Monday, September 25, 2006

Udon Noodle recipe and the story of The Girl Who Will Probably Need Rhinoplasty.

I made this last night and it was delish. The recipe is from the latest issue of Vegetarian Times (Oct 2006). Don’t you just love pomegranates? They are just so-so looking on the outside, but cut them open and the seeds glisten like rubies. I love scooping them out with my fingers (see also: fingernails, pink). Dried cranberries would also work nicely if you don’t like the crunch of pomegranate seeds.

Udon Noodles with Walnuts and Pomegranates
(Vegan – Serves 6 – 30 minutes or less to prepare)

1 10.25 ounce package dried udon noodles
1 lb broccoli, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
2 T. toasted walnut oil, divided
1 12 oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 T.)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 T. maple syrup
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
5 scallions, white & green parts chopped (about 1/3 cup)

Cook noodles in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Add broccoli and red pepper to the water and simmer 2 minutes more. Drain.

Heat 1 T. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tofu cubes, and cook 10 minutes (or until browned), turning occasionally. Remove from heat and add garlic. Stir for 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in walnuts, maple syrup and remaining walnut oil.

Toss pasta mixture with tofu mixture, pomegranate seeds, and green onions.

Notes: Next time I make this I’ll probably add extra broccoli and tofu. Love the pre-cubed super-firm tofu from Whole Foods, as it stands up well to the skillet activity. I added a bit of salt to the final product. Did not have walnut oil on hand, so added a little crushed walnut to the first T. of oil (I used olive) and sautéed gently before adding the tofu.

On Friday night M and I headed out to see the Billy Taylor Trio at the Kennedy Center. Our first time seeing Billy… he was outstanding and seems like such a kind man. I’d put him right up there with Garrison Keillor and Morgan Freeman on my list of men who really should come over and read me bedtime stories every night. We sat right in front of the stage and could hear him scatting as he played the piano.

I may have developed a crush on the drummer by the end of the night. Why did I marry a bass player instead of a drummer?

Oh yes, the whole "soul mate" thing. Oh, well. M plays a pretty mean air drum, so that's close enough.

Dinner before the show was at Notti Bianche, which for the past year had been on my list of places to try. Are you wondering how it was? I’ll put it this way: when the waiter came to check on our initial impressions of our entrees, M was chewing blissfully with his eyes closed and didn’t even hear the polite inquiry.

Jason, our waiter, totally rocked. Best. Service. Ever. Completely knowledgeable about the menu and the wine list. And I love their policy on cell phone use in the dining room: “Notti Bianche’s dining room is a cell phone free environment – their use interferes with the making of risotto.” I think we’ll be going back next month before we see Twelve Angry Men. There aren’t many good places within walking distance of the KC, so check it out if you’re planning to see a show.

I don’t have too much more to report today, except that last week I ran face-first into the wall as I was making my nightly 2 a.m. bathroom visit and my nose is still quite tender. Never mind the fact that the bathroom door is only two feet from my side of the bed-- I still managed to miss it completely.

The incredible whack! was loud enough to partially wake M (who mumbled, “What the hell?” and I moaned, “OWWW! Ooooh, I just crashed face-first into the wall!” and he said, “Oh, okay.” and promptly fell asleep. Clearly he’s accustomed to my self-injury). And the incredible whack! was all nose. I think the nose must protrude from the face for exactly that reason—to serve a bony, crunchy bumper for the rest of the face.

The next morning I crept toward the mirror, filled with the dreadful certainty that I’d be sporting a black eye. But no! Just a swollen nose. Not like the time when I was bending over the bed, tucking the sheet ends under the mattress, when suddenly Alex flew in and did his patented leap-like-a-maniac-from-the-doorway-onto-the-bed move, somehow not seeing that my FACE was in the way. Hard puppy skull made contact with my nose and the instant tears were so hot I wondered if my eyes were bleeding. Even Alex fell backwards and shook his head like, Wow! Painful!

I was sporting a lovely yellow-and-green eye the next day and had to go to the doctor.

Anyway, the morning after my nose-meets-wall experience I was describing the trauma to M in detail, so as to make him feel guilty for not becoming fully conscious and running to my aid (to his credit, he did feel very, very bad, and I could tell, which had a somewhat mollifying effect). As I talked I wandered into the walk-in closet where M was picking out the day’s shirt and tie. Somehow during those five steps I managed to lose my balance, pitch sideways, and clock my head loudly on the door frame.

M stared at me in disbelief. Then he laughed and helpfully suggested that I buy a padded helmet with a face guard.

I thought about kicking him, but I was afraid I'd miss and break my foot on his dresser.

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Blogger Bearette24 said...

Ouch! Sounds painful. I can sympathize, having walked into a (glass) door once...

4:05 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Now I know why I feel such a connection to you...I about took off my pinky toe with a shopping cart the other day. I often have bruises and I have no idea where they came from since I'm always bumping into everything.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Roxanne-- I had a mysterious bruise that kept appearing on my right thigh, and I could never figure out how I was doing it.

At work one side of the reference desk is lower than the rest to accomodate little people and those in wheelchairs. As I walked past it one day I ran right into the pointy corner and gave myself a bruise on top of a bruise.


4:21 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...


Are you a fellow klutz?

I have one little toe I stubbed so hard it still points out sideways.

12:25 AM  
Blogger kj said...

once i walked into a ceiling air conditioner in an underground parking garage. right into it. it was a large air conditioner. i could tell from my vantage point looking up at it.....


1:08 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I'm glad you weren't seriously injured from any of those mishaps! Maybe that's why Alex doesn't want you to go to work - he won't be there to lick whatever fresh wound you get there! :)

2:57 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I don't know if I'm klutzy or not. There must be some kind of internet quiz for this one...

9:11 AM  

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