May 3, 2010

Mediterranean mangia fest

Usually I'm more drawn to Asian cuisine, but over the past few weeks I've been really into Mediterranean (especially Italian) food. Here are a few highlights:

Meal-in-a-bowl consisting of millet, roasted baby eggplant, homemade marinara (just a can of tomatoes - sauce, diced, crushed, whatever you prefer - and 1 tbsp tomato paste simmered with fresh basil, oregano, lots of garlic, red pepper flake and S&P), and broccoli rabe.

Trader Joe's giant white beans, grilled zucchini, and minted couscous. The couscous is tossed with diced red onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, S&P and fresh mint. The beans were surprisingly delicious and I discovered how awesome mint tastes in savory dishes.

Tempeh bolognese and massaged kale.

Tempeh bolognese

- 1/2 block tempeh
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 15oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine
- Fresh basil, chopped, to taste
- Fresh Italian parsley, chopped, to taste
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Pinch of red pepper flake
- S&P, to taste

- In a sauce pan, saute garlic and onion for about a minute. Crumble tempeh into pan until brown.
- Add red wine, stir to coat and let the mixture reduce.
- Add tomato sauce, paste, carrots, oregano, half the basil and parsley, and seasoning. Simmer, uncovered, on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until bolognese reaches your desired consistency. Add remaining herbs (you can add them all at the beginning, but I like a little burst of freshness at the end). Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Serve with pasta and mangia!

This is one of my favorite dishes. Ultimate comfort food.

Mushroom risotto

I followed this recipe for the most part, but used fresh basil and parsley because that's what I had on hand. I also added a tablespoon or so of OSG's vegan parmesan and red pepper flake because let's face it, I put it in almost everything. I was a little heavy handed with the parsley garnish, but I love my fresh herbs.

This was my first time making risotto and I'm quite proud of it. It took a while and needed a lot of love and attention, but the flavor was awesome. I can't wait to play around with it.


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