Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What I planted today . . .

Phew, it's hot. I just put in the rest of the tomatoes--I bought a 6-pack of romas (which I planted yesterday) and a 6-pack of sun gold cherries (today). I also planted 3 parsley plants, 6 hot pepper seedlings, a row of radishes, and more kale and chard. I wish I could remember the date I put in the first of the kale and chard, but I'd say around 2 weeks ago. I think the chard is getting eaten by critters (either that or I haven't watered them enough, sigh.) I also planted nasturtiums and marigolds.

Last night I picked up a bag of mesclun mix from Mainstone Farm in Wayland, so for dinner we had a big salad with avocado, radishes, carrots, chickpeas and olives, in a balsamic vinaigrette. Oh, and croutons that I tossed with olive oil and Penzey's "sandwich seasoning." Altogether a very satisfying meal.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vegetarian Fried Rice (also Mark Bittman's dumplings)

This recipe for pot-stickers is fabulous. Personally, I'm partial to the vegetarian variation listed underneath, and I add mushrooms to the meat filling, too. (My family prefers the pork ones.)

I confess I play extremely fast and loose with the proportions.

Last night I had leftovers of both fillings, so Jon filled wrappers with the pork and I decided to try something different with the vegetarian filling.

Earlier in the day I made a pot of brown rice, lightly salted. I used about a cup of raw rice. It was at room temperature when I set out to make the fried rice.

I heated a couple of tablespoons of oil in a cast-iron skillet and, when it was nice and hot, threw in the leftover vegetarian filling (I'd guess I had about a cup and a half leftover?) and stir fried it for several minutes, until the mushrooms released their liquid and it dried back out again. At that point I stirred in the rice, tossed everything around so it was well-combined, and then lowered the heat. I also tossed in some commercially-prepared baked tofu, cut into little strips. When it was hot, and sticking a bit to the bottom of the pan, I turned off the heat and ate. Yummy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Broccoli, chickpeas, dried tomatoes & lemon zest

My mom visisted last week, and she brought the cookbook I'd given her for Christmas, Mollie Katzen's The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without. While she was here, we looked at it together, a little, but then it got lost in the shuffle and didn't go home with her. She refused to let me send it to her, but I told her I'd be sure to actually USE it, so her leaving it here wasn't in vain. I'm such a martyr.

True to my word, I've been faithfully making recipes from it. Or not-so-faithfully, as the case may be. I tried the gingered asparagus, and it was sensational. Then I made her cauliflower gratin with capers, which was also excellent. I have my eye on a sweet potato hash with smoked tofu, next.

Last night I riffed on a recipe for broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and lemon zest, which I served over whole-wheat penne.

2-3 T olive oil
1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
6 oil-packed dried tomatoes, chopped fine
zest of one lemon (I used long ribbons, but I think I'd chop it next time so the flavor is distributed better)
1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 clove garlic, minced
toasted pine nuts (optional)
sliced olives (optional)
grated romano cheese (optional)
hot pepper flakes (optional)

Boil a big pot of water and add the broccoli. Cook for two minutes, then drain.

Heat olive oil in large deep skillet. Add garlic, stir for a few moments, and then add dried tomato, lemon zest, and chickpeas. Add broccoli and optional ingredients to taste.

Serve over pasta of choice.