Menu – Week of 10/27

Happy Sunday friends!

It’s 11:00 am here in Denver and I am still in my pajamas having just finished sleeping late and doing some menu planning for the week.  Matt and I were not as ambitious in the kitchen last week as I thought we’d be and hence we will be using some of last week’s menu items in the next few days.

I am especially excited for the “crab” rangoon as that dish is something I have definitely missed since I went plant-based.  It required a special trip by Matt to the Asian market (Pacific Ocean International Market off Alameda & Yuma) to find wonton wrappers without egg in them.  The label isn’t in English, but Matt said he asked, so I’m going to have to trust him that he’s not slipping me an egg-mickey.

I called an audible with last night’s dinner as Matt was going out to a Halloween party and I did not feel like I had the skills to tackle the remaining recipes on my own.  Why was I not also attending the party, you ask?  First, because the thought of having to make conversation with people I do not know is exhausting.  Second, because I wanted to watch Penn State play.  The latter was excruciating and it likely would have been less painful just to have sucked it up and been social.  Anyway, I came home from yoga and Matt had already made the meal I was planning to make.  Good little house-husband!  The tandoori seitan dhansak was delicious even with some issues.  First, Matt had to boil the seitan because our oven is broken.  On Thursday, I was making black bean “meat”balls and wanted to bake, not pan-fry them.  I was preheating the oven and noticed a gas smell.  When I opened the oven door, it was cold inside and a face-full of gas hit me.  I turned that off right quick and escaped outside with the dogs.  So, we are once again without an oven until the service appointment on November 7th.  Ugh.  I’m trying to view it as challenge like in Cutthroat Kitchen or something.  Anyway, the seitan would have been much better if it truly had been tandoori style and I think there is too much liquid in the recipe.  If you decide to make this one, experiment with the liquid volume.

OK, so let’s get to this week’s culinary adventure.

Some Menu Notes:

Since I read about the amazing health benefits of cauliflower (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13), I’ve been trying to eat more of this cruciferous vegetable.  You will see another cauliflower recipe this week.

I’m a big fan of breakfast for dinner.  This week we will be having But’echa.  This is a delicious Ethiopian dish made with besan (chickpea flour).  It is often called ‘false eggs’.  It is my fav!  We were introduced to it from a vegan Ethiopian  cookzine called “Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food” (http://pakupaku.info/blogger/cookzines.html).  We will be also having Tofu Florentine.  This recipe is from one of our favorite cookbooks, Veganomicon.  It includes a delicious cheezy sauce made with nooch (nutritional yeast).  Most non-vegans are familiar with some of the lesser known items in a vegan pantry, but prob not with nooch.  Here’s a quick intro if you are curious: http://www.vegangela.com/2011/04/20/nutritional-yeast-nooch/.

Lastly, I’m super psyched for this Baked Pumpkin Kibbe.  Kibbe is a Lebanese dish made with fine-grained bulgur.  This recipe comes from another of our fav cookbooks, Vegan Eats World.  I’m going to make this with a Cashew Coconut-Yogurt Sauce & Roasted Chile Harissa Paste (also from Vegan Eats World).  This dish will challenge my culinary skills.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  As an aside, the author Terry Hope Romero, (who is a-maze-balls!), says that this dish is a variation on one served at The Middle East, a Lebanese restaurant in Cambridge, Our Fair City, MA. The Middle East also has a rockin’ music scene.  The summer that I met my husband, on weekends, a group of us would drive into Cambridge from western MA and explore the groovy city of Cambridge.  I have fond memories of The Middle East.  Keep in mind this was when I was younger and less anti-social.

The Recipes

Tandoori Seitan Dhansak: http://www.theveganhousehold.com/mains/tandoori-seitan-dhansak/

– We make our own seitan.  That’s the royal we (meaning Matt).  It’s pretty easy.  I could do it.

Smoky Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta & Greens: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/10/21/smoky-butternut-squash-sauce-with-pasta-and-greens/

– We will be using acorn squash and kale because that was what was at the farmer’s market.

Cauliflower with Parsley-Pecan Breadcrumbs: http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/vegetables-all-year-round/broccoli/cauliflower-with-parsley-pecan-breadcrumbs/

Buffalo Tempeh Wings: http://alimentageuse.com/home/2013/08/29/buffalo-tempeh-wings/

– Matt makes our tempeh.  He ordered a culture from http://www.tempehstarter.com/.  It came to us in plain brown-wrapping from Indonesia.  If we weren’t already, we are likely now on some sort of government watch list.  It seemed sketchy, but it is fantastic.  I plan to be eating this dish when the Sox bring it back to Fenway and win the World Series.  Obstruction, my left foot.  Swallow your whistle, fishy.

Baked Pumpkin Kibbe: From Vegan Eats World (http://veganlatina.com/books/)

But’echa & Tofu Florentine:  Tofu Florentine from Veganomicon (http://www.theppk.com/books/veganomicon-the-ultimate-vegan-cookbook/)

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan

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