Mixed Veg Fettucine w/ Saffron Flax Cream Sauce

1 bunch asparagus

3 small leeks (or spring onions, if it’s, you know, spring)

a dozen or so crimini mushrooms

12 oz. fettucine

2/3 cup flax milk

1/3 cup vegan butter

1 big pinch of saffron

salt

1/2 tsp. white pepper

sprinkle dried tarragon

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat the flax milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat, add saffron, and set aside.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut the stalks in 1 - 1 1/2 inch bits. Wash and slice the mushrooms; same with the leeks.

Set up a large pot of salted water to boil. (You hear that shit about how Olive Garden doesn’t salt their pasta water? Don’t be Olive Garden.) Cook the pasta.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. You should know by now that I don’t really measure this stuff. Add the leeks and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until soft. Add a little more oil (another tablespoon-ish?) and the mushrooms; cook until soft. Add the asparagus and a little more salt and pepper. Cook just a couple minutes. Add the saffron cream sauce and stir; cook just another minute more.

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce.  Sprinkle with tarragon.

"Tarragon? That’s tarra-ble!" No. It’s awesome.

Vegan green (and some yellow and some purple) bean casserole.

We got green beans/rainbow beans in our CSA box almost as many weeks in a row as beets and had several bags in the fridge; I do not love green beans once they’re at all mature. (I WILL GLADLY DEVOUR ALL OF THE BABIES.)  One of the bags was brown and slimy and the others had to get used, somehow, so: everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving staple BUT BETTER. (Also: i never had any sort of green bean casserole—the Campbell’s soup variety or not—at Thanksgiving or otherwise—until I was well into my twenties.  I had a very deprived childhood.)

You know it’s pretty much impossible—as far as i know—to find vegan cream of mushroom soup? Who cares. Cream of mushroom soup is gross and this recipe worked out great. (Adapted significantly from an Alton Brown recipe, because I made it vegan, left out a shit-ton of salt,  was in a hurry and didn’t bother trying to make my own onions, etc.)

Ingredients: 

1 lb. or so French cut* green beans, fresh or frozen, or a combination

~8 oz. crimini mushrooms, diced

~4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, diced

1/2 tsp. white pepper

salt to taste

3 cloves garlic, pressed

3 Tbsp. flour

1 cup water

2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon vegetable base

3/4 cup So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Beverage

1 package Fresh Gourmet Crispy Onions

2-3 Tbsp. Earth Balance

1/4 cup or so bread crumbs

Actions:

Painstakingly slice the beans, if using fresh.

Blanch the beans for 1-2 minutes.  Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

Melt the Earth Balance in a skillet over medium-high.  Saute the mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and cook another minute or two.  Add the flour and stir to coat.

(Maybe throw in a diced pepper of some sort, if you also have a bunch of those hanging around from the CSA and your partner is really keen on the idea.)

Add the water and bouillon and stir. Simmer for a minute or two.  Add the coconut milk.  Bring to a simmer and lower the temperature.  Simmer 5-10 minutes, until mixture thickens sufficiently.

Stir in the beans and half of the onions. Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with remaining onions and bread crumbs.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

*The “French cut” part is imperative. It’s kind of a pain, if you’re starting with whole fresh beans, but I don’t care.  It is the only way to do it.  (Okay, you CAN cut them otherwise, just like you CAN used CANNED vegetables, but c’mon. Don’t be gross.)

Pea shoots, part 1:  Mixed mushroom and pea shoot chow mein

We got pea shoots in our CSA box last week and were of course like whaaaaaat? What do we do with these?  I munched on the tops of a few like a bunny.  The ends—the last three quarters of the shoots—turned out to be tough to munch, like the ends of asparagus; we’ll deal with those later.

I didn’t want to eat them as a big salad, and I’ll use any excuse to saute up a bunch of mushrooms and eat pasta, so: this happened.  Despite the odd unchewable shoot, the mister ate a huge helping, then went back for seconds, then asked to have all the leftovers as his next day’s lunch.  So, i guess it was a winner.

Ingredients:

A good plateful of pea shoots (i didn’t measure or weigh or anything)

probably a whole bulb of garlic, pressed

1-2 tsp. peanut oil + 1 shot (used later)

8 oz. udon noodles

1/2 shot hot chili sesame oil + a little more (later)

1 bunch green onions, sliced

about 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

about 1 cup sliced chanterelle mushrooms

12-16 crimini mushrooms, sliced

1/2 block firm tofu, cubed

1 shot sake (one for the recipe, one for the cook…)

2 shots tamari

1/4 tsp. powdered ginger

1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder

about 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashew pieces

Actions:

Heat the first teaspoon or two of oil in a wok or your closest approximation. Gently stir fry the pea shoots and about three cloves of garlic until the leaves just start to wilt.  Remove and set aside.

