Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Slip N' Slide

I got the kids a really cool slip n' slide from Magic Cabin. They've been having a ball with it. It's much better that the slip n' slides of my youth. It has an inflatable runway, which leads into a nice pool at the end. I remember the slip n' slides of my day as being a long, narrow tarp-like thing that was on the ground. You'd feel every hole, gravel or branch you slid over. So, I'm happy to say that they are now much improved for a smoother ride.

I guess it's been a while since I've posted. Summer always gets away from me. So, I'll get started with last week's chickpea cutlet salad. I made the chickpea cutlets my usual way (that means that I reduce the wheat gluten and increase the breadcrumbs a little.) After frying them up, I cut them into strips, let them cool slightly, then put them on top of the salad greens. I topped that with some oven-fries. They're the garlic oven-fries which I found in Cooking Light. I made a creamy maple-dijon dressing for the salad. In a bowl, I whisked together:

approximately 2 TBS dijon mustard
approximately 2 TBS maple syrup
a good scoop of Vegenaise
a splash of cider vinegar
enough soy milk to thin it to a nice texture

It was such a good dressing. Perfect for this type of salad, which is basically your veggie take on a chicken-strip salad you'd get at a restaurant. Yum! It really turned out great. I can't wait to do it with black bean burgers and a chipotle ranch dressing.

I kind of took a couple of days off from cooking over the weekend. I'm much more into cooking when the weather is more moderate. I hate standing in front of a hot stove when it's steamy outside. Yuck! So, for the 4th of July, I made some BBQ baked beans with some leftover Backyard BBQ sauce (V-con) that I had left over. I threw it in a pot with some cooked pintos, a jar of pineapple salsa, a few squirts of ketchup and mustard, and a drizzle of maple syrup. I baked them at 375 for a couple hours. That BBQ sauce really makes some good baked beans! I also made some coleslaw with a nice, fresh head of cabbage from the farmer's market. I diced some onion, grated some carrots and made a standard coleslaw dressing using: Vegenaise, soymilk, sugar, cider vinegar, black pepper and a good pinch of cumin. We had typical holiday fare (except it was vegetarian) with Olives and her family. We watched the fireworks in the pouring rain later that evening. Olives made an awesome nectarine and peach cobbler. I think it was this recipe from Cooking Light.

Last night, I needed to use up some cooked pinto beans. I found this recipe for chipotle bean-burgers from Vegetarian Times. I had made them several times before, but it's been at least two years ago. They're really tasty, but as I made them I remembered that they always fall apart during the frying process. I managed to keep them together reasonably well, but it's really a PitA, and leaves a big mess in my beloved cast-iron skillet. They really did taste great stuffed in a pita with the cilantro, adobo sour cream sauce though. I just mixed up some Better Than Sour Cream with some adobo sauce from the can of chipotles and some chopped cilantro. Perfect! To go with them, I cooked up some beet greens from the CSA. I didn't really know what to do with them, so I found this recipe. Obviously, I left out the bacon and instead added a few drops of liquid smoke at the end. They were awesome! Really, really tasty. So, if anyone out there is looking to cook up some beet greens, I'd highly suggest this recipe.

Tonight, in an effort to use up the rest of my cilantro from last week's CSA delivery, I made linguine with basil-cilantro pesto and artichoke hearts. The recipe is from V-con, and actually calls for spinach linguine, which I couldn't find. I went with plain linguine. I have to say, it is a very easy, flavorful pasta dish that is dinner-party worthy. I also had a bag of sugar snap peas form last week's delivery. I steamed them and then tossed them in just a tad of Earth Balance and spinkled them with salt. They may be my new favorite vegetable. I could easily make a meal of them.

We've been getting lots of garlic scapes from our CSA. To ensure that I use them all up, I use them just as I would garlic in recipes. Maybe use more scapes than you would use garlic since they have a milder taste. I've never been able to use them all up in years past, but this year I've used every one of them.

I've really been digging the new Coldplay album, Viva la Vida. It could be on it's way to becoming my favorite Coldplay album. (Do you love it, Carrie?) You can check out some songs from Viva la Vida on their myspace page. It's really excellent stuff. I'll be playing the hell out of it for a while, I think.


rebecca said...

That slip-n-slide looks awesome! My sister-in-law bought her kids an inflatable waterslide, which is pretty cool, too.

Happy belated birthday to Sleek! I hope that was some good birthday! *g*

The Dalai Mama said...

Becky: I wish the runway was longer so it would be more fun for grown-ups! :)

carrie said...

Yes DM, I LOVE it!! I'm on my way to Chicago in two weeks to check them out live again.....I can't pass up a Coldplay concert if they are anywhere in my vicinity....it's that school girl crush on Chris Martin!! And they put on a really good large stadium show too boot.