** UPDATE ** I brightened my Persian feast picture and added the brighter version too. Now you can see the tasty dishes a bit better.
I got the cooking bug today... I've been reading a lovely book about Iran ("Neither East Nor West"), and the author was writing about some of the dishes that her hosts were serving her... That was all the temptation I needed!
I had some tempeh and seitan in the freezer, so they came out to defrost & I got to work.
I made Fesejan using this recipe. Instead of "meat or small duck or partridge," I used tempeh. :) WOW! This dish is amazing! Such lovely and delicious flavors. A combination of sweet, sour, bitter, salty. Very complex, and just what I was in the mood for. The ingredients include: onion, turmeric, tempeh, walnuts, pomegranate juice, eggplant, and cardamom. Incredible! It was actually quite easy and quick... especially since I decided not to fry to the eggplant. I just steamed it quickly and then proceeded with the recipe. I'm sorry the picture is so dark (some of our lightbulbs are out), this would have made a gorgeous picture in the light of day. I cut the tempeh into triangles and they were so beautifully glazed. ahhh.
I also made Ghormeh Sabzi (vegetable stew) using this recipe. This is the dark green one on the right of the plate. Instead of meat, this time I used seitan. I also used canned kidney beans, cilantro, dill, chives, leeks, parsely, spinach, onion... and a few more ingredients. This dish was also amazing, even though I could tell I hadn't done it exactly right. I wasn't ever able to get all the herbs to lose all their moisture, as the recipe called for. I also left out the dried lemons, because I dont' have anywhere to find those around these parts. The dish had a great flavor, and since I was using seitan, I only had to cook it for about 15 min, rather than one hour like the meaty version called for... Another veggie victory!
To go with dinner, I made plain white rice. I LOVE proper persian rice, but a girl can only juggle so many things at once. :) I used this rice from TJ, and I have to say that I really recommend it. I love the way it cooks up - not too starchy, not too sticky. mmm
For dessert I took the idea of this recipe and made us each two special dates:
pit the date
stuff in half of a walnut half
roll in sesame seeds
roll in a mix of powdered sugar and cinnamon
I also made some pudding cups using this Oeteker's Butterscotch Pudding mix. As long as you use soy milk, it's all vegan. YUM.
Also, Chris over at Eat Air tagged me to write 5 Interesting Things About Myself. hmmm
* Over the last few years I have become aware of how damaging my various "identities" can be. I've noticed that once I identify as a "yoga teacher" or a "nice person" or a "serious person" or whatever... I instantly, and unconsciously, restrict my behavior choices to fit those self-imposed labels. Obviously, discipline and self-judgment are important, but in hindsight I've often realized that I didn't acknowlege something real that I was feeling or experiencing as a result. So, I don't know if that is interesting or not, but this exercise made me aware of those tendencies again.
* when I was two years old I finally said my first word, and it was "woof"
* I have been studying and practicing yoga for about 12 years. I started teaching yoga about 5 or 6 years ago. I practice almost every day, for at least an hour. Currently I am working toward a few specific goals in my practice: more mindfulness during practice, regaining strength after a 3-year long shoulder injury, deepening my backbends so that I will be able to drop back from standing into a full backbend (and back up again someday!!??), developing generosity and gratitude (trying not to be too selfish!), studying as much Anusara Yoga as possible to learn more about that, and - most especially - cultivating the elusive balance between discipline and JOY.
* Eight of my closest friends have known me since at least Junior high... and a few of them even go back to kindergarten. We are all still friends and get together as often as possible. Some people didn't get that lucky, especially in high school, so we are all very grateful for each other!
* So far, I really enjoy aging. Every year that I get older I feel more balanced, content, and generally skilled at responding to my emotions (and life in general). I think this is largely due to my loving boyfriend and my loving yoga practice and to all the wonderful people much older than me with whom I study yoga (with our teacher Kofi Busia). They have been such an inspiration to me, sometimes I wonder "How nice will it be when I'm 40?!". Ha ha! Maybe there is a cruel surpise ahead for me, but I don't think so!
Maybe that was interesting, maybe not! thanks for coming by either way. :)