Monday, June 29, 2009

Meatless Monday: first report

This isn't actually the first time I've done a meatless Monday, but I think if I report back about it every week, it will encourage me to be better with it. So how did I do today?

Let's work backwards. Just before I left work, I was taken with a craving for Chinese-style scallion pancakes. But I knew I didn't have any scallions in the house, so I started to reconsider. Then I saw the comment from yesterday's food post which had a link to this zucchini pancake recipe. Not exactly Chinese-style, but I thought I might be able to adapt it.

When I got home, I immediately set about grating the zucchini, summer squash, and onion. I ended up making the pancakes almost exactly as the recipe said, except that I used cheddar instead of Parmesan, and I was very generous with the basil. Instead of topping the fritters with diced tomatoes, however, I decided to give it an Asian twist by using one of my favorite made-up sauces, which is almost equal parts sriracha, rice vinegar, and light soy sauce, with a sprinkle of sugar and a bit of water. I had to go light on the sauce, though, because it almost overpowered the flavors of the veggies in the fritters. I had enough fritters leftover for breakfast or lunch tomorrow, too!

For breakfast today I had Kashi puffed grain cereal with dried currants and soy milk. Pretty boring, but definitely meatless. My midmorning snack was an oatmeal cookie. Lunch was a homemade potato salad, which is really the only kind I will eat. Not to be a snob about one of the Great American Summer Side Dishes, but I find typical supermarket potato salad to be too dry, too starchy, and waaaay too sweet. Here's how my mom taught me to make potato salad (with some adaptations from me):
1. Boil up some new potatoes* (cut into at least halves, or smaller if they're on the big side), but don't overdo it with the boiling. Cook them just until you can easily skewer them with a fork or paring knife.
2. Immediately after draining them, put the potatoes in a bowl and get them soaking in several tablespoons of cider vinegar.
3. While the taters are soaking up the yummy vinegar, chop up some fresh dill, a bit of onion, and some celery. If you have some parsley lying around, chop that up too.
4. If the potatoes seem to have way too much vinegar still pooled around them, you can drain some off, but otherwise, just dump your chopped herbs and veggies in with the taters.
5. Add a few tablespoons of mayo, and stir.
6. Salt and pepper to taste, and voila!

I wish I had taken a picture of the potato salad too, but I had already eaten it all by the time I thought of it. So, all that yummy food, and I still have two tomatoes and several potatoes left over from my Sunday at the farmers' market.

*My mom says russets are better because they absorb more flavor, but I really enjoy the smooth texture of new potatoes, and I like the color added by leaving the skin on, which you can't really do with russets.

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