Sunday, February 2, 2014

What I Eat on "Steak Night"

Longtime readers already know that our household is an eclectic bunch when it comes to dietary preference. Long story short, while hoping my loved ones would benefit from my midlife shift, I decided I was going ahead with the diet change for myself, despite the choices of others. Since they were mostly grown when I went vegan they have each adapted parts of my food into what they want to eat in varying degrees. My daughter, Wynne, only 12 years old when I went vegan four years ago, has been the most open to it and eats more veggies and fewer critters than the rest of them.

My husband is an excellent grill chef. In the summer months he normally prepares a grill pan full of veggies for all of us alongside whatever else he is cooking, but in the winter I find myself craving soups, sautees and stews, so I do the veggies indoors while he braves the elements for his meat. Last night my baked potato was an apt vehicle for big chunks of mushroom, sauteed in Earth Balance and topped with decadent truffle oil. I also put a little of the oil on some tender lettuce leaves, along with a squeeze of lemon. The salad doesn't appear in the photo. Alongside the potato is the ubiquitous collard sautee -- this time with an onion, a tomato and a can of cannelini beans. I sprinkled a scant amount of turmeric and salt, then deglazed the whole thing quickly with half a glass of white wine. I had already finished the first half and had decided it was not my favorite for sipping. It was great in the sautee though. After taking the collards out of the pan, I brightened them with a squeeze of lemon.

I get a lot of questions about how our different diets work for us. In a nutshell, we just prepare a few more dishes, and each of us picks and chooses from what's available. The inevitable leftovers are a bonus. I eat them as they are the next day, since I never tire of a good flavor. The meat-eaters normally require a reinvention, which is easy enough.

Today, Superbowl Sunday, the reinvention for the steak is in the form of crock pot chili. I soaked a pound of black eyed peas overnight since we've not had them for a month now (New Years' good luck peas). The chili is beginning to bubble, but for me and any other veggie eaters I'm brewing up a different pot:

I'm simmering the peas in broth, onion, celery, carrot, leek, bay leaves and kombu. Did you know you should never add salt to beans or peas during the cooking process? It'll keep them from softening fully. Since I want my good luck peas to melt in my mouth, I'll wait 'til the end to season them. I will likely utilize the flavors of thyme and cooking sherry since I'm feeling kind of a French vibe this overcast day.

By the time the teams take the field, this house should be smelling delicious!

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