Potatoes and Peaches

Things I Make that Make Me Happy

the week in food…the weak in food?

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on February 16, 2008

At least once a week (but usually twice), I stop at the deli for dinner on the way home instead of making my own food. This isn’t good for my health, my wallet, or my attempts at learning to cook, tasty as the Tofu in Spicy Sunrice Sauce may be. Even when I’m planning to make something at home, I will sometimes stop at the PCC deli and buy a “back-up” meal, and if someone told me they did that I would think they were ridiculous. So I set out this week to make my own dinner all five days and eat it, even if I didn’t like it. I did have to stop at the store for a couple of things near the end of the week, but the ultimate goal was to not have anything that would be ready in only 2 minutes in the microwave. There were hits, there were misses, but that’s just the story of my life.

For dinner on Monday I made up some chiocciole pasta and tossed it with sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, artichoke hearts (from frozen simmered in some water), and a bit of dried basil, salt, and black pepper. It came out looking really pretty and tasting really bland, which was disappointing to say the least. The artichokes had almost no flavor, and it only got better by eating around the artichoke hearts and adding a lot of salt and vegan parm.

But I don’t think it’s a total wash, there are areas where I think this dish could be improved. I mean look at it! It looks appetizing, and as they say we eat with our eyes, I just need to tweak it so that my mouth will want to eat too. Next time I make this, I’ll use water packed artichoke hearts, or at least do some seasoning on the frozen ones to boost their flavor independently of the whole dish. I think fresh basil would be amazing, and as I write this I’m thinking maybe the sun-dried tomatoes whizzed up with basil and a little olive oil and tossed around would be really good. It can be made good! I know it can! I’m not giving up just yet.

After Monday I just wanted something simple, something that would be a sure thing. So I marinated some tofu that I had pressed for almost an hour in a concoction I made up* and keep in the fridge and re-use over and over (one of the many nice things about not working with meat). After marinating I fried the tofu in a little bit of olive oil until it was crispy and paired with brown rice with a little bit of soy sauce and peas. It was delicious! The tofu was nice and chewy, and I felt nice and full like you only can after a good yummy meal. And for lunch the next day, I put more rice and peas and cut up the other piece of tofu I had made into cubes and put soy sauce all over the whole thing. The meat-eaters at my office commented on how good my lunch smelled.

*My Marinade is a loose combination of ginger tamari (you can use ginger and tamari if you can’t find ginger tamari), soy sauce, a couple of smashed-up cloves of garlic, some sesame oil, and some water to carry it. Nothing fancy but oh-so yummy on *everything*.

By the time Wednesday rolled around I realized that my craving for simple, comforty food was in my horomones, if you know what I mean, and since I still had a little chiocciole left I decided mac and cheeze sauce was the way to go. Instead of going back to the cheezy sauce from V-con I decided to see if any of the other cheezy sauces from my cookbooks would be any good. I decided to make the Wolfie’s Nutritional Yeast “Cheese” Sauce from La Dolce Vegan! It only has 7 ingredients and took maybe 10 minutes. It was just the recipe I was looking for. It came out tangy and cheesy and creamy and so many other good things. I’d like to try the other recipes I have, but this is looking like a front-runner for my go-to cheeze sauce recipe. I tossed the pasta with the sauce and a little black pepper and some salt and at it just like that. It was as comforty as comfort food gets. It wasn’t anything fancy but it hit the spot.

Thursday this week was also known as Valentine’s day. Since I am in a committed relationship with myself I wanted to do something a little special for myself. After reading Lindyloo’s post about V-con’s chickpea cutlest I decided it was finally time to try them out, what better time to give myself a little food love? Ho. Ly. Crap! They’re so good! Crispy and packed with flavor that left me craving them even after I was completely stuffed (2 is really the maximum anyone should have, seriously.) I’m not sure if I made them as flat as intended, but I also don’t really care because they were so delicious and that’s what matters. I went with the suggestion Lindyloo posted to just dip them in a little bit of agave nectar and it was wonderful, savory and sweet together and letting the cutlet remain the star. I hope she goes through with her plan to make the cutlets into little dippable nuggets because I plan to copy her. I paired them with a bowl of corn and for dessert I indulged in a pint of Purely Decadent Turtle Trails vegan ice cream. I totally loved myself up right, food-wise with this meal.

Friday I didn’t have a lot of time before I went bowling with the local vegan group, so I decided to toast some bread and make a sandwich with a leftover cutlet and some grapeseed vegenaise, lettuce and tomato. Oh, but you know what? It would have been phenomenal with the addition of some fake bacon. Oh! I must do that! Yum! I’m on a woefully beginner level but I’m going to declare this week a total success food-wise and I’m motivated to keep it going. I can’t wait to see what I come up with next week. I definitely see more chickpea cutlets on the menu.


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