Friday, July 25, 2008

Back to VT Again...

This week's meal plan included a few recipes from the July/August 2008 issue of VT. First, I tried the Thai Basil Curry Vegetables. Not sure if I should have even referenced the ‘Thai’ part, since I left out the Thai green chile paste – it sounded too spicy for this girl and I didn’t feel like buying a bottle for one tablespoon worth just for it to sit in my fridge unused until I throw it out (this is always the case for me for hoisin sauce and taco sauce). Anyways, back to the was great! I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it all came together. For added protein, I added some Yves Chick’n Tenders, but I think chickpeas would have been great too (I needed more than the 2g of protein identified in the recipe).

I then made Chinese Broccoli with Black Bean Sauce and Garlic (no photo...ate it too quickly!). Even though I mentioned that I wouldn’t purchase a sauce just for a recipe’s tablespoon-worth, I bought this sauce since I planned on adding more than the 1 ½ tablespoons worth plus I have the intention of using the rest of the sauce with tofu or a stir fry in the future. After making this recipe, I learned that Black Bean Sauce is VERY salty. I poured it into this recipe thinking that my addition of cubed firm tofu would soak it up. I think I drank 10 glasses of water after eating this. The salty leftovers made a nice wrap filling along with some tomatoes (to help dilute the salt!).

Next, I made Fresh Tomato Farfalle – the recipe called for 2 lb of tomatoes, and since Kyle only picked up 2 tomatoes, it was obvious that I had to hit up the grocery store for more to do this recipe up right. I did consider forgetting the ‘Fresh’ part of the recipe and instead using canned diced tomatoes. It would have been WAAAYY easier. It tasted OK, but instead inspired me to create a guacamole-style pasta.
Vile recipe alert...Chilled Tofu Salad with Ginger, Green Onions, Asparagus and Sesame. Well, there are no surprises as to what’s in this salad, but lemme tell you, do not make it. Yes, it was my prettiest pic yet and yes, it looked like something from a fancy restaurant, but it was disgusting. I have no idea what I was thinking eating plain silken tofu. I much prefer it pureed in a sweet dessert.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Easy Recipe Alert!

A nice twist on the quesadilla front...sweet Strawberry Chocolate Quesadillas! I pulled this from a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook (Moosewood Celebrates or something like that). Made it for the weekly mom’s group get-together. Sweet, sinful and messy. A great way to use up seasonal strawberries! OK, next post will actually be something nutritious and meal-like...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy (Belated) Canada Day!

I'm a little slow in posting this...

After looking for a quick, cool dessert contribution to this year’s family Canada Day celebration, I decided I would re-make the Key Lime Pie. But something told me it wasn’t very festive to serve something green on Canada Day, where something with red or white would be more appropriate. Enter Kyle’s great idea – to modify the recipe (I’m a pro at that!) and use strawberries instead. Now I think the tang of lime with the strawberries would have been a little too much, so I cut out the lime juice and rind (which Kyle found quite bitter anyways) as well as the agave nectar (instead of the originally called for honey), and instead added ½ cup vanilla Almond Breeze and a drop of almond extract. I then arranged sliced strawberries on top in an attempt to replicate our national symbol – the maple leaf. Pretty! And yummy! Although my next project will be to substitute the vanilla pudding mix and find another stabilizer.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I hope my dentist isn't reading this...

I know I had dissed this recipe in the past, but my sweet tooth was craving this cool, summery treat. And besides, I found a new brand of tofu cream cheese that didn’t have any hydrogenated products in it. I made a delicious Key Lime Pie. I devoured two pieces the night I made it.

The next night, I was watching Jon & Kate Plus 8. I love that show because geez, if they can raise that many kids while maintaining some sort of sanity, it gives me hope that I can handle the one I have! During the episode, Kate revealed that she would be making Monkey Munch with the girls. It looked like a sweet variation of one of my faves – Chex (US)/Crispix (Canada) Mix! I was at the store the next day buying the ingredients that I was missing – all it takes is Crispix, chocolate chips, peanut butter, margarine, vanilla and icing sugar! Kyle and I are addicted.
I fear that I have turned into a junk food freak.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

More VT - Back to May

After having moderate success with the June issue of VT, I decide to go back to the May issue and make a few things. First up was Pita Panzanella. I was surprised at how tasty this was. I did substitute edamame for the frozen peas (blah) and I think that was a better choice to add more protein. I always expect a meal to taste like mint gum whenever I read mint in the list of ingredients, but I’m always pleasantly surprised! The best part of the recipe was toasting pita triangles in a little olive oil – I must do that from now on!

Next, I made a Greek Lentil Salad. Good – even better a few days later.

I wasn’t too impressed with the Burst-of-Spring Salad (no photo). Yes, I did omit the radishes because I don’t like them and my avocado wasn’t healthy-looking enough to add, but I don’t think either of those two ingredients would have helped. The dressing was really watery and simply tasted like I poured orange juice on spinach. I’ll stick to my tried and true orange spinach salad with red onion vinaigrette.

The Italian Eggplant Ragout was pretty tasty – although allowing the eggplant to hang out with 2 tablespoons of salt not only removed it’s bitterness, it made the dish REALLY salty and the eggplant actually tasted pickled! And I did rinse the eggplant well!

Finally, on Friday, I made Edamame Rice Bowls. Very easy. Remarkably tasty. Even better with the necessary addition of something salty like tamari. I should mention that I used crumbled tofu instead of feta.