dinner and a show

May 20, 2011
One of my favorite weeknight dinners of late consists of thinly sliced and seared tofu with just sea salt and ground pepper with roasted asparagus.  I saute the tofu in a smidgey-bit-o-sesame oil, throw the asparagus on a baking sheet drizzled in lemon juice, minced garlic and onion salt and about 15 minutes later, dinner's served.

But let's get to the real story.

That sold-out concert I might have mentioned that took place at the Beacon last night... the one where I planned to stroll up, casually swipe up some tickets from a scalper (or, ideally a sweet person just looking to sell their extras)?  A whole-heck-of-a-lot-of money down and some counterfeit tickets later, my ears heard nothing from the outside of the theatre.  On the bright side, I caught a wee bit of a free concert a few blocks away at Lincoln Center.  Free is good when you just emptied your wallet for a whole lot of nothing.  

it's zucchini, you silly goose!

I've been known to eat some really odd things for lunch.  I went so far as to start a weird lunch competition with my friend, Jon, but sadly he's a sore looser and gave up.

It's not unusual to hear from behind, what is that you're eating?  Yep, that's right.  I'm avocado-scooping whilst tomato-biting, in between banana-nibbling.  This skill has been polished through years and years of experience and began when I was just a little peanut.

I remember my teachers in elementary school remarking about my thermos full of chicken and sausage gumbo with a side of my favorite Tony's boudin.   Can you picture miniature me, surrounded by kids with their PB&J's and those famous Lunchables, shoveling in last-night's crawfish etouffee and fried okra?  I was a well-fed and adventurous kiddo.

Nothing's changed.  Yesterday, coworkers were intrigued (to say the least) by the lunch I packed for myself.   Confused as to why my "pasta" didn't have a sauce and inquiring about the green ends and specks on the "fettucini."  When I explained that my lunch wasn't in fact real pasta, they were more than surprised to hear that it was zucchini.

I love this dish for many reasons.  It's incredibly versatile and can be made with a variety of seasonings and sauces.  It's light enough for a quick lunch and can easily be made to a dense and filling dish for dinner.   It can be made warm or served as a cool "pasta" salad.  For now, my favorite lunch variation is super-garlicky and accented with oregano.

Lemon Oregano Zucchini Pasta
vegan, gluten-free
1 large zucchini squash,
juice of one lemon
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  1. Using a julienne peeler, (or a sharp knife and a lot of patience) finely peel your zucchini into thin strands into a large bowl.
  2. Add the juice of one lemon and mix with your hands (because it's fun to play with your food).
  3. Finely chop the onion and garlic and mix into "pasta."
  4. Sprinkle in salt, pepper and oregano.  Refrigerate and serve!