vegan

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Cooking for one is difficult. 

My whole life I've always made things for groups of other people: birthday cakes, family dinners and parties.

This whole cooking for one thing is just... very confusing. 



Because now I can eat whatever I want whenever I want. 
It's very overwhelming. 
So I eat lots of scrambled eggs and apple fritters and cheese at weird hours. 
This is not how I intended to live my life. 
I intended to cook real meals and sit down at a real table with a cloth napkin and possibly a glass of wine. 
This happens exactly never. 

So I eat lots of avocados. Avocados are the perfect thing to eat alone. Which is great, because I'm very greedy when it comes to avocados. 

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be ONE. To be alone instead of part of a couple, or part of a family. 



I buy my groceries alone. 
I debate with myself, alone, in the cheese aisle. 
In fact, the other day, in a moment of tremendous self-empowerment I bought four different kinds of cheese. And there was no one to tell me not to. 
I was alone. 


I am not whining. 
I am not lonely. 
There is a difference between being  lonely and being alone.  
And I like to be alone.
Yet, I think there's a huge stigma, in our culture, especially among people my age, that you are never supposed to be alone. 
Ever. 
If you spend a Friday night alone, WHO ARE YOU. 
If you go to a show alone, WHO ARE YOU. 
If you eat lunch alone, then WHO ARE YOU. 

But I like it. 
It is okay. 


It's okay to not be part of something all the time. It is okay to not belong to someone. It is okay to take a break from people. It is okay to eat as many apple fritters and avocados as you wish. 
It is okay to make a strange avocado pasta sauce, just because it sounds weird and good. And it is okay to eat it all.  And it is okay to eat it on the sofa, in dying afternoon sunlight, without a cloth napkin or glass of wine, and it is okay to eat it in silence, and it is okay to be happy in that moment, and happy that you are alone.  


Creamy Avocado Pasta
The recipe says that this makes four servings. I adapted it for one. I also did not roast my tomatoes, was out of both lemon juice and pine nuts and was too lazy to deal with garlic. I give you the original recipe because I'm sure that it's superior to whatever adaptions I attempted... xoxoxo

recipe via theflourishingfoodie.com
prep time: 10 minutescook time:1 hour 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS
10 - 12 small Campari tomatoes, quartered
3 - 4 tbsp olive oil
4 servings of fettuccine noodles
2 ripe avocados, seed and skin removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts
grated fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300 ºF.


Wash and quarter the tomatoes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Bake for 1 hour in the oven.

Ten minutes before tomatoes are finished, fill a large pot with water and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Add the dry fettuccine to the water and cook until al dente.

While the pasta is boiling, add 2 tbsp olive oil, avocado, garlic, salt and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.

Strain the pasta, and combine with the sauce in a large bowl, until all the pasta has been covered.

Add the roasted tomatoes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Add some salt and black pepper to taste.

Avocado + Grapefruit Salad



Let me tell you about something wonderful

Grapefruit.

It's juicy and pink pink pink and lusty and sweet and bitter and sour and ZANGY.

This is a salad featuring avocado, and grapefruit.


You begin by peeling a grapefruit.
Then you section it and get rid of all the thick, pale, membraneous skin, just because.
You peel and slice a whole avocado. Yes a whole avocado. Just for you.

This is a very luxerious salad.

Arrange the grapefruit and the avocado on a sprightely bed of winter lettuce.
Spread delicate webs of your finest prociutto over the top.
Toss gently with a simple vinaigrette.
For the clueless, here is how you make a vinaigrette. It's 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Or Three teaspoons olive oil to 1 teaspoon vinegar. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Douse salad with vinaigrette.
But not too much.
Toss salad gently.
Tossing is the most important part.

xoxo

p.s. you can add blueberries, if you're feeling fancy.

Chocolate-Dipped Fruit Nut Balls

Hi.

I've missed you.

It's been a while.

Don't worry. I still love you. The holidaze have flown by, and here I am. January 1st. A fresh start. A new year.
A clean year. 2010 was so full, hard, and insanely busy. I'm not complaing, but I'm glad it's over. I'm ready for 2011.

So many good things are going to happen. I can just feel it.

I don't know where I'll be a year from now, and I'm starting to be okay with that. Being young and preparing for college or the next stage of your life or whatever is coming next, is strange. You feel like you're living in a sort of netherworld limbo. Which is unpleasant, sometimes, but it's also okay.
Lately, when I've looked at myself in the mirror I think, "I look different than I did last year." Perhaps it's only my imagination, supposing that my face looks different, but I really do feel that I've changed. Or something in me has changed. And that is very good.

I've decided that 2011 is the year of the prune.


Prunes. I love prunes. LOVE. Ordinary people make faces when you say "prune" they screw up their eyes and make retching noises. And that's because most people only experience prunes as prune juice, which is totally disgusting, and which normal people only drink when constipated. I too hate prune juice, but I especially hate it, because it has nothing to do with the wonderful reality of prunes. Prunes can be blissful. You should not eat prunes that are completely dry and leathery, you should only eat prunes that are plump and moist and sticky.


Prunes are in these strange fruit/chocolate/alien/nut/tasty/cookies. The recipe calls them Chocolate-Dipped Fruit Nut Balls, which is an apt, but rather grody name. You should make these and eat them and dream up some brilliant name in the middle of the night and then have me over, and I can polish off the rest of the fruit/chocolate/alien/nut/tasty/cookies.

They are also VEGAN and HEALTY, because they are simply DRIED FRUITS (i.e. prunes) and NUTS and CHOCOLATE. They are light and sophisticated and rich and luxerious. Did I mention there are prunes in them?

Happy New Year!
xoxo
m


Chocolate-Dipped Fruit-Nut Balls
from Orangette.blogspot.com who was inspired by
Gourmet, March 1986


Also, they improve with time. They are so devine.

1 cup walnuts
½ lb dried cherries
½ lb dried Turkish figs
½ lb dried apricots
½ lb dried pitted prunes
1-2 Tbs fruit juice, such as good apple cider, or fruit-flavored liqueur
Powdered sugar, for dredging
8 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and process them to chop finely. Remove the walnuts to a large mixing bowl.

Rinse the bowl of food processor, wipe it dry, and fill it with the dried fruit. Pulse the machine to chop the fruit finely. You don’t want to turn the fruit into a gummy purée, but you do want it to be chopped finely enough that there are no pieces larger than a pea. Remove the fruit to the bowl with the walnuts, and stir them to mix. Add 1 Tbs fruit juice or liqueur, and stir to combine. Pinch off a smallish wad of the fruit-nut mixture: when you roll it between your palms, does it hold together in a tight ball? If not, add a bit more juice or liqueur until it does.

Pour about ½ cup of powdered sugar into a small bowl; you can add more later, if needed. Pinching off little mounds of the fruit-nut mixture, shape them into 1-inch balls, roll each ball lightly in powdered sugar to coat, and place them on a baking sheet. Let the balls stand at room temperature, uncovered, for 24 hours.

Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and keep it close at hand. In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove it from the heat. Using a teaspoon, plop and dab and shake chocolate onto half of each ball; you may want to do this over the sink, wasteful though it may be, rather than over the bowl of chocolate—otherwise your melted chocolate may be contaminated by sprinkles of powdered sugar. Place the balls on the lined baking sheet, and place them in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened. Tuck each ball into a small candy or cupcake cup, and store them in an airtight container, chilled, for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: About 50 balls.