Let me start by saying that what prevents me from becoming a full-on hippie (besides the awful fashion statements I associate with them) is that I can not stand all the fruitiness. Thank heavens, the feng shui craze seems to have passed, but I have two things I would like to say about it now:
One: I think it's a big load of bullcrap.
Two: There might be a little sliver of truth hiding in all the froo-froo "good vibes, man" BS disguised as a bona fide Asian art form/philosophy.
Tonight's dinner was the Monk Bowl from The 30 Minute Vegan, with a little special sauce I'll go into later. First, I want to talk about the not-quite-zen experience that was my dinner preparation. In their happy-flowers-everywhere introduction to the recipe, Jennifer constructs this meal prep into a "symphony of multitasking." It was not a 30 minute meal (though it could be with practice) and it most certainly couldn't be called a symphony, unless you were possibly referring to the noisy banging-on-piano-strings crap that late-20th century "composers" wrote.
The cubing, marinating, chopping, roasting, and steaming part of the prep could almost have fit together like a perfectly disjointed Chopin Mazurka. The "symphony" fell apart, ironically, with the assembly of the Monk Bowls. The zen of the moment collapsed and my kitchen feng shui promptly imploded. I think zen requires a larger kitchen, or at the very least, more counter space. It's a sad day when I don't have room to do an assembly line kind of thing with a roasting pan, a pot of rice, and a bowl of steamed veggies.
Fortunately, fruity feng shui and the zen of meal preparation have nothing to do with taste - Mister and I were both thrilled with (both of) our Monk Bowls. You see in the picture tasty blocks of roasted tofu, marinated in tamari and peanut oil, 8 cups of steamed broccoli, carrots, and red bell pepper, on top of my renewed flame: Basmati rice. To top it all off? An even tastier (and much easier to assemble) surprise: a slightly altered version of Dreena Burton's Sesame Mustard Tahini Sauce.
I found the sauce when I was poking around on my new favorite blog: Peas and Thank You. There were some fun links under the recipe section (Peas and Carrots) and when I saw the Sesame Tahini dressing, I thought it would be interesting - it was amazing! And it still is, since the recipe made quite enough sauce for Mister and I to have two Monk Bowls each, generously "drizzled" with this intense dressing, and still have plenty left over for the, well, leftovers, and for at least a pair of salads. The only real difference between what is posted and what I did involved subbing peanut butter for the tahini, since I didn't have any on hand.
So far, we are two recipes into my new cookbook and our experience so far has been spectacular (if not increasingly sarcastic in terms of my caustic comments - which is really just an attempt to shield all of you from the sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice overload I'm encountering on every page). Stay tuned for more fun adventures!