The Fantastic Friday Five is a weekly series featuring odds and ends from my everyday life – food, running, gardening, home-ownership and more!
#1: Spring rolls… handheld, dip-loving salads!
I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but I’ve been loving making spring rolls lately! I’m getting ahead of myself because these fresh, tasty, bundles of happy will have the opportunity to star in their very own post soon (keep your eyes peeled!), but I just couldn’t keep the spring roll love to myself. They really are easy, and they provide a handheld alternative to salads when you really want the taste and crunch and overall goodness of fresh veggies. And you are almost required to dip them in sauce. WIN! Consider this a sneak preview… :)
#2: Curried tofu scramble with potato wedges
If you follow my page on facebook (You know you want to! Go ahead and give a clickety-click to the widget on the left… :) , you might have seen me post about one of my more delicious dinners this week… Being a vegetarian (and almost completely plant-based at home these days), and a blogger/frequenter of food blogs, I’ve seen a lot of talk about tofu scrambles, but I hadn’t tried making one myself yet because crumbled up tofu sounded kind of odd to me. WELL. Let me tell you – it is possibly a teensy bit odd at first, but it is incredibly delicious! I made a curried version (because, duh, curry flavors make everything even better), inspired by a post by The Blissful Chef – find the recipe here! I added my own set of veggies that I had on hand (and possibly tweaked some other things as well, I don’t remember), and I used a block of SUPER firm “high protein” tofu from Trader Joe’s – love that stuff. I made some tasty potato wedges and an impromptu dip (see #3) to accompany. They were fantastic! Find the potato wedges recipe here at The Almost Vegan. The dinner lasted us through a hungry meal that night AND 3 lunches between the 2 of us. We’re big eaters (yeah…), so that’s impressive!
#3: Homemade dressings, sauces, dips, etc. – or, confidence in spontaneity
A marvelous thing has been happening lately. I’ve always been a “little of this, little of that” cook, and although I often get inspiration from recipes, I can’t help myself but improvise a little even on the best out there. That being said, making my own dressings, sauces, and dips is sort of a new thing for me – at least in the past year – and I’ve been leaning heavily on recipes to guide me/hold my hand. But this week I felt a sudden confidence. Yes, I can do this. Heck, I’ve been making my own cashew sauce and pestos (this one… and this one… I love pesto!), why not whatever kind of dressing or dip I want? My latest recipe post was an improvised sauce based on what I had on hand – basil avocado sauce. And one night this week I really wanted some fresh green salad, but I didn’t feel like using store-bought dressing (albeit organic, vegan, etc.), so I mixed some dijon mustard with some maple syrup and I think maybe a dollop of vegan mayo. Who knows what else I threw in there – it was delicious! I also made an avocado, vegan mayo, and sriracha dip for the homemade potato wedges above (#2). When it comes to scratch cooking, I’ve got this. I feel invincible and liberated. :)
#4: Edible gifts!
At my chiropractor’s office there are 4 main employees that either Travis and I interact with on a weekly basis – the chiropractor, the “therapist” (think PT meets massage therapy), a receptionist/office manager extraordinaire, and a PR/office specialist. Two of these four people are very pregnant. Since I love buying baby clothes (don’t get any ideas – nothing going on in that arena any time soon here), I decided to pick up a few things for each of them at my favorite kids’ consignment shop. Cuteness. And what better accompaniment to cuteness than some tasty treats, especially for pregnant ladies? The receptionist avoids gluten, dairy and refined sugar… and doesn’t like chocolate… so I had to be creative about my choice for her. I settled on gluten-free thumbprint coconut macaroons with a raspberry chia jam. Wow. They were delicious! Find the recipe here from Oh She Glows. I have leftover jam and I have a feeling these will be added to my extra special treat repertoire… to be dipped into again ASAP. :) It was my first experience making chia seed jam and I was blown away. Y.U.M.
#5: Happy 6-month-iversary of homeowning to us!
Today marks 6 months since that surreal day when we signed what must have been 100 sheets of paper and we were handed keys (a pile of about 15 – ha!). To a house. That’s ours. Ok, it’s still surreal to this day! We’ve already done many projects together, and there are many more to come. It’s a labor of love, and it’s pretty fantastic. :)
Enjoy your week, everyone!