Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pasta with Esme Sauce and Great Friends or VeganMofo Day 17

Mondays we have a homeschooling group which also eats lunch together so I ask the kids on Sunday what they would like to take for lunch. This week Parker requested whole wheat pasta with Esme Sauce and Garlic Bread Topping (which everyone in the family calls "crunchies") and a baked tofu sandwich. I just made an extra amount (1/2 cup of each of the ingredients) of Esme Sauce Sunday night and used some of it to bake the tofu. When I don't won't to do dishes, I serve Esme Sauce because it is quick and easy and the family licks their plates clean (I really do wash the dishes anyway, promise).
Parker always requests peas when we eat Esme Sauce. They go well together, but it is also good with broccoli or any other green veggie of your choice.

Garlic Bread Topping (or Crunchies):
1 tablespoon olive oil (you may want more)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I've made it without bread crumbs...the pumpkin seeds and walnuts are the important part, in my opinion)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pumpkin seeds
red pepper flakes to taste

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on low/medium low heat, add the garlic and saute for couple minutes then add the remaining ingredients and mix together and serve over pasta (or if you are like Rob just eat it with left over sauce and don't wait for any pasta).

The weekend was jam packed with lot of fun and good food, but no pictures. We went to a friend's second birthday party Saturday late afternoon and everyone had so much fun and I drooled over my friend, Susan's kitchen. The food was great and most of it vegan! Parker had two plate fulls of food before they served the birthday cake (made by the famous and uber-talented Kris and again it was vegan...we've been to 3 birthday parties in the last couple weeks and they have all had a beautiful vegan cake by Kris and none of the families were vegan! We are spoiled, I tell you, spoiled!)

Susan's recipe for the excellent bulgur salad the kids could not get enough of at the party:

2 cups of bulgur
2 cups of hot water
1 T tomato paste
1 T red pepper paste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 small onion, cut in thin half rounds
1 bunch *fresh* flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (dried parsley just won't do
for this recipe)
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 small or banana shaped green pepper, finely chopped
2 T pure pomegranate juice (optional)
Juice of 1 or 1/2 lemon (make to suit your own taste)
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper (or to suit your own taste)
1 tsp mint flakes
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
Romain lettuce leaves

Put tomato and pepper paste in a big bowl and melt them with boiling hot water. Add bulgur and 1 tsp salt into this mix. Stir once. Cover with a thick kitchen towel and let it soak the water for 10 minutes. Cut the onion in half first, then into very thin half-moon shapes. In a little bowl, knead/mix onion with 1 tsp salt. Rinse salt and squeeze excessive water. Fluff bulgur with a fork. Add pepper flakes, ground pepper, cumin, mint flakes, oil, pomegranate and lemon juice, and kneaded onion. Mix well. At this point taste to see if it needs more lemon juice. Add green peppers, green onions, cucumber, and parsley. Mix well.

Best when served cold. Serve on a lettuce bed (you can wrap some of the salad in a lettuce leaf and eat like that) with slices of tomato on the side, or just eat the salad as is in a bowl or as a side dish.

After the party, we had dinner at Catharine and Ricky's which was superb. Rob and I still had room for more yummy food. The kids played more than ate, but that is pretty usual. We talked and drank and ate...perfect! We left Parker's coat at their house. We always leave something to ensure we will be asked back.

Sunday was a little lazy since Rob and I hadn't really seen much of each other, but still I was up and out with Loretta and Emily and at the movies by 11am to see "W". Now, I really shouldn't post about this movie while posting about food because it certainly made me lose my appetite. I can work in the vegan theme by saying James Cromwell, a long-time veg*n, plays Bush Sr. in the film. I was happy to get out with some friends and see a movie, but it was like reliving the nightmare of the the last eight years, but paying $6 to do it in a movie theater. I'm not saying don't watch it, but it is not what I consider to be an uplifting or feel good movie. I don't get into politics too much on this blog for many, many reasons...one being that I think our two-party system is broken. Watching this movie makes me even more nervous about the upcoming election here in the good ole U S of A. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping and praying we will have good outcome, but whatever the result, our jobs as citizens only begins with our vote, it doesn't end there. We need to stay on top of our politicians and remember that they work for us.When I came home from the movie, the boys were at a neighbor's house playing and I walked in to this scene which made me feel much better about the world.


Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

Awwwww... what a great picture! And that salad sounds terrific. I must try it.

About the bunny - we read a lot of different websites about caring for bunnies, what to feed them and what to avoid, how to house them, etc. I don't remember exactly what sites we used though.

They are a great pet -very gentle and loving- and can be litter box trained. We are going to try that with this one.

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

My daughter says this is a good site:


Anonymous said...

Hey Miss Linda! I think I need to take your blog with me next time I go to Whole Foods. LOL

It is thrilling to learn about the variety I can have and eat no meat. Yea!!!

I sure wish I knew someone IRL that ate Vegetarian/Vegan so I could talk about all the different foods, etc. But, since I don't, I'll keep enjoying your blog.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Robin :)

the sandwich life said...

oh....that PICTURE!!!

VeganLinda said...

Lisa, Thanks for the bunny info!

Robin, Feel free to email me anytime if you have questions. I know it can be hard when you don't know any veg*n IRL. I started on my veg path when I was 13 years old and I didn't know ANYONE so I started slowly and had some set backs. I stopped eating mammals first and even that was hard for people to understand living in a small Midwestern town.

Cynthia, I forgot to tell Rob about the picture and he was surprised to see it on the blog. Teehee. It just melts my heart to see them together.

Inanna said...

What an amazing shot! Heart melting for sure!!