I haven’t done a post like this in quite a while. Let’s dive right into the good stuff.
Breakfast was a last-minute swap following a vegan overnight oats failure (which I’ll document soon). Instead, I threw together a bowl of my lazy-girl oatmeal:
Alls you do is pour some oats in a bowl, cover with some hot water, and let them sit for about five minutes. Then I stir, add a splash of coconut milk creamer, and heat in the microwave for one minute. Top with your favorite goodies and enjoy. Today’s bowl was fairly simple, featuring a tablespoon of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter and a sliced banana. The creamer is So Delicious French Vanilla. Yum.
Somehow Sunday night ended with me completely forgetting to prepare my lunches for the week. I intended to go out on Thursday mid-day, so I just swapped my lunching-out day to Monday. The result:
No big shock here. It’s the vegetarian platter from Shish-Kabobs, featuring (clockwise from top left) tahini sauce, pita bread, tabouleh, sauteed veggies, saffron rice, falafel, and dolmehs (stuffed grape leaves). I didn’t eat the pita because I’m doing the gluten-free thing this week…of course, I say that, but I remembered later that the tabouleh is made with bulgur wheat. Oops. Anyway, the meal was delicious, as always, and prepared lovingly, as always. Lunch was so filling that I didn’t end up eating my nectarine.
The boy is in rehearsals until fairly late each night this week, since his play opens on Friday, so we ate dinner at 11:00. I spent a good chunk of the hours from 6 to 11 p.m. doing one kind of food prep or another. There was the rice dish for book club (more on that later), a batch of almond milk, another attempt at vegan overnight oats, my white bean spread for lunch today (more on that later), and of course what we actually consumed last night: chili and roasted potatoes. I believe – and I’m not exaggerating – that I chopped 20 cloves of garlic by hand last night. The house smells amazing. During cooking breaks, I sipped an unpictured Virgil’s cola did a little of this:
Finishing up the book club selection (All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy) on our couch with the windows open. It rained that night, so the air was delicious. I also got silly and lit a bunch of candles for ambiance.
Anyway, back to the food. Our main course is one of the boy’s favorites from my repertoire, Spicy Portobello Chili. I’ve made this about five times since I moved in four months ago, including twice during our big snow storm. It’s an adaptation of a recipe I found somewhere, but I’ve lost the original source and made enough changes to consider it my own.
X’s Spicy Portobello Chili
- 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- Half a large onion, chopped
- 5 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, de-stemmed, and diced
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cups of water
- 15 oz canned diced tomatoes (or 1-1/2 cups freshly chopped)
- Two 15 oz cans of beans (I recommend black, pinto, or red kidney), drained and rinsed – you can also make fresh beans; you need three cups total
- 4 oz diced green chilies
- 1 or 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (two makes it quite toasty)
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Several sprinklings of freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it browns. Now add everything else, stirring to combine. Increase the heat until the mixture reaches a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered at least 30 minutes until chili reaches desired consistency. Taste for spice and adjust to your liking. I always add more cumin towards the end. I simmered the chili for over an hour because of the timing of his arrival home, and it was delicious and thicker than usual.
My mouth is watering remembering it. We didn’t top ours with anything last night, but I can recommend sliced green or red onion, cilantro, avocado, and cheese or sour cream if you aren’t vegan.
Alongside, as you can see, are some beautiful roasted blue new potatoes. The recipe was improvised, but here’s what I did:
Roasted True Blue New Potatoes
- 1/2 lb. blue new potatoes (or any new potatoes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Wash the potatoes and pat them dry, removing any eyes or yucky bits. Cut them into small-ish, uniform pieces. Marvel at how cool they look all blue-purple on the inside.
Pour the rosemary on a small plate. Using the side of a large knife, lightly bruise the rosemary. (Just lie the knife across the herb and push down with the heel of your hand several times.) In a bowl, toss the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients until coated, then throw them into a prepared 8×8 baking dish. (I always line mine with foil and then spray lightly with the Misto since the glass dish is such a pain to clean.)
Place in the preheated oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve hot.
These were awesome, if I do say so myself. The thyme was a last-second addition, but it was an excellent call. We got all silly and decided to dine by candlelight. We also popped open a bottle of Calistoga Cellars Zinfandel, my personal favorite of the moment.
Heavenly. We finished the evening with a bowl of yellow watermelon. I only had four small bites, and it was officially too dark to take a picture. Next time.
What amazing thing have you eaten recently?