Friday, May 20, 2011
"You'll never believe this, but your vegetarian dish was actually really good!"
The kids had a 4-H meeting the other night and it was s potluck type thing with guest speakers, being vegetarians I knew what we brought would likely be the only think we could eat - I was right! Ron once told me "you gotta know your audience" after making a salad for dinner at a friends house that went over like a lead balloon... I was asked to bring a "green salad" so I made a green salad - but when I looked at it in the bowl it looked so sad, so boring, just plain green... so I 'twisted' it up! I added fresh spinach, dried sweetened cranberries, mandarin oranges, slivered almonds, and red onion I believe. Then to co-ordinate with the white bowl it was in I topped it with some goat cheese and brought a green goddess dressing. It tasted awesome and looked so beautiful! My mistake was that I was preparing this for a meat 'n taters family and stretched them way out of their comfort zone, but it was good and we had lots of left overs... So I knew whatever I made for this would likely be eaten mostly by the kids and I because I was headed into that area of meat 'n taters kind of community but I knew my audience, my children and I love this dish so I made it for us - mostly... And I made it again just the other night as we love it so much... but this time I did make some meatballs for Ron to add to his plate. What you ask is this wonderful dish!? Well, I confess, it's not exactly my recipe, I saw a similar dish on the food network a while ago and tweaked it because I didn't exactly have all the ingredients but wanted to make it anyway. Huh, did you hear that my husband and sisters heads just exploded! Eh oh well, it's my kitchen... right?!
Well, it's a slightly Asian-ish dish, tastes like Chinese food, but without the MSG. First I made the meatballs which consisted of some of our fresh (but frozen then thawed ground pork) it was supposed to be hot sausage but that was gone.... so I had to punt! I added some cayenne pepper and paprika - Ron likes it hot and spicy, I think that's why he likes me! ;-)
I added some scallions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, bread crumbs, ginger (maybe?), and some sesame seeds - I think that's all... mashed it all together and rolled it into a small meatball.
Heated up some oil in a pan, plopped them in rolled them around until they were done and set them aside to drain and wait for the other dish was ready.
In another large pot I cooked some spaghetti, just before it was done I dumped a half a bag of frozen sweet peas in the bottom of the colander I was going drain the spaghetti in so that the heat from the pasta would thaw and slightly cook the peas but still give them a bit of crunch to them. A great tip I learned from my mother-in-law. While that was draining I added to the pot I used to cook the spaghetti in a large scoop of creamy peanut butter, garlic (pressed) a couple cloves - we like keeping vampires away, nah, we just really like garlic! Some soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, vinegar, raw honey, sesame seeds, an orange bell pepper and some scallions. You do not cook this, just mix it together then add the spaghetti and peas.
Mixed all that together. Took out enough sauce to put on Ron's plate, added his spaghetti, without peas - he detests peas, mixed it all together and set aside for a minute. Then mixed the rest of it together and it looks something like this... This is what I took to the 4-H dinner and was told, "You're not going to believe this, but your vegetarian dish was actually really good!" I smiled and said thank you, and was told that she had to actually pick out all the vegetables, as she doesn't eat vegetables so really it was just the noodles and sauce that she liked, but that that was good. Then I had several other people tell me that they really liked it as well. I'm not really sure what they were expecting, I'm fairly certain that if vegetarian food were not delicious there wouldn't be any vegetarians.... but I'm glad they enjoyed it.
This is Ron's version, with the pork meatballs, he liked it too, but he also eats it with out the meat....