Posts tagged ‘beans’
Pretty much every time I make pasta for dinner, I say to myself beforehand “ok, here is a chance to take charge of my pasta experience, so I’m going to be smart and make this more of a veggies with pasta affair than a pasta with veggies affair.” And I really do have all the intentions in the world to follow through with a veg:pasta ratio that leans more heavily on the veggies. But then, I somehow accidentally find a recipe that sounds too good as is, or I don’t have as much veg in the fridge as I thought (but it turns out I doooo have plenty of pasta), or it turns out we are having someone over, or we want leftovers, and the easiest way to ensure there is enough food is to amp up the pasta. And then we are left with arguably delicious pasta dishes but not ones that make me feel good and veggiefied.
This week I happened upon some fresh favas at the local market. I have been bothered lately by the realization that I have never bought shelling peas or beans of any kind, so I bought the favas on impulse (never having actually eaten one before) and figured that at the very least it would be a chance to shell something and do a kitchen first. Then, I kind of forgot about them in the fridge, until one night we decided we were really in the mood for some simple veggie-heavy pasta, and I remembered a tasty sounding recipe I’d see in Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food for Pea and Asparagus Ragout. So, a few switcheroos and we enjoyed a delicious fava, sugar snap, and asparagus ragout with pasta, which for once, was much more reliant on the veggies than it was on the pasta! It was a tasty way to enjoy spring veggies, was super easy and quick, and it really made us feel good about what we were eating. Sounds like win-win to me!
How did cinco de mayo come and go already? Usually we have a little fiesta at our place and use it as an excuse to go crazy with Rick Bayless recipes (I saw him tweeting about a bacon queso fundido the other day…), but somehow it kind of snuck up on me this year and we were without a mexi-plan for the evening! We ended up doing a quick but tasty taco potluck with friends, but I realized afterwards that I happened to have a little something in my recipe backlog that I’ve been meaning to post that would have been perfect for a cinco de mayo dinner (maybe if I had posted it a few days ago…): quesadilla pie! Luckily, it is awesome enough to enjoy on seis de mayo, siete de mayo, and just about any other day of the year.
This week we’ve gone middle eastern (well, westernized middle eastern perhaps) for kitchen firsts to fill in a real gap in my culinary repertoire. That’s right everybody, I have never made falafels before (let alone awesome baked ones). Some of you may consider this a sin, but I was slow to discover the need for a good falafel recipe because I used to think they tasted like sawdust balls. But after eating some really good ones as street food in France and then discovering some even tastier versions of them around here, I’ve finally warmed to the crispy savory deliciousness and come to appreciate the opportunity they provide to eat a really satisfying meatless (nay, vegan!) meal.
Even after I discovered that eating falafels was not so bad, they remained on my no-cook list for quite awhile because I was skeptical about making them myself, what with the trouble and questionable healthfulness of frying the little guys up. Then about a year ago I came across this recipe for baked falafels, and I stored the smart-sounding idea in the back recesses of my mental recipe-log, until this week when we finally made them! And now that I’ve tried them, I can’t believe I waited so long.
I have no idea why, but until last week I had NEVER cooked up a batch of beans. Ridiculous, no? I mean, it’s really easy, and I have a slow-cooker (albeit one from the 70s), and I eat Mexican-inspired food quite a lot, so I really have no excuse. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that up until a year or two ago I refused to eat beans altogether due to their mealy texture, but I have since had a bean awakening and discovered that 1) not all beans taste the same, and 2) how they are prepared makes all the difference!
Sometimes I forget that sandwiches can exist outside the realm of lunch. A few too many soggy sandwiches have started turning me into a bit of a sandwich skeptic, and call me crazy, but I often find that the idea of a sandwich is better than the actual sandwich itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of the sandwich and a good one done right is pure bliss. It’s just that for me, most sandwiches are just not particularly memorable meals, and don’t even cross my mind when it’s time to prepare dinner. But I do love it when a sandwich can prove me wrong, and I recently discovered one that did just that.