Ah, grocery shopping weekend! I might be a weirdo, but I genuinely look forward to going grocery shopping every 2 weeks. Since we were planning to be out of town on Sunday, I shopped on Saturday. I hit up Whole Foods as per usual, but before heading home, I made a stop at my local Asian market. If you haven't visited an Asian market in your area, you really should. It is a treasure trove of both unusual and tasty ingredients, as well as everyday ingredients at WAY cheaper prices than any grocery store. My good friend Jimbo introduced me to this particular market, and I can't thank him enough. Here are the goods from my trip this past weekend:
I got rice noodles, white miso paste, a couple tins of red curry paste, a green papaya, long beans, fresh lemongrass, wonton wrappers, and extraordinarily spicy chilies. I was so excited about these fun ingredients that I used a few of them Saturday night. I used the green papaya, a few long beans, and a couple chilies to make up a Thai salad. I also added carrot and tomato, along with a soy sauce based dressing with garlic, lime, peanuts, and lemongrass. My friend Jimbo whipped up a red curry with coconut milk, garlic, more long beans, potatoes, peppers, and onions, and we served it with jasmine rice. All in all, a great meal based around authentic ingredients you just won't find at your regular old grocery store.
And now to completely switch gears, I wanted to share this evening's dinner. In case you haven't heard about it (although you probably have), VeganYumYum is one of the best (and prettiest!) vegan blogs out there. There is even a VeganYumYum cookbook that can be yours with just a few clicks through Amazon, and would make a great holiday gift for any vegan in your life. Anyway, tonight I made my take on Asparagus and White Bean Pesto Tart. I was totally surprised to hear that Pepperidge Farm, of all brands, happens to make puff pastry that is vegan. Not something I would eat everyday, but it's nice to know it is there for me to use. I see it coming in especially handy in party situations; puff pastry is a great vehicle for all kinds of little hors d'ouvres. Anyway, this tart was absolutely delicious. It was simple to make and used basic, tasty ingredients. I loved the richness the cashews gave the white bean pesto, and despite the fact that I used dried basil in place of the suggested pesto paste, it came out great. Roasted asparagus is always yummy, and it was even better resting on the puff pastry and white bean tart. You can share this tart with another person and serve it alongside a raw salad for dinner (like I did), or cut it into smaller pieces for an appetizer or finger food. Either way, this recipe is a perfect way to use puff pastry and definitely worth trying in your own kitchen.