President’s Day

I realize that I am a bit delayed on this post, but I had a very busy week.

We had one crazy cooking holiday here. It included: vegetable stock, mole, lentil veggie balls and pesto. All time consuming, all awesome.

We started with the veggie stock, which we have actually been working on for quite some time considering we keep all of our unused vegetable scraps. This batch included the normal stuff like carrots, celery and onion, but also had jalapeno, kale stems, parmesan rinds, collard green stems, parsnips, lemon, cilantro stems, and I’m sure plenty of other things. We put them in a bag in the freezer until it is full and then cook it up. Here is the bounty:

Here are the dregs that were strained out:

We made the vegetable stock first because we needed it for our mole. We planned ahead and thought to make the mole on Monday because we knew it was going take a long time. This recipe came out of Mark Bittman’s ‘How to Cook Everything Vegetarian’ and we used it later in the week to put over cheese and hard boiled egg enchiladas.

First, you have to mix all of the goodies together which included a heck of a lot of mixed nuts (2 cups), bread, loads of spices, other stuffs, and of course peppers. Here is the mixture before we put it into the food processor:

After it came out of the food processor it looked much more like mole. Then, you cook it for a long time. Longer than we ever cook anything. Ok, that’s a lie. That veggie stock took longer and so does stuff that we cook in the slow cooker, but you get my drift.

Next, we moved on to actually making our dinner for that night, veggie balls with pesto, which we should have started long before we did, since the components would form into balls much easier if they were cool. Of course, we weren’t patient enough to wait long enough for it to cool, but they still turned out just fine.

For this, we made a batch of spinach and basil pesto with walnuts (more nuts!), parm, and olive oil. This would serve as the condiment for the veggie balls.

The veggie balls consisted of lentils (we used a mixture of red and green, and quickly realized that red lentils are a bit too small and smooshy for this recipe…we worked it out though), that, after cooked, were mixed with a veggie mixture of carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and spices. Once both of the components (the lentils and the veggies) are cooked you are supposed to let them fully cool (this is where we rushed ahead), mix them together, put them on a baking sheet, and bake them. I have to say, they turned out really beautiful and tasty.

We had some leftover pasta that we put them on, but later in the week we had them for leftovers on toast and also in a sort of veggie ball burrito.

It was a busy day, but it certainly paid off since we got so many great meals out of what we made.

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