Get some water boiling and cook your noodles.

Add the rest of the peanut oil to your wok-pan and add the sesame oil. Stir fry the mushrooms, more garlic, and the tofu for about 3 minutes.  Add the ginger, five spice, and green onions and stir fry a couple minutes more. 

If your noodles are done by now, drain them and toss with a little hot chili sesame oil.

Add them to the wok-pan.  Add the sake and tamari and sizzle a bit until enough liquid evaporates.  Add back the pea shoots.

Sprinkle with the cashews.

There you go.

wilwheaton

1. If he doesn’t answer, don’t keep sending texts. If he wanted to talk to you, he would’ve responded.

2. People will make time for you when they care about you. If he says he’s too busy or constantly cancels his plans, he doesn’t care. People fight for you when they care.

3. Don’t let him touch you on the first date. If he tries, he’s not there for the same reasons you are.

4. You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite book.

5. If he can stomach more than ten straight shots without feeling a thing, he drinks too much.

6. Ask the uncomfortable things. When was the last time he was so high he couldn’t speak? What does he regret the most? Does he drink to remember or to forget?

7. Don’t send pictures unless you want to. If he has to talk you into it, don’t do it. If you hesitate, don’t do it. If you do take a picture, don’t include your face. Keep yourself safe.

8. If you can’t laugh when you’re having sex with him, maybe you aren’t sleeping with the right person. Sex isn’t about tricks and tips and routines.

9. If he hurts you, cut him out. He’s gone, he isn’t coming back, and you don’t need to prolong the pain.

10. Don’t be afraid to open up again. I promise not everyone will love you with a knife behind their back.

Boy advice from someone who made the same mistakes too often (via guiseofgentlewords)

Except don’t malign fucking on the first date, because then you’re maligning a lot of people’s relationships, including mine with my soon-to-be husband. How about just, “Don’t let him touch you if you don’t want him to touch you?”

It’s pretty much a guarantee that if someone leaves a half a bag of some weird-flavored Lays in the break room at my work, I will eat one, and it will be gross. 
They were stale.
They’re potato chips coated in Maxwell House International coffee powder.
Who even bought these? Which of my coworkers is deranged enough to think this could be good? 
Hmmmmm…..
I do kind of want another one. For science.

It’s pretty much a guarantee that if someone leaves a half a bag of some weird-flavored Lays in the break room at my work, I will eat one, and it will be gross.

They were stale.

They’re potato chips coated in Maxwell House International coffee powder.

Who even bought these? Which of my coworkers is deranged enough to think this could be good?

Hmmmmm…..

I do kind of want another one. For science.

Beet Bourguignon

(because more fucking CSA beets)

We got beets for the fourth goddamn week in a row.  Here’s what I came up with last week. 

5 medium beets, peeled & in chunks

6 average carrots, in chunky slices

1 typical yellow onion, diced

1 shot of olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 shot tomato paste from a tube

1 glass Whistle Stop Red wine (I like this one in particular AND it’s vegan)

3 bay leaves

2 cups water

1 heaping spoonful (~ 1 Tbsp) No Chicken Better Than Bouillon

16 oz. tiny shell pasta

2 moderate portabellos, in chunks

20ish button mushrooms

3/4 shot olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

salt

red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed in water

Heat 1 shot of oil in dutch oven.  Add (first) onion and garlic. After a couple minutes, add beets, carrots, thyme, salt & pepper.  Cook 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, wine, water, bouillon, and bay leaves.  Bring to boil and simmer about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute mushrooms and other onion in the 3/4 shot of olive oil in another pan.  Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes.  When golden and delicious, add to dutch oven.  Add cornstarch mixture.  Simmer ten minutes more.

Meanwhile still, cook the pasta.  Serve the beet mixture over this pasta.

Jalapeno Lime Spinach Purslane Pesto

(because, why not?)

1/2 red onion, diced

1 jalapeno, partially seeded and roughly chopped

olive oil

1 bunch purslane, stems (mostly) discarded

1 bunch spinach, cleaned, roughest stems discarded

1/3 cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. salt

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 garlic scape, chopped to finger-length bits

1 Tbsp. lime juice

Put the sesame seeds, nooch, and salt in the food processor; pulse until blended and vaguely reminiscent of “shakey cheese”—which is what it’s supposed to be the vegan equivalent of.

Saute onion, jalapeno, garlic, and scape in olive oil until softened. Add purslane and spinach and stir until spinach is wilted. 

Add this all to the food processor, with the “cheese” still in there. Add the lime juice. Add a splash more olive oil, if it looks like it needs it.  Make a paste.  Eat the paste.