I went to Home Depot for a wheelbarrow…I came home with a wheelbarrow and a grill and my meal planning was forever changed. I bought my home, my first home, in November of 2010. Generally speaking, rentals don’t allow grills; something about fire hazards and lack of space. The first year in the house was a whirlwind of getting settled recovering financially from the most expensive purchase of one’s life and just basically treading water in home/yard maintenance. Year two, last year, was spent making changes that were identified as needs in year one. Besides, what does a vegan need with a grill?! I’ll put the grill second after the newly installed fence as best homeowner purchase.
That was the preamble to the warning that summer is going to be slow in the new recipe department as I have discovered the versatility of grilled vegetables. In the past few weeks since buying the grill, I have had grilled zucchini, peppers, red onion and eggplant over brown rice, in pasta, in salad. Last night was my personal favorite, grilled onions, peppers, and asparagus on a pizza…which I also grilled. Some fresh tomato and basil with crushed red pepper and garlic made this even more awesome.
That said the cookbooks have been lonely. Sticking with the challenge I cracked Happy Herbivore Abroad in search of a recipe. I decided on Insalata Fantasia for lunches. In case you cannot decipher the name it is a salad (so cleche, a vegan salad I know, but if the publisher is willing to call it a recipe so am I!). Besides, this salad is a bit different than my typical lettuce, tomato, cucumber, hot banana pepper lunch. It incorporates green and black olives and radishes, which are ingredients I enjoy but do not typically think to use. In addition to that it saved me some money this week; the cafeteria at work charges by weight for salad bar, which generally ends up costing $6-7 per day for a filling lunch that could be more cost effectively and tastefully prepared at home.
I didn’t stop there though. I haven’t made a sweet treat in awhile and had apples that needed to be used, so I made Apple Crisp Muffins from the Happy Herbivore Cookbook. These will definitely be made again. In addition to fresh apples, this recipes includes whole wheat pastry flour, applesauce for moisture without fat, and sweeteners including maple syrup, brown sugar and raw sugar. While the amount of sweetener is typical volume for a muffin recipe, I cut back the raw sugar and will probably eliminate it entirely next time around as I found them a bit sweet. I tend to gravitate towards saltier treats myself so others would probably love them with the recipe as is. I also topped with pecans and some grape nuts sprinkled for crunch, instead of the oats and brown sugar suggested.
I’m most excited for next week’s lunches. Grilled zucchini, squash, eggplant, peppers, onions, and asparagus for wraps with hummus, tomato and spring mix salad greens. It took some restraint not to make a wrap and eat it now!
New Recipes Made This Week: 2
New Recipe Tally 2013: 53