Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sweet Potatoes and Caramelized Onions!

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Another night of vegetables? Yes, please! Honestly, I’m a little surprised Alex ate anything I cooked here besides the sweet potatoes. I made brown basmati rice, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. Yes, collard greens. After my newfound love of kale, I decided to branch out and try some different greens. These were delicious.

I’ve never cooked collard greens before, but I kept it simple: I put some oil in a large pot, added the greens, doused them with a small amount of broth (3/4 cup for a lot of greens) and steamed them for about 10 minutes. Then I gave a quick splash of salt and vinegar. Yum!

patty 005The star of the meal, though, was the sweet potato puree.

I happened to be watching basic cable in a hotel room Sunday morning and I couldn’t take my eye off this puree of onions and sweet potatoes.

It’s this recipe by Claire Robinson of the 5-Ingredient Fix. Because Alex and I both love onions and sweet potatoes, I figured it was worth a shot. It was surprising, and although not bad, I’d rather do the chunks of sweet potato with maple and pecans like we did on Thanksgiving again.

The puree is made of roasted chunks of sweet potato along with olive oil and maple syrup. Separately caramelize a sweet onion in butter (or in my case, Earth Balance). In my photos, the sweet potatoes were done but the onions cooked much more – this is an in-progress shot.

Then, puree the sweet potatoes with some of the onions, leaving some to go on top. There you have it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Veggie Patties and the Return of the Mushroom Burger

patty 021 Mushroom patty topped with some Parmesan, leaf lettuce, on a miniwich bun, with tater tots, steamed broccoli and carrots, and a few cherry tomatoes. I went for the miniwich at the store because it had the fewest ingredients and is actually whole wheat. And, no, I didn’t scrutinize the tots.

pattyRemember when I told you about finally signing up for Farm Fresh Delivery? I’ve gotten two bins so far on my bi-weekly schedule. In addition to my produce, I ordered some mushroom patties. I was able to read an ingredient list before purchasing them, but I really had no idea what I was getting for my $4.85. These are two frozen patties that are almost completely mushroom, held together with a bit of breadcrumb and seasoned lightly. Let me tell you, these guys were super tasty and well worth the price for a special treat, still being cheaper than eating out. If you care about that kind of thing.

One of my favorite favorite favorite mushroom patties comes from minutes outside the mushroom capital of the world (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania), and the restaurant there no longer serves these special patties I fell in love with and made several trips to enjoy. These frozen patties were nearly as good, and they are certainly more local than trekking to Delaware, even when I’m already in Philadelphia. Not only will I be ordering more mushroom patties, but I’m also eager to try some of their other products. I wonder what Alex would think of their ketchup, if it stands up to his beloved hfcs* Heinz.

Yes – local, as the brand indicates, but only available to me through Farm Fresh. LocalFolks Foods is from Sheridan, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. I had to map it. I love how square everything in Indiana looks! The LocalFolks products are available in a few shops in Indiana, and after perusing the list I’m a little impressed with what those Indy people have available to them.

My only question is whether you’re limiting your brand by naming yourself “local”? I guess not, especially if you’re actually interested in being local (and sustainable, and supporting biodiversity, and all those other things).

*H1gh-fruct0se c0rn syrup. Whenever I mention this in a post, I get lots of spammy comments.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grilled Salad, or “Killed” Greens

We were out of town this weekend for a birthday. Between grabbing food at the airport, snacking on whatever options were available on the party spread, and forgoing actual dinner to grab a slice of pizza, I was beyond ready for a real, hot meal with visible nutritional value.Do you get hungry for vegetables when you go too long without? I sure do. I was actually considering a salad, but I wanted something hot as well. Soup and salad? Is that too snacky?

I was paging through The Passionate Vegetarian, which is the first vegetarian cookbook I ever got, and was drawn to two recipes: first, there was a simple salad dressing from pureed cannellini beans and vinaigrette. Second, there was a recipe for what calls killed greens, which are greens (lettuce, spinach, other greens) that wilt under a hot, thin dressing. I decided to put those two ideas together and make a hot veggie salad.


For vegetables, I grilled two big portobello caps along with some leftover red bell pepper. When they were close to done, I added a few cherry tomatoes and some French green beans. I like my green beans crisp and my tomatoes only warmed through, whereas I wanted the portobellos grilled and tender.

