My mom usually is in charge of Sunday dinners since she likes to cook a pretty big dinner for our family on this day (I have no idea why, she just started this a few years ago...) so I'm usually left with a weekday to cook dinner. Well, a couple weeks ago, this changed! I really wanted to make the the Eggplant and Spinach Rollatini for my family since I thought they would like, as well as for myself because I have never had eggplant. Now, don't think I've been scared to try it or anything. It's just that my mom never cooks with it and I've usually only seen it in Eggplant Parmesan at restaurants (definitely not vegan!). I figured I should make this on Sunday since it took about 2 hours for me to make, and I wouldn't have enough time to make this dish after school. I'd say it was worth the time, though! The fried eggplant got soooo flavorful and crispy and the tofu ricotta was the perfect match for this. Unfortunately, I chose to leave out the spinach since it tends to scare away my dad and brother (I'm going to try and change that one day. Any ideas how?) My mom and I loved this, but my dad forgot to tell me that he hates eggplant. Like, he can't even get a bite down because of the texture. So he didn't really like this but said it was not at all due to the recipe, just his personal tastes. My sister and brother wouldn't touch this , but I expected that- they're not big on trying "new" foods. I would definitely make this again, but probably only a half batch for my family since I ate almost all of the leftovers, and I really don't want to know how fattening this dish was! (I used about half of a LARGE bottle of olive oil to fry the eggplant! eek!)
Last week's dinner was definitely a little more daring for my family of omni's- Chickpea Broccoli Casserole from VWAV. I was especially nervous since it was described as "bland," which will not due in my household. I added some extra spices (garlic, lemon juice, oregano, and basil) just to be sure that this would be flavorful. Oh, and I topped it with some breadcrumbs to add a little more texture. Um....well......my family didn't really like this. My mom said it was just "okay, but I wouldn't eat it again" and my dad and I thought the dish had potential, but needed quite a bit of work. It was just so.....chickpea-y. I like chickpeas (a lot, actually), but it was just too much. Maybe I'll experiment with this one day, maybe not.
To honor the end of spring break, my mom took my brother and I to the CHICAGO DINER for lunch!!! I loooooove this place, but I don't get to go often since my parents aren't big on driving all the way to the city for a meal, so you can imagine how happy I was when my mom finally agreed to take me there! My brother enjoyed the Diner last time we went in November for my birthday (wow, that's actually awhile ago), so he wanted to join us. Now, you know I have a rule about brining my camera to restaurants (basically, I don't do it. I just want to eat and enjoy the food and not worry about trying to get a good shot), but I did manage to get a picture of the desserts we brought home! But I'll get to those later. As for the lunch, both my brother and I were in the mood for brunch, so he got some vegan pancakes (he and my mom were very impressed by these!), non-vegan quesadillas, and a vanilla milkshake. I tried his milkshake, made with Temptation Vegan Ice Cream by the way, and it was soooooooooooo smooth and creamy. It tasted sort of like liquid frosting, but I promise it was way better than it sounds. I had their Tofu Scramble Delight which came with some brown rice and vegetables. Man, were those vegetables great! I don't know why I was so impressed but the kale and zucchini (maybe some other veggies, I don't remember) were garlicky and perfectly cooked. I was eager to try the tofu scramble at the Diner since it's one of the many things it is famous for. Also, I tried making it from their cookbook once and it just didn't turn out right, so I needed to taste it made the right way to know how to replicate it. Trust me, their tofu scramble really is worth trying! The tahini makes it really creamy and the sunflowers seeds add a great crunch. I think I figured out what I did wrong, so I'll be working on that..... Oh! I almost forgot my mom! She wasn't very hungry due to allergies (I know how she feels, they finally hit me this morning and my appetite is almost nonexistent), so she just got the Santa Fe Salad and had absolutely nothing to complain about. Okay- dessert time! I really wanted their special dessert of the week, a strawberry cake, but they were all out since we got there so late in the week... :( That's alright though, I love their Carrot Cake, so I just got that instead! My brother chose the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake since he said it looked really good, but I was skeptical about him liking it since he doesn't like cheesecake- at all! He actually didn't mind the first few bites of it, but then said it got way too sweet. I completely disagreed and happily finished it (I've gotten this many times from my local Whole foods, so I knew how much I loved it already)! But I'm glad my brother didn't completely disapprove of vegan cheesecake, because now I know he will at least try the next time I make one!
Okay- I have decided I am going to eat a little lighter for the next months or two. Of course I will indulge occasioanlly, but I've just been having way too much sugar lately. I just don't feel as great about my body as I did a few months ago, but don't have to make many changes. Just expect to see a lot more pictures of smoothies and light ice "cream" I'll be making this weekend for dessert instead of cake and bread pudding (mmmmm.......NO! I must resist....) as well as not a lot of fried food (*cough* fried eggplant *cough*). Good thing it's spring time, since that only means one thing- a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables!!!
Kung Pao Eggplant
6 hours ago