What’s for dinner?

New Year's Day

New Year’s Day dinner.  Field Roast with apples and sauerkraut.

You can’t possibly ask me to go without having some dinner.  It’s absurd.  I never go without my dinner.  No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.

~ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde wasn’t quite right.  Vegetarians (and people like that) don’t go without their dinners either (most of the time), but I imagine some people don’t consider a vegetarian meal a true meal in and of itself (and would probably walk away from the table hungry because they don’t consider it a true meal).  The other thing he didn’t mention is that some vegetarians forget all about photographing their meals and find themselves nearly finished eating before they do remember.  Ooops.  Too late.

Greens 'n All Beet Soup

Greens ‘n All Beet Soup

Karma’s challenge (which she called a blog-along, but it turned out to be a challenge for me) was to take pictures of dinner for a week and present them in a blog post.  Well.  It has been a while since I’ve practiced my food photography.  I realized early in (the first photo in this post) that this was not going to be very pretty.  Food photography requires scads of light.  Much more light than I can get in my kitchen at dinner time during the winter season.  Natural light, I’ve found, is the best for food.  Morning sunlight coming in through the kitchen window is the best of all.  But who eats dinner in the morning?  (I do.  Sometimes.  But we call it breakfast.)

Veggie burger with smoked Gouda, baked sweet potato fries, and roast Brussels sprouts

Veggie burger with smoked Gouda, baked sweet potato fries, and roasted Brussels sprouts

I have a blog category labeled “Mindfulness.”  I am thinking about adding one labeled “Unmindfulness.”  The light was not my only challenge.  As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I would frequently forget to photograph my food.  I wonder, now, if that wasn’t intentional.  The food M and I eat this time of year can look pretty blah.  That’s especially true of our New Year’s Day dinner.  The Field Roast was pretty enough, but everything else was in the white category.  An image of small piles of white food on a white plate is not drool-worthy, I can tell you that.  Here, have a look:

New Year's Day dinner revisited on the plate

New Year’s Day dinner revisited on the plate

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.  Unless there are three other people.

~ Orson Welles

Chickpea piccata over mashed potatoes and arugula

Chickpea piccata over mashed potatoes and arugula

See what I mean about white foods?  Chickpeas.  Potatoes.  Wine, capers (if you follow the recipe which I don’t because I don’t like capers), and lemon sauce.  At least some of the greenery (the arugula) is evident.  (If you want to see chickpea piccata  photographed right, this is the place.  You’ll find the recipe there, too.)

Spicy cauliflower and potatoes with kale

Spicy (curried) cauliflower and potatoes with kale

Look at that!  More white food.  More potatoes.  I have to laugh.  The things not photographed were much more colorful.  Roasted broccoli.  Salads made with a variety of greens.  Oranges.  Lemons.  Pizza!  The pizza puzzles me.  I know I took a photo of it.  Santa brought M a bread/pizza stone for the oven, and he’s made pizza twice since Karma made the announcement regarding this dinner challenge.  It was not only mighty tasty, it was mighty photo-worthy.


Oh.  Here it is. Pizza!

I found it.  Now I see why it was hidden.  It looked prettier than that in real life.

Caldo Verde (a vegan version made with tempeh)

Caldo Verde (a vegan version made with tempeh)

Caldo Verde and Chickpea Piccata are, for those who might want to know, the new comfort foods for me.  I especially like them on a cold, wintry day.  They are warming and, yes, comforting.  The recipe for the vegan version of Caldo Verde that I use is from the book Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes.  (You can find some of the recipes from the book (and more!) at The Post Punk Kitchen.)

Since I did keep forgetting to photograph the food over the course of one week, these dishes were made over the course of the past two weeks.  One of the great things about Karma’s challenges is that she’s always willing to bend the rules.

Today's view of the pond.  The snow is mostly gone.  The surface of the pond is still pretty solid (we saw a cat crossing it this evening and the cat did not fall in), and yes, the grass remains green like that all year round.

Today’s view of the pond. The snow is mostly gone. The surface of the pond is still pretty solid (we saw a cat crossing it this evening and the cat did not fall in), and yes, the grass remains green like that all year round.

That should do it for the dinner challenge.  Thank you for joining me.  I wish the food had been a little prettier, but it’s good, honest, and delicious food.  There’s something to be said for that.  Tonight’s dinner, by the way, are burritos from Taco Tonto’s.  Yummy!

