Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm lovin' my oven.

Although this winter hasn't been anywhere near as chilly as last year, I still prefer summery heat. But, winter is a good excuse to have lots of yummy baked and roasted meals, so that's what we've been doing. I guess we need to take advantage of it while we can, since the summer temperatures usually mean it's far too hot to turn the oven on.

We resurrected one of our favourite meals from last year, the Mexican Lasagne. This one was different from those past, because it has our new-found favourite ingredient, fresh corn. It also contains pressure-cooked kidney beans, sweet potato, capsicum, and tomatoes, and it was topped with a beautiful dollop of avocado mash after it came out of the oven. We also did the usual doubling-up of oven heat by baking some corn muffins, and throwing in some tater tots.

Another favourite is veggies roasted in simple flavours. The picture is a bit dim, but the pink things are radishes roasted with salt, pepper, and coriander roots. Above them is a mixture of plain potato, orange kumara sweet potato, and purple skin/white flesh sweet potato. The tubers were tossed with some flour, cumin, paprika and black sesame seeds and they got all crunchy in the oven. Finally on the plate you'll see Andy's recent favourite dish--spinach (or silverbeet, in this case) sauteed with garlic and shredded carrot, then splashed with soy sauce.
And while the oven is on, why not make dessert? Strawberries were on special last week so we grabbed two punnets. I really had a craving for strawberry shortcake--despite the fact that it is a quintessential summer dessert. I remember really hot days in summer when strawberry shortcake was our entire dinner... my mom was the best! Andy wasn't too keen on the idea of these, because he envisaged hard shortcake biscuits. But, he was pleasantly surprised at the delicious simplicity of scones and strawberries, topped with a bit of custard.
The other thing winter is great for is curling up on the couch with a good book.

15 comments:

Vegetation said...

I love roasted veggies. I haven't had them in SO long because of our suckful oven (but I have the little one now so I should get some going!)

And I'm on my way, both for Strawberry shortcake and to cuddle on the lounge with Nacho! She's grown up so much (*sob, they grow up so fast :P)

Mel said...

That strawberry shortcake is so delicious looking. My mum gave me two punnets worth of strawberries while I was in Sydney on the weekend and I've been wondering how to best use them up!

Nikki Douglas said...

Yikes - what's a punnet?

And how cold is the winter in Australia where you are?

Deathly hot here in Florida. And strawberry season is sadly over.

The roasted veggies look delish!

Liz² said...

ace use of an oven! I'm so especially enamoured of that plate with all the awesome on it. and I love the nonchalant addition of corn muffins and things!

VeggieGirl said...

Lasagna? Roasted vegetables? Strawberry Shortcake? Yum!! Sounds like a perfect meal to me, and a perfect way to use the oven :0)

Kati said...

Everything looks delicious! Congrats on the bread maker, too - there's nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread to fill your living space.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Mexican lasagna sounds so good that I'm going to cross my fingers for a short summer! No, just kidding, I'm in Germany and the summer is already short enough :-)

Sanja said...

Your strawberry shortcakes looks really good. What recipe did you use for the scones? The one from VwaV?

DJ said...

Aww... Nacho's so well-read, isn't she?!
Those roast veggies look delish!

Serena said...

Yummy looking food! I was wondering if you made the custard or bought it? I tried to make vegan custard last week with soy milk and failed miserably...is there a trick to it? Should I have used a different type of milk?

Bianca said...

Aw Nacho! He's so smart!

The shortcakes look awesome and thanks for the idea of roasting radishes. I just tried them for the first time recently and only knew to eat them raw. I bet they'd be awesome roasted!

Theresa said...

Nikki--a punnet is just the container that berries come in. Mine were 250 grams each (half a pound), but I think punnet isn't a particular size... I'm not sure though.

Sanja--Yep, the scones are from the VwaV recipe. I cut the recipe in thirds, so we wouldn't have a million scones, but after we ate them I wish we had leftovers!

Serena--we recently bought custard powder, Woolworth's homebrand I think (dairy free, wahoo!). We've made it with soymilk everytime and have never had a problem. The trick is to whisk a bit of milk into the custard powder and sugar before adding the full amount of liquid. Another thing Andy has done is blend a banana with soy milk for banana custard. Have you been making from scratch or from a mix?

Bianca--like you, I'd only ever had raw radishes until a few months ago, but they are so good roasted! They get crisp outside, soft inside, and sweet/spicy instead of just spicy. Give it a go, for sure!

Serena said...

Hmmmmmmm...I used a dairy free custard powder with Vitasoy 'Creamy Original' soy milk. I always mix the custard powder with a small amount of the 'milk' first before adding the larger amount of 'milk'. My custard seemed to coagulate, rather than thicken and was a yucky beige colour, not yellow. Maybe it was the brand of soymilk I used? I will definitely try again with a different brand and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for answering my question, Theresa. :)

Erin said...

The Mexican lasagna looks fabulous! I love the idea of roasting radishes, I've been seeing cooked radishes around lately.

the little one said...

This all looks delicious! Hard to imagine winter with heat here over 100!