Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Tale of Two Dinners: Something for Everyone

Not too excited by my vegan plan to make spicy black bean soup last night, Tom headed to the store and bought ingredients to make his special: pasta surprise. And so we got to cook together, one of those simple delights that makes you give thanks for Wednesdays.

Spicy Black Bean Soup
2 T olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 bell bepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1.5 cups black beans, soaked and drained
6 cups water
1.5 t salt
14.5 can diced tomatoes
2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
2 T sherry

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onions, celery and green pepper. Cook until vegetables are softened. Add the garlic, cumin and oregano, and cook for a few minutes. Add the beans and water and cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partly covered until beans are tender. Now, the recipe states that this will take 1-1.25 hours. After this amount of time my beans were still pretty firm. In fact, after four hours they still weren't nice and soft. So I mixed in all the remaining ingredients, transferred it to a slow cooker, and left it on low all the next day. When I got home I mixed it all up with my immersion blender and it was yum yum yum!

This is an interesting soup (in a good way). I had never cooked with chipotles in adobo, and it adds a really nice fire roasted flavor - much different from the black bean soups I've made in the past.

I put it in a bowl, topped it with my pseudo guacamole (avocado, salt and salsa) and a spoonful of plain yogurt.

This recipe was taken from the always wonderful The Healthy Hedonist

Tom's meal looked even more delicious. When I asked him for the recipe, he was hestitant and told me, "its a surprise!" But he agreed that I could share the recipe with you all, as long as I mention that it always changes each time. And here is his recipe, exactly as he told it to me.

Tom's Pasta Surprise
16 oz some kind of noodles
2 jars alfredo sauce
1 lb chicken, cut up
1/2 bag crinkle cut carrots
couple heads of broccoli, broken apart into edible portions
sun dried tomatoes (quantity to your liking)
1 can marinated quartered artichoke hearts
1 clove garlic

Cook chicken halfway, then add the vegetables and steam (covered). Cook noodles. Put noodles in a big tub and put the chicken/vegetables on top and then put the sauce on top and then mix it up into surprise bliss.

Doesn't that just look delish? It really is good, and can definitely be altered to your liking.

Side by side we cooked our meals, battled for the best pots and the prime stove burners. We created two completely different meals, each one suited to our own liking. Just goes to show that a mostly carnivore and a mostly vegan really can survive harmoniously in the kitchen.

Do you and your significant other cook together? Bake together? Order pizza and watch a movie together? I'm always intrigued by the food customs and eating habits of other people, so do share with the rest of us......

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