Monday, February 26, 2007

Finally, a food photo day!

I've had two great meals the last two nights... but they were both out-of-the-house, and I was caught without my camera. Shucks!

But I made it up for it today...

For lunch I made myself a Tofurky Kielbasa sausage (with a dab of dijon mustard), some steamed Purple kale, a couple tangerines, and an apple. Yummy and quick. I hadn't ever bought the purple kale before, and I loved it. Sweet and nice flavor. Plus... the colors! It starts out with a deep burgundy color before you cook it. I was suprised when I opened the pot and saw some dark green leaves looking up at me. I was even more surprised when I took the strainer out of the pot and saw that the water left in there was a brilliant teal color.

And, then look at this picture... this is the color of the water left on my plate after eating the kale. Isn't that beautiful!? some purple, some teal. Sort of a weird thing to take a picture of, but I'm sure you'll all understand.

My little 1st grader nephew came over after school today and we spent the afternoon/evening together. It's pretty raining here today... so it was an inside day. I thought it would be fun to make a loaf of bread together, he hadn't ever done that before. I made the "Easy French Bread" from La Dolce Vegan. I've seen other blogs posting about it, and it seemed quick enough that a 7 year old could handle it. In truth, I don't like it that much. After the glory and majesty of the No Knead Bread, it's hard to imagine that much else can compare. Still, it was a fun thing to do together, and it's definitely yummy enough to enjoy. See how the bread split on the sides when rising in the oven? Funny, huh? It looks like a giant hot dog bun!

While the bread was rising for an hour and a half, we made some oatmeal raisin cookies. I followed the recipe from "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen" by Peter Berley. I was attracted to this recipe because it had lots of walnuts, raisins, and oatmeal; used only whole wheat pastry flour, and used only maple syrup and brown rice syrup as sweeteners. And was pretty lowfat. In the end, it turned out that my brown rice syrup had gone bad, so I subbed in some agave nectar and a bit of arrowroot to thicken it a bit. These cookies are GREAT! So tasty! Musty and my nephew and I all loved them. I'm making food for my friends who just had a baby tomorrow, so I wanted to be sure to have some dessert... which was my original impetus for making a big batch of cookies. It's always better if you've got someone to help you eat all that goodness.

On Saturday, my friend JJTWH came down for a visit... and while here, she went through my copy of Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Suppers" and marked her favorite recipes so far. I haven't used that book too much... but her comments inspired me. I'll be making a few things this week from it.

For starters, I made "Star Anise-Glazed Tempeh with stir-fried peppers," which my friend said was her favorite so far. Oh WOW! What a superb recipe. This is very very high on the yumminess scale. Fancy, elegant flavors, stunning and easy tempeh results... and actually a pretty easy meal to make, especially given how fancy you feel eating it. It's got Chinese 5-Spice (my first time ever using this delicious spice - yum!), mirin, soy sauce, & maple syrup in the glaze. The veggies are garlic, ginger, scallions, red & yellow peppers, red cabbage, and cilantro. And also toasted cashews. Also, you can see that I used the last of my green bamboo rice that i bought up in San Francisco back in January. mmmm. If you have this cookbook, I DEFINITELY recommend this recipe!

And of course, a dinner salad to finish things off: lettuce, pea sprouts, "micro greens" ( I really don't know what these are! I just buy them at the farmers market... some kind of tasty sprouts), english cukes, carrots...


  1. Looks yummy! My French bread always splits in some way when I make it... I made some just the other day and have yet to blog about it, but you'll see what I mean! I have never tried purple kale, but those colors are beautiful and intriguing. The tempeh dish sounds INCREDIBLE... I'm looking for some new and exciting ways to enjoy tempeh so I need to find a recipe like that one!

  2. Beautiful photos in this post! I love the purple water on the plate, and that tempeh meal is so colorful. Hmmm, I don't think I have ever used star anise; will have to try that sometime. I will try those oatmeal cookies now that I hear from you that they are good. I am always either out of brown rice syrup or have some that has been sitting there for months and isn't good anymore, so nice to hear that the agave sub works well!

  3. Yummy photos! You are right though that that bread doesn't compare with the gorgeous no-knead one! And the purple kale is so pretty... man I could go for some cookies right now. I better bake some!

    Oh, I think I took care of the invisible photos problem on my blog...

  4. Ooh, that tempeh is so pretty. Everything looks so yum!

  5. I don't think I've seen purple kale around here. I've had the red and really liked it.

    That's odd that the bread split on both you and Laura. I've made it several times and never had that happen. I agree it's not GREAT bread, but good homemade stuff in a pinch.

    The tempeh looks amazing over your green rice.

  6. I love the kale water picture - such pretty colors! Everything looks extra yummy. That tempeh sounds intriguing - I've never had star anise before.


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