Vegetarian Family

A Peek @ Food We Eat & Things We Do!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Creamy Potato Leek Bake & Garlicky Kale + Tahini Dressing

I found some info. on leeks: the leek is a member of the onion family, but the flavor is much more refined, subtle, and sweet than the standard onion. European chefs call leeks "poor man's asparagus." Asparagus is actually a distant relative of the leek, residing in the same Lily family as onions. Although giant leeks do not make for great eating, Britain holds a yearly competition and awards a prize to the largest leek, which can range from 4 to 5 inches in diameter. In 640 A.D., the Welsh wore leeks in their hats to distinguish themselves from the enemy during the battle between King Cadwallader of Wales and the Saxons.

Art requested a potato dish, so I looked through a few cookbooks, and came up with 'Creamy Potato Leek Bake' from Dreena's Everyday Vegan. There are 3 layers in this dish: Potato, Leek (what you see on top of this picture), & an optional soy/rice parmesan. I spaced on the Arrowroot flour, so Art & Liv made a store run and couldn't find it either, so I substituted the same amount of Corn Starch. Another major "DOH" is that I didn't have thyme, oregano, or savory! I didn't substitue for the spices, and this dish was really delicious plain! This is one of those warm comfort foods, probably ideal for winter but it's been a bit rainy (odd for June) and it really hit the spot. I'll make this one again.

The 'Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing' came from Vegan with a Vengeance. I was excited to try a recipe from Isa's cookbook other than fries (which are really great). I like this recipe because after getting the fresh kale & parsley all the other ingredients are always on hand. Art is a "big kale eater" (not big in stature, but rather "big" as in large quantities of kale consumed!), and he says it could be better, so we'll collaborate next time. This time, I cooked it (my first time), and I ate it (not a first), and thought it was delicious (also a first). So there'll be more kale in our future. Also on the plate, you see Vegetarian Sparerib Cutlets.

To go with the kale, I made Isa's 'Tahini Dressing' and stored it in this water bottle. We always consider the packaging when we buy things, and normally something like this would stay on the shelf. But take a look at the beauty of this bottle. It has that awesome self-contained rubber cork which is perfect for storing things airtight, so we splurged that day and bought 2 French Leamonades just so we could reuse the bottles. The leamonade was good too!

Oh, and I also made La Dolce Vegan!'s 'Green Bean Zasmashha' without snapping a photo. This recipe only has 3 items: breadcrumbs, green beans, & Earth Balance ~ extremely simple and surprisingly tasty.


Blogger Melody said...

omg, first.. your dog is sooo cute! what a sweetie pie..

I love that you re-use bottles... I do the same thing and have found myslef buying bottles of wine or other things just so I can have the bottle. My favorite thing to do is to buy "cheap" wine for cooking and paint the bottles for vases.. (and sometimes I even give them away for gifts.. )

2:18 PM  
Blogger Urban Vegan said...

all I can say is YUM.

4:17 PM  
Blogger jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Hey Vicki, great stuff going on lately!

As for the kale- oh yum, it's be too long since I've had it! Probably a few months now, travesty. I like it with sliced almonds and a ton of garlic.

5:35 PM  
Blogger KleoPatra said...

I adore leeks. I had never had them (knowingly) before until a few years back. I love leeks. I did not know they were related to asparagus! That potato dish looks scrumptious!! Warm comfort foods are good any "thyme" of year if you ask me...

Great post, Vicki; hope you have a great weekend!

6:48 PM  
Blogger Ferocious Killer Kat said...

all stuff looks good!! and got to try Kale.. so much stuff to try!! :-)

11:49 PM  
Blogger EatPeacePlease said...

First of all, this meal looks great. Next, I find it funny you made the potato bake but without so many spices and it was still good to you. I wish it was cold and rainy (and not afraid of the oven), and I'd try this one out.

I like kale in Sloppy Lenties of course, and I also like it raw or steamed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Sometimes with tamari too. And finally, I like how you splurged on the bottles just to use them later, it's worth it.

Great post, all successes!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Carrie™ said...

Great meal Vicki! Potato anything is always good. (That's me Irish part talking) I really like the flavour of leeks and wonder why they're not used more. Kale as well. Not a whole lot of dishes out there with kale. And it such good stuff. Love the bottle!

10:38 AM  
Blogger funwithyourfood said...

Leeks and potatoes are a great combo. I recommend leeks and fresh baby spinach too. For some reason it tickles my taste buds :)


5:17 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I haven't had leeks in ages! I should investigate.

When I was little, my dad once made a giant recipe of potato-leek soup, and portioned it all out into quart-containers and froze it in the chest freezer in the basement. The freezer (and everything else in it -- ice cream, banana bread, etc.) stank of leeks for months, and my mom was pretty upset about that! Tee-hee!

8:41 PM  
Blogger Dori said...

I have never grown leeks before and bought one for the first times two months ago to use ina recipe. I've always subbed onion. I'm going to have to look into growing it.... if is an asparagus relation I'll bet it is a perrennial and will come back each year. Possibly a good addition to an herb box.

Potato bake looks good, I don't like greens alone or stirfried, but love them added to a variety of dishes.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Tanya Kristine said...

i love leeks.

kale? did you say you liked it? i'l lhave to try her recipe thne because i do notlike kale but want to!

lemonade, however, looks lovely!

9:55 AM  
Blogger kaivegan said...

Great post, and I've enjoyed reading your previous ones, too!

Interesting fact about the Welsh wearing leeks in their hats.

10:13 AM  
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