Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Limed Kale with Plantain and Seitan, Fermented Carrots, Lemon Rosemary Toast with Sheese Spread

I found that while I was gone this weekend, my wife had picked up a few groceries, including kale, which she is fond of. I prepared a dish, similar to what I did this past February, but used a nicely ripened plantain (it's good to let the plantain's skin get nice and dark) instead of banana.

I cut a tub of seitan into large chunks and started sauteeing them. When they started browning, after perhaps 5-6 minutes on medium heat, I added a shallot that I had cut into long slivers, half of a red bell pepper, cut into thick (maybe 1/4") slivers, and a peeled plaintain, cut into discs maybe 3/8" thick.

In the meantime, I hand stripped the kale into roughly 1" squares, leaving the stems behind. I added the kale about 5 minutes later, when the plantain was browning, and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes, cooking the kale down. I then added several tablespoonfuls of Baja Lime marinade and a little salt, and let the marinade cook into the other ingredients for a minute or two.

Back when we visited Savannah in February, I found packages of Bio Lacto / Deep Root brand fermented organic raw cultured vegetables. The products of theirs we found were fermented carrot, beet, and daikon radish; we bought a packet of each except the radish. I enjoyed the carrot that I served today; my wife found it a little sour to eat "straight". I have some left, and will try combining it with other ingredients when I serve it again.
I also served a slice of lemon rosemary sourdough toast with Scottish Sheese spread. It was a good dinner!

I last cooked on Thursday. I flew to Columbus, Ohio to do an engagement photography session, and enjoyed eating at Dragonfly that first night. At this gourmet vegan restaurant, I had risotto (good but frankly I like mine better) and an excellent rice pudding - cookie dessert that was hot and cold in different areas.
On Saturday night, I was in Cleveland scouting the church for the May wedding, and ate at Aladdin's Eatery. When I had last visited Cleveland in 1994, I enjoyed eating here; it offers great Middle Eastern food. Alas, they fry their falafel patties in the same oil as they fry meat, but I loved their hummus, thin pita, and a lentil-rice dish similar to koshari that I loved when I was in Cairo in February 2003.
I flew back early on Sunday and was able to enjoy much of the Triangle Jewish Film Festival, seeing an exciting documentary, Doubletime, about jump rope competition (including of a local Chapel Hill team, the Bouncing Bulldogs); another very good documentary about the city that I live in, Durham: A Self-Portrait; and Starting Out in the Evening, a nicely done film with nuanced acting about an ambitious and forward graduate student who seeks to understand an elderly novelist through interviewing him. We ran out in the 50 minutes in between the last two films to Cool Breeze, an Indian "chaat" (snack) shop, and enjoyed stuffed paratha breads and a savory snack of samosas broken up with other snack items.
Columbus was good to visit. They have good vegan and vegetarian dining choices - I enjoyed the mostly vegan Benevolence Cafe for lunch after the photography on Saturday, where I had good soup and a cinnamon bun. I brought home delicous desserts! The Whole Foods in Columbus is supposedly the second largest branch (next to the mother store in Austin, no doubt) in the company! It was big and well laid out. I heard about but didn't get a chance to visit Pattycake - an all-vegan bakery! And, last but by no means least, I was delighted to get to visit my friend Sangeeta Kumar, artistic blogger of The Veg Lounge (whom I had mentioned on March 7th), and her husband.


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