Eating For Two

Look at me! I feel better! I am 14 weeks pregnant! My back hurts! Ow!

Here I am! all pregnant and hungry. During my first pregnancy, I craved cherries, apples, shrikand, chocolate cake, pancakes, spinach and nutrella (tvp). I loathed eggplant and didn’t eat any cheese. Second pregnancy was all about grilled tofu and zucchini, eggplant parmigiana, spelt chapatis and salad and an avocado a day minimum.

This time around, I am yogurt and bananas and raw oats. Sweet apples. Cheese. Lots of cheese. Blended soup. Fettuccine. Garden tomatoes. And artichokes with brown butter. Seriously. I am.

Artichokes are a Babu food–a favorite of the husband. I make them for him on special occasions but I usually refrain from joining in on all that toothsome, scrape-y fun. But now I am  an artichoke eating pregnancy machine. Artichoke hearts, buttery artichokes–I’ll take them any way I can get them…except marinated in vinegar. Burns my tummy.

I meant to cook artichokes yesterday for dinner, but we were out in the heat and, like the old pale woman that I am, got totally worn out by the exertion of existing in the sunlight. So, I made this:

Eating for two--simple dinner of collard greens, tomato, tvp, fettucine w/ ricotta.

Today I invited some lady friends over for lunch. It is difficult lunching with the ladies, because all the ladies have kids. Today’s ladies only brought four kids with them, three of which were pre- or pre-pre-school age. Thankfully, it was only mildly exhausting. For their moms.

I stayed up late last nite, preoccupied with excitement over cooking lunch in my not quite yet put away kitchen. When my nite-owl children awoke from their angelic slumber, I told them we would walk to the store for food shopping. We departed the house many tens of minutes after the initial “Okay, we’re leaving” was sounded. Despite the morning hour, I felt hot, humid and pregnant. Two large bags of groceries and some frustration with dawdling, rock climbing and lizard chasing later, we arrived home with one hour to spare before friends arrived.

My first real baking attempt was underway and it turned out to be a disappointment. I made brownies (recipe here), which somehow (chocolate) turn out pleasing no matter how imperfect they are. The vegan pound cake (recipe here), however, was a stodgy disaster. It tasted like something you would buy at Book Lovers Cafe. Okay, if you’ve ever eaten there, you know I am hysterically funny here. And that that cake must have sucked. I figured out why the oven stuff was goofy and that is because my convection oven is non-digital and I must manually increase the temp when the fan is on. I really need to get an oven thermometer.

Everything else turned out swell, despite my undersalting. Not a major catastrophe considering, when in a rush, one is more prone to disastrous red-sea-ification of dishes. After doctoring some things up with a little salt and spice, we had a very nice light lunch.

Summer rolls with tamarind peanut dipping sauce.

Our summer rolls contained shredded beets, carrots, marinated tofu, lettuce and avocado. The sauce was tamarind, peanut butter, soy sauce, water and green chili.

Soup was supposed to be Kurma‘s black bean soup, but I didn’t buy any black beans (yes, i was going to buy canned). I know Mohini is a kindred blended soup spirit, so I just improvised with what I had on hand and gave it a boil. And then a whir with the stick blender.

Baby food: Blended soup of sweet potato, potato, plantain, and a little carrot and celery for good measure.

What kind of friend invites you over for lunch and then has you assemble it yourself? Well, ask these gals who happily got lunch on the table.

Padi and Mohini summer rolling.

Without conviction, I insisted the kids eat their rice before brownie time. They did a great job at rearranging the grains on their plate in order to skip ahead to dessert. At least I am getting a good jump on my organic compost pile. Thanks, kids!

Shyami eating a brownie. Awwwww! Chubby baby!

For my husband’s dinner, I repurposed the plain brown rice by tossing it with leftover pizza sauce, freshly picked basil and cubes of soft tofu. It tasted very yummy and my baby wanted more and more. That’s right, I’m blaming it on the baby.

Brown tomatoey rice with tofu and fresh picked garden basil.

In addition to cooking, I also worked on cleaning up and putting away (that’s why my back hurts, complain complain). Got stuff up on the shelves. Looks cute and I am sure this will be a revolving station of items over the years. The 40″ high base cabs make for a great spot to lay out serving dishes. Well, in this very informal case, pots and jars and plates of deliciousness.

Just thought I would show you my shelves, all glammed up with faux jadeite mixing bowls, authentic milk glass and some other hodges and podges. Babu's dinner awaits him on the countertop, bananas excluded. Babu would never eat a banana after dark!

And would you looky here? I finally made Babu his artichoke! After filling up on soup, I thought there was no way I would be hungry at dinner time. Think again. Babu generously shared an artichoke half with me. Thanks, Babu!

Cravings: artichoke with tarragon brown butter sauce.

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6 Comments

Filed under baking, kitchen, kitchen design, kitchen remodel, kitchen tips, recipes, sabjimata

6 responses to “Eating For Two

  1. Cristina

    Love that dipping sauce…mmm tamarind & peanut.
    And artichokes are just wonderful 🙂 Happy to see you smiling in the kitchen again!

    • padi

      mmm…i loved looking at the pictures…um, reading this post dd. Shyami looks as edible as the brownie. so does your kitchen. so do you. I would love to have you over next time, for some sort of blended, yogurty, artichoke filled, cheesy madness.

  2. Kera

    I tried artichokes once before and they turned out horrid. That was years ago. I’m ready to try again, if you can give me the recipe to the yummy looking one you picture here.

    • sabjimata

      kera…you can cut the bottoms off and cut off the pointy tops, steam (boil) in a shallow pot of water, covered, for about an hour and then make a dipping sauce of lemon and butter or veganaise and lemon or whatever.

      For this recipe, I browned a half stick of butter in a pan, then put the prepped artichokes (halved, peeled stem, scooped out choke) and browned them inside side faced down. Flip them over, add about 2 cups of water, some herbs and salt, a splash of balsamic (my substitute for wine) and cover. Simmer about an hour, adding water if needed. The sauce will be a reduction that you spoon over the artichoke for dipping. At the end of the cooking, I add freshly squeezed citrus to the mix.

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