I spent the rest of my initiation into 2011 either baking, bathing, watching a movie, or in a two-bit ditch effort to welcome good luck into my life. I’m not superstitious, but I will always welcome an excuse to eat delicious food.
We decided to have lunch at Genghis Grill, because 1. I knew it would be open, 2. Spicy food sounded good on that cold day, and 3. Noodles are the traditional New Year’s food in some Asian countries. Off we went. My bowl:
It contains udon noodles, squash, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, bok choy, snap peas, tofu, potato, cilantro, and garlic, with a mix of the roasted tomato, dragon, and red curry peanut sauces. I topped with sesame seeds and sriracha (the latter not pictured).
I think it was just carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes on brown rice with sweet n sour, ginger citrus, and dragon sauce. He topped his with lots of peanuts and sesame seeds.
I was feeling stressed yesterday, so I did what I do best: bake. I wasn’t in the mood for another batch of cookies. I contemplated banana bread but nixed it. I realized I was craving a cinnamon quick bread, so I did some research, and ended up with this loaf:
Brigid’s Blues-Beating Cinnamon Bread
(adapted from Natural Papa)
- 1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup vegan sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 water
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray and lightly oil a regular-sized loaf pan, set aside.
Either with a fork, a mixer or in the blender, whip the egg replacer with the warm water until it’s eggy. Set aside. I generally use a hand mixer, but I didn’t feel like the extra clean up, so a fork sufficed.
Pulse the oats in a blender or food processor for about three seconds until they break up slightly. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, and oats, mixing. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a knife, toothpick, fork, whatever inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for about a minute, then remove the whole loaf to cool on a rack.
Slice and eat.
The bread is fairly hearty and very cinnamon-y. The original recipe said to use half the amount of spice, but I wanted very flavorful bread. The source also included raisins, but I think you know me better than to expect those nasty little buggers to show up in my cooking. The other big change I made was using old-fashioned oatmeal in place of quick oats. I didn’t have any of the latter, so I found quickly processing the regular kind made up for the cooking-time difference.
But back to the bread in a moment. For dinner, I reheated some of the black-eyed peas I made the day before.
For those not from the more redneck part of the country, black-eyed peas are supposed to bring lunch when consumed on the first day of the newest of years. I grew up hating the little things but have since realized I just don’t have a taste for the typical southern preparation style. Instead, I prefer this more herbaceous method. I suppose you’d like that recipe, too, eh? Fine.
Black-Eyed Peas with Herbs
(adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian)
- 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (or to your preferences)
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced*
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano*
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme*
- 2 teaspoons paprika*
- 1 teaspoon salt
Soak the black-eyed peas in a large bowl covered with about five inches of water. Leave them overnight or start them in the morning if you plan to cook in the evening. Drain them when you’re ready to cook.
Bring the peas and 4 1/2 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Cover, then reduce the heat to low, simmering gently for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are tender. Check them periodically. When fully cooked, set aside without draining the liquid.
In a very large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the crushed red pepper and the garlic, stir quickly for a moment, then add the peas in their cooking liquid and all the other ingredients. Stir, bring to a simmer, and then cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
(*All of these ingredients were doubled from the original recipe. If you like a normal amount of garlic and herbs, reduce them by half.)
I almost forgot to photograph these since I was quite hungry. As you can see, we both sopped up the juice with a little Stirato from Farrell Family Bread. We both topped ours off with black pepper and a little hot sauce, too.
Then we enjoyed our cinnamon bread with hot tea:
I ate at least one more piece. Maybe two more, but I admit nothing. I really like this bread and already have a variation in mind. Look for that eventually … when my life is less consumed by theatrics.
How did you eat your New Year’s Day away?