Monday, December 29, 2008

End-of-Year Reflections

Linda over at SundryMourning posted a New Year's quiz and has encouraged others to answer it on their own blogs. I've always been big on self-reflection at the end of the year (and on my birthday), so I couldn't resist:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

I saw an opera indoors. (Sure, not as exciting as surfing, skydiving, or getting married, but a girl's got to have a low-key year once in a while!) I saw the L.A. Opera perform Tosca in June. Before that, I’d only ever seen an opera outdoors (“Carmen on the Common” in Boston).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Did I keep them? Yes and no, but I like to look at it through optimist’s eyes – it’s more than I would have accomplished if I’d never set any New Year’s resolutions in the first place. Making progress/moving in the right direction is gratifying even if I don’t get to cross major accomplishments off my list with a big check mark at the end of the year. So, yes, I plan on setting new resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

This was a big year for babies - two cousins and several of my friends gave birth. Lots of cutie-patootie babies to coo over, and more to come next year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. Boo. Still setting my sights on Italy though. Hopefully sometime in the next 5 years.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

I'd like to hear more live poetry, spend more time at the beach, and go on a vacation that doesn’t consist of traveling to Ohio or Massachusetts for family events. (Disclaimer: I LOVE my family!! It’s just been a realllly long time since I’ve had a real vacation.)

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The following dates hold great memories for me:

  • Our wedding receptions (Ohio, 5/17/08; California, 6/1/08; Massachusetts, 8/17/08)
  • Jen & Craig’s wedding (7/12/08)
  • Dinner at Simon Pearce in Vermont (8/20/08)
  • Jake & Danielle’s wedding (9/6/08)
  • A great Devotchka show (9/16/08)
  • Barack Obama is elected president (11/4/08)
  • Emily’s graduation (12/13/08)
  • Sheila’s baby shower (12/14/08)
  • Pohlman Christmas celebration (12/15/08)
  • Dellelo Christmas celebration (12/20/08)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Planning and pulling off 3 wedding receptions that took place over the span of 4 months in 3 different states (!!).

9. What was your biggest failure?

Gaining back all the weight I had lost.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully, nothing more serious than temporary back pain and migraines.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A calendar for my mother that I put together myself using Shutterfly.com.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My sister-in-law Emily got her master’s degree after several years of very hard work. (Yay, Emily!)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Blagojevich’s illegal activity, the holiday-shopping stampede-killing of a man at Wal-mart, and people voting ‘yes’ on Prop 8.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Towards paying for wedding celebrations.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The presidential election.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

“Yes We Can” by Will.I.Am.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?

Happier.
b) thinner or fatter?

Fatter.
c) richer or poorer?

Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercising, taking photos, and keeping in touch with friends.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Complaining, eating, and procrastinating.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly at home after spending the weeks prior with friends and family in Ohio and Massachusetts.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

I didn’t ‘fall,’ but my love grew deeper.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The Big Bang Theory - My husband and I get a kick out of watching this show because I met him when he was a post-doc at Caltech when we both lived in Pasadena (where the show is set). While the characters on the show are caricatures of what the real people are like, . . . there are some things that are just a little too spot-on, which of course just makes it all the more hilarious.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Book Thiefhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=parlancer-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0375842209 by Markus Zusak

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Flight of the Conchords – hilarious.

26. What did you want and get?

I wanted stress-free working conditions and more personal time and I got them both.

27. What did you want and not get?

Nothing for which I can’t wait a little longer (house, etc.).

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead – it’s an old movie, but this was the first time I’d seen it. Brilliant.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My husband took me out to dinner. I opted for a quiet night, just the two of us, because we’d just seen all our friends for a belated wedding celebration the day before. And I turned (*gulp*) thirty-four.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Hearing my old boss acknowledge that the work I did is helping to carry the department I left.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Practical – I work from home, so most of the time anything comfortable and clean (usually t-shirts and jeans) works for me.

32. What kept you sane?

The love and support of my husband and my new working conditions.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

OBAMA!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Like most folks, I was pretty caught up in the presidential election, but, locally, I was concerned about Prop 8 and did a bit of H8 protesting.

35. Who did you miss?

My friends and family back east.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Maria G. from Kazakhstan, a new and inspiring friend (who shares my birthday to boot!).

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

I am more than what I do for a living. Sounds like a no-brainer, but my self-identity and self-worth had been almost exclusively defined by what I did for a living for a long time. Very unhealthy.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Don’t you know that it’s worth
Every treasure on earth
To be young at heart?
For, as rich as you are,
It’s much better by far
To be young at heart.

