Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pie, Beans, Sushi and Lunch...a bit of everything really!

Ok, maternity leave should have a hand book with it. Actually, you should get a whole package that includes some kind of dial so you can turn down your energy stores. All I have been hearing for the last two days (via facebook) is that I need to slow down, calm down, sleep, rest, relax....ummm...not really possible for me. Have never been able to really rest for much more then a few chapters of a book. I do wish, a little bit, that I could stop or at least slow down, but I guess I will when I need to. In the mean time......my kitchen is a state of a non-stop cook-off!

I have loads, but will try to keep the post small and just share the goodies.

Sunday night I made a rather simple, but really satisfying Tuscan Bean dish with Roastie Rosemary Potatoes. Perfect combo.

Mmmmm. Monday's Lunch was also quite yummy. I had a multi-grain bagel with avocado, yellow peppers and raw zuchi. I made a little fresh sweet pea and zuchi salad to go along with it - with a little sesame oil on top. Just look at those fresh peas? One thing I really heart about Brussels is the bevy of fresh local produce that is available throughout the week at various open air markets.

And then yesterday I used my date syrup to replace sugar in a Rhubarb, Ginger and Strawberry Pie that I just had to make. I saw the Rhubarb sitting there all local-like and fresh in my kitchen windowsill, and I knew it wasn't destined for ANOTHER crumble. So, I got down to it and made a couple of pie shells with whole wheat all purpose flour (since I was out of w.w pastry flour). The innards of the pie were inspired a wee bit from this 2006 post on Vegan-licious. But then, as usual, I just started winging it. Enter the date syrup. I couldn't live with chucking the required amount of brown and white sugar into the pie, so I went with the date syrup that A.K. inspired me to whip up on Friday. I used this naturally sweet syrup to sweeten and lengthen the flavours of the rhubarb and ginger.

I also made Brown Rice Sushi. I know I have posted a gratuitous amount about sushi, but this seems worthy of another mention since I managed to find brown sushi rice here in Brussels. The texture was much chewier and a touch heavier then when I have used the 'regular' white sushi rice, but it was super nummy and I felt less nasty after ingesting more then a couple of rolls.

Rhubarb, Ginger and Strawberry Pie
(For Dena)

Pie Crust
3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose if need be)
3/4 cup of vegan margarine (or you can substitute this for oil)

6 tablespoons of water (or more if you find you need it)

Extra flour for your rolling pin and counter top

Pie Innards
6 big stalks of rhubarb (cut into bit size)
1 bunch of strawberries (about 8 biggies, or 20 little guys)

1 thumb of ginger

1 lemon (you need the rind and the juicy inside)

2 tsp of cinnamon
2 tsp of cloves
2 tsp of nutmeg

3 tbsp of cornstarch

1 cup of date syrup

I cut the fruit up, added the lemon rind and the lemon juice. I grated my fresh ginger into the fruit and let it sit while I made the pie crust. For the crust I simply added the flour to a big bowl, cut the margarine into the flour, and then made two balls - one slightly larger then the other. I floured my rolling pin and counter, and did the best I could to make a circle out of each ball. I stuck the first in the bottom of a silicon pie dish, which I immediately sat on top of a cookie sheet (I knew this pie was going to be squelchy). And the second I added once I had the filling in my bowl.

To complete the filling I added the date syrup, gave it all a good mix, and then I added the remaining ingredients. The cornstarch got to work super quick thickening the filling! Who doesn't love chemistry?

I baked the pie at 350 for 55 minutes and Kevin dove right in after dinner - thumbs up all around.

VeganBaby Update: Still swimming around inside his mommy. Currently 9 days away from expected date of arrival (a.k.a. Kevin's birthday!). I still feel great (minus the continued crampy, crampy, pinchey, ouches). Can't wait!!!! Thanks for all of your supportive and warm comments about the baby - you guys rock! And just because I love you guys so much - here is Kitty Eliott giving you a little bit of kitten love!


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Everything looks delicious! You must be getting so excited for the big day.

Mihl said...

Only nine more days? Good luck with everything!
Yestrday the boy brought home some rhubarb stalks as we both enjoy its flavour so much. I think there will be pie...

Lauren said...

WOW! I am hungry now! :) Great eats! Thanks for the recipe!

9 days? OMG, you must be so anxious to meet your little one! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Wow that looks like a great way to use up my rhubarb...thanks!

Not much time left...that is so exciting about your veganbaby!

Catherine said...

I just made a strawberry-rhubarb pie, too! (But I did use sugar . . . shame on me!)

Everything looks delicious!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Looks like you're cooking up a storm!! Glad to hear you are feeling great. So excited for you!

Krista said...

What a yummy looking pie!

9 days is very short! that's exciting!!!

Bianca said...

Only 9 days away! Whoo! Good luck! And I didn't even know they made brown sushi rice. Now I must find some.

jessy said...

– i can imagine it’s hard to relax when you’re so close to meeting your little one! beans + rosemary potatoes = a perfect combination, indeed! your bagel ‘n veggies looks stellar! i love the pea ‘n zuch salad. mmmmmmmmm! brown rice sushi, pie?!? it’s all too much! and once i’m done my ACT thing i’m totally gonna have to make your pie! thanks! eliott = the cutest!

veggievixen said...

woah, date syrup? where can i procure such a thing? the pie sounds amazing. i am soooo excited for the peas in my garden to grow in!

good luck with the pinchy ouchies. rest up!

Cyn said...

Everything looks so good! I'm loving those beans.

And nine days! So soon! And your kitty looks like my kitty - tuxedo cats are the best.

A said...

Wow!!! 9 days away?!?!? That is so exciting! I have two little rug rats of my own and they make me so truly happy!

Katrina said...

My sister in law and I are going to attempt to make sushi next week. I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!! Any tips for a sushi making newbie?

Sal said...

only 9 days to go!! i bet you can't wait.

that pie sounds great.

miss v said...

i haven't had a bagel sammie in forever... that looks so great!

Jen aka Jewbacca said...

wow, girl that looks really good! i'm thinking about you as you get closer to havin' that baby. i too am preggo now, but only 15 weeks along. i have really struggled with my veganism and am really really in awe with you as to how you did it. you're my she-ro.

earthmother said...

Your sweet pea and zuchi salad looks so lovely. Now, you've got me craving some. A trip to the farmers market this afternoon...

The clock ticks. Almost time to meet the wee one. A little cowgirl or cowboy??

Anonymous said...

Everything looks superb - especially the homemade sushi! Nine days - you must be so thrilled yet impatient!!! And your kitty is so cute :)

Congrats and best!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks superb - especially the homemade sushi! Nine days - you must be so thrilled yet impatient!!! And your kitty is so cute :)

Congrats and best!