Not Epic but Pretty Good

Don’t you hate it when a recipe sounds epic and you slave away in the kitchen to prepare it, only to find that it’s just OK?

I suppose OK is better than awful.

I was pretty excited to try out this Pesto Veggie Gratin recipe from “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian,” and was even more excited that it called for goat cheese (which I discovered via an appetizer at Mas Tapas in Charlottesville and recreated at home via this Artichoke and Goat Cheese Dip). I think goat cheese is delicious when I’m on the non-vegan bandwagon… sorry, goats. At least I don’t eat you…

The recipe called for couscous, pesto (another obsession of mine… see The Magic of Pesto for my favorite pesto recipe), asparagus, goat cheese, and another vegetable (I chose a yellow squash). Sounds epic, right?

Pesto Veggie Gratin

Pesto Veggie Gratin

Looks pretty epic, right?

I must admit one instance of user error in preparing this recipe: I mistook scallions for shallots (I always get those two mixed up). I should’ve used shallots, but instead, I used green onions. So maybe there was a flavor depth thing missing.

The dish wasn’t bad. It was just a little bland… until I dolloped on more pesto! Next time, I’ll just add more pesto to the sauce and I think it’ll cross over into greatness, if not epicness.

Pesto Veggie Gratin plate

Pesto Veggie Gratin plate

So, chins up, people! They can’t all be epic meals… but one can dream!

Cherry Apple Almond Couscous

Cherry Apple Almond Couscous

Cherry Apple Almond Couscous – aka, a party in my mouth. Awww yeah.

It’s the Vegan Month of Food (Vegan MoFo!) and Day 3 brings another fall-worthy dish. I’ll give you a break from the pumpkins, though, and just bombard you with apples.

This recipe comes from what has quickly become one of my favorite cook books, Vegan Yum Yum. This couscous was supposed to be stuffed into delicata squash, but I just made it on its own as a tasty side dish. I made it with a red delicious apple instead of the recommended Granny Smith. Sorry, Granny. No hard feelings!

Behold:

Cherry Apple Almond Couscous

Cherry Apple Almond Couscous

Lucky for you, the recipe is viewable in the Google Books preview – Delicata Squash Stuffed with Cherry Apple Almond Couscous (page 55). Just follow steps 3, 4, 5, and 8. Skip the rest (unless you want to stuff the couscous into squash, which I’m sure would be yummy too!)

Enjoy!