Saturday, January 30, 2010

Vegetable Supper Invasion!!!

So, my computer totally shit the bed. Not sure what's wrong with it, and I've not bothered to get it fixed, rather I've just been enjoying my limited internet time. I have, though, still been cooking with vegetables and sometimes even taking photos of my meals. I have my brother's computer to myself this afternoon, so here're a bunch of photos of the meals we've enjoyed over the last month. I hope I remember the ingredients sufficiently to give you an idea of what each dish was about. Also, I miss you.

"Cooking with Dog" is one of my favourite youtube channels. It's a show where you're taught to make Japanese dishes by a dog named Francis. He tells you how and the lady actually makes the dish. This dish, Tofu Nimono, is the best one I've tried so far. I will take any excuse to have a dog tell me what to do with delicious fried tofu. Damn it's good. If you think you don't like tofu, you should try it fried. For this version of Tofu Nimono, I used potatoes, carrots, turnip, daikon radish, peas. Another incredible feature of this stew is its delicious brothy base (as I don't have the special starchy potato to make it thick. I suppose I could use kudzu). When I was in Japan, I couldn't figure out how anything was seasoned. This recipe helps unlock that secret. Allow Francis to walk you through this dandy.

If I'm not mistaken, this dish is a recipe that I created last year, which is basically Indian spices and, well, it used to be purely chickpeas, cabbage and a humongous onion, but Bruce doesn't like onion, so I amended this one and also threw in some red pepper. I served this over the lovely yellow rice that I learned from Manjula of Manjula's Kitchen. She rules and every recipe I've tried has been amazing. Here's the video.

This gorgeous dish was really quick to make and is also extremely good for you and delicious. You couldn't ask for a much better meal than that, eh? It's from Jae Steele's wonderful debut cookbook "Get It Ripe," and it's called "Sesame Kale Soba" and also notably features arame, a cool black seaweed. Page 192. Make it, and get some kale and seaweed into that body of yers.

So I'm reading this book about kudzu called, aptly titled, "The Book of Kudzu." Kudzu is both a much-loved and much-hated vine that grows in Japan and the Southern U.S. Kudzu deserves its own post, so I'll make that happen soon, but for now, I just had to show you the drink that I totally made up using kudzu (which is, for the purpose of this post, a delicious, alkalizing thickener). Basically, I was feeling really overheated digestively-speaking, so I thought-- what would be better than thickened peppermint tea? That's right-- nothing. So I did it. Peppermint tea sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, coloured with some liquid chlorophyll and thickened with kudzu. Oh yeah. It felt perfect. I drank a ton of it. Here it is presented in the Shuswap mug Mom and Dad brought me back from British Columbia.

I estimate that a clear 7
0% or more of my meals are Indian dishes, based on the principles of Ayurveda, because I have holes in my bowels and these delicious dishes (that sounds so cool!) nourish me, and I'm a big dork who yearns to be an expert in Ayurvedic cooking. This dish, a Digestive Kichadi from "The Ayurvedic Cookbook" by Amadea Morningstar and Urmilla Desei, is one of mine and Bruce's favourites. I usually alter it slightly because Bruce loves things a little spicier. This dish features split mung beans, basmati rice, carrots, maybe sweet potatoes, peas and a medley of delicious Indian spices. I will absolutely devote a huge post to this book soon. It's got tumeric stains all over it.

I love nog. Since becoming vegan, I've been obsessed with So Nice's version called Noel Nog and I wait for it each season with no semblance of patience at all. This year, after having recipe tested for Jae Steele's forthcoming masterpiece "Ripe From Around Here," I didn't actually buy one carton of Noel Nog. I considered it a couple of times, but concluded that it was much less delicious and much more saccharine than the version from Jae's book. Here it is in my bat mug that my beloved friend Ingrid made with her own little elf hands. This nog is stupid good. While I can't tell you the recipe, I can say that its base is almond milk, and is doped up with coconut milk and a warming array of spices. And maybe rum or bourbon. I think the book is due out in the spring, and I recommend you make it then.

A few nights ago I wanted pasta so I made pasta. Nothing terribly special, just pasta with sauteed vegetables (garlic, leeks, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow pepper, yellow beets-- yes, yellow beets!, spinach), and basil pesto over garlic parsley kamut linguine noodles. This was my leftover meal the next day for breakfast and even though I had the afternoon light, this meal still looks kinda gray. Ooops!

This is a weird one. I've always been into the idea of savoury squares. My oft-missed friend Emily and I always lamented the fact that you can't buy a savoury energy bar or square. Always with the sweetness, never the savoury. With some tweaking, this could be it. This recipe, "Endvo Savory Squares," was the first recipe that appealed to me from "The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook," but it took me a while to make it because it's kind of involved. I tweaked it and used cream of brown rice rather than cream of wheat, and this recipe is basically a lot of rice cream with cabbage, carrot, peas and spices. Here it looks ghastly and gray, but it was actually bright and tumericky. It was delicious, but was a bit dry and in need of chutney or to be served with a soupy dish.

I've had my eye on this dish since last summer when Bruce and I planned to make it and then for some reason didn't. The other day, after tasting chipotle peppers the first time on a veggie chili-making date with my galpals Tracy and Laura, I knew I needed more chipotle in my week. This one's called "Southern Bowl: Chipotle Black-Eyed Peas with Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens." Daaamn, chipotles are hawt and smoky and lovely. I figured I was kind of stupid to make this dish when my belly was already feeling terrible, but I couldn't talk myself out of it and oddly it didn't make it worse-- it actually might've even inexplicably made me feel better. And oh yeah, this recipe is also a Jae Steele classic from "Get It Ripe." I misread this recipe and made it a bit differently, but it still turned out wonderfully, if I may say so. Bruce, full of about four sandwiches, even ate a bunch. He didn't try the collards, of course, but still.

Geez, those're all the photos I have from this month, except for the photo shoot of Bruce making me soup. That one gets its own post because it was so awesome. Stay tuned, dude(tte)s.

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