck with..Cumin (still a lot), a dash of Chile Powder and a dash of Oregano. I'm very happy with the change...Although I used two Jalapeno and my fingers were still burning the next morning. (I know I should use gloves from all the restaurant work I've done but I always think I'm better then that) :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Today's motherload from whole foods. Some ideas for this week: homemade hummus salad thing, roasted root veg + homemade seitan wrapped in filo, beans and rice, veg koftas with coconut curry, blueberry corn muffins. Either all of this will happen or none of it will and who knows what Peter and I will be eating. I got very excited when I saw the new section of all the root veg. I could have screamed with joy. Fall is my favorite time of year weather wise and food wise. Tonight for dinner I chopped up a bunch good stuff: Acorn Squash, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Brussel Sprouts (sorry peter)+ Garlic (left whole) mixed it up with olive oil and fresh rosemary and roasted at 400 degrees. While it was all roasting i made a balsamic + rosemary dressing simply by mixing chopped rosemary to olive oil and balsamic. When all the veg was finished i just glazed it all with the dressing. It was such comfort food for me and always reminds me of Thanksgiving. My mom made this a few years ago as a side dish which I ended up eating as a main dish. This year I plan on using this dish in a different way for the holidays so that I'll have something other then a side dish to eat.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Since Peter had to work last night I decided to make this pasta dish. This is the easiest dinner I think I cook for us. It's also one of our favorites. I always try to have pitted kalamata olives and marinated sun-dried tomatoes in our fridge for night's i don't feel like really cooking. I can have this dinner ready in 15 minutes (if i put a cover on the pot of water which sometimes I'm too lazy to do).

4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped or sliced
about 1/2 a cup of marinated sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
about 1/2 a cup of pitted kalamata olives, sliced in 1/2 or left whole(depends on how I'm feeling)

saute all in a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
until garlic is cooked.
add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

add 1/2 a pound of cooked pasta and pour more extra virgin olive oil on top to make it nice and oily and mix it up with some salt and pepper.

other variations of this dish included adding some pinenuts to the pan with the olive mixture and occasionally I'll add a tablespoon or two of capers. Anyway you make this dish it always comes out really tasty. One time by mistake I ever so slightly burnt the olive mixture with the addition of pinenuts and capers. Peter and I agree that was the best version of it ever. You decide if you want to burn it or not.

Friday, September 22, 2006

These are the best vegan tacos you will ever feast your eyes on. At least that's what I think. I realized I haven't made tacos in ages the other night (mainly because Peter won't eat anything called tacos) and set out to create a veggie and bean one with all the left over produce I had used to make a stirfry. The base is super simple...kidney beans mashed with a little bit of crushed tomatoes and a splash or two of tamari. Real simple. For the topping I thinly sliced: napa cabbage, carrots, broccoli, garlic, onions. Stir fried it all up with chile powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, chopped raw almonds and crushed tomatoes and then just filled the tacos with the beans and veg and stuck em in the over for a few minutes to crisp them up. If I had an avocado on hand I would have sliced it up to stick on top of the taco. They turned out so much better then I thought they would..what really put them over the top were the almonds I decided to add at that last minute. They gave a surprise almond taste and crunch every few bits. Delicious. I wouldn't change a single thing about this recipe.