Monday, April 30, 2012

April Roundup

The month of April has flown by! We have been busy, busy, busy. Here are some meals I didn't get around to posting at the time.

From Vegan with a Vengeance, BBQ Pomegranate Tofu with Coconut Rice.

I didn't feel like the coconut rice added anything, since the subtle coconut flavor was drowned out by the bold flavors of the BBQ sauce. It was fine, but next time I would just use brown rice. The rice recipe makes a lot. I only needed half of it to eat with the BBQ tofu. We made rice pudding out of the leftovers.

The BBQ tofu, baking in its sauce. You might think it looks like there is too much sauce, since you can barely see the triangles of tofu in there. But this sauce is so fantastic, you will be glad there's a ton of it.

Pomegranate molasses was a new thing for me. It's like a syrup. Not sweet like pancake syrup, though. Kind of sour. It sure does make a delicious BBQ sauce.

One afternoon, we ate an early dinner at Shady Grove, known for its huge outdoor dining area that's shaded by pretty pecan trees. I love a good patio, so this restaurant would be a favorite of mine, if only their food wasn't consistently mediocre.

I ordered a frozen margarita swirled with sangria. Instead I got one that was swirled with a too-sweet strawberry syrup. The server kind of mumbled something about their margarita machine being broken and that was how they were coming out. It was really sickeningly sweet.

Our server was not really on the ball. We never got the basket of chips and salsa we ordered as an appetizer, and then my veggie burger came out without the fries that I ordered. Maybe he was actually trying to do me favor by omitting the fries., because when he brought them later, they were overcooked. The veggie burger was perfectly fine. I was just hoping for a better overall experience. I don't think we will return.

I always have mixed feelings about posting negative reviews of restaurants, but sometimes I feel like, "Why am I paying for this meal when I could do better at home?" That's not me bragging -- I'm certainly not a chef, and that is my whole point. When I go out to eat, I want something as good or better than what I can make in my own kitchen.

I would love it if a restaurant offered this dish -- it's a "Deconstructed Banh Mi" salad from Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegan. I love all the flavors of a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich -- marinated tofu, shredded cabbage, scallions, cilantro, ginger, crusty baguette -- and they are all represented in this lovely salad. I will say that for me, it wasn't a quick fix -- it took almost an hour to prepare because there were a lot of veggies to cut/shred, as well as the tofu to saute and the baguette to cut up and slather with Veganaise. But it was worth the effort.

Finally, teriyaki burgers. These were inspired by a recipe in Peas and Thank You but I used frozen veggie burgers rather than making my own. I used Gardenburger Asian veggie patties, which are spicy and awesome. I topped them with Veganaise, teriyaki sauce, and pineapple chunks. So good! If you are bored with regular old lettuce and tomato on your veggie burgers, try this! We had Alexia sweet potato fries on the side.

So long, April! May, I hope you are awesome.

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