Monday, June 27, 2011

Back in Time pt 2: Vaguely Multicultural Food

Doctor, you know where I'd really like to take the Tardis?  To about two months ago, when I made some really delicious and totally inauthentic vaguely-multicultural food, of course.  Because, you know, who would want to travel anywhere in the universe at any point in time when you can relive a relatively recent awesome meal?  Right?  Guys?  Umm, ok, moving along...

For dinner, I made Vegan Yum Yum's Lime Peanut Noodles with Seitan, Kale, and Carrots.

Now, I'm no vegan insider.  In fact, I'm kind of naturally an outsider.  So I don't really understand what's up with some folks on the web's dislike of Laura Ulm and her excellent cookbook, Vegan Yum Yum.  She's got two 1-star reviews on Amazon that reference recipes that are no way in the book, and have conversations following about some apparent grudges that at one time, at least, went around the vegan cooking world.  On one site I saw, a poster makes reference to Ulm's "unsavory practices."  WTF?!  Her recipes are damn savory, so I'm not so sure I care about her practices.  (Ha!  Knee slapper, that one!)  Something about recipe testers and book deals and stopping responding to emails/updating her blog.  I actually don't care at all except that I'm sad that she doesn't do food publicly anymore because she has really great taste and a super-artistic eye for pictures and making food look incredible.  A lot of people I've known with that much natural skill and talent suffer from major anxiety and/or depression, and sometimes worse.  So I withhold judgement completely and fully support this book, because it's a great one, no matter what internet controversy surrounds it.  Blah blah bullshit.

So I made Lime Peanut Noodles with Seitan, Kale, and Carrots from Vegan Yum Yum.  Worked up some seitan (I've never bought pre-made seitan, have you?), sliced some carrots and enjoyed how all the colors looked together.  Check out how pretty it looks in the pan, before the sauce and noodles were added.

Know what?  It doesn't look half bad all put together, either.  And it tastes just absolutely perfect.  Freak out good, really.

And then I made the Tahini Lime Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  Mostly because the lime peanut noodles called for lime juice and the cookies called for zest, and I don't like to waste food, so it made sense to make them together.  But I also made it because I've made them before so I knew that they kinda resembles those crumbly almond cookies from Chinese restaurants that I used to love.  Two other things the cookies resemble are halvah and Pecan Sandies.  Due to their halvah resemblance, I ended up bringing half of them to an Israeli Independence Day party I went to in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill, a neighborhood that is 40% Jewish.  I'm no Zionist, but my friend's roommates were having this party and I wasn't going to miss anything as bizarre as all that (it was hopping, too!), plus, you know, I just happened to have these oddly appropriate cookies to bring.  Everyone who tried them loved them.  And how could they not?  They're amazing!

Here is a picture of the noodles and cookies together on a plate that's actually meant for sushi.  In fact, I've only ever used this plate to take photographs of non-sushi items.  Someday I'll get down to business and roll out some veggie sushi for my friends and use these plates, though, I swear it.

It's difficult for me to explain how badly I wish I was eating this RIGHT NOW.  Doctor?  DOCTOR!!!

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