Fresh Corn Polenta with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes

Well here we are again old friend. It’s me and a polenta (i.e. grits) recipe. Of course I’m going to make it. This particular recipe is from page 126 of Fresh Food Fast. I thought the idea of making polenta from fresh corn instead of traditional dried polenta was interesting. What I learned? Fresh Corn Polenta is not polenta. It wasn’t bad per say. But it wasn’t at all what I was expecting or looking for. I love fresh corn. Honestly, I’d rather it fresh corn in salad and leave the polenta to the regular dried variety.


Warm Chickpea Salad with Shallots and Red Wine Vinaigrette

This recipe from page 65 of Fresh Food Fast was fine, but not good enough to make again. Between the amount of shallots and the amount of vinegar in the recipe, it was too sharp for me. I cut the olive oil down from the 1/3 cup called for by Berley to 3 tbsp. As usual I used dry beans instead of canned.

Lemon Walnut Hummus

I’ve made hummus at home tons of time. It’s always good, never great. Then I ventured into this walnut hummus recipe from page 35 of Fresh Food Fast and…oh I couldn’t get enough. No more hummus leftovers growing mold in the back of my fridge. I think the secret of the amazing flavor is in toasting the walnuts before adding them to the hummus. It creates a surprising warmth of flavor that I don’t get in standard sesame hummus. I try to avoid using the oven in summer. I used the toaster oven to toast the walnuts and was happy with the results. I’ll definitely be making this again.

Charmoula Baked Tempeh with Vegetable Couscous

This recipe is from page 26 of Fresh Food Fast. It’s a mixed bag. I love this tempeh recipe. Oh so so delicious. Maybe my favorite tempeh recipe I’ve made. I’ve even made it without the cilantro when I’m short on fresh herbs and it’s good that way too. I cut the oil down by half. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of olive oil. I use 1/4 cup.

On the other hand, I only made this couscous recipe once. It was very unexciting and bland. I guess it’s intended to be bland to counterbalance the flavorful tempeh, but I skip it.

Gado Gado

I discovered Gado Gado a couple summers ago when I was looking for vegetarian Indonesian recipes. I love it because there it’s cool and fresh for hot summer days, while I’ll being very filling. It’s pretty much been a hit with everyone I’ve made it for, from my four-year-old niece to my brother’s Persian father-in-law. It was my mom’s number one request for my parent’s 50th anniversary party.

I use this recipe for the peanut sauce, but follow my own sense of what to do for the salad its self from reading a lot of different recipes. One note. This makes A LOT of peanut sauce. You can make the whole batch and freeze it. Otherwise I recommend cutting it in half, or possibly even in a quarter if you’re only making it for one or two people. (It appears the mooswoodcooks website is down. Here’s an alternative:)

For the salad my favorite combination uses the following:

Vermicelli rice noodles

Firm Tofu

Long beans

Julienned Cucumber

Julienned Carrot

Bean Sprouts

Shredded Chinese Cabbage

My favorite way to prepare the tofu is to bake it. I brush it with a small amount of oil, cut it into small cubes, and cook it in the oven, turning it over every 20 minutes or so until all sides are brown.

To cook the long beans and vermicelli, I boil a kettle of water and pour the boiling water over them, letting them sit in the boiling water for about three minutes before draining.

Everything else should be served raw.

In my experience the best ratio is as follows: 2/8 noodles, 1/8 tofu, 2/8 cooked veggies, 3/8 raw veggies

Brown Rice and Vegetable Paella

This is on page 314 of Diet for a New World. I love this recipe. It’s just so full of thinks I like. It’s really hard to go wrong in my book with any recipe that has bell pepper, artichoke hearts, and green olives. The only problem is that the timing is off. If you make it with the timing from the recipe you end up with undercooked rice. The recipe says only to pre-cook the rice on the stove for 5 minutes. I usually do it for more. I think 15-20?

Creamy Vegetable Tahini Soup

This recipe is from page 259 of Diet for a New World. I LOVE this recipe. I’ve made it a ton of times. You can pretty much put in whatever veggies you feel like. The tahini broth is so indulgent and rich. And yet I feel healthy eating it because veggies and soup? Plus it only takes a few minute to make if you’ve already pre-cut the veggies. This is a winter staple for me.

Beets and Greens with Lemon-Basil Dressing

This recipe is from page 277 of Diet for a New World. I had beets in my garden and was looking for a recipe that would put them front and center without too much fuss because I really like beets on their own. This looked like a good way to use up some of my basil plants as well. I’ll fess up. I only made the beets part of this because I really don’t like beet greens. I liked the dressing but felt that the recipe was missing crunch. Maybe it would have been different with the greens. But they wouldn’t be crunchy so I doubt it. I ended up throwing in cucumbers halfway through the week, which helped. I plan to play around with the dressing and a new salad recipe.