Crossing over the highway

Crossing over the highway

The weather was amazing today.  M opened the back door this morning and said, “Welcome to April!”  That’s how it felt.  It was mostly cloudy with the occasional sunny spells.  We went for a walk over in Kent where the trail is paved.  It’s too muddy to be out in the woods or on other dirt trails.

I hope you’re having a delightful day, evening, or night… wherever and whenever you are on the spectrum of time.  🙂


41 Comments on “What’s for dinner?”

  1. Jaz says:

    Did you notice that your pic of the roast looks like a sunflower? 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I didn’t, Jaz, until I saw it as a thumbnail image instead of taking up the whole screen. I’m going to have to give my husband an extra hug. I’m not sure he noticed either, but I love sunflowers and he did the arranging (and cooking) of the Field Roast with sauerkraut. 🙂

  2. Okay. You need to see the pictures of my non meals. Your food looks fabulous! I’m too lazy to cook any more!

    • Robin says:

      Okay. Sounds good to me, Colleen. To be honest, I cook about once every 2-3 days, making enough for leftovers so I don’t have to cook. 🙂

      • Oh, well I was kidding. I don’t think I want to post pictures of my vegie chips. Or hard boiled egg. HAHAHAHAHA! They wouldn’t compare to your pictures! BUT…if I ever do cook a wonderful meal I will post you a picture of it! Leftovers, by the way, are the best. 🙂

  3. dadirri7 says:

    yummy dinners robin, and don’t worry about lack of colour … you are enjoying winter over there, while we have summer and plenty of colourful summer vegetables … your turn will come around 🙂 we have been living on juices for 7 days, today we will eat a big salad for lunch, then fish and steamed vegetables tonight … we ended our juices just in time for the first ripe tomatoes in the garden 🙂 your green grass looks beautiful, all ours is burnt brown now …

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Christine. 🙂 And thank you so much for that link to the story about The World Needs More Love Letters. I had to sign up right away. It’s such a wonderful thing to do. I used to leave books with a little note inside laying around for strangers to pick up. I stopped after 9/11, mostly because it didn’t seem a good idea to leave things unattended (having experienced a few security alerts as a result of someone leaving things unattended).
      I’ve often wondered what species of grass we have. Even during a drought the grass has managed to stay mostly green.
      The juicing sounds wonderful. I’m planning to start a juice fast and then an elimination diet soon.

  4. Joanne says:

    I didn’t end up joining in on this challenge Robin, between forgetting to take the photos and with my three large and hungry men in the house, I didn’t stand a chance! I will be back to look at some of the vegan recipes when I need inspiration for meals, as I love to eat food that is free of meat and have worked out how to keep the men happy ~ serve the vege dish and add a slab of meat on the side! Keeps them happy every time (and I don’t have to have the meat!) 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I know, Joanne!! I had the same problem. I’m always hungry by the time dinner is ready so taking photos of the finished product was the last thing on my mind. I did take some photos during the preparation stages, but they were a big disappointment so I didn’t use them. I used to do the same thing when I decided to cut back on meat. It’s a good way to keep yourself and the men happy. 🙂

  5. dadirri7 says:

    with your focus on love you might like to read this http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=374

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have to know what “field roast” is. And I too, thought the dish looked like a sunflower. Intended?

  7. bearyweather says:

    Amazing … green grass in January (not in my world) … the pizza looks pretty amazing, too.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Bearyweather. 🙂 It’s a weird grass. As I mentioned in a reply to a previous comment, I’m wondering what species it is. It seems like it’s always green.

  8. Karma says:

    I’m so glad you found some food to share in photos Robin! It wasn’t easy to do was it? Forgetting to take the photos was the theme I’ve heard so far from anyone who responded about this blogging idea. I’m also glad you posted pictures you felt were less than perfect – though they were perfectly fine!- it was never my intention to get all “food bloggery” (yep, making up words again). I just wanted to see what people eat for dinner without getting fancy. I have found that my 50mm lens does nicely for food under artificial light. With your camera you might get similar results on aperture priority, giving yourself a nice big ap to let in as much light as possible since as you said, we aren’t usually eating dinner when the best light is streaming into our kitchens!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Karma! It wasn’t easy at all. I’m usually too hungry to take the time to photograph my food. lol! Although I wasn’t happy with the photos, I decided to go ahead because I like the idea and it was fun (your challenges are always fun) and I figured you weren’t looking for perfection. Thank you so much for the suggestion regarding the big ap. I’ll give that a try next time. Maybe tomorrow night’s dinner. If I remember. 😉

  9. Good morning, Robin, from Oman! I guess it’s time to start thinking about dinner. Your chickpea piccata on mashed potatoes looks so delicious, as does the cauliflower dish! I have to check out the vegan cookbook! Thanks for sharing and getting me inspired to eat healthy!

