It's so super fun to be back in the kitchen again! I really missed all my cooking adventures. Look what I've been up to this week:
Okay, so sad. My first "home-cooked" dinner back? Spaghetti with red sauce & veggie meatballs. Pathetic! Ha ha. Still, it's quick and easy and it's one of Musty's most favorite meals of all time. I did do a few moves to make it more nutritious - the noodles are whole wheat, and at least the veggie meatballs give a nice protein blast. Plus can you see the delicious roasted butternut squash & brocolli? YUM!
We didn't have an oven in India, and I REALLY missed baking! Even more than I missed baking, I missed eating yummy baked treats! So, where does a girl turn? "Eat Drink and Be Vegan" of course! I LOVE Dreena's cookie recipes so much. These are the "Jam Dot Cookies" (or something like that). They were great! They were *exactly* what I was hoping for - nutritious and delicious and still a treat - walnuts, hemp seeds, maple syrup, jam... nutty yummy and tasty.
I felt a bit sad about leaving India, but I'll tell you what... going to the Farmer's Market put an end to that! I was just beaming with joy... it was hard not to buy absolutely everything! All the smiling people, the clean air, the beautiful fruits and veggies) - heaven! Here's what I came home with: 5 navel oranges, 2 Cara Cara oranges, 1 Pomelo, brocolli, cabbage, 1 yam, 2 lbs of fresh tofu, parsely, garlics, a big bag of brussel sprouts, and some herbed sourdough pizza dough! YEAH! All organic except for those 2 cara cara oranges. Have you ever had a Cara Cara orange? They are totally delicious and beautiful - I think they are a cross of an orange and a grapefruit, so they had a gorgeous rosy hue. One of the best things about winter is *definitely* citrus fruit! I'm so happy about it. I've been eating 2-3 oranges a day... and I can't wait to bust open that beautiful pomelo.
By the way, how cool is that pizza dough situation!? I was going to head over to Trader Joes and buy some of their pizza dough, and then I saw this at the market - organic, sourdough (mmm!), whole wheat, and locally made. It was $4, which is certainly more expensive than TJ's, but I'll check it out. It's in my freezer now... waiting for the inspiration to strike. I can't wait to try it!
I made a big batch of seitan to have around. I used the "Chicken-style Seitan" recipe from Real Food Daily. I really like this recipe. It's easy and consistently good. One batch makes four pounds, and it's easy to store in the freezer until you need it.
I used some of the seitan to make "King Janaka's Maple Glazed Seitan" from "Vegan World Fusion." I have only used this cookbook a few times but so far I've really liked the things I've made. This recipe was very tasty, but also very rich. I served it with roasted brussel sprouts and a little "salad" of carrots and bell pepper with raw cashews.
Last night I used the "Vegan World Fusion" cookbook again to make a really great dish: "Bogart's Moroccan Tempeh" & "Casbah Couscous Pilaf" I made it for my grandpa. Musty and I went over to his house and had dinner with him. Since my grandmother died, my mom and my two aunts and I are taking turns cooking dinner for him, and hanging out with him for the evening. Last night and tonight were my nights this week. I really, really enjoy these times with him. My grandpa is one of the most special people ever, and it's so wonderful to have dedicated time with him. When I was away in India I really missed him a lot, so it's especially nice to be back home again with him!
Tonight for dinner with my grandpa I made one more recipe from "Vegan Fusion Cuisine" - "That's Amore Tofu Cacciatore". This book has very goofy names for its recipes but the food is delicious. Musty LOVED this, and I have to say, I did too. I'm sorry that this substandard picture doesn't capture the beauty and tastiness of this great dish - it had marinated grilled tofu, marinara sauce, capers, carrots, bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and SO much flavor! mmm! If you have this book, I definitely recommend this recipe. Very good, and aside from marinating and grilling the tofu, it's quite quick and easy.
For dessert I made these cookies from "Vive Le Vegan" - "Double Chocolate Almond Explosion Cookies." OH MY GOD! These cookies are SO GOOD. How is it possible that I haven't tried these yet? I am quite sure that these are some of the tastiest cookies I've ever made or tasted. They are perfect!!! I had a hankering for a good chooclate cookie, and when I saw this recipe I knew I'd found a winner. Chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, almond slivers, almond extract, and more chocolate chips and almonds on top = perfection!