Thursday, November 20, 2008

come on vivian, put your glasses on

(nerf herder....yessssss I'm in a poppy punk mood today.)

Well.  First off, I've been given an award for how awesome my blog is by Becks at I am not a Rabbit.  Look.

And while I'm not sure about the grammatical correctness of this particular award (ever know?), I am surely happy to receive it!  Becks authors one of my favorite blogs.  She's one of what I like to call my 'Brit Blog Buddies' and is a constant source of fabulous looking food, hilariousness, and fun brit words that make me giggle because I'm easily amused.  Plus, she made some of the most awesome comic strips during Vegan Mofo that I've ever seen.  Anyway, I'm supposed to nominate 10 (!) other blogs for this award.  That seems like a bit much to me, and since I am lazy and a rulebreaking rebel at heart, I'm only going to nominate 5 people.  But I'm going to do it at the end of this post so that we can get on with some food porn, ok?  Yeah, I didn't think you'd have a problem with that.

First up is a lovely dinner that I ate for breakfast the following 2 mornings because I loved it just that much.  I got in the mood for lentils the other day when my boss was talking about how gross they are (he's demented, seriously) and how that must be all that 'vayguns' eat.  Which got me to thinking:  I don't eat nearly enough lentils.  I used the savory lentils recipe from ED&BV.  Except I sauteed an onion first and used a veggie bouillon cube instead of a mushroom one (ew).  I also have had several winter squashies staring at me since the beginning of October that needed using.  So I just baked the crap out of most of them and smooshed em up with some cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, EB, and a dash of soymilk.  
breakfast?  sure, why not?

They made a really nice pair with the salty herbiness of the lentils adding some texture to the smooth and sweet squash.  By the by, I used 2 butternut squash and one carnivale.  I still have a carnivale and 2 pie pumpkins to do something with.  It's just such an effort to cut these stupid winter squashes.  Is anyone else with me on this?  Also, after roasting, it is NOT simple and easy to just scoop out the squashiness for me.  The peel always wants to hang out with the inside forever and ever and it bothers me.  So.  This was a labor  Emphasis on the labor, but there was still a hefty serving of love involved.

Next up is a bok choy overload.  Michael made this one!  At first, when he suggested hot and sour soup (vcon recipe) I was like no no no no no.  Because the only hot and sour soup I've ever had was goopy and GROSS.  This was not either of those things.  But I did 86 most of the mushrooms called for.  I did allow baby bellas to be added, but not sliced so that I could get around them easily.
goop and gross free.

We used bok choy instead of napa cabbage cause there was no napa cabbage at the store that day.  There was also no baby bok choy, which was needed for that bok choy recipe in vcon (can't be bothered to go look up the proper name, sue me).  So we just ate a lot of bok choy in its fully grown form for dinner.  They did however, have sugar snap peas at the store on SALE (yay!) so we added them to that recipe.  Ate it atop the very last of the bamboo rice that I got at Target forever ago.  Green rice is fun.  It is not, however, really any different in taste than normal rice and costs twice as much.  Life's interesting, isn't it?
mean green dinner time

One of the squash giving me the evil eye for awhile now was a spaghetti squash.  I had never had this before, but I've heard people loving it all over the place recently, so I thought what the hell I'll try it out.  It's healthier than spaghetti, right?  It's also a crapload sweeter than spaghetti, which no one told me and surprised me in this dish that I created.  It was good though.  A little crunchy.  I dunno, it took like 20 minutes to cook in my microwave, which didn't seem right, so next time I think I'll just bake it in the oven.  
look at those delicious babies...mwahahaha

You see those pine nuts?  Them's toasted pine nuts, kids.  You know why I did that?  Because Jessy over at HappyVeganFace puts them on pretty much everything and I thought well shit it must be good.  Ummmmyeah.  It is more than good.  It's fucking awesome.  I knew I liked that girl ;)  Oh, what's that?  You want a recipe?  Ok.

