12 August 2002

Last night, my friends hosted a sushi dinner starring percussionist and sushi chef Tatsuya Nakatani, who is in Chicago for a week playing various gigs...and, last night, making us wonderful food! Tatsuya spent about five hours, with hardly any breaks, making us sushi and supervising those bold enough to try to make our own...and really, while we did pretty well, it just didn't compare. In the time it took me to make one uneven roll that didn't stick, Tatsuya would make about four absolutely gorgeous rolls. sigh. and it didn't look like he was rushing through the process...it was very pretty and even soothing to watch him in the kitchen. and i ate so much that i had to remove myself from the building in order to prevent further sushi consumption.

anyways, i am extremely inarticulate today, so i'm just going to leave it at that. i must still be suffering the leftover effects of last night's food coma.

lunch today of farmer's cheese on toast (stolen from karen) seems strangely lacking. i don't know why.

i had a vegan out-of-town visitor in on saturday and sunday morning so the rest of the weekend was spent in pursuit of vegan food. thus, lunch on saturday at chicago diner, dinner at kopi cafe and then breakfast on sunday also at kopi. the chicago diner is not so good and if not for the fact that it fills a niche, it probably wouldn't last long. although the waitstaff, however negligent of diners, is very cute. i got a vegetarian equivalent of a egg mcmuffin, with tempeh instead of ham, and it was nasty. the tempeh had the consistency of ground up slugs. and, for the record, chicago diner is in BOYSTOWN, not "wrigleyville," and anyone (like, for example, the chicago diner website) who tells you different has issues. boystown, damnit!, boystown! kopi was much better although i was shocked at the lack of vegan options on the menu. really, one can only eat so many tempeh burgers. but their guacamole is just to die for...absolutely divine! i think it has cumin in it.

after picking up my friend at (historic) Union Station (heck, we've all seen The Untouchables), I took her to my house for a gourmet meal of broccoli seitan stirfry. so simple. so good. i dumped some ginger into the rice while it was cooking, giving it a very subtle ginger flavor. yum! and we had snickers crunch ice cream for dessert. i would've gone with the m&m mint ice cream, but, hey, i'm flexible.

Broccoli-seitan Stirfry with rice (i.e. the five-minute dinner)

  • i prefer sushi rice with my stirfry, but any other will do. i like putting a little ginger in the water to give the rice a little extra kick. you can also serve the stirfry with pasta or with nothing at all.

  • Cut two heads of broccoli into florets, dice two plum tomatoes, finely chop two tablespoons ginger, slice premade seitan, dice 1/2 medium onion (yellow or white)
  • heat three tablespoons of sesame oil in large pan or wok. when hot but not smokind add onions. cook onions till they begin to brown. add 1/4 cup soy sauce and 2 tbl. rice wine vinegar. mix in 2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. cayenne and 1 tsp. black pepper. add broccoli and ginger. cook for seven minutes and add tomatoes and seitan. cook till cooked but still a bit crunchy.
  • serve over rice.


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