Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Radiohead Etc.

Well, it happened. It was a dream come true. Seeing my favorite band from just a few feet away. I can't even describe how freaking awesome it was. Totally surreal. Perfect setlist. I loved every second of it and never wanted it to end. It will happen again. I look forward to it. I feel myself becoming Radiohead-obsessed for a while. I'll probably be mostly listening to In Rainbows for the next year or so, with a little Kid A, Amnesiac, OK Computer, The Bends and Hail to the Thief thrown in for good measure. (I'm kidding, people! Kind of.)

Now for the food...The swimming lessons every evening have been killing me. Some days, I spend the morning/early afternoon in the kitchen preparing the dinner we will eat at 8 p.m. It's exhausting. I've been doing mostly really simple things. Last week, I did a really cool stir-fry with vegetables from the CSA. (Note the really cool carrots. Red/purple on the outside, orange inside.) I also added some black beans just because I had them in the fridge and needed to use them. I got all the veggies stir-fried, and at the end I cranked up the heat and added this:

1 TBS brown sugar
3 TBS shoyu
1/2 tsp Thai chili sauce
tiny pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
splash of water

Whisk until combined.

It was exceptionally tasty. Maybe the best stir-fry I've ever made. Great way to use up all the CSA veggies.

Instead of making rice to go with the stir-fry, I made the Soba Salad with Soy-Wasabi Vinaigrette from the July issue of Cooking Light. I subbed sugar snaps for snow peas, and left out the radishes. It was really good, but the wasabi nearly lit my nasal passages on fire. It wasn't spicy to my mouth at all, but boy my nose felt it! Didn't stop me from eating nearly the whole batch, though. (Not all in one day. I had lots of leftovers. Sleek thought the wasabi was a bit much.) So, if you're sensitive to wasabi-type heat, you may want to cut back the amount of paste you use.

Another thing I'm really into these days is making homemade granola. I made my first batch last Saturday, using this recipe. I subbed brown rice syrup for the honey, and used almonds instead of peanuts. I also used some chopped, dried apples as well as raisins. It's so good just to grab a handful as a snack, but it's extra-good in a bowl with some vanilla hempmilk. (I ordered a case of the Living Harvest vanilla hempmilk, by the way. That stuff is so good!) We finished that batch off, so today I made another. This time I used pecans instead of almonds, and dried cranberries instead of apples. I just can't wait to experiment more and make lots of different kinds of granola.

This evening for dinner, I made a zucchini orzo dish. (I left out the parmesan and used whole wheat orzo.) The recipe was given to me by Kathy Evans, of Evans Knob Farm, which is where our lovely CSA veggies come from. She had printed it out from the Animal Vegetable Miracle website. I've looked at that book many times in the bookstore, thought about getting it, and haven't done it yet. Have any of you all read that? I'm curious. I also made some beans from the CSA. They're a lovely heirloom bean. Light green/yellow in color with lots of purple stripes. Unfortunately the stripes fade when the beans are cooked, but holy smokes! They were absolutely delicious. I really wanted to get the full-flavor of the beans, so I cooked them simply. I started by sauteeing a chopped onion in just a little canola oil. After the onion was soft, I added the beans. I lowered the heat and covered the pan. After about 10 minutes, I added two cloves of minced garlic to the pan. I put the cover back on and let them steam for about 15 more minutes. I seasoned them with salt and pepper. They were nice and crisp, but not too crisp. Just incredible. I hate thinking back to the fresh beans my grandmothers would cook. They cooked the hell out of them and they were mushy and bacon-y flavored. I've found that fresh beans are so much more flavorful when they're nice and crisp. They also seem so much healthier.

For dessert, I made a batch of the oatmeal-raisin cookies from V-con. They are so freaking good. So chewy. They were a little difficult to remove from the baking sheets. The recipe advises a lightly greased sheet. I always use parchment, so I decided to go ahead with it as usual. It was not easy removing them from the sheets. So, I decided to lightly grease the sheets for the next round. It still wasn't easy getting them off. I think the parchment was actually easier. It just took some patience. They didn't tear or get destroyed in the process, at least. I'll definitely be making these again. They're really easy, and they're whole wheat and full of oats and raisins. They also contain brown rice syrup, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite ingredients! I think it's what gives these cookies the gooey-chewy texture. YUM!


Chessa said...

I'm so glad your concert delivered!!! That is freaking awesome. :D

I have read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I really liked it. I would say loved it, but she has some really glib and snide things to say about vegetarians - she is of the slow food camp that argues "we have to eat animals to save them!" Whatever, such a load. She's entitled to her opinion, and if she just felt that way fine, but she actually is pretty obnoxious and takes some potshots at Alicia Silverstone (not by name, but it's obvious who she is talking about), which is just uncalled for. That said, if you can sort of excise those short parts from your memory, you won't be disappointed. The chapter on zucchini larceny and the one about turkey sex had me rolling. It's a great read overall.

And I'm going to have to try those cookies! Good tip about the stickiness, I'll have to spray the parchment or something.

carrie said...

Oh, that's so awesome, your Radiohead picture is too good. I'm kicking myself for not bringing my camera to Coldplay. I was laughing so hard at your comments about being Radiohead obsessed, as I've found myself more Coldplay obsessed than ever before. I can't stop listening to Coldplay and I can't stop thinking about Chris Martin.....seriously, I need help!!

Anyway, I haven't read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I checked it out from the library, but I just never had the time to read it. After reading The Omnivores Dillema, I'm not sure i wan't to, 'cause I get the idea that it's a lot of the same malarky.

The Dalai Mama said...

Thanks for the info, Chessa. Since I've got three other books on my night table to read, I'll hold off on Animal Vegetable Miracle for a while. Especially since there is some snarkiness toward vegetarians. Hmmm. Spraying the parchment. I thought about doing that, but I never have before so I was afraid to try.

Carrie: We didn't have a camera either. Fortunately, Sleek's iPhone takes great pictures. And hey, I've been Coldplay obsessed before too. Ain't nothin' wrong with that. Chris Martin is a cutie for sure. The Radiohead guys aren't the cutest, but they're really weird and a little dorky. Add extremely talented to that and well, that makes them kind of attractive!

carrie said...

I hear ya DM, I love Radiohead too, but Coldplay is my fave....and let's face it, Chris Martin isn't really the worlds biggest hottie....but there's something so damn sexy about a man that can sing, his falsetto just melts my heart, and he just seems like such a sensitive soul. And, I love his chaotic, over the top dancing (not to mention how sweaty he gets when he's dancing).........listen to me, here I go again......I wasn't lying when I said I needed help!!!

The Dalai Mama said...

Carrie, it definitely sounds like you do need help! I hear ya though!

rebecca said...

Mmmmmmm!!!! Stir fry!!!! I love Chinese 5 Spice powder. I'll have to try your sauce.

I know what you mean about green beans. I grew up eating tons of mushy veggies that were cooked into a paste, and thought that was how you made them. I think crisp-tender is definitely the way to go. Or raw!