Saturday, July 30, 2011

The season of salads continues. Tonight I roasted a big slew of vegetables after finding myself hungry for the savory vegetal dish I used to make weekly when I first moved to New York. It was my first real winter, with snow on the ground. This had never happened to me before. I lived in a linoleum-floored NYU dorm that I basically had all to myself because one roommate dropped out and the other never stayed the night. I cultivated a lot of weird behaviors there, in my tailspin of post-California life. I had a bunch of people over one night and cooked a very stinky Iranian feast in that little place. We hauled a table and chairs from a friend's apartment 7 floors up. The guys from an up and coming record label that was putting out obscure Sonic Youth records came for the meal, ripping through every drop of liquor I had in the apartment. They were trouble with trust funds.

I was still a vegetarian when I first moved to New York. I hadn't eaten bacon in near a decade and I was oblivious to the need for it because I'd been spoiled by California's harvest, the constant supply of ripe, excellent produce at reasonable prices. In contrast, the Key Foods nearest my dorm in the hospital hinterlands of 26th and 1st Ave. was a depressing, tight-laned space with a lot of dusty products with labels I'd never seen (everything seemed vaguely European to my bumpkin eyes) and a dismal produce section where everything seemed to cost so much more than it ever had. On several occasions, I called my mother from the store to tell her that a withering, little head of lettuce cost $1.99 and she would gasp her horror. I was raised in a house where one or two heads of lettuce were consumed a day. The pale tomatoes, dinged and sticky, were just as pricey. It's unsurprising that I gave up vegetarianism in that town.

And so, sometimes when it would be particularly cold and I felt particularly far from Southern California, I would slice up a big slew of vegetables _ peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, garlic, whatever else was lying around. A pot of beans, tortillas and some cheese and I would have the closest thing I could to Mexican food in a city that had no acceptable Mexican cuisine.

Tonight, I made a spicy roast of peppers, jalapenos, sweet onions, zucchini, carrots and mushrooms.

My dinner bowl, visual representation*:
top: chimichurri roast salmon
under that: roast vegetables
under that: smoked cheese (my constant cheat on the diet. a little goes a long way, i reason)
under that: a blend of kale and arugula, dressed with the stevia-dijon dressing.

* a photo could not be snapped before it was gobbled up.

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