I made a dressing from a drained, rinsed can of cannellini beans, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Go easy on the vinegar as the beans are so mild you might wind up with too much of a kick. I pureed this in a food processor and heated in a small saucepan. I tasted it as I went, but I think that vinegar intensified after some time. The recipe I saw in the book actually mentioned pureeing beans with some store-bought vinaigrette, so I figured I was on the right track.

Here’s where the killed part comes in: I filled my plate with uncooked organic baby spinach and put the hot mushroom cap on top, then some other veggies, and poured the bean dressing over everything. The heat from the mushroom and beans wilted the spinach, and some of the outer pieces were still raw. This made for a delicious salad meal, and one that I would certainly do again. I might work on tweaking the dressing, but I love white beans and the beany dressing really rounded out the meal and made it filling.

Have you ever had killed greens? Do you have another name for hot salads?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sweet & Sara Vegan Marshmallows

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I picked up some Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows at a recent trip to Park + Vine, a local “general store” that only sells vegan items. The shop isn’t overtly vegan; they advertise themselves a green general store, selling some baby stuff, cookbooks, household items, a bit of clothing, and some food. They also host classes like cloth diapering and the vegan Thanksgiving class I attended last fall. What drew me back? I made another shopping trip there when I heard they had Upton’s Naturals Seitan. I'll tell you about that after I try it.

I knew they had Sweet & Sara marshmallows, and I’d heard that the company had been featured on Food Network’s Unwrapped program, but it was Alex who was drawn to the package in the store and insisted we buy the marshmallows. I can't really tell you what happened to my sweet tooth lately, but I enjoyed these as well.

We got the cinnamon pecan variety, and these guys are really good. We bought them from a refrigerator (or was it a freezer?) and the package instructs you to enjoy them at room temperature. Let me tell you, I’ve only managed to enjoy one at room temperature. I’ve needed to eat the others straight from the fridge. Alex has also been eating them at 37 degrees, and I’ve noticed that the package is nearly empty by now.

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These treats aren’t quite like the jet-puffed marshmallows that I remember, and not just because they’re dusted with cinnamon sugar and topped with pecans. They’re chewy and dense, and they have a strong vanilla flavor. I align them more with dense divinity candy, but that’s not to take away from what they are. I'm just saying that it would be wrong to melt these over sweet potatoes, that's all. These are much more enjoyable as a dessert treat on their own than any marshmallow could be. These treats are incredible for what they are. Yum!

Here’s a list of where Sweet & Sara products are currently available. Right now, in Cincinnati, you can only get them at Park + Vine. In other locations, they may be in your Whole Foods or other shop, and you can also order from the web.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Calzones, and My New Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe

After birthday celebrations and a weekend out of town, the time had come to cook at home again. I was considering a quick and easy veggie lasagna (a favorite in our house) but decided to try something different and make calzones. These were very, very good. I love it when making a recipe for the first time results in the right taste – if anything, I only need to work on execution the next time.

We (inadvertently) made gigantic calzones. I split the dough recipe in half but I should have split it into four. Wow. That’s the only thing I would change when I do this again.

I used Tyler Florence’s dough recipe from the Food Network website. It came up early on the results and had the most positive responses. I substituted one-third whole wheat flour and the rest was white flour. Otherwise, I followed exactly and it was yummy. We even turned some of the extra dough into breadsticks. I used my mixer and dough hook to get started, but it was really easy to form into the calzones. I love how easy it is to make good pizza dough from scratch.

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I was attracted to the calzone so Alex and I could each build our own. He’s a fan of the fake meats, so I cooked some soysage in a skillet and he used the last of our Smart Deli vegan pepperoni, which we both agree is our favorite vegan pepperoni. I also sautéed some mushrooms and got some baby spinach, ricotta and shredded mozzarella/Italian blend cheeses, and sauce.

We loaded these guys up, pinched the sides closed, cut some holes in the tops and brushed with olive oil. Then I baked them for about 20 minutes at 375F, even turning up the oven a bit at the end to make sure everything inside was heated through. Have you ever been served cold calzone? I have, and it was at a restaurant that should have known better. It’s so easy for the dough to look done that I wanted to cook them at a low enough temperature that everything could heat through without the dough burning.

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Take a look at the calzone on the baking sheet. It’s huge! I ate half mine. Those breadsticks were yummy too. Let me tell you, though, that having too much calzone is not a problem. Not a problem at all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I’d never actually heard of black bottom cupcakes until a few years ago. Whenever we’d have a food day at work, my boss would bring them in. Somehow I never managed to eat one, but I got the recipe from her and made them for the first time last year for Valentine’s Day. I made them yesterday for Alex’s birthday.