(from the song "Young at Heart." I adore the classic version by Jimmy Durante.)


How would you respond to these questions? In the comments section here, share your own answers or direct me to your own blog where you've posted them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Meatless Monday: Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Mushrooms

In my last Meatless Monday post, I recommended a 'recipe' for a fast and easy meal. We need those every now and then (ok, more like pretty often) to accommodate our fast-paced lives. However, sometimes something is just sooo good, it's worth the extra effort it may require to make. Case in point? Risotto. *Ohhh how I love risotto.* When made properly, the texture of the arborio rice is firm without being al dente, creamy, and just YUM.

My favorite risotto is one that I get at Galletto's in Westlake. They put porcini, shitake, and champignon mushrooms in it and put Parmesan cheese on it - or, rather, they put the risotto in the cheese. Yes, that's right, they put the risotto in the cheese. They roll out a cart with an enormous wheel of Parmesan cheese on it to your table. Then they plop the hot risotto into a hole carved out of the middle of the wheel, scrape the cheese on the sides into the risotto, mix it all around, and plate it. Sure, the table-side plating gimmick is a bit much, but I don't care - if ordering the risotto at Galletto's required I withstand listening to the waitstaff sing a version of the 'The Wheels on the Bus' with lyrics adapted to suit their enormous cheese wheel, . . . I'd still do it. Seriously, it's that good. For those of you not willing to withstand the fanfare (or who don't live near Galletto's!), here is a good recipe you can make in the privacy of your own home (enormous cheese wheel optional).

Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Mushrooms
Risotto
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1038780

(This recipe calls for chicken stock, but you can obviously substitute vegetable stock.)

Mushrooms
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1534868


Got any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts

Thursday, December 4, 2008

International Human Rights Day









On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This month, we commemorate the 60th anniversary of that important occasion by observing International Human Rights Day on December 19, 2008.

I don't think there are many among us who don't care about human rights . . . but how many among us actually actively do something to protect human rights? I don't intend to sound preachy - I just want to point out that doing something needn't be time-consuming or expensive, and you don't need to physically protest or put yourself in harm's way. It can be as easy as putting your signature on a piece of paper - and, no, that paper doesn't have to be a check (although you can, of course, make donations too).

During this season of "giving and caring," so many of us are railing against the consumerism that seems to have engulfed and dehumanized us . . . yet we continue to buy presents for people who don't need them . . . and receive presents we don't need ourselves. So, why not do a little something that could help people who really need the help? Here's how:

Amnesty International
is a running a Global Write-a-Thon. They have posted 14 cases on their website for which you can write letters - and they even provide you with sample letters to get started. . . . It will only cost you a very small amount of time and the price of a few stamps.

Come on folks, you're already sending out boatloads of holiday cards this time of year anyway, right? How difficult would it be to just print out a few letters and stick them in your stack of outgoing mail?

Your signature is more powerful than you think . . .

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BUST Holiday Craftacular 2008


The BUST Holiday Craftacular makes its LA Debut!
Saturday, December 6th, 11am to 6pm
The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

Get jiggy with jingle bells and party with BUST as you browse through the best in handmade gifts, from handbags and accessories to jewelry and cards, make your own giftwrap at an all-day "Craftnight," and get loose with Djs C. Brown (Small Town Talk) and Audrey Napoleon. Goodie bags for the first 100 attendees, giant raffle giveaway, open bar from 4 - 5 pm, and more! Door: $2

Unfortunately, I've got other obligations Saturday so won't be able to make it, but you should check it out if you're free!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Meatless Monday: Falafel Pita

You know . . . sometimes, the best meals aren't elaborately orchestrated events involving complicated recipes that require trips to specialty food stores. Simple, quick, and inexpensive can be tasty and satisfying too. I know that's usually what I'm looking for when I throw together lunch most days.

Up until now, I've shared recipes that were mostly intended as dinner dishes and that require at least a little prep. Since Meatless Monday is all about going meatless all day though, I thought I'd mix things up a bit and offer some of my favorite ideas for simple meatless breakfast and lunch dishes too. This next one is one I really like for lunch.

Falafel Pita
It is often difficult to find decent falafel or hummus in a restaurant, so I was downright shocked to find absolutely delicious falafel and hummus in - of all places (!) - Costco. Yes, Costco! I know. The falafel comes in a two-pack by Veggie Patch and the hummus comes in a big ol' tub by Sabra. I freeze one pack of the falafel and my husband and I easily go through the other in a few days.

While the chickpea balls heat up nicely in a conventional oven, I slather some of the hummus inside a pita pocket and then add some freshed, diced tomatos and a leafy green like spinach or arugala. Once the falafel is done, you pop them in the pocket and voila! Yum!

