Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

HARISSA FINALLY

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

 

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So I’ve been looking for harissa everywhere. I assumed it would not be that hard to find – it’s not like Boulder county is a culinary wasteland. I checked at two different Whole Foods, a few grocery stores, and Super Target, and had no luck whatsoever. (A WF worker did helpfully inform me that they had something that had harisa in it – some kind of meal in a box, maybe? It was definitely not what I was looking for.)

Crockett and I went to Pacific Ocean Market, even, which is this absolutely INSANE Asian market a couple of towns over. We spent several minutes sniffing durian packages (not smelly until opened, apparently), many many minutes in the ramen aisle, and quite a significant amount of time discussing cocktails made with palm sugar, since there were several brands. We did not find harissa. Honestly, I knew it was a stretch, because harissa is from Tunisia which ain’t exactly Asian, but whatever.

I ordered it from Amazon.

While we were waiting for the harissa to come, I did make some tasty food.

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Pizza with roasted cherry tomatoes, pesto from our ridiculously prolific basil plant, and goat cheese. Served with roasted green beans because this was actually last Sunday and last Sunday I had this weird idea that we were going to eat a vegetable with every meal.

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Red velvet cupcakes as a special request from a dear friend for her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend who totally ruined the surprise by buying himself two red velvet bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes the day before.

(I forgot to take pictures of them frosted, obviously, but I’ll give you the recipe tomorrow. It’s pretty good. I’ve worked pretty hard on it. And my cream cheese frosting is fucking amazing. Totally true.)

BUT then the harissa came!

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Harissa Chickpeas and Greens with Goat Cheese
Adapted from Not Without Salt

1 tablespoon oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15 ounce can)
1 tablespoon harissa paste
3/4 tsp kosher salt
6 cups mixed greens, preferably the baby version of toughish varieties (spinach, kale) or spicy ones (arugula) – we used a whole prewashed box of mixed spinach and arugula
2 ounces goat cheese

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is pale gold in color.

Stir in the harissa and dump in the chickpeas. Stir gently until they’re mostly covered with the paste, and then occasionally until you start to see golden spots on the chickpeas. You’re not just trying to heat them up, you’re actually trying to fry the outside just a little. (I was using a non-stick pan – use your judgement. If they start to stick, you can be done.)

Add the greens by the handful, stirring until they wilt. Divide into two dishes and top with crumbled goat cheese. (Feel free to serve over rice, if you like. I didn’t find it necessary but Crockett did.)

Serves two people who like heat. The harissa is spicy, but tasty.

 

happy hallowgiving!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I seriously don’t know why I said happy Thanksgiving earlier. I’m a little concerned about my grey matter.

Anyway. Halloween.

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For breakfast I busted out my new Bob’s 5 Grain cereal.

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I cooked it in my favorite little two cup cereal pot that my dad got me two years ago for Christmas. I seriously use this thing so often it never makes it to the dishwasher.

To my cereal I added flaked sweetened coconut and chopped frozen peaches.

I froze the peaches myself and I think I used a knife that I’d used to cut garlic when I sliced them before freezing. It adds an interesting and not particularly welcome taste to things – let that be a lesson to all of us. I have to use the garlic peaches, but hopefully no one else will face the same fate.

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My schedule this semester has been such that I don’t eat lunch on campus very often.  Today, though, I had a meeting that was necessary to verify that I’m going to graduate in May (whoooooohooooo), so I ate while grading Minitab assignments. (Minitab is a statistical version of Excel, basically, that the students in my class use to do projects).

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Leftover tofu, leftover creepy cauliflower, and toes desperately in need of nail polish remover.

I stopped on the way home to get pumpkins for the stoop, so trick-or-treaters would know they were welcome, but pumpkins are apparently passe in the grocery store. Christmas stockings are the new pumpkins. I got a big orange leaf sack with a pumpkin face on it instead, and we stuffed it with leaves from the yard.

Trick-or-treaters have been drizzling, not pouring. The Evil Flash Drive, who was here to steal our gigabytes, has been my fav so far.

Between homework and stopping Maida from trying to eat the little kids, I made falafel tacos.

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Falafel Tacos
Adapted from How to Cook Everything

Falafel:
1 can chickpeas
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 handful greens (arugula is what I used, but parsley/baby spinach/cilantro/whatev would all add something nice)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Tzatziki:
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped, seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt

hummus
tortillas

Whiz everything in the ‘falafel’ section up in a food processor. It should be chopped finely enough that you look at it and go ‘damn, that would be a pain in the ass if I had to chop that by hand’, with a little bit of paste, but no finer. It’s better that it fall apart a little while cooking than it be tough and icky.

Mix the tzatziki ingredients together and set aside. Start with the smaller amount of salt and adjust to taste. (If it tastes more like yogurt than vegetables, you can probably use more salt).

