Sunday, November 14, 2010

My New Cookbook

Yesterday I had a lovely outing in a community about 25 miles away for supper and book-browsing with a group of lady friends. You see, we live in and on the outskirts of small towns and have to do without Target, Starbucks, interesting and healthy restaurants, and even Super WalMart!  So a trip to the exurb of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania is quite a tame little adventure for us. And of course the company makes the outing--seven in an assortment of married, single, and widowed, with children ranging from toddlers to one about forty. Thanks, ladies!

We gathered at Aladdin's Eatery and had a wide range of things from hummus and falafel through soup and salads and lamb entrees to some take-home desserts (for those who were too stuffed to eat cake there).  I had V-9 soup, a clear-broth veggie soup in which we identified peas, celery, onion, pepper, yellow squash, tomato, parsley, and I've forgotten what else. I also got the almond salad--a bed of romaine, mostly, with mushrooms and cucumbers and some slivered toasted almonds, with a dressing of buttermilk, sour cream, almond paste, and sauteed almonds I just had to try. I had about half my dressing and brought the rest home to enjoy on something another day. It was very interesting, and creamy was good, but only in small doses for a nutritarian, don't you know!  I had a pita, two, which I wrapped up and brought home for a family member (whoever gets to it first). And since hubby was home alone for the evening, I brought him a little pastry I thought they called a baba, which is a sticky-sweet hard shell of phyllo-like dough around a filling of Turkish pistachios. I had a tiny fragment of this to taste, and it was very nice.

Anyway, when we got to Barnes and Noble, supposedly for coffee, though I skipped it after three mugs of herbal mint tea at Aladdin's, I headed back to the healthy/vegetarian cookbooks section and browsed through a few. I'm not into fake meat things like seitan and too much tofu, so some things didn't appeal at all because of heavy use of these ingredients. Others use a lot of syrups and other sweet things--nope, didn't want that, either. Nor too much of grains. I was not really wowed by the famous Veganomicon, but then I spied a winner: Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.

I have loved the original Moosewood Cookbook since I think my sister gave it to me a decade or two ago, and, as a friend says, there's nothing bad in it--everything is delicious.

So I browsed through the Low-Fat Favorites book and saw some potential winners, though I was surprised at a fish section.  For Sunday dinner I'm going to make Fish Tagine with Chermoulla (this link is exactly the same recipe except  for the swordfish or halibut in the Internet recipe), white fish baked on top of a bed of carrots and onions, with a sauce of blended cilantro, garlic, ginger, cumin, lemon juice, chile, and tomato, then served on couscous, which I just happened to buy the other day.

Since we have a lot of peppers around, still, I think I'm going to try soon Middle Eastern Tofu-Stuffed Peppers, which include carrot, tomato, tofu, soy sauce, dill, lemon, couscous, and currants. Maybe I'll even skip the tofu. A Mexican stuffed pepper recipe uses corn and black beans. How about Garlicky Black-Eyed Peas 'N' Greens? To use some nice cauliflower in the fridge I might try Lentil Sambar, which includes some exotic spices like coriander (just harvested from our garden) and fenugreek (never used it--might look for a substitute).

I'm looking forward to this!


  1. Hi, the little pastry dessert you mentioned is called baklava. Thanks for the info on the new low fat moosewood cookbook! Mollie Katzen is wonderful. My personal holy grail of cookbooks is her Vegetable Heaven. You must get that book! You will love it!

  2. Welcome, Rian! I am familiar with Baklava, and this was something different. I'll need to ask them about it next time I go to Aladdin's. Oh, and the new M.C. is NOT by Mollie K. She split off from the Moosewood folks about the time that first book came out. But I agree with you! Just tonight I'm trying a couple of new recipes from the Lowfat book and will post later . . .


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