If I could figure out how to take a screenshot on my Mac, I would show you the weather forecast for Philadelphia this week - in the 70s all week. Granted, tomorrow has a red outline and a warning to expect severe weather, but they've been calling for rain all week and I haven't seen a single raindrop.
Now that I've said that, you can expect a photo tomorrow night of the huge bruise I'm going to get when a golfball-sized piece of hail hits me in the forehead.
For now, though, you can see photos of our delightful spring dinners! I have been at least halfway fortunate this week - I have worked earlier than usual yesterday and today, meaning I get home earlier than usual, so I've had a little more time to cook. It also means I've been able to enjoy a few minutes of sunlight on my walk home from the train. So with all my "extra" time (more like "different," since I've had to retire earlier as well to ensure adequate sleep), last night I made Cajun Red Beans and Rice from The Accidental Vegan, and was able to use "better for me" brown rice since I could let it cook longer.
I'm having kind of a huge ton of fun with my new measuring bowls. I didn't actually need to measure a cup of diced green pepper, but I used the bowl to hold it while I was prepping other ingredients and I thought it looked pretty enough to share.
Unlike the Battle of Pasta Fagiolis, I don't think I will ever find a beans-n-rice recipe to knock this baby of her throne. The combination of ingredients is nearly perfect: the savory and toothsome Tofurky Kielbasa, the smooth and creamy kidney beans with their gorgeous garnet hue, the crunch of lightly sauteed green peppers that most certainly taste "green." I was reflecting on the amount of rice in the recipe, though, on my way to work - there is even more time to ruminate on pointless quandaries now that I don't have to pay attention to exits and traffic lights.
After piling his second helping into his bowl, Mister went to the fridge and returned with a slice of bread. Almost every time he does that, it means he perceives an absence in the carb department of the meal. He was not completely off this time, either - the recipe calls for 1.5 cups of cooked rice, but that really spreads the rice thin, as though it's just kind of a decoration on the beans and tofurky. In the future, I think I'll double the rice and see if that's sufficient for Mister's grain-appetite.
Tonight, I was home even earlier and therefore had even more time to play in my kitchen. I had originally intended to make a quick-cooking meal tonight, but when I saw how much time I had, coupled with the surprising amount of energy I maintained after working a whole shift that started so early that I actually got on the train about the same time I usually get in the shower, I decided to make Spring Vegetable Curry, also from The Accidental Vegan.
DIY Curry spice mixture, clockwise starting at the top: cumin, cardamom, turmeric, coriander, and sea salt. After I carefully mixed them all together into a fairly homogenous powder, I made a little well in the middle to hold the garlic and ginger.
Once the spices had a minute or two to cook and then garlic and ginger had softened slightly, I added my mountain of vegetables (the actual cooktime -apart from the rice- is only about 15 minutes; the rest is prep, lots and lots of prep): big, thick stalks of asparagus, a red bell pepper, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and red chard.
By the way - did you know that 2 cups of red chard has 25 calories and 1 gram of protein? Yeah, I didn't either until I read the nutritional label. That's right - wrapped around the bottom of the bunch was a little piece of cardboard that contained the nutritional facts on a bunch of greens. I don't know if that shows progress for our country or if I should mourn for abused paper.
Regardless, the curry was outstanding. I'd never actually made this recipe before. When I make curries, they are generally of the "warm you from the inside out" kind of curries, made up of generally hearty vegetables and beans (chickpeas). This was definitely a lighter curry and I have 2/3 left of the 6oz can of coconut milk to prove it. Now I'm trying to scheme how to get Mister to use it in his coffee.