Monday, November 11, 2013

Back to the Kitchen

Friends! It has been a rocky time around here. My sweet dad has been in the hospital for a month now. He's had a lot of ups and downs during that time, and I haven't been cooking (or blogging) much at all. In fact, even eating took a back seat for a while. Dinners have been mostly take-out, pasta with red sauce, burritos from the taqueria, and pre-made wraps from the health food store... Many times I would finally make a plan to make dinner (and buy all the ingredients) only to find myself too worn out to actually cook. Good thing we live one block from a Thai restaurant.

Happy in the kitchen with my kitchen pals!
(plus Vegan Cuts Snack Box on top of fridge!)

Those nights when I have had time and energy and enthusiasm for cooking have been so very special. I've really missed cooking. I've missed my quiet time puttering and prepping in the kitchen, the delight of cooking with super fresh local produce, and the pleasure that comes from eating something I've made just the way I like it.

So, here are just a few recent dinners I've managed to make, and which I've relished even more than usual. Please excuse my dark, wintertime photos. Alas, 'tis the season for poorly lit photos.


I was so excited to get my copy of Isa's new book Isa Does It! in the mail, and I finally got to make something from it: Citrus Tahini Bowl with Grilled Tofu. I love love love "bowls," and yet somehow I never can figure out what to do on my own. So, I was super excited to see so many bowl recipes in this book. This one really caught my eye, and we both loved it! I loved the flavor combos - and I loved having tofu, greens, grains, fruit and savory sauce all in one dinnertime experience. So perfect! Plus, I got to use our oranges from our very own tree, so that was extra fun.

Falafel Salad in winter light

A while back I made a big batch of the falafels from Appetite for Reduction... I'm not sure how it happened, but somehow I ended up making something like 45 of those little devils. Whoa. So, they are in the freezer, at the ready for a quick weeknight dinner. I made a falafel salad with romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes (the end of homegrown harvest), red onion, and black olives. For a dressing I combined tahini, water, lemon juice, fresh garlic and salt and pepper. Super quick, super delicious, and surprisingly satisfying. Good thing I still have about 20 more falafels!

And, as soon as Isa posted these Stuffed Thanksgiving Burgers on the PPK blog, I just knew I needed to make them. They are basically burger patties made out of a really delicious stuffing recipe - filled with holiday flavors like sage and thyme, plus hazelnuts and dried cranberries. I served them over a bed of arugula, with a side of gravy and a side of garlicky collard greens. Super good. Mr. VE&T sorta freaked out on these and ate three of them in one sitting. So, that's a pretty good endorsement! I loved these so much and will most definitely make them again... soon!

22 comments:

  1. Miles9:29 AM

    I hope there have been more ups than downs with your Dad lately. My dad was in the hospital for months last year and it was the worst. I hope you're coping okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Miles. I remember that your dad was ill for a long time. Things seem to be headed in a good direction right now - so with my fingers crossed, I am starting to feel cautiously optimistic. Nice to hear from you, too. :)

      Delete
  2. You have been missed and am glad that you are back. Sending best thoughts for your Dad to be on the upside of his illness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Joan. I'm glad to be back too. I really missed blogging and connecting with my bloggy friends!

      Delete
  3. Take care! This blog post makes me hungry.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Best wishes to yr dad and the rest of the family. Take care of yrself too!
    Thanksgiving burgers: WANT. The bowl looks fantastic too. I am loving Isa Does It so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Foodfeud. I've been doing a pretty good job of protecting my time and space as much as possible... so that I have some time to just be quiet and veg out. Apparently I really need that. Those thanksgiving burgers are where it's at. Highly recommended!

      Delete
  5. So sorry to hear about your Dad. I'm impressed that you're managing to cook anything right now and hoping you're getting lots of rest too.
    "Isa does it" is so good isn't it? I've had some other cooking projects so haven't managed to make much so far but it's all been delish. The citrus tahini bowl is high on my priorities' list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the citrus tahini bowl was the very first thing to catch my eye - just the right thing for our weather... and hearty without being too heavy... it was perfect. :)

      Delete
  6. nicely done! a little more al fresco, a little quicker, nothing wrong with that!

    I hope your Pa is OK!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Thanks Andrew! Yes, keeping things fresh and light for the most part. Something about worrying makes me not want foods that are too heavy... but I still need substance and nourishment! So, these were good meals to fit that bill. :)

      Delete
  7. I am sorry to hear about your dad, I hope he is getting better.
    The food looks amazing, as always. Especially that citrus tahini bowl.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry to hear about your dad as well, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    I love a bowl too! I was very happy to see that chapter in IDI, I just haven't go around to making any yet!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hope your dad gets better soon!! My daddy has been sick a lot this year too....and it sucks because daddies are the best people in the world. I'll be thinking about you. Thank goddess for frozen falafel surpluses!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. that all looks amazing. especially the citrus tahini bowl. I love tofu. so much.

    ReplyDelete
  11. glad to see to see you back. My thoughts are with your dad!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hope that you dad gets well soon! I'm impressed that you were able to cook. The food looks tasty and nourishing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love tofu so much, and this recipe looks fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like your cooking - it looks simple and tasty :)

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, they really make my day! I'm sorry I turned off the anonymous comment option - I was getting so many spams!