Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home cooking tonight

I'm happy to be home from vacation and back in my kitchen. For dinner tonight I made a cauliflower/lentil stew, curried roasted potatoes, and (not pictured) salad greens from our garden. For this picture, I garnished the plate with foraged cherries from our neighbor's tree, and cilantro from our garden.

Here are my approximate recipes -- I didn't keep track as I cooked, because I'm an amateur. In fact, I think these are the first recipes I've ever posted, because usually I follow published cookbook recipes. But tonight I felt like eating lentils, cauliflower, and potatoes, and this just sort of fell together.

Curried Roasted Potatoes

3 fist-sized potatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. curry powder
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Thinly slice potatoes with a mandolin or knife. (I got to use my new mandolin, woo!!!) Place in a 1-gallon ziploc with olive oil and curry powder, and shake to coat potatoes evenly. If you're like me, the ziploc seal will break while you're shaking the bag, and several slices of potato will fall on your kitchen floor. It's times like this you will be glad you have a compost heap, so you don't really feel like you're wasting those fallen slices. Anyway, spread the non-soiled potato slices onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake about 30 minutes, or until potatoes have reached your desired level of brownness and crispness, flipping once during cooking.

Cauliflower and Lentil Stew

1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large-ish pot, add mustard and cumin seeds until mustard seeds pop (it only takes a minute). Add onion and jalapeno, saute until onion is translucent (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and turmeric, stir for a minute, then add lentils, cauliflower, and water. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vacation in San Diego

We're one week into our ten-day vacation, and I'm super relaxed. Our Garmin GPS (which I'm SO glad we brought, we'd be lost and cranky and hassling with paper maps otherwise) speaks in a male British voice, and he pronounced Juan "JEW-ahn" and La Jolla "Lay JAWL-ah" -- prompting fits of laughter on my part.

Young women here wear short shorts with high-heeled pumps. What is up with that? You don't see that in Portland, which is just fine with me.

Edited to add on June 23rd: Also today our Garmin called El Cahon Blvd. "El CADGE-uhn" ha ha ha ha ha! I'm not sure why this is so hilarious to me.

I'm missing Portland now. We went to a Whole Foods tonight, and it was the first time I've seen anyone with dreads or significant tattoos since we've been here. What kind of freaky city is this?!

Also we ate dinner at Harar Ethiopian Restaurant, and it was OK, but not great, and the food pales in comparison with my favorite Portland place, E'Njoni. And I miss my dog. So, we've relaxed and had fun and enjoyed glorious weather, but I am really looking forward to going home day after tomorrow.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New favorite recipe

Pineapple Cashew Quinoa from Veganomicon. I'm not sure what to say about this, except that it has everything. Sweet and salty, soft and crunchy. It's all kinds of healthy. It's good hot, room temperature, or chilled. I loved this. I want more right now!

Claire makes more cupcakes...

This is a more autumnal recipe, but this is what Claire chose to make the other day. They were tasty, and went well with the unseasonally cool and wet June we've been having. Recipe from Claire's favorite cookbook, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Vegan buttercream vanilla frosting, and a brown rice syrup-based caramel sauce.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Claire's at it again!

Baking cupcakes, that is. I helped a bit with assembly, and I cooked the cherry sauce. Otherwise these were made by a 9-year-old vegan cupcake enthusiast! Oh, they're also gluten-free, thanks to Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour. Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, of course.

These are not mere cupcakes. They're more like a fancy dessert, requiring plates and forks. Yum yum yum. Delicious!