Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday #2: Tofu a la Bourguignonne

Tonight we tried out this fancy tofu a la bouguignonne recipe Laura picked out. It seemed like a simple enough recipe, and the savory ingredients that make up the sauce sounded tasty. Plus, it sounds like something Julia Child would recommend making for dinner. (Well, minus the tofu, I suppose.) We don't cook a lot of French food around here, so it was a new set of smells in the kitchen for us. I was looking forward to the broth--onions and mushrooms together make for delicious times, especially when you throw some wine into the mix.

Of course, when cooking with wine, it's important to have a glass for yourself.

Some notes from the cooking:
*The tofu turned purple in the wine, which reminded me of the denim beans.
*It's nice to cook in pairs, because it makes it easier to do the dishes while you cook, and the chopping takes half the time.
*The sauce didn't really thicken up much.
*This dish would be best with some rice or maybe even pasta. We had toasted English muffins.

Pete didn't love it, and I agree that the tofu was a bit lackluster, but the sauce itself and the mushrooms especially, were pretty delicious. I'd try this recipe again, but maybe with seitan instead of tofu.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sidenote: delicious breakfast

Oatmeal with pepitas and black sesame seeds, just a touch of cinnamon (added while the oatmeal was simmering), and a bit of fancy vanilla sugar on top. And soy milk, of course.

Mexican Millet and Beans: East Coast

We recently started soaking dry beans instead of using canned ones. It's not quite as easy as canned beans (step one: open can step two: rinse step three: dump onto food), or as quick (you have to soak at least overnight, and then cook them for an hour and a half), but they are super delicious. (Another pro to soaking the beans: if you soak them for a really long time, like a couple of days, it gets the gas-makers out of the beans.) We soaked a combo of black beans and great northern beans, and the black beans turned the white ones a really lovely range of purples and lavenders. I like to call them "denim beans."

They didn't look quite this beautiful after we cooked them, but they were tasty, and that's what counts, right?

We used the millet, which was delicious. We didn't take nearly enough pictures, but here's a terrible video of us adding the millet to the onions et al.

And then there's the delicious, delicious kale. Here's how easy this was: Wash and chop the kale, put it in a bowl with some oil (I used flax oil, which is a good source of omega fatty acids) and a sprinkle of salt and crunch it up in your hands until it breaks down a bit.

Here's the thing about our dinner, we made something like 12 cups of beans, and a double recipe of the millet. We were hoping to have enough for a few lunches for the week. We ended up with enough food for a family of 6 for a week.

The millet and beans looks like Alpo in real life as well, but it's still really tasty. Here's how it looks a week later (granted, we didn't have it for lunch EVERY day).

I am so sick of Mexican Millet right now.

But not kale. Never, ever kale.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sunday # 1 - 9/21/08: Mexican Millet

West Coast

This first Sunday we cooked Mexican Millet, a recipe from Veganomicon

I have to say, I really don't cook that often. This is part of this experiment, along with experimenting with vegetarian dishes, I am experimenting with dishes made by me. So I ended up cooking only the millet, or in my case, rice. I think this was not only because I do not cook often, but also because I am cooking for one. So it ends of feeling a bit silly making three parts to a meal that I will mostly put in the fridge for later. I am sure as we continue on, I'll get more comfortable with everything. I did experiment with the recipe slightly, making it a vegetarian rather than vegan dish by adding cheese and sour cream to the end product. I also added black olives, which was a great addition, but Jess hates them.

I'm fairly certain I did most things wrong while cooking this dish. I chopped instead of diced, I diced instead of chopped, I used a pan that was too small, I didn't have a lid that would fully cover the pan, I browned the onions too long, and much, much more.

I would say, in my limited experience that the proof of the value of a recipe is how good it turns out when you fuck it up. And this was great. Tasty, scrumptious, and a delightful home cooked meal. Plus, it makes excellent leftovers. Last night it was my dinner again, but this time with an over easy egg in the middle. I also plan on making a burrito with beans and LOTS of olives. Now I just have to find something to make with the leftover ingredients.

Someone with little experience cooking can make this turn out delicious, despite cooking equipment and the lack of meat. My faith in vegan recipes is growing. Bring it on.

For dessert, I had strawberries with sour cream mixed with brown sugar. Delish.