Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Acorn Squash with Limed Rice Pilaf, Sweet Potato, Tempeh, Watermelon Radish

We've been eating out the last few nights. My wife performed sitar at a concert in Charlotte on Sunday; she was there since Thursday night, and I took the train on Saturday evening to be with her. We went out after I arrived with several of her friends to Wolfman Pizza, a local chain that we like with many good pizza toppings and nice, thin vegan crust - I think my wife and I shared an artichoke heart / green olive / spinach cheeseless pizza with pineapple instead of spinach on her half.

We ended our trip on Sunday eating at probably our favorite Ethiopian restaurant (even more than the ones in Adams-Morgan in Washington, DC), Meskerem. We love Ethiopian food - many vegetarian dishes that somewhat resemble Indian food, served atop a piece of thick, soft, sour injera bread made with fermented teff (a grain). Utensils aren't given - just additional injera (reminscent of Indian dosas) to use with hands to scoop up the food. This restaurant has good service and we're impressed with the cleanliness and decor.

Yesterday, I taught a 3-hour photography workshop. We decided to eat out and tried a new place, for us, Fuse. It's run by a nice Korean man and is fairly vegetarian friendly. I enjoyed bee bip bom when I visited Korea a few years ago - a common dish with rice and a variety of vegetables that one mixes together. They had it at Fuse, which we enjoyed, as well as sweet potato fries and salad. Unfortunately, Fuse is also a club - when we got there, we were the only clients, but soon smokers arrived - it's NOT enjoyable at all to eat (or do anything!) around cigarette smoke.

Today, I made a pilaf by starting with sauteeing, in the lovely Floribbean Foods Key Lime Savory Oil, a small shallot, cubed 1/8"-1/4"; a minute or so later, I added half of a yellow bell pepper, diced 1/4"-1/2". Another minute or so later, I added approximately a cup of a brown and wild rice mixture and sauteed for about two minutes till the brown kernels starting getting slightly clear. I added a half teaspoon of cumin, stirred for a half minute, then added twice as much water as I had added rice, a cube of vegan bouillon, and half of a dried mulato pepper (I should have also added a half teaspoon or so of salt). I brought it to a boil then simmered it, covered, for about 50 minutes.

I served the pilaf inside acorn squash that I had baked, along with baked sweet potato. I sauteed some tempeh in the lime oil and served it, along with watermelon radish slices and baby yellow carrots. It was a good dinner, but the squash needed a little more seasoning; we added a pinch or so of salt, as well as a teaspoon of Meditalia brand red pepper tapenade.


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