Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bulgur and Tomato Salad

As I was turning the pages of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, I noticed a recipe for Bulgur and Tomato Salad. The miracle of miracles: I had all ingredients on hand! In fact, I've had a bag of bulgur for quite a while, but haven't had a chance to use it. In fact, I've never cooked bulgur before and it was fun learning that you cook it the same way as cous-cous: soak it in hot water and it's done!

The salad was ridiculously easy to put together: tomatoes, red onions, feta, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper, oregano and of course bulgur. This is something I make quite often with cous-cous and a variety of vegetables, but I would never have put oregano in as well (it addde a really nice flavor).

Confession: the recipe called for red pepper flakes, but I was out of them and was too lazy to walk over to World Market.

Thoughts: I think I'll start using bulgur instead of cous-cous from now on. Why? Because bulgur is actually wheat and has more of a bite and texture than cous-cous.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lemony Lentil Salad

Mark Bittman's book arrived yesterday and I was eager to start cooking. The book is huge. I was instantaneously overwhelmed by the number of recipes, tips and suggestions. Luckily, I turned a page to Lemony Lentil Salad and knew right away that's what I will be making because I have been looking for a simple recipe to use up a bag of green split peas (...are they the same as lentils? no clue...I'm sure the book will be able to answer this question though).

The recipe was very simple. Cook lentils in water with a bay leaf and a few garlic cloves (I smashed mine to release more flavor). Then drain and combine with the vinaigrette prepared from lemon juice, lemon segments, minced red onion (or chives or shallots), capers, olive oil, and salt & pepper. The warm lentils soak up the vinaigrette right away.

vinaigrette ingredients

final product

Thoughts: good combination of flavors. Not sure if I overcooked my peas slightly or whether I'll make this again, but a good first try nonetheless.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Welcome to my new blog!

I decided to start a new blog to document my experience cooking recipes from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

Why another blog?

1) I LOVE Mark Bittman (I read his Minimalist columns in New York Times, watch his videos, and enjoy his shows on PBS)
2) I never use cookbooks and instead make up my own recipes. This will be a fun and new way to answer "what's for dinner?"
3) This will be a theme-specific blog: nothing about shopping, jewelry, flowers, etc, but don't be afraid! You'll still be able to read about these topics in my original blog.
4) No, I'm not going to be a vegetarian: I love meat and fish too much. But with the prices of food going up, it would not hurt to learn a few new vegetarian dishes.

I ordered the cookbook today and will start posting as soon as it comes! Check back soon :)