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The recipe is super easy. The hardest part is remembering not to overfill them (I tell you this from experience, I did overfill the little cupcakes). You start with a chocolate batter and add a spoonful of a cream cheese and chocolate filling.

Cupcakes 043 Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cupcakes 042 Filling:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese (half a package)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 oz. chocolate chips (I used white chocolate)
  • 1/2 egg, or a tablespoon of water
  • dash salt

I am making a note to melt the chips the next time I make these cupcakes.

I mixed the cupcake ingredients together by hand, and it comes together pretty quickly. The batter is pretty thin and it makes a really light cupcake, a great balance to the cream cheese filling. I mixed the cream cheese in a mixer. I didn’t have any eggs as I haven’t been using them lately, so I just added a bit of water to help the mixture come together. I’d say it turned out just fine.

Fill the cupcake tins halfway with the batter, then add a teaspoon of the filling mix. If you add too much, the filling will ooze out over the cupcake pan. No, I don’t have any photos of what that looks like.

The “recipe” I got was really just a list of ingredients, with no cooking times or instructions about whether to melt the chocolate chips. I baked these at 350F for about 12 minutes for the little cupcakes and 15-20 for the big cupcakes. These were good, and much appreciated by the birthday boy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Something Like Pad Thai

padthai 024

This was a quick stir-fry of veggies, tofu, and rice noodles with San-J Thai Peanut Sauce. I know I said I wanted to get away from the jarred sauces, but this was already in the fridge, so I wanted to use it up. Next time I’ll be making my own.

  • Pressed Trader Joes’s Tofu, carefully browned on each side
  • Broccoli
  • Red bell pepper
  • Baby corn
  • Onion

Topped with peanuts, scallions, bean sprouts, and lime. Yum!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Easy Dinner: Spaghetti and Meatless Balls

Articokes 017

Some nights, we need something easy, and these days I would prefer a quick meal at home to take out. I want to enjoy my dinners out and not just buy restaurant food when there’s little time to cook.

Pasta is always a big hit in our house, and I picked up some meatless balls when I loaded up on frozen foods at Trader Joe’s. These were good. They’re mostly textured vegetable protein (TVP) and they come in a resealable freezer bag. I put 10 in a pot of jarred sauce and heated them on the stove (4 for me, 6 for him).

Articokes 007

I’ll admit it: I cheat sometimes. This week it's been snowy, and even though we didn't get nearly as much as other areas, stores are still closing and it's tough to get around. I've been working my way through the fridge, freezer, and pantry. These meatless balls are good, though. Do you have a favorite prepared food?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Winter Plate of Veggies

Cooking the all-veggie meal is a summer tradition for me, when so much is fresh: black eyed peas, green beans, corn, eggplant, okra, yellow squash, onion, tomatoes… I did something similar with the winter veggies available from my Farm Fresh bin. I’d already used the cauliflower to make another batch of cauliflower and leek soup, but I used the other veggies and cooked them simply, on their own, and made a 3-veggie plate and served with some seitan crumbles.


  • Oven-roasted garlic and basil potatoes
  • Braised rainbow carrots
  • Sautéed cremini mushrooms, with garlic and shallots

winter veg 014

First up, the pearl potatoes. These potatoes are small and tender, so I gave them a quick scrub and cut them in half, then baked in the oven with some fresh garlic, olive oil, melted Earth Balance, salt, and fresh basil. (Sidenote: I have a potted basil plant in the house and it’s been wonderful. I’m certainly going to grow more herbs this year!)

winter veg 002

Next we have rainbow carrots. I had a bunch of thin, tender carrots, with the green tops still on. There were three colors: the usual orange, as well as bright purple and pale yellow. Now I wish I had tasted them raw, but they all tasted the same after I cooked them in some vegetable broth. The purple carrot was the largest, and it had a thick purple layer surrounding a white inner layer. I peeled it and the purple color got on everything it touched. Thinking about it, I guess orange carrots do the same, but to a lesser degree.

I used this recipe for braised carrots that I found on Epicurious. Looking back at it, I see that it’s adapted from Lynne Rosetto Kasper of The Splendid Table, one of my favorites. I find it both humorous and reassuring that I was drawn to her recipe without knowing at first that it was hers. One change I made was to replace the fried sage leaves, as I don’t really like sage and I didn’t have any. Instead, I fried some of the carrot greens. Although they were pretty for decoration, they were flavorless. I also substituted shallots for the onion, as I have more shallots than I’ve ever had as a half-pound or more arrived in my bin.

winter veg 007

We eat a lot of mushrooms, you may have noticed. I decided that it would be best to eat these creminis, which came in the bin, on their own rather than using them as an ingredient in another dish. I sliced them and then sautéed them in a mix of Earth Balance and olive oil, with some shallot and garlic, and a little salt. They are so much more flavorful than white button mushrooms and are a tasty side dish on their own.

