I had a really great day today. I got up early to teach, but that didn't quite happen (summer always gets a little sporadic in terms of student attendance) so I was just super productive instead. I got so much done that I completely forgot it was Saturday and was about to start whining about how "I don't waaaant to go to work tomorrow," when suddenly it dawned on me: tomorrow is Sunday.
Today was both productive and an exercise in adaptation. I'm teaching! No, wait, not teaching, so... I'll go food shopping! I'm going to make an exciting recipe for dinner tonight because I have a fridge/cupboard stuffed with tasty vittles! No! Horizons is closing two weeks from tonight, so... we're dining at Horizons!
I love Horizons. I'm so sad it's closing because I know we won't go as frequently when the new location, further into Center City, opens. At the moment, anyway, since I spend almost every minute of my week commuting to or being at work, when we do venture out (which isn't all that often, though we've been trying to get out more), we tend to stick pretty close to home. So when Kelly tweeted that she was eating at Horizons tonight and that the final evening would be July 2 (two little weeks away), I folded up my menu and called for reservations.
I was set on eating everything I hadn't eaten yet, so even though I love the Salt Roasted Golden Beets, BBQ Seitan, and Grilled Asparagus Salad, I was determined to start the meal with a new appetizer.
So, we started our meal with the Olive Board, which wasn't so much a board as it was a square plate, but I'm not going to pick nits. There was a perfectly-portioned baby ramekin of mixed olives, marinated to perfection with garlic, herbs, and vinegar. Beside it was a small butter cup of kalamata tapenade, ideal for dipping the lightly salted, dense and crispy breadsticks and thinly sliced carrots and zucchini. There were also some pickled vegetables, but we (even Mister!) weren't so excited about those.
For the first time this year (and probably the last) we were able to sit outside, enjoying the company of Mazy the Little Gray Pitbull. She was so precious. I shot this picture while she was worriedly looking inside the restaurant to see where her mommy went (ladies' room).
As usual, Mister got the Grilled Seitan on Grilled Spinach and Yukon Mash with a red pepper coulis on top. It looked ever more attractive than usual and it nearly made me regret my choice.
I've been hemming and hawing over the Pacific Rim Grilled Tofu, topped with turnips and concealing a base of edamame puree on top of a miso sauce. My main concern has always been that the gochujang lacquer would be too spicy, but it was tangy, just as our waitress promised it would be. I was happy that I ordered it and got to taste it, but I wasn't kicking myself for missing out all these years.
Once again, the portions were perfect to allow us room for their delightful dessert menu.
Mister got a double decaf espresso to go along with his Lavendar Cheesecake with blueberry smash and ancho peanuts. At Kelly's suggestion (inadvertent, albeit), I chose the Chocolate-Stuffed Beignets with Iced Coffee Float.
For the uninitiated, the beignets are basically fried doughballs, coated in powdered sugar, with a gooey dark chocolate center.
I was planning to join Mister in his after-dinner espresso, but when I saw that the beignets were accompanied by a coffee float, I refrained. I did, however, tell him that when we come back for closing night, I want him to remind me to get an espresso with the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart (which is divine, but certainly requires coffee to calm the intense chocolatey-ness).
Fortunately, since I was so productive today, running all over the city, weighted down by heavy bags at least half the time, I probably burned off at least a few calories in advance. Besides, we have a relatively calorie-conservative menu this week.
A few words of explanation: all of these recipes (except the last one) come from a cookbook I don't even own, enhanced at times by additions that came from my very own brain. The cookbook that inspired these meals is The Low GI Cookbook, which happens to be available as a "special edition" being sold by the weight loss company that owns my days. Our recent visit by the chefs who are laboring to enhance our program and foods to be at the top of the industry inspired me to show a little company pride and construct my whole menu from this book. Obviously, since it's written for omnivores, a little tweaking was necessary here and there, but it wasn't too hard to find some delicious-looking and creative meals. My only foil was the desire to make a new Mama Pea "recipea."
1. Tuscan-Style Beans with Tomatoes and Sage served over small pasta
2. Lentil, Spinach, and [To]Feta Salad using the tofeta recipe from HIAV.
3. White Bean Salad, served with po' boys (no, no, I could not resist the opportunity to use my new BBQ sauce, but at least you'll get a recipe out of it for the first time in months).
4. "Chicken" [Seitan] and [Baby] Bok Choy Stir-Fry - This recipe appears to be made for seitan, and I'm actually pretty sure my version will be better than the original as a result. There were no "adult" bok choy at Whole Foods today, so just got twice as many baby bok choys. The Curse of Bok Choy continues, apparently.
5. Parsley, Butter Bean, and Cherry Tomato Stew, which will most likely be served over rice.
6. Vegetable Chili Bowl which is far enough from a soup that Mister should let it slide.
7. Chickpeas and Dumplings (yes, a bonus recipe! AKA, I had a little trouble counting) from Peas and Thank You. This looks so incredibly tasty I don't care how hot it gets this week. I'll just turn the air conditioning way down low, throw on a cozy sweater and get to simmerin'.