Archive | 11:18 pm

Squash bowl and a minor tragedy

4 Nov

First, I want to say how excited I am about the baking challenge. Even more people have expressed interest in joining, and I’ve already received the first submission from meansoybean. It looks tasty, and I can’t wait to share. I’ll be engaging in my own baking adventure either tonight or tomorrow – or both. I have quite a list. Once again, my overachieving past rears its head.

Anyway, I wanted to share my slightly bizarre, lazy-girl lunch for the week: chili served in a squash bowl.

I’ve always found bread bowls to be disturbing. I mean, I like to dip good crusty or fluffy carbs into soup as much as the next person, but the idea of hot liquid sitting in something that will definitely dissolve and then having weird little bits of bread floating around grosses me out. I’m sure there’s something wrong with me. All the same, I like the idea of serving soup in an edible bowl, so I swapped bread for half a winter squash. Monday’s lunch was tasty, but not exactly photogenic:

The squash wouldn’t stand on its own. Things quickly fell apart:

The top picture is from today’s lunch. Luckily, we had clean bowls at work this time, so that helped. I didn’t have to support the thing with a mug, at least.

The squash is a buttercup – not butternut – and it has a nice, delicate flavor. I still prefer the kabocha, though. I just stabbed it six times and baked it for an hour in a 375 oven. The chili is the ultimate in laziness: canned Black Bean Mole from Health Valley Organic. I used half for each lunch and added lots of black pepper. To serve at lunch, I scraped out the squash seeds (saving them in a baggy for baking this week) and heated the chili and squash separately. The buttercup needs a bit of microwave time – about three minutes.

I plan to make real lunches for next week from a new cookbook I’ll discuss soon.

And late this afternoon, tragedy struck:

Yes, I killed the White Rabbit who adorns/keeps heat from escaping from the top of my teapot. Those are his remains. I hope the company will sell me a replacement.

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Cookbook of the Week #1: Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook

4 Nov

Tuesday night’s post included the results of a recipe from one of my favorite culinary instruction manuals, Carole Raymond’s Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook.

The author’s previous book, Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook, was my first purchase after deciding to give up meat in 2005, my senior year of college. It quickly became invaluable to me as I negotiated learning most basic kitchen skills and, soon after, returning to my meat-loving home state as a vegetarian. Last year, when I decided to lean towards a dairy-free diet, my taller half and I purchased the vegan book, and it, too, has proven to be an invaluable resource.

Here’s what I love most about this cookbook:
· The recipes are quick, easy, nutritious, and full of whole foods.

· Raymond offers a new spin on a lot of favorite dishes.

· Almost every dish is aimed at one or two diners, perfect for singles or couples.

· Everything I’ve tried runs the gamut from tasty to delicious.

Though I’ve been out of college for four years, the student aim of the book is still great for busy working folks. Being able to get dinner for one or two on the table TV tray in 20 minutes is a godsend on weeknights. Plus, most of the ingredients are inexpensive and easy-to-find, an increasing rarity in vegan cookbooks.

I highly suggest you check out the Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook. When you do, here are a couple of my favorite dishes from it:

  • Chilean Two-Potato Soup
  • Fattoush Bread Salad with Hummus
  • Soba Noodles with Broccoli and Peanut Sauce
  • Caramelized Onion, Walnuts, and Sage Pizza
  • Hot Pocket Mushroom Saute

My rating: **** (out of *****)

Garlicky dinner

4 Nov

It’s no secret that I love garlic. I smell like it a lot. For that, I’m sorry, but I have no regrets.

Tonight’s dinner starred the pungent, wonderful stuff:

Whole wheat linguine aglio e olio style, which is with garlic and olive oil. And crushed red pepper. My lungs can tell you all about that as it hit the hot oil. I put a pinch of nooch on mine, too. We also had lovely salads tossed with chopped parsley and featuring a homemade, garlic-love-fest dressing.

Lemon and Garlic Dressing

(Adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed or pressed
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 olive oil

Mash or stir garlic with a pinch of salt and set aside. In a lidded container, add the other pinch of salt, pepper, lemon juice, and mustard. Add garlic paste. Put on the lid and shake to combine. Drizzle in olive oil, put the lid back on, and shake it some more. Store in the fridge or use immediately. Makes about 1 cup.