Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My long lost friend, the oven.

Though Townsville doesn’t really have seasons in the same way that most people think of them, there are definite differences in the weather. For example, ‘summer’ is stinkin’ hot and humid. The weather tends to come from the north in the form of monsoonal lows. In the ‘winter’, however, the winds change and come from the south and bring cooler, drier weather. Some years (like last year) it can get downright cold—I think 13 degrees Celsius (55 F) was Townsville’s record-breaking cold day last winter.

Now that it’s ‘autumn’ it seems appropriate that there is a mild low hovering overhead that is making it cloudy with temperatures in the 20s instead of the 30s. Although the temperature drop doesn’t seem like much, it feels like heaps when you’re accustomed to sauna-like days and nights. On the plus side, cooler weather foods are much more appealing to us, especially those which require baking or roasting.

Wrapping or enclosing food in pastry makes it immediately appealing to me, no matter what the weather (I’m definitely not on a low-carb diet). So when Andy mixed some leftovers with some veggies and gravy and turned it into a pie, I was definitely a happy vegan. Since the oven was on, I cut up some radishes we found reduced to clear and tried them roasted. This was the first time either of us had (knowingly) eaten cooked radishes, and we were convinced that this is a great way to have them. I also sautéed some broccoli with bragg’s and cumin, and Andy—a tomato fiend—had some fresh tomato with his dinner.

An oven dish that I’ve wanted to try for ages (but have been dissuaded by it’s long cooking time at high heat) is Vicki’s Vegan Potato Tart. I made a few minor changes to her recipe, mostly using chilli-capsicum spread instead of pesto. And I made mine in a springform pan, in the hopes that it would crisp up and be gorgeous. It didn’t crisp, but it was delicious!

To double-up on oven usage, we had the potato tart with stuffed zucchini. Andy made the stuffing out of leftover rice, bread cubes, frozen spinach, soy sauce, and coconut cream. These were really good, especially with a bit of mustard on top.

It’s hard to resist eating garlic bread every time the oven gets turned on in this house. We buy buns and baguettes when they are reduced after 7 pm, and cover them with garlic/parsley butter (nuttlex margarine) before sticking them in the freezer for later use.

Since I’m already wearing sweatpants and it’s still 28 C (82 F), I think the oven will be getting a fair workout this ‘winter’.


pleasantly plump vegan said...

radishes and I have only met in salads, sliced thin but roasting them sounds like they would be tasty. the potato tart turned out beautiful!

Amy said...

Any main dish that looks like a tart or a pie is all right by me! Yum.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Mmmm, that veggie pie looks so incredible! and I'm with Andy on tomatoes - pile them high! So thrilled you tried the potato tart, Theresa!! :)

David J said...


Urban Vegan said...

Theresa, the range of healthy food you prepare always impresses me!

Ashasarala said...

Isn't the oven a beautiful thing? I could go for some garlic bread. And yes, I say this after a complete overload of garlic in my pesto!

The veggie pie looks awesome and radishes kick-ass in the oven!

DJ said...

Roasted Radishes - daring!
And that garlic bread looks amazing! In fact, it all looks amazing!!!

the little one said...

How the hell do y'all eat all those delicious treats?! Nice.