For the past few eeks we've either slacked off the Sunday cook-a-thon
or relied on standards. Nothing worth documenting. We were in a
sleepy, hungry rut. Then I got Appetite for Reduction. Duuuude. The subtitle says
it all: "125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes".
I prefer low-fat recipes since it's always easy to get more fat in my
diet. If I start low-fat, I can always happily add some. Hard to scale
it back from a recipe that relies on the fat. Also, fast is what we
need! We cook three to five recipes each Sunday. It's a lot of work
and one elaborate recipe is enough derail the whole project. When we
end up staying up late to do actual dishes, no one goes to bed happy.
We decided to make three things this week and maybe fava* cutlets on
Monday. Adam chose 4 recipes. I vetoed the pasta-based dish since
pasta always finds it way into our rotation on its own. We settled on
Eggplant Provencal, Mango Bar-B-Q Black Beans, and Spinach Potato
Curry with Tamarind Coconut Quinoa. Strictly speaking, that's 4, but
it's OK because it was way easy. After we went food shopping we
figured out what order to do things in and got set up to do a week's
worth of cooking.
Since I'm in charge of onions, I set up with a cutting board by the
stove. He set up with a cutting board, measuring spoons and bowls, and
the cookbook at the kitchen the island behind me. I tended stuff on
the stove and he kept us on track with the recipes. It was wonderful.
We started the rice first. Starting the rice is like preheating the
oven in our kitchen. I could start two cups of rice before we even
know what we're cooking. Actually, that's a good idea. The beans
needed to cook for an hour after 10 or 15 minutes of prep, so we set
that as the first recipe. While the rice and the beans simmered, we
got the quinoa going. Then we started prepping the ingredients for the
eggplant stew. This all went smoothly, with things finishing as other
dishes were getting prepped. These Sunday afternoons in the kitchen
together are paying off.
Beans, rice, and quinoa done, we took a little break before starting
the eggplant stew and spinach curry. The stew would simmer for a
while, so we started that. While it simmered, we started the curry.
The eggplant stew finished around when the curry started its 20 minute
simmer. I made some couscous and some bulgur (Do you see how sneaky
that pasta is?) for the stew, and then everything as done. We
portioned it all out into containers, had a little for dinner, did
dishes, and went to bed happy.
We were a little concerned when we finished the beans, because the
recipe says it makes 6 servings. But it really looked more like 4,
even with rice. We hoped the other recipes would yield more, but were
ready to make alternate plans. It all turned out fine, though, because
the stew and the curry made bigger batches.
My favorite thing about this was how quick and easy it was to make
these recipes together. My favorite food thing about the recipes,
though, is the strong flavors. Like I said, we were in a rut for
awhile. A French style stew with lots of herbs and a curry with
fresh-popped mustard seeds filled the house with delicious smells that
we don't get often. I'm ready to cook my way through this whole book,
three or four recipes at a time.