Monday, February 23, 2009

Brain food.

Andy and I have been working fairly hard since I’ve come back from Canberra—me on writing (I’m nearly done with a rough-as-guts draft of chapter 4!!), him on organising field trips (he’s currently at Orpheus Island and will be back in PNG at the end of March). Thus, much of our time has been spent at uni rather than at home in the kitchen. Add to this the crazy weather we’ve had. When it has rained, the highways flood in the blink of an eye, leaving us cut off from fresh fruit and veggies. When it’s not raining, it’s hot and humid. At least the bike paths are no longer too flooded to ride to uni. However, the conditions are perfect for growing mould—I’m thinking of starting some sort of commercial venture, since it grows so readily on every surface in our house, from the desktop to the outside doors to my clothes in the closet.

But unlike mould, kitchen inspiration has been a bit hard to come by this summer. Still, we have managed to come up with a few good meals...

An easy favourite, when the right ingredients are on hand, are burgers. This recipe for ‘Mexican Patties’, which we loosely followed, is from Wild Morsels and it was good. Beans, polenta, tomatoes and Mexican-inspired spices all combined into these yummy, easy to put together patties. Andy is the master of burger-assembly, and he didn’t disappoint. White bread burger buns, lettuce, tomato, beetroot and cucumber formed the base on which the patty rested. On top were onions sautéed with a few diced Spanish olives, and a generous scoop of Almost Sour Cream (from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah).

There have been a lot of nights when I haven’t felt like eating much more than a bowl of cereal, let alone cooking, so luckily there is someone else in the house to pick up the slack. Andy set out to make me a secret meal and set to flipping through recipes in the cupboard. He settled on SusanV’s mini-crustless tofu quiches. Our experience with these in the past has been tasty but structurally a mess, so he planned to add a crust. Unfortunately, we were out of frozen pastry, so the surprise was ruined and I was mustered off the couch to make pastry. It was worth the minimal effort—they turned out really well, all filled with spinach and love.

Speaking of love, who doesn’t love marked down food? Andy and I always scoop up reduced items, so when I saw the telltale green sticker on this soy cheese I got all excited. The texture is similar to the super-processed Velveeta cheese block, but a bit grainier.

I tried to dice it up to put on pizza, but it is pretty gooey and stuck to the knife. So instead I sort of crumbled it. It has a really cheddary flavour, and didn’t melt, but it made a nice addition to our usual repertoire of toppings (seitan, pineapple, tomato/bbq sauce, and parsley).

On the bright side, the first day of Autumn is in less than a week. On the not-so-bright side, that means almost nothing here in north Queensland!

20 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Sorry about the "cheese" :-( Everything LOOKS delish though!! :-)

Gina said...

I've made those quiches a few times without any structural problems, but they look SO cute in the crusts! Pizza looks super yummy too :)

steph said...

I've tried that cheese before, I don't like it! I have yet to find a fake cheese that really does it for me.

Mike K said...

The pizza looks great - I love BBQ sauce on pizza. I tried Susan V.'s quiches once too, and they're delicious. The moldy table photo reminds me of my place when I lived in Ecuador - uh, thanks for the memories :). I guess warm, humid weather has its drawbacks, though it sounds pretty good during winter up north!

Mihl said...

I love those crusts on the quiches!

Bianca said...

I always love trying new soy cheezes. I do kinda miss Velveeta, so I bet I'd like that one.

And how sweet of Andy to make you quiches, even if you did have to do a little work!

Vegetation said...

Ugh, mould is the bane of my life (that being said, it might grow on walls here but never the desk!)

Yum! The quiches look fantastic and so does that pizza! I love bbq sauce on pizza but for some reason I never remember to use it instead of tomato when I make pizza!

And those burgers! YUM!

ŀĀŘ¡ŝ∫Á said...

the food , especially the pizza looks amazing! gluck on ur draft :)!

I'm Philippa O said...

that mould really creeped me out! i have a thing about mould. so many of the bedrooms i've had in my life have been very good at sprounting it and it really really creeps me out!

Amy said...

The quiches look amazing. Did you use a pastry bag to pipe them into the shells?

Theresa said...

Sorry about the mould, Pip!

Amy--Andy just scooped the filling in with a spoon, I think. He left out the soy milk called for in the recipe, since those quiches are runny enough as it is, so it was the perfect consistency for spooning.

Lauren said...

ick, mould! that's no fun..
at least your food looks delicious!
those mexican patties sound really tasty.
fall is coming up! haha i just can't wait until spring is here!!

Emily said...

Wow, the mold is crazy! The quiches look super yummy though! -e

Vaala said...

That mould is impressive!

I love the burgers - 'master of burger-assembly' cracked me up 'cause it reminds me of when J and I make sandwiches and he always has to ask me what order I think all the ingredients should be placed in.

I've had the same trouble with crustless quiches which has kind of put me off making them much. Guess I should just toughen up and make pastry. Do you have a recipe you normally use?

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Glad to see that you're eating well despite the weather. That mold is CRAZY! Good luck with chapter 4!

dessertobsessed said...

wow you put beetroot on your burgers? i should try that! and the tofu quiches look amazing!

DJ said...

Those quiches look ace with the cute little crusts! I'm currently fighting a mould-battle myself, to do with cold and damp rather than warm and humid, though!

Vegan_Noodle said...

I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to eat anything more than a bowl of cereal. But it looks like you found some inspiration anyways!
Hope things start to cool down for you... it's certainly starting to warm up here!

zerbert said...

the quiche looks great! I, too, have had structural problems with that recipe, I'll have to try a crust next time.
My sister and I were talking about mold recently and she says she'd had luck with wiping down the area with white vinegar after cleaning off the mold, it is much less likely to grow back. I'm going to give it a try, thought I'd pass on the tip!

Lyn Rose said...

Quiche is my favorite! It looks so good in this photo. Your blog looks really great- I've been to it before and see a lot of familiar faces in your comment posting section (people I've never met, but are vegan like me). it's nice to be able to connect with different parts of the world.

lyn rose