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you may (not) call me Martha, thankyouverymuch

August 10, 2009

last week was filled with mishaps of plans repeatedly being cancelled last minute, bosses puffing degrading steam, and hormones running wildly unpleasant.  when friday’s plans for a drink after work flaked again, i decided to take it as an opportunity to prep for an unusual to my world and largely overdue homebody weekend.  from work i headed to Whole Foods*, a lovely place to be on Friday evenings.  truly.  there is symphonic music playing and the aisles are nearly empty.  i lingered in the wine sections choosing my pallet-able happiness carefully.  from there i moved to the olive bar…

vegman arrived at my house around 7:30 to find me sporting yoga clothes, eyeglasses, and midway through my first pinot noir.  haha, i laughed as he walked in.  expecting him to raise an eyebrow at my state of welcome, i said, “can we just stay in this weekend?”  from there i led him to the kitchen where i had an appetizer spread (it’s not always a bad thing to go to the grocery store on payday hungry, hehe), and a cozy nook for us to leisurely wind down the week together.

the weekend was largely spent with me in the kitchen while he played the guitar, some dancing, cocktails, pouring over barcelona travel books, and maybe even playing a little bit of scabble … sigh… i do so love a man who enjoys my cooking.  oh, and an added bonus is that he is a photographer!?!    meaning, me cooking + him photographing = some very cool food pics to come.

saturday night i made stuffed poblano peppers (his request).  they were stuffed with a roasted banana pepper hummus and cilantro.  my hummus inspiration comes from a brand of green chili hummus i absolutely love, i believe it’s called Out to Lunch and it’s made in Austin.  i consider it lucky when i find it b/c it seems to fly off the shelves.  it’s NUMMY.  so of course i’d love to make my own.  i had tried to recreate the recipe before using a can of organic roasted green chilis – not tasty.  this time i decided to roast my own damn chilis.  um-hmmm, spot on.  and vegman was super impressed with the chili roasting, hehe.

Roasted Chili Pepper Hummus

2 cans chickpeas

2-4 T olive oil

2-4 T tahini

2 cloves fresh garlic

fresh squeezed lemon juice

salt to taste

3-5 mild chilis (i used Banana chilis b/c the farmer’s market and grocer did not have aneheim in stock.  i wanted anaheim.  the banana chilis were maybe a bit too mild.)

first clean the chilis and slice into large, flatish longwise strips for roasting.  i love how V’con describes chili roasting as feeling very food network fancy.  it’s true, when i roast chilis i feel as if i have mad chef skillz, even though it’s so easy.  home roasted chilis are like nothing else.  my chilis roasted on a baking sheet glazed with a bit of olive oil in 425 oven for around 30 minutes.  after about 10/15 minutes i start watching my chilis obsessively b/c i find that they can easily go from almost done to over done in a matter of a minute’s time.

once they are done, i find it relatively easy to take a spoon and scrape the roasted yumminess out of the skins.  i do the scraping on my wooden cutting block.   it diffuses the heat pretty well.  i’m always surprised at how much less roasted chili i get from the peppers than i’m expecting when choosing my raw chili delight.  so i suggest you add at least one more chili than you think you need.  from there, i dumped all of the above ingredients into my food processor.  i always eyeball the olive oil / tahini amounts to account for the texture and creaminess i want.  since i was going to stuff poblanos with it and then roast them in a pool of olive oil, i decided to make the hummus a little dryer than i normally would if i were making a dip.

stuffed poblanos were also easy to make.  once the peppers were cleaned, i used a peanut butter spreader to stuff hummus into the bottom of the pepper.  i also added much chopped cilantro for stuffing.  mmmmmmm.  i placed two stuffed poblanos in a small bread loaf pan.  perfect size.  the olive oil worked nicely in the bottom of the pan.  they roasted 15 or 20 minutes in a 450 oven.   since we had been snacking on small meals all day, i decided to to save the black beans for another time.  i served the peppers with a simple guacamole of avocado, lime and salt.  we didn’t get pics of this meal but it sure was tasty.

i’m pretty sure the only words uttered while we devoured this goodness were  vegman’s, “wow!  you are the Martha Stewart of vegan cooking.”  HA!  then we dissected how very different i am from Martha Stewart.  a sweet comment, i much appreciate.  in seriousness, he kept on about how much he loves my adoption of veg cooking and i really love that, among other things i think are super fantastic about him.   he repeated the Martha Stewart joke at least twice more yesterday when i served brunch and my black bean salad for a light snack later that evening.  i made the black bean salad using a red bell pepper and a serrano pepper this time.  oh man it was good.  so light and full of fresh and healthy.  vegman said the salad was exactly what his body wanted after the decadent meals we had shared Saturday night and Sunday brunch.  he’s right.  i can’t wait to have it for lunch today.


* i love this post about how another veg blogger feels about shopping at Whole Foods.  i would echo most of the benefits cited, except for the one about getting an employee discount (jealous!).  to that, i give credit to the awesomeness of the staff at WF.  it is surely a reason to shop there in my many many great reasons… which are mainly, like it says, quality standards of the food stocked, competitive pricing of organics, the flexibility and budget friendliness of buying bulk.  i love to grind my own peanut butter – hollllla!  prior to making WF my primary grocer, i shared the attitude / misconception cited about how that must mean my grocery budget is quite indulgent until i took my tight fisted grocery budget there and found that it works.  the food budget is made exclusively between Whole Foods and the farmer’s market, and i point to the farmer’s market for the privilege of affordable, quality produce in my home.

One Comment leave one →
  1. fortheloveofguava permalink
    August 10, 2009 10:59 am

    Your weekend sounds divine! Ugh… seems like our weekends keeps flying by without getting that good “stay in” time. Bummed you don’t have pics of your poblanos… I did a similar dish and keep meaning to post but my pics were so “bleh” totally didn’t do them justice! Mmm… blackbean salad…my fave!

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