Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's day!

I'll be cooking up a pile o' food today for St. Patty's day. I'm on an upturn in my uneven "desire to cook" sinewave. Which is good news because when I'm on a downturn, the food isn't that healthy (enter the spud puppy, cousin of the tot).

The weather has been freaky here. On Sunday, I woke up to snow on the ground (grumble). It thankfully melted. There was also alternating sun and rain that day with high winds (almost the kind that will knock down trees), and some hail thrown in for good measure.

Here are 2 cooking classes that I completed sometime this year at PCC... Both were demo style (vs. hands on), so I got to lounge around while the instructors did all the work.

Romancing the Green (aka seaweed class)

The instructor, Ami Karnosh, is a nutritionist and she shared a lot of good info about how healthy seaweed is. A lot of it was new to me, so the class was a success for me. Seaweed kicks ass.

Fruity Spirulina Smoothie. Thanks to my sister, I was paranoid about spirulina. Then I thought about all the stupid info she has injected into my head and I thought what the hell, I'll drink it anyhow. Guess what, I'm still alive and my brain is functioning just fine. White Bean Spread & Delightfully Simple Biscuit Crackers. The crackers tasted good.

I wasn't a huge fan of the white bean spread because I tend to not like them. I prefer a straight up hummus. It also had too much of a seaweedy taste for me though I can't figure out why because I've had kombu before. huh. Star of the Party Hijiki Pate. This was good. I think w/ less tofu it would be better -- I'm a hijiki girl and I can't get enough of it's flavor.
Superior Potato Salad with Dulse. This was the best potato salad EVER. It had oil in it instead of veganaise, which I like because I prefer simpler ingredients when possible. I didn't notice an overwhelming dulse flavor (which by the way, I am a huge fan of).

Coconut Mango Jiggle. I made it at home (with pineapple instead of mango) and it was delicious. It is sort of like coconut jello. I think it would be even better w/ a small amount of nutmeg on top.

Meal Planning for Busy People.

Ok, I'm not that busy, but I thought it would help me speed up my time spent in the kitchen. No such luck. I already do the things she mentioned, but never thought of it in a formal way because they are kind of obvious. I prefer to take classes that demo more recipes, teach me some history or health info on the food/region the food is from.

I was fairly annoyed because I had emailed to ask if the recipes demo'd in class were vegan and they said yes. It turns out that 1 of the 3 recipes was not. She made the most dairy laden spanikopita ever. I was not happy at all and played games on my phone. I'm glad there is such a thing as tofu based vegan spanikopita. end of rant.

That aside, I did get 2 kick ass recipes out of the class.

Lentil base for Shepherd's pie & Spelt Biscuits. These lentils are very flavorful thanks to red wine and balsamic vinegar. I doubt I'd ever use them for shepherd's pie because they are so awesome on their own.

The spelt biscuits used coconut oil and thus had a nice coconut undertone.
They were so good, that I made them at home. Yes, most of the recipes in the classes that I take are really good, but it's saying something if I make them that quickly after I take a class.


Sable and the Judge are sucking up sun together. Awww! hugs 'n kisses. More on their relationship later... Don't ask me why, but everybody seems to love lying on that thin once blue rug by the door. Well, I'm off to attempt corned seitan.


Tara said...

Good luck with the corned seitan! All of your food looks delicious, as usual. That lentil-based shepherd's pie looks amazing!

Tara said...

And what is supposedly wrong with spirulina? I put it in my smoothie every day, should I not be?

Veg-a-Nut said...

Let me know how your corned seitan turns out. I have made 2 different recipes and they just didn't cut it. Too much spice. I love the picture of the 2 friends lying together! happy St. Paddy's Day!

wingraclaire said...

Thanks for the notes. I'm still waiting for Specials; if I could think of it at school I'd just go down to the library and check it out, but I always forget.

And if you can't rant on your own blog, where can you? I wold have been annoyed about the spanikopita also. However, the lentils look great. We love just about anything with lentils, and make them frequently.

Tara said...

Thanks for all of your nice comments on my blog! I have started volunteering at the Alaska SPCA. It's much smaller than the cat shelter but they take very good care of the animals and I don't feel like I have rescue every single one! Still miss my shelter kitties, tho. I understand why you can't get a bunny! I went to adopt a bunny but found out I'm super allergic!

Sal said...

I think it's awesome that there are classes you can go to with vegan food demos (aside from the 1 gross dairy-laden one!!)

The lentil dish and spelt biscuits look really good!

For the Love of Guava said...

aww... what doll babies... they look like their in heaven! I'm so excited for my boys to have their own yard to sun in!!! I always feel bad when we're busy and take them out quickly for potty and scoot lays down on the warm cement before I usher them back inside... I guess better that they're inside than eaten by neighbor dog but still...

Mmm... I just bought a bag of lentils... red wine and balsamic vinegar you say???

Zoey said...

Wow, that lentil base looks delicious. I have only tried making shepherds pie twice and both times my base was way too bland for my tastes. Perhaps I need to look for something more like this!