Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zine Dining à la Maud

I found out about the world of 'zines' just recently (boy, was I out of touch). I had seen the term bandied about, but wasn't sure exactly what it meant. Well, that all changed about a month ago when Maud sent me two issues of her zine. Turns out that Maud's been creating her zine, Marmaläde Umläut, since 2007. A lot of you already know Maud and read her blog Food Feud, and, probably quite a few of you know about her zine. I'm writing to say that if you haven't yet checked it out, you should. This post is dedicated to Maud's zine along with  a couple of recipes from the most recent issue.

After reading the two issues from front to finish, I had to order the latest one too. She's a talented writer and cartoonist: witty, humorous, insightful with a bit of whimsy tossed into the mix. Some of the regular features include: "Wot's in Your Fridge?," "Fat! So?--Food for Feminists," and "Food Memories."
Oh, but you'll find so much more too, the pages are illustrated with her collages, you'll find cartoons, word games, and even a "Where Should I Go for Lunch??" flowchart (Issue17).

(Did you know that in old days before the advent of modern ovens with temperature gauges, they judged whether an oven was hot enough for baking by sticking their arms in and if the arm hairs singed, it was ready?... That's not a direct quote, just something I learned from reading the zine--a tidbit of the things there are to ponder.)

Maud uses a conversational tone, and while reading, I often wish I could just start gabbing with her about what she's writing. (And, that has nothing to do with my lifelong habit of talking to myself.) The title says it all really: creative and engaging--on par with a satisfying natter with a good friend.

With Maud's permission, here are couple examples of what you'll find inside.

One of Maud's cartoons:

Maud provides some new words for food groupings:

(I can't decide which is my fav, A Dunklette of Cookies or a Thinking of Mushrooms!!)

But, I haven't even begun about the recipes. Of course, there's no shortage of those: cakes, salads, dinners are interspersed and woven into the theme along the way. In honor of summer, I chose a couple salad recipes from the latest issue.  First up is Cabbage and Corn Salad. 

The recipe calls for red cabbage; I used both red and green because I had both on hand to use up. 

Again with Maud's permission, here's the recipe:

The sweetness of raw corn, the crunch of cabbage, and the richness of avocado make this a cooling, comforting, and refreshing slaw. This salad is as calming to the eye as it is cooling to the tongue. 

Next up is Peach Salsa/Salad, which is flashy, sweet, and has a good kick of heat, like a summer fiesta in a bowl.

Thank you Maud, for the great recipes and the segues into them!:

The Peach Salsa complimented the cool crunch of the Corn and Cabbage Salad.

We enjoyed them with lettuce wraps (also inspired by Maud of course). Both salads are all raw and oil-free, super healthy and delicious. Thanks again Maud--keep the zines comin'! 

Rose Tobin Seattle
Rosanne Tobin
Roseann LaPonte
Rosanne Marie Tobin
Rosanne LaPonte

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Polenta Stacks

This roasted polenta, zucchini, eggplant, and tomato stack served with an herby homemade pasta sauce makes a perfect summer meal. It's simple to put together once you have the sauce made and the veggies roasted. The only slightly tricky part is slicing the polenta. To do this, I cooked the polenta in veggie broth, added fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley and nutritional yeast, then smoothed it into a square dish that I had greased with olive oil and let is set up in the fridge. When it was cold, I used a serrated knife to slice it into thin layers.

The polenta looked a bit pale after it set, so I toasted the slices under the grill for a few minutes until they turned golden. (I didn't want to bother heating the grill, but using a BBQ grill to toast them would have been great!)

I was a little worried that the polenta would turn out hard from the grilling, but after letting it sit for several minutes layered with with spaghetti sauce, the polenta soaked up the sauce and turned out savory and soft with a light crunch on the outside.

We also had  some broccoli salad with red pepper, sweet onion, pine nuts and a warm garlic vinaigrette.

Rose Tobin Seattle
Rosanne Tobin
Roseann LaPonte
Rosanne Marie Tobin
Rosanne LaPonte

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Garlicky Favas and Roasted Tomatoes with Basil

If you're in the mood for a summery dish to load up with garlic, this might be for you. I made this during the week, and it really satisfied our garlic tooth.

(This is a loose recipe, the measurements are just as a guide...anything goes!)

Garlicky Favas and Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Basil
1/2-3/4 pound fresh fava beans, out of shell
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup (scant) veggie stock or water
Garlic, plenty! (or to taste)-- some slivered, some diced (I used about 7-8 good-sized cloves total)
Olive oil
Fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper

For the tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. About 2-3 minutes before you're ready to take them out of the oven, sprinkle plenty of finely chopped garlic over them (I used ~ 3 large cloves finely chopped). When the tomatoes are starting to caramelize and collapse, take them out of the oven and set aside.

Note: I roasted the cherry tomatoes in the oven because I think they get a little sweeter and more caramelized that way (and I was roasting potatoes too), but you could also just saute them in the same pan with the favas if you don't want to heat up the oven...just toss them in a few minutes before the favas and let them saute until they start to 'pop'. 

For the favas:
First, blanche and refresh the shelled favas: Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil. While that's coming to a boil, fill a bowl or large pot with cold water and add a tray of ice cubes; this is where you'll dunk the blanched favas so they cool off quickly and don't get overcooked. When the water is boiled, drop in the shelled fava beans and let them boil for about 45 seconds...no more than 1 minute. Drain off the hot water and submerge the favas in the ice water. When they're cool, pinch off the thick outer skins to find the bright green, fresh favas inside.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan, add in plenty of finely slivered garlic (I used ~ 4 large cloves) and saute over medium for a minute or so, add in the blanched favas and the veggie stock, bring to simmer and cook for another 2-3 minutes. You want most of the liquid to cook off, but play it by ear; the favas should stay bright green and be just tender--not mushy or starting to fall apart. Toss in the roasted tomatoes and chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste.

I could eat this as a side dish or a main course. On this occasion, we had it as a side with mini crustless tofu quiches from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and roasted potatoes. I've been wanting to try those mini quiche for some time, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. They're tasty and turn out well, and as Susan V says in her post, they are nice and light. They went well with the favas for some very digestible summer fare.  I followed the recipe closely, but did add about 1 tsp of light miso and a few drops of ume plum vinegar for a little extra zing.

Other than that, no real news here. I'm trying to make the most of the summer days with swims in the lake and pottering in the garden...a pretty tame existence. Not without its disappoinments though; I've had some ups and downs in the garden, which I guess is par for the course. I've also found some new favorite recipes online and in 'zines', which I hope to post about eventually. In short, we're eating well, which is a blessing.

Happy August everyone!
Rose Tobin
Roseann Marie LaPonte
Rosanne Tobin

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