Heat a nonstick pan up over medium-medium-low heat. If you feel like a little fat in your day, add a few little puddles of vegetable oil once the pan is hot – it will lead to crispier falafels but isn’t necessary. Either way, grab golf ball sized amounts of the falafel mix and flatten them out, then drop them in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on the first side and two on the second (or until brown and tasty looking on both sides). It will take two batches unless you have a griddle sized pan, so if you want to eat them hot, keep the falafels warm in a low oven while you cook the second batch.

Spread each tortilla with hummus and tzatziki, and top with falafel. Eat.

Serves 2 – 3. (We ate it all).

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Happy HALLOWEEN!! I think our candy-wanting-kids are done – it’s dark and cold and 8:30. We have lots of mini Snickers and M&Ms and Baby Ruth. Hopefully you all have leftover candy too!

days go by

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Yesterday’s breakfast:

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Today’s breakfast:

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Both were pumpkin oats, but yesterday’s used the last of the steel cut oats, so today’s used rolled oats. The rolled oats were definitely gluier, which helped while eating in the car, but the steel cut oats are better in all other ways.

I’m so picky.

Yesterday’s lunch:

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A mixed up plate of raw mushrooms, frozen grapes, cheese, and crackers, with lots and lots of tea. I felt like crap when I got home from school yesterday – I think I didn’t get enough sleep Monday night. I’ve been having really irritating dreams. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up and jerked all the blankets off Crockett, looked around all panicked, and then went back to sleep. Apparently.

Today’s lunch:

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I went to school, came home, ate an apple, went to the gym, did a quick upper body workout and ran 2 miles with speedwork (quarter mile warm up, repeats of a tenth of a mile each of 6 mph, 6.5 mph, and 7 mph, quarter mile cool down), and went to the grocery store for the very important half and half… and then realized it was 3:50 and all I’d had for lunch was an apple.

Enter the Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon, Cheese, and Egg biscuit. 45 second in the microwave, a lifetime in mah belly. (I don’t think that’s how that goes.) I microwaved it for too long because I forgot the instructions, but it was delicious anyway. Whoever does the taste testing for Morningstar Farms must have my same tastebuds, I swear – there is nothing they make that I don’t like. (As I’ve said before, they have no idea who I am and in no way requested that I eat their stuff.)

Yesterday’s dinner:

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Part of my recent grocery pledge was to eat through some of the protein we had in the freezer. Cue the organic ground beef that had a sell by date of 18 months ago. (It’s been frozen the whole time, so it was fine.)

Beef isn’t really something I’m comfortable cooking. Fortunately, Crockett is – enter the panfried burger! (I made onions and mushrooms to go on top, and shaved brussels sprouts salad for the side.) We ate them open faced and they were delicious. Good beef, well cooked, is a glorious thing.

Tonight’s dinner:

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Eggs softly scrambled with chopped onions and garlic and chopped basil, topped with goat cheese, and sweet potato chips (thinly sliced sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil and salt and baked for ~25 minutes in a 400 degree oven).

Yesterday’s view:

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On my way to my car, in Golden.

Today’s view:

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In Crockett’s car (it’s the one with four wheel drive) on the way to Golden.

Yesterday’s favorite thing:

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This fence makes me think of the secret garden every time I walk past it.

Today’s favorite thing:

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The fake vampire in the gym, whose sign changes a few times a week.

SNOW. (Apparently it will be 70 again by Monday. This is one of those things about the Front Range.)

sigh

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

I’m having a boring, frustrating week. I did poorly on an exam (which I may have mentioned), and now I’m feeling the need to prove myself academically, and I’m having a hard time doing it. I just have so much to do that I can’t focus on any one thing long enough to excel.

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The work – it is constant.

Anyway.

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I know it’s no Dogfish Head – but I love me some pumpkin beer, and this one is pretty tasty.

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On Monday I made vaguely Asian inspired tempeh and butternut squash tacos. I thought breaking the tempeh into smaller pieces would make it more flavorful, but then I baked it after marinating it, and it dried out. It took a lot of greek yogurt to make them moist enough again – but at that point, they were pretty tasty.

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On Tuesday night, we went out with my parents to Southern Sun.

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I had one of the specials, a steak sandwich with horseradish mayo and melted cheese of some variety called ‘I can’t remember but it was white and damn delicious’.

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And my mom gave me a piece of her crabcake sandwich.

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My dad had the other special, the fish and chips. I love fish and chips, but for whatever reason I was of the opinion that my sandwich would be healthier.

Obviously that was not the case.

Fortunately, my sandwich was good enough that I didn’t regret not ordering the fish. I wanted a bite, but by the time I looked up, there were only fries remaining – clearly the fish was not a disappointment either.

