Well, a lot of you recommended "Quick-Fix Vegetarian" for quick ideas, so I went and picked up a copy. It seems like it uses a lot of processed ingredients, which I'm not so into... but there are also a lot of good-looking recipes and also just good ideas to use as a starting point for quick meals. I made this one, pretty much following the recipe, it's the "Orzo Mediterranean Pasta Salad." I really liked it. It was indeed quick - but was full of great flavors: artichoke hearts, olives, sundried tomatoes, cilantro, chickpeas... yum. Plus, I have been looking for an excuse to cook up some orzo lately. How freaking cute are tiny pastas?
also, the requisite orange. I have been eating 10 pounds of oranges a week. They're from the farmers market, and they are great. But I sense that orange season is coming to an end... especially since I've eaten my first few baskets of strawberries.... oooooo yeah! I LOVE strawberries.
I'll admit that I sometimes get cupcake burnout... I get tired of looking at everyone's cupcakes. So, I feel bad even posting this picture. But damn, these were so good. I've made them before, but it had been a while. These are the Chocolate Hazelnut cupcakes from VCTOTW. Good, good, good.
For dinner with my grandpa I made the "Moroccan Tagine" from VWaV. I hadn't ever made it before and it was quite good. I suppose, if I'm gonna be super picky, that it didn't have any special zing or pizzazz - but it was worth making again anyway. A nice mix of flavors, and full of good nutrients. Am I allowed to admit that I saw an Anthony Bourdain show where he was travelling in Morocco, and it got me interested in Moroccan food? Yes, of course he managed to squeeze in a derogatory comment about vegans. I kept watching anyway. I'd like to learn more about Moroccan cooking - it seems like you could make some really great vegan food with their flavors, spices, and techniques.
Last night was another night when I cooked for my Grandpa. I've been wanting to cook up some "jumbo shells" for a while... who knows why. I must have seen a picture on someone's blog or something. The only problem is that I can't find this fun noodle shape around here. So, when I was up visiting my friend JJTWH (hello!), we went to her grocery store, and I pounced on these when I saw them on the shelf. I made up a batch of the "Green Garden Puree" from VwaV. I made a few changes - halved the almonds, added some chopped olives, added about 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary, left out the olive oil, and added about 2 tsp miso paste. I really love that recipe so much.
I also made a 1/2 batch of the pine nut cream from Vcon. I've read good things about that stuff, and I was eager to try it. The picture on the side of the "Jumbo Shells" box showed the stuffed shells ribboned with some sort of cream. That's what gave me the idea. I LOVED the pine nut cream! What a great flavor. I had a half block of silken tofu in the fridge, so that's why I made a half batch, but it turned out perfect. I put the pine nut cream in a frosting bag and piped it onto the shells for effect.
Baked at 350 for 35 minutes covered with foil, and 5 more minutes uncovered. Lucky for me, we've got another small casserole dish of these in the fridge that I'll cook up tomorrow night for dinner. Can't wait! These were a HUGE hit with everyone: Musty, my grandpa, my aunt, auntie's BF, and me!
These are Dreena's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from ED&BV. I'm sad to say, as much as I LOVE her recipes, that these weren't so great. They were quite dry, and I like my oatmeal cookies chewy and moist. Also, the recipe calls for quick oats, which didn't provide the same texture as proper oats. My grandpa told me that Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are his favorite, so now I am on the hunt for the ultimate recipe. Any suggestions? I want to try them all!
I apologize for this bad picture. Sigh. Some of you snazzy bloggers have such lovely pictures. This is so "by the light of the living room and using the flash." ha ha! That's what happens until we don't eat dinner until 9 pm and there's no more natural light. This is the "Mango-Ginger Tofu" from VwaV. It was really good. Musty and I both loved it! I had to broil the slices on High for 5 minutes on each side to get that proper baked tofu texture. The only thing is, next time I'll add another jalepeno or two. This recipe calls out for some heat. I was glad that this turned out so yummy, because it takes quite a bit of faith to cook up two deliciously ripe mangos instead of just eating them as-is!
Obviously, I have a problem! I can't stop making cookies! CAN.NOT.STOP! I especially love Dreena's recipes. She's a whiz. I love that her recipes don't rely on margarine, and that I don't feel like a big grease ball after I've eaten one (or two!). This was my evening treat tonight: a few warm "Chocolate Cherry Pecan Cookies" (recipe here), and a hot mug of "Roma." I really like these barley-type drinks. Usually I get Inka brand, but this big thing of Roma was on sale and I like it as well. This type of drink is a great alternative to coffee - warm and satisfying, a little sweet but mostly savory. Mmm!