Cilantro, 99 cents for two bunches

soup & tostones

The Plant-based Weekend: Creamy Chard Soup with Tostones

I’ve been traveling so much lately that Steve and I are finally getting around to cooking the dishes that we’d planned, and shopped for, over a month ago. One thing this means is that the cilantro I bought went bad, then went into the compost, late last week.

As such, my weekend travel included a trip to buy some more of it. Since I also needed mirin and green plantain (thankfully I’d forgotten to buy that, a month ago), and had some time on Saturday, I headed to Dragon Star Oriental Foods. There, I picked up my needed groceries and got the added boosts of a) saving money on the herbs, and b) enjoying the dazzling sights of yellow-netted durian, shining pink piles of grouper, and pallets upon pallets of enormous rice sacks, near the registers. Love that place! It intrigues me so much that it may help get me, finally, to travel to a new (to me) part of the world, soon.

Armed with cilantro, I was able to pull together the meal that we’d planned, so long ago: Creamy Chard Soup with Tostones and Jerk Tempeh with Cilantro Sauce. Both were items from Bryant Terry’s The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus. Though I’d planned on also preparing the garlic rice recipe from that book, I ended up just doing a batch of simple basmati, which worked fine, especially as there was plenty of flavor already from the tempeh marinade and the cilantro sauce. What a delicious meal!


A fine use of mushy apple

Wondering why those plantains above look like flowers? They are double-fried: once fried in coconut oil, then cooled, smashed with the side of one of my cleavers, then fried once more, to provide maximum crispy surface area.

Also prepared & consumed this weekend, along the catch-up theme: a smoothie that used up the good half of a half-rotten Honeycrisp, and a Moroccan potato dish (yes, we had to update our potato supply for that one, too) that Steve had chosen from our newer Paula Wolfert cookbook. Both provided terrific sustenance for a weekend of reading, party-hopping, a short run, and some challenging power yoga. The leftovers will provide a fine meatless-Monday dinner tonight, as well.

Does anyone else find it challenging, to get all of your produce eaten before it goes bad? Maybe we need to consider cooking with frozen or canned produce, more often. We are fortunate to have the room out back for a composter, and to use the compost in the garden, but I’d rather not pay good cash to feed those wee reducers.