Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Simple Food for Simple People

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Simple Food for Simple People

Last night for dinner, I marinated a bunch of chopped local veggies (an eggplant, new potatoes, zucchini, garlic, onions, and a tomato) in some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt. I did the same with two large portobello mushrooms and let everything get nice and soaked in for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. I was trying to remake that really yummy vegan mushroom dish we had at our good friends' wedding a few weeks back, without having to spend all day making a balsamic reduction. It worked!

I roasted the chopped veggies in the oven at 450 for about 40 minutes, and added the pan of mushrooms and let them all cook for another 10 minutes. I then turned the mushrooms and let 'em go for another 10 minutes. Once out of the oven, I topped the mushrooms with the chopped veggies and melted some organic Muenster cheese on Brett's (he liked it but said it would have been better with provolone - just a tip for you cheese eaters out there). This was a very special dinner too, it was incredibly good for something that was this easy. Brett said he would have paid good money for it in a restaurant, but then again, he would say that wouldn't he? Especially if he wants me to keep feeding him... ;-)

In all seriousness, this was really good. Our only complaint was that there wasn't more. We'll have more mushrooms next time. I thought adding some cooked pearl barley to the "filling" would be really good too.

As I very happily noted just a few weeks ago, we have a Hammond organ now, and we love it. Brett plays the guitar so now that I'm more comfortable with the organ (meaning, I can kind of pick out a melody, I'm getting there), we have been experimenting and "jamming" together. He has learned the bass lines or rhythm guitar sections to some jazz songs and I have learned the melody, then we play together - so far we've gotten part of my favorite jazz song down "Blues in A Minor" by the Modern Jazz Quartet, we've gotten the legendary Bill Evans' "Lullaby for Helene" (I like the take on The Complete Bill Evans on Verve without the whole orchestra section), I've learned some Tetris music (hehehe - Brett is working on the "bad guy level" music from the original Super Mario Bros), I've attempted the "Girl from Ipanema", but so far, it's just not quite right, I started to work on "Canon in D" and realized I was far, far out of my range of abilities with that one - such a pretty song though, I really like the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet's take on it. So much fun! The Hammond also has a nice bass walk feature. So once I had learned the A minor scale, we put that on for a back beat and had a bluesy-jazzy jam session.

Our latest project is "Bouree", but the Jethro Tull version, not the Bach one. I like JT's take on it better. Brett plays the bass line, I play the flute part. :-)

I want to thank Cookiemouse for giving me the idea of uploading a Youtube video of the song we are working on.

Well, this is my last day off of my long weekend. I've got some emails I want to catch up on later in the day, but the most part, today will be spent with Brett, the Playstation, books, and the Hammond.

Enjoy this gorgeous Tuesday!

Oh, and I'll try to catch up on all your blogs in the next couple of days.

'Til next time!


VeggieGirl said...

The food might be simple, but that's the type of food that really satisfies my palate - yum!!

Enjoy your last day off!!

Bianca said...

It's so cute that you guys jam together! And that mushroom dish does look scruptious!

selina said...

of the 500+ awesome vegan food i've eaten... nothing beats some good roasted veggies. so simple yet so good. :)

shellyfish said...

I love that you two are rocking out together! How fun- my husband and I used to rock out, well, before we had the Guppy...but it was loads of fun!

jessy said...

wow - your dinner looks so awesome! it totally looks like something i would order in a restaurant, too! gotta love some roasted veggies! i've never made them before with balsamic, i think i'm gonna have to try that.

jam sessions = fun! and i'm so happy that you're really enjoying the organ! that is so cool that you two are playing music together. w00t!

(Ve*ganChick) said...

Looks like another great meal. I love roasted veggies-they are the best! I love how much fun you guys are having with your new instrument...rock on!

Mihl said...

A Hammond organ sound very cool!
And even your simple food still looks very, very delicious.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - Me too, if it tastes that good without much effort, why mess with a good thing. This makes me want to try growing my own mushrooms. When will my madness stop?! :-)

I did, very much thanks!

Bianca - Haha! When I read your comment I thought, "really, was it cute?" I imagine our neighbors have a different take on it. I really do try, and I'm not trying to be hard on myself, but I'm not very good. I hope I don't irritate Brett, I irritate myself sometimes as I hit all the wrong notes trying to find the right one!

It was really good!

Selina - That is A LOT of vegan food. So true, I don't think there is much I like better other than cantaloupe (simple) and chips and salsa.

