(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 of...love. 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
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.
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 morning...is 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?)