Friday, March 18, 2011

nothin' to write home about

Last Meal on the Menu Night is always a risky place to be.  Sometimes, I hold off on a recipe because I've lost interest in it, other times because it was too time consuming to make during the regular work week.  Sometimes I save the best for last and other times I'm not sure how it will turn out so I wanted to leave wiggle room for a replacement dinner.  In any case, tonight's Last Dinner was BBQ-Flavored White Beans with Sausage and Spinach from Vegan Express.

Leaving it for last, in this case, actually was somewhat strategic for two unrelated reasons.  The first reason had to do with how darn long this week felt.  Honestly, I feel like I haven't seen my piano students in two weeks, but I know I taught last weekend because I had a new student start.  The week didn't exactly drag by, but it really took Friday a while to get here.  I wanted to ensure I wouldn't have to put out a lot of effort for the Friday night meal (I was also counting on a lack of energy due to anticipated trouble sleeping last night, since there's an Irish bar across the street and whatnot).  The other reason was that I was a little concerned about the BBQ sauce.  Like I mentioned when I added it to the Sloppy Joes, I wasn't sure how I would feel about using it, unadulterated, as a main ingredient.  The flavor is pretty strong and tangy, which is not at all like the homemade BBQ sauce I usually use in this recipe.  In fact, at some point this week, I was kicking myself for actually buying BBQ sauce when I am perfectly capable of making BBQ sauce I knew I'd like for far less money.

Truth be told, I wanted to buy the BBQ sauce.  I was curious, since I've never actually bought BBQ sauce before, and I had heard good things about Annie's.  I'm glad we tried it, although it wouldn't be a "regular" in our pantry or fridge.  The most amusing thing for me was how perfect the amount in the bottle (12 oz) was.  Apparently, 12 oz = 2 Tbsp + 1 cup, because that was what I needed for the two recipes and that is exactly what came out of the bottle.  I had to shake the last bits out for dinner tonight before rinsing and recycling.

Anyway, all that being said, you really can't get too excited about beans-n-wieners, even if spinach and organic BBQ sauce are involved, so I'm just going to move on to the new menu:

1. Bulgur and Red Lentil Pilaf with Kale and Olives from The Complete Vegan Cookbook.  It's been a while since I've made this, but I just adore the tastes and textures, and it was the main reason I decided to start my dinner-hunting in that book.

2. Curried Bulgur Casserole with Garbanzo Beans, also from The Complete Vegan Cookbook.

3. Tuscan Vegetable Ragout from Vegetarian Times: Fast & EasyIt's been quite a while since I made this and I don't know why - it's quick, easy, and delicious, and if I really wanted to make the effort, it never has to be the same twice.

4. Warm Chickpea Ragout with Swiss Chard, Carrots, and Harissa, also from Veg. Times: Fast & Easy.  See, I'm doing this two-fer theme...two recipes with bulgur from the same cookbook, two recipes for Ragout from the same cookbook...see?  I know, I'm so clever.

5. Garlicky Tofu with Spinach over Pasta also from VT:F&E.  I was a little rice-heavy last week and since the first two recipes this week use bulgur as the grain, I wanted to make a concerted effort to have more pasta for my Mister.

6. Broccoli Pasta with Savory Sauce.  Ditto.

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