Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir-fry and Green Salad

The week before last, I was really out of commission and emailed my meal groupers to let them know that I couldn't make my usual Thursday meal.  Flexible as ever, they responded, "no problem!!" and were content to let it go.  However, I wanted to do a make up because it is what felt right to me-- not a huge meal but something light that if they wanted to augment they easily could.  The meals that they delivered that week were really important- and delicious.

I'd thought of doing beans and rice, which I have kind of had a craving for lately, nothing fancy, just plain old black beans and white rice with salsa (a meal I ate almost daily in law school, along with many other of my fellow SALDFers).  I digress.  I ended up making Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir-fry from Veganomicon.  Check out the link for some awesome photos not taken by me of the meal coming together.

I made a few changes (more veggies, different pepper, a bit of apple juice in with the pineapple juice while cooking the quinoa) and the few bites I had I thought were really nice albeit a touch bland.  I gave a bowl of it to my kid, who picked out the broccoli, and the rest went to my meal group, along with a simple green salad with vinaigrette.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sloppy Lentils, SUPER Red Soup and Kale Chips

Date: 03/21/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Sloppy Lentils, Six-Shades-of-Red Soup and Kale Chips

Jen dropped this delicious meal by and we eagerly dished it up.  I'd been eying the Six-Shades-of-Red Soup from Color Me Vegan and it was really nice.  I also loved the lentil sloppy joes.......mmmmmm......but I must say-- the most surprising thing was the quantity of kale chips that my kid sucked down.  I've made kale chips before but they were roundly ignored.  Funny how that works.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baked Spicy Orange Ginger Tofu, Mac & Shews and Avocado Salad

Date: 03/17/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Baked Spicy Orange Ginger Tofu, Mac & Shews, Avocado Salad; Chocolate Cake with Mint Frosting

I was craving comfort food and had heard many good things about Mac and Shews, so I decided to try my hand at it.  Not familiar with it?  Its basically mac and cheese in which the creamy sauce is a fabulous combination of soaked cashews, lightly sauteed onions and garlic and a roux.  It was very very good.  It is definitively not sauerkrauty, though making this DID serve as a reminder to me that around minute 7 of making a roux, I generally begin thinking to myself that I might have something better to do with my time than push grease and flour around a pan for 15 minutes of my life.  But I persevered.  I saw later in the comments to the recipe that someone had added truffle oil to theirs and that sounds like it would be delicious.  I added boring old spinach to mine.

I wanted to make some tofu, too, and I chose Orange Ginger Baked Tofu.  The marinade made a lot of sauce and I ended up baking it for WAY more time than it called for--like maybe by an hour.  I also added some chili oil to make it spicier (which definitely occurred!).  I thought that it was really delicious.

I wanted a nice blob of green on everyone's plates -- it WAS St. Patrick's Day after all -- so I crafted an avocado salad very similar to the one found here.  My parents had generously brought us two boxes of gorgeous looking and tasting avocados recently so I was happy to make such a delicious salad.

For dessert, I baked a wacky cake and sent small containers of green mint frosting (the frost-yer-own situation was because the cake hadn't entirely cooled when it was time to deliver).

My son and I hopped on our bikes to deliver this meal and it was really pleasant as it was a very pretty and warm early spring evening.  It felt lovely to be pedaling dinner to people we appreciate.

Root Veggie Dal With Brown Rice, Butternut Squash Soup, Green and Fruit Salads

Stef leaves us a thoughtful, delightful note in our deliveries!

Date: 03/16/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: See note above!

Stefanie is becoming known in my household for some hardcore delicious and really healthy meals.  I loved her dal, and her salads are fabulous. 

I'm not the only one in my family who loves her food.

A young child eats salad voraciously, soon to move on to the rest of the meal.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baked Beans, Cauliflower Millet Mash, Cabbage Rolls

Date: 03/14/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Baked Beans, Cauliflower Millet Mash, Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Kasha and Dried Cherries- topped with Asian Onion Sauce

Thank you Jen C. for such a filling, nourishing meal.  It was so delicious, and we had leftovers the next day that tasted even better!  I loved that the cabbage rolls were done with purple cabbage.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nourishing Late Winter Meal

Date: 03/09/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: Mung beans, kasha with mushrooms and peas, sprouted lentil salad and fresh fruit salad

I sprouted mung beans and lentils! The mung beans were sauteed with bok choy, garlic and ginger.

Salad was mixed lettuces, sprouted lentils, chopped sweet red pepper and celery with seasoned asian vinegar and a touch of olive oil.

