Friday, May 15, 2009

Angel Hair w/Zucchini and Bread Crumbs(Vegan); Homemade Coleslaw(can be vegan)

My Dad left to fly back to Maine Monday the 11th, and Sunday, which was Mother's Day, he wanted to find a bookstore so he could pick up a book to read on the flight home. So, after I got off work, he and I went to Borders. He found a couple paperback westerns, and I bought myself a copy of the magazine, "Vegetarian News," and one of Nava Atlas's cookbooks, "The Vegetarian Family Cookbook." This book is terrific. I'm only about halfway thru it, but have already found lots of good-sounding recipes I want to try(y'know, I don't think there's going to be enough time to try all the recipes I've found so far, as well as the ones I keep finding, almost daily, lol!). Ms. Atlas raised two sons on vegetarian meals, so I figured that if the kids would eat it, then the recipes in the book had to be pretty good, lol. The one I tried last night proved my point!

..............................Angel Hair w/Zucchini and Bread Crumbs...................................

4 slices whole-grain bread
10-12oz. angel hair pasta(cappellini)
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 small zucchini, sliced, or 2 medium zucchini, quarterd lengthwise and sliced(about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1/4 C dry white wine, vegetable stock, or waater
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the bread in a food processor and whirl until it becomes fine crumbs.

2. Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly boiling water until al dente, then drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp. of the oil in a wide skillet. Add the bread crumbs and cook over medium-high heat until they turn toasty brown and crisp. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet. Add the garlic and saute over los heat for 1-2 minutes, until golden. Stir in the zucchini and wine. Raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. When done, remove the garlic cloves.

5. Combine the pasta and zucchini in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and serve, topping each serving with some of the bread crumbs.

Ok, I didn't have any wine of any kind, so I used a couple splashes of white wine vinegar, and another 1/4-1/2 cup of water. I turned the heat up high under the zucchini and vinegar, so that it simmered away. The vinegar did the trick, it gave the dish a little added push that I liked, and didn't taste vinegary at all. I also added vegetarian Parmesan cheese to the crumbs, and then some more once I had it plated. Did I like this? Yes, very much, very much indeed. Will I make it again? Probably. It's somewhat labor intensive, but the end result is well worth it. It would make a good dish for a company dinner, I think.

The sidedish I chose was coleslaw, so I made some, first time in years, too. It turned out pretty good. Once again, no real recipe here. Recipes, as a general rule, aren't really needed for a lot of things. I'll find a recipe I think I'll like, and almost always do something to it to make it mine. That's one of the things I enjoy so much about vegetarian cooking, the fact that so many times I can look at a recipe and think of how to change it around just a little bit, but yet enough to make it mine. And, I'm digressing..."Going 'round Robin Hood's barn" is what my dear grandmother used to call it, lol. On to the coleslaw:

I used about a quarter of a medium head of cabbage, and one large carrot. Grated both of them into a mixing bowl, and added black pepper and mayonnaise. Well, that just seemed to be a tad too bland, so I added some apple cider vinegar(just a splash or two), a couple teaspoonsful of sugar, some garlic salt, and a splash of soy milk, mixed it all together, and that did it. It was excellent, and I loved it. It went nicely with the angelhair and zucchini, too.

One last thing I'd like to tell you before I go, is that I tried another of the vegetarian soy-based "cheeses" this week: Swiss flavor. It is surprisingly good, and tastes very much like the real thing. I'm glad I took the chance, and if it makes as good a grilled sammich as the smoked provolone flavor does, I'm gonna be doing the happy dance, lol. Until next time, Happy Eating!!!!

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