[note: Blogger crapped out on me mid-post last night, so "Part I" will be last night's post, leading to "Part II" which is tonight's dinner adventures. Look it as a bonus post!]
I have pretty low blood pressure. I have since I was a young teenager. The same way that some people (ahem, Mister) need to eat a certain way to manage their blood sugar levels, I sometimes have to eat to manage my blood pressure. It's actually a fairly enviable position in which to find oneself - I fear, though, for the day Mister's family history of heart disease threatens our little family because we love salt. Although I am good at enhancing the flavor of foods without adding salt, I would not be as happy a little chef if I couldn't add my precious Mediterranean Sea Salt to roasted vegetables. In fact, my world might stop turning if I couldn't sprinkle roasting broccoli or asparagus or potatoes with this magical mixture.
I don't have any pictures because Mister and I were in quite a rush to eat (hungry, hungry hippos), but dinner really wasn't anything especially attractive tonight anyway. I made Pasta Puttanesca from Vegan Express and roasted some broccoli with olive oil and the sea salt blend as a side dish (gotta get some green in there, right?). For you to truly understand why I love this blend so much, I want to clarify that there are plenty of other flavor elements besides just the incredible chunks of sea salt that catch themselves in a floret to deliver a satisfying crunch when you bite down. The ingredients on my blend are: sea salt (really?), garlic, basil, oregano, lemon peel, red bell pepper, and the ever ubiquitous "natural flavor."
Speaking of red bell peppers, I don't know what happened to the one I was supposed to slice for tonight's dinner! I know I got one, but I'm wondering if I accidentally used it for a different recipe. In any case, I ended up substituting my orange bell pepper for it and I don't think it mucked up the flavor too much. The pasta was good, but not as good as I wanted it to be and not as incredibly tasty as the roasted broccoli.
Speaking of broccoli.... When I was at Trader Joe's, I saw a bag of broccoli florets for what looked like a pretty decent price - probably a better deal than anything but frozen. I looked around a bit and discovered that I would get a lot more broccoli for my buck if I bought the convenient pre-cut bag of broccoli than if I got a couple of spears and spent all that time separating the little florets from one another. Score one for convenience!
Ever since our "celebrity chefs" came to visit and put on a little show a couple of weeks ago, I've been craving chickpea burgers. Chef Michael Solomonov (Zahav, etc), made turkey burgers, served on the burger thins I love. They looked so much like chickpea burgers, I kept hoping that if I wished hard enough, they would be. Alas, they remained little beige patties of ground-up birds, so I had to DIMyself.
I didn't take a picture of the burgers because a) they were not even close to as attractive as Chef Solomonov's turkey burgers and b) burgers just aren't all that exciting to photograph. Even though the turkey burgers looked very tasty, I would not have whipped out my camera if I'd had it with me. I might have just had a small inspiration, though. We'll get back to that later.
Along with the Lemony Garlic Chickpea Patties from Vegan on the Cheap I made the Middle Eastern Chopped Salad from Vegan Express. This was most definitely worth photographing:
Local cucumber, tomatoes, and a yellow bell pepper came together to make a colorful and festive looking salad, sprinkled with fresh parsley and lemon juice, enriched with olive oil and oil-cured black olives. I love cucumber-tomato salads dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. I think I would have been happy to include some garlic as well, so I'll keep that in my mind for the next time I make this salad, but I will freely admit that I am sorry I've never made this before. It's a lot of chopping, so between that and the made-from-scratch burgers, dinner took well over an hour to prepare, but it's nearly Friday, right? A little sleep deprivation never hurt anyone, right?