Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Last night in LA

Well, this pretty much brings me up to when I left LA.  I flew United, and got some really bizarre but totally passable special vegan meals: dinner was a mild and tasty curry with chickpeas and sweet potatoes... topped by a slice of peach (!?) and served with Israeli couscous (?!).  It was accompanied by several slices of German rye bread (!?), Earth Balance, and a green salad with fat-free balsamic vinaigrette.  Huh?  Oh, and to top it off, some sugar-free pecan "shortbread" cookies (more like Nilla Wafers, really), that had xylitol in them.  I am a little creeped out by the xylitol, which I had to look up upon arrival.

Breakfast on board was a (quite tasty, albeit weird considering it felt like the middle of the night) pita pocket with hummus, tabouleh, and lettuce in it.  Accompanied by... more of the sugar-free cookies?!  Everyone else was served yogurt, bananas, and a pastry.  So random, but it's really nice that airlines are so willing to accommodate.


My last dinner in LA was of the clean-out-the-fridge sort.  Sarah had brought me over a bunch of squashes from someone's garden (at Wattles, actually!), and I had some other veggies lying around as well.  Most excitingly, I finally fried up that tube of polenta that had been sitting on my counter for weeks.


We made the squash along the same lines that my family often made it when I was growing up (minus the parmesan).  I parboiled the carrots ahead of time so that they'd cook evenly with the softer squash, and I used the old Western-style herbs, plus whatever was on hand.  Some sesame seeds added crunch and nuttiness.

Summer Squash and Carrots with Herbs

carrots, sliced
olive oil
garlic, minced
scallions, chopped
summer squash/zucchini/etc, sliced or quartered
fresh parsley, minced
red pepper flakes
sesame seeds

1. Parboil the carrots so that they're about the same softness as the squashes.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add garlic, scallions, and salt, and cook until fragrant.  Then add squash and carrots and cook a few minutes.  Add herbs and red pepper flakes, and cook until veggies are tender and slightly browned, adding water as necessary.
3. Adjust salt to taste and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving hot.  A sprinkle of nutritional yeast would also be nice.


Polenta was the real exciting discovery.  A random buy from Trader Joe's one day, this inexpensive, shelf-stable golden tube had been sitting around for weeks.  I sliced it, browned it in olive oil, and then served the crispy and succulent slices with some of the leftover enchilada sauce I'd found in my freezer.  I'd forgotten how amazing this sauce was--cumin, marjoram, and, most of all, smoky chipotles en adobo give this sauce incredible depth of flavor.  Here, that flavor was really well complemented by the textures and the mild sweetness of the polenta.  We ate it all.

Pan-Fried Polenta with Spicy Chipotle Enchilada Sauce


In other news, Devon has been practicing her wave.


Devon said...

With a wave that good, it's a wonder I don't wave all the time!

janet @ the taste space said...

Have fun in England! :)