Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jimaca-Watercress-Avocado Salad With Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette

I almost felt like a food snob eating this dish. I mean really, a watercress salad? But I was excited to use jicama for the first time and was glad I did.

The salad was very flavorful and fresh. The vinaigrette was excellent and full of myriad flavors: sweet, hot, fresh and tangy. The avocados added a nice bit of fat and creaminess to the meal while the peanuts provided a nice crunch and some additional protein. I couldn't believe how wonderful the jicama was. It really was sort of like an apple-potato hybrid, with the texture of a potato and the sweetness of an apple. If I can find other ways to use this in the future I certainly will.

As for the watercress, it was green.

We paired this with a side of the Tangerine Baked Tofu (or as in our case Orange Baked Tofu since we can never find tangerines at our store). We love that dish.

One thing this meal was not was filling. It would be a great diet dinner, but we're two people who generally fill up like little piggys on carbs and protein each night, so there was a definite lack of appetite satisfaction here. But for most normal people, I think it would suffice just perfectly.

Cost: A bit pricey at around $15. The salad was about $10-$12.
Difficulty: Not difficult, but the jicama shredding was definitely messy.
Modifications: I squeezed out a lot of the jicama liquid after shredding. And of course, no cilantro.
Cleanup: Moderate. With the salad alone it would be fairly easy.

This recipe is on page 83 of Veganomicon.

Plantain and Pinto Stew With Parsnip Chips

This was the first time I've cooked with plantains. I've had fried plantains before and thought they were one of the best things ever, but it had been at least 5 years since then so I forgot what their taste and texture was like.

In our case, the texture was somewhat dense and meaty, but from what I hear it can vary a lot depending upon the ripeness of the plantain. I think the one I used was maybe a little less ripe than I'd prefer, but my husband loved it. Next time I'd probably try to get one a little more ripe...or just wait longer until it was more ripe. However, the selection in our store was not the best as most of them were very green.

Anyway, the dish was delicious and filling. The flavors were deep and mostly mild, but with some tang and spiciness (I didn't seed the me doing that is almost blasphemy). The parsnip chips were wonderful, although I probably oversaturated them with oil. No complaints here though! They were very tender and sweet, much like a sweet potato.

Cost: $12-$14.
Difficulty: Not. And only 45 minutes to boot.
Modifications: No jalapeno seeding, sub white wine for cooking sherry, NO cilantro.
Cleanup: Excellent...just one pot!

This recipe is on page 183 of Veganomicon.