The grain was kasha with shitake mushrooms and peas and dessert was fresh tropical fruit: pinapple, orange and mango.

Rice and Veggies

Date: 03/07/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Rice With Sausage, Beans and Veggies with Asian Inspired Dressing and Red Cabbage Slaw

Jen whipped up a hearty and delicious meal of rice, beans, sausages and veggies with a simple and tasty dressing from Color Me Vegan.  Side of slaw and we all were happy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tofu Rice Balls with Miso Walnut Sauce, Lentil Soup, Coriander Bread

Date: 03/03/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Tofu Rice Balls with Miso Walnut Sauce, Lentil Soup, Coriander Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

From Stefanie:

Tonight's dinner was really yummy. I really enjoyed the flavor tones and textures -- the lentil soup had a clean earthiness that is really satisfying. The tasty tofu balls were fun to pick up and dip, and had just the right amount of chewiness, and the miso walnut dipping sauce is soooo good - salty and sweet and savory.  I even put some on the salad. Dessert choc-chip blondies. My son, an avowed meat eater, ate everything with gusto.

Welcome Stefanie!

Date: 03/02/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: Chickpea Curry with Rice, Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Strawberries and Mango Coconut Fruit Salad

Jen and I extend a very warm welcome to Stefanie, who is giving mealgroup a whirl for the month to see if it is a good fit for her family!  Stefanie thoughtfully took the time to write up some of her thoughts about her initial experiences with us:

I'm happy to have joined this group. Its the end of my first week, and I'm totally psyched about cooking and being cooked for. First meal was Jen C's: spicy burgers, oven fries, succulent edamame succotash and satisfyingly rich choc-chip cookies. All of these treats were different for me, and fun. I especially enjoyed the burgers.  Then it was my turn to cook. Coming from a big family (but living as a twosome now), it felt good to cook for a group again. Preparing food for the group gives me incentive to make a proper meal and try new recipes.

Last week I got a new cookbook entitled Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi. It inspired me to make a chickpea curry. In the intro to beans, the author states that sprouting beans increases their vitamin, mineral and protein content. So I sprouted the chickpeas for a couple of days before cooking. I also prepared a spinach salad with strawberries and walnuts, topped with poppy seed dressing: 1/4 c each olive oil and Japanese "seasoned" vinegar, 3 teaspoons poppy seeds,  1/4 teaspoon each fresh grated ginger and garlic, pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper. Mix well into salad before serving. Dessert was mango coconut fruit salad: frozen blueberries, mango and cherries dressed in mango coconut milk yogurt with 1/2 c. shredded coconut.

Lentil Pecan Burgers, Oven Fries, Edamame Salad and Cookies

Date: 02/28/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Lentil Pecan Mini-Burgers, Oven Fries, Edamame and Corn Salad and Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was a delicious meal!  Funny that Jen made mini-burgers; I've been reading a lot about sliders and thinking about what a delicious concept they are.  I loved the salad, too, and in the interest of full disclosure, I will mention that no one else in my family ate any of the cookies: I grabbed the container as I ran out the door to a meeting and they were so good that I ate them all myself.

Lentil Quinoa Stew and Chipotle Sweet Potato Biscuits

Date: 02/24/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Quinoa Stew, Chipotle Sweet Potato Biscuits and (perhaps slightly stale) Banana Muffins

I've been wanting to do a little more crockpot cooking and so I found this recipe, which fit my requirements of being a healthy, straightforward and yummy sounding crockpot recipe.  It was all that, and so I really recommend the recipe-- very good, and good for you!  I thought that a savory baked good that had a spicy kick to it sounded good to accompany the stew, so I made the sweet potato biscuits that I made in the early part of 2011 and added a few chipotles and adobo sauce to the batter.  They came out really well, I thought, though apologies to Jen and her family, as well as mine: they were a tad undercooked.  I love these biscuits, though!  If you don't mind sacrificing a few nutrients to the microwave, they are really easy to make if you nuke up the sweet potato while you assemble the dry ingredients-- then mash up the sweet potato, add to the mix and pop them in the oven.

We had a few banana chocolate chip muffins left over from a couple of days earlier that I threw in, as there was no one in my household who was interested in them (sigh).

Stuffed Cabbage

Date: 02/21/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

We were continuing to whirl around in the busyness of our lives and I was coming off a head cold that had really brought me down when Jen appeared at our doorstep with a container full of yummy stuffed cabbage rolls.  Lentils and rice surrounded by cabbage and served with a light tomato sauce-- they were just the thing to send me hurtling back to good health.