I'll start with the dud of the week. My friend JJTWH recommended the "Winter Root Vegetable Ragout under a wild rice pancake" from Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Suppers" cookbook. Here are the beautiful veggies I used. Aren't those pink turnips lovely!?
Here is the finished dish. I used a bit of blended silken tofu in the "pancake" instead of eggs. It's a generally okay dish, but a bit too vinegary. The book recommended eating it with sour cream. I actually had some tofutti sour cream in the fridge, and it did add a lot to the flavor. Still, that stuff is so processed and creepy that I couldn't have more than a dollop of it. The biggest problem is that after one bite, Musty decided he didn't like it at all. And it was an entire 9x12 casserole dish FULL. So, I have been doing my best to eat it, but I'm really not all that crazy about it either. I so hate to throw food away, but I'm afraid a large chunk of this one might hit the trash soon. :(
Last night we had dinner over in San Jose with our friend J&E. They are so cool! We had a great time. J made a big green salad and a big pot of Green Paella (full of veggies!) - a little nod to St. Patrick's day. It was delish! I asked if I could bring dessert... I had something in mind.
This is the Lemon Pudding Cake with Blueberry Glaze from "Voluptous Vegan." It's so elegant and flavorful and EASY! What a great combo! Here it is, still in the springform pan.
Here it is, unsprung! Sorry about the dark picture, it was the best I could do. You can't see the bottom layer of cake here.
Here is a slice: You can see the lemon cake on the bottom layer, the lemon "pudding" middle layer, and the blueberry glaze on top. It's also got no cane sugar in it, which is a nice touch (still plenty of sweetner though!). What a great cake - I definitely recommend it!
After our dinner J&E took us to our favorite middle eastern restaurant in San Jose ("Casablanca" in Willow Glen), which we found out is one of their favorite places too! They've got a little grocery section - so I got some pomegranate molasses, some lebanese couscous (thanks for the head's up Susan V!), some vegan baklava, and some vegan candies. Also, I got a falafel sandwhich to have for lunch today. WOW! It was even better than I remembered. The sandwich has tahini, falafel, onions, cabbage, eggplant, potatoes, spices, and other good stuff in there. It is INSANELY GOOD. And Vegan! Without any modifications! Wow. J&E also got a big tub of babaghanoush, which we sampled when we got back home - man, it was some seriously delicious stuff. I'll get some next time I go back for sure.
Tonight we had a simple and very, very good dinner. I made some glazed tempeh (following the "star-anise glazed tempeh" recipe from "Vegetarian Suppers"), some garlicky roasted butternut squash and brussel sprouts, and two bunches of braised collards. We both loved this meal.
Lastly, Tuesday is Persian New Year, or NoRooz. I'm not Iranian, but I have many connections to Iran and I have adopted this holiday into my life with full-fledged enthusiasm. It is my favorite holiday of the year! It's sort of funny being so excited about a holiday that no one else even knows is going on. One of the many beautiful parts of celebrating NoRooz is the "Haft Sin Table" - an arrangement of 7 things that start with the letter "s" in Farsi. (Haft=7, Sin="s"). NoRooz is a very ancient, pre-Islamic holiday that goes back to Zoroastarian times. Today the seven things are a bit variable, and most haft sin tables end up with way more than 7 things. Here you'll see my table with: candles, a mirror, spring flowers, garlic, vinegar, apples, sweets, coins, a goldfish (I use a plastic one - which is a bit funny since the fish is supposed to symbolize "life"), some eggs (I use glass ones - again a bit funny, but I don't currently want to welcome in "fertility," so I'm fine with fake eggs!), sumac (a Persian spice), a book of poetry by Rumi, some sprouted wheat grass, some rose water... To learn more about this magical holiday, and what all these goodies symbolize, click here or here or here. Also, keep your eye out for some serious Persian food posting!
Now I"m going to have a piece of cake for dessert!