Artichoking the Hell Outta some Spaghetti Squash

1 big spaghetti squash, prepared (microwave, roast, whatever)
2 cups prepared baby artichokes or artichoke hearts (not preseasoned!)
1-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
some big handfuls of fresh spinach (however much you like, remember it cooks down to practically nothing)
1 Tbsp capers, chopped (optional, i GUESS)
3 big garlic cloves, minced
1 huge shallot (2 medium), minced
1-2 tsp basil pesto
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
toasted pine nuts for garnish (do it!)

Ok, so get your squash ready and set aside.  Meanwhile, heat a dash of olive oil in a big skillet with fairly high sides.  Saute garlic, shallots, and capers (if using).  Once the garlic looks like it's about to burn (this always happens in like 20 seconds for me), rescue it by pouring in the wine.  Immediately add artichokes, tomatoes, spinach, and lemon juice and bring to a good simmer.  I usually put the spinach on top of everything so that it steams up nicely before you have to stir it in.  Cover and let simmer about 5 minutes, until the spinach starts wilting.  Stir it all up, also stirring in the pesto.  Continue to simmer until the artichokes are tender (maybe 5 more minutes).  Add squash to pan, toss to combine, and allow to heat through on low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with pine nuts.  If you're like me and aren't allowed to cook with capers, but love them anyway, you will also garnish with the capers that you couldn't add to the sauce.  :P

Like I said before, this was a little sweet, so if you want, add some vinegar to your sauce to cut that.  I didn't think of it in time to add it and I don't really know how it would taste, so I didn't add it to my recipe.  However, if you're just using the sauce with regular pasta (it would KILL on linguine), it's probably not an issue.

I served this with the bread that I made earlier in the evening when I was in a baking frenzy.  
oh...this bread.

I got this recipe over at Happy Herbivore.  It's beer bread, guys.  BEER bread.  And since we just happened to have a bunch of beer in the fridge yesterday, it seemed like the most obvious option.  Plus, it was the easiest bread I've ever made and it's delicious.  Moist on the inside, crusty as all get out on the outside (I used Sam Adam's Winter Ale in it, in case you're curious).  I have no complaints.  Hers is prettier than mine though.

I also baked some more of these muffins from Vegan Dad's blog.  Pumpkin-y, apple-y, raisin-y, bran-y, yummy.  I doubled the recipe and took half to work today.  They were a hit.  I like em too.  What he says about them...getting the mail moving in the true, too, which is always a plus with me.
muffin overload?  never.

Ok, so now I have to nominate people.  I've been thinking about this all day.  At least one of the people I want to nominate has already been nominated, but I've decided that I'm not going to let that stop me.  Because I want them to know how cool I think they are, too.  So.  Only 5, ok?

1. Lindy Loo over at Yeah that 'Vegan Shit'.  She's hilarious.  She's crass.  Hers is the blog that made me want to start blogging.  I always thought blogging was kind of stupid before I read her blog.  Then I realized that you can curse on the internet and no one will tell you not to.  Which is only one of the reasons I started blogging.  I don't think I even got up the guts to start cursing until last month, really.  Which is weird because I'm kind of a pottymouth.  But my parents read, so.  There ya go.  Anyway, Lindy Loo also seems like the kind of gal that I would totally hang out with if I had any friends in real life.  She's smart and passionate and just plain cool.  Also, she named her cats after JD Salinger book characters and then gave me a link to a website where I can find lots of book recommendations.  Um, yeah.  She rules.

2. Jessy from HappyVeganFace.  Jessy is one very happy girl.  And I love that about her.  Literally everything she writes makes me smile.  Be it her own blog, comments on my blog, or comments on someone else's blog, she's always 100% cheerful and it's awesome.  Usually chronic cheerfulness annoys me, but Jessy balances it out with a good mix of made-up words and total rad-ness and seriously AMAZING food.  Plus, she's my dad's favorite commentor here and usually anything my dad likes is really good.  Except meat.  Jessy is also compassionate and makes a big effort to help the world in general.  She's in a challenge to basically make your own everything and use less of stuff which is cool, and she also adopted a turkey.  So yeah, Jessy is a good apple.

