Wednesday, November 18, 2009

all that's missing are the feathers

Like most people (I suppose), I find a blog-niche and stay with my 10 most familiar/comfortable blogs, in terms of my reading pleasure. When I find a new blog to read, it was normally linked to one of my favorites. In the case of Bittersweet, though, my Dad inadvertently led me there. That's why the next part of the story is so much funnier than it would have been if I had linked there from any of the blogs on the right side of the page here.

Having made many valiant attempts to make a scrumptious vegetarian main dish for holiday dinners, my mother has more or less waved the white flag and given that responsibility to me. I'm more than happy to take it on, and with each new holiday I try to branch out and contribute even more. Maybe I'm practicing for when she's too decrepit to make family dinners (just kidding, Mom!) or maybe I'm excited to be able to offer some of the more interesting side dishes that I never make because it's just Mister and me. Anyway, I am elated to report that I have found one of my contributions for Thanksgiving and I can't wait to make my father eat it:
Tofu Turkey - how cool is that???
The marinade looks painlessly simple and the whole process seems quite effortless, but I am thrilled. Mister finally gets his "tofurky" even if it's not the "roast" in the freezer section of Whole Foods. I get to play with tofu and cookie cutters. My parents get to experience the wonder of tofu after it's been marinated and baked. This is going to be great!

Yes, Dad - if you're reading this, I really am going to make you eat one.

Now, where was I before I started waxing sentimental the past two days? Ah yes, prepping, cooking, and eating some great dinners that escaped my literary attention because I was thinking too hard. I blame it on Annie Lennox, but we can get into that later.

Last night, I made Seitan & Polenta Skillet with Fresh Greens and it was definitely better than the first time. The difference was in the seitan. Normally, I use White Wave Seitan, but I couldn't find it at Whole Foods. I also couldn't find it under the products on White Wave's website, so I'm wondering if it has met an untimely demise... Anyway, in its conspicuous absence, I stared blankly at the refrigerator, then furrowed my brow and tried to figure out which of the remaining seitans would be an acceptable substitute. I believe I chose wisely - I got Ray's Seitan Wheat Meat which looked utterly terrifying swimming in its little tub of broth. Apparently, it's locally produced and is the brand used by Horizons to make all of their amazing seitan dishes! So, despite how gross it looked before I cooked it, the minute it hit the pan I knew I'd made the right choice. It was so much better than the White Wave that I'm kicking myself for passing it by so many times...of course, it's also about twice as expensive, but whatever - you only live once, you may as well enjoy dinner.
Tonight, we had Two-Broccoli Stir-Fry on Soba Noodles. I have to hand it to Mister - he was a good sport. He's not a huge fan of non-spaghetti noodles...he doesn't even like whole-wheat italian-style pasta - durum semolina all the way, baby. However, as I've mentioned, Broccoli is one of his favorite vegetables, so perhaps the doubled broccoli won out over the weird noodles and hunks of tofu.

Also, having failed to locate and purchase my new kitchen toys, I just squeezed the hell out of three oranges. By the way - that's how many oranges you have to squeeze the hell, er, juice, out of to get 1/2 cup. I skipped the zesting bit...the peels weren't in very good condition after all that mutilation anyway.
Broccoli BFFs hanging out on a bed of soba noodles, leaning on tofu pillows
My attempt at a more artistic still life.

Anyway, two great dinners: I love polenta, the seitan was amazing, my hunks of tofu happily absorbed the murdered oranges' juice for a fun and juicy addition to the broccoli, and I have decided that (regardless of Mister's feelings) I love soba noodles.

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