Of course, some people will think this dish is chickpea overkill (since hummus and falafel are both made of it). If it's too much chickpea for you, you might consider making it with raita instead of hummus. (Trader Joe's makes a nice raita, or you can make it yourself easily enough.) Yes, you'll be mixing cuisine types - let yourself be a little creative, people! Experimenting is fun and the results can be fantastic (in the kitchen, too)! ;)

Got any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach & Goat Cheese

As many of you ponder recipes for stuffing various types of birds this week for your Thanksgiving feast, I thought I would offer up a recipe for a different type of stuffed edible that is perfect for this time of year:

STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS WITH SPINACH & GOAT CHEESE
www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?newVideo=y&docid=17663
(Along with the recipe, this site also has a great little video of the whole process for making it.)

I've always loved stuffed mushrooms. In fact, one of the first things I ever cooked for my husband when we first started dating was stuffed mushrooms. The button variety make such a great, satisfying hors d'oeuvre because you can just pick one up with your fingers and pop it whole, just like a sushi roll, and just like the description I once saw on a sushi menu, "you will have heaven in mouth!" Of course, you should wait until they cool a bit before doing that . . . a warning my husband unfortunately disregarded when I served him one that first time. As his tongue came close to feeling like it would ignite and he oh-so-suavely spit the whole thing out into a napkin, he wondered if he'd ever be asked over for dinner again.

Of course, button mushrooms aren't the only kind you can stuff. Portobello mushrooms are also ideal for stuffing, as this recipe proves. It's a much nicer choice if you're looking for something to plate and serve as an appetizer. You lose the convenience of being able to pop it into your mouth whole, . . . but maybe that's better for some people anyway. ;) The variety of things with which you can stuff them is endless too. Naturally, I would suggest a recipe involving cheese. The goat cheese in this recipe complements the earthy flavors of the mushroom and walnuts remarkably well.

Bon appetit & Happy Thanksgiving!

Got any favorite vegetarian recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fitness File: My Health '401K' & the Holiday Crisis

It's been a while since I wrote a "Fitness File" post because, well, to be honest, I've been a shiftless slug the past couple of months. What's caused this? Crazy work load? Lack of motivation? Yes and, um, yes . . . because it certainly isn't because I love the complete lack of energy I seem to have all the time, and it definitely isn't a desire to see the squishiness around my midsection morph into a belt-camouflaging muffin top - the former being the current result and the latter being the imminent future result of my not exercising.

I've still been fencing off and on, and that's really great exercise . . . but doing it for a couple of hours on the occasional weekend isn't exactly going to counteract making short order of an entire 16-oz. bag of Trader Joe's Tempting Trail Mix over the course of just three days. People! It said "Tempting" right on the package! How was I to resist?

In all honesty, I'm not that upset with myself though. Why? Because, this time around, I think I started out with the right attitude. I acknowledged upfront that there would be ups and downs, progress and setbacks. Just because I've stumbled doesn't mean I'm down for the count. Granted, it's going to be quite the challenge with heavyweight hitters like Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner ready to land their TKOs, but I think I'll be okay if I continue to think about my investment in my health like an investment in a 401K and the upcoming holidays like the current financial crisis. Just because I don't see immediate results, doesn't mean I should stop investing. Just because the numbers don't seem to be going in the right direction at this very moment doesn't mean they won't. Things may improve slowly, but they will with time, and I'll be happy later in life that I weathered the setbacks and continued to invest when I could, even if it's not always a lot.

Other Fitness File Posts

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meatless Monday: Baked Goat Cheese & Roasted Winter Squash Over Garlicky Fettuccine

I have been known to say, "Put cheese on a pile of $h!t and I'll eat it." Am I proud of that statement? No. Is it true? You betcha. (Sorry if that last phrase caused any traumatic flashbacks to the presidential election campaign.) Okay, okay. It is a bit of an exaggeration, . . . but I do love me some cheese. One of my favorites? Goat cheese. It's just so tasty and so versatile. I love it hot, cold, spread on a piece of nice crusty bread, sprinkled throughout a salad, "in the rain, on a train" . . . and, in today's recipe - breaded, baked, and served on a bed of fettuccine!

Baked Goat Cheese & Roasted Winter Squash Over Garlicky Fettuccine
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1559238

Recommendation: When a recipe calls for peppers, I typically like to roast them and take the skin off. The body doesn't digest pepper skins that well and the texture and flavor of the roasted pepper is just nicer anyway. Not sure how to get that pesky skin off? It's actually easier than you might think. Or, easier yet, you can pick up a jar of roasted and peeled red peppers at most any run-of-the-mill grocery store.

