Saturday, December 18, 2010

jerk seitan and the perils of wannabe gladware

You know that song that the Whos sing to welcome Christmas in How the Grinch Stole Christmas?  I want to sing it about the weekend.  I'm halfway through it, but I have a fun and action-packed day tomorrow, so hopefully I'll spring just the right balance between relaxation and productivity.  Besides, I have a shortened week coming up and then a long, glorious break from the insanity.  I might even refrain from my usual Sunday night whining to Mister about how "I don't WANT to go to work tomorrow..."

Besides, since he is actually conscious today, Mister has taken over whining privileges:
"I don't wanna be sleepy"
"I don't wanna be sick"
"I sweated through 4 shirts last night"
"My pillow is a soggy mess"
"I'm dizzy"
And much sticking out of the lower lip.  Awww....poor baby.  He's adorable, even as he creeps closer to sporting a full-grown beard (amazing what a few days without shaving does to a Greek).

As all his little white blood cells run around trying to heal him, much the way I have been running around the past few weeks trying to do two peoples' jobs, he actually became hungry enough to eat not one but two helpings of Jerk Seitan on Coconut Rice, both from Vegan With A Vengeance.  Way to rock the solid food!

 Every time I make this, I am amazed anew at not only how tasty it is, but how attractive it is.  I could eat that picture...if I wasn't already full from my two servings.  I guess we can add this to the No Leftovers category.

I learned a valuable lesson, though, while I was preparing it tonight.  I've noticed that ordinarily, when you have something sitting in a marinade, say tofu or seitan, the instructions direct you to stir or toss now and again to ensure equal soaking/coating.  It occurred to me a while back that the easiest way to do this was to put the ThingToBeMarinated in a shallow Gladware container and then pour the marinade over it, shove the top on and shake it every 5-10 minutes.

Not too long ago, I came into possession of NoName Gladware Wannabe containers.  When you look at them, they don't look all too different from my "real" Gladware containers, so I didn't think twice about depositing my sliced seitan into one of the impostors and coating it with sticky, sweet-sour marinade.  After the third haphazard shake, I felt something wet on my fingers.  I looked down and was reminded of the old Glad Ziplock baggie commercials - does anyone know what I'm talking about?  Anyway, in the messiest way possible, I learned that the magical, vacuum-like powers of Gladware are not inherent in their mimics.  I wiped up the mess and resorted to carefully jiggling the container without picking it up off the counter for the rest of the marinating time.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be joining a dear, long-time friend for brunch at Mi-Lah Vegetarian, then I am going to try my darnedest to get as much of my Christmas shopping done as possible.  At some point, I will also shop for the following menu:

1. Farfalle with Shallots and Chard

2. Pan-Seared Tofu with Basil-Balsamic Glaze with Lemon-Champagne-Braised Baby Bok Choy, I hope... It seems like every time I specifically want to prepare baby bok choy, there are none to be found.  I almost didn't write it down, even though I intend to make it, in a desperate attempt to fly under Murphy's radar.

3. Chamomile Couscous with Savory Spinach - I haven't made this for a very long time (a year, to be exact) and since the "grain" is couscous, it comes together very quickly.  When I was selecting my menu, I thought about doing a few more labor-intensive ones, but then my brain kicked me and said, "Hey, Einstein - why don't you save those for the week you're off from work and have nothing better to do with your day than spend hours prepping and cooking?"

4. Easy Tuscan Linguini because I've really been in a mood for salty-garlicky Italian food lately AND because it also comes together pretty quickly.

I also have not yet made the Warm Chickpea Ragout from last week's menu, so that will happen soon...or the chard will rise up in revolt.

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