Sunday, September 20, 2009

harvesting the nectar before it's gone

It was a gorgeous almost-autumn day today. The temperature was hovering in the low 70s, the sun was out but there was a nice breeze blowing... I wandered down to the Italian Market to try (again) to get either Beluga lentils or more French lentils and they were out of both. How disappointing, but at least I got to take a walk. I bought bunches of vegetables, including 9 different bell peppers - it's going to be a pepper-heavy menu this week, but it seems there's a bumper crop, so it works out.

I also got more bananas which may or may not get to stay whole for more than a day... last time, I was just a day late in eating them all up and the fruit flies won that round. The little buggers only live about two days, but for those two days, they are annoying as hell. Chocolate Covered Katie has a recipe for banana butter which I'm considering, since I still haven't settled into an oatmeal routine. Maybe I won't - I could just spend the fall and winter experimenting, but I have learned several times over that I really just don't like chocolate oatmeal. That probably will not stop me from trying again, though.

Anyway, tonight's dinner was Stewed Lentils with Soy Sausage and Fingerling Fries, both from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. It was not a fast meal, but that is owed to two factors:
1. I don't believe in canned lentils. They just seem gross.
2. My stove got crippled somewhere between reheating that amazing lentil soup we had earlier this week for lunch and making dinner tonight and all that came out of the burner was the wretched smell they put in natural gas to prevent you from killing yourself accidentally. So, down a front burner and too short to reach the back burners for something requiring frequent attention, it took a little longer because I had to trade off.

The stewed lentils looked kind of gross, but it tasted good and that's really what matters. The fries were both attractive and tasty, though a little bland because I'm very conservative with the salt (you can always add more, but you can't take it away, right?).
I stand corrected, now that I've made a whole bunch of recipes from Vegan Express - Nava has two standard ingredients: sun-dried tomatoes and Tofurky sausage. It kind of works out, though, because Mister loves Tofurky everything and I have thus far been unable to give him a Tofurky for a holiday feast. Someday...when our home is big enough for guests...

I thought I had finished my food shopping today, but it turns out I did forget to pick one thing up at Whole Foods. I'm glad I have to go back because when I was looking at some of the blogs I follow today, I found that my absolute favorite fruit and nut bars are being discontinued! So, I'm planning to march my butt back to Whole Foods tomorrow and buy every Lemon Vanilla Cashew Nectar bar and Dark Chocolate Walnut Nectar bar they have. It's ironic - after all my bar testing, those remained my favorites for many reasons.

In any case, here is the menu for this coming week. I still have one more Isa soup I'm making tomorrow night, though, from last week's menu.

1. Potato Corn Chowder (from Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein)
2. Seitan Pepper Steak (also Accidental Vegan - this was one of the recipes that made me buy the book)
3. Vegetable Etoufee (from One-Dish Vegetarian Meals by Robin Robertson - this is another old standard that I make almost every time I flip through this cookbook)
4. Punjabi Peppers and Tofu (from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer, the crazy Canadian who introduced me to the wondrous world of vegan cooking, as well as the magical spice medley called Garam Masala)
5. Penne Pasta with Fresh Veggies (from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau) That has to be the most unimaginative name I've ever seen for a recipe, but we'll forgive her because she comes up with clever-cute names for her full menus.

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