Monday, November 29, 2010

Fire Roasted

Every time I go to Whole Foods, I seem to meander down the tomato isle. I'm not a huge fan of cans, nor plain tomatoes, but Muir Glen Organic seems to do both right. I really appreciate that their packaging no longer contains BPA (see this article), and that their tomatoes are both organic and delicious.

I've used their No Salt Added Tomato Sauce and No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes before, and I'll admit I haven't been very adventurous. Until now. After wondering what exactly is a "fire-roasted tomato," I finally tried some for myself. I wish I could describe the smoky, but not spicy, and sweet, but not candy-like flavors that are included in every bite. In fact, when I tried a bite of my first meal using them, I actually said outloud, "This is sa-weet!"

Indeed, I devoured every little bit of my Curried Cauliflower Stew with Chickpeas. Oh, and don't worry, the roasted eggplant, delicata squash, and yellow squash weren't left behind either.

This recipe actually came from my new cookbook, Clean Start by Terry Walters. Since I already loved her first book, Clean Food, I immediately ordered this new-release when it became available last month.

Clean Food was really influential with teaching me confidence in my kitchen intuition and enjoying the simplicity of whole foods. Actually, that shows in my meal preparation for this because I was confident enough to substitute fire-roasted diced tomatoes for the regular ones called for in her recipe. Well if this recipe (my first from Clean Start) is any indicator of how much I will love this new cookbook, then I am sure this is going to be a lovely relationship.

But back to the tomatoes. While I really enjoyed the fire-roasted tomatoes in Clean Start's stew, tonight's dinner definitely stole the show. My channa masala was full of sweet tomatoes, soft chickpeas, and warming spices.

It was a nice accompaniment to some steamed veggies.

A dollup of creamy hummus really finished it off right.

And of course, it didn't stay pretty for very long...

But after studying Calculus for much longer than I would like, but this meal definitely reenergized me. It was the perfect ending to a lovely Thanksgiving vacation.

Luckily, it will not be completely forgotten tomorrow. I still have a VERY large bag of frozen veggies that I will be enjoying with many other meals to come. I love Costco :D.

But I love my Nanny (grandmother) who indulges my vegetable habit even more :D.

Sadly, though, she hasn't been feeling very today. Since I had the day off today, I was able to take care of her. When she asked for toast with butter, I even recommended Earth Balance instead because I've heard dairy products aren't good for an upset stomach.

I am happy to report that she enjoyed her little vegan meal :). She is feeling a bit better, but not quite 100%. Please pray that she will get better soon!

Which cookbooks have been the most in influential for you? And what do you do for your loved ones when they are sick? Tea and toast seem to be nursing Nanny back to health slowly but surely. I guess it's our English roots!

Have a lovely day!



  1. My dad, the brit of the family, always made us toast with butter and sometimes cinnamon sugar so I definitely crave it when sick! Oh, and I have been dying for both of those books! Thanks for letting me know muir glen cans are now bpa free...I am used to using eden but can't always find them on the west coast! My most influential cookbook was probably candle cafe, cause it was my first vegan cookbook!

    hope your nanny feels better.

  2. Dare I admit that canned tomatoes are a staple in this house? I don't use them that often - but they're something that when you need, you NEED! I love the fire-roasted kind :) Both of your meals with them look delicious!! I love a good cook book, too. I think Veganomicon has been most influential to me. It first introduced me to vegan cooking. Of equal importance is probably Moosewood's Cooking for Health - my first nutritioun-focused cookbook. I know any recipe can be tweaked to be more nutritious and/or vegan - but sometimes it's nice to not have to tweak and play and just follow directions, making something as it is intended to be made!
    Sorry for the tangent :P I really hope your nanny feels better soon! Glad she is getting there.

  3. I love canned tomatoes! I'm not a fan of plain, whole tomatoes but give me the ones from a can.. yum. I'm hoping that if I eat enough canned/cooked tomatoes it will eventually make me like whole tomatoes in their natural form.

    When a loved one is sick I just help them out however I can - do their chores, do things to make them more comfortable/relaxed, make them meals, bake them goodies.