Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The move and going greek

There is reason why there has been no updates in awhile and how I've teetered off the blogging circle. That reason is that I've moved!!!!!
Good-bye Texas, Hello North Carolina!
It took 2 long days and about a week of searching to find an apt, and settle in. Of course I've blown off some of the unpacking. And I don't have a dresser so that has made some clutter, but other than that the transition has been good.
I have a kitchen with a 2 ft stove. No dishwasher or disposal, but I don't mind. Do need to get toaster because I miss toast.
I cook almost every night and and I have fresh seafood and produce around. There is farm stands all around. Plus, there is a trader joe's in Virginia. It is a slight drive, but every few months I don't mind going.
Oh and I will be starting my own garden. I'm so excited and hopefully no one will steal my tomatoes like last year and if you have any tips, I'm all ears.
To celebrate the move and the fact that is officially summer. I will leave you with a great yogurt sauce. I love it! I think it would be great with lamb meatballs or chicken kebabs. I paired it with grilled shrimp, which was tasty too. Plus its quick!

Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce
(adapted from
1 1/2 cups plain 2% Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper

Stir together all ingredients with 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), then chill, covered, at least 30 minutes (for flavors to blend). Bring to room temperature before serving.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Going Vegan

I went vegan for three months, vegetarian for more than a year. It was hard, especially when going out with friends. I could only eat certain things. And although, I am no longer of the veggie persuasion, I still have my veggie days and friends, especially as a yogi.
I have one friend who is raw and one that is vegan. I respect both diets, but find the true way of being raw a little odd because it doesn't include soap or deodorant. EWWWWW!
Recently, my vegan friend and I decided to cook together. She loves to cook vegan and I am all to happy to cook with her and for her. So we talked about making a burger or Indian food, but we decided on a Vegan Muffulleta with roasted potatoes.
So we met up at Target and went down the list: red pepper-check, eggplant-check, olives-check, bread-check. We then went back to her place to cook and sip wine. We split up the duties and I went to chopping and so did she. An hour later, we sat down to a wonderful meal. The olive spread was wonderful with the vegetables. The perfect light summer meal.

Vegan Muffuletta
(adapted from Veganomicon)

Mixed Olive Salad Relish:
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup pitted green olives
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, oil packed or dried and reconstituted
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small eggplant
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 roasted bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow)
1 round peasant style loaf (or bread of choice), sliced

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease two rimmed baking sheets. Cut eggplant widthwise into 1/4 inch slicesand rub each slice with kosher salt. Allow to drain in collander for half an hour.

While eggplant is draining, place olives, parsley, garlic and sun dried tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with the vinegar and dried herbs. With a food processor, chop the mixture in 2-3 batches, adding a little of the olive oil with each batch. Process only enough to chop the olives and tomatoes, scraping the sides of the processor often with a rubber spatula.

Rinse the eggplant slices with cold water, rub with olive oil, and lay in a baking sheet. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove stem and seeds. Rub with olive oil and place on a second baking sheet. Roast eggplant and peppers in preheated oven for 20-22 min, flipping the eggplant once, until it is browned and tender. Remove skin of peppers if desired, and cut into thin strips.

For each sandwhich, spread a thick layer of olive relish on one slice of bread. Layer the spinach, eggplant, and roasted peppers on top of the olive relish. Place a second slice of bread on top and press down on the sandwhich. Enjoy!