Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Grains and Greens

Influenced by Judith Jones' The Pleasures of Cooking for One, I've been on a grains kick. Here's quinoa (keen-wa) simply cooked with a bit of lemon zest and lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Following Ms. Jones' suggestion, I toasted the grains before mixing with water to bake. So simple, yet so good!
Since the oven was on, it was a perfect time to give roasted asparagus a try with a sesame vinaigrette. We're looking at about 30 minutes from start to finish here for a taste tempting meal. Easy to do, extremely simple in its preparation, but there's nothing simple about the complex flavors a few interesting ingredients can deliver.
There are many meat and dairy inclusions in Jones' book. But I like reading recipes regardless, and always come away with ideas that can easily be adapted and applied to a vegan menu. The sesame vinaigrette is a great example. This lively dressing would make a great dipping sauce for vegetarian sushi or summer rolls, an interesting dressing for a cabbage slaw, and it would be equally good if used to liven up steamed vegetables. A simple mix of sesame oil, tamari, rice wine vinegar and (shh...sugar). Easy to skip the sugar and punch it up with something hot, like a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes, perhaps?
The beauty of Jones' book is she's done all the work of downsizing portion sizes and ingredient lists yet it's easy to double if you're cooking for two.
This is a super book for singles, or couples, to add interest to everyday meals. Getting into the kitchen and actually cooking is a simple pleasure, and almost a lost art, that can even be enjoyed when cooking for one.

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