Saturday, March 20, 2010

Veggie BBQ Bowl

For the last few months, I've been looking forward to Mondays. No, I haven't been totally brainwashed by the corporate powers so that I'm eager to get back to the office on Mondays. Rather, I was taking a class about writing and publishing children's books at Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Harvard Square. Oh, how I loved my Monday evenings! The class started at 5:30 so in order to make it on time, I had to leave work before 5:00 which is a rarity for me. The class was made up of a dozen or so people of different ages and backgrounds, all possessing a love of children's picture books. I was so inspired by all their creativity. We each had to write at least one manuscript, read it to the class and get feedback from our peers. Our "guests" included otters, spotted pigs, a fallen baby star, and Little Red Book. Some revealed themselves through poems and others prose, and each was a joy to listen to. We would also bring in and share some of our own favorite picture books. This was how I discovered the fun of Stinky Cheese Man, and other tales by Jon Sciezska.
And the fun didn't end in the classroom. Afterwards, I would head to Le's, my favorite Vietnamese cafe, get a bowl of Pho or a noodle, veggie and tofu plate, and read or write over dinner. Next, I would poke around Harvard Square, hitting a book store or other shops.
I plan to keep working on my manuscripts and hopefully keep in touch with my classmates, a couple of whom I am quite sure will get published. I would like to take another class too, but now that the weather is warming up and it's time to get outside, I may be distracted by other things. I'm also trying to get yoga back into my schedule regularly, so that may be my new Monday night routine.
Between that and the class I was supposedly going to on Tuesdays, Winter Cycling Training Intensive (I wasn't as diligent about making it to this class), I found my weeks busy and I had less time for cooking and menu planning, so I relied on things that I know how to make and/or came together quickly. I think I must've made tomato soup at least 10 times this winter. In my last entry, I mentioned being inspired by The Friendly Toast's BBQ Veggie Bowl. I have made it a couple of times and I still have some tweaking to do to it. For the sauce, I've just been using some Whole Foods brand Steak sauce and a little hot sauce, but I want to find something better. I also think there's potential with what to add to the bean mixture. But, in it's most basic form, it's still a good alternative when you want some comfort food, but don't have the time to bake a Shepherd's Pie.

Veggie BBQ Bowl

4 large potatoes, russet or yukon gold
3 cloves of minced garlic, sauteed briefly in a bit of olive oil
milk, butter or whatever you typically put in your mashed potatoes
salt and pepper
1 14 oz can black beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 carrot grated
some kind of steak or bbq sauce
1 cooked veggie burger, per person

1. Peel and cut potatoes and put them on to boil in salted water. Reduce heat once they come to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a sautee pan, heat up beans, corn and carrots in whatever sauce you are using. You will probably need about a half cup. You don't want in swimming in it, but enough to flavor the bean mixture and maybe to wet the mashed potatoes in the bowl.
3. Cook the veggie burgers according to package directions.
4. Mash the potatoes however you like.
5. In a bowl, scoop in a layer of mashed potatoes, topped by a layer of bean mixture and crumble a veggie burger on top.