Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Food Bo-nan-za!

Lots & Lots of fun things to share this week!

Thiw weekend we had dinner with some wonderful new friends at their house. They were very sweet and made an all-vegan meal, which was very tasty as well. The husband is another guitar builder, like Musty, and is also Swiss. It was a great time!

Here you can see the Euro influence - instead of plopping everything on the plate at once, it was served one course at a time.

I'm sorry for this silly picture, but this asparagus that they made was worth picturing! It was roasted asparagus, served with AMAZING wild mushrooms that they had foraged themselves! As most of you know, I am not much of a mushroom fan - but these were so delicious. There were 3 or 4 different types of mushrooms in there, but one of them was called "candy caps" - they smell like maple syrup while they are cooking! mmm! What's not to like about that??

What's in there??

Wow! Butternut Squash and Leeks in parchment packets. This recipe that they used was from the Greens cookbook, and it was delicious! Easily vegan as long as you use Earth Balance instead of butter. It was garlic, salt, sage leaves, squash and leeks. Sounds simple, but it was fantastic and filling - especially when served with brown rice.

Finally, we ended dinner with a nice salad - lettuce and arugula from their garden. The dressing was a very nice avocadoy-lemon concoction. Mm!

What next? Dessert, of course!! I got to bring dessert, which I always love to do. I love love love making dessert for other people. Our friend was trying to cut back on sugar, so I turned to the ever-wonderful "Great Good Desserts Naturally" by Fran Costigan - I love that book!

Ahhhh... Look at that yumminess! I looked around in the cookbook and made the "Cookie Crust" and the "Hint of Lemon Custard Cream" and then topped it with some artfully arranged strawberries, mango and kiwis. MMM!!!!! I *definitely* recommend this delicious tart! It's very low in sugar (no refined sugar) and absolutely great. The custard used kuzu and agar and had a perfect creamy texture - not too jelled and not too liquidy. And a great lemony flavor. The crust was also wheat-free, with oats, walnuts, coconut, maple syrup... Great!

It's so pretty, I decided to include two pictures!

Here's a funny little picture of my lunch the other day - a burrito in a sprouted wheat tortilla, a bag of sugar snap peas with farmy market goodness & an OJ. I was eating outside on our little so-called patio, thus the un-kitcheny backdrop.

I promise to stop posting pictures of all my salads, but I made this one into a fancy rainbow order extravaganza, so I wanted to share a picture. Check out those brilliant yellow beets!!

Here's tonight's dinner... an OLD favorite of ours, which I haven't made in a long time - Garlic Parsely Pasta (Pasta Aglio i Olio con Prezzemelo) - an Italian staple food, and absolutely delicious. You can see that we had it with roasted asparagus and sauteed chard, to justify such a starchy indulgence. It's so simple:


3/4 lb pasta (I used whole wheat spag)
5 -6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 2/3 cup chopped up flat leaf parseley
flax oil


First, get your water boiling. If you are not salt-adverse, add some salt to the water for extra tastiness & authenticity. Get everything else cut up and ready to go.

Once you put your noodles in, heat up the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.

Add the hot pepper flakes and cook for a minute or so. Then add the salt, and cook until about half of the garlicky bits are golden. Remove from heat.

When the noodles are ready, add on some flax oil to keep the noodles slippery and to give yourself some omega3 goodness. Add the garlic-salt mixture, and the chopped parseley. Stir up and EAT!

Lastly a little roasted butternut squash soup that I ad-libbed. Musty loves butternut squash, but somehow doesn't like it in soups. So, I get it all to myself. Fine by me!


  1. Wowie, that's lots of food! I love that you have new friends, and that you got to spend a lovely evening with them. That meal looks great--the asparagus sounds especially good--and that dessert tart is almost too lovely to eat (though I'm sure it was delicious)! Thank you for sharing your simple, elegant passta recipe--I would love to try it. Bob doesn't like butternut in soups either--but I think it's delicious and I love the deep color of your bowl of soup there. Nice, nice post!

    And don't stop showing off your salads!

  2. Everything looks amazing, especially the fruit tart, it's absolutely beautiful. Have you ever made the pasta aglio i olio con prezzemelo with basil instead? I'm not a parsley fan (I know, weird, I hate balsamic vinagar too), but I love basil!

    Keep posting them salads! I've been eating one 1-2 times a day for a few weeks now and I love seeing other peoples salads, it keeps me from getting bored with mine.

  3. That dessert looks gorgeous! :D

  4. Anonymous7:48 AM

    everything looks good but the tart is amazing!!!

  5. That tart is so beautiful! It definitely deserves two photos! I love roasted asparagus…I must try it with some mushrooms…sounds very yum!

  6. I gotta say, your tart has me wishing summer would come sooner! I'll have to check out that book....

  7. What a fun dinner party with great foods! But your tart is the winner - absolutely beautiful, Amey!

  8. I'm envious of the wild mushroom experience. I might be strange but I do sometimes wonder if there are new and better mushrooms out there that I've never had. But I am a mushroom fan.

    Everything looks so good.

    On the salad, did you eat the beets raw? I keep hearing beets are really healthy, but I've only ever had them cooked and then I didn't much like them. Are they very sweet? I guess I like sweet in desserts but no so much in my soups or salads. I'm just strange I guess.

  9. That tart looks stupendous. YUM!!!!

  10. That tart photo is cookbook worthy.

  11. That tart is SO beautiful! It must have taken forever to arrange the fruit like that. Wonderful!

  12. Hi Laura!
    Yes, isn't it special to have new friends? It's so nice to find another person that you connect with. This is especially nice because it's a "couple friend" - if you know what I mean - we both like both of them, and vice versa!

    Hi Orangie!
    Thanks for the salad encouragement. :) No, I've never tried that pasta with basil instead of parsely, but that's not a bad idea. It's also very traditional without the parseley altogether! So you could try it that way.

    Hi Neva Vegan!
    Yes, I usually just put raw beets on the salad... I peel them and slice them very very thin. I love beets, but I also like them cooked. Some people say they taste like dirt, but luckily I don't have that problem!

    Hi Susan & All the other Tart Fans!!
    Thanks so much! Actually the fruit arranging was pretty speedy, I had it all sliced and cut before hand - and then after the "custard" was half-way through its setting time, I put on the fruit and then popped it back in the fridge. Easy and delicious!

    xo Amey

  13. Amey, first of all, don't ever stop posting salads! I live for salads, and yours are always so beautiful, bright, and inspiring.
    And what an elegant meal- both your friends' and your contribution. Look at those young little asparagus! Wait, what's the plural? Asparagusses? Asparagi? Whatever, I'd gobble them up right away.

  14. fabulous food photos! i especially am oogling over the tart -- such vibrant colors. guitar builder? my husband is a producer & musician & worked for Anderson (not sure of first name?) and built his own guitar while working there. cool stuff.

  15. Anonymous7:43 PM

    You always decorate your desserts in such a beautiful fashion. You could consider being a food artist.


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