Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Endings and Beginnings.

Well, it's official. I am unemployed. Saturday was my last day at work and I managed to avoid working on Valentine's Day for the first time in over 20 years. Time to load up and move to Arkansas but not before tying up lots of loose ends and saying some adieus.

Today I met my dear friend Mendi for lunch at the Spiral Diner in Ft. Worth. She is a fellow florist but it's not her first love and she is pursuing her degree in the fall. A new beginning for her as well. We have been horrible about keeping in touch although we only live an hour away from each other. I have been trying to rook her into blogging with us one day a week but she has a husband and two kids and the logistics of it would not work for her. And I don't think her intro to vegan food today impressed her much. Although, she is too much of a lady to say so. She had a burrito that did not look very appealing but my curried noodle dish was excellent. The Ft. Worth location seems to be much more grounded and consistent than the Dallas one. But I think that of the the city as well, less flash but more substance. She will be one of the things I will miss. We have some shared memories and she has had a few nice things to say about me lately. Flattery doesn't even have to be true to feel good.

I feel spring in the air after our heavy snowfall of last week and made my favorite "take to the picnic/potluck" dish. I veganized it by making a vegan "feta" from a recipe I found on recipezaar. The original recipe is from epicurious. It is one of those dishes that tastes even better the day after. Use full fat feta if you are not vegan.


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 lb firm tofu, herb flavored, cubed or crumbled

Whisk together all ingredients except the tofu to make a marinade. Crumble the tofu into the marinade and marinate a few hours or overnight. Drain before adding to the orzo.


1 pound orzo
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 1/4 cups "feta "(6 ounces), crumbled
1 cup thinly sliced scallion greens

Cook orzo in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender, then drain well in a colander.
Whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl, then add hot orzo and toss. Cool orzo, then toss with pine nuts, feta, and scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper.

This recipe is one of those that you can modify according to your tastes. I added dried cranberries. If you have access to nice tomatoes, toss em in. Chopped basil would work nicely if you added them just before serving.The "feta" has the taste if a somewhat wetter constency. Mr. Carnivore was even impressed!

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