Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Food Round-Up

I’m stealing this idea from Bazu, who recently posted a Friday Food Round-Up. Unlike Bazu, however, I don’t take as many pictures of my food (I totally would, but Andy makes fun of me for being such a vegan nerd), so it won’t be as good. Also, I’m not committing to any specific day of the week because, well, I don’t like rules. Actually, I’m too inconsistent to try and stick with a plan, at least when it comes to blogging. But anyways, I’ll be doing periodical re-caps of the food I’ve been eating lately.

Last Friday I had an urge to bake, so I decided to fiddle around with a recipe for orange-cranberry bread. We had half a pineapple that needed to be used (it was a bit too tart to eat plain), and two mandarins (tangerines) that were also not that nice to eat. So I thought about making pineapple-mandarin bread, but we don’t have a loaf pan. So I made pineapple-mandarin tea cake. It was gooey and delicious, and a good way to use up fruit that wasn’t good on its own. And it’s my first attempt at radically altering a recipe for anything baked, so I was impressed with myself.

Pineapple-Mandarin Tea Cake
2 c. flour (add a few extra tablespoons if you don’t like your cake very gooey)
1 ¼ c. raw sugar (or less if the pineapple is sweet)
½ t. salt
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
2 T. vegetable oil
Zest and juice of two mandarins (or one orange)
~1 c. minced fresh pineapple (try to catch as much of the juice as possible, too)
egg replacer for 1 egg (I used flax, but if bananas weren’t $15 a kilo I think they would be ideal)

Preheat the oven to 160 (about 350 F). Grease and flour a 9 inch pie plate, or any small-ish baking dish. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine oil, mandarin juice and zest, pineapple, and egg replacer. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, combining until uniform, but be careful not to over-mix. Pour the batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it’s golden-brown on top. Cool a bit and loosen the edges before removing from baking dish (or just serve it like that). Next time I think I’ll try adding either poppy seeds or some combination of cashews-macadamia nuts to the batter before I bake it.

Saturday we had two bottles of wine—it took forever to find one that wasn’t processed with milk, eggs, and fish, but we finally found a few and settled on two different kinds. We had a Frontignac and a Riesling, so we decided to have a nice dinner to go along with the wine. Friday I volunteered at the Women’s Centre, sorting bread donations that women can take whenever they need, so I grabbed a loaf of wholemeal bakery bread. First we toasted that up, and then spread the slices with some black olive tapenade from Vegan Planet. The tapenade was just olives, capers, garlic, and parsley, but Andy thought it was too salty so we topped the tapenade with some tomatoes and basil. We ate those with the Frontignac, and although I know fuck-all about wine, I thought they went pretty well together. After a little break to let the food settle, it was back into the kitchen, where we made some Pad Thai (a really, really bastardized version). We used these fresh noodles (not rice but wheat), some browned up tofu, broccoli, a small Lebanese eggplant, red capsicum, and a tomato from the garden. First I sautéed up the veggies, then added a sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Then I mixed in the noodles and the tofu, and it was ready to go. We dished it out and topped it off with a bunch of bean sprouts, a big handful of chopped peanuts, and wedge of lime, and a few orange cherry tomatoes. The Riesling said it accompanied asian dishes well, so we opened up that bottle for dinner. I had never made Pad Thai, and Andy had never eaten it, but it’s definitely something we’ll be making more often. Maybe it was just an effect of the wine, but he loved it.

We woke up Sunday (no hangover, woohoo!) and went to the market. markets that we know of, and each has stalls selling produce, crafts, and random shit. Since I got here in May we’ve been visiting the city market, but for the past two weeks we’ve gone to a different one. The new market has sweet potatoes for $2 a kilo, so we’ve had a very sweet Townsville has at least 3 potatoey couple of days. We also got heaps of apples, capsicums, avocadoes, a honeydew melon, tomatoes, and carrots. Add this to our weekly visit to the Tight-Ass Saturday Sale (when the supermarket marks down produce on Saturday afternoons) and our fridge was chockablock. We tried chicory for the first time, in a pasta bake with eggplant and oregano, and we bought some baby wombok so we can make spring rolls sometime this week. And we’ve still got one black sapote left from a few weeks ago, just on the verge of ripeness now, in front of the honeydew melon.

Last night we had some left over pasta bake with a salad. Here's Andy chopping up veggies for the salad. It had orange capsicum, bean sprouts, tomato, carrot, and basil leaves from the garden.

Here's a close-up of the salad.

And the chicory-eggplant pasta bake, super-yummy even two days in a row!


bazu said...

Oh yay a food round-up! I love spying on (er, I mean studying) other peoples' meals... The tea cake looks lovely, and the salad too.

Question about wine: How do you find out if it's vegan unless you know beforehand? Do they label differently in Australia? I know here it's pretty much a guessing game unless I have a list I'm going off of.

Thanks for the food pics!

Urban Vegan said...

SOMEBODY has been very busy.

Your fridge is so clean. Wowee.

Theresa said...

When I get bored or stressed, I clean and I cook (I seem like such a stereotype. ew). Since I have no job, and I hate my house, I'm often bored, or stressed, or bored and stressed. So I cook a LOT.

Our fridge is so clean because the ice around the freezer keeps melting and dripping down to the rest of the shelves, and when we wipe up the water the dirt comes with it! ;)