Travel Eats

Entries in vegetarian (4)


Cilantro Peanut Pasta with Asparagus

Isn't this Fire King soup bowl jaunty?  It looks like something you ate beef stroganoff out of in the '70s.  I got it in Wimberley at a little vintage shop.  Too bad they only had one, but at least I have a new prop for food photography.

Dinner was nearly a fail tonight after I discovered the bag of sugar snap peas had gone bad...luckily I had some asparagus that I could repurpose.  We served this warm; it would be delicious chilled--just thin the sauce a bit more.

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup almond butter (you could use all PB if you like, I just ran out)

4 TBS soy sauce

1 Large garlic clove

4 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 TBS sesame oil

1 small bunch cilantro (stems included)

freshly ground pepper

1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces, blanched

1 box bow-tie pasta, cooked and drained

Put all ingredients in bowl of food processor (except asparagus/pasta).  Blend, thinning with water until desired consistency.  Toss with warm pasta and asparagus.  Season with more pepper/salt as needed.  Garnish with cilantro leaves.   

Oh, did you want to see the pasta and not just the awesome bowl?  Here you go....



Busy Day Curry

If you have all the ingredients on hand, you can have this on the table in ~30 minutes--seriously.  Just don't go crazy with the curry paste, the heat builds, and the dish will be hotter tomorrow.  Most of the ingredients are available at a good Asian grocery or Amazon.

3 TBS. yellow curry paste

1.5 cans coconut milk

2 medium zucchini--quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2" chunks

2 bell peppers--cut into 1/2" chunks

1 package firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2" chunks

2 TBS fish sauce

2 TBS turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)

salt to taste

1/2 cup Thai basil leaves

1/2 lb rice sticks

2 Kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and cook rice sticks as directed on package--about 10 minutes, until soft but not mushy.  Drain and cut with scissors into manageable lengths.

Over medium high heat bring 1/2 can coconut milk to a boil, add curry paste and whisk til smooth.  Cook until thickened and oil beads on surface.  Add vegetables and stir to coat with curry/coconut milk mixture.  Cook for ~2 minutes, then add 1 can coconut milk and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add tofu, fish sauce, sugar, salt, basil, lime leaf and cook until heated through.

Mix in the cooked noodles and toss to coat evenly.  Garnish with more basil.

Maddy and I still laugh at the directions on a certain brand of Asian noodles.  It said, "Please! don't use hot water."  Don't worry, you can use hot water on the rice sticks, they won't cook otherwise.  Enjoy! You can take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


Ladies Who Lunch

In keeping with our fancy French terminology--I made a beautiful mirepoix (by my standards--Thomas Keller probably would have faulted me for my irregular chop) for this grain salad.  I wanted to bring something other than a box of doughnuts in for my coworkers and decided on a salad to sustain us through the day of c-sections, inductions and spontaneous deliveries.  I cooked my pink-eyed peas last night and combined with some kasha for a bean and grain complete protein extravaganza.


Labor & Delivery Salad

1/4 cup each chopped spring onion, carrot and celery--1/8" dice  (this is mirepoix--don't you feel sophisticated?)

extra virgin olive oil

1 cup toasted kasha

salt and pepper

1 pint cooked black or pink eyed peas

1 tsp sumac

2 tsp za'atar seasoning


juice of one lemon

3-4 thyme sprigs

Heat 3 TBS olive oil in saucepan over med heat.  Add onions/celery/carrots  and saute for ~ 5minutes.  Do not brown.  Add one cup kasha and stir to coat with oil.  Add 2 cups water.  Simmer for ~20 minutes, until kasha is tender.

Remove from heat and fluff with fork.  Add za'atar/sumac/salt/pepper/lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  Strip leaves off thyme sprigs and add cooked peas.  Stir in ~2 TBS. olive oil.  Serve at room temperature.


Uppity Succotash--when canned corn and limas won't do

I learned this neat trick from Paula Deen, yep, we're bff.  She came over to my house and said, "Girl, just stand that lil' ole ear of corn up in a Bundt pan and you can remove those kernels quick as a wink without spattering your counter with corn juices and spraying your kernels all over the kitchen like buckshot."  Sweet corn is one of my favorites, and even Paula eats it without butter.  We have to take it off the cob now since someone in our family has braces....I was going to pair it with fresh pink-eyed peas (seriously, I got them at the farmer's market--they are like albino black-eyed peas) but realized they would take too long to cook.  Instead, I used a bag of frozen edamame I had, visually more appealing and cooked in 4 minutes in the microwave. 


3 ears of corn--kernels removed using method of your choice but I highly recommend Paula's

shelled edamame--cooked and used in 1:1 ratio with corn kernels

2 medium shallots, diced finely

1 medium bulb fennel, sliced thinly and slices cut into ~1" pieces

olive oil

salt and pepper

sherry wine vinegar

In a medium skillet heat 2-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat.  Saute shallot until lightly browned.  Add fennel and cook until tender-crisp.  Add corn and cook briefly, just until heated through.  Remove from heat and add edamame.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with a splash (or two) of sherry wine vinegar. I served mine in my favorite Fire King bowl.  We rounded out the meal with some grilled sausage and fresh tomatos with homemade pesto---no pictures because pesto looks like goose turds if it is more than a few minutes old.