One of the things I have really enjoyed about being off from work (besides not being at work) is the almost unlimited time I've had to mess around in my kitchen. Honestly, the only way my kitchen capers could have been more fulfilling this week would have been if I was playing with all my new toys and new recipes in a...you guessed it - new kitchen! All good things in time...
I actually started my day with a light breakfast - multi-grain toast with Earth Balance and a sliced Rome Beauty apple - a little P!nk to get me moving, and then I showered and got dressed as though I was actually going to do something productive today. And eventually, I did go food and toiletry shopping. First, though, I had a wonderful late lunch with my sister and some Beaujolais.
We went to Mi-Lah because I want to take everyone there at least once and because Mister won't go with me. My sister is not vegetarian, but she appreciates diverse food and has an open mind. With this most recent trip, I have now dined there for Sunday Brunch, mid-afternoon lunch, and dinner.
I had a seitan-zucchini cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. I'll admit, that burger looks less than appetizing...actually, it looks less than cooked, but when I bit into it, I was very happy. The seitan they use would best be compared to chicken and although it's a little revolting to look at, it tasted fabulous. The sweet potato fries are incredible and I'm not ashamed to say they were a big influence in my decision to order this platter.
Sister, recently infatuated with Pho, ordered just that, complete with slices of tofu and "ham." It looks savory and comforting, doesn't it? Perhaps Beaujolais was not the most fitting accompaniment to her Vietnamese hot pot, but she didn't complain.
We shared a delightfully overflowing bowl of miso-braised kale on the side. I cannot get enough of this stuff and must figure out how to replicate it at home.
Speaking of home... upon returning there, I apprised Mister of Sister's and my gustatory exploits and then headed out to find things to fill our fridge. It makes me ineffably sad that I only had to shop for four dinners because that means I'm halfway through my staycation and I am absolutely not prepared to return to work yet. This point is kind of like my normal Saturday night, where I know I still have all of Sunday to relax and not be at work, but I'm already dreading Monday.
Anyway, I shopped for my abridged menu, completely selected from Appetite for Reduction which includes:
1. Miso Udon Stirfry with Greens and Beans
2. Red Lentil and Root Veggie Dal
3. Potato-Spinach Curry
4. Irish Stew with Potatoes and Seitan
Tonight, I made Red Lentil and Root Veggie Dal and it was a delicious inauguration to my new cookbook. I have at least a dozen Dal recipes, but I pass them by, one by one, because I can't figure out how it's supposed to be a main dish; ordinarily, there is nary a vegetable to be found. I was elated, upon perusing AfR to find a Dal recipe than incorporates not one, not two, but three vegetables - carrots, parsnips, and turnip/rutabaga.
It's not much to look at - I guess simmering for 30 minutes with red lentils will do that to you. It smelled very pungent and tasted delicious. I'm pleased to have found a good dal recipe, and best of all, it is extremely filling! I served it over brown rice, which did a marvelous job of soaking up the extra broth. I'll do a more thorough review of the book once I've made more recipes (but before I return to the chaos at work), but for now, let me encourage everyone who was the recipient of a giftcard this Christmas/Hannukah to head to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of Appetite for Reduction.