Late summer white lasagna

I started out thinking that I would make an easy pasta dinner. But then I realized that I had a jar of sungold tomato sauce, made the week before, that I needed to use. And some cherry tomatoes that needed roasted, and a big handful of collard greens, and a log of goat cheese and a hung of pecorino. AND half a box of lasagna noodles that wanted banishing from my cupboard.

And so I made this late-summer white lasagna. The filling is a mixtures of an easy rice milk bachemel combined with 6 oz. of goat cheese. Sun gold tomatoes lie between the layers, along with a fried collards, garlic, onion and baby portabello mushrooms. Another two onces of goat cheese dot the top, some sliced sundried tomatoes to give a little kick to the mellow sweetness of the dish, fresh basil leaves and a healthy sprinkle of pecorino. And there you go. Not fast, but certainly delicious.


Coup de Taco truck

Coup de Taco truck

I love truck food. I love tacos. I love food trucks right by my office that serve up super-special vegetarian-friendly tacos. The sudden surge of young, college-grads starting food trucks to realize their culinary dreams (and work their butts off) has recently brought Honest Tom’s tacos, Hubbub Coffee, and now Coup de Taco. Their website commands “Welcome to the Taco Revolution. Savor the Conquest. Join the Revolution.” They park on 40th between Locust and Spruce. The special love in Coup de Taco is their seriously vegetarian menu. Every item number comes with a veggie counterpart – seitan, edamame hummus, “riblets” and portabello mushrooms.

Indian Tikka Masala Taco with Seitan

Pictured above is the Indian Tika Masala taco with grilled seitan, tikka tomato sauce, coconut rice and cilantro. Wrapped in a flour taco (or served in a rice bowl, an option for all tacos) the only think that would make this taco tastier is if the sietan were shredded (like pulled pork) so that it could soak up more of the delicious sauce.

Thai Coconut Taco with Portabello Mushrooms

Sweet Thai Coconut Tacos with Portabello Mushrooms, however, I wasn’t so sure about. Perhaps it because I over-ordered (these tacos are deceptively filling), but more than that, I think it was the citrus marinated green apples on top of the peanut sauce. I tend not to feel excited about sweet with my savory, and would have really liked to toss the apples, but in a slaw of some sort, and add more mushrooms.

Overall, the truck is a super concept, offering fast, homemade, tasty food at affordable prices. $3.50 for one taco, $5 for two, and $8 for three. Grab a side of baked chips with roasted edamame hummos and a glass of ginger green tea and you’re good to go. I’ve still got more tacos to try (the caprese, a southern bbq, and whatever else they dream up) the only thing that would make me happier right now with the Coup de Taco truck guys (and their sweet smiles) is a brown rice and tortilla option.

Portabello Burger with local toppings

Portabello Burger
Portabello Burger

It was a beautiful weekend in Philadelphia. I (and my awesome friends) did some incredible yard/gardening work, and we managed to bar-b-q not once, but twice. On Sunday evening I grilled some portabello mushroom caps that had been marinating in my secret grilled mushroom marinade (it involves chillies, and ginger, and garlic, and soy, and sesame) and topped them with a mix of store-bought ingredients (tomatoes, olive oil mayo, dijon mustard) and some delicious local finds from the Headhouse Square farmers market. Green onions and rainbow chard got a quick turn on the grill, and chive and garlic goats milk queso fresco from local Patches of Star goat farm made delicious appearances.

mmmm. Toppings
mmmm. Toppings

How would I make it better? I’d remove the stems from the chard (they’re delicious cooked but the short grill time wasn’t enough to properly soften them). I’d also put the whole “burger” on a heartier, seeded whole wheat bun.

Whole-Grain Metro roll with goat cheese, basil, roasted red pepper, and balsamic mushrooms
Whole-Grain Metro roll with goat cheese, basil, roasted red pepper, and balsamic mushrooms

I am so in love with the whole-grain rolls from Metropolitan Bakery, I want to sing about it. They have all kinds of delicious texture, and an almost nutty flavor, and go well with all of may favorite sandwich toppings. I found out that I can order these rolls bulk from the main Metro bakery, so I ordered 5 dozen and made a whole spread of mini sandwiches for a reception at work. The above sandwich is a multi-grain roll with a healthy smear of goat cheese, a slice of roasted red pepper, a leaf of fresh basil, and some juicey balsamic-marinated, roasted, baby portobello mushrooms.

Sourdough French Roll with roasted tomatoe sauce, mozzarella, and roasted eggplant
Sourdough French Roll with roasted tomatoe sauce, mozzarella, and roasted eggplant

These little sourdough cutie rolls are also delicious. Who am I kidding? All the Metropolitan bread is delicious. I made these sandwiches with the roasted red pepper sandwich sauce from Bittmans How to Cook Everything (the basic, not vegetarian version of the cookbook) and added slices of mozzarella and grilled eggplant.

Sandwhich-making spread
Sandwich-making spread

Above is a photo of the assembly-line spread I set-up for my sandwich making helpers. Look at all those delicious ingreadiants. Makes me want to reach right into a photo and grab a roll.