Monthly Archives: March 2012

Roasted Artichokes and “The Sauce”

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Now, I want to warn you, when you make the things in this blog post, especially “The Sauce” you are going to experience some confusing feelings. You will be overjoyed, you might shed a tear or two, and well, frankly, you are going to find yourself so madly and deeply in love with me, that you will either question your own sexuality, or you will do everything in your power to woo me. Don’t worry, these feelings are natural. Not only are they natural, they are to be expected. This sauce really is just that good. So here is the link to “The Sauce” http://lifehacker.com/5838665/chef-anthony-thomas-roasted-garlic-and-spaghetti-sauce I am not a huge fan of their writing, to be blunt, but I am willing to look past the insinuations that they are real chefs and I am not because this sauce really is just that good. This sauce takes some preparation. You can’t just make it an hour before you want to eat. She is an old fashioned gal that needs some courting, so prepare her the night before. Put on some sensual music, open a bottle of nice red wine, and share it with her. Stir her slowly and evenly. Make sure you have bought some type of delicious bread so that you can taste her in all of her different phases. Don’t worry, she likes it. Then when you are done cooking her, and following all the instructions, and have gotten her all hot and bothered, put her in the fridge overnight to cool off and let all of her flavors meld together. Trust me on this. She may not look like anything other than plain old spaghetti sauce, but she is exceptional and only grows more luscious and wonderful over time. Sigh, was that as good for you as it was for me? It was so good I ate three helpings, which required a late night gym session to punish myself.

Now on to my dish. I am a member of a local CSA and this last week I got some artichokes in my box. I love artichokes. One of my favorite ways that I used to prepare them, pre-vegan, was boiling, then grilling and dipping in a mustard/thyme butter that I made. Obviously I am not going to do that. Not only was it pouring rain today, I also didn’t want to use vegan butter on it. So I boiled, then roasted them with obscene amounts of garlic and olive oil, and they were delicious.

Roasted Artichokes with Garlic

2 artichokes
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped (I used 4)
olive oil
salt
pepper

Prepare the artichokes by cutting off the stem and about 1 inch off the top, then you peel off the first row or two of petals until the petals are a nice green, and not dried out looking. Then trim all the pointy tips off of the petals with kitchen sheers.

Place into a big pot of boiling water, and cover with something heavy so they stay down like good artichokes are supposed to. Reduce temp to low, and allow to softly boil for 20-30 minutes. For me it’s always closer to 30. Drain artichokes and allow them to cool to the touch.

Take a knife and slice them down the middle, cutting them into halves. Now comes the tricky part. When you open your artichoke, you are going to see what looks like the Lorax’s mustache has grown in there, right in the middle. Scrape out all the hair, being careful not to remove the tender part right underneath it. That’s the heart, and it’s a keeper. It took me a knife, a spoon, and a fork to get out all the hair, and I still had a little left over.

Set your halves on a pan, cut side up. Sprinkle with garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Then roast in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10-15 minutes or until it starts to brown and garlic softens. The olive oil and garlic make a perfect sauce, so you don’t even have to dip them. Just eat the meaty parts off the petals, scraping them with your teeth and enjoy. And don’t forget to eat your heart out. It’s the best part.

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Sweet potato and kale soup

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So, I told you that you would be with me on this vegan journey through my successes and failures, right? Well…this is a failure. Not so much a failure, as it’s inedible, I will definitely still eat it, but a failure as in it’s not as good as the original. Sometimes tweaking a recipe to make it my own really works, and I am proud of what I have done and proud that I was able to take something good, and make it even better. This was not the case. Now, the original recipe truly is amazing, and I want to share it with you, and then I am going to tell you how I failed. So this http://joythebaker.com/2010/11/kale-and-sweet-potato-soup/ is the original recipe, and damn it’s good. So good. Plus I love her blog. It’s fun to read, kind of like how I hope mine is. The original is so good, I am not quite sure why I decided to mess with it, but I did.

So, I essentially followed that recipe, except instead of a quart and a half of vegetable broth, I thought…oooh, I will add some beer! Beer makes everything better, right? WRONG! It doesn’t make this soup better. So I did one bottle of a blonde ale, and then the rest of the liquid was veggie broth. Like I said, it is still really good, just not as good. But the beer isn’t what completely ruined it. I blame that on the quinoa. What did I just say? Quinoa ruined something? No! Surely you jest. No, I don’t jest, and stop calling me Shirley. I love quinoa and think of it as an almost perfect grain. I have swapped it for rice in many, many things and it works fantastically, but not in soup. Nope, not in soup. It just has a weird texture that makes the soup a little harder to eat. Look at the picture, the quinoa just looks like it doesn’t belong. But rice does. Still tasty, but not as pleasing of a texture as the rice has. So, here is my failure. It wasn’t a total loss. I still ate it, and I will continue to eat it for lunch for a few days until it’s gone because I don’t waste food. But you have to try the original recipe. It is amazing. So good. The flavors are so delicious and it’s a perfect cool weather soup.

Long time no see

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So life has been insanely busy. I am still getting headaches, but not after exercise now, so I have been a gym rat of late. My baby brother also got home after having been gone for two years in Brazil, and my twins turned four. So the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of fun and adventure. I have still been cooking, and made two things that I took pictures of. One was great, the other was ok. And I will try and post those tomorrow. But for now, I want to ask you a serious question. Have you ever roasted cabbage? And if the answer is no, I say WHY THE F NOT? Yes, I am shouting. Everyone needs to roast cabbage. I don’t have any pictures of my roasted cabbage because I tried a bite straight off the pan, and then ate the rest way too fast to even think about taking a picture. It’s sweet, delicious, crunchy, amazing. Need I say more? Buy a damn cabbage and roast it. Your taste buds will thank me. I basically just sliced it. Drizzled it in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, and then cooked at 350 for around 35 minutes. If you actually need better directions because I am not good enough for you and you prefer some Martha Stewart, go here http://www.marthastewart.com/315062/roasted-cabbage-wedges, sure you can thank Martha, but I told you about it, so I should get some thanks too.