Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pre-Hawaii Post

Yes, we're going to Hawaii for a week! Woo-hoo! To the Big Island and Kauai, because I know you were wondering. I've never been to either island, so I'm really looking forward to it. We're going with my parents, so we'll have a bit of granny-nannying help, which is such a blessing! Since we all anticipate fairly limited vegan options on both islands, we chose to stay in condos with kitchens, so we can at least cook up our own healthy meals and pack them for day trips.

Anyway, back to what we've been eating lately.

Crazy-Good Balsamic Glazed Tomato Sauce, Brown Rice Spirals, and lightly salted Cucumber Slices
Seriously, this tomato sauce was out of this world!!! It's from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison...I think it was supposed to be a tomato side dish, but mine turned completely saucy (which was good since I wanted to toss it with pasta anyway!)

Basically, it's:
1 1/2 lbs tomatoes (ours were half backyard and half CSA tomatoes!)
2 T butter (EB, of course)
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, minced (I subbed 3-4 local cloves garlic)
(I added a handful of torn basil leaves from the backyard for kicks).

Slice/chop tomatoes in wedges. Melt the butter over highish heat until foamy. Add the tomatoes and cook for @ 3 minutes, flipping a few times. Add the shallot/garlic, balsamic and cook for a few minutes, shaking the pan over the heat until glazy. I added the basil at the end and seasoned with s&p to taste. OMGYUM!

Stuffed Eggplant with Salad and Citrus-Mint Vinaigrette
So, this was a major disappointment in flavor. But I will say this: I LOVE my pressure cooker. It is so handy. I cooked the brown rice in it in 12 minutes (probably 20 minutes total with depressurizing). Same with the lentils: 5 minutes of cooking and probably 5-8 more of depressurizing. STILL. So freaking fast, it is the bomb.

This recipe was from Local Bounty, which I've had luck with in the past, so I'm not sure what happened here. It was just totally flavorless. Basically, it was baked eggplant (scraped out of the shell), brown rice, brown lentils, mint, basil, oregano, lemon juice...and I think that's it. I added some salt to try to salvage, but nosuchluck. The leftovers were salvaged by adding balsamic vinegar and some flax oil, so it wasn't a total loss. But it was kind of a lot of work for very little flavor. The salad was great though!

Tempeh Piccata
So I LOVE piccata. And I also love coming home from my meditation group to a dinner of piccata that my husband cooked! So he used green garlic stuffed olives instead of kalamata - who's counting, right?! It was soo good. Local tempeh "breaded" in brown rice flour and fried, served over local mashed yukon gold potatoes (with way too much EB, it was decadent), and steamed local green, purple and wax beans. Oh, and of course with lemony, capery, olivy piccata over the whole thing. OMGLUV.

Oatmeal Pancakes with Celestial Cream and Fresh Local Fruit
This was a yummy summer breakfast treat! The pancake recipe is adapted from Vive Le Vegan and it's so simple: quick oats blended into flour in the food processor, some baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, vanilla soymilk, and canola oil. It needs to stand a bit longer than normal pancake batter, because the oat flour needs a while to soak up the liquid. But they are simple and tasty and cook up just like normal pancakes. The Celestial Cream is out of Eat, Drink and Be Vegan and is soooo good and a fun, more protein-filled alternative to just plain maple syrup (since it has silken tofu in it).

A Few Tostadas

I've been loving these tostadas lately! We have them weekly with whatever bean we've pressure cooked that week (chickpeas above) or sometimes leftover tofu scramble (pictured below). I usually use this recipe from Happy Herbivore for chickpea tacos to season the beans, and we top them with homemade guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, and my secret ingredient: Hot and Cool Drizzle. All it is is Wildwood Garlic Aioli mixed with some pureed canned Chipotle in adobo! It is so delicious though and kicks up the whole thing (idea stolen from Taco Bell, although theirs wasn't vegan.) Oh, and the whole thing resides on a corn tortilla.

Chickpea Ragout over Brown Rice
I used this recipe as a jumpling off point, and it was really good! I think almost everything (minus the mushrooms and rice) was local for this dish.

CSA Cucumber Salad with Citrus-Mint Vinaigrette

CSA Lettuce and Backyard Tomato Salad

Let me just say that if you have Vive Le Vegan you HAVE to try this vinaigrette! I ate it on everything for a week at least. It's so fabulous and summery.

Crunchy Tempeh Crumbles, Brown Rice and Green Beans with Miso-Walnut Sauce
This was a Mark Bittman bastardization from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. But it was SO good. We ate it on one of the hottest days of this year, when Seattle was over 100F and we all thought we were in hell because no one has a/c? Yeah, then. Thank the pressure cooker for not heating up the kitchen too too much. The green beans are CSA and the tempeh is local. The Miso-Walnut sauce is AWESOME and I will most certainly be making it again (possibly without ginger next time, but it was nice, too).

Backyard Garden Update

We've been kind of bad about our backyard garden, but it's still providing us with some yummy produce, like fresh herbs (basil, oregano, chives, thyme and rosemary) and tomatoes. There's broccoli that's actually flowering and really delicious tiny strawberries.

Cherry Tomatoes
Late Bloomer Basil
Giant Basil
We pulled three other plants just like this and left them at my mom's in a vase.

Tiger-y Tomato
These guys kind of stay dark green on top. They're smallish and tasty!

Orange Tomato

Have you gathered yet that I have no idea what any of the tomato varieties actually are?! :) These guys are totally orange when ripe and super firm.

3 Broccolis, 3 Strawberries

Quinalt Strawberries
Silas Sampling Strawberries
I think about 5 have made it in the house. We just can't wait to eat them!

Hope everyone is enjoying the fabulous produce that August brings! We are off to pick up a CSA box of Corn, Yukon and Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes and Collard Greens, along with Blueberries, Strawberries, Purple Plums and Peaches. Yum!!! And we have to eat all of it before Sunday. Wish us luck!


carrie said...

Can't wait to hear about Hawaii....I'm going in Nov. We are also staying in condos in case we can't find vegan food. I've done some research though and it seems that well be ok!!

Bethany said...

hawaii! I'm so envious. I love love love it there. I stay in condos too! make sure you get a bunch of mangos so you can be in mango heaven for a week.

It looks like you've been eating lots of fresh & healthy stuff.

I'm so bad at knowing what tomato type I'm eating. I just know the colors that I like. must fix someday...

been listening to books on tape all summer. the sword of truth series. really good sci fi. king county library has them all on CD - most available as a download. gotta love that.

have fun on your vaca!