Friday, September 03, 2010

{Labor Day Weekend Food Ideas}

My swing and a miss on timing might be your holiday weekend home run, menu wise.

I tend to hit a foul ball every time I try to make a meal plan for the holidays. I put all this
pressure on trying to create a menu that's the perfect compliment to what's happening on
the calendar. This year, I happened to stumble on a bunch of awesome recipes online that
are made for Labor Day Weekend, but I prepared them all in last week. So, I still don't
know what the hell I'll be making in the next three days. But you -- you might have some
stuff to work with if any of these ideas appeal to your taste buds. I can confidently say, I
think they will, after making and eating them last week.

1) My Sloppy Joe days ended a long time ago, even before I became a vegetarian. Until, that
is, my favorite foodie blogger shared Messy Lenny's. It's her creation that tastes like a Sloppy
Joe, but it's made with lentils. Thus, "Lenny". So clever. David was the biggest sceptic and said, "there's no way they'll taste good", but he was the first one to admit they were delicious!
The recipe: Messy Lenny
The method: Cook the lentils, mix in veg and sauce. Easy, easy, easy.
The result: A pretty darn good vegetarian (healthier for you and the Earth) version of a
Sloppy Joe.
Notes: I served it with cucumber salad (EVOO, white vinegar, salt, pepper) and steamed
carrots. I wouldn't change anything about the recipe.

2) I love the flavors from Indian cooking, but I don't have a ton of experience using them.
That's why I'm thrilled to bits that Aarti Sequeira won The Next Food Network Star and
now has her own show, Aarti Paarti. It's a bonus that she's a pleasure to watch. Everything
she makes looks amazing, and I'm learning first hand, it tastes fabulous, too.
The site: Food Network
The method: Layers of flavor and lots of fresh ingredients
The result: David tasted the salad and said, "Wow! All the flavors just pop in your mouth!"
You don't normally expect a ton from a sandwich and salad but this combo delivered the goods.
Notes: I went to two stores and couldn't find celery root (which is the ugly duckling of the
salad). People don't buy it enough to warrant stocking it. So, I substituted regular celery.
I shredded the heart or base since that's where the flavor is strongest, and I gave it a light squeeze to pull some of the water out of it before putting it in the salad bowl. You can easily make the sandwich vegetarian, as I did, by leaving off the bacon. It was still totally amazing.

3) I used to think corn on the cob was kind of a three trick pony. I love it, but it never
occurred to me to do anything with it besides the basics -- boil it, grill it or cut it off the cob
and into a salad. But then I saw an idea online that was cobbed corn on a whole other level.
The method: Marinate corn in a chile and coconut mixture and roast it in the oven.
The result: Melt in your mouth, messy, amazing goodness that elevates corn on the cob
to something memorable.
Notes: I used Lite Coconut Milk, but I think I'd use the real deal next time. Also, the
sauce is really good on other things -- David used it with some ground turkey to make
a sandwich. The recipes's creator suggested putting it on chicken or seafood, too.

And that, my friends, is my home run guide to good eating this holiday weekend. :) We're
just about to dive in to restorative long weekend with lots of down time to do as the wind
blows us and very few commitments. I hope you your weekend, too. Be safe with your
travels, whether near or far from home. Cheers, everyone!


Reeni said...

I meant to get over here sooner and say thank you for making my recipe! It makes me happy to hear it was a winner for you. Love those Messy Lenny's too - how creative! And I was happy to see Aarti win too. Have a wonderful weekend!

Trujen said...

Mmm... that looks super good!

Kristi said...

Now I am hungry!