Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday Means Plumbing Issues … and Antipasti

Doesn’t it just seem like all our plumbing issues happen over the weekend. I promise that we really do use water other days of the week. ;-) I will get to the details on this situation later in the post. *rolls eyes* Needless to say the timing on the running water was not conducive to getting things accomplished around here.

Our morning started out like any other Saturday. We slept in like always throwing us off of schedule. So much for us getting up early. Oh well, there is always tomorrow to try get back on schedule. I suppose that would require us to get into bed before 1:30am. LOL

Breakfast was one of our usual meals. Dan had oats with: wild blueberries (from the freezer), wheat germ, freshly ground flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, stevia and topped with walnuts.

Since it was oatmeal day I opted for savory oatmeal which I made with: nutritional yeast, cumin, paprika, no-salt seasoning, broccoli, salsa and raw pumpkin seeds. I really do love savory oatmeal in case you hadn’t noticed. ;-)

We both started drinking green tea so that we reached our goal of 6 mugs per day. After reading that you need 5-7 mugs per day for health reasons we set a goal of 6 mugs which we also have with a little ascorbate C (powdered vitamin C) to enhance the EGCG we absorb.

Next it was time to start thinking about the mid-afternoon meal with my parents. For some reason I was being extremely indecisive today so I opted for antipasti/mezze/tapas whatever you would like to call it. Here is the list of dishes I decided to make:

Chickpea Salad (made with lemon zest, lemon juice, raw onion, rehydrated dried tomatoes, cumin, coriander and fresh cilantro)
Artichokes and Dill
Green Bean and Potato Salad with Basil Cashew Crème (the cashew crème was raw cashews, nutritional yeast, Dijon, water and basil from the freezer) and topped with walnuts

Cucumber slices (for dipping)
Raw Pepper strips (for dipping)
Carrot sticks (for dipping)

Hummus (made with sesame seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, the water used to rehydrate the tomatoes, garlic, cumin and paprika)

Spinach Salad with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest

When I was mostly finished prepping the meal I heard an odd whooshing sound as the sink drained. It turned  out that the nut on the drain pipe broke and the water drained into my lower cabinet and through the floor to the ceiling below. Happy, happy, joy, joy! *ugh* Once we got the water cleaned up which took much longer than you would expect Dan was off to the hardware store for an inexpensive part to fix the problem. We both have our fingers crossed that the ceiling below is fine. *sigh*

Don’t you just love old houses? LOL, yeah me too ... sometimes I love them and other times I am wondering why I love them. Oh well I suppose if I were 115 years old I would be showing my age too. ;-)

As you can imagine the meal with my parents was quite delayed by this fiasco. I got in touch with my parents right after the whoosh and expected them to say they would see us tomorrow instead but they opted to wait and eat with us later. Huh? Could they actually be starting to enjoy my food? That can’t be it … there must be some other motivation. LOL

Everyone liked the antipasti meal, it must be an Italian thing we all seem to like to nibble. The dish that was the most popular seemed to be the green bean and potato with basil cashew crème and walnuts.

After the mess in the kitchen today all I wanted to do was get out of the house. Gee I wonder why? We talked about going back to the restaurant to have a pot of green tea at the bar and talk to everyone but couldn’t get moving early.

Since we ate lunch so late we weren’t exactly hungry later in the day. After going out to eat yesterday I was content to skip a meal but Dan needed the calories and I know you have already guessed what that means. … yep, we went back to the restaurant for the second night in a row. David was working this evening for the first time in at least 2 years (long story) so we thought it would be nice to see him which it was. David is vegan so we had a lot to chat about. Not to mention we wanted to hear what he had been up to. Yes it really is like one big family at the restaurant and we are part of the clan which yoy probably assumed.

We didn’t walk in the door of the restaurant until 9pm but we know the kitchen is open until 10 on the weekend so we thought we were okay, and we were. Ian had already left when we got there but Will was working and greeted us with “why didn’t you let me know you were coming I would have made something.” Of course everything we had for dinner was great even though the kitchen had no warning.

Will wanted to know what we were in the mood for and Dan asked for a small pizza with a few toppings. This one contained red bell pepper, garlic, onion, fresh basil, and balsamic glaze. Dan ate the entire pizza because I didn’t the need the calories, but he enjoyed it.

Next Will brought us out a dish he was working on for tomorrow to get our thoughts on it since it was vegan. He told us he tried garbanzos and snow together earlier in the day and liked the combination which was the start of the dish. In his first incarnation the dish was: garbanzos, snow peas, baby arugula, roasted red pepper, raw red onion with a dressing of sriracha, lime and toasted sesame oil. I suggested fresh cilantro and black sesame seeds but otherwise thought it was spot on. I will admit I ate most of this and thoroughly enjoyed it. So much for I didn’t need the calories. What happened to that idea? LOL

When we looked at the special’s menu we noticed that Ian had taken my suggestion and added lentils to the crispy potato and pea dish. We had to try the revised version and I will say I liked the addition of the lentil and was very excited that Ian had taken my suggestion. ;-) The cilantro dipping sauce on this was fabulous.  Ian makes the best sauce and that always makes a dish.

