Saturday, October 23, 2010

buses, squash, & swans

What a whirlwind weekend this has been.  I took the bus out to Sag Harbor Thursday afternoon, then rode back into Manhattan Friday morning for my voice lesson.  I'm back in Sag Harbor for Saturday and Sunday and will head home Monday morning.  All totaled, I will have spent nine hours and twenty minutes on Hampton Jitney buses this weekend.  Good thing I'm not paying for transportation!

Because I had all day Friday to myself, I hit the kitchen (obviously!).  My latest adventure: orange vegetable pilau (pronounced pee-LOH).  

The recipe is from Easy Vegan: Simple Recipes for Healthy Eating, the book I decided on the night I (sort of) ran into James Franco at Barnes & Noble.

Orange Vegetable Pilau

2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 large red chile, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 carrot, cut into large chunks
7 oz (about 1 cup) pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into wedges
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick semi-circles
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
a handful of cilantro/fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Serves 4

Put the oil in a heavy-based saucepan set over high heat.  Ad the onion (I used a yellow onion), garlic, ginger, and chile (I used a green Anaheim chile) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the spices and almonds and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the spices become aromatic and look very dark in the pan.

Add the rice (I used jasmine, but basmati is best) and cook for 1 minute, stirring well to coat the rice in the spices.  Add the carrot, pumpkin (I used butternut squash), and sweet potato (I used a garnet yam) to the pan.  Pour in 2 1/2 cups water and stir well, lossening any grains of rice that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the rice is tender, take the pan off the heat and add the lime juice and coriander (I used cilantro).  Stir well to combine and serve hot.

Anaheim chile, garlic, onion, and ginger

combined in skillet with olive oil, almonds, and spices

butternut squash, garnet yam, and carrot

combine, add water, and bring to boil

simmer for 25 minutes, mix with lime juice, and garnish with cliantro 
(I forgot this part!)

delicious with a slice of pumpkin tea bread from Whole Foods

This recipe obviously yields a pretty hefty batch of goodness, so find someone to share it with, or be prepared to eat leftovers several meals in a row.  It's actually one of those great dishes that almost tastes better on the second day.  Don't forget the lime and cilantro, like I did for my first serving.  The citrus tang combines beautifully with the earthy sweetness of the squash and yam.  And cilantro just makes everything better. :)

This afternoon, I spent quite a bit of time playing with the kids in the backyard.  We played fetch with the dog, caught a grasshopper (Leo called him Hopper, from A Bug's Life), and were surprised by a family of swans!

Be forewarned: they're beautiful but temperamental.  And very territorial.  Don't get too close.  One of them almost bit Zo.  No joke.  


  1. Hey Mollie! Love the recipe! I'm doing a mostly vegan diet these days as well, and I have so much energy! One warning- you aren't supposed to cook with olive oil on high heat. It damages the oil and it loses all its "healthy fat" properties. A couple good alternatives are unrefined coconut oil and grape seed oil, both of which are healthy fats that can be heated to higher temps. Happy to see you doing so well! ~Sarah Bratton

  2. Glad to hear you are getting some nice weather and have a chance to soak it up OTJ :-) The dish you prepared looks amazing...I might give it a go. Thanks for all the pics!!!