Cooking Delights

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yet another simple supper!

This is one of my favourite simple suppers. I love this taco salad from Nava Atlas Vegetarian Family Cookbook. I served it with some yummy nachos. This was a REALLY filling meal! The count down is on until my next vegetarian cooking class. Only four more days!

A *NEW* Idea for Leftovers - Vegetarian Style

On Sunday we had our friend Jen over for dinner. I made roasted vegetable sandwiches with a lentil salad for dinner. My leftover roasted vegetables usually sit in the fridge until they are past the point of no return. Not this time! I got the genuis idea to make wraps out of the leftovers. Voila, another simple supper! Pictured below you can see the before and after photo. Before roasted vegetables accompanied by the lentil salad. Fold the tortilla shell, place it in the foreman grill, and there you have it, a tastey leftoever, no fuss dinner!

Friday, May 18, 2007

More Simple Suppers

Must be the time of year, because my cooking has been getting really quick and easy. I've been preparing for the upcoming vegetarian cooking class with lots of simple suppers. Don't worry if you are planning on coming, I won't be showing you how to make pita pizzas or roasted veggie sandwiches - which aren't actually that quick. I do think I will be showing my participants how to make three quick meals, then in the recipe booklet I will include some really simple ideas, maybe ones you have forgotten about.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Simple Suppers

I am really enjoying preparing for May's already sold-out vegetarian cooking class. The theme for this month's class is weekday meals that are easy to get to the table. Let me tell you this is an unusually easy class to prepare for in terms of time cooking in the kitchen. It does require a little more on the creative end. But, man, these meals are easy to put together.

I have been continuing with my beans, grains and greens theme as you can see here. Pictured below are a couple of pasta dishes with sides of bean salads and greens.

Today I made a swiss chard frittata and served it with spelt and wild rice toast. I didn't get much sleep last night, so you can see the slathering of sugar... er I mean jam on the toast for a pick me up!

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Beans, Greens and Grains

I have been thinking a lot about how to organize a salad plate that we could put on the menu, or as a feature item at the Black Dog Pub. Not only that, but as the spring and soon to follow summer creeps in here, I want to be able to make quick and filling meals to eat on our back deck. This morning, while I was flipping through Nava Atlas'Vegetarian Five Ingredient Gourmetcook book, it dawned on me! BEANS! GREENS! and GRAINS! All I need is a green salad, with a bean (legume) salad coupled with a grain salad... and voila you have a nutritionally balanced salad plate meal! I wasted no time putting it together my first beans, greens, and grains salad plate for lunch today.
Pictured here is lunch. I served a lentil salad, a coleslaw, hummus, a baguette, some brie cheese, grapes and strawberries. YUMMY!

We enjoyed this lunch after doing a little bit of planting this morning. Pictured below is my herb garden. The oregano is coming back strong from last year. I decided to plant LOTS of basil (can you say I love pesto) some lavender, sage, garlic and corriander/cilantro. I also planted some individual pots of parsley, and much more basil. I will have enough basil to make pesto this year.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Excuses to buy more cooking appliances

I have been wanting to buy some cooking appliances as of late. My mini food processor broke. I have a hankering for a coffee grinder to grind salba and hemp seed nuts and I have been eyeing those KitchenAid Mixers for some time now. Here is a justification for them all, and one appliance I probably don't need (the griddle). Enjoy!

Setting Up Your Kitchen by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Getting the basics for your first kitchen or paring down your kitchen to
only have tools you need requires a good list of great, can’t live without
appliances. These apparatus (apparati?) are here because they either do
one job well and better than anything else or they are efficient
multi-taskers. Here then, The List and it’s a short one:

1. Mixer. God bless KitchenAid for coming up with their heavy-duty (and
heavy to lift, I might add) stand mixer. In order to mix well, you need
some horsepower behind the metal, or watts (as in 325 watts, more or less,
depending on your model). Power is what separates a great mixer from a not
so great mixer. This contraption can whip cream and egg whites in a flash,
knead a few loaves of bread, mix together anything worth mixing together
and look incredibly cool at the same time. I have a standard issue white
Kitchen Aid but you can get them in pretty much any color, including
different metallics, like nickel and chrome. A must for any kitchen. Comes
with a whip for whipping, a paddle for mixing and dough hook for kneading.
You can get other attachments, including a pasta roller and meat grinder
if you actually have time for those two pursuits.

2. Griddle. I don’t use this everyday, but when I do, I am very happy I
have it—especially when I’m cooking for a crowd. The griddle I am fond of
is a large one that can cook a pound of bacon at a time, all plugged in
and sitting on my countertop. There is a little hole in the griddle and a
cup too, to catch the hot drippings. After the bacon has been cooked, the
nonstick surface is cleaned up (easily) and a boatload of pancake making
can ensue. Big griddles help you make big lumberjack sized breakfasts and
will allow you to brown, cook off and fix food for a dozen in no time
flat. I use the griddle to make several quesadillas or grilled cheese
sandwiches at one time. If you ever intend to have a bunch of people over
at any given time for a meal, chances are you will haul this appliance out
and use it over and over again.

3. Blender and Food processors. I know some people use their food
processors for blenders, but I have found food processors to leak when
making something liquid-y, like smoothies. I use my blender for smoothies
and making creamed soups. Only two things, but smoothies are an everyday
affair at my house. Food processors, slice, dice, chop, puree and make the
best pie dough in the world. I make pie dough maybe once a year, but it
only takes a minute and it’s the tenderest, flakiest crust ever.

4. Mini-food processor. Need a quick chop or a blend for something small?
The little mini-food processor is excellent for this job, weighs less than
a cheesecake and can do all kinds of breathtaking things like, chop nuts,
hard veggies and make a quickie pesto. I love my little guy and I suggest
you get one and love yours, too.

5. Coffeemaker and grinder. I don’t have a combo appliance, but I put them
together because in my mind, you cannot make a decent cup of joe unless
you grind your own beans. I have been grinding my own for well over 20
years now and every morning (that I am home at least), I perform the same
ritual of grinding the fatted bean, brewing it till just finished (then
keeping it warm in a carafe—don’t leave it on the burner to burn!) and
drinking a divine cup of morning brew. I make it stronger than most people
(opting for 2 tablespoons vs. 1 tablespoon of coffee per 6 ounces of
water) and I have my first cup by itself, my second with my morning
cereal. My coffee is exquisitely important to me (ask anyone who knows
me!) and making it well requires two good appliances—a grinder and a good
coffeemaker. I have a Cuisinart coffeemaker that beeps when it’s ready
(you gotta love that!) and does a fine job all the way around the block.

“What,” you say. “Is that it?” What about IT, the mother of all
appliances, the Crock Pot!!!?

Ah yes, the crock pot. My very favorite and esteemed above all appliances.
If you want to know more about that lovely apparatus, stay tuned. I
promise to gush over the wonder of it all and why anyone who doesn’t own
one must repent and purchase one today.

Hope to be back soon with some food posts... man I have been really out of the loop for shopping, preparing and presenting good vegetarian food as of late!