Thursday, July 22, 2010


Last night, I got home late only to remember that I was supposed to cook dinner for a friend. My little brother and girlfriend were also hungry. I've been wanting to try some squash recipes to get through the CSA squash in my crisper along with some swiss chard on the verge of going bad. I also had some potatoes and decided to attempt mashed potatoes. I've only made them once pre-vegan and I let the potatoes sit too long in water and they came out a pudding-like consistency that was no bueno.  And finally, yes I cooked some wild Alaskan cod. I know, I know...I'm still getting used to the vegan thing and wanted to get them out of my freezer. Here's the thing: Becca isn't totally sold on the vegan diet yet and I want to make the transition easy for her. I also knew that my friend eats meat as does my brother.  So yes, I cooked and ate fish, but only a little...excuses excuses I know.

I boiled the potatoes. Then I cut up the yellow squash and onions. I placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 400 degrees. Then I cut up more onion (tears streaming down my face at this point) and some garlic. I sauteed them in a little oil before tossing in some chard stems. I cooked those for a few minutes while I cut up the chard.  I then took the fish and added a little garlic salt before sliding them into the oven alongside the squash.  Then when the potatoes were done, I added some (ok lots) of Earth Balance soy butter and soy milk until it looked about the right consistency. I added salt and pepper.  I was surprised to how perfect they tasted. Now my mother doesn't really cook, as I've mentioned before, but one thing she could make was you guessed it: mashed potatoes. My little brother can seriously eat through pounds of mashed potatoes without breaking stride so I was under a little pressure here. Our beaters are from like the '80's and really don't beat anything that well. I made the best of it.  There were still some lumps but truth be told, I kinda like them that way.  Finally, with the potatoes done and the squash about finished, I added the chard leaves to the simmering stems.  I cooked that for a few minutes before pulling the fish out and calling everyone to dinner.

Everyone loved pretty much everything! I wasn't crazy about the squash. I think I waited too long to flip them over on to one side. Becca actually shied away from the chard, which is funny because I thought it was great. It really absorbed the garlic and onion flavors.  But what I loved about dinner was that my little brother complimented the mashed potatoes.  My brother's compliments do not come easily or in abundance so I take them where I can get them.  I wish I had a picture of the meal but we ate it too quickly.

After dinner, my brother read his screenplay treatment aloud. He and one of his friends at USC are working on a script together that is hilarious. It's so lovely seeing him actually writing and passionate about it.  Adorable. So there it is.  A night of good food and a little inspiration.

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