Sunday, December 5, 2010

You Wanna Wonton?

Unfortunately, the past week and a half have been fairly unsuccessful as far as the healthy eating and consistently working out goes - it started a couple of days before Thanksgiving and has slid on until now. I spent a whirlwind two days at home with my parents (requiring almost eight hours of driving each way) and Alix and I leave for Vermont tomorrow morning, with a stop in Northampton halfway through so I can weirdly reminisce about a place I loved and hated for the last four years. In the midst of all this traveling (me) and studying for finals (Alix), time has seemed to go by way too quickly. I am already halfway through my two weeks of vacation from nannying! I better make the most of these next few days in Vermont where the regimen is going back into place, big time. Get this - workouts twice a day. No reason not to, since we've no other commitments. And after eating our way through Thanksgiving and its leftovers, we sure need it.

Tonight's dinner was another adventure in my cookbook Vegan Planet. We made Ginger-Scented Vegetable Pot Stickers with a Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce. The pot stickers lived up to their name and tried hard to stick to the pot (the recipe said to use a non-stick pan but since we don't own one, we used what is apparently an extremely sticky pan, with questionable results).

As you can see, the pot stickers on the right look relatively normal. The ones in the top left, however, have been relegated to the time-out corner where they have been instructed to "think about what they've done" and ultimately wound up in the trash. But the others were pretty good! Crispy on the outside, and the tofu, cabbage, ginger, carrot, and garlic filling was delicious and didn't taste like it was "missing" anything by not having meat in it. The best part of the night, though, came as I turned around from picking up my camera to take this picture and saw Rupert licking the messed-up pot stickers (I had, stupidly, put the plate on the coffee table, directly in his line of access). I gasped, yelled a firm "DON'T!" and watched, aghast, as Rupert backed up a step, looked me in the eye and slowly, slowly opened his mouth as wide as it would go and licked his chops, all the way around. The message was clear: "Mom, I don't have to listen to you. But you do make some damn good pot stickers." I laughed so hard that the reprimand was useless. Thank goodness he only licked the messed-up ones, right?

The peanut dipping sauce was truly spectacular. Probably because we both love peanut butter, but it tasted great with the wontons and I can imagine it being delicious with any number of goodies. I love to dip my food in anything and everything (ketchup, pickle relish, ranch dressing, peanut butter, etc) and Alix is not only the opposite, but she thinks my habit is disgusting. So it's saying something that we both liked this spicy smooth cilantro-infused sauce. See here she is, modeling her joy at Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce!

In other news, while I was home, I cooked a batch of Lentil Soup with Chard and Orzo for my parents with some Whole-Grain Herb Bread on the side (both from the vegan cookbook). I do a lot of cooking when I'm home with my parents to give my mom a break from it all and also, because, well, there's not a whole lot else to do. Making bread is especially fun because I have the four hours to devote to it, no problem. As everyone knows, the best and most fun part of baking bread is the moment when you first get to punch it down. (Or maybe you didn't know that, but now you do and you should go learn how to bake bread just so you get to experience it. It's that good.)
Soup simmering, orzo cooking
Herb bread, freshly sliced
My soup and bread were well-received and it made me appreciate how much I love this cookbook for giving me vegan recipes that don't make me feel like anything is missing from them. They just taste like good food, except cruelty-free. Yay!

Lastly, in spite of this last week of overeating, I had to buy new jeans (in a smaller size) and my belt is one notch tighter. Let's see what a week of double workouts (bring it on Jillian!) will result in. Maybe this will be one holiday season that leaves me smaller than I was before it all began.

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