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Crockett had a salad with pecans and arugula and who knows what else. He loved it, but he ate half my sandwich too. That’s the problem with salad, yo. Sometimes you just need a sandwich too .

On Thursday, Crockett made beer.

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In an enormous pot in our kitchen.

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With hops from our hops plant.

It’s bubbling away under my feet right now.

Yesterday, Crockett went to the CU homecoming game and I stayed home to work. I took two quick breaks – one to make chocolate chip cookies and one to make cauliflower gratin.

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For breakfast today: plain yogurt with cherries and a crumbled cookie.

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For lunch today: cauliflower gratin (made with orange cauliflower, not purple and orange like Deb’s).

The cookies are mediocre, due to some changes I made to the recipe because of last minute ‘holy shit I haven’t gone to the store lately’ shortages, but the gratin? People, it’s like macaroni and cheese if the macaroni were replaced with delicious firm cauliflower instead.

Anyway. I’ll be better about posting this week, promise.

How was everyone else’s week?

parking

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Parking on campus sucks.

 

I mean, it is reassuring to park next to a Jeep whose driver is apparently going to stop the zombie apocalypse. Other than that, though, parking sucks.

Here’s how it works. I have a ‘commuter’ pass, which means that for a mere $55 a semester I can park in two of the many lots on campus. One of the lots is right next to the computer center and a mere four blocks from my office – all campus blocks.

That lot has been cut in half, with one part given over to construction parking.

The half that remains is maybe 50 spaces.

It fills up eaaarrrrly.

The other lot is only a few blocks further out (maybe 7 total?) but it involves crossing two busy streets without stoplights.

I hate that lot.

The alternative is to park by the creek. Six blocks, up a serious hill on the way to campus but a skippy breeze after classes, no parking restrictions.

When I park by the creek, I get peeks of the brewery. I like a brewery early in the morning. It reminds me that it will eventually be happy hour.

After classes I went to the gym (ya me!) and then made a delicious veggie-full lunch.

All of a sudden I’ve been craving V8. I can only drink it if I water it down by about 50%, though – does it seem more like sauce than juice in its normal form to anyone else? Also, I add hot sauce. Because, come on.

Along with my watery spicy vegetable juice (god, it sounds so delicious when I put it that way, huh), I had a buffalo chik’n salad.

Mmm.

Speaking of happy hour…

I met my friend Yvonne at The Village Tavern at the Flatiron Crossing Mall. Because it was Wine Wednesday. (Yes, I just realized that I’m posting about Weds on Fri – yesterday there was a whole big incident and I accomplished nothing.) At the Tavern, wine wednesday means 50% off all wine by the glass.

ALL.

I had two glasses – Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay and Clos du Bois Pinot Noir. I wasn’t in the mood to try something new, and I know I love them both – and they were there for me, like always.

We also had spinach dip, but it wasn’t good.

So there’s that.

P.S. Did you see the coaster for my veggie juice?

Sephora sent it to me to remind me that I am, technically, still a Beauty Insider – and that they miss me (and my money). A VIB is a person who spends more money than is reasonable at Sephora in any given year, in case you were wondering.

Of course I used this coupon to order some makeup.

Sigh.

 

CAKE and BEER… (and cabbage)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

On Sunday, for no reason at all, I made Guinness cake. It can be done in a single pot and a single pan, and although Nigella suggests frosting it, it’s not necessary. At all. As a matter of fact, don’t. If you want a frosted chocolate cake, make something else.

Guinness Cake
Adapted from Nigella.com

1 cup Guinness (or other stout, but really, why wouldn’t you use Guinness?)
9 oz (18 tablespoons, 2 1/4 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar (you can cut back here, if you want – I didn’t and I wish I’d gone down to 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup yogurt (I used lowfat with no ill effects)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda

Heat the oven to 350 and butter either a 9 inch springform pan, two 8×8 inch square pans, or two 8 inch cake rounds.

Using a saucepan big enough to hold all of the ingredients, heat the Guinness, butter, and sugar together. You want it to get warm enough to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar, and no warmer – low/medium to medium heat. Once the butter is melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla.

Sift the three remaining ingredients over the Guinness mixture and whisk. There will be little lumps, but that’s ok. If you’re using the springform pan, dump all of the batter in. If you’re using two pans, fill each with half the batter (I like to use a kitchen scale to do this because I am notoriously bad at eyeballing that stuff, but you can eyeball it if you have faith in yourself OR you could use a measuring cup).

If you’re using a single pan, bake for about 45 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with only crumbs, no wet batter, or until you press it gently and it bounces back). The smaller pans will only take 25-30 minutes, but test them the same way.

If you made two, I suggest wrapping one well and sticking it in the freezer. Leave the other one on the counter. It will just keeping getting more delicious. If it takes you more than three days to eat it, there’s something wrong with you, but you can put it in the refrigerator (well wrapped) and keep it for up to a week.