There was something about this meal that was really special. I'm so accustomed to looking for recipes, and many times my food gets more and more complicated, that it was nice to have a plate of vegetables and let their flavors dominate, adding only a bit of salt and garlic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vegan Baking: Trying Madeleines

My mother-in-law gave me two madeleine pans and a zester/grater for my birthday and passed along her recipe for making these cookies. I veganized it and made a half batch over the weekend, and they are wonderful.

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Just as I don't repost cookbook recipes, I'm not going to give away her recipe online. I used a simple mix of flour, sugar, Ener-G "eggs" and melted Earth Balance. Spoon into pans. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

I didn’t actually peruse the web for other recipes until now, as I am composing this post, but I did review the recipe on the pan label. That recipe, as well as the others throughout the web, all call for more ingredients and have shorter bake times. These cookies needed nearly the entire 20 minutes. As much as I enjoyed reading this post at Vegan Yum Yum, where they tried three different vegan madeleines recipes without great success, I am thankful I had good luck the first time. None of the three recipes were much like the recipe I used, which was much simpler. The only changes I would make would be superficial.

In addition to the bake time, a second difference between these cookies and the kinds of cookies I have experience baking is that they didn’t spread out to hide their imperfections; hence, the bubbles and breaks you can see in the photos. I don’t need to tell you, though, that this did not affect the taste one bit. I intentionally made a half batch because I knew we’d eat them all no matter how much sugar and “butter” were in them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Restaurant: Suzie Wong’s

I drive down Madison pretty frequently, and although I haven’t been in Cincinnati long enough to remember all the restaurants that have occupied the space in DeSales Plaza, I always looked but never dined -- until Suzie Wong’s opened. They finally brought me in. Especially here in Cincinnati, I always make a point of previewing a menu online to ensure there are vegetarian choices. Suzie Wong’s has plenty, and the full menu is online (available for carry-out or delivery), plus they have a growing facebook fan page.

The night we went, there was plenty of parking both on Madison and Woodburn. The entrance is on Woodburn, next to Cafe MoCa, as if you are walking into the apartment building. But once you take a few steps down into Suzie Wong’s space, you’ll quickly forget about the concrete office-ish building above you. The restaurant was dimly lit, the furniture and place settings were sleek and minimal, and the space was smaller than I imagined. There were several groups dining, and it seemed like there were many friends or regulars as there was chatting among tables as well as between diners and servers.

Colorful blended taro, carrots, onion, and rice noodle in crispy rice wrapper, $3.50

We started with two crispy veggie spring rolls, which were served with generous amounts of sauce. I would call this amount of sauce "Cincinnati Style." I ate the greens to help tone down the spicy mustard. Given the choice, I would prefer a chilled summer roll or gyoza over the crispy rolls, but I always appreciate when a restaurant offers a vegetarian appetizer in addition to edamame or salads.

Side spinach, $5.95

We ordered a side of ginger and lemongrass snap peas, but the chef came out and told us the peas weren’t looking so hot (his words) and that we could choose another vegetable to be prepared the same way. I also appreciate this. I know plenty of places wouldn’t pay attention and would serve the subpar snap peas, especially in a place so dimly lit and when the diners had already had some wine. Instead, we got spinach. If we’d thought about it more, broccoli might have gone better with the lemongrass, or even to switch our order to the spinach and garlic sauté, but this side was still very tasty. The spinach was certainly fresh and tender.

Eggplant & Tofu Claypot, $9.95

As I mentioned, I reviewed the website menu before coming as well as a few reviews and I was pretty set on ordering the eggplant and tofu claypot. There are several delicious looking vegetarian items, though, so I know we’ll be back to try something different. I was offered the choice of brown or white rice, and I got brown rice, which went well with my sweet eggplant and tangy pickle. The claypot was steaming, as advertised, and I enjoyed some spinach while I let it cool.

