Friday, July 31, 2009

"Loaded Potato Salad,"(non-vegan); Peach Crisp(vegan);Pasta w/Chickpeas and Zucchini(vegan)

So far I've swished the toilet, made the bed, washed and am now drying a mixed load of laundry, and that's it. Some time today I've got to wash the dishes, and as long as it doesn't pour down rain again,take out the trash, well as clean out the 'fridge. Exciting day off, yes? That's fine, I'm going to have enough excitement in a month or so to last quite a while: I'm moving out of my teeny tiny little one-bedroom house and into a two-bedroom apartment, just across the street from where I am now. Plus, I gain a small storage shed in my back yard, and a bathroom with a BATHTUB!! Not just a shower, but a real, honest-to-goodness tub, lol. Um...senior moment here: Did I already post about moving?!?!?

This past week I tried to make some oven-dried tomatoes, but I wasn't pleased with the results at all. I don't know if I sliced them too thin, had my little toaster-oven too hot, or what, but they were nasty, sigh. However. Some day I will try again, and possibly next time they'll come out ok. The directions I read said to set the oven at 250ºF, and leave the 'maters in the oven until they were dried, about two-three hours, but by the time mine were dry, they were burned. Nasty. I took them off the baking sheet anyway, put them in a container with some olive oil and garlic, but they were still nasty, and the peels were impossible to chew.Better luck next time, right? Right!

My other failure this past week was the Pasta with Chickpeas and Zucchini, which altho I thought was yucky, I'm still going to post, because I'm assuming somebody likes it, or it wouldn't have been a printed recipe in August, 2009's issue of "Real Simple." Different strokes for different folks, for sure.

Linguine with Chickpeas and Zucchini(vegan)

12 ounces linguine(3/4 of a box)
2Tbs. olive oil
3 small zucchini, cut into thin half-moons
Kosher salt
1 15-0z. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan(2 ounces)

>Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain, and return the pasta to the pot.
>Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Zucchini and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, tossing often, until just tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, garlic, and red pepper and cook, until heated through, 2-3 minutes.
>Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the zucchini mixture and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

So, there ya go, and if you try it, let me know how you like it, ok? I was so disappointed with it, but just couldn't make myself take more than a few bites, just didn't like it. Had to throw out the whole pot, sigh. What a waste!!

On the plus side, tho, I made a couple loaves of banana bread that turned out well. The recipe is here in my blog somewhere, but to find it, you'll have to go to the list on the left and click on bananas or bread. But it's there, it's good, it's vegan, and I love it.

The Loaded Potato Salad was an effort to help use up a whole lot of fresh cucumbers that my co-worker brought me from her garden, along with a lot of yellow tomatoes(those are the ones I tried to dry in my toaster-oven, and I don't like them quite as well as red 'maters.). I also had an apple in the 'fridge, so used that, as well. I loved the salad, even without any onion or boiled eggs in it. I left those out deliberately, to help avoid stomach issues.

Loaded Potato Salad(non-vegan)

About three medium potatoes, boiled with jackets on, cooled, and then peeled and cut in dice.

1 medium apple, peeled...or not, your choice, but I can't chew the peels so I take them off...cored and cut in small dice.

2...or more, again, your choice...medium cucumbers, peeled and cut in dice.

Handful of washed and halved cherry tomatoes

Small hunk of goat cheese, crumbled, and a couple pieces of vegetarian smoked Provolone cheese, torn into small pieces. If you leave the cheeses out, and use vegannaise instead of real mayo, then this would be vegan.

Mayo to taste Black pepper Garlic powder and onion powder to taste

Once the 'taters are cooked, cooled, and diced, put everything in a large mixing bowl and mix together. Cover the bowl and let it chill for at least 20 minutes before serving, so all the flavours can marry. This made enough to last me about three meals, and I loved every bite of it. If I'd put onions and boiled eggs in it, I admit it would have been even better, but without them, I didn't have any gastric distress and was able to go to work the next morning without any problems. The goat cheese I used had a rind on it that had been soaked in red wine, and it was wonderful cheese. I hope I can find it again, and, I apologize, but I don't remember the brand name, just that I bought it at Kroger.

The last time I went grocery shopping, I went to Food Depot, specifically because they were selling fresh peaches for 38¢ a pound, and I LOVE fresh peaches. So, I over bought, but even so, didn't lose any of them. Part of them went into a Peach and Strawberry Shortcake, and with plenty of whipped topping, it was fantastic. Several of them were eaten out of hand, leaning over the kitchen sink to catch the juice, lol. And the last six went into this Peach Crisp, which altho I liked it, and ate all of it, wasn't one of the best I've ever had, so I learned something from it: even if a recipe for it calls for vanilla, don't use it. Don't use cinnamon, either. Just peaches and sugar, about 1/3 cup, I guess.

Peach Crisp(vegan)

6 good-sized peaches, peeled and sliced(I just used a sharp knife and peeled away, but, to make it easier, you can drop the whole peaches into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then take them out and put them into a bowl of ice water. The skins should slip right off after that.).

1/3 cup sugar

Place peaches in a lightly greased 9"round pie pan, and stir in the sugar. Set aside while you prepare the "crisp." And preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Mix together 1/3 cup EACH raw oatmeal, flour, and, if you like, shredded coconut. If you don't want to use, or don't have, the coconut, just use equal amounts of the oatmeal and flour to equal one cup...duh, 1/2 cup each, lol.

Cream together 1 stick margarine(light Blue Bonnet, or, Earth Balance)and 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, until light and fairly fluffy. Use a mixer if you wish, but I just used a fork. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Mix the dry ingredients with the margarine mixture, and crumble over the peaches. You'll probably have to use your fingers to get it spread relatively evenly over the peaches, but again, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Put it in the oven and leave it there for about 45 minutes...start checking after 30 minutes. The peaches and the topping should be just about bubbling, and while not exactly set hard, sort of set in an almost jiggly way, and still moist. Now, you can cool this or eat it hot, your choice. If I'd had any, I would have put either whipped topping or vanilla ice cream with this, but I didn't have any, so I didn't. 'Tis ok, it was still good.

I think that's all for this week, so until next time, Happy Eating!!!


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