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome, Cathy. 🙂 The cookbook has some great recipes. I highly recommend it. Her website is great, too, if you just want to sample some stuff before buying the book.

  10. Tammy says:

    I thought your field roast was a spicy ear of corn!

  11. Sallyann says:

    Looks good, especially the beet soup, it looks good in the white dish, next time you think of buying plates etc think of a plain colourful set. 🙂
    I have an orange side plate, dish and mug, bought for me a few years ago and I’m no good cook but my food always looks delicious when I use them. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I do love colorful plates, Sallyann. It always seems as though the plain white dishes are always on sale. Perhaps I’ll buy a plate and a bowl just for food photography purposes. 🙂

  12. “Welcome to April” is pretty close to what I said…we had fog and drizzle all day, and this morning looks the same, so far…
    While we’re not vegetarians, I do go meatless a couple of nights per week. Have to have sausages on the side for Hubby, though, or he’ll think he’s starving. My current infatuation is grains…might actually get a recipe posted soon 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Mmmm… grains. There are some interesting and delicious grains to be had these days, Marie. Looking forward to some recipes when you have time to share. 🙂

  13. Dawn says:

    These are really nice, and helpful as well as I’m trying to figure out a way to go meatless more often…with a meat loving husband. I’m going to go back and check out the links. Thanks!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 I’ve been easing some of my meat loving family members into vegetarian meals with some of the meat substitutes. That’s not really the best way to go for the long-term (as some of those things can be full of ingredients it’s hard to spell or pronounce, and are basically just another form of processed food), but it was a way to get them started. I particularly like Quorn products (their Chi’ken Tenders have a great texture and the carnivores in the family didn’t realize it wasn’t chicken in the stir-fry until I told them).

  14. You’re making me hungry!! and I say if you eat something and you’re not hungry anymore afterwards, it most certainly counts as a real meal…..even if it’s a slice of cheesecake! 😉
    Your veggie burger and sweet potato fries looks pretty tasty (I’ll pass on the brussels sprouts, though), and so does your New Years Day dinner….and the pizza!! You can (almost) never go wrong with pizza! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      That’s true, Michaela. It’s funny, though, that some meat eaters I know seem to think they can’t fill up on vegetables and grains. I do sort of understand it. I’ve noticed that on the rare occasions I eat meat, I feel heavy and weighed down by it. Veggies and grains tend to make me feel light.

      I don’t blame you about the Brussels sprouts. I didn’t used to like them at all. Roasting makes them much better. However, I can only eat so many before I’ve had enough until next year. lol!

    • dawnkinster says:

      Brussel sprouts are really good done this way…try it! You’ll be surprised!

  15. […] sat down to eat! If you aren’t super hungry at the moment, have a look at these posts by Deb, Robin, Dawn and Michaela. My post was the one I put up this past weekend, which I think most of you […]

  16. dearrosie says:

    I also thought your roast looked like a sunflower.
    I bought Mr F a bread/pizza stone for his birthday last year. So far he’s made pizza several times and bread zero times. He claims he can’t use the stone without the long paddle thingie i.e to get the pizza off the surface where it’s been rolled and readied and onto the preheated pizza stone and into the oven. How does M get the pizza off the board and onto the heated stone?

    • Robin says:

      Hi Rosie. 🙂 M scatters cornmeal on the peel (the long paddle thingie) and wiggles it around to make sure it isn’t sticking. Usually he uses so much cornmeal that it isn’t a problem. In fact, he uses so much that I find it all over the kitchen.

  17. Dana says:

    Funny, I always seem to take photos of my dinners, but I rarely find an opportunity to do anything with the pictures. (And another thing– there’s only so many times you can photograph grains, greens, and guacamole before it gets to be a little repetitive.) Those are the 3Gs of my regular eating habits. 🙂

  18. […] and I thought it would be a good subject for the prompt.  Besides, I needed to redeem myself after my last food post filled with white foods on white […]

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