Last Week I Cooked…

I’m still writing from Cork, Ireland, where we are finishing up our trip with Will’s grandmother. We have just one more day of vibrant green fields, glistening coastline, fast moving clouds and surprise rainstorms before our journey back to Massachusetts.

Chicken tikka masala. I had another dinner planned, but with a 3 hour cooking time and a late arrival home after a day of exploring I changed plans. I’ve made this many times and it is always pleasing. The recipe is written with an absurd amount of salt (I use about a teaspoon total), and I used a 15.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (because tomato puree in Ireland is tomato paste, and the only tomato sauce I found was flavored pasta sauce).

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersBaked falafel with roasted cauliflower, tzatziki, and salad. Vacation makes for a bit more indulgance than usual, which make me crave vegetables. The falafel was made with a potato masher, but the egg helped hold it together well for baking. The cauliflower I roasted with some olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper at about 425F for 25 minutes. Tzatziki was made with some shredded cucumber that I squeezed dry, drained yogurt, lemon juice, and minced garlic. I made a dressing of just lemon juice and olive oil for the salad, and was very happy with such a dense dose of vegetables.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersVegetable chowder. The cabbage from the meal I didn’t made went into this soup. I started off sweating the leeks in butter, then added chopped carrots and potatoes, and about a quart of stock I made from the leek tops. That simmered for about half an hour, then I added half a chopped savoy cabbage. It was all finished with some pepper, cream, and a touch of vinegar for a vegetable packed soup.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersTomato, pepper, and cucumber salad with Irish sea asparagus. We went out for fish and chips and Will declared after that he was done with food for the day. That seemed to change after we went into Marks and Spencer and he spied with Scotch eggs and tiny pork pies. So they came home with us for an easy dinner, and I made a big salad of things that were already in the fridge plus the Irish sea asparagus (or sampire) that I couldn’t resist at the market. It has the water crunch of bean sprouts but with a little more chew and serious salty sea flavor. The woman at the market said it was very nice with cooked fish so I think that I will have to try it with some this week. But anyway, the salad was just a mix of chopped vegetables with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.

VOatmeal with mashed banana, raisins, cream, and maple sugar. We needed a break from Irish breakfasts, so I cooked steel-cut oats with a 1:1 water:milk mixture very slowly over low heat while stirring regularly. At the end I added in a mashed banana, and then served with cream, maple syrup, and raisins.

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