Crispy Vegetarian Ribs, $10.95

Alex ordered the crispy vegetarian ribs, which is similar to one of his favorites at Shanghai Mama’s. Rather than calling these ribs “seitan” the menu describes them as wheat flour dough. The presentation at Suzie Wong’s is very different and certainly an improvement to Shanghai Mama’s: the ribs are on a plate rather than in a large bowl, and they’re piled up against broccoli, baby corn, green beans, and carrots. He got white rice on the side. Alex loved it, especially because they had just the right amount of the sweet and spicy orange sauce.

Right now, Suzie Wong’s is BYOB. For a $5 corking fee, you can bring in your own bottle of wine. That, though, will change once the get a liquor license, so check the website for the latest news before you go. I’ll be back, wine or not, and I’m already thinking about the silky tofu in black bean sauce.

Suzie Wong's on Madison on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 8, 2010

Buffalo Seitan and Potato Skins

I love snacky food. Like just about everyone else in the country, we watched the Superbowl and wanted some special snacky food to eat along with. I wanted things that I normally wouldn’t eat, and I don’t mean chicken wings and bacon. Our main dishes were buffalo seitan and potato skins.

Superbowl 007

I used this recipe for oven-baked potato skins. It was pretty easy, if a little time consuming.

  1. Scrub and bake your potatoes. Slice in half, then scoop out enough potato to leave a quarter-inch shell.
  2. Coat the insides with a mix of oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Bake at a hot 475F for 7 minutes (so they crisp).
  4. Turn and coat the jackets with the same mix and bake another 7 minutes. If I were to do this again, I’d probably just spray the outside with Pam or brush with oil and leave it at that, although I’d still bake the 14 minutes to get them nice and crispy.
  5. Fill cups with cheese or facon or other toppings and bake until melty, about 5 minutes for mine. Serve immediately.

Alex made some Morningstar bacon strips while these guys were baking, and we filled the potato skin cups with shredded cheddar cheese, and a half stick of bacon each. On our plates, we topped with sour cream and chives. It’s been a while since either of us has had potato skins, and we both enjoyed these a lot. Alex commented that these were less cheesy and more potato than he had at restaurants. I liked how crisp they got as well as the flavor of the spice rub.

Superbowl 002

Buffalo seitan, the way we make it, is really easy. We simply used packaged seitan and doused it in store-bought wing sauce, heated it one the stove, and that’s it. Served with some of that celery I was worried about using up and some Ken’s bleu cheese dressing.

Superbowl 008

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cream of Celery (and Carrot) Soup

I just got my first Farm Fresh Delivery order Wednesday night. I have been impatiently waiting for this, ever since I decided to start ordering with them. You should have seen me all day Wednesday, waiting on it to come, checking out the window and the front door. I also had my camera ready. The bin finally arrived after I'd gone out for the night and Alex unpacked it while i was gone. The idea behind the service is that you get a bin of fresh, organic produce delivered weekly or bi-weekly and you can add other products (eggs, grains, etc.) from their market. This is a great idea, and I'm certainly happy with the results, but it's one of those marks of privilege that I can even consider doing something like this.

One downside to doing this (although it’s a true “opportunity” in the buzz-word sense) is that I don’t get to choose exactly what I get. Instead, I just get a certain amount of fruits and vegetables. This week, I got mushrooms, celery, lettuce, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, shallots, apples, oranges, and tangerines.

Of all that, I found the celery most challenging to use. Typically I keep some in the fridge and use a stalk or two at time to put in soup or casseroles, or even to eat raw with peanut butter or dips and salads. Well, I already had some celery in the fridge and when I got this new delivery, I searched for ways to use it. I found this recipe for cream of cauliflower soup on Food Network’s website. I made it almost exactly, although I substituted cashew cream for cow’s milk cream.

Soup 013

It was pretty good. I don’t know that the un-pureed chunks of carrot and celery added much, so I might not bother with cooking those separately in the future. That just made things more complicated and dirtied another pot. And like some of the comments mention, using orange carrots turns the celery soup orange. I liked it, though. So did Alex, and we have just enough for one bowl leftover. I really, really, really like it when we eat almost all our food so we’re not looking at it for days on end trying to finish it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Articokes 003

I have mentioned that artichokes are one of those divisive flavors in our household. I can’t say what got into me when I bought a four-pack of them, fresh, at Trader Joe’s. It certainly wasn’t to eat them all by myself, but it looks like they will be all mine.

I’ve never cooked fresh artichokes myself before, although I had a roommate once who loved to wrap them in plastic wrap and microwave them. The idea of tightly wrapped, microwaved plastic doesn’t sound appetizing at all. That sounds downright scary. So I searched around online and in a few cookbooks to see how to cook them and I settled on boiling them with lemon, on the advice of The Splendid Table. In the ones I’ve eaten so far, I haven’t found a fuzzy choke, and the outer leaves weren’t edible, but the hearts are so delicious. Mmm.

