Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir-fry
Spinach Mushroom Strata
Black Bean Burgers

I thought for sure I had written about my stir-fry. I suppose I have not. So a long time ago in a land far far away (or it was less than 4 days ago in the kitchen 4 feet away) after finding the mystery container filled with fresh pineapple (how it was a mystery after I had filled it myself one day earlier, I'm still not sure... just go with it) I knew exactly what I was going to make. I had noticed this recipe when I first got the cookbook but I had yet to find the night to make it. Pineapple has been a complete disappointment this season. Maybe pineapple hasn't even been in season for the whole season I picture in my head... and that's why it has been no good... but I finally bought this one to make the salsa fresca and it was a definite gem. Onward. The quinoa was cooked in an equal mixture of pineapple juice and water while I prepared the rest of the stir-fry. Yum! Who would have thought that basil, mint, jalapeno, and pineapple would go together perfectly? Yeah I wouldn't have thought so either. They worked well together. They worked so incredibly well. The jalapeno seemed a bit much at first but as I added each ingredient thereafter it balanced and I grew so much happier. (let me just mention here I have mastered cutting peppers without destroying everything else I touch after... the trick is, you see, don't touch the pepper. How do you cut a jalapeno without touching it? I am that talented in the kitchen. You just think about that...) Stir-fry really isn't my favorite dish for dinner (sorry Scott) but this one will definitely be up there on my list of... really good recipes I like to make and hope to make again someday.
Next: Spinach mushroom strata. The mom holiday dish. We got this wheat free rye bread for 99 cents during one of our last trips to Henry's and I used it for the first time in this recipe (since bread doesn't have enough time to go stale here I had to use something fresh). The way it soaked up all the flavors was amazing. I think, when finished, this recipe was supposed to feed 6 people. When we were done with it for the night, there was only one serving left. Yikes. I guess that means it was good. (Really good.) If you close your eyes and take a huge bite you would swear it was eggs you were eating. I cannot tell a lie. I used to like scrambled eggs. I have found their elegant next step up replacement! I used my big red Christmas straightfromtheburnertothestove pot. I love that thing. I love strata too.
Oh and burgers. I love homemade burgers! I do enjoy Amy's California style veggie burger but my homemade bean based burgers (say that five times fast) are comparable in taste. I didn't have any buns to put the patties on (I cannot say the last time I actually bought a burger bun... but I surely should find out where Jyoti gets theirs... or maybe MAKE MY OWN!) so I used the wheat free rye again. The pieces are so very very small. I think they might be 1/3 the size of a regular piece of bread (seriously. I'll measure for the skeptics). On these miniature canvases, I cut up some avocado, tomato, kale, squirt with ketchup, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, and topped with the burger. (Notice how, put together in the photo, it looks quite sizable. The trick- I used a teeny plate for the presentation)
Robert mentioned last night that he hates kale. Who in their right mind could hate such a wonderfully beautiful fantastically healthy creation?? So I say to all you non kale eaters out there- try it. You think you're eating a salad with that iceberg lettuce and I laugh in your general direction.

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