Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Odds-n-Ends, Random Eats

Without a cohesive theme today, since life has been flying past at breakneck speed, I nevertheless want to share with you some pretty fantastic, if simple, food I've been eating.

You know what the above photo represents -- peach season in Georgia! Mmmmm. Here I enjoyed an overripe fruit on Ancient Grains cereal, topped with organic granola and almond milk.

This is what I did with my Macaroni Grill leftovers. Have you tried their "Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables" appetizer? Well, that's what I ordered as my entree last week on a night out with the family. I had my husband take a photo of the appetizer since it was so pretty and I had not brought my camera. I've yet to see the photo, but will share it if I do. The appetizer was so large I could only eat half of it, so I brought the rest home and put it on top of Tinkyada brown rice pasta with a bit of olive oil and some freshly torn herbs from the garden. Don't get too excited about the appetizer. Our waiter excitedly informed us that the new menu comes out soon at Macaroni Grill. To me that means higher prices and a likely deletion of some of my favorites, but maybe I'll be happily surprised. I'll keep you posted.

This rice dish does not look too different from the above pasta dish, and I'm guessing I created it becaused I missed the pasta dish so much after it went away. This was lighter in flavor though, with only  my garden veggies and a can of navy beans. My grape tomatoes have been in full swing since mid-June, since Georgia has been Sahara-hot for months now. Normally I see nary a tomato before July. I will post a full garden update soon, since we are starting to become prolific.

I roasted a head of cauliflower and ate it all by myself over the course of a couple of days. These folks around here don't know what they are missing! It was just cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper at 450 for 20 minutes. I ate it hot, cold, covered in nutritional yeast and added to canned soup. Cruciferous veggies represented!

Speaking of cruciferous veggies, awww! Isn't that just the cutest little baby bok choy you have ever seen? I bought a huge carton of about 60 of these little guys (no joke) at Costco for $4.99. I used the first 20 of them last night in a repeat performance of my decadent baby bock choy with mushrooms and black truffle oil. This time, since these tiny things were so tender, I did not steam them. I just added them at the end to the sautee pan full of funghi, "butter" and truffle oil. It was delicious and very impressive. We have out-of-town guests, so I have been cooking a lot, but unfortunately not remembering to take a lot of photos. Sorry. This dish was beautiful, but you will have to take my word for it. Also featured at this meal was a wonderful green salad with cucumbers, avocados and tender lettuces, and the fabulous "Caesar Chavez Dressing" from Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Appetite For Reduction. My non-vegan guests LOVED the vegan dressing! Sorry again for no photo.

As hostess to our guests -- the lovely and talented sister-in-law, Liana, and her wonderful friend, J.P., I have just been putting piles of food on the table, especially for breakfast -- breads, bagels, every kind of topping one can imagine, potatoes, fruit, scrambled eggs, juices, coffee, etc. It has been fun, but I really wish I had thought to take more photos. No matter, I'll work with what I've got here. This is my plateful, since I'm not an egg-eater. It sort of reminds me of Alicia's "Full English Breakfast" from The Kind Diet.
Of course I didn't prepare any meats, real or vegan, since there was already so much on the table, but the important part here is the bread with beans. On artisanal rosemary bread slices I layered a smear of earth balance, a dollop of hummus and a bean and corn salsa. If you have never tried good bread with beans, you must go do it right now. The result is so much more shockingly delicious than one would expect! I actually put a little Italian twist on my "English Breakfast", featuring succulent tuscan melons (crazy-good!) and a "Florentine" treatment to the eggs I didn't eat -- I threw a handful of spinach and parmesan cheese in there. Everyone loved it and nothing got wasted.

Summer can feel lazy and easy for many folks, but not so much for a full-time mom. The house is always full of people and animals, which I love, but darned if I can finish a train of thought. This is "plate-spinning" season, folks. I've got to keep looking up, no matter what I am trying to accomplish, to see which spinning plate on a dowel rod is getting a bit wobbly and about to topple. If I deliver the proper spin, I can avert disaster  until the next plate starts slowing, and so on. Is anyone else out there in my shoes? If so, how do you handle it?

Thanks for bearing with me in this season of discombobulation! I'll try to remember to take more photos, since the season is flying by too fast.

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