Wednesday, December 30, 2009

it's the most wonderful time of the year

If you work for a weight loss company, that is - the office is buzzing with ringing phones and sales pitches. It's not all roses, but it beats watching the agents chattering idly with one another while waiting as long as 30 minutes for their phones to ring. It's exciting, stressful, and completely exhausting.

Tonight we had Pasta with Beans and Chard which is always tasty, though not terribly interesting to talk about once you've made it a few times. I won't waste my precious finger (typing) muscles or your precious eyesight. If you want to read about it or see pretty pictures, click the link.

I am completely excited about my new menu. I'm thrilled to be able to craft one again, and to know that we will eat everything on it in a week's time (rather than 4 dinners over two weeks). I think my temporary but heartbreaking hiatus was just enough to restore my creative menu planning and taste for culinary adventure, because as I was seeking the familiar (read: easy) in my stand-by Vegetarian Times: Fast & Easy, I found myself intrigued by several dishes I've either never made before or haven't made in so long that I can't remember if I made them before. I also know better than to consult any of the cookbooks that don't promise I can go from fridge to stove to table in 45 minutes or fewer just as New Years and all the I-Will-Lose-Weight-This-Time resolutions cause me to collapse into a coma at my desk.

So, all six of my happy dinners this "week" are taken from Vegetarian Times: Fast & Easy.

1. Black-Bottom Tofu with Cashew Coconut Rice because I don't think I can ever make this enough times. It's fun and tasty. It smells fabulous when it's cooking. It's easy. Good enough for me!

2. Warm Chickpea Ragout with Swiss Chard, Carrots, and Harissa - this was the recipe that helped me creep back towards the more adventurous side of my culinary creativity. I pondered the recipe for a while because, although it sounds great, I am always a little skeptical of condiments/spices with which I am unfamiliar that other people say "it adds heat without being too spicy." If I add more than a scrupulous dash of cayenne to an entire pot of something, dinner will be a painful experience for me...and a hilarious one for Mister, who seems to take sadistic pleasure in watching my eyes tear up, my face turn red, and then listening to me sniff through dinner (with many long draughts of water) before surrendering and going to the bathroom to blow my runny nose.

3. Cauliflower and Potato Curry - I have made this dish in the past, though I'm not sure I have made this particular recipe. Aloo Gobi is pretty standard Indian fare and Mister loves him his cauliflowers and potatoes, so I have definitely made this before and will make it a hundred times in the future.

4. Chili and Polenta Casserole - I am still trying to figure out how this puppy escaped my attention on previous perusals of this cookbook. Even better than the idea of a baked, bursting-with-flavor chili topped with rounds of roasted polenta is the fact that chocolate is part of the mole sauce - this is going to rock.

5. Penne with Broccoli and Creamy Tomato Sauce - I love creamy sauces, Mister loves broccoli...sounds like a match made in heaven, just like us (awww...*gag*).

6. Garlicky Tofu with Spinach Over Pasta - I have pored over this recipe almost every time I've gone through this cookbook. On the one hand, Mister loves pasta, I love tofu, and we both love garlic and spinach. On the other hand, the idea of cubes of tofu actually crusted with bits of browned garlic is a little daunting. When I turned the flavors and textures over in my mind's mouth, though, it was just too tempting to deny one more time. We'll see how it goes!

Tomorrow we're reverting back to "No-Cook Wednesday," primarily because we have a ton of leftovers that need eating. Normally, leftovers become my take-to-work lunches, but because I work for a company generous enough (and profit-driven) to serve us all boxed lunches at our desks (so we don't miss any opportunities to sell), and because my previously unaware Vice President is now hyper-aware of my diet and has been ensuring I have something to eat every day, the leftovers have just been partying in the fridge.

No comments:

Post a Comment