In the morning I got them simmering... and simmering... and simmering... it seemed to take forever!! Off I went to yoga class, until 1 hour and 45 minutes into it, I remembered that my beans were still "simmering" on the stove top! Panic!! In the end I had to borrow my teacher's cell phone, and call home (no one home - double panic!), and then call a friend who went over to make sure everything was okay. Very luckily, Musty had come home, spotted (and smelled!) the burning beans and removed them from the heat. Not only did our house not burn down, but we didn't even lose the pot. I couldn't believe my good fortune. Here's a pic of my sad bean endeavor:
I would really love any bean-cooking advice. I feel like I just don't know how to do it. I even have a crock pot and a pressure cooker (it's an old one, but it works). Help me vegan bloggers, you're my only hope!
So, there went my dinner plans... and we resorted to the sad but ever-ready staple: pasta with store-bought red sauce. Ha! I spruced it up by mixing in some tofu ricotta that I had leftover - wow! It was actually quite tasty.
Following, are a couple of meals I made using some of my buys from the Asian market:
Steamed chard, Scallion pancake, and Mushroom-Vegetable Buns - with a fruit smoothie. A nice, easy, and yummy lunch.
This was a nice stir-fry with broccoli, fried tofu puffs (store-bought), re-hydrated lotus roots, and bok choy. For the sauce I used a pre-made chinese stir fry sauce that was pretty nice. The lovely yellow rice is just white rice that has been colored with saffron.
I also made a double batch of Dreena's 5-star "Maple Walnut Cookies" (from "Vive La Vegan"). I highly, highly recommend these delicious and amazing cookies. So yummy & fun to eat! They were all gobbled up!
I promise I won't turn this into a Yummers-the-cat blog! But, I've mentioned on several occassions Yummers' voracious appetite for green veggies... Earlier this week we made some steamed asparagus, and Sir Yum-a-lot was screaming at us when they were still steaming on the stove top! Asparagus is one of his all-time favorites. Here you see him, on the sofa, nose twitching like mad, meowing with a feverish urgency, begging for more asparagus. Of course, we don't mind, so he got quite a few nibbles. His other favorites include broccoli, kale, mangos, and corn-on-the cob. Imagine that!
Last month's issue of Vegetarian Times had a nice "Earth Day Dinner" feature with recipes by Ann Gentry (author and proprietor of "Real Food Daily"). This "Two Bean Salad with Tarragon Dressing" recipe caught my eye. It's got green beans, chick peas, kalamata olives, red onions, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a fresh tarragon dressing. The dressing was a tad too tangy for me, but I just used about half of it & the meal came out perfectly. This is a really nice summery salad meal, and I defiintely recommend this recipe. I'll keep it for sure.
Just a colorful salad, full of tastiness & nutrients!Last but NOT least! I busted out the ice cream maker! My mom recently gave me her old ice cream maker. It's not the kind we had when we were kids, where you have to pour in the rock salt and stir for 2 hours, but it's not the fancy automatic kind either. In fact, it's a very charming in-between model. You freeze the canister, then add your pre-mixed goo, and stir it a few times every 2-3 minutes for about 20 minutes. I can do that!
My first experiment was this lovely, sweet-but-tangy Plumcot Ice Cream!! (A plumcot is a plum-apricot hybrid, like a pluot or an aprium) OOOh, it's heavenly. I am already a total freak about it, and made peach ice cream the next day. For both batches, I used this recipe. It turned out wonderful - sweet, creamy, thick... I used fruit from the farmers' market for both, which made it feel even more exciting and special. I promise you, there will be more to come!
I'll leave you with this fun shot that the VegNews folks sent us of all the Roundtable Participants and all the Vegnews staff. I think it was Neva Vegan who asked me if Joseph Connely was there - here you can see him in the bright red shirt! That was really a wonderful experience and I am still enjoying the lingering vibrations left behind. It was so amazing to see what a small, dedicated group of people can do. Vegnews is such a beautiful, positive, inspiring and creative magazine - made by just a few passionate and talented vegetarians! Right on! I find that veg*nism has given my life so many more gifts and insights than I ever would have imagined, and I am so eager to do more to help spread my love & enthusiasm for the choice of veganism. I really admire these people for the work they do, and the spirit of friendship and camraderie they had amongst them.
This month, in my yoga classes, I am focusing on the theme of Ahimsa - nonharming, nonviolence. In talking my way through one class this week, I started thinking out loud about how even the tiniest acts of hostility and aggression lead to out ward actions of hostility. Every time we allow ourselves to justify or rationalize harsh thoughts, saracasm, gossip, insults, criticism, self-beratement, judgment... what we are really doing is rationalizing much bigger acts of harm. Isn't it amazing and humbling? It is such a practice to truly aim for a state of non-harming : to accept all people and beings with a spirit of love and empathy in one's heart.
Tonight Musty's brother is in town, so we went out to dinner. They both ordered steaks and the brother's was served up rare. Wow. That's not something I've ever really seen before. It was an interesting practice to be happy with him that he was enjoying his dinner, while also maintaining my compassion and awareness about their meals. This way at least, my heart isn't filled with anger and hatred and all the other things that one hopes a vegan lifestyle will slowly eradicate from the world.
Tomorrow is my birthday... I'm looking forward to a nice day. Love & Peace to you all.