Giving Thanks for Kirtan

I should be thinking of sumptuous, sensual descriptions for this week's menu, and yet I am thinking about music. That is because I have developed a system of putting in all the titles and photos and respective links first and then going back to compose the text. While I do all the technical work (and hopefully not mixing up any of the numerous links) I listen to music. This morning I got completely carried away by listening to The Hanumen. This kirtan band has some seriously inspiring musicians in it. I am accquainted with a couple of them. I had to emphasize accquainted because my ego would like to pipe up and assert that I am actually secret buddies with these admirable folks and then insert some photoshopped photo that shows me arm in arm with said famous musicians. Haha! However, that is not going to happen because I am more than anything a stickler for accuracy and couldn't pull a fast one on even the slowest of you. At any rate if you like spoken word poetry, world music, and especially if you are a kirtan nut like I am, by all means check them out. You just might find yourself driving past your exit or dancing around your kitchen when you are supposed to be doing something else. Just don't say I didn't warn you. ;-)

But seriously now, getting back to food and all things "menu," I wanted to talk about Thanksgiving. I will be traveling the week of Thanksgiving, so there will be no regular newsletter the week of November 23rd. If you would like Govinda's to supply pieces, parts, or all of your Thanksgiving dinner spread, we can do that. We will have a fall harvest/Thanksgiving themed menu next week (11/16). If you would like any of those items (or another special-order dish for that matter), please let me know when you place your order next week. Then we will cook on the weekend and have orders ready to pick up/deliver on Tuesday, the 24th. Does that make sense? Here is what you do:

1) Read next week's menu

2) Make your best "ooh-aah" face, salivate ever-so-slightly (no messy drooling, please), & imagine your friends and family doing the same.

3) Place an order for whatever it was that prompted the #2 step or whatever you dream up and feel you MUST have for the holiday (within reason).

4) Arrange for a pick-up/delivery for the 24th.

This way you can relax and let us slave away in the kitchen for you, so you can take care of that last-minute cleaning and decorating that you wouldn't get to do otherwise. I found some excellent black and photos of 1950's exhausted housewives that I would have loved to insert here, but you will have to Google them yourselves because they were for sale on stock photo websites. And somehow I suspect that such websites are pretty unforgiving about photo pirating...

This Week's Menu:

Entree #1 - Swadisht Dal

Swadisht dal is a wonderfully satisfying and low-pressure mixed bean dal. By low-pressure I mean that you mix the mung, toor, & urad dals in equal proportion, cut

pretty much whatever veggies you have on hand, spice it up, and it is done. As opposed to other dals that have specific ideas about what they are or are not. There is nothing worse than a dal with an identity crisis, except of course a bread with an identity crisis. Breads are truly unforgiving about having their recipes tampered with. Not so here. This shape shifter dal is happy however you make it. And happy food = yummy food. *GF, soy-free

(photo food-india.com)

Entree #2 - Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

Yesterday I asked a friend of mine for menu suggestions. She said "I dunno, something with a lot of vegetables." That narrowed it right down... Fortunately when I looked back in my archives to get the photos for the Swadisht dal (which also has a nice mix of veggies), I saw that we had made this soup that week as well. It felt like a perfect menu fit, as the farm that I frequent still has loads of tomatoes I think and red peppers are not too hard to come by. Plus (and this is truly important) the roasted flavors and brilliant color would pair beautifully with the quinoa verde. *GF, soy-free

(photo blissfulbasil.com)

Entree #3 - Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

This is another instance where the link in the entree title and the photo credit are from two different websites. I know most of you are not research hounds who go around clicking every link that I painstakingly enter here (no guilt, no guilt...). BUT if you were looking to compare recipes, I would suggest checking them both out. The one from the photo calls for brewed coffee (?!) while the other includes a little cocoa powder. I guess the general idea is to add bitterness and punch to accent the sweetness of the potatoes. At any rate here is where seasonal, local sweet spuds get to shine.*GF, soy-free

(photo tasteofhome.com)

Side Dishes:

Brown Rice - $1/serving (1 cup)

Quinoa Verde - $3 (1 cup) The quinoa-fied version of a classic Mexican rice. This recipe hails from a Dr. Julie, whose blog I just discovered while looking for this photo. It is super dark-green veggie dense and healthy. I may also just adapt my fav arroz verde recipe from the Great Vegetarian Dishes cookbook. *GF, soy-free

(photo drjuliedurnan.com)

Spicy Corn Muffins - $2/ea. We recently had some ahmazing! sweet potato corn muffins, so I wanted something slightly different to go with the black bean chili. This recipe is gf but not vegan. There were others that were vegan but not gf. So the toss up began. Since I was going to modify whatever recipe I came across, and this one had the best photos, it won out. If you want your muffins sans jalapeno, please make sure to specify. *GF, soy-free

(photo minimalistbaker.com)

Apple Crisp - $4/serving. While trolling around for the recipes for this week's menu, I came across an apple crumble on one of the websites. Oh my goodness! Apple crisp! Of course that is what was missing here. It has been way too long since we made this fall taste sensation. Made with several types of apples, coconut oil, gf oats, and all the right spices, this dessert is as hard to resist as it is simple to make. *GF, soy-free

(photo minimalistbaker.com)

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