Monday, March 8, 2010

odes to things I love

My love to end all loves, the irreplaceable, the makes-your-life-worth-living, NATURAL LIGHT!

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It is finally, FINALLY, not disgusting out! THANK GOD FOR SPRING! Look where I ate my lunch!

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I love nature. I love looking at the park behind my house and listening to the birdies chirp their little brains out.

I love spring! I especially love early spring, before my allergies start wreaking havoc on my nose and I turn into a snotty mess (and then I start my Zyrtec and become slightly less snotty but slightly more trippy).

Okay so check out my color wheel salad. I love incorporating as many colors as I can into one meal! We eat with our eyes first!

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Green avocado, yellow corn, orange carrot, red pepper. Atop some greens with the merest drizzle of olive oil (the avocado gives it so much richness already!) and a tonnn of lemon juice.

Accompanied with water, a Chobs, and did I mention SUNSHINE!

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When I take peektures outside in the natural light, I can’t really see my viewfinder and end up taking like 5 million pictures to make sure one turns out. When they all turn out this gorgeous, I feel physical pain at the thought of deleting them. Thus, all the pictures of this salad.  

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Then I came inside to chat with my still-sick mama, and she split a gorgey porgey perfectly ripe pear with me.   

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Fruit. Another great love of mine. I actually kind of worry I am slightly out of control on the fruit. Like, yes, it’s good for you, but it may be starting to displace other food groups for me. Since in addition to that pear half, I’ve also had two clementines, some Craisins, and a huge banana with my breakfast. And the day is young yet, and fruit is my preferred late night snack. Hm.

Whatever. I love.

New love:

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A story about me and tamarind: my freshman year of college, I had a roommate who was Mexican-American. After Spring Break, she brought back some of her beloved tamarindo candy and was nice enough to share it with me.

Um.

I was not so much a fan.

Thus, I’d been a bit wary of tamarind following that experience, but I decided I was being ridiculous and was more exposed to tamarind in Thailand and, AND, I was making these:

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Sambussas! Courtesy of this very thorough recipe from Ginger & Garlic, a brilliantly named blog.

So PJ, the recipe’s author, mentions somewhat offhand that she made tamarind chutney to accompany the lentil-filled loveliness, and that it was a simple combination of tamarind concentrate, sugar, salt, water, and chili powder.

I knew we had the dried tamarind, courtesy of an impulse buy at an Indian store, and I threw those things together (don’t even ask me what quantities. I tasted as I went)! The result:

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DELISH! Sweet, sour, complex, and PERFECT paired with the lentil filled sambussas.

And then today I recycled the tamarind chutney to top my baked tofu (I again used the Moosewood method- press the tofu, then top it and bake at 375* for 20 minutes).

Oh did you want to see another picture of that?

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So here’s to my NEW love, tamarind!

Another great love of mind: berebere spice mix! I looooooooooooove Ethiopian food, as this blog has pretty well established by now, and had no idea that you could make their signature spice with mostly standard pantry ingredients. Lacking a spice grinder, I used my food processor, so it still had some chili chunks, but it was good.

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And it made for SUBLIME sambussas. The filling- such a simple combo! Spices, lentils, onion, and LIME JUICE!- was just fab.

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So another great love of mine: gorgeous colorful fresh veggies! Radishes are so CUTE!

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Since I am chronically unable to make up my mind about what I want to eat, I decided to accompany the sambussas with a few more small plates- I love small plates! Mezze, tapas, dim sum; whatever you want to call them, all the yummiest cultures realize that it’s way more fun to eat a few bites of a bunch of different things!

So I did me some julienning, an exercise I find really enjoyable and contemplative.

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And made Carrot and Radish salad from Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking which is, you guessed it, another great love of mine. It’s copyrighted and all, but it’s just the julienned veg, salted to wick out some of their moisture, dressed in sesame oil and rice wine vinegar (lots) and soy sauce and sugar (just a tad). Gorgeous!

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And finally, another longtime love, mushrooms.

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A Costco purchase. Nestled in the bowl:

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Great! I recommend! A lot of premarinated mushrooms are sort of ouchy acidic from too much vinegar, but these tasted like mushrooms and herbs.

14 comments:

Abby said...

The food looks amazing--the sunshine looks even better!!

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

Love your very colorful meal! They say that the more colorful, the healthier! :)

Rachana Kothari said...

The platter looks delicious and I envy you...coz its snowing here... I am waiting for the Spring...

stephanie @cookinfanatic said...

what beautiful salad pics, so colorful! those mushrooms sound good too, i was wondering if they were any good so thanks for the tip :)

rustique said...

I love me some bebere, although I always think it sounds and looks like beriberi, which makes me hesitate when typing or speaking. Also, the most divine thing I ate when I was in Asia was a tamarind-glazed duck, so I am partial to the spice (though the fact that duck is unnaturally effing delicious probably helped).

Another thing I love? This gorgeous springy weather! I am praying it continues.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

I feel exactly the same about natural light and allergies.

Your salad looks awesome! Like a tasty rainbow.

Jess said...

Beautiful weather! Love the natural lighting. That salad meal is so fresh and colorful! Love it!
<3 jess
xoxo

ARUNA said...

That's a gorgeous spread, looks v tempting!

Amanda said...

That salad looks so fantastic, and def. makes me think SPRING. I crave way more veggies/salads that look like that when it's warm!

Bridget said...

Sunshine is the greatest :) It was SO nice out this past weekend!! Your salad looks so fresh and delicious...I love a good colorful salad :) Now if I can just have it stay light out for my dinner pictures I'll be all set!

Andrea @ CanYouStayForDinner.com said...

Gorgeous salad!! I completely agree that you eat with your eyes first.
And the natural light definitely makes every photo more beautiful.
Have a great Tuesday!

Sarah said...

I TOTALLY agree with you about colorful dishes...I wish mine were always as beautiful of that salad o' yours...

Molls said...

What a fabulous looking meal! I love Spring too... but love summer even more! Cannot wait!

La said...

Heck yeah tamarind. Those sambusas look freaking amazing.