Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Well, tomorrow is the big first Veggie Thanksgiving. Eek. Oh the HAM.

Today's Praise: Sun Dried Tomato Organic Polenta

Today's Recipe: Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Polenta is a new-ish discovery of mine, and man...I'm glad I found it. This particular kind of polenta is already cooked and can be found in the organic foods section of your local grocer's, near where the fake (i.e. organic) mac and cheese is. I'm sorry, but blue box I heart you when it comes to M&C.

Anyway, I like to slice this polenta about 1/2 an inch think and pan sear it with a little spray or oil. Mmm. Its also good - now this might suprise you - with a little parmesan sprinkled on top. You know how I feel about parm cheese (6th food group).

As for this "recipe" we can thank my friend Michelle for this little masterpiece. Here's how we did it:

1 Large head of cauliflower
1 head of garlic
Olive and Sesame (optional) Oils

Clean the head of cauliflower and remove as much of the stem as you can. Now, take the head of garlic and slice it in half horizontally. Take half the clove and shove it in the "butt" of the cauliflower head, where you took all the stem out. The other half can either be broken up and shoved amongst the head or just wrapped up in the foil. Wrap the whole thing in foil and put it in a screaming hot oven (like 425) for an hour or until a butter knife goes into the center easily. Sprinkle with S&P and drizzle with a mix of olive oil and sesame oil, cut into wedges, and devour. YUM!

Here is Michelle's hand drizzling:

I'm off to Phoenix tomorrow, so Happy Turkey (or lack thereof) everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So the major slacker here is trying to get back on track with my blogging efforts, and today I have an interesting "I'm a veggie now" situation. It was the first time I encountered this...

I had a meeting in the Denver office on Tuesday. It was a painful, marathon meeting that was basically useless - but that's beside the point - and it ran over lunchtime. Unbeknowest to me, they ordered us lunch from Panera (mmm). The lunch boxes arrived (complete with pickle, chips, and a GIGANTIC cookie that totally blew my points for the day but anyway)...everything was either: a turkey sandwich, a turkey sandwich, and italian sandwich, or a turkey sandwich. So I asked if there was anything with no meat and someone says "I didn't know you were a vegetarian!!" the hell would you know considering - YOU DIDN'T ASK!!!!

Then of course they made a big deal about going to get me something else, which I gracefully declined, took a turkey sandwich, took the 2 pounds of meat off of it and ate it. It was basically a lettuce, onion, and spicy mayo sandwich. At least the bread was good. And I had a gigantic waist expanding cookie. Sigh...

And now, there is a HAM in the fridge at work. I"m all about being veggie, but if there's one thing that will get me...its HAM.

Maybe I"ll just pig out on the 10 dozen cookies in the kitchen for the cookie exchange instead.......

Wow, there was definitely an I want meat and cookies theme to this today, huh?

Back to the item of the day and recipes tomorrow, folk! Tune in!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today's Praise: Door to Door Organics (sorry no photo :()

Today's Recipe: Candied Acorn Squash

So let's start with Door to Door. If you're a faithful follower of this nonsensical blog, you've heard me mention my organic produce delivery service before. This is Door to Door Organics. This service is similar to a CSA; however, it isn't a true CSA because instead of coming from one farm, this service pools resources from organic produce growers to provide organic produce year round. In the summer, the produce is about 95% local, but what's nice about this is you can get it through the winter as well. The contents of the box varies per week (or every two weeks, which is my frequency of delivery), and you can set dietary preferences and substitute other available things for produce you might not use through your online account. Its a great way to get affordable sustainable organic produce and also try new things. Check them out:

Last year, one of the items I got in my "box" was acorn squash, so I found this recipe, slightly modified it, and it came out awesome. It kind of tastes similar to sweet potatoes, which are one of my FAV foods...MMM!

Acorn Squash, Nuke Style:

2 acorn squash
4 tsp margarine (I am a Bummel and Brown fan)
4 tsp brown sugar
S&P to taste

Half the squah and remove the seeds with a big spoon. Then prick the inside all over with a fork. Put 1 tsp margarine and brown sugar in each half.

Place halves cut side up on a microwaveable plate and nuke on high for 10 minutes or until the flesh is soft and an obviously edible consistency (don't you love my cooking jargon?). Basically, the longer you cook the softer it gets...well until you hit that "oh its burnt" threshold. Season with S&P to taste and enjoy.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today's Praise: In honor of Halloween...

Who doesn't love M&Ms...and when the have Peanut Butter in them, I can justify it as a source of protein :)

Today's Recipe: Pasta Fagioli (Fah-jo-lee)

Happy belated Halloween to the masses. I hope you all had a ghoulishly fun weekend full of candy, tricks, and maybe even a beverage or two ;) Here in Breckenridge, Halloween is a big deal and it seems to bring idiots from out of the woodwork. So, instead of dealing with said idiots, I hosted some friends for a small Halloween dinner complete with severed finger appetizers and bubbling punch thanks to Michelle :)

For dinner, I made a ginormous pot of Pasta Fagioli, which is a hearty bean and pasta Italian soup. It was a big hit, and I am going to share the recipe with you! The best thing about this soup is that its not only vegetarian, but its also vegan. And its hearty enough that meat eaters among us don't even notice the absense of mammal in the dish, so its a perfect choice for feeding several different dietary preferences. Serve it with slices of italian bread to soak up the juices and...get ready, here it comes: lots of parmesan cheese to dump on top!

Pasta Fagioli

2 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 t. dried parsley
1 t. oregano
1/4 to 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 can (14 oz) veggie broth
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1/2 cup uncooked pasta
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and coat bottom with olive oil. Cook celery, onion, garlic, parsley, and seasonings for about 5 minutes. Stir in stock, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and simmer on low for at least 20 minutes. The best part is you can let this simmer as long as you need to until guests arrive, etc...and then drop the pasta 15 minutes before you're ready to eat.

At this time you drop the dried pasta and cook it for about 10 minutes or until tender. Depending on the cut of pasta, it may take longer. When pasta is almost al dente add in the beans and heat through. Now its ready to serve!

This will be one of my featured soups when I open my specialty food store here in Breckenridge................someday :)

Have a good week everyone!