Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mamma Mia!

I don't know how it happened, but I ended up spending 5 hours straight in the kitchen today. I totally hadn't planned on it and, to be honest, I'm a little bummed that I ended up spending such a beautiful day stuck in my kitchen. I did have some company, though - the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, played on repeat. I listened to it 4 times through - that's how long I was in the kitchen! Of course, I would have been done faster if I hadn't had to stop and get down with my bad self every time "Dancing Queen" came on :)

So, there are two reasons I was in my kitchen all day: one is that I wanted to make the Sanctuary Chef Salad from Appetite for Reduction, and the other is that I wanted to get some prep work done for tomorrow's special Father's Day meal for my hubby. I just had no idea that the salad would take me over 3 HOURS to make! Yeah. The salad required me to make 4 different recipes! Herb-Roasted Cauliflower, Eggplant Bacon, Basic Baked Tofu, and Sanctuary Dressing. I had to chop, season, and roast the cauliflower; slice, marinate, and twice-bake the eggplant; press, marinate, and bake the tofu; and make the dressing, which required many steps itself - blanching silken tofu, then blending it with a bunch of other ingredients in the food processor. Then I had to chop and wash some romaine lettuce, slice some radishes and red onion, and shred some carrot. All of this would have been somewhat okay if the salad had totally rocked when it was all done and put together. But no. I was really disappointed with the salad. Sigh. Oh well. I'd been wanting to make this salad for a long time, so at least I can cross it off my list. And now I don't have to spend another 3 hours in the future making this salad! See, bright side!! And my hubby liked it. Well, he said he liked it but that was after I told him that he better say he liked it since I'd spent 3 hours making it! :)

Here are the components, ready to be assembled in the salad:

Chopped romaine lettuce, Basic Baked Tofu, Eggplant Bacon, Sanctuary Dressing (in the jar), Herb-Roasted Cauliflower (next to the dressing), shredded carrots, sliced radishes, sliced red onion, and grape tomatoes.
 Here's the salad before I added the dressing:
 And here it is, all dressed.
I liked the Herb-Roasted Cauliflower on its own, but not so much in the salad. It got kinda soggy in a wet-crouton-y kind of way. But by itself, it was pretty tasty. I'll definitely make the cauliflower again. The salad? Never. Again!!

I also did some prep for tomorrow's dinner. I decided to make the Jamaican Tempeh Patties from Vegetarian Times and the Charming Chocolate Cupcakes from How it All Vegan! My hubby loves both of these recipes, and I haven't made either of them in a while. Today I made the dough and cooked the tempeh for the patties, so all I'll have to do tomorrow is assemble and bake the patties. I baked the cupcakes and made the frosting today, so they'll be all set for tomorrow. These cupcakes hold a special place in my heart - they were the first vegan dessert I ever made, and this was the first vegan cookbook I ever owned. They are still my favorite cupcakes ever!! They are sooo chocolately and delicious. Here they are, fresh out of the oven and unfrosted:

I'll frost them before I go to bed tonight. But how yummy does these look? They get an awesome, almost-crunchy top to them, which I love. I also usually stick a knife through the middle so some of the frosting can get inside, just like a Hostess Cupcake. Yum.

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