Monday, September 22, 2008

Back in the kitchen

It seems that blogging about my lack of motivation was enough to bring it back. After posting about the lazy meals I’ve been eating for the past several weeks, I finally got the urge to do some proper cooking.

Inspired by Monika and her simple pasta dish, I made a quick but delicious bowl of noodles. Chickpeas and broccoli from the freezer, noodles from the pantry and fresh chilli, green beans and carrots were tied together with a bit of oil and a tiny scoop of chilli-capsicum sandwich spread.

I also tried some new food. I felt like something seitan-ish, so I mixed crushed weet bix with gluten flour, peanut butter, soy sauce and water. Then I baked it. Served on a bed of lettuce with green beans and topped with a simple vegemite gravy, this was a really satisfying meal. The other side of the plate holds Soft Polenta with fresh corn, a recipe from Vegan Gourmet—this is the first time I’ve had soft polenta, and I really wasn’t impressed. The texture was not great and the flavour was almost non-existent, and considering the amount of stirring it took, I doubt I will make soft polenta again.

My good intentions in the kitchen were laid asunder by the weekend. Friday I had to scarf down some leftovers before heading out to meet friends and see Ash Grunwald—good, live music in Townsville is not entirely common, so I definitely wanted to take advantage of it. Saturday saw me out of the house for most of the day, first with meetings and then with a cocktail party. The cocktail party was really fun, though I couldn’t help but notice the irony of hosting a party in an aquarium while serving nothing but fish—fish burgers, sushi, fried prawns, etc. Needless to say, I didn’t eat anything until I got home at midnight (2 minute noodles with peanut butter and cumin. Yum). Mojitos have mint leaves in them, so they’re healthy, right?

Anyways, on Sunday I was decidedly not hung over (I suspect the free cocktails were made with half-shots) so I made cookies. Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance, to be exact. I had neither walnuts nor raisins on hand, so I left them plain.

But halfway through, I added some chopped dark chocolate for a decadent variation.

After lots of taste-testing, I was jonesin’ for some veggies, so I had both a salad and a stir-fry. Onion, carrot, green beans and seitan flavoured with fresh chilli and hoisin sauce made for a quick but hearty warm meal. The salad was crisp and light, with lettuce, cucumber, raw corn and apples dressed with avocado.

I’ve got my kitchen motivation back, so now I need to do the same for cleaning up the house...

13 comments:

tofufreak said...

yay for kitchen motivation!

your cookies are perfect for fall! i think i need to get in the kitchen to make something pumpkiny now :)

Nikki Douglas said...

You sure got my mojo going with those pumpkin chip cookies - oh yummy!

seitanismymotor said...

Yay for motivation being back! Everything looks awesome!

Groover said...

Good on ya. This looks all very delicious except that I can't have cookies (still trying to loose a couple of kilos). The simple pasta dish looks great and easy enough. I'll try this next.

VeggieGirl said...

Sooo glad that you're back in the kitchen, since you always inspire me with your latest meals and treats!! :0)

sweetpotato said...

Cookies!!!!

Kati said...

I love those cookies - they're especially great for this time of year (though I guess "this" time of year has a different meaning to you now, doesn't it??). It's funny because I was just thinking about how I should make them in honor of my two year blogiversary this week - they were the first thing I ever posted.

Your seitanic invention looks really good - very creative!

Bianca said...

Yum! Now what is weet bix? And I bet Vegemite gravy is the awesome!

Also, I've never seen that cookie recipe in VwaV but I'll have to look it up. It's pumpkin time again. Yea!

Vaala said...

Vegemite gravy sounds awesome! I've gotta try that.

I love seeing the interesting meals you cook. That pasta dish looks pretty good too.

Vegetation said...

Cookies! YUM!

And I adore soft polenta! Buy the vac packed quick cooking type and cook it in veggie stock not water, then at the last minute add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon or 2 of savoury yeast (or you can throw in pesto or any other flavouring you like, but it definitely needs flavour and the bonus with the quick cooking is it's done in like 5 minutes).

Amy said...

Yes, I agree, the polenta needs lots of salt or other flavoring, then it's a nice comfort food.

You are eating a delicious varied diet! Me, I tend to make a big batch of something and eat it for several days in a row.

Lauren said...

your pasta salad looks so colorful and pretty! i love it!
and everyones been cooking with pumpkin lately..i feel like i need to jump on the bandwagon haha. your cookies do look delicious though :)

mad about udon said...

Wow, very creative with the Seitan-y recipe!