Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seawall, Spaghetti-No's and Salsa

After another long day at work on Monday, the last thing I really felt like doing was going down to the dingy dark gym, turning on the fake lights, and running on a machine for an hour. So, although the skies looked ominous, I hopped on ol' Spokey (I've decided to name my bike...) and headed for the seawall. Aside from the occasional runner, it was smooth biking the whole way around. The skies were on my side too, because although with every turn the clouds looked darker and I knew rain was imminent, it held off until I got home. Just barely. As I hopped off, the first drop fell. Perfect!

After being out in the cold, I was looking for something that would really be a nice, cozy warm dinner, especially now that the clouds were letting loose. So, after some recipe googling, I settled on PPK's Spaghetti-No's. Ok, they were supposed to have lentil "meatballs", but to be honest, considering it was 7:30pm, and I hadn't eaten since lunch, I wasn't much up for preparing meatballs, rolling them, baking them, ect. So, pasta and sauce it  was, and when it was done, it was delicious. It actually TOTALLY reminded me of Zoodles (aka spaghetti-o's). I don't think I can  make it again though, because I pretty much ate the whole pot. It was as addicting as the Zoodles were when I was a kid. Two thumbs up for taste, for sure.

For yesterday's dinner I decided to stray away from the usual pasta or rice. A big shoutout to @rollergirl17 for linking to Fat Free Vegan for this recipe. Mmm, Mexican food! I had papaya sitting in my fridge, begging to be used within the next day, and I also had most of the other ingredients already on hand, so this one seemed like it would be a breeze. Emphasis on the "seemed like" part. On my stroll home, I realized I didn't have any soft corn tacos. So, I stopped into a grocery store, but to my surprise, there wasn't a corn taco to be seen. I tried another store. Again, not a corn taco to be had. But, alas! What's this? White corn flour? Well, why not try making them myself? Brilliant, I thought. Oh, and why not get one of these super looking pineapples? They would go great in the salsa! So, once again, I managed to make MORE work for myself. The salsa and the marinade came together in a snap. The pineapple wasn't too bad. The corn tortilla batter was the tough part.

I read the instructions on the bag, which boldly stated that "it is so simple and quick! Just mix, roll into a ball, and place in your tortilla press for 50 seconds!!" Wait.... Tortilla press? I don't even know what that is...How the heck will I manage to make pretty little round tortillas? Well, I pulled a MacGyver in the kitchen by placing a ball of dough between two sheets of parchment paper, and flattening with a big cutting board, then rolling out with a rolling pin to make them nice and even. The result of all this was a corn-dust and corn paste encrusted kitchen, and about 14 little round tortillas. A lot of work. A lot of cleaning. Definitely worth it. They were tasty little guys! I fried up the tofu in my new cast iron pan (which I can't believe I've lived without for three years), and assembled a couple of tortillas. I'm glad that I put the pineapple in there, it really added a lot to the salsa. The papaya and the pineapple really gave this dish a Hawaiian feel, something that I can never really seem to get enough of.

So, I brought some for lunch to the office, and offered some up to my guy, and he loved them. Said they were really good, but a lot of work to assemble at the office, and he had a hard time "taco-ing" it. Very funny. And hey, you thought it was hard to put together? Try chopping up a bunch of papaya and pineapple, squeezing limes and getting it in your eye, preparing and mincing a hot chili without letting any of it touch your skin, rolling out 16 perfect little dough-balls, and flattening them without a tortilla press...then tell me how hard they are to assemble.

But they are worth it. Totally.

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