I would cook them this way again; it was pretty easy. I might also consider steaming them as they lost some of their color in the boil.

1. Boil a large pot of water, large enough to hold all your artichokes.

2. Prepare artichokes by removing outer leaves with thorns, cutting top inch or so off (depending on size) and trimming remaining leaves with scissors.

3. Zest the lemon and cut into quarters; add to boiling water.

4. Salt water generously.

5. Add artichokes and boil until tender, 20-40 minutes depending on their size.

6. Remove artichokes and drain.

7. Serve warm, with dressing or butter. I ate mine plain and it was delicious.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Restaurant: Pomodori Pizza

I am definitely an equal opportunity pizza lover. I enjoy all kinds of pizza, from frozen Red Baron or California Pizza Kitchens, homemade, Papa John’s, Dewey’s and Mio’s, and many others. So when I saw Pomodori Pizza nominated in Metromix Cincinnati for best pizza, I knew we had to give it a try.

They actually have two locations, one in Clifton and one in Montgomery, and we went to the Clifton location on Saturday night a few weeks ago. I was almost expecting it to be full of college kids, but we were the youngest diners there! I have seen some reviews that say this pizza is too expensive, so that might keep away some students. I didn’t think it was overpriced (especially considering I got two meals out of mine), but I know I ate as cheaply as possible when I was a student.

We were seated right next to the hand-tossed pizza station and were able to watch these two roll, toss, top, and bake individual pizzas. They also serve larger “traditional” or “Sicilian” pizzas, deep-dish and Chicago-style stuffed pizzas, calzones, pasta, salads, and sandwiches. We each ordered a wood-fired pizza. Our waitress said they serve 1-2 people; I ate about half of mine and Alex finished his.

I was very happy to order my own pizza. There are a two foods I love and Alex doesn’t like: olives and artichokes. So, I ordered the Gourmet Pizza which included green and black olives and artichokes, as well as bell peppers, red onions, mushrooms, cheese, and pesto. Yum! The pizza dough was nice and chewy and it held up well with the plentiful toppings.

restaurant 007 Gourmet Wood-Fired Pizza, $11.35

Alex chose the Roma & Basil wood-fired pizza, but requested that it be made with tomato sauce instead of garlic and olive oil. This pizza included slices of Roma tomato, generous fresh basil leaves, red onions, and a five-cheese blend. He enjoyed his as well and ate the entire pizza, saying “this should go into the rotation.” That’s a very positive response from him, meaning that he wants to come back regularly.

restaurant 008 Roma and Basil Wood-Fired Pizza, with tomato sauce, $10.80

By the time we finished, we’d both had enough to eat, but one thing to keep in mind is that they make a really good Apple Pizza for dessert. I say “really good” based not only on appearance, but also based on the number that were ordered while we were there. They have fresh Granny Smith apples that are peeled and cored on a contraption that does this so quickly with a few vigorous cranks, and then the pizza is finished with caramel sauce and ricotta. I think we would have certainly gotten that if we were splitting it four ways instead of two. Come to think of it, maybe we should go back soon!

Pomodori's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Sunday morning, I heard some talk on the radio about Irish food, the nutritional worth of potatoes, and colcannon. Colcannon is mashed potatoes with greens, anything from kale to broccoli, along with plenty of milk and butter. I’d been craving some greens anyway, so I was eager to make this dish with potatoes and kale. I've mentioned before how much I love potatoes. After eating out for the past few days and spending the others eating leftovers or simple casseroles, I was ready to have my own fresh, nice winter dinner.

I looked at a few different colcannon recipes, and I ended up using the one right off The Splendid Table website from the story that piqued my interest. As usual, I made substitutions for the dairy and cut the portions. This was pretty good, but I think I’d rather have kale and mashed potatoes separately. Or maybe I’d try it again with broccoli.

This also took me three pots: one for steaming the potatoes, one for sautéing the kale, and one for simmering the cashew milk and mashing everything together. If I hadn’t used a small pot for the potatoes, I guess I could have gotten by with two.

colcannon cake 040 Colcannon: potatoes, kale, scallions, Earth Balance, and cashew milk.

Served with roasted cauliflower and tofu. I followed Honey’s example and left the tofu in a large block, and I had half a head of cauliflower left over from this soup.