I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. The meal I cooked last night was a total dud. Well, maybe not total, since the tomato salad I made was quite a hit with DC. The funny thing is, I've made this dish before at least a couple of times, and enjoyed it. It was a recipe from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon. It's called Spice Market Melange of Cauliflower and Chickpeas. It has a combination of seasonings that is somewhat Moroccan, somewhat Indian. I'm not even going to bother posting any photos of the train-wreck of a meal I made.
I think part of the problem is that I tried to reverse-engineer the recipe to make it NON-vegetarian for DC. When I want to add protein to this dish, I usually choose some savory baked tofu. Which DC won't touch. So I figured I would substitute soime chicken breast. What could be wrong with that? Chickpeas, cauliflower, and chunks oif succulent chicken. Nothing, except when I pulled the chicken out of the freezer to defrost it just before time to cook dinner, it became apparent that the chiki was past its prime. I had let it sit in the fridge for a few days before realizing I wasn't going to use it right away and so transferred it to the freezer., Too bad it was already worthy of being tossed!
So, I had to make up a new gameplan quickly. A rummage through the freezer yielded a small amount of ground turkey and a slightly larger amount of ground sirloin. I figured I would brown them together and toss them into the finished dish. After I had finished browning the meat, it occurred to me that a much better idea would have been to make some nice, garlicky meatballs either to add to the cauliflower dish or serve along side. Because adding the browned meat to the chickpea, caulflower and tomato mixture just did not work. It was barely edible. The flavors did not complement each other at all.
Then of course, I also made the mistake of cooking a 7-grain pilaf to serve under the dish. I've been having some blood sugar issues lately and really need to get back to eating whole grains. This however, was not the right dish to serve over a 7-grain pilaf! DC sweetly ate some of the dreadful mixture and even pretended it was good. (Did I mention he's very sweet?) But I could not deny the awful truth: I had created a culinary abomination. Utter failure.
The only successful part of the meal was the tomato salad I made kind of as an afterthought. Nothing could be simpler-- it's just something my mom used to whip up quickly to use up all those summer tomatoes. All you do is cut a couple of tomatoes into small wedges, add some sliced scallions or cucumber, and dress with mayonnaise, salt and pepper. I don't know why, but ripe juicy tomatoes are magic with mayonnaise. That's it. DC loved the salad so much he was practically licking his bowl. Although that may have been from sheer hunger, since the rest of the meal was quite inedible. IT went straight into the garbage disposal!
It's a good thing I had picked up some coconut-milk Purely Decadent "ice cream" to try-- it would have been a grim evening indeed without desssert. I got the chocolate flavor, which turned out to have cocoa in it after all. DC had more vanilla ice cream with apple-cinnamon topping. I enjoyed my dairy-free frozen treat, but the unmistakable flavor of coconut permeated, even through the chocolate. It was kind of like eating a Mounds bar. I love coconut, and it went well with the chocolate, but I'm not so sure that coconut undertone would be good with every flavor. I will have to try one or two of the other coconut-milk flavors to see if they all taste of coconut. The nice thing about the coconut-based Purely Decadent is that all the flavors appear to be SUGAR-free as well as dairy-free. It looks like they are all sweetened with Agave syrup. Good to know, since I'm trying to cut down on sugar consumption.
So, DF10 was pretty much a bust. Luckily, today's meal came out much better-- I will post about it tomorrow.