Friday, August 13, 2010

gotta keep you guessing

There are no words to describe the euphoria I felt walking out of work last night, knowing that I was taking a little mini-staycation.  I took today and Monday off, which gave me two four day work weeks with a nice, restorative, and hopefully productive four day weekend in between.

The first thing I did when I got home was to open my brand new bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling and pour a conservative glass while I prepared dinner.  No.  Actually, the very first thing I did when I got home was stand in the kitchen for about ten minutes being confused and saying "duuuuuh" a few times.  After I got over the Stupid I caught at work yesterday, I was able to use the brain with which I was blessed and improvise a little.

See, I was a little caught between the last two items on my menu and I was missing one ingredient from each of them.  I really had very little desire to walk the 2-3 blocks necessary to procure the missing pineapple juice or cauliflower, so I had to think, which only took a little tiny bit less effort.

I decided to make Pineapple-Tamari Braised Seitan, regardless that I didn't have pineapple juice.  In its place, I combined pure apple juice with 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses and then stirred in the tamari.  It came out pretty well, although I'm not sure I needed quite that much pom-molasses.  It was a little too sweet-tart and there was a little too much sauce anyway.

I was looking forward to today all week.  In addition to waking up at precisely the moment I would ordinarily scan my badge three times to get through three doors before arriving at my desk (come on - the employees don't even want to get in badly enough to require three levels of security...), I had big plans for the day.

There is a great little eco-chic boutique in Northern Liberties that just happens to be owned by my friend's sister.  Arcadia is the only place in Philadelphia that I know of where a person can purchase Matt & Nat handbags and OlsenHaus shoes.   They are having a huge sale right now - mark-downs so severe I couldn't even figure out a percentage or how they're making money in the deal.  I tried on a few things, including a nearly $300 dress they were willing to sell me for $50 (I didn't buy it, though - it was poking my ribs), and ended up leaving with a soft, comfy, flowy, mid-length skirt for $25 (original price: $90).  The sale is on through Sunday, so if you're local, please do yourself a huge favor and check it out.

I walked there and back, so in addition to some detoxing I've been trying to do this past week, I also found myself at quite an energy (calorie) deficit.  My shopping trip resulted in about 4 miles of walking and I naturally walk quickly.  Because that was apparently not enough activity, I also went to Superfresh and Whole Foods to shop for my mini-menu.  By the time I was paying for my treasures at Whole Foods, I was actually feeling fatigued, so I ate my banana on the way home, then opened up one of my treats and slathered it all over a piece of multigrain bread:

You cannot tell me that doesn't look amazing.  It tastes amazing!  This is the very same guacamole Mr Boss supplied at his BBQ the other night, and though it was awesome with charred veggie patties, it was great all by itself, too!

Dinner tonight was Red Lentil Coconut Curry.  Ironically, it has been almost exactly a year since I made this for Mister's birthday.


I served it with a culturally diverse appetizer/side dish type thing.  I cut two pitas into wedges, scooped the remaining Cava Mezze Kalamata Hummus into a small bowl and plunked down a nice mix of olives.  Each was tasty by itself, but I won't mix Indian and Mediterranean cuisine again because the tastes really are not complementary.  In retrospect, I probably should have done a little fruit plate, but it's too late now - Mister and I have already decimated the hummus.


Two Coming Soon features for you to look forward to (I can't make you guess ALL the time): 

First, I'm on my second reading of Skinny Bitch because it's just that great and because I'm trying to memorize it.  There have been so many times I've wanted to share specific paragraphs or sections that I've realized that what I really need to do instead is give such a thorough and enticing review of the book that each one of you goes out and gets a copy.  Once you finish reading it and know more than you ever really wanted to, you can pass it along to another blissfully ignorant soul.  Anyway, review and reaction coming soon.

Second, my mini-menu.  Part of my recent detox efforts have put me on a Second-Wind Fresh Kick, so I figured, if I'll have a four day weekend, why not shop on day one for a few meals and then again on Monday, for the week?  So, here is the current plan for the next three days:

1. "Saffron-Spiked" Moroccan Stew on Israeli Couscous from The Vegan Table.  There I go mixing world cuisines again, but Morocco and Israel are a little closer together (flavor-wise, at least) than India and Greece.  I made this before, to disastrous results, but this time I'm going to leave out the offending ingredient and see what a difference that makes.

2. Curried Cauliflower, Garbanzo and Tomato Salad from The Complete Vegan Cookbook

3. Bulghur and Red Lentil Pilaf with Kale and Olives, also from The Complete Vegan Cookbook.  I feel like I've made this before, but I can't escape how tasty it sounds.

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