Sunday, November 22, 2009

of menus and magazines

When I was planning my wedding, I think I truly bought every bridal magazine that was widely available - Brides, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, and a few others. Up until that point, I was actually not a big fan of magazines. I would go through phases in my early twenties where I thought I liked magazines, so I would subscribe to a bunch, then I would inevitably run out of time to read them. I was really good until my 29th birthday, when I got engaged. I didn't actually subscribe to any of these magazines, and knowing my affinity for letting things pile up, I made a deal with myself that I had to get rid of a magazine every time I bought a new one, so I spent a lot of time poring over the magazines, then cutting out what I thought was important and recycling the rest to make room for a new glossy treasure.

My engagement was not quite a year, so my magazine-buying spree didn't last all that long, but it had become a habit. By the time I got home from my honeymoon and recycled the last of my bridal magazines, I'll admit - I was at a loss. I had gotten so used to buying magazines, I felt like I needed something to fill that void. I tried a book and realized that probably one reason magazines are so popular is because you don't have to devote a lot of time to them - you can read a quick article here or there and come back later and start fresh with a completely unrelated article, whereas with a book, there is generally a continuing storyline.

I'm not completely sure how it happened, but somehow, I managed to get a bunch of trial issues of magazines I was at least remotely interested in, and out of those trials, I think I ended up subscribing to 3 magazines: Cooking Light, Eating Well, and Health. After a year, I let Eating Well drop because the magazine and the website were more or less identical - it is that same reason that I didn't subscribe to any Martha Stewart publications, despite my love for her. I have had Health for a year and apparently stopped reading it after about four months, because I have a lot of issues still wrapped in plastic. I renewed my Cooking Light subscription last year and also got a subscription for my mom for Christmas. Somewhere in the past few months, though, I have fallen out of love with Cooking Light - too much meat. Most recipes I get from there are either desserts or side dishes and I don't make either frequently.

The point of all this explanation is to let you know that I spent the past few days going through a stack of back issues of these magazines and tearing out what I need and recycling the rest. I will not be renewing any subscriptions this year, although I believe I will always toy with the idea of subscribing to Vegetarian Times. I wanted to do something completely different for my menu this week, since it's so disjointed anyway between One-Serving Wednesday and Thanksgiving. I went through my magazines and did my best to convert recipes from what they are to something vegan, as well as get some ideas together for Thanksgiving (I can't serve the turkeys alone!). Here are the results of my toils:

1. Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers from Eating Well magazine, March/April 2009.
2. Beef & Cabbage Stirfry with Peanut Sauce from Eating Well, January/February 2009.
3. Lentil-Edamame Stew from Cooking Light, December 2008.
4. Seitan Stir-Fry with Black Bean Garlic Sauce from Cooking Light, December 2009.
5. Cumin-Roasted Eggplant with Sweet Peppers & Chickpeas from Vegetarian Times, January 2009 - This will be my "One-Serving" Wednesday dinner because Mister hates eggplant. He doesn't want to, he just does.
Tofu Turkeys
Chunky Chai Applesauce from Cooking Light, November 2008 and
Spiced Potatoes and Green Beans from Cooking Light, September 2009.

I am so excited about those stupid turkeys. The whole menu looks fun (for the week, not just T-Day), so hopefully I'll have some great stories for you this week to make up for my three-day absence just now.

I will be back later with stories of tonight's dinner as well as the cookies I'm making for my work potluck tomorrow - I am really excited about these cookies, too, especially because of how easily they were "veganized."

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of our last two dinners and a few stories:

On Friday night we had Moroccan Meatballs on Couscous. I have made this a dozen times and it's always fun. The best story I have about this is when I bought the vegan meatballs at Whole Foods and the cashier was way more enthusiastic about them than I was. In fact, while she was picking them up and exclaiming that they were the "best thing ever," I was wishing there was a better vegan meatball out there. They taste great, don't get me wrong, but they fall apart way more easily than I would like - I cook hard. It's also fun to cook with pomegranate juice, except that even POM Wonderful doesn't sell pure pomegranate juice anymore - it's always a blend: pom-mango, blueberry pomegranate, etc. I ended up with Odwalla Pomagrand.
Last night we had Pasta Jambalaya with my happy Tofurky Italian sausages. Last time I made this I cut them into rounds and that just seemed like a little too much sausage in one bite, so this time I halved each link lengthwise before slicing it into half-moons. I was really impressed with how flavorful this pasta dish is - you almost need the pasta to calm the flavors. The paprika really shines in this dish, though it overpowers the thyme a little. I really don't like the crunchiness of the celery and I forgot to cook it until it was mushy.

Anyway, I'm off to make dinner and bake cookies - I'll probably share about dinner while I'm waiting on the cookies, so check back in a few hours!

1 comment:

  1. I love reading magazines but it gets expensive after awhile. That Jambalaya looks rather tasty mmmm.