4 vegan meals

Saturday night at midnight, as I stood over the stove frying an egg, I realized all my Shabbat meals this week had been vegan, and that explained the protein craving as intense as the one that first got me to eat meat back in the early days of pregnancy.   It’s a shame, really, since all the food we ate over Shabbat was beautiful, fresh, and light: perfect for the weather, perfect in so many ways, but not perfect in its protein content.  Alas.

Marc, Aliza, and I spent most of Friday afternoon together in the kitchen.  I had Aliza in the sling and actually managed not to drop any food on her head this time.  About half of what we served came from our CSA, and the menu for Friday night was gazpacho (from Yael, thankfully, since gazpacho always tastes better when anyone other than me makes it), zucchini slaw (previously called Random Summer Slaw, but this time with pear instead of apple, onion instead of garlic scapes, and a much less meticulous julienne to the veggies), black bean and corn salad, curried mashed sweet potatoes, and pesto pizza, with almond milk vanilla ice cream and snickerdoodles (from Naomi) for dessert.

Marc is turning out to be quite the baker, and he made the pizza dough, some of which became rolls for motzi.  It tasted amazing in both forms.  I like pesto, though I don’t actually like pine nuts or parmesan, so I’m always looking for things like pesto, but with ingredients I feel more affinity towards.  I’ve often made a pesto with tofu, but this week I tried a new recipe, and I’m kind of in love.  Slathered on the freshly baked pizza dough and topped with tomatoes, this was the epitome of summertime homemade goodness.

Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade, from Veganomicon

3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup walnut pieces (I used almonds)
2-4 garlic cloves
1/3 olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup walnut oil (I just used more olive oil, but not quite that much more)
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
black pepper

Chop the basil, nuts, and garlic in a food processor until chunky.  Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl frequently.  Add the oils, maple syrup, and zest, and process until thick and creamy.  Season with salt and pepper.

I’ve been relying on the following formula a lot, and it worked for the corn and beans, for the zucchini, and is helping me work through the CSA lettuce: combine a lot of good veggies including some onion or garlic and add some dressing that includes some acid and some oil and maybe some sweetness.  This makes using the CSA veggies a lot less daunting and a lot more satisfying, and it’s hard to mess up.

I ate leftovers for breakfast and lunch on Saturday.  I enjoyed it.  Thoroughly.

Beverly and Naomi hosted seudah shlishit, the so-called “third meal,” and there were lots of delicious things, including a whole ton of dessert yumminess.  With Shabbat lasting so long these days, it’s nice to have someplace to go and something to do, and that something might as well involve food, good company, and a reclining couch.

Ilana said she could see future Shabbat meals with all of and a lot more kids joining Aliza, and all of us in each other’s lives for a long time to come, and it’s a pretty beautiful thing to consider our friendships and our community in that light.  Not that I’m rushing anyone on the kid front…

Time does fly, though, and those future meals might not be too far away.  Speaking of time flying, well, you read the sign.

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