See? Guinness cake. Cake and beer. Together.

At last.

After the cake, dinner was anti-climactic.

Asian Cabbage Bake
Adapted from Not Your Mother’s Casseroles via the Kitchn

1 large head napa cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
1 package firm tofu, drained (good directions for draining here – as a weight I used a bottle of Bourbon, and it fell down, but the Bourbon and tofu were both fine)
1/2 cup cooked wild rice (I had wild, use brown or white if that’s what’s in your fridge)
1 1/2 cups chopped crimini (or white) mushrooms
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (this is the whole reason I made this – I have a bottle of this that I never use)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, grated or 2 teaspoons garlic paste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 large shallot, finely chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup chicken broth, water, or water with bouillon
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and set them aside(enough to completely cover the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish at least twice) and finely chop the rest of the cabbage. (If you want to make rolls, go check out the Kitchn’s instructions.) Mix the chopped cabbage with the salt and crumble in the drained tofu – stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, rice, mushrooms, beaten egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, shallot, and a generous amount of black pepper (20 cranks on a hand grinder). Stir in the tofu mixture and then the parsley.

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a single layer of cabbage leaves. Spread the tofu mixture over them.

To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl big enough to take a cabbage leaf. Dip each of the remaining leaves in the sauce and put it over the tofu mixture, covering completely. Pour any remaining sauce evenly over the casserole.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges of the top cabbage start to get extra crispy. Serve drizzled with the pan juices.

Not the best thing that ever happened to me, but not bad. It suffers in comparison to Guinness cake, but… what doesn’t?

well aren’t we feeling crabby today

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Oh Thursday.

I’m so glad you’re over.

Sure, you weren’t that hard. You started with some darn tasty oatmeal – with chunks of sauteed apples stirred in and a not insignificant slop of pumpkin butter on top.

Then, you included such joyous tasks as a walk with the girls, a trip to the grocery store for toilet paper and coffee (so romantic, I know), and then more homework.

You even included a delicious lunch.

Who knew apple cheddar scones and pork soup would be so delicious together?

Well, me, actually. I guessed, anyway, because the soup is delicious with cheddar and pork is delicious with apples. It’s like a gastrosmorgasbordian tasty tastybud adventure when you chomp the two together – I highly recommend it.

Maida knew it was good too. She smooshed herself into a teeny tiny corner next to the desk so that she’d be primed for any possible drips and, I suspect, for the purposes of looking adorable.

This, however, is when the day started to go wrong.

I had to go to Golden for a meeting. A meeting that was to focus on programming – my favorite thing ever. (Cue sarcasm.) I did sneak in a forty minute run in the gym on campus, but that did not offset the lameness of the rest of the afternoon.

See how thrilled I look? That’s how thrilled I was.

The meeting was in one of the two buildings on campus that are purported to be haunted. The other is the one my office is in, but my building is charmingly eerie. This building is just messy and creepy. It used to be something else, a gym maybe?, and has very high ceilings that have been turned into odd attic space. This attic space is mostly, shocker, used for graduate offices. The floor up there is not level – it makes you feel like you’re walking on a ship or something. It’s all very unpleasant.

The two hours spent there arguing about algorithm design and watching my teammate type didn’t improve the ambiance.

Eventually we finished (for the day – three more meetings scheduled before the product is due on Monday whoofreakinghoo) and I got to go home.

YAY HOME.

I did stop to watch the marching band practice for a few minutes, because Crockett did the marching band thing in college.

I suspect that Crockett made it look cooler than these kids did.

YAY GHOSTWINE and GHOSTSALTINES.

Fine, they weren’t ghosty in real life, but I felt that I needed some symmetry for the scary hallway picture. One scary picture is just wrong, all by itself.

I finished the night at my desk, staring at my homework, as per ewzh. I broke the monotony with a buffalo wrap. I used my LAST flatbread (thank goodness they’re gone – I have used them for everything I can think of and want nothing more to do with them. At least until my next Costco run.), two big handfuls of salad greens, light bleu cheese dressing, Franks Buffalo Sauce, sliced carrots, and a sliced Morningstar Farms Chik’n Patty.

YAY wraps.

P.S. I’m sorry I was cranky.

P.P.S. Did you have a less cranky day than I?

P.P.P.S. When are Morningstar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs going to come back? I miss them terribly.

P.P.P.P.S. Crockett’s mom is in town. I love Crockett’s mom. His dad isn’t feeling well and didn’t make the trip , which sucks, cause I love Crockett’s dad too. Anyway, hopefully Crockett and I will be able to take her out this weekend for some potent potables and tasty tonsumables. Casty consumables. Whatever.