Tonight’s culinary experiments were successful, in that like any good experiments they gave us more information.
I’m starting to work through some of the recipes in Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. I like the book’s approach: He’s not a vegetarian, and he’s not trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism, but he wants to teach people how to prepare tasty, healthy, meatless meals. In a lot of ways, it’s written for me. I do most of my grocery shopping at the supermarket; the book assumes that. I try to supplement with local produce when possible; the book encourages that. And I’m interested in eating less meat for both health and environmental reasons, which it’s pretty clear is what his priorities are as well. So I’m excited to try recipes from it.
The first dish I tried tonight was the Lentil and Potato Dal. It’s dead easy: Simmer a cup of dried lentils in three and half cups of coconut milk and a tablespoon of curry powder for fifteen minutes, partially covered; Add two chopped baking potatoes and simmer, covered, until everything is soft. That last bit is what eluded me. I only let it go for about thirty minutes, when it probably wanted more like forty five. That was the only problem, though, so it’s going on the list to try again.
The second dish involved some improvisation. I was attempting to make Beer-Glazed Black Beans with Thai Chile Paste, but I accidentally bought fresh chiles instead of dried, so I ended up making a Mexican-style dish by adding canned fire-roasted tomatoes and green chiles. I also should have read the cookbook’s instructions for cooking dried beans, rather than using the instructions on the package. And I was worried about the tomatoes adding too much liquid, so I cooked it down a little too much and killed off much of the tasty sauce. You live, you learn, I suppose.
I served these with white rice; a salad of red leaf lettuce, spinach, carrots, and cucumbers dressed with the juice from an orange; and dry rosé wine. It didn’t all hang together, but it certain had its moments. And it pointed me in the right direction.
UpdateFitness: Ran 4 miles
Sun, Moon, and Stars: 00 words, 176 seven-day average, 253 average, 22812 total