I have been COOKING today! A lot of these are from my organic produce box I recently got. (www.itsorganicdelivery.com) By the end of today I will have:
baked 2 sweet potatoes
baked delicata squash rings
mashed a purple majesty potato
roasted white carrot, white onion and french fingerling potatoes with garlic and rosemary
baked vegan artichoke dip
prepared a garden salad (did you see the cute whole baby carrot I served in the salad bowl? so stylish!)
Sauteed Field Roast Italian vegan sausage with onion and orange bell pepper
Whew! I had a BLAST. I had a little mishap with the purple potato - I should have peeled it before boiling it and I didn’t. It exploded but it was salvageable. I plan on making mashed potatoes for two with it for lunch tomorrow. :) What’s interesting was the drained boiled water was blue! It was awesome, wish I had got a picture of that, too. The delicata squash was a lot heartier than the summer squashes I’ve been cooking all summer and I sort of overcooked it thinking it was heartier than it actually was. The rings turned out delicious, they kind of tasted like sweet potato fries but with a better rind and a rich, buttery mealy center. All I did was spray olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper then baked at 400 for 25 mins. I would recommend getting em’ out of there in 20 or less. Also, turn once halfway through. The roasted mixed vegetables were all organic and GREAT and there was enough to refrigerate and save for the next day. It was made up of french fingerling potatoes, white carrots, white onion, garlic and rosemary with a cup of vegetable broth. 400 degrees for an hour. I learned from browsing online that it’s good to cook covered with tin foil first for 20 minutes then uncovered for 30. We’ll try that next time. As an appetizer I threw together a hot vegan artichoke dip using a recipe I found at www.cestlavegan.com/2010/02/hot-artichoke-dip . PRETTY GOOD! Too bad we can’t yet photograph smell. Nom. Guilt free no fat version - amazing. The garden salad has become an everyday meal accompaniment I’m very happy to say. Now that Pat and I live together, ‘extravagan’t 3-4 course meals are more feasible and fun to prepare. This version includes cherry heirloom tomatoes and baby carrots from the organic produce box and is topped with tri-color tortilla strips and Annie’s goddess dressing. (So good.) For protein and deliciousness, our main course consisted of two Field Roast Italian ‘wheat meat’ sausages sauteed with organic olive oil peppers and onions. The flavors are so strong and so satisfying I am convinced any meat-eater would eat it happily and find it a fine cruelty-free alternative to a meat sausage.
Cooking today was so fun. I am inspired by my ongoing vegan diet, the food they serve at the restaurant I work at and the cooks who work there, and the items that arrive in my produce box. It’s my 3rd one and I am just loving it. Also, I recently picked up and fell in love with the book “Chez Panisse Cooking” by Paul Bertolli with Alice Waters. In case you’re unfamiliar, Chez Panisse is a restaurant in Berkeley that opened in the 70’s and whose menu is one that focuses on locally and organically cultivated ingredients and changes with the seasons. I read the entire section on vegetables, pasta and risotto, bread, and the preface, forward and acknowledgments and look forward to delving into the sections of desserts, pickles and preserves, fresh and pure ingredients and basics. So much of what I’m reading about vegetable sides doesn’t even need to be ‘veganized’ as it is so pure and simple it is vegan-ness is inherent. The Preface and Forword were almost religious to me when I read them. I clutch the book to my chest and sigh and keep reminding myself to send yet another thank you card to the lovely woman who gifted me this cookbook, Bernie, who lives in Texas and loves Jesus very much. I look forward to buying/downloading the first and original Chez Panisse book “Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook” as well as getting my hands on a copy of something called “La scienza en cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene” by Pellegrino Artusi which is apparently theee book on Italian cooking and was written in 1891 by an amateur.
So much inspiration, so much fine healthy food. I am happy, hungry and surrounded by love. Can’t ask for much more right now. <3