Archive for November 2011
There’s a lot to love about the French Quarter in New Orleans. We’re not always up for the tourist crush or the elusive (and expensive) parking, though, so we often head to the Garden District or Uptown/Carrollton. And until this past weekend, we had not stayed in a hotel in the city – we usually stay with family or friends, or just make a day trip. This weekend, we made up for all that: I had a conference at the lovely Maison Dupuy in the French Quarter, and on Saturday, one of Daniel’s college friends got married at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street.
We’ve been wanting to try Bennachin, an African restaurant in the French Quarter, for some time, and since it was within walking distance of the Maison Dupuy, we finally made it there. Bennachin is off the beaten tourist path, and it’s absolutely delightful. There is a whole menu section of vegetarian dishes, and several of the other entrees can be made vegetarian. Daniel had the bikai ni curry (eggplant, mushrooms, and bean sprouts in a curry sauce over cous cous), and I had the kome ni makondo (black-eyed peas in onion and tomato stew over coconut rice with fried plaintains). Thank heavens for New Orleans food.
The good times in the Big Easy have rolled, and now we’re ready for good times and good food with both our families this week.
This evening was our neighborhood’s annual Thanksgiving potluck, and I’d been contemplating my dish for days. I knew I wanted something that had all the goodness of traditional Thanksgiving fare, and something that could double as a side for omnivores and an entree for vegans/vegetarians. Today, I settled on this recipe; even though I hadn’t made it before, it just looked too good to pass up. And it turned out to be worth the risk. It was a big hit, even with self-professed squash haters.
I followed the recipe pretty closely, except I juiced my own oranges and, instead of a seasoning blend (many of which are high in sodium), I used primarily pepper to highlight the flavors. I’ll definitely be making this again.
I can’t believe it’s November. I ran a 10K here in Hattiesburg this morning, and the cool weather was perfect for racing. I was inspired to make this vegetarian chili, our winter staple, to warm me up – and provide plenty of leftovers for weekday meals.
I’ve been making variations of this vegetarian chili for two years now; I started with this recipe and have been playing with ingredients and seasonings. (The original recipe is a great place to start for proportions.) NB: this recipe makes enough soup to feed a small army – or a supper club, or a group of friends. It’s been a big hit with the latter two.