Monday, June 28, 2010

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is her own USO

Days off are great days for dinners with a list of ingredients as long as the actual recipe.  Sometimes, long lists of ingredients do not equate to lots of washing and slicing and dicing and pressing, etc.  Sometimes, the list of ingredients is long because there are 7 herbs and spices to be blended together for one reason or another, and despite the gathering and measuring and mixing and sprinkling, the dish still gets done in about 30 minutes.  Tonight was not one of those times.

Penne Pasta with Fresh Veggies from The Vegan Table has a ton of ingredients and every single one of them requires your specific and individual attention.  There's the julienning of carrots, the slicing of peppers and yellow squash, as well as the cutting-into-florets of broccoli.  There is also the peeling and pressing of garlic, along with the chopping of olives and slicing of Tofurkey, and don't forget the chiffonade of basil!  I didn't count how many ingredients were involved, but I do remember thinking I was on the last step three times before I was actually there.

It was extremely flavorful and attractive and since I enjoy all the components that go into preparing a meal, it really wasn't that much of a burden.  I am glad, however, that I opted to make this on my day off, rather than after a full day of work.  What was truly amazing was that even though I had the foresight to recognize the sheer volume all those ingredients would create, I still ended up with about a ton!  I cut the following things in half and still had enough to feed a small army:
8 oz of pasta rather than 16 oz
1 large bell pepper instead of two
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes instead of two
2 links of Tofurkey Italian Sausage instead of all 4

Here is what remains of the menu for this upcoming week:

1. Curried Bulghur Casserole with Garbanzo Beans from The Complete Vegan Cookbook.  Yes, I am very aware that this is the third weekly menu which has included this.  I just can't seem to get it made - it's not that I don't want to, but I know there will be leftovers, so I keep holding it for the perfect time...and that time never comes because I end up with a load of leftovers from some crazy pasta dish I cut in half...

2. Kedgeree from The Accidental Vegan.  I made this a while ago and was just so pleased with every aspect of it that I wanted to make it again.  The twist this time around is that I will be using Dinosaur Kale for the first time ever.

3. Seitan Pepper Steak also from The Accidental Vegan.  It's hard to believe I've had that handy little book for nine months or so, but considering the last (and first!) time I made this was in September, I guess that's so.  I was actually looking for an Italian baked tofu recipe when I found this, but it was just too irresistible, so I'll make it for the second time in a year...

4. Vegetable and "Sausage" Skillet from the Winter 2004 issue of Eating Well magazine.  This comes together super-fast and is really hearty.  It is definitely suited to a wintertime table, but between the subarctic a/c at work and keeping the apartment pretty cool to soothe Mister's hot Greek blood, I think I can play pretend.

I took tomorrow off from work, so hopefully I will have some great adventures to share from the kitchen and beyond!

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