Monday, August 23, 2010

sf street food festival

this past weekend was the san francisco street food festival. kris and i headed over to the four blocks crammed with food trucks and restaurant stands to have ourselves a nibble-y grazing lunch.

we got down there pretty early and it was already getting packed with some crazy long lines. there were tons of food options but when you cut that down to only the vegetarian ones and then even more to vegan options, our choices were pretty much made for us. which is fine by me cause i would have felt overwhelmed otherwise....and probably would not have been able to walk home from being so full (and yes, we still have to wear coats in august...unless you're super tough like that red shirt dude).

our first stop was aziza which also happens to be one of our favorite restaurants. we got a little cup of spicy roasted chickpeas (yum!) and a super refreshing mint lime (i think) soda (which was really more like tea). off to a good start!

next we ran into a whole foods make-your-own trail mix table. we stuffed our little bags with banana chips, almonds, pumpkin seeds and cashews. didn't eat them yet though....they're coming with us on the long plane ride to europe later this week (thanks whole foods!).

the next stop was the highlight for me. several months ago erin sent me an article about a falafel truck called liba in the bay area. besides having supposedly amazing falafel they also have a toppings bar. sadly, i never made the trip to try one. but on saturday there they were! and no line....what's wrong with people?! anyway, the falafels were, in fact, amazing. i might go so far as to say they are the best in san francisco. they even come close to the falafel at l'as du falafel in paris which is incredible. perfectly crunchy on the outside and nice and light on the inside...mmmm. our only regret is that we only go the taster and not the sandwich.

the good news is that they are now downtown some days so we will definitely get these for lunch and soon!

our last stop was tacos.

i really should have written about (and probably eaten) this before the falafel because it is a tough act to follow. i've seen this truck around but never stopped before. it wasn't amazing but it was definitely tasty. the green salsa was actually super yummy!

and that concluded our street food tasting. it was a lot of fun and i look forward to going back next year.....and getting liba falafel asap!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

tagine cooking

my mom sent kris a tagine for his birthday which means, really, she sent us a tagine. we have several tagines hanging around, like these cuties for salt and pepper...
or these for bracelets
but i'm so happy to finally have one for cooking!

after going through the seasoning process of soaking (in which we learned it's extremely difficult to form a water tight seal over our kitchen sink drain) and then baking the empty tagine this beauty was ready to cook us some dinner!

we made this on a sunday night because, i'm not sure why, i thought it was going to take a long time to cook. but with about 5 minutes of chopping prep and 30 minutes-ish of cooking this would make an awesome weeknight dinner! we usually have farmer's market veggie medley dinners on tuesday but i predict a chunk of those dinners are going to end up in the tagine now. tagine tuesdays! i like it.

i looked at recipes as guidelines but didn't really end up following any of them exactly. what i took away from my brief research is that tagine cooking is pretty forgiving and if you fill it up with things that you like you're going to end up with an end result that you love. one thing i'll remember for next time is to add a bit more seasoning than i think it'll need. oh and one more thing, if i was doing this combination again (or any where one vegetable is likely to cook much faster than another) i would add the potatoes and then maybe halfway through add the zucchini because the poor zucs were a little too cooked i think....still yummy....but not perfect. i must say though, for a first attempt at tagine cooking this turned out great! here's what we put in ours:

moroccan tagine
2 cups water
potatoes, chopped
zucchini, chopped
tomato, chopped
onion, chopped
green olives, pitted
dried apricots, chopped
toasted almonds
cous cous
moroccan spice mix*

place the water in the tagine and sprinkle some spices on top (i'd say i put 1-2 tablespoons) chop up the potatoes, zucchini, tomato, onion, olives and apricots and place in the tagine. sprinkle some more spice mixture on top. here it is all ready to go....

put the lid on and cook on medium low heat for about 30 minutes until potatoes are tender and the water in the bottom has thickened and turned a bit saucey. serve over cous cous and top with toasted almond slivers. like this!

*i know, having this already on hand this made it almost too easy. if you don't have a premade moroccan spice mix here's what's in it: cumin, coriander, parsley, chili, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, sugar, salt and pepper and orange oil. so basically throw in a little of nearly every spice you have.