Wednesday, August 11, 2010

it's the thought that counts (great guac doesn't hurt, though)

I didn't even know I liked guacamole until this year, so imagine my delight when it improved what could have been a less-than-pleasurable "dining experience."  Let's throw this puppy in reverse and back up to Monday.

After a relatively unremarkable day at work, I was driving home, excited to see my dear husband, already thinking about dinner.  As I sang along with Lady Gaga, I was picking through the menu in my mind and alternately thinking about whether I wanted to try to convince my well-rested Mister to take me on a date.  Upon arriving home and climbing the stairs to the apartment, I was quite surprised to open the door on a dark and empty home.  As I entered, I did a quick scan of the place:

cat? check
Mister? missing
Mister's bike?  also missing
note on the table in Mister's chickenscratch?  check.  It read something to the effect of:
hanging out with the guys at C____'s, took the phone, call me when you get home pls.
Ah, yes - Mister's cellphone/our home phone? also missing.  So, I pulled out my cellphone and called "home," but no one answered.  Mister called back a few minutes later, apparently having a little trouble answering the flip-phone.  Apparently, the boss was having a little BBQ on his roofdeck; although Mister was just going to stop by, Boss presented veggie burgers, thereby making Mister feel compelled to stay...and invite the Missus.

He had me at "roofdeck," so I checked the status of Angst's food (adequate) and headed back out the door, to Angst's dismay and disapproval.  I walked the four and a half blocks to the BBQ reminding myself how fortunate I am to live somewhere I feel comfortable walking around alone after dark (and how glad I am I found flat sandals I can live with), and then climbed four flights of stairs to the Boss's apartment and adjoined spectacular jungle roofdeck.

I was not seated for even a moment before Boss parked himself across the table from me and commenced to showing me the Super Awesome Antique Campagnolo Corkscrew some of the guys got him for Christmas a year or two ago.

Of course, he couldn't just show me this super-cool corkscrew - he had to demonstrate how awesome it opening a bottle of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and pouring me a glass.  I don't remember the label - it was kind of dark and I was kind of starving by now - but it was light and sparkly and well-suited to black veggie burgers.  Or hockey pucks.  Couldn't quite tell from a distance.

It was really sweet of Mr Boss to get veggie burgers and fire them up on the grill for us.  I think he got a little overzealous over the size of the flames, which resulted in the veggie burgers being a little crunchier than they are when you cook them on a skillet.  Regardless, Mr Boss had also supplied a little tub of the most amazing guacamole to date.  It was just Whole Foods homemade guac, but it was so good - creamy, but with decent-sized chunks of unmashed avocado and a healthy amount of raw garlic.  I slathered the bottom of the bun with about a half inch of guacamole (it's "healthy" fat) and the top with a generous squirt of ketchup.  It worked like a charm - between the wine and the condiments, I could barely tell the veggie burger had been burnt almost beyond recognition.  It was nice, though, to not have to cook dinner, because I really wasn't feeling it.

Last night, then, we had what I would have made on Monday if we hadn't gone to a little party: Cajun Red Beans and Rice from The Accidental Vegan.  It was just as good as it was the first time I made it, and it didn't look any different either, so I didn't take pictures.

Tonight is One-Serving Wednesday.  I took a different way home from work tonight on a colleague's suggestion and got a little turned around twice (literally, actually), so to say I was ravenous by the time I walked in the door would be an understatement.  I munched on some SnapeaCrisps while I formed a plan in my brain because I really did want to cook something.  I knew this: I was in a savory mood.  A glance in the fridge made my plans complete.  I grabbed the leftover kale, "leftover" Tofurky sausage, and leftover rice and came up with....

Kale and Sausage Skillet
(makes 2 scant servings)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tofurky kielbasa (or your preferred vegan sausage), halved lengthwise and sliced
2-3 cups of chopped kale
3/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup V8 Spicy Hot (or regular V8/tomato juice + a pinch of black and red peppers)

Heat oil on medium-high heat; add sausage and stir to coat with oil.  Saute on medium heat 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage begins to brown.  Stir in garlic and kale.  Cook, stirring constantly, until kale is slightly wilted and bright green.  Stir in rice and V8.  Cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring, until liquid is absorbed and rice is heated through.

As you can probably tell from the recipe, it is a quick-cooking recipe, which is always a helpful thing to have in your back pocket.  It's also very tasty and green.  I have really fallen quite in love with kale and I hope Essene finds and stocks those kale chips.

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