Tuesday, January 8, 2008

No Greater Love....than Food!

There is no greater love than the love of God and family.....and food! lol... If there was one book that everyone should read for the new year to be renewed and energized to be a better person, it would have to be "No Greater Love" by Mother Teresa. So many great quotes that move the soul and make you feel peace and love all around you.

This week we cooked foods to bring out their natural flavors - with not much sauces or seasonings to hide their great taste!
We roasted these unique red potatoes that L. obtained from the local Health Food Store with just some olive oil, black pepper, and a sprinkle of dried rosemary. They held their shape so nicely, yet were creamy, moist, and soft. Red potatoes are a lot better than the old fashioned baking potato, which is too starchy, dry, and mushy.

Along with the roasted potatoes, we roasted cauliflower. With a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper, these come out so perfect and simple.

We had brought some of our parent's cooking white wine back to make wine marinated mushrooms. The wine, let's just say was bitter. We've made wine marinated mushrooms before, but this wine was not tasty. We figured the mushrooms would still be edible once we jazzed it up. The next day we re-cooked them (to cook off the wine) and added garlic and onion.

The wild rice - so nutty, hearty, and elegant - was cooked with Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable No-Salt-Added Bouillon and a little curry powder, which enhanced the wild rice flavor nicely. We paired it with sauteed brussel sprouts, with just a little garlic and onion, and leftover wine mushrooms. We have so much rice in the freezer, since L. brought home a trash bag full of wild rice from work (at the Health Food Store), that we don't know what to do with it! What other wild rice ideas do you all have?

As a small side, we made homemade orange cranberry sauce (whole fresh cranberries, naval orange pulp and zest). It turned out to be rich and tart. We experimented with brown rice syrup this week, and it's working out just ok for us. We froze the rest of the cranberry sauce and will use it in other recipes rather than eat it on its own. If you have a great unique recipe with cranberry sauce, please share! We were thinking of cranberry bread for one recipe idea.

We also made vegetable nut burger, from Passionate Vegetarian. We had some brown rice already cooked, and mixed in diced carrots, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeno, walnuts, a hint of soy sauce, herbs, and cashew butter. It called for tahini, but we didn't have any so we used nut butter for the creaminess instead. The verdict - it was nutty, filling, healthy, with great textures. The nut butter added a nice flavor, subtle, yet strong at the same time. We love homemade burgers in general (they are fresher, lower sodium, less processed, cheaper, and make a lot to freeze!), and this was no exception! Incredibly tasty with avocado slices.

Our freezer is so stocked up with lots of breads/rolls/cookies, that we were not too creative in the kitchen this week, but we still enjoyed the food just the same. The one thing we did labor in the kitchen for a while - Fig Cake Newton, from Soy of Cooking cookbook (a great book!). Two layers of dense cake (like banana bread, but with prune puree instead of bananas), and a delicious fig and golden raisin filling. This would be awesome (and less labor-intensive) if we made banana bread with a fig filling, or added maple syrup and walnuts in the fig filling. Low fat and healthy! Even more decadent with So Delicious Vanilla Soy Ice Cream.

Anyways, school starts next Monday, so we are trying to enjoy each free day while it lasts. Hope everyone cherishes each moment and doesn't forget to see things with a "glass half-full" attitude!

"Peace begins with a smile."
(Mother Teresa)


aTxVegn said...

Your foods all look wonderful, tasty, and healthy, as always. Let's see, maybe you can stuff some mini pumpkins or acorn squash with the wild rice, and I think bread or muffins would be great with the cranberry sauce mixed in.

Thank you so much for your comforting prayer for my Dad.

- Diann

Monika K said...

Mmmmm...roasted veggies are so delicious. I think all of your food looks great - when can I come over for dinner? (-: Deborah Madison's book "Vegetarian Suppers" has a great recipe for Shredded Root Vegetable Ragout with a Wild Rice Pancake. Intriguing, no? I found a few recipes for the wild rice pancake online, by doing a google search. Cheers!