Monday, January 10, 2011


I get to eat a lot of truly awesome food.  Here, for instance, to the left you see an example of a perfect meal: lentils with caramelized onions and garlic, hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, kalamata olives, some pickled red onions, and some sourdough-type foccaccia it's taken a full 5 days to make (more on this in a future post).  Oh, my god.  Who on this whole planet gets to eat as well as this?  I feel so very fortunate.  Even more than usual when I've got people whom otherwise I respect proudly describing themselves to me as "meatatarians."  So, meatatarians, eat this!  Seriously, why wouldn't you?
Only my miserable plating skillz have prevented me from posting several of the meals I have enjoyed since January 1, but, you know, I'm making it one of my blog-related resolutions to do better on this front, and so as not to allow some most excellent vegan food to sink unrecorded into oblivion, here are a few examples. 

Some more awesomeness from Viva Vegan.  First rule of plating (broken here):
Never photograph the amount you're actually going to eat.

Pot barley, macro and super-macro

Pot barley soup, with beans and kale, and, because that wasn't exciting enough, kimchi!
Plus a tomato and pickled red onion salad and some wretched commercial white pita
bread elevated to heights it did not deserve with olive oil and crushed garlic!
Then I found some fresh yuba that was more delicate than the frozen kind I had been buying, that came in packets like the ones on the left, that you could pull apart like the one on the right.

So I pulled it all apart and marinated it in the Buddha's chicken marinate from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Authentic Chinese Cuisine:

...and put it back together and braised it instead of steaming/frying:

...and ate it like this:

A dang good meal.  Those shoestring thingies are very lightly stir-fried potatoes a la chinoise. 
The yellow stuff is homemade daikon pickle coloured with turmeric: stinky, but good.
Below is the first incarnation of the sourdough foccaccia (with raisins) and hummus, which was amazingly awesome I think because I finally overcame the prejudice of the first hummus recipe I ever read, which said something like, "Leave chunks."  This was creamy smooth, no chunks.  I much prefer it this way!  Plus some stir fried cherry tomatoes which made a huge mess of my stove, floor, wall, etc., but it was worth it, and some Italian-style kabocha squash.

Sigh.  It's been a pretty good week after all.


  1. Your miscellaneous meals look incredibly superior. You DO eat well. I'm very jealous of the fresh yuba you found — even the frozen — since all I can find is dried. I recently had nori-wrapped fried "fish" that I'm pretty sure was made from tightly layered yuba, and it was so good.

  2. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying some amazing feasting. That is a stunning assortment of food! It certainly puts whatever I've managed to cook this week to shame haha.

  3. So lucky you found fresh Yuba! Thanks for the 'First Rule Of Plating', I never knew that.

  4. Yum. Yum. And Yum. It all looks beautiful! I like the raisins in the foccacia, and I'm with you on the creamy hummus.

  5. Great work! Thank you for breaking down (with pictures) the way you did the tofu. :)

  6. Andrea, I'm still so exploring the wonder that is yuba. It should not make a difference whether it is dry or fresh, but there are so many different kinds...

    Tiffany, thanks! I'm doing my best :-)

    Shenandoah, that's, um, the only rule of plating I can remember. What's the deal that your salads etc. always look so awesome all piled up on a plate, and when I do it, it's just a mess? There are without any doubt whatsoever esoteric rules of plating of which I am not yet aware...

    Yes, Rose, creamy hummus...mmmmmm....

    Haymarket, I'm veering very strongly into step-by-steps these days, inspired by renae of i eat food among others, so please keep watching!

  7. Your food always look awesome and yummy! :-)

  8. I say first rule of plating be damned! (I say this waving my fist in the air to hide my sheepishness for never having heard this alleged rule.) We've been stuffing our faces in a public way for the duration of our blog. Oh dear!

    This is a fantastic array of meals. Lucky you indeed! We've been in a bit of a creative slump, bogged down with lots of other stuff. Seeing all of this, though, may have stimulated the ol' creative juices. So, cheers!

  9. Thanks, Chow!

    Mark, I know. I keep rebelling against the rules (or I should rather say "guidelines") but am continually bewitched by those photographs where the food items look like individual jewels on a plate, or really huge pieces--because the plate is tiny and there's only a few tablespoons on it. Well, whatever. I'm not setting up for a career in food photography thank goodness so I'll no doubt keep loading up my plate as well! After all, there is something so satisfying even in the picture of a well-filled plate...

  10. It indeed looks like a perfect meal! Well, I don't like olives, but everything else matches my idea of perfection.

  11. Wow all of that food looks great to me! Don't worry about silly plating skills! I'm jealous. I eat way too much processed food becuz I'm lazy. Becky