My Menus

August 14, 2007 at 8:19 am (Menus)

We had company last week and Derek loved the dinner so much he asked me to document the menu, so we don’t forget it. So I started this thread to record menus that work well. I’m going to keep them seasonal/local, or at the very least write comments about what isn’t seasonal/local.

Summer American/Mexican 1

  • watermelon and watercress salad (when is watercress’s season?)
  • tomatillo hominy soup
  • black bean and zucchini quesadillas
  • lemon bars (lemons imported)

Summer American/Mexican 2

  • cold avocado and corn soup (avacados imported)
  • sweet potato and black bean burritos with chipotle soy mayo and frontera grill salsa (the sweet potatoes were from last fall, so not quite seasonal)
  • Derek’s S.O.B. sundae with beets

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August 14, 2007 at 8:08 am (Dark leafy greens, F (0 stars, inedible), Isa C. Moskowitz, Tofu, Turkish)

I love spanakopita. I adore spanakopita. If Derek would let me, I’d name our first born spanakopita. I’ve never tried to make them on my own, however; I wasn’t sure I could bear to see how much butter and cheese I was ingesting in my favorite of dishes. When I saw the recipe for vegan spanakopita in Vegan with a Vengeance I was intrigued, to put it mildly. Derek and I had fun putting the layers together (especially without a pastry brush for the oil), and the final dish looked delicious when we pulled it from the oven. The taste, however, was quite disappointing. Can you say bland-sad-mockery-of-my-favorite-dish-ever? We didn’t skimp at all on the fat, so it wasn’t that we tried to make it too low fat. I think maybe spanakopita without feta is just a no-go. I tasted the “feta” made from tofu before it went into the casserole, and I found it quite bland tasting. I should have known at that point the recipe wasn’t going to be any good. Derek actually said he liked it more than me, having two pieces for dinner. However, the rest of the pan stayed in the fridge all week, untouched, so he obviously didn’t like it that much. I’m not going to bother to post the recipe.

I do have to thank Isa for inspiring me however–I’m now determined to try my hand at making the real thing.


Derek: C

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Skinny Omelet

August 14, 2007 at 7:33 am (101 cookbooks, B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), breakfast, Dark leafy greens, Necessarily nonvegan, Quick weeknight recipe, Spring recipes, Summer recipes)

I had some already cracked eggs in the fridge from a recipe that went wrong, and could not figure out what to do with them. I ended up deciding to make an omelet, which in the past has always been a disaster. This “skinny omelet” inspired by the skinny omelet in the 101 cookbooks blog, came out surprisingly well. It’s called a skinny omelet not because it’s so calorie-light but because the omelet itself is quite thin, almost like a crepe. I don’t read many blogs, but the pictures are so beautiful in Heidi’s blog that I find myself checking it out every week. This is the first recipe of hers I’ve actually tried (or modified, in this case).

  • a tsp. of oil to grease the pan
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg white (preferably organic, free-range), beaten
  • a sprinkle of sliced basil leaves, about 1 Tbs?
  • about 1 ounce feta, crumbled
  • two handfuls of arugula/watercress
  • 6 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Heidi says to “beat well, until the eggs are mostly uniform in color – they seem to run around the pan more evenly when there aren’t huge patches of yolk vs. whites.”

In as 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat pour the egg mixture and swirl the pan so the eggs cover the entire pan. Sprinkle the eggs with feta and basil and black pepper while they set (about 15 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the heat of your pan). Use a spatula to help slide the omelet onto a plate. Sprinkle with the salad greens and sliced tomatoes, and roll the omelet into a tube-shate. Cut in half on a deep diagonal. Serves 1-2.

My Notes:

The original recipe called for pesto, which I had, but forgot to add. It also called for feta, chives, salt, and salad greens. I used a bit of feta, basil instead of the chives, no salt since the feta was quite salty, and a mix of quite wilted (i.e. left them in the fridge too long) arugula and watercress. I also added a few halved yellow cherry tomatoes. I had 6 eggs and 2 egg whites mix together in a bowl, and I used 3/4 cup, so maybe 3 eggs and 1 egg white? As a result, my omelet was not nearly as skinny as hers, and I had to use a spatula to push the omelet to the center of the pan and let the uncooked parts get cooked. I liked all my additions–I could definitely taste the creamy feta, the greens added a sharp, “green” taste (for lack of a better word), and the tomato and basil were delicious together, the tomatoes contributing a lovely sweetness to the dish. It almost tasted like salad for breakfast, but a bit more substantial.

Derek also enjoyed the omelet, and commented “This is what Enrico’s [a brunch place in Pittsburgh] aspires to.”

I classified this as a nice recipe for Spring because it’s a great way to use some of the very delicate early Spring greens like arugula, spinach, or sorrel, along with a little cheese and any fresh herbs you still have growing on your windowsill. As written, with the tomatoes and basil, it makes a nice summer recipe as well.

Rating: B+

Derek: B+

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