3.  Shellyfish at Musings from the Fishbowl.  Shelly's crafty.  She makes things for people.  And not just whatever stuff, but seriously she embroiders things.  She makes little dolls for her newborn neice and her guppy (who is terminally adorable).  I like this trait.  Craftiness is something that I have little patience for, and I really wish I had inherited the gene for it from my mom.  My mom has always been amazing at a sewing machine (and by hand) and still makes me things, which rules.  So anyone who promotes that in this day and age of store bought crap, I'm a fan of.  She also lives in France and sometimes writes French phrases which I understand nothing of but really enjoy seeing.  (I need a Spanish blog buddy, I can read Spanish, darnit.)

4.  Liz from Food Snobbery is My Hobbery.  First off, awesome blog title.  Second, this girl has a helluva garden.  She has dazzled me with her gardening skills and the fresh food she creates using it all up.  This is like my utopia.  She's also another compassionate one and I'm amazed at her ability to balance her life what with a hubby and kids and all the various activities I've heard her mention.  I can only hope that one day I will have my shit together like Liz seems to.  Yeah, also, did I mention her garden?  And that she makes jam?  And that she bakes her own bread every week?  This chica is truly DIY to the max and I love it.

5.  Michelle at My Zoetrope.  Michelle is an awesome artist.  Don't believe me?  Click on the link and find the link on her page to her etsy shop.  She's truly talented.  I admire her creativity and her art.  I'm saving up my money to buy her mustache christmas ornaments because I really feel that my life is not complete without them.  Reading her blog makes me wish that I was the drawing type of artist instead of the photography and ceramics type.  Alas.  She also cooks up some tasty-looking food.  I love multitalented vegans.  It's nice to read about things other than food sometimes (I know, I must be crazy) and the musings of a fellow artist are inspiring and remind me of my art school friends who have all but disappeared from my life as of late. 

So thank you ladies for all being...great.  I'm out of words now, because I just typed a whole lot of awesome, witty shit.  Now I must go plan my brinner.  Yes, you read that right.  Breakfast for dinner is on the menu.

(hey, whaddya guys think of my semi-healthier, but still yummy dinners?)


Liz said...

Maybe it's just because I'm in my moon lodge, but your sweet words made me so super warm and fuzzy inside that I almost cried.
Okay- I did actually cry a little.

Thanks for the blog award!!!

michelle said...


This is so unexpected and sweet and awesome and nice! Thank you so much!

And, um, I want to faceplant that squash. And yes, you are 100% right about the total pain-in-the-assness of peeling a squash. I usually try to peel it first with a veggie peeler before cooking it, because I think the scooping/scraping/cursing/ouch-hotness part annoys me more. It's a good thing I love squash so much.

Georgia said...

wow you have been doing heaps of cooking - all looks awesome. I don't think we have spaghetti squash over here :( I really want to try it. I am loving all this non breaky foods for breakfast - and lentils are very cool I could eat them heaps.
I feel like dahl tonight now.

Anonymous said...

The grammer on that award seriously bugged me too, and yes 10 is too many!
I'm tired of memes already but it was so sweet of Rhonda to think of me that I couldn't really say no! So yeah, I decided to take you all down with me. It doesn't hurt to tell poeple how much you like them though does it?
Your food is looking super duper healthy >:o)

Anonymous said...

I'm speechless - you're too adorable! Thank you from the bottom of my broken foot! (That's why you gave it to me, right, sympathy? ha!). I think all your food looks just beautiful and healthy, but in a good way, not in a here's a raw carrot way!
I have just discovered new blogs thanks to this beautifully eloquent post sweets...this really was an engaging entry - and funny! I'm off to go visit the other winners now!

