Thursday, January 12, 2012

213. Today Feels Like Friday, But It Isn't.

It snowed all day. Thanks to the poorly executed response by my fair city, traffic was a nightmare. Two hours after I left my house this morning, I finally arrived at work. Somehow...that didn't really bother me at all. In the end, my boss let me leave early so I wouldn't have the same experience on my way home, meaning I only had to work 5 1/2 hours. Awesome!

Getting home early gave me time to make a more elaborate dinner, though it turned out not to take nearly as long as I thought it might. I decided this morning that I wanted to make a coconut tofu mess over brown rice. Usually I don't bother with brown rice because it takes twice as long as white rice to cook, but I really do prefer it. It has such a fantastic texture and flavor.

Feast Magazine, one of my two favorite free publications, had an article this month about another type of rice I'm dying to try. I had never heard of Forbidden Rice, and I'm hoping to find it this weekend at Whole Foods. Whole Foods is my foodie paradise, and I cannot afford to buy all of my groceries there, but I do like to go whenever I get paid. I've found a lot of the prices are actually comparable to what I pay elsewhere, but not so much that I could do all of my shopping in one place. I try to buy organic and sustainable whenever possible, and seem to be doing pretty well at it shifting between Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and the regular stores. I also have a soft spot for Jay's International Foods on Grand for more exotic ingredients, but I'm fairly certain that everything there is conventionally farmed. Mostly, I go to Whole Foods because it's a magical food heaven where everything is beautiful and fresh and smells wonderful.

Back to dinner. I tossed together a concoction of tofu, onion, water chestnuts, and snow peas in a spicy coconut milk curry, which was served atop brown rice. It came out much better than anticipated, so I'm thrilled. Over the past two years I've been cooking a lot, and I think I'm finally reaching a point where I have a fair understanding of what flavors work well together. I usually only reference recipes for ideas, unless I'm baking or doing something else where proportions are particularly important. I think that tonight's creation was nearly exactly what I meant to do. Though, if I made it again, I think I would probably use full fat coconut milk, because it could have been quite a bit creamier, and I may have overdone the red peppers just a touch. I love spicy food, and it wasn't too hot...it just wasn't as balanced with the rest of the flavors as I would have liked. Honestly, if the sauce were creamier, the amount of peppers might have been just right.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to attempt a lasagna for the first time. I don't think it's going to be complicated, except as usual, I've decided to come up with my own version rather than follow a recipe. Which might not be wise on a first attempt, but I can't resist. I bought fresh spinach, rainbow chard, and mushrooms to include in the layers. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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