It sounds ominous but actually it is just a cookbook and a pretty good one at that. Without making any 'resolutions' about it, I decided to up the ante a little bit this year with the vegan cooking. Having seen some interesting-looking recipes from this book elsewhere on the 'net, I had to try a few myself. About 9 recipes later, it definitely gets the early stamp of approval. Nothing too tricky so far, quite easy but good stuff!
Last night we had the chickpeas romesco - just spicy enough & excellent with brown rice & plain fresh green beans. The snobby joes on kaiser rolls (they feel superior to the sloppy joes because they don't have any meat in them...) were a family hit - will definitely have to put that in the permanent rotation. The broccoli polenta was pretty good too but I prefer my polenta plain, or just with a big handful of chopped fresh herbs (marjoram, parsley & chives) mixed in right at the end. However Veganomicon's plain and simple marinara sauce is terrific. I would use that with my polenta any day.
Probably the single best recipe I have prepared from the book so far was the lemony roasted potatoes. Everybody liked that one - a lot! Just like those potatoes you get with Greek food, but not nearly as greasy. The rustic white beans with mushrooms were delicious, almost had a cassoulet-like feel to them. Comfort food all the way. The smoky red peppers & beans gumbo - complete with roux - took a little time to prepare but it was more than worth it. We had to have some white rice for that! The penne vodka (with almonds blended into the sauce) had a delicious creamy taste - and there's plenty of vodka and half a pound of penne left so we'll have a do-over soon. I take back what I said about the lemony roasted potatoes; I had forgotten about the pasta della california. This linguine with avocado & broccoli was out of this world. Maybe a little high on the calories (2 avocados in a dish meant for 4) but who's counting anyway...
Next on my Veganomicon 'to cook' list is chile-cornmeal-crusted tofu... I might just decide to work my way through most (all?) of the recipes in this book. The sugary ones will have to wait until after Boston or until I find my long-lost abs, whichever comes first.
Last week was a much better one on the running front than the week before. A total of 43 miles including a very good (if slow) 14-miler on Saturday morning along Buffalo Bayou. Most importantly my left knee (which is still not 100%) held out fine. Tuesday's mile repeats clocked in at 7:13, 7:10, 7:11 and 7:09. I will try to get them a little closer to 7:00 as we get closer to Boston. On Wednesdays I now have a standing appointment at 5:30 with a neuromuscular massage therapist, followed by a longish run at Memorial Park. I managed 10 miles there last week, always a fun place with tons of people around.
This Sunday is the Houston Marathon. Kath and I will be doing the half. I will be jogging it, taking a camera and for once will try to really enjoy the day, as opposed to subjecting myself to the usual relentless push for a PR or a qualifying time for this or that. Should be a novel experience! Although I am starting in the red corral, I'm thinking Kathleen might catch me - perhaps we can finish together like we did in the marathon in 2003.
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