Got any favorite vegetarian recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday Posts

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"My Papa's Waltz"

I came across this poem by Theodore Roethke called "My Papa's Waltz" the other day on The Academy of Poets' website and couldn't help but think of my Pappy. It reminded me of a picture I have of him dancing with my cousin at his 50th anniversary party. And it also reminded me of sitting in his lap as a child and feeling his rough "whiskers" when I stole hugs and kisses. His face was often scruffy and he often smelled of wood shavings because he'd usually just come upstairs from his workshop in the basement when we came to visit. He was always tinkering with or building something. In fact, the house he lived in he built all by himself. And one of my prized possessions is a sturdy little stool he built for my mother.

When Pappy wasn't tinkering and building, he was typically puttering around town on his moped, out on his boat, or salvaging things from the dump (like the first bike I learned to ride). Easy to see where I get the penchant for all things aquatic and thrifty.

Pappy was sweet and silly with us grandchildren, often singing us short, funny little songs like "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy wuzzy had not hair. Fuzzy wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?" My favorite is one that I can't do justice to in writing because the refrain involved snorting, razzing your tongue, and then saying "wheedle-ee-ay." We'd always beg him to sing it, and he always would. We'd plead "Faster! Faster!" and he'd sing it faster and faster until we were pretty much peeing our pants.

This same guy who was such a softy was also quite the tough, no-nonsense "man's man" too though. I remember a fishing accident in which a rather large, thick fishing hook went in one side of his thumb and out the other, straight through the nail. It wasn't as dramatic and life-threatening as the scene where John C. Reilly's character gets hooked and goes overboard in The Perfect Storm, but it was pretty gruesome nonetheless. My grandfather? He just grabbed a pair of wire cutters, clipped the hook end, took a deep breath, yanked it out, and stuck it in some hydrogen peroxide for a bit (that last part at my grandmother's stern behest). You know, mythic Chuck Norris-style. When he had appendicitis, he held off going to the hospital for way too long. When my family finally figured out something was wrong and brought him to the emergency room, my mother told the nurse that his appendix may have already burst. The nurse condescendingly told my mother, "Ohh dear, if his appendix had burst we'd know. He'd be screaming in pain right now." His appendix had burst.

Avoiding the doctor had nothing to do with being able to pay for the care. He had good health insurance. It was just that old-school machismo mixed with an earnest desire not to draw attention to himself or put anyone out. And, unfortunately, it was because of this that none of us really knew when he was suffering from cancer-related pain. He'd just grin and bear it. When it got really bad, he'd just go in the kitchen and take a belt of whiskey when no one was looking. When my grandmother would smell it on his breath later, she'd cluck at him annoyed. It wasn't until far too late that he was diagnosed. And we lost him.

It's twenty-three years later and I still miss him very much. Today is his birthday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fight the H8

To protest the recent results of the Proposition 8 vote in California (denying the rights of gays and lesbians to legally marry), the Human Rights Campaign is urging people to participate in a nationwide protest this Saturday, November 15 at their local city halls. To find out details about the protest happening near you and how you can participate, visit HRC's website.

"Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. That ripple builds others. Those ripples - crossing each other from a million different centers of energy - build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice." - Senator Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Goodreads - Compare Prices

I like Goodreads' site for lots of reasons - seeing what my friends are reading, reading book reviews, keeping track of books I want to read in the future, finding out about author readings in my area - and now this:

"Find the best book prices!
Does the global financial crisis have you down? Goodreads just made book buying so much smarter and cheaper. Now you can find the best price for a book with one click! Search for any title and then click "compare prices" on that book's page. We are working hard to help you find new, used, and collectible editions of the books you want. You can also prioritize your preferred booksellers!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Lasagna

Any chef would agree the best ingredients for your recipes are always the freshest ingredients, so trying to plan your meal menus according to whatever produce is in its peak season in your local area is usually a good idea. To the right here is a chart that shows the availability of fresh produce in California. (If you hunt around online, you should be able to find one of these for your vicinity too).

I know, my east coast friends, you're jealous - we're extremely lucky because so many fruits and vegetables are available fresh year-round. You'll notice that squash is one them. Even though I can pretty much get it any time I have a hankering for it, I tend to eat it more in the fall because it's something I associate with this time of year - particularly Thanksgiving. In the past, that's always meant mashed squash and squash pie, but in recent years, it's meant delicious pasta dishes too. For instance, this next dish . . .