Shellyfish - It's good to play together. And it is a lot of fun, we always get excited when we find a good activity that we can do together. We both have our own things we prefer that the other doesn't, but over the years we've found all sorts of things for us to do together too. Brett is my best buddy, so I'm happy to have something else. Apparently this has been a "fantasy" (not a dirty one - hehe) for a long time, having a partner that he could share his passion for music with.

Maybe you could incorporate Guppy in the "jamming", get a maraca or tambourine or something. That would be so fun!

Jessy - Thank you, you are so sweet! I used to hate balsamic vinegar - I had a bad experience, but now, oh man, what it can do to a pan of veggies. It's amazing.

They are fun, what we were doing with the bass walk actually sounded really cool. My only problem is that sometimes I get thrown off when Brett comes in with the bass line and I throw everyone out of rhythm, hehe.

Ve*ganChick - It was!

The organ was the best $50 we've ever spent, seriously. It has already paid for itself with the amount of fun we've had with it. Inexpensive fun where folks can spend time together, can't be that in my opinion.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Mihl - The Hammond has been a lot of fun, we've enjoyed it a lot, and there is still so much to learn about it.

Thank you about the meal, it was simple and delish!

lengslog said...

Roasted veggies always sound good. I don't think I've had Provolone before, but it does sound good. Long says the same thing about dishes he likes. He's always comparing them to how much people would pay in a restaurant. It's so funny!

Lizzy said...

I wanna hear you guys jamming =D I seriously find it so incredibly cool that you guys do that!!! Ha ha, I sound like a preteen =p

And your dinner... my boyfriend would probably bow down if I ever made him that. Ohhh wait, his birthday is on Halloween! I'll have to make a special jennifer mushroom loaded recipe =D

selina said...

yeah. jason is 28 & can often be found playing online, playing his flight simulator, playing guitar hero, watching tv or building his rc planes while im cooking.

its a good thing we like to cook & dont mind our boys being the boys they are. :)

Chile said...

I agree, roasted vegetables are the best. Too bad it takes a hot oven. I just can't bear to heat up the kitchen these days!

Can I come eat at your house?

CeciLiA said...

Ohhh yummy, I heart mushroom dishes!! Man, that dish begs to be eaten with a steaming bowl of brown rice MMMmmmm .... great recipe!! I'm copying it down right now!

CeciLiA said...

Ohhh yummy, I heart mushroom dishes!! Man, that dish begs to be eaten with a steaming bowl of brown rice MMMmmmm ....

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Leng - They are always good aren't they? I can't honestly tell you what provolone tastes like, it's been too long since I've had cheese, I'd have to ask Brett.

Haha, men and their compliment styles, so interesting.

Lizzy - Hahaha! You'd probably end up jamming while Brett solo's and then I come in all off key or rhythm and throw the whole thing off.

It's a lot of fun to play together regardless of the fact that I suck. :-)

HAHAHAHA! Perhaps you should then, though I think he should be doing that all the time anyway, he's such a lucky guy to have cool chick like you by his side.

Halloween, his birthday must have been very interesting growing up. ;-)

Selina - I think Jason and Brett would get along just fine. My only "rule" is, wear headphones when you insist on playing Madden football on the PSP in bed. ;-) I think it's kind of cute though. You put Brett in the kitchen and he looks like a lost puppy. He made bean burritos last night (sweet!), and he looked so confused.

Chile - I KNOW! That is what is frustrating about it. I have somehow gotten lucky, the times I've decided I've wanted to roast veggies since it's been summer, the weather has always been mild that day.

Anytime Chile, anytime, if you are ever in the Mid-Missouri area (though I'm not sure WHY anyone would come here out of choice - I love Columbia, but I mean, it's Missouri)....

Hey, do you think a solar oven would work at all in the Midwest? Is this one of those things where it will take all day for them to cook? Ah, you know what, I should just go "stalk" your blog for a little bit, I bet you've wrote about your experiences with the solar oven.

Cecilia - They are good aren't they. Can you believe not even two years ago, I HATED mushrooms. Yes! Great idea, brown rice would be perfect. Just dice up the mushrooms and serve it all over rice. Yum! Haha, it's very simple, so I can't take any credit for it.

Chile said...

Jennifer, it depends on how much sun you get. Even here, mine doesn't heat up as well when it's overcast or there are high thin clouds. Only the hottest sunniest days can sort of roast the vegetables. Roasting really needs the high temperatures - I've even roasted stuff in the upper part of the oven when using the broiler. (Caution: you must pay very close attention as things roast in very little time when the oven is 500 degrees!)

Avery Yale Kamila said...

Wow! That looks so delicious!