Sunday, October 4, 2009

a perfect tofucotta

What a wonderful day! I was off from work, which I never take for granted, it was a perfect temperature, and I got to watch some people remove a couch from a 2nd floor balcony by hoisting it over the railing and down to two men poised to catch it on top of a U-Haul box truck! You can't beat that with a stick.

Or maybe you can, with a delightful and rustic lunch. I reheated the beans & kale soup from Friday's dinner and made tomato toasts.
I think the soup was actually better today than it was when it was freshly made on Friday. There was something distinctly buttery tasting about it that I can only guess was the cannellini beans.

Anyway, after much plotting about "work" Mister and I plan on doing to our home over the next two weeks in order to make it less disastrous and more pleasant (home should relax a person, not stress her out more), I ventured out into the sun and breeze to pay a visit (and a good chunk of my paycheck) to Whole Foods. Before I go any further, let me share this week's menu with you:

1. Potato Leek Soup and Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Olives & Toasted Pine Nuts
2. Arborio Rice with Roasted Red Peppers, Pine Nuts & Basil
3. Tofu Spinach Lasagna
(no pine nuts in this one - you thought there was a trend, didn't you?)
4. Hearty Stew
5. Savoury Shepherd's Pie

Numbers 1-4 all come from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I'm especially excited about #4 because it proves she is indeed able to create a recipe name that does not include all of the ingredients in the title (see 1 and 2 and this).

The shepherd's pie recipe comes from How It All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard. As I mentioned in a previous post, I fell in love with this book because of the soup recipes. In fact, for at least the first year or two that I had this book, there were only two non-soup recipes in the book that I ever used - this is one of them. Normally, I cheat and buy pre-made, refrigerated mashed potatoes for the topping, but it occurred to me as I was beginning to write "mashed potatoes" on my grocery list that most people include milk and butter when they make mashed potatoes. So, for the sake of being true to VeganMoFo 2009, I will sacrifice convenience and use my nifty food processor OR my very fun Oxo potato masher to make the mashed potatoes myself with soymilk and Earth Balance.

Anyway, we're going to swap out #3 from this week with #5 from last week, because it just wasn't soup weather tonight. Also, Tofu Spinach Lasagna requires a bit more time and effort that I am usually willing to put out on a work night. As long as I live, I will hate squishing the water out of frozen chopped spinach. I wish I could train the cat to do it for me, but he's a lazy little guy...and we don't want his fuzz in the spinach either. I have at least half a dozen vegetarian lasagna recipes (including a surprisingly good - but hardly vegan - one from Martha Stewart), but tonight I was astonished by two things:

1. how good vegan lasagna can be
2. how realistic my tofu ricotta was
see? you can't tell me that doesn't look just like real ricotta would after it was beaten with an egg and some water to make it spreadable
Here it is after I mixed in the chopped spinach. By the way, Angst knows the difference between fresh and frozen spinach and did not even bother with me tonight.

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