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buh-jee-zus good

May 18, 2009

i did a TON of cooking this weekend, wanting to take food to my friends who recently had their baby.  stumped by what to cook, i followed inspiration from Your Vegan Mom’s post a couple of weeks ago.  i love that i’m seeing Mark Bittman’s recipes frequent Vegan blogs recently, Here, Here, and Here, and cited on NPR recently, Here and Here.  i totally agree with La Vegan Loca, his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is THE foundational tool in my vegan kitchen.  this book alone probably comforted me the most when i decided to go Veg.  it’s my fave, and while i urge you to get your hands on it sooner than later, i will not loan you my copy.  i love it too much.

i took it to the coffee shop this weekend.  i needed to decide what i’d be cooking for my frendsies.  i also needed to email my other frendsie my Magic Mushroom Soup recipe (blog post to come).  i needed to make grocery lists.  when i began combing through it, i was asked by 2 different people what i was studying.  haha.  i never know how to answer the question about whether i’m a student – jeez people, i’ve been a lawyer for 5 years, which means i already spent 7 years in college, another year-ish in bar exam duty, and 5 years practicing.  i’m much closer to being an accomplished professional than i am a student, but whatevs.  if you want to talk about my studies, we can talk food, environmentalism, gardening, travel, relationships, etc.  it’s a compliment if they mean i look too young to be pushing 30 and i will always and forever be a student of life.  or if that’s the best opening line they can come up with to talk to me, bring it, i likely want to talk to you too.

getting back to my point, i decided to make a pasta dish.  i rarely cook pasta but non-Veg men were in my culinary audience and i wanted them to be happily fed too.  i also figured a veggie pasta goes nicely with a generic choice of meat if my friendsies wanted to use it as a starter or side.  one of the things i love the most about Bittman’s book is that it almost always gives you several ideas for modifying a recipe to include other things, and sometimes i hit the jackpot and find a box alongside a recipe that contains about 20 choices on good addons.  this encouragement of independent decision making gets high marks from me.  i decided on his Pasta with Broccoli, a lottery winner with recipe options.  i decided to double the volume of veggies so that the green, rather than the pasta, would be the main point of the dish, while also being a full and satisfying meal.  so i chose to add sauteed spinach, and also use a walnut pesto.  i was also going to take pictures* but i forgot that part.

the pasta dish was easy to prepare.  first, boil the broccoli.  next, boil the pasta in the broccoli water.  i did this a day ahead of time, while also making the Magic Mushroom soup.  ran out of steam to complete the dish that night, so i refridgerated overnight with generous amounts of olive oil and sea salt.  the next morning, i sauteed the spinach with garlic and olive oil.  then i ran out of oil to make the pesto, oops.   oh well, figuring there was enough oil in the chilled pasta and broccoli.  i decided to chop the basil leaves and saute with the spinach, adding the entire pan with liquids to the pasta and broccoli. at that point i had stuck the pasta and broccoli into the oven to warm.  i finely chopped the walnuts in my food processor and threw them in.

i had this pasta for lunch today.  oh buhjeezus.  it was fantasticly good.  even was fantasticly good cold b/c i am making more of an effort to not microwave (even at work). 

*i have pictures of my other cooking.  not great pictures but i have pictures coming.

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