Thursday, February 25, 2010

in the bleak midwinter

Actually, we are slightly more than two-thirds through "winter", but this has been a serious winter so far and anyone who has paid attention for the last decade or so that I've been paying attention knows it doesn't actually get [consistently] warm in Philadelphia until May.

It's snowing again. Honestly, it never gets old - I am as happy looking out my window today as I was during the first snowfall in December. I just think it's beautiful, especially in the city where you can watch the flakes dance and swirl in the halo of the street lamps before they lay a velvet carpet on untrod sidewalks.

Today was a great day to just sit inside and be cozy and lazy, so it is very fortunate that it just happened to be my day off from work. I was supposed to do productive things like get my taxes done and go grocery shopping, but why ruin a beautiful day? I'll admit, I pretty well wussed out because of the wind advisory from the National Weather Service making me afraid to drive to my taxes appointment, and when I saw metal signs wiggling around on their posts, it didn't exactly entice me to step outside my door and join the others who were fighting the wind for their scarves. Besides, I work hard enough to justify a day of watching Amy Lee be perfect while mourning that more than three years have passed without a new release from Evanescence.

So I made myself a nice snowy day lunch - leftover French Lentil Soup with a substantial and tasty salad (spring mix, sprouts, broccoli, carrots, kalamata olives).

That was actually last night's dinner - lentil soup and a mega salad with broccoli, spring mix baby greens, mixed sprouts, kalamata olives, and dried cranberries in lieu of clementine segments. I figured that the 3 I ate as a snack at work probably covered my citrus requirement for the day.

I am so impressed with how pretty salads can be if you take five minutes to construct one that doesn't require dressing. I think it's the dressing that messes up the pretty. By the way, for the more observant among you, I did not try to eat my salad with a spoon - that was for the soup. There is actually a fork beside it, it just didn't make it into the picture. And yes, I know the spoon goes on the right and the fork goes on the left, but I wasn't throwing a dinner party, I was just having dinner alone while checking out some amazing artwork in a magazine shared with me by a colleague. He and a friend thought this painting looked like me:

Anyway, with the help of Smirnoff's Grand Cosmopolitan, I constructed this week's menu after my little dinner last night. At the time, I had every intention of shopping for the necessary ingredients today, but when you see the snow blowing from left to right, rather than merely floating peacefully downward, you might not be overly enthusiastic about going to a grocery store where you get to fight the frenzied omg-it's-snowing-I'll-never-eat-again mobs. I know I wasn't.

1. Kedgeree from The Accidental Vegan because I still haven't made it. That's tonight's dinner.

2. Spanish Veggie Stew with Spanish Rice also from The Accidental Vegan because it looked interesting. I actually almost turned past it, but something made me flip the page back.

3. Seitan Cacciatore also from TAV. I made this before, full of trepidation because it borders on warping a traditional recipe, but it came out so well I was craving it again.

4. Cajun Red Beans and Rice also from TAV. I don't know why I'm so attracted to Cajun Beans and Rice recipes, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for. (hee hee - you're going to have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day...)

5. Pomegranate Saute on Cinnamon Bulghur from my little holographic gold book of chicken scratch.

6. Spicy Stir-Fry with Clementine, Asparagus, and Tofu from Vegetarian Times: Fast & Easy. I was hellbent on including a tofu-based recipe in my menu because I accidentally bought a tub of tofu a couple of weeks ago that needs to be used up ASAP. I also happen to have half a bag of clementines left, so all I actually need to buy for this recipe is the asparagus!

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