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Day 25: Succulent Spinach, Questionable Quinoa, and Tasteless Tofu

Posted Jun 10 2009 6:43pm
I want to start this post with a health update: no migraine since Wednesday! That's four full days migraine-free. Here's hoping for five!

And now, back to the food...

Today I made Sesame Spinach:

But before I give that recipe....

I realized today that I have had a lot of luck with all the new stuff I've been cooking. I've liked everything so far. Why did I suddenly come to this realization? Because my good-luck streak ended: I have now made things, two days in a row, that I didn't particularly like.

The first was Caribbean Beans and Quinoa, a recipe from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog that looked really tasty. My mom gave it high marks after she made it. And I can say, after making it, that it is a good recipe ... all the flavors are well-balanced ... but it just wasn't my thing. So check out the recipe, and by all means try it - I think many or most people would be into it, and I myself didn't dislike it, but I won't make it again. (A note if you decide to try it: it did not have nearly enough salt for me. I think this may be because I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and olives from the olive bar at the supermarket instead of from a jar.)

The second was this week's baked tofu. I didn't make tempeh this time, because D is out of town through Thursday, so we don't need as much lunch fixin's. (No, that's not a misplaced apostrophe - it's the plural of fixin', which is a contraction.) I thought it would be cool to try and invent an Indian marinade based on garam masala, dry mustard, a little bit of cayenne, and ginger. And the marinade smelled good. But it didn't soak into the tofu at all. I think I needed to include some fat in it. Next week, I will try it with olive oil, and I'll post the recipe if it's good. As for this week, I have bland tofu for my sandwiches. Luckily, I made some fast-and-easy roasted red pepper hummus yesterday, so its flavor should help mask the tasteless tofu!

And now, the Sesame Spinach. Finally I invented something good! (I haven't even let myself search the 'net for it ... I don't want to know that I wasn't the first inventor.) This recipe takes 10 minutes, makes your kitchen smell heavenly, and adds a nice, light bit of flavor to the spinach without overwhelming its naturally good taste.

Sesame Spinach
1 10-oz. bag spinach
1 T. sesame seeds
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. canola oil
salt and pepper

Toast sesame seeds in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant.

Turn heat down to medium or medium-low and add oils. (Sesame oil smokes easily, so put it on medium, but watch closely and be prepared to turn it down if necessary.) Stir sesame seeds into oil. When oil is heated, add spinach. Stir to coat. Cook, continuing to stir, for a few minutes until it is as "wilty" as you like it to be.

Let rest for a few minutes before serving. The spinach goes down to a fraction of its original size, so this only serves 2-3. A great way to get your greens!
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