Thursday, January 18, 2007

Oh Spinach, How I've Missed Thee!

Sure, the bagged spinach scare was a bit rediculous, but I won't deny that it made me think twice about buying bagged anything for a while. As that's typically the only way I can find fresh spinach around my neck o' the woods, I've not been making it for some time. I've also read in numerous nutrition books that it's full of nutrients that our body can't process all that well so it's led me to venture out to other greens. But I broke down and bought one of those plastic containers of organic baby spinach and FINALLY had the salad I've been craving.
Ya see, spinach is my favorite green for salad making, hands down. Not that you can tell from the picture above, I've managed to drown my beloved tender leaves under a sea of veggies like shredded zucchini and carrots, slivers of red pepper, thinly sliced cukes, roasted portabello, and (a new favorite snack) roasted chickpeas!

This salad was huge, refreshing, satisfying, and most important DE-LICIOUS! And here she is all dressed up in a bit of Island Grove Mango Poppy dressing.Super YUM!

That morning I found a new faux sausage recipe somewhere on the web (recipe at end of post) as I wanted to venture away from VwaV's version (which i love but the Cap'n never really warmed up to).
These little patties were soooo good with a little leftover gravy. And yes, that IS mashed cauliflower with my tempeh sausage and fresh blueberries and rasberries for breakfast. ;)

Turns out the Cap'n just isn't all that fond of tempeh, regardless of the preparation. sigh. more for me! I'm hoping to win him over with freshly made tempeh once we move and I can get my hands on it weakly. the shrink-wrapped version I get from the grocery store just has a flavor that poaching and steaming just don't eliminate enough for his palate, i'm thinking.

After getting Feb's Veg. Times in the mail yesterday I naturally just had to dive into one of the recipes. Granted, I had no figs so I subbed an Asian pear, I had no cranberries so I used raisins, I never drink vanilla soy milk so I just used some of my plain, light variety but used the general method and recipe for their Bulgar Fig and Ginger Pudding as breakfast, mine being more Bulgar, Pear, and Ginger Pudding. I don't know why they'd call it a pudding, it's a lot like an oatmeal dish. I liked it but not enough to be all that excited about the leftovers. I think it's maybe just too flavorful. Kind of in your face flavor that is enjoyed once as something new but would easily wear one out if you ate it for a few days straight.

Not happy with a recipe that I was excited about, spent time whipping together and then didn't love, I decided to just keep cooking til I got one right! I happened upon the MOST beautiful organic kale at Mother Earth the other dayand was wanting to use up some puff pastry lingering in the freezer, hence a giant spanakopita style kale turnover was born!I loosely based the filling on Vegan Planet's Kale Spanakopita, halving the tofu and using just one bunch of kale, and adding some nutritional yeast before processing. I spooned that onto half the pastry sheet, folded it over, crimped it closed with a fork, and brushed the whole thing with some soy milk before popping into a 375 oven for about 30 min.
This was amazing. I can't wait to make miniature versions for guests in the future.

I still had some of the kale filling leftover and didn't want to wait to use it so I softened some no boil lasagna noodles that have been in our pantry staring back at me for ages. I then spread some on two overlapping noodles, added some tempeh sausage crumbles (that recipe is simple and fast. i just omitted the flour and crumbled the tempeh rather than mashing it all up), some leftover roasted portabello, and rolled 'em up.
After running out of the kale mixutre, I mixed up some tofu basil ricotta with some leftover tofu from the freezer, and finished off the remaining noodles by rolling them with the ricotta, shredded zucchini, and tempeh sausage. Now they're resting in our fridge topped with some jarred Muir Glenn Tomato Sauce so that tonight's dinner will be a snap!

Easy Tempeh Fauxsage Patties

1 pkg tempeh, steamed
2 T oil
2 T tamari
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1/4 marjoram (or oregano)
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 T whole wheat flour

grate steamed tempeh into bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. form into small patties. heat oil in pan over med heat. saute patties, about four min per side, until golden brown and serve with your favorite vegan gravy!


Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the nutrients in spinach that our body can't process. I thought it was a "super food." Spinach is definitely our salad green of choice also. It's so much better - hands down!

Thanks to Bazu, I tried the new tempeh sausage recipe. I made hamburger bun sized patties and we ate them on buns one night and then I tossed them with some ww spaghetti noodles and tomato sauce the next. I wasn't too impressed with the recipe though.

Love your modified spanakopita! Looks delicious.

Melissa said...

Bry, I love the new pic of you on your profile! Also, can you email me the gravy recipe? Yours looks way more fantastic than the one I have been using.

Wish we could have monthly dinner parties...SIGH...

Candi said...

Hi! What a beautiful new profile photo!!

I missed spinach too, from those days during the scare. I was so deprived and craving it!! I'm glad you had a huge salad with it, and that looks really great! I love roasted chick peas too!

The kale spanikopita is perfect!! I'd love to make one myself!

Harmonia said...

The presentation the that first one is amazing! Great job! LOVE the colors!

Happy Weekend!

Anonymous said...

what a gorgeous salad! it looks like something you'd get in a restaurant.

Linda said...

what do you use to get those veggie slivers so spaghetti-like?