Four Blog Posts all bundled into one!
As a follow up to my post about The Kale Situation, I'm finally following up with the promised "Escarole Situation." Late last fall, I decided to plant some escarole. I'd never had it, but I'd heard about it, and I never saw it at the farmers market so I could try it. So, I planted a whole row of it, from seed. Well, all these months later, I was having starting to have a serious Escarole Situation: about 10 HUGE, robust, abundant plants and me having absolutely no idea what to do with them. You can see my confusion!
Finally, I got a tip to just sauteed escarole with garlic, like any other green. So, I made up some of this delicious Roasted Seitan with Cipollini Onions and Balsamic Glaze (from Fresh Food Fast)...
... and served it up with a side of sauteed escarole. I thought it was okay to eat, but Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats took one bite and said "Yuck!" So, because I don't like to waste, I made myself eat his serving too - a solution I wasn't particularly eager to repeat. So, I gave away huge bags of the stuff to my friends who came to my Persian New Year party. That was a clever solution! But there was still a lot left over.
Finally, I got a tip that there was an escarole recipe in Veganomicon. It's funny because I looked through SO many of my international/Italian/mediterranean books looking for escarole recipes, when there was one in good ol' "Vcon" the whole time. So, I made up her dish, which is called something like "White Beans with Escarole," and - LO! - we both enjoyed it. Mr. VE&T did say "This tastes very healthy," with a slightly derogatory tone, but nonetheless he liked it enough to eat it. So I've got one more huge bag of escarole in the fridge and I think I'll whip this one up again. But, next fall, there probably won't be escarole growing in my garden!
I've been really grooving on my kitchen time lately... and we had a week wherein I made a whole bunch of delicious soups. First there was the "Split Pea and Roasted Parsnips" soup from "Vegan World Fusion." This soup was really, really good. I don't use parsnips much, but they were a great addition to this soup.
Next up was the Cilantro-Asparagus Soup from the "Real Food Daily Cookbook," which I've made many times before. Love it love it love it. Simple, seasonal and very flavorful. Alongside the soup I made "Pasta alla Verde" (or something like that) from Vegan Italiano. Unfortunately, I just really can't say we liked that one. The pasta was a real dud, and it's pretty hard to make pasta no-fun-to-eat.
I also made a batch of this *delicious* Winter Minestrone with Parsley Pesto from "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen." It was a great soup - and the pesto really made it. Light and hearty all at once, somehow. It's funny to be eating "Winter" soup and also fresh strawberries from our garden all at once. Spring is crazy!
One of my sweet pals broke her leg recently, which isn't very fun. So, in addition to bringing her lots of the aforementioned soups, I also wanted to make sure she had some sweeties to soothe the spirits. She's a real spelt and healthy-foodie gal, so I made the Ginger-Raspberry-Spelt Muffins from Vegan Brunch. YUM. These muffins were so quick and easy and so delicious, and were happily received!
After those muffins had been devoured, I made her another batch - Spelt Pistachio & Dried Cherry Muffins. I sorta based them off the Vegan Brunch recipe, but mixed it up quite a bit. I used some of my leftover homemade pistachio milk, added in a bunch of pistachios, some cardamom, and a big handful of dried cherries. They were SO successful, and I was pretty stoked! I don't switch up recipes too often, and it's exciting for me when my creative endeavors turn out well.
I also had a little stint where I made recipes from Millenium Restaurant cookbooks two nights in a row on weeknights!! I was feeling like quite a fancy pants. First up, the Moroccan Crepes, from "The Millenium Cookbook." Pictured here is the delicious filling - made with a whole bunch of seasonal veggies, chickpeas, and many tasty spices. Beautiful, isn't it?
Then I made up the crepes, which were a cinch, and came out PERFECT. On top there, you see the very, very tasty "Tofu, Mint, & Cilantro Raita" (I made a 1/4 recipe). This recipe was all ready start to finish in under an hour, but really tasted top-notch!
The following night I made two recipes from "The Artful Vegan" - "Israeli Couscous Salad" & "Roasted Vegetables." These were two parts of a 4-part dinner menu, but together they made a lovely, quick and seasonal dinner meal. This Couscous Salad was out-of-this-freaking world! We loved it, and I most definitely look forward to making it again soon.
The Roasted Veggies were nicely spiced and more than just plain-ol-roasted-veg. It was a nice combo to have something fresh and something a little more hearty and savory.
Last, but not least!, I made a batch of Mary's 5-Star Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for the yoga retreat I co-led this weekend. All the food at the retreat center is crazy delicious and vegan... and they make us amazing desserts at night, but some of us (you know who you are!) also like a little sweetie after lunch! So I made these delicious cookies, which were enjoyed by all! thanks again to Mary for such a flawless recipe!