Thursday, February 22, 2007

Make ups and confessions

So, to make up for the lack of (homemade) food posts, this post will be pretty much focused toward food. The pictures don't look that pretty, because the lighting in my place is pretty bad. But, I can guarantee you that the food tasted great. That's just how it goes sometimes, isn't it? Well, here we go.

With all kinds of leftovers in my fridge, and a few odd dried goods hanging out, taking up room in my one shelf pantry, I decided to make some Shepherds Pie. I have never made a true shepherds pie before, and never a vegan one, so I didn't have an exact recipe to follow. Figuring that making a Shepherds Pie pretty much involves just throwing random stuff together in a pot, then putting potatoes on top was the extent of it, that's what I did. So, I took my wilting carrots, 1/2 an onion, and a few stray mushrooms and sauteed them in olive oil with some herbs de Provence, mustard seeds and minced garlic. I added some cornstarch to thicken it up for a gravy-like consistency. Then I threw in some lentils and vegetable stock and let it simmer a little while. After thinly slicing my red potatoes, I poured the lentil/vegetable mixture into a casserole dish and layed then potato slices on top. I topped it off with paprika and stuck in in the oven and let it bake until the house smelled delicious.

For dinner, I served it with some Amaranth-studded kale. I love smelling up the house, because my roommates come in and tell me what a great cook I am, even though they have never tasted my food. One of these days I will have everyone for dinner.

For quite a while, I have been craving rice pudding, specifically with chocolate. After reading through the Teany Book, which I picked up at Half Price, I got a great idea for a yummy pudding, which it's leftover components could be used for dinner the next night. So, I made a Jasmine tea rice, with some forbidden rice. This involves simply boiling jasmine tea leaves in water, straining, and then pouring the rice in and cooking as normal. It imparts a lovely flavor, and would be much better in a more delicate rice, but I just love forbidden rice. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend searching it out. After the rice was done, I combined some coconut milk, Sucanat, 1 chopped date, and cinnamon, then put the rice in and let it boil. After it sat for a little while and absorbed the liquid, I dished some up, and then put a nice big square of dark chocolate in the middle.

The chocolate melted really nicely and gave the dish a perfect creamyness, along with the coconut milk. It is really filling, what with all the rice, so if your like me and you can't help but going back for another "taste", then you will end up going to bed with a really full tummy. For that, I think it will make a great breakfast, since I am working on giving up oatmeal.

That's about the only food I have worth talking about right now. I made a quick curry tonight with some leftover Chick'n strips, frozen veggies, coconut milk and curry powder. It wasn't very blog worthy, taste or picture wise. I think it lacked too many spices, such as coriander and mustard seeds. So, I will not speak of it and get the failure out of my head..until tomorrow night when I eat it for dinner. Oh yeah, I do want to talk about something that never fails me, that I could eat absolutely every day. It is my favorite snack and it so simple. It takes the deliciousness of apples and peanut butter one step further, and makes it irresistible. All I do is mix the peanut butter with some soy yogurt, and sometimes some cinnamon and agave nectar, then slice the apples up and have it all with a nice piece of dark chocolate. I would choose this over cake any day.
And now, a confession. I have started jogging. It is something I have been wanting to do for some time now, but have never actually started. I always thought it wasn't for me, and I would constantly find some excuse, like "I don't have good shoes, and I'm too poor to buy any", "I don't want to injure my knees", or "Houston weather is not predictable enough to make a habit out of it". I threw all of these excuses out of the window after I broke down and paid a whopping $50 for some good shoes, and went on my first jog. It was so exhilarating, and I knew I wanted to keep it up. So, it's my second week and I am enjoying it. I am trying to work up to 3 times a week, alternating between walking and running. I went this morning, and I was able to run a whole minute straight without feeling like my heart was going to pop out of my chest. I am hopping to continue with it, and eventually work my way up to be able to participate in the marathon in January. I would only do the half marathon, which is 13 miles, but that would be a great accomplishment for me. So, wish me luck!

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