So I had the privilege of eating at The Grit TWICE this week. I am so lucky. Friday night is typically our date night where Mom watches the Miles Monster, and we get to go out, grown up style. Yesterday I was checking Facebook, and I ran across The Grit’s plug for their new weekly organic locally grown feast. It didn’t have the menu, but they can do no wrong in my book, so Matt and I headed off to Athens. I would like to say that although it was a bit pricey, I got two solid meals out of it, and it was some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten.
The first course was a field green salad with cucumbers, carrots, and red cabbage and a simple but delicious vinaigrette.
The main dish was Portobello mushrooms cooked “steak style” with a roasted leek and burgundy sauce. The two “veggie” sides were hickory-whiskey cabbage and apples, and creamy butternut puree with honey roasted pecans. They also had a rustic Terrapin bread that was out of this world. Huge portions, and I’m telling you, it was just as good today for lunch. Wow. Who knew eating healthy food could be so absolutely divine? I was looking into it, and I’m guessing that the entire meal was probably only about seven or eight weight watchers points, so the amount I ate was about four. Four! If you’ve ever done weight watchers, you know what a big deal that is. Woah.
For my dad’s birthday, I made vegan stuffed bell peppers. My mom’s stuffed bell peppers are my comfort food of choice when I need a pick me up or there is a special occasion. I used to eat myself into a coma every time she made them. Hers are special, and mine are different, but they made a darn good substitute in my kind and healthy diet. I will post the recipe below.
Tonight I made stovetop heirloom tomato black bean chili over polenta with guacamole on the side. It turned out pretty darn good. Matt mentioned at least three separate times during dinner how delicious it was. It was fast and easy, and I have to say, not terribly expensive either. Very doable if you’re in a rush and/or on a budget. I will post the recipe below as well.
While I was in Athens earlier in the week, I went to Earth Fare. They carry Daiya cheese. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it. Most faux cheeses reek of fakeness and taste all soyish and disgusting. I avoid them at all costs typically, but I was reading on Sarah Kramer’s blog, govegan.net that Daiya was delicious and tasted a lot like the real thing. I used it on top of my stuffed bell peppers. I had the “mozzarella” kind. Cheddar would have been better, but it worked. It is stretchy, melts, and has a very cheese-like mouthfeel. Oh, and there are no artificial ingredients. I can live with that very occasionally. It’s pricey, but for certain meals, it would be necessary. I may use it in mac n cheese for the holidays this year.
Marching forward to next week, I have chosen some yummy recipes from The Garden of Vegan, and I’m looking forward to making them! I went shopping at the Farmer’s Market yesterday and got a bounty of organic goodies for only $11.60. You heard me, people. You can’t beat that with a stick! I finished off the shopping for the necessities for $20 bucks more. So this week, not counting snacks for Matt or sale items that I purchased for later use, we will be eating for a mere $31.60. Woo! Can’t wait to blog about the menu next week, either! Oh, and I love coupons and my Kroger card.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
about 6 cups of rice
can of organic diced tomatoes
can of organic tomato sauce
vegan Worcestershire sauce
veggie crumbles (like ground beef)
salt pepper to taste
bell peppers (each one will be two servings, so plan accordingly)
Daiya vegan cheese
First, cut each pepper in half horizontally and clean out seeds and stems. Then boil them until they’re done to your liking.
Then make the rice. I used brown rice, and I also advocate the use of boil in bag rice in the microwave. WAY faster. Brown the veggie crumbles. Combine veggie crumbles, rice, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, as much Worcestershire sauce as you want, as much salt and pepper as you want into a bowl. You’ll have WAY too much. You can freeze the extra to expedite the next time you cook them.
Take your peppers, drain them, put them into a pan. Fill with mixture. Bake at 375 for ten or so minutes. Last five minutes, top with the cheese. You could also melt the cheese under the broiler for a minute or two. Either way. They are delicious. Seriously.
Black Bean and Heirloom Tomato Stovetop Chili over Polenta
1 large heirloom (or regular) tomato, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
garlic (your preference)
1 can vegetarian black beans
juice of 1/2 a lime (or more if you like)
cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder to taste
You could also add jalepenos or cilantro if you wanted
1 tube of premade all natural polenta, preferably organic
vegan sour cream (optional)
Over medium high heat, pour some olive oil in a pan and let it heat up. Put in crushed garlic (however much you like) and onions. Let it cook a bit (so the flavor disperses throughout the oil). Add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes start to render their juices. Add the lime juice. Cook until it starts to reduce and thicken. Add the black beans and spices. Cook until heated.
For the polenta, I just slice it up and fry it on a flat pan in a little oil or spray so it won’t stick. Cook until it browns.
Then just put the polenta on a plate, top with the bean chili and a little dollop of sour cream. You can serve guacamole and chips on the side. Mmmmm. 🙂