Butternut Squash Lasagna
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=698656

This is a great meal for entertaining because 1) you can make it ahead of time and 2) it's all contained in one dish. You just build the lasagna layers and put the dish in your refrigerator or freezer until you're ready to cook it. No big mess to clean up while you've got guests over. While it's baking, it doesn't require a lot of your attention either, so you can focus on more important things - like your friends and a tasty hot toddy! As a single-dish meal, it is easy to transport if you're invited to a potluck, seems to be toddler-friendly (our friends' one-year-old loved it), is really good as leftovers, keeps well in the freezer, and will clean your gutters for you. (Okay, maybe not that last part, . . . but it is pretty great.)

Got any favorite vegetarian recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday Posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

American Diabetes Month

Now that we're finally beyond November 4th and folks can fit thoughts in their heads that don't have to do with the presidential election again, I thought I'd post a quick note to remind everyone that November is American Diabetes Month.

The American Diabetes Association is a cause near and dear to my heart because my grandmother died of Diabetes complications nearly ten years ago. Her birthday was in November. Why should you care? Check out the ADA's website and see for yourself!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweet Victory

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
Most people don't need any more encouragement to get out and vote, BUT . . . just in case you did -

Ben & Jerry's is offering free scoops tomorrow!

Visit their website to find a participating location near you.

I can't think of a better way to start celebrating an Obama victory early, can you?

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Meatless Monday: Curried Lentil Soup

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm a big fan of soups - most anytime, but especially during the fall. Plenty of soups are hearty and can help warm you right up, but on those particularly blustery, chill-you-to-the-bone types of days, nothing hits the spot better than a soup with an extra punch in the heat department - spicy heat, that is. This next soup fits that bill.

Curried Lentil Soup
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=222620

Recipe modifications I would recommend:
  • Use 6 cups of water (or, better yet, vegetable stock) instead of 7 cups.
  • Use twice as much curry (and this is a suggestion from someone who tends to be a big wimp when it comes to eating spicy foods).
  • Use a can of roasted diced tomatoes; it adds a nice smokey flavor that compliments the curry. BUT only use half as much as the recipe calls for.

Got any favorite vegetarian recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday Posts

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Brewery Art Walk - Nov. 1 - 2

I've mentioned the Brewery Art Walk on this blog once or twice before. Why? Because it's a great event. It takes place twice annually, in the spring and the fall, and this fall's event is happening this weekend. (Meant to blog about this sooner, but I've been pretty busy with work.)

It's a little overcast and rainy in many parts of L.A., but that shouldn't stop you from going and checking it out. The less than ideal weather might even be advantageous - a smaller crowd would mean that you won't have to park twelve blocks away or wait in lines to squeeze into the more popular studio spaces.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween: New Ways to Scare Yourself

If you ask me, nothing's as haunting as a scary tale written by one of the world's greatest writers. Who can forget the effect Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" had on them when they first read it? Right now, the Academy of American Poets has several fantastic, spine-tingling poems posted on their site in observation of Halloween. Go check them out!

For the brave, they also have a directory of famous poets' grave sites. Eee.


For the really brave, Cinespia has a treat for you - a scary
movie viewing . . . at a cemetery! . . . and I thought Salem, Massachusetts cornered the market on Halloween scary. (Of course, it would have helped if I posted this before the actual screening [last Saturday] - sorry!)

Of course, if you really really want to scare yourself, . . . you can just imagine what it would be like if McCain wins next week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meatless Monday: Spaghetti Squash with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto

In my house, this next dish is one of our go-to comfort foods.










Spaghetti Squash with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto

Recipe

We skip the cilantro. (As I've mentioned before, I'm not a fan.) The dish doesn't miss anything without it, but you can substitute parsley if you really want. You can fiddle around with the ratios of vegetable broth, pepper, and garlic to find the combination that suits you best. I tend to like dishes more garlicky than most, and although I usually go light on pepper in most dishes, I like a lot of it in this one.We also use a food processor to get the pesto consistency really smooth.

The instructions advise preparing the squash halves a day or two before because it's easier to remove the flesh when it's cold. It really is so much easier to do when cold, so I highly recommend doing that part early. Doesn't need to be a day or two ahead though; doing it a few hours ahead and refrigerating works just as well.
The way the spaghetti squash flesh really does looks like spaghetti is just so fun.

We typically run out of spaghetti squash before we run out of pesto. But that's okay because you can, of course, put it on regular ol' spaghetti too. We've also used it as a dip. And, o
n a whim, I even tried it as a sandwich spread the other day and LOVED it. Sooo versatile.

Got any favorite vegetarian recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday Posts