13 October 2010

culinary disaster and the redeeming artichoke heart salad

I already mentioned my addiction to groupon and my new adventures into the land of culinary arts. Unfortunately, these did not combine very well with my gobble green groupon.

So, we do not own a microwave, and these fresh and wonderful vegan meals are frozen, so we have the option of either heating the food up in the oven or on the stove. I thought it would be easy enough to boil the plastic bag, but ha! I was wrong. I told my partner I'd make dinner two nights ago and then totally lost track of time until fifteen minutes before he was due home. Oops.

My partner is a saint because we had a dinner that was still frozen in parts (nothing like a brick of frozen pasta to whet the appetite), and he did not complain once. (Incidentally, the first gobble green meal we had (that my partner heated up) was quite good. The portions are small, but the "meatloaf" was flavorful with a tomato sauce, and the chickpea salad was nice and light.)

Well, last night, I decided I wanted to try to redeem myself, so I made a pluot and cheese appetizer and an artichoke heart salad that was actually quite delicious. I'm no food photographer, but I thought they looked pretty nice (especially the vibrant colors in the salad).

The appetizer was simply sliced pluot with sliced cheese (Tillamook Colby Jack-- yum), and it was a really nice combination.

The artichoke heart salad was made with what I had around: spinach, a red pepper, baby carrots, marinated artichoke hearts and an avocado (living in California is amazing if you love avocados). The balsamic dressing was made up of balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano (I kept adding bits until I thought it tasted nice). I've heard adding brown sugar in balsamic dressing is nice, too, but I haven't tried it yet.

With toasted homemade bread, it was a really nice dinner. And for dessert, we had chocolate covered salted caramel macadamia nuts. Yeah, I think I could get into becoming a foodie...

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