What follows is a long post of various delicious weeknight creations! I love doing thematic posts, or product reviews, but sometimes I make a great dinner and it seems silly to just post one picture of a great dinner and that's all. So, lately I keep a little draft blog post going where I can load up any share-worthy culinary experiences... and then I just wait until the post gains some critical mass. Viola, here we are!
roasted goodness with grains and fresh microgreens and creamy dressing
I love this Orange-Miso Dressing Power Bowl from the Oh She Glows Cookbook, but I hadn't made it for a while. It's orange season again on our orange trees, so I thought of this recipe... and we both loved it as much as ever. Just looking at this picture makes me want to make it again. I really love that Orange-Miso Dressing on its own too. It makes a great dip for raw veggies or dressing to pour over steamed veggies. Sadly for me, Butternut Squash season is winding down, but I have a couple left on my counter so maybe I'll make this one more time.
romantic heart salad!
nom nom nom nom-a-long-a-ding-dong
Speaking of special salads, sometimes we mix it up. This was the Caesar Salad from the new Oh She Glows app (it's also here on her website). Sakes alive, this was good - greens, cashew parm, chickpea croutons... such a delicious combination of flavors and textures. The greens are a mix of kale and romaine lettuce which was something I don't do often. For whatever reason - probably just my own limited salad imagination - I usually either have kale salad or lettuce salad. We both loved this salad.
my regular weeknight cooking scenario
sometimes on weekdays, i cook dinner in the middle of the day, since I often am teaching at night. Then I can come home from teaching and have dinner all ready to go. I love that.
leftovers combined into a satisfying lunch. I've noticed lately how a good sauce can really tie things together and make it feel like I've eaten a proper meal. Whereas if I just had some steamed greens and some baked tofus separately, it wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying. You know what I mean?
This was a simple lunch thrown together with odds and ends from the fridge, but it was also a great combo together: steamed curly kale, grilled herb tofu, and some Afghani Cilantro sauce that I had made. I know that not every one appreciates cilantro, but I do. In fact, I think it might be my favorite fresh herb of all. I prefer cilantro pesto to basil pesto, believe it or not. I think my two favorite uses for loads of cilantro are Georgian Cilantro Sauce (which I also made recently) and Afghani Cilantro Sauce. Such strong and delicious flavors!
Deceptively fancy Weeknight Dinner
This glorious spread looks so beautiful and fancy, but actually this was a super quick and easy dinner to throw together. I wasn't in the mood to cook something from a cookbook... so I made a batch of hummus and based dinner around that. The hummus was topped with olive oil, nigella seeds, and some zaatar. Next I cooked up some broccolini and red onions on the stove top, warmed some lavash from the freezer, and chopped up a bunch of fresh herbs and veggies. I think we ate pretty much all of this between the two of us. Ha ha. It felt super fancy and couldn't have taken more than 30 minutes to throw together. I love that!
summer time is on its way!
Now that we're getting more and more sunny days, it's also time to bust out the grill. One of Mr. VE&T's favorite dinners of all is simple grilled veggies. I marinated a bunch of veggies and tofus and then threw it all on the grill. Grilling takes a little bit of time and monitoring, because some areas of our grill cook veggies more quickly than others... but it's super easy and overall it's still pretty quick. Plus, this dinner doesn't take a lot of mental energy, which I appreciate -- and double plus, Mr. VE&T gets all super excited and raves about it the whole time, which is certainly rewarding for me!
In general, I must say, I feel super lucky that Mr. VE&T loves my cooking so much. He is such an enthusiast and always shows great appreciation when he likes what I've made. It makes it so much more fun to cook for him. Every once in a while it happens that I make a dud, or just that he doesn't care for what I've made. But even on those occasions, he thanks me for being adventurous and always trying new things (and then he goes to the kitchen and gets something else to eat, ha ha!). Mr. VE&T isn't a vegan, or even a vegetarian, but he also happily enjoys vegan food and loves trying all the new things I make. I appreciate it so much!