I have this tendency to get quite obsessed with a particular cookbook (as seen with my 1000 Vegan Recipes cook through). Many moons ago I pre-ordered Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, so by the time it arrived it was just like getting a surprise present from myself. I am very thoughtful. Over the past two weeks, I have been absolutely loving this book and have cooked several delicious recipes from it, with many more planned to come. Here's what I have made so far.
Pizza Hummus is one of the many hummus variations in the book. I made it to take to work as a snack during the day, along with some carrot sticks. I left out the paprika in the recipe and subbed in oregano. I also made some delicious pizza burritos with this - a tortilla spread with pizza hummus, lettuce and a sprinkle of nooch and all wrapped up. Yummy.
This was one of the first dinners I made: Miso Udon Stir-Fry with Greens & Beans and Eggplant Dengaku. The noodles were delicious, I really enjoyed using the broccoli stem (which is something I haven't really used before... all those years of wasted broccoli stems!). I used a 270g packed of dried udon (I find the 'fresh' udon too mooshy) and that made enough for five servings total. The eggplant was out of this world delicious. It is one of my mother's favourite dishes, and she gave it thumbs up. I think I forgot to add the water to the sauce when I was making it, but it didn't matter - it was thick and oh-so-delicious. I grilled (broiled) the eggplant for a couple of minutes longer to get it too cook properly as well. Such a good dinner.
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans & Toasted Cumin Seeds was a good choice of lunch to make to take to work during the week. It required 2 cups of cooked, cooled quinoa. I cooked up one cup of dried quinoa, and I ended up with just under 4 cups cooked, so I split it and froze the rest for another recipe. This photo is using Isa's super cute serving suggestion of unmolding from a tea cup, though when I took it to work I tolled the baby spinach and rocket leaves through it and ate it out of a plastic box. Not as cute, but just as tasty.
Another salad, this was actually the first recipe I made from the book. Trattoria Pasta Salad with White Beans is another great option for a make ahead lunch, it keeps and travels very well. The Sun-Dried Tomato-Walnut Dressing is delicious, and includes fennel which gives a very pleasant taste. I couldn't find any brown rice pasta, so just used regular wheat small shell pasta. I used butter beans here, but think in future cannelini beans would be best to keep the size of everything consistent.
Forty-Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli was always at the top of my list of things to make. It actually only has ten garlic cloves, but that is enough for a garlicky punch. This dish is so quick to assemble, there is very little effort involved, though it does take a little bit of baking time. But it is delicious and just so satisfying. I found that this only served three hungry bellies at our house, served with some brown rice.
So much deliciousness crammed onto one plate here: Creamed Corn, Coriander Mushrooms with Cherry Tomatoes, Unfried Refried Beans and brown rice. The corn was fantastic - so quick and easy, why would you ever eat creamed corn from a tin again? I enjoyed the leftover corn in two of my favourite trashy ways - on toast with Nuttelex and just straight up with some ketchup mixed in. Kind of wrong, but kind of right. I also found with the corn that I could make it a bit in advance to the point of blending it, then just put it aside until I was ready to quickly do the final heat-through with the cornflour (cornstarch) mixture. The mushrooms were also great, and remainders were enjoyed on toast the following day for breakfast. Finally, the beans. Oh, the smooth and delicious velvety beans. I used two 400g tins of borlotti beans and 250mL passata for the recipe. I have leftovers stored in the freezer for an upcoming taco night!
Sometimes, even in the middle of summer, a big bowl of lentil soup is just what you need. Lotsa Veggies Lentil Soup fits the bill. It uses Du Puy lentils, which was great because I had some leftover from something else that were crying out to be used up. Instead of chopped spinach leaves, I just stirred in a 150g bag of baby spinach leaves and cooked until wilted.
A quick and easy dinner was Masala Baked Tofu with Curried Cabbage & Peas served over brown rice. The tofu marinade is great - and oil free! I save my marinades to use again, so I have made another batch of tofu with it and still have enough left over to marinate a few portabello mushrooms for another upcoming dinner. The curried cabbage and peas is also very fast.
More salad for lunch! This is the basic version of the Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. I used my stored away two cups of quinoa for this, along with lots of fresh, chopped Cos (romaine) and chickpeas. The vinaigrette was really nice, I like using nuts as the base. But even though it only makes 3/4 cup, it was a bit too runny for my just-over-a-cup-capacity mini-food processor and ended up running all down the sides, no matter how hard I pushed the lid down to seal the cracks, so next time I shall make it in my big one. Isa gives lots of options to bulk the salad up, so I look forward to making a fully loaded version!
A dinner dedicated to my little fiery-red Abyssinian kitty, some fiery Ethiopian food (Abyssinia is the historical name for Ethiopia, and is thought to be where the original cats from the Abyssinian breed came from, even though the breed was developed in Britain): Ethiopan Millet, Mushroom Tibs and Ye'abesha Gomen (Stewed and Sauteed Collards). There was some heat involved here, especially in the mushrooms - I think next time I might go a bit easier on the curry powder. The millet was also a bit spicy. When making the millet, I found I did need to add the extra vegetable stock to stop it from drying out too much. For the greens I used silverbeet (chard) instead of collars. I have never seen collars here, ever. Which makes me a little sad, because I love different greens. Anyway, I suspect that the collards might be a bit tougher than the silverbeet, so I only stewed the silverbeet for about 15-20 minutes rather than 30 minutes, and they turned out great. A nice counterpoint to the heat in the other two dishes.
So that is my first round up from this great book. I already have other photos awaiting transfer from my camera, and many more recipes planned for upcoming dinners. I look forward to sharing more!
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
Speaking of spicy Ethiopian, here is the little Ethiopian kitty herself. Sleeping ever so gracefully, with her front arms stretched out and her back legs tucked up. Snoozing kitties are funny sometimes!
And here is a bonus kitty photo for you of Dim Sim! The reason you get a bonus photo of Dim Sim is because we are both very happy today. Five weeks ago I had her senior bloods checked, and her thyroid level came up a little bit high. To treat her hyperthyroidism, she would have had radioiodine therapy and I would have had to leave her at work for three whole weeks, the first week I could not even visit her! But last week I rechecked the T4 level and it was well back into the normal range again. Curious. I am rechecking it again in three months time, but for the moment no I131. And today was the day she was booked to go in, so I am very happy to still have her home with me!
And an extra bonus photo of Gizmo. I can't very well give you a picture of the other two and leave out Miss Giz can I? Absolutely not!
By the way, all photos in today's post come from my awesome new camera. I heart it muchly.