Monday, April 14, 2008

Sharing the kitchen

As regular visitors to this blog know, I by no means do all the cooking in my house. I have been blessed with a partner who likes to cook creative meals. This weekend Andy made lunch for me both days and made some new creations both times.

Saturday’s lunch was a sandwich on nice bread. Not just any old sandwich, though. This one had leftover sweet potato and red bean burrito filling, hummus, spinach, tomato, beetroot and bbq sauce. And a dill pickle on the side. It was a tasty and satisfying midday meal.

The Sunday he took some leftover pumpkin and peanut stew out of the fridge, mashed it up and stirred in hummus, a dab of oil, soy sauce and some gluten flour, and then formed them into patties. A quick spin on the stove and the patties were put on a bun with slightly sautéed spinach and capsicum, alfalfa sprouts, tomato and beetroot, and then topped with a dab of almost sour cream. Uh, yum is pretty much all I had time to say between bites.

To say thanks for all the delicious lunches, I made an orange-berry no bake pie. This was inspired by Tofu for Two’s recipe, which I tried and failed once before. This time, I took some tips from Urban Vegan on using agar effectively—so I cooked the fruit before mixing it with the agar. But first, I made a biscuit crust with Cole’s brand ginger nut biscuits, melted margarine and golden syrup. Then I combined a package of frozen mixed berries with the juice from one orange, a tablespoon of cinnamon, and about ½ cup of sugar. While it was coming to the boil over low heat, I soaked about ¼ cup of agar flakes (mine are cut really big so take up a fair bit of space) in enough water to cover them. When the fruit had boiled, I mixed in the agar and let it bubble away for a few minutes. Then I whizzed in a block of silken tofu and poured it into the crust, and voila! After a few hours in the fridge, we had agar success!

Unfortunately for me, I won’t have anyone to share the kitchen with for the next month. Andy is off to Lizard Island on Wednesday, for 33 days of diving, watching fish eat coral, and other stuff for his PhD (which officially started two weeks ago).


View Larger Map

He'll be at the green arrow--14 degrees south of the equator--and I'm at the red dot at the bottom of the map.

So it will just be me and Nacho, and she spends too much time lying around on her cat tree to do much cooking.

15 comments:

veganforone said...

You truly are blessed to have a partner who cooks for you! And who is good at it. =) That bread looks delicious, as does the sandwich that he made with it. =)

VeggieGirl said...

Aww, how sweet that Andy cooked for the two of you!! And how sweet of YOU, to make that orange-berry no-bake pie (yum!).

I hope Andy has a lovely trip, and that you and Nacho have fun together, while he's away! :0)

radioactivegan said...

wow, you are a lucky duck. those lunches look delicious!

the little one said...

Okay, so I admit that my feminist hackles (is that what they're called) are up. I know that when you say that you're happy to have a partner who cooks, you're not buying into the idea that women are the people responsible for cooking and any gal who has a man who picks up a finger in the kitchen is "oh, so lucky" to have such a wonderful man. But commenters? I just want to check in. Is Andy sweet or is Andy 1/2 responsible for feeding the family? Everything I've read on your blog indicates you're very much a team. Neither partner's job is cooking, right?

Bianca said...

I love Nacho! And those gluten patties sound (and look) mouth-watering!

Theresa said...

TLO, my feminist hackles come up every time Andy says he's 'helping me out' by cleaning or cooking. I've explained to him more than once that it's not my responsibility to do everything just because I'm female, so he's not helping me, he's helping our house to not look like a pigsty, or helping our meal to be tasty. I think he gets it now. I hope.

But we split things pretty equally--if he cooks, I'll wash up; if I hang the clothes on the line, he takes them down; as he's vacuuming I'm scrubbing the shower. I try to be conscious of my language most of the time and phrase it clearly... I'm lucky he made lunch or else it would have been peanut butter sandwiches all weekend!

the little one said...

Oh, Theresa, I'm not worried about you. You're a role model. I just want to make sure no one else misinterprets anything and doesn't get that you really are in an equal (as much as we can) partnership. Cheers to you and Andy! We shouldn't underestimate that equality is difficult and something we have to consistently work on.

DJ said...

You are so lucky to have Andy - he's such a creative cook! Skint Vegan Dad is still very much in the omni mindset of 'meat, two veg' so despite happily eating everything I cook for him, when the tables are turned he panics and we normally end up eating chips or baked spuds with beans! Don't miss him too much, and don't end up living on toast and cereal!

Liz² said...

I love reading about Andy's cooking, there's always some super-creative flair to it. And I always got the impression you guys were a kitchen team, no worries.

(I'm impressed with your agar pie, too! I have agar but I'm nervous to use it)

Veggie said...

Good to hear of your success with the agar pie, I admit i've been a little afraid of it.

Thanks for including the map, I always like to see where places are.

bazu said...

Andy is a wonderful cook! I hope his research expedition is fruitful (what I wouldn't give to be on a tropical island watching fish right now...) and that you, Nacho, and he reunite soon!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

You really are blessed to have Andy to cook such amazing-looking foods for you.

Tell Nacho to get up off her lazy butt and learn to cook while Andy's away!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

yr pie is beautiful! well done.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Your orange-berry no bake pie looks scrumptious!

lengslog said...

33 days is a loOoon time! Luckily you'll have the ever gorgeous and playful Nacho to keep you company. :-)

I have made treats with agar before, but not in flake form, just powder. It's interesting how you made a fruit pie with it. Does the silken tofu add a tart flavor? I think I've had silken tofu pie before, but not sure...