Virginia said...

i so agree about the grammer on the blog bugs me...but i didn't want to be the one to bring it up. thank you for doing the dirty work.

Gina said... bread. Congrats on the award...even if it is not grammatically correct!!

miss v said...

what!? you thought about adding vinegar to something? i never thought i would see those word typed by you.

and i think these dinners look richly awesome. i would have never guessed they were semi-healthy. ;)

jessy said...

you are awesome! and rad! i love it! yay! congrats on the award, Jessica - and thank you so so so so so much (mucho mucho much!) for passing it along to me, too! you're too damn sweet and made me the most happyfaced girl with all of your kind and rock'n words! i also wanted let you know that while i am usually always ridiculously freak'n happy - i can get pretty darn angryfaced - but it is rare. only when people irrationally argue with me about veganism, try to sneak me the meatsies, or when they're jerks to other people or animals. then i get angryfaced (or frustratedfaced). but anyways - w00t! :)

i love that you & Michael call the artichokes babies. it makes me giggle a lot! and spaghetti squash - yeah, it is pretty sweet now that i think about it. makes me want to try and blend it up and put it in muffins or somethin'. while i'm talk'n about muffins - i'm gonna comment on your fantastical muffins of yumminess! i might just have to make some muffins now. (i feel a craving coming on!) mmmmmmmmmm! but back to the squash & artichokes (i'm getting sidetracked here, it's an ADHD kinda day, what can i say) - hooray for toasted pine nuts. i cannot get enough of those little nutty ticks! dan & i think they look like fat ticks! pretty gross, huh?! but they're so tasty! and so damn expensive! what is UP with THAT?! i love buying them in bulk and filling up a little jar with them - so when the cashiers check us out they always hold up our little reusable jar 'o pine nuts and say "jeebus these are expensive!". yeah, no shit! (also expensive: hazelnuts - who knew?!) but i'm glad you enjoyed the toasted pine nuts. i'm totally topping some roasted broccoli with 'em for lunch today. yay!

oh man, i still have more yummies to comment on and this is already a lengthy comment. hold tight....

beer bread - i need to try that. oh my goodness, we do! since we're doing soup & bread sundays - i'm going to make that next sunday (because this sunday i'm already set to attempt "french" bread). your beer bread looks sooo yummy! and i always thought green rice was like white rice that you put green stuff in. i had no idea it was a type of rice, too. good to know that it tastes the same but is twice as expensive.

squashes are a pain in the ass. i can't peel them for shit, and mine never roast up evenly. and i can cut them in half to roast them without giving up half way through the process and making dan finish the job for me. ugh. it's a love/hate relationship with squash - fo 'sho! you'd think squashes were trying to tell me "don't eat me, see what a chore i am to make?! you hate me, right?!" but i will not give up! oh yeah, you should totally bake up those pumpkins and make pumpkin pie or pumpkin lasagne or pumpkin rolls or somethin' like that. then i can drool over them! like i'm drooling over your soup.

longest comment ever. ahahahaa! sorry! :) but thanks again for the award and for the shout-out, too! hells yeah!

jessy said...

p.s. - i think your foodz are both healthy and yummy! and i just realized that i forgot to comment on your breakfast... i love me some hearty breakfasts that aren't all breakfasty & traditional! yay! that seems like a glorious breakfast that would warm you up in the morning & stick with you until lunch time. freak'n perfect!

Celine said...

hahaha artichoking! I can't get over it. <3

Sal said...

yay - congrats on the award. yeah the grammar on that really annoyed me too. the food all looks gorgeous as always!

For the Love of Guava said...

ummm.. .that sounds like a ridiculously delicious way to eat spaghetti squash... but I've been cut off from farmer's market until I consume the multitude of veggies in my kitchen... I may have to sneak out so I can make this!!