Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sloppy Joannas & Lemon Butter Rice

I got fired up last night looking through the recipes over at Joanna's Test Kitchen and decided to try a couple of them for dinner last night. I tried to pick things that I knew would make a lot and would reheat well so that I could also use them for lunch today. Every one of her recipes that I have tried so far has been delicious, and these two were no exception. Her recipes are creative, very simple to prepare and absolutely delicious. That's one of the things I like about vegan cooking, it seems like most vegan recipes rely on fresh ingredients and "going all the way" with the simple things like lemon juice. What I mean by that is, before, when I was an omnivore, if a recipe called for lemon juice I would just use that icky stuff that comes in the little plastic lemon or in the green bottle. I wouldn't touch that stuff with a ten foot pole now. I don't look at veganism as something restrictive, or something that reduces my dining options, I choose to look at it as something that opens up a whole new universe of flavors & tastes. So now, as a vegan, if I'm cooking and a recipe calls for lemon juice, then I actually squeeze fresh lemons, and zest them. Cooking with REAL FOOD like that just makes everything taste so much better. I guess one reason why vegans would be like that is because we are conscious of what we are eating, don't you think? We pay attention to it. I guess most people just eat and never think twice about what they're eating. But when you are aware of what you are eating, and cooking, then you'll obviously do everything that you can to make it as good and tasty as you can. Well, I don't know how I got off on that rant. Sorry.

Today I made Sloppy Joannas, which are just a tastier vegan version of Sloppy Joes. They're obviously TVP based, but they contain a few more creative flavors than I am used to having in regular old Sloppy Joes. I packed the Sloppy Joanna in its own individual container so that it wouldn't get the bun all soggy before lunchtime arrived. And then, just to make it extra special, I went ahead and toasted the bun. Like I said before, since I'm paying attention to my food, I might as well make it taste as good as I can.

The side item in the little yellow container is Joanna's Lemon Butter Rice. WOW! This stuff is good. It's really simple, and you can tell from the name of it what the main flavors going on are. I just wasn't expecting the lemon flavor to be so intense, but it is off the charts, and I really like it! It took me a minute or so to get used to it after I started eating it because the flavor is so intense, but after that I was hooked. I think that just about anyone that you served this to would initially be surprised at how much flavor is in this, but then, like me, they would realize how delicious it actually is. I guess you can always alter the amounts of ingredients to change the taste however you like, but I like this stuff just the way it is. EXCELLENT!

And to finish filling the lunchbox I just threw in some Steamed Green Beans that came from the freezer section of the local grocery store. I thought about trying to squeeze some dessert in somewhere, but with the bun (which is at least a "light" bun) and the rice in today's lunch, I think I'd better leave that out if I wanna' see the scale go down any this week.

So there you have it. I think this makes four recipes that I have tried so far from Joanna's Test Kitchen. Like I said in a previous post, her new cookbook looks like it is going to be awesome and I can't wait until it comes out later this year. Trying these two recipes today just makes me want to try more and see what other delicious ideas she has come up with. Whenever I try something new I'm sure you'll see it on here. Oh, and by the way, she's got a blog started about the upcoming cookbook over at www.yellowroserecipes.com. There are some AWESOME pictures of some of the recipes there and I think she said that she's even gonna' start posting a few of the recipes there in the blog as the release date of the book gets closer and closer.

We're meeting my boss tomorrow for lunch out at a restaurant (not sure where yet) so tomorrow's post may be a little delayed as I won't be able to post anything until after I get back from lunch and upload the picture. Hopefully I'll be able to wrangle up some yummy vegan food no matter where we eat. I guess we'll see.

Thanks for reading my blog today. See you on Wednesday.


Anne said...

And thank you for posting so diligently!

This is my new favourite food blog for sure. I have a Laptop Lunch Box too, and it is fantastic to see ideas for grown up vegan lunches.

kennyboy said...