I had the intention to spread my food posts out a little more through the week, but here it is Friday once again, and here I am doing another big post. It's not entirely my fault, though. I have Blogger to blame, for one, because it was acting so very temperamental yesterday, but I won't complain since we have lots of food pics to drool over.
To continue with the "F" theme, I'll start you out with some fruit:
Apple and kiwi flowers - I don't think I've had kiwi since we were in Oklahoma, so it was nice to revisit this fuzzy fruit...and who can resist the little guys when they're only 30 cents each?
I went to the market and what did I spy? A basket full of tangelos. Last winter I really went crazy for these and ate them every day for at least a month. If you've never eaten one, they pretty much taste like a tangerine with a little extra umph. They're also extremely easy to peel, which is a plus for those of us who are a wee bit impatient. Don't let the knobby end fool you, either, because unlike a navel orange, tangelos do not have a funny lump on the actual flesh - theirs is merely superficial.
As I sorted through my food pics for this week, I realized that I forgot to mention last weekend's excursion to Karyn's. Of course, we ordered our new favorite - the vegan pizza appetizer, which really shouldn't be listed as an appetizer since it's so big, but at least we had some leftovers to take home. (We always end up leaving that place with a bag full of food, like we just went grocery shopping or something, but I never understood people who didn't take their leftovers to go. )
Admittedly, there are certain things that tick me off about Karyn's. One of the biggest issues I have with the place is that their "specials" never change! We visited Chicago in the spring of 2006, when we were contemplating the move, and the specials were exactly the same then as they are now. What gives? If you're not going to change them, then put them on the regular menu. Geez. Anyway, the picture above is one of the "specials" that I decided to try - cabbage rolls. These were excellent - they tasted like lasagna with cabbage leaves instead of noodles, and I really love Karyn's homemade soy cheese. They were even better the next day.
J decided to go for thehomemade soy burger. When you read "soy burger" on a menu, you generally expect some sort of brown protein patty, right? When our food was brought to the table, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a green patty beneath all the fixin's. It turns out that the burger was made from edamame - cool, huh? I tried a bite and it was fantastic - very creamy. I would definitely order this next time.
Inside of the burger (the coloring in these photos is a little odd due to the lighting, but I assure you, it was green!)
When you enter the restaurant, you are forced to march past the big dessert case. We both noticed that there were only three pieces left of our favorite - the chocolate silk pie. We couldn't resist and got a piece to go. When we cut it in half at home, the result was two normal-looking pieces...the pie slices at Karyn's are HUGE. Decadent, but totally worth every bite.
What I've been cooking:
organic heirloom quinoa - a red variety
This dish, Winter Quinoa Salad, is fromChristina Cooksby Christina Pirello. Quinoa isn't something I work with very often - I think I just prefer rice or other grains, but J really liked it. Luckily for me, the roasted vegetables were awesome! They don't really look like roasted vegetables, because they didn't get brown (the recipe calls for tightly covering them while they bake, which I don't think is normally done when you "roast" things, but I could be wrong) but I didn't really care. The butternut squash was by far my favorite part. Before this year, I had never eaten much squash and assumed I didn't like it, but going to Kripalu really won me over to these fall and winter gems. My most recently discovered favorite food!
Next up, we have Cumin-Spiced Red Beans (and wehani rice) fromRice & Spice. I am presenting these dishes in the order that I enjoyed them - this was a step up from the quinoa salad, but not quite as good as...
...Fried Seitan with Gingered Couscous (from Christina Cooks ) - nuggets of cornmeal-coated, pan-fried seitan paired with a seasoned couscous and shiitake gravy (the one component that really didn't add much). This dish was definitely the star of the week, despite its rather sad, monochrome color palate.
The perfect compliment to our fried seitan was Eden's organic sauerkraut. My consumption of this lovely condiment was previously limited to the occassional sandwich, but it really is quite good all on its own. A couple fun facts: 1. Did you know that "kraut" literally means "cabbage" in German? 2. In macrobiotics, pickled veggies are said to help aid in digestion, especially when eaten with fried foods.
bird's eye view of the kraut
So now we have some pictures of some totally un-exotic baking. I know, I promised some crazy kitchen adventures, but J needed something safe to take into work today for a little pre-superbowl lunch they were having. The PPK's Wheat-Free version of this classic has really become my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. I've been using 1 cup oat flour and 3/4 cup barley instead of all oat, and I use maple sugar for the white stuff. I wonder if anyone will be able to tell that they're vegan, wheat-free, sugar-free (I even use malt-sweetened chocolate chips!), and whole grain?? It will be interesting to hear what his [non-vegan] co-workers think. Oh yeah, and I'd also like to point out my handy dandy, spring-loaded cookie scoop. If you're a baker and you don't have one of these, you need to rush out and buy one now so all your cookies will be uniform in size. Seriously, it makes me feel so professional...
fresh from the oven
Last but not least, we have the humble brownie I posted about a few days ago. I generally like my brownies to be pretty fudgy. On a scale of cakey to fudgy, 1 being the cakiest and 10 being the fudgiest, I'd give this a 6 - so it was a pretty successful recipe, in my opinion. You would never guess that there's a whole cup of applesauce in there!
My blog goal for next week is to make shorter, more frequent posts (these longs ones feel a bit overwhelming at times) - let's see how well I do...