Monthly Archives: August 2009

Lazy Roasted Broccoli with Polenta & Marinara

Have you ever felt like thiswhere you can’t even imagine ordering Chinese food much less cook for yourself? I found myself in that very situation but I was prepared with cooked polenta and white beans in the fridge. I wanted something that would be healthy and totally effortless and so I came up with the easiest thing I could have possibly made and it actually turned out pretty good. First I scooped out some of the cooked polenta and beans and stuck them in the oven. Then, I cut up some broccoli and rolled it around in olive oil and minced garlic and stuck it in the oven too, for about 20 minutes on 375. In the meantime I let some jarred pasta sauce simmer on the stove. Then I layed down with a couple of beagles. Then I ate way too much ’cause Mr. Smurf is out of town and I am not used to cooking for one person anymore. What are your favorite things to make when you don’t have any energy?

They Punctured My Yolk

I haven’t been feeling very smurfy lately. I won’t bring you down with the details but I have decided that it is time to go on an extreme health kick. So for the month of September I am going to be cooking a lot out of Jae Steele’s “Get it Ripe” and focusing on unprocessed foods. My plan is to make big pots of dried beans, a pot of whole grains and then eat them with vegetables throughout the week since I haven’t really felt up to cooking.

The first thing I made was the Cannellini and Kale Soup. Basically, you puree 3 cups of beans and sage and mix the pureed beans with whole beans cooked in garlic and then add some Kale. It was really good and we both liked it. The weird thing about cooking Ms. Steele’s recipes is that I read on her blog that she can be serious about people following recipes exactly. Measuring out 5 cups of chopped Kale is kind a time suck (especially since it turned out I had chopped exactly 5 cups anyway because I have gotten really good at that). Nonetheless I feel compelled to follow the directions specifically because that is what she wants me to do. Isn’t that silly? I felt like I didn’t even deserve a compliment for the soup since I hadn’t really made it any differently than a robot would have. God I wish I had a robot.  I could just hand the recipe to it and it would make whatever I wanted. Today I think I would make it cook me this tofu ceviche from Top Chef. And I would have it speak with a cockney accent. And it would sing “Can I Borrow a Feeling” when I am feeling low.

Tuscan Biscuits & Gravy

When I was in 4th or 5th grade I read every book by V.C. Andrews mostly because what young girl doesn’t enjoy tales of insestual rape and hasn’t dealt with being in love with her brother, uncle, or an angry but gorgeous professional ballarina. My favorite of the series was the stories of Heaven Leigh Casteel. She came from extreme Appalacian poverty only to later find out that she was the heir to the Tatterton Toy Empire. Poor Heaven grew up in a mountain shack and had to find ways to feed her four half brothers and sisters on little money. When everything else was gone they were always able to make biscuits and gravy since you really just need flour and lard. They hated eating biscuits and gravy day after day but I always thought it sounded pretty good. To this day when I am feeling really poor I often think of old biscuits and gravy; so lacking in nutritional value but so easy and good. Earlier in the week I went to the store with 10 dollars, knowing I might have to stretch it for a couple weeks and I bought the cheapest frozen vegetables they had. One package was called the Tuscan Mixed vegetables and when I spied it I was immediately whisked away to Tuscany which unfortunately looks like an Olive Garden commercial in my mind. The plan was set we would have a Tuscan night and it would be glorious.This meal was really easy and we liked it quite a bit. I think it was a lot healthier than most biscuits and gravy, certainly moreso than the lard/white flour version. I made the spelt & chive biscuits from Vegan Brunch (note the typo about that recipe if you have a first edition! It doesn’t need all that baking soda), and simultaneously roasted the tuscan vegetables in the oven while I made a Tarragon and Lemon White Bean Gravy. I love bean gravies, I think they are one of the greatest tricks I learned for healthy vegan cooking.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone OR a trip to the Pacific Northwest

I used to live in Olympia Washington. Then I thought about moving to Portland along with a lot of my friends.  Then I did other stuff instead. So now Portland is like the path not taken and I spend the whole time thinking about that. I wonder if I had moved to Portland if I still would have become vegan? Would I still live with beagles? Would I be famous for having sexual relations with the president? Would I have become a world class figure skater? We’ll never know. It was really exciting to see all of my friends. I went to Olympia and ate at Le Voyer. I couldn’t believe how everything there seemed to be exactly the same.  It was as close to time traveling as I will ever get since the only thing that felt different was me.  I laughed out loud when it started raining. It is a special kind of rain in Olympia that I can’t describe.  My friend Jen and I drove through the mountains to the Gorge at George Washington.We campedand we built a fort and we saw a really good band.
Then we raced across Washington so some asshole named Thor could refuse me passage on a train and we drove back to Portland. We got doughnutsmine was so cute!

I stayed with my friend Hannah

and my friends came up from Idahoand we decided to make sandwiches. A lot of sandwiches.then we went to a park and ate the sandwiches

nate loved his sandwich so much he couldn’t believe it. ryan also loves sandwiches but could still conversate while eating

Steve’s sandwich tried to kill him

Hannah destroyed her sandwichLook at the muscles Nate used to attack his sandwichAfter that some people got in the raging riverOthers hung out looking manlyand then there was RyanI invited Kevin and Carrie to go with us to the sandwich picnic but they couldn’t come because Carrie is a celiac and can’t eat sandwiches. I felt really bad because I kept saying the word sandwiches over and over again not realizing that I was probably terrorizing her. Like if someone kept asking me to go to a hog roast and when I declined they kept mentioning different ways they were gonna cook the pig. They still let me stay at there house and play with their psychotically adorable kittiesand they took me to Blossoming Lotus where I finally got to try soy curls. Hey Wheatsville, get your act together and get some motherforkin soy curls they are delicious, nutritious, cheap, and gluten free.I bought some later in on in the week at Food Fight in the vegan strip mall. I bought a lot of food that day and then I couldn’t walk home because I was too full. That was after I stayed with Claire and Jason who took me to a bar because they know I enjoy drinking.We also went to the Bay leaf restaurant because we do enjoy eating. I ate lots of stuff there that was good and all their garnishes looked like little critters. The mango tofu was the best.and Claire and Jason got the tea which was outstanding!I think I had biscuits and gravy three times on the trip, that is something you can’t get here unless you make it yourself. Overall I mostly cooked with friends at home instead of going out. It was fun because their kitchens were approximately 40 degrees cooler than mine and it is really neat to cook on  a stove that doesn’t slope. And we got to go to a lot of grocery stores and I got to see Sharif dance in the store to “What a FeelinI love you Pacific Northwest! I love your trees and your rivers, your spring enhanced dance floors, your efficient public transportation, your people, your smurf like society, and your vegan bars and vegan breakfast spots. I’ll be back after I get warmed up.