Like always we ordered a couple of pots of green tea to accompany our meal.

Since Will is meeting with Jose Andres next week I brought my copy of El Bulli 2003, 2004 for him to get familiar with before the meeting. Will is the only person I know that gets into the foams and spherifications like I do so I had to share. He had that same look on his face I did when Dan gave me the books for Christmas. All food geeks are the same I suppose.  If you are interested in molecular gastronomy you will really enjoy these books I know I did.

It was another late night for us but like always we had a good day plumbing fiasco aside.

Happy thoughts:

Well, this will be fun today since it hasn’t been the best day around here, but let’s see what I can come up with:

• Dinner last night was delicious, the company was wonderful which includes Dan and everyone at the restaurant many of who stopped to sit and chat. We are extremely fortunate to have some place where we can go and get vegan meals that is within walking distance.

• Dan and I had a nice relaxing Saturday morning together. We talked, sipped tea and enjoyed each other’s company until it was time for me to begin prepping the meal with my parents.

• I am very thankful that my husband is extremely handy and had the plumbing issue resolved in less than 10 minutes after returning from the hardware store. Now we just need things to dry out and we will be back to normal. Things could have been much worse than they were.

• Everyone enjoyed the meal of antipasti/mezze today. This seems to be a great way to serve a group of people with different tastes in food. I need to do this more often now that I have realized how well it works for my parents. It makes me happy when my omnivore parents eat multiple plates of food.

• It was extremely nice to put our feet up and relax after my parents left. There was a little too much excitement this afternoon but that made relaxing that much better.

• I am also grateful to have the entire weekend with my sweetie, unlike last weekend. I love spending time with my baby.

• As strange as this will sound I am also grateful to Dr. Fuhrman. When I noticed that the pollen count is high here I was surprised since I don’t have a running nose, itchy eyes or sinus pressure. Before reading “Eat to Live” and embarking on a healthy vegan diet I always had horrible allergies. I took Sudafed from March to November most of my life. After a few months as a healthy vegan my seasonal allergies disappeared and they never came back. Every year when I realize that the pollen is high and I am not reacting to it I am still surprised. Woo hoo for Dr. Fuhrman; I feel so much better eating this way it is hard to describe. Thank you for writing the book that literally changed my life. I am so thankful to be on no medications (including over the counter) and feeling better than I did in my 20’s. I think you are a miracle worker.

• It was great to see David tonight. He is such a great guy and always great to talk to. Hopefully he can help us nudge Ian into a few more vegan dishes on the menu. Slowly but surely we may make headway with the chef. *fingers crossed*

• The look on Will’s face was priceless when he was looking through the first El Bulli. I loved watching him with the first book. Not to mention I can’t wait to see what he comes up with after going through the books. It is wonderful to share my love of cooking and food with others.

Signing out:

As you have probably guessed it was another hectic day for us. I am hoping for a boring Sunday. I hope your Saturday was good.

My plan for Sunday is to have time to thoroughly document how to make tofu. I intend to make another batch on Sunday and photograph the steps to make thing very clear. Talk to you again very soon.


  1. The antipasto and pizza look amazing! Oh my...
    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  2. (Things look yummy here as always!)

    It is a great personal pleasure to let you know that the several million visitors to Mattters over the last year have selected your blog as one of their favorite blogs of 2010 (in the top 10 on the Vegan channel).

    You can see your blog, along with the other contenders, on the Vegan channel at

    P.S. We made a cute little '2010 Blogs that Mattter' award that you can pin up on your website if you like those sort of things (you can see it at

    Oh, and if for some reason or another you ever think your blog should be on a different channel, or even multiple channels, or perhaps none at all, (or you just want to chat!) just send me a quick email at

    All the best,
    Social Guy in Chief
    Mattters - Follow Your Interests!

  3. Wow, wow, wow! I wish I were there! These are some of my favorites and yours are probably amazing and super-healthy to boot!!! Hope you're having an excellent weekend!

  4. Oh my goodness!!!
    I am drooling!

  5. Hi Ali

    Just finally got around to trying savoury rolled oats for breakfast, and it was great. I just needed something extra today (normally have lots of green smoothie) because I'm on the way out, so I cooked up rolled oats with a couple of cubes of frozen spinach and some corn. I just mixed it in as it cooked because I'm in a bit of a rush so didn't have time to chop fresh. Added some nutritional yeast flakes and sprinkled on walnut parmesan and a drizzle of leftover homemade tomato soup (didn't have any salsa). It was great!

    Anyway, as usual I have a question. Are you still loving your little oven thing that you can cook with no oil? Haven't seen any recipes in it lately but I'm thinking about ways to cook without frying.

  6. Oh yes, the joys of old houses. Been there, done that one too many times!


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