Sunday, May 23, 2010

I used up all my clever on the menu

I am embarrassed to say how long I've been sitting here trying to come up with a clever post title to catch your eye, but I'm having a moment best captured by one of those souvenir tee-shirts that say something like, "my friend went to Hollywood and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt."

On the up-side, though, I do have a very varied and creative menu to share with you!  First, though, is dinner:

Tonight, I made Snobby Joes from Veganomicon.  Mister wasn't sure he was ready for dinner when I started cooking, but when the scent of green peppers and garlic sauteing in olive oil reached his nose he decided he could probably eat something.

Or three somethings.  Yes, Mister had 3 Snobby Joes (in the time it took me to eat my salad and one Snobby Joe).  Turns out they were pretty good and he was hungrier than he realized.  I was finally emptying out from my low-calorie lunch with Mom...

Banana-Walnut pancakes with caramel syrup.  Very tasty.  Tasty enough that I probably kept eating well past where I should have stopped, but you only live once, right?

Anyway, back to the Snobby Joes.  They were nearly indescribable in their near-perfection.  I would have trouble trying to improve a recipe like this - Isa's husband is very lucky.  My husband is also very lucky that I accidentally stumbled upon Vegan With A Vengeance and thought the title was too funny to pass by.  The tomato flavor was good and the earthiness of the lentils prevented the acidity of the tomato sauce from dominating the dish.

Now, let's move on to my diverse and cleverly crafted menu for the upcoming week:

1. Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu accompanied by Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing, both from Isa's wacky brain, but from two separate cookbooks.  Just go buy them all.

2. Penne with Asparagus and Spring Herbs from The Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook.  This is a huge book and I have had it for a few years and barely scraped the surface.  One of the reasons I continuously buy new cookbooks (besides that they keep coming out with newer and better ones) is because I tend to get into a comfortable rut once I've had a book for...well, a month.  I'm feeling quite creative lately (you may have noticed a bunch of new recipes after months of nothing), so I thought I would sit down and try to see this "old" cookbook through new eyes.  It appears to have worked.

3. Chickpeas in Eggplant-Tahini Sauce also from VTCC.  Shh - don't tell Mister about the eggplant - I have some tricks up my [short] sleeve!

4. Hunan-Style Orange "Beef" and Asparagus Stirfry also from VTCC.  Asparagus season is most definitely coming to an end, so this week's menu features more or less a "last hoorah."  Also, I thought it might be handy to have a Chinese-ish recipe in case I need to make up for #3.

5. Tofu Saag from The 30 Minute Vegan.  I think next week I'll try to see if I can actually go a full week without an Indian-inspired dish on the menu.  I think this cuisine so frequently infiltrates veg-diets because the religious beliefs of that culture are much in line with vegan ideals.  Nevertheless, I'm starting to sweat cumin and coriander and I'm pretty sure my colleagues won't appreciate that in the summer.

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