Experiments in Loving Life

Life is journey, let's enjoy it.

Archive for the category “Thursday Foodie Goodness”

Sometimes I like to pretend I’m a chef

It’s a true story. I get so excited when somebody is coming over and I get to fix THEM food. Put it on their plate. Arrange it all nicely. Ask them how it tastes and what I could do differently. I have this one friend that generally comes over at least once over the course of a weekend and plays a game of chess with me. And for anyone wondering, yes, she is the same person that I have yet to beat at a game. 0 – 1 – 6 is a beautiful record friends šŸ™‚

Anyway, this friend, Savannah, pretty much likes ALL vegetables and fruits and things. Which is absolutely perfect for somebody who is secretly aspiring to be a Vegan Chef. I usually run a brief question by her, “Do you like such and such and such things?” And her usual reply is a resounding “YES!”

So Sunday night I had been planning on a sweet potato lentil Chili as I said last week, but at 80 degrees it just wasn’t going to happen.

So with a last minute run to the CoOp, I picked up what would eventually become three things:

– A rhubarb Compote
– A sweet potato
– And a steamed onion

Yes you heard me. A steamed onion.

I don’t know about you but I thought that sounded like an incredibly strange thing to eat. That being said, I can assure that an onion steamed with oregano and black pepper is nothing to pass up. Nothing at all.

I also cooked up the Jerusalem artichokes that I snagged at the farmer’s market last Saturday. Cooked at 400 degrees with peanut oil, thyme, black Ā pepper and a touch of salt. Equally delicious.

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My good camera was still in the hospital on Sunday so I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I promise they will be beter in the future. But you can’t tell me that that doesn’t look good.

The sweet potato would have been perfect all by itself; Organic, juicy, and perfectly orange as it was. Did you know that if you simply stab your sweet potato a bunch of times with a fork at stick it in the oven for an hour you will get a sweet potato with aĀ caramelizedĀ inner wrapping seeping out of the newly discovered pores? That’s right. Sweet Potato caramel seeping from the sides. You should try it. Just make sure to put something down underneath it.

What really took the stage though was the rhubarb compote.

I first tried a variation of this two weeks ago at our local CoOp while they were giving out tastes of this on bread and I immediately knew that at some point I would be trying it out in my own kitchen.

I’m not much for doing things exactly the same every time so I don’t usually right recipes down but from what I can recall this one consisted of:

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • some raisins
  • some ginger
  • 1/2 cup demerra sugar (you can use whatever kind you like)
  • 2 stalks of rhubarb

Put it all in a sauce pan (except the rhubarb) and heat gently on medium while stirring until the brown sugar has dissolved.

Chop the rhubarb into smallish bites.

Mix the rhubarb in with everything else.

And keep stirring until it looks like Jam.

Conventional wisdom says to serve this warm, and I certainly can’t argue with that. I kept stealing pieces of rhubarb out of the sauce pan and letting them melt into my mouth. SO Delicious.

But I really wanted it to be cold so that I could fully appreciate the contrast between the warmth of the sweet potato and the tangy chill of the rhubarb.

Like I said before, absolutely amazing.

Of course, cleaning everything up after our game of chess wasn’t exactly fun. Peanut sauce at 400 degrees becomes Tar fairly quickly.

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Do you have any secret aspirations? Like becoming a Vegan Chef? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great evening!

~Austin

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Yams Lentils and Snow

Hey there! How’s it going?

I’m super conflicted today! Because I really wanted to try my hand at a yam lentil chili sort of dish but it’s just SO warm outside! And Tuesday it was blizzarding! How can it go from 30 to 70 degrees in a 2 day time span? It just seems incredibly cruel.

And here’s a perfect example of why:

Tuesday morning I wake up with the window open and think to myself, “Huh, It’s pretty cold outside, better dress warm today.” And then go on merrily with the rest of my day. At around 1:00 I walk to the CoOp all bundled up in my jacket thinking, again to myself, “I’m certainly glad I wore a hat and gloves and a hooded coat today.” and I begin to notice snow falling from the sky and landing on the ground at my feet. 15 minutes later, seated at the CoOp And looking outside at snow falling harder than it had fallen for several weeks.

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It may not look like much in the picture but I assure you it was falling pretty hard. Regardless, all of a sudden this girl walks in wearing short shorts and a tiny t-shirt, a-shivering like Mad. And when I asked her if she was cold, she responded that she thought it was supposed to be 70 degrees.

This is the reason that weather should beĀ consistentĀ on a weekly basis. I propose that within 7 days, weather should never change by more than about 17 degrees Fahrenheit. Can we make that a rule somehow? Please? Who’s the God of Weather? I’ll go talk to him/her and put in the request.

Anyway, like I was saying, it’s a bit warm now and I’m not sure if Yam lentil chili still sounds completely as appetizing at it did on Tuesday.

Here’s the “recipe” I saw that made me think this sounded like such a good idea at the time.

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I think that instead of making this a chili I’ll make it more of a plated dish.

Yam
Honey
Lentils
Pecans
Nutritional Yeast
Currants
Black Pepper
spices to be determined
crushed tomatoes

What do you think?
Is there anything else I should add to this recipe in the making?

Have a wonderful Thursday evening!

~Austin

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