Saturday, May 06, 2006

Seitan-mushroom saute with rice noodles, baked tomato slices

I bought two green tomatoes recently and they ripened to red on my counter-top in a few days. I had thought of making a version of the traditional Southern fried green tomato dish (I never deep fry, but would saute), but instead made baked tomato slices. Onto a baking plate that was sprayed with a little olive oil, I placed thick tomato slices, a little bit more oil, and tortilla crumbs. I put a dab of Earth Balance margarine on top and baked in a preheated 350 °F oven for about 20 minutes till the tomato slices had shriveled just a little and were tender and firm. I served the tomatoes with a dab of homemade pesto.

My main course was a simple saute of seitan (wheat gluten), mixed mushrooms, red onions, and shallots with rice noodles and soy and hot sauces. I also finished up the loaf of olive bread.

Yesterday I taught and we ate out, meeting a friend who was on a business trip from Charlotte. We ate at a nice fine Italian dining establishment, Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill (NC). The decor inside and out was classy and gorgeous, but, at first glance, the menu wasn't very appealing from a vegetarian perspective. However, I had called ahead and they expected us and said they could make items not on the menu to satisfy us. I suggested family-style serving, and ordered wedges of romaine hearts salad, an eggless rice pasta with many suggested ingredients including artichoke hearts and ... morel mushrooms (which we love!), and fresh, mixed berries for dessert. They brought all this out, as well as a pineapple sorbet for palate cleansing after the salad course. Delicious (and expensive, about $140 including tip for the three of us, and including a delicious kiwi-based fruit juice for me)!


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