Delicious food, photographed badly

I’m trying not to let my perfectionism and general loathing of food photographed under less-than-optimal lighting conditions get in the way of telling you about yummy things to cook and eat.

It is hard, though. I don’t like coming to this page and seeing photographs taken under fluorescent light, which is what tends to happen when I cook a dinner that doesn’t yield enough leftovers for a photoshoot in natural light the following day. But hey, I don’t like coming to this page and seeing I haven’t updated it for two weeks, so compromises must be made.

Tofu Triangles with Rich Peanut Sauce on a bed of steamed spinach

So on to some scrumptious eating. A recipe that has become a well-loved standard in my repertoire comes from Nava Atlas’ great book, Vegan Express. (Another one of my Christmas treats.) The meals in this cookbook truly are fast to prepare, and each recipe is accompanied by several suggestions for other recipes from the book with which to pair it, making it a great “turn off my tired brain and just follow directions” cookbook. I cooked up a batch of her Tofu Triangles in Rich Peanut Sauce and served them over steamed spinach for a perfect healthy, satisfying meal. There’s something about the combo of Thai flavors (in the peanut sauce) and steamed spinach that I’ve always loved, and this was a perfect way to enjoy them together.

Avocado Pesto Pasta and Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Zest

Next up is Avocado Pesto. That’s right, you heard me. It’s pesto. With avocado. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before? Now that I know, I don’t see a reason to eat any other kind of pesto ever again. Avocado and lemon is already one of my favorite combinations, and adding fresh basil and pine nuts and garlic takes that combo to a ridiculous new level. Then you put it on Tinkyada brown rice pasta, one of the greatest inventions of the modern age, and pair it with The Best Broccoli of Your Life, and you end up with the most hyperbolic meal known to mankind. In other words, quite tasty. I will be making this again. To say the least.

So there you have it. Bad lighting and indifferent composition (“And what does this piece say to you?” “It says whoever took this photograph was starving and ready for dinner.”) will be no obstacle to bringing you nummy reports from the front lines of vegan, gluten-free cooking!

9 comments on “Delicious food, photographed badly

  1. Tammy McLeod says:

    Oh, it’s too early in the morning for me to see tofu with peanut sauce but avocado pesto?? AMAZING! I have been learning slowly how I can make it with everything and am loving the outcomes.

  2. jessy says:

    i think your photos are just as tasty look’n as ever! your tofu triangles had me at hello and did you say pesto and AVOCADO?!?!?! i’ve never heard of avocado pesto either and i’m sitting here kicking myself for not finding out sooner and not thinking of the idea before. dan’s gonna flip his lid over this one – he’s a pesto fiend, and i want to say we have Vegan Express. i believe it was one of those couple ‘o first vegan cookbooks i bought and now i want to search around and find it so i too can get my peanut sauced tofu triangles on, too. mmmmmmmm!

    i too am glad that i’m not the only one who enjoys spending time in the kitchen making dinners with several components. i mean, i don’t get why everyone isn’t on board with this concept. 😉 i think maybe it’s because i love food to much to enjoy just one thing – i’ve gotta have a lot going down on my plate that my mouth & tummy to be happyfaced with. huzzah!

  3. Caitlin says:

    i got vegan express for christmas, too, but haven’t made anything out of it yet- i guess i should! that avocado pesto looks amazing, too! dayv and i eat tinkyada pasta, and i agree, it is certainly one of the greatest inventions of modern age 😉

  4. Sandra says:

    I think your photography is more than fine. Too many perfect photo shoots and the rest of us would start looking at our dinners and thinking – hey, my food doesn’t look that good! What am I doing wrong!?

    Funny, I was thinking tofu and peanut sauce for next week’s menu. Now I doubly inspired!

  5. Renee says:

    Your pictures are just fine! I don’t worry so much about it since blogging is just a hobby and I am not trying to make it a career. But at least we’re back to the days when the sun stays out a little longer and I might be able to get some good photos again.

    Regardless, that avocado pesto sounds mighty interesting!!! I wasn’t a huge avo fan until about 4 years ago and luckily we are now closer to CA and Mexico and we get better ones than we did in the Midwest. Yay! I would love that recipe…want to send it? Vegan Express is still on my PBS ‘wishlist’…so one of these days!

  6. As someone who is proud to have pioneered the crappy food photograph, I have to say, yours seem great! I am completely making the avocado pesto this week (we get 4 avos EVERY WEEK in the csa)! Thanks so much for posting!

  7. Johanna GGG says:

    under fluorescent light, starving, reading to eat – this sounds like how I take most of my photos – and perhaps my standards are low because I think these photos look quite tempting – especially the green on green of the avocado and broccoli

  8. […] basically followed all the instructions in this post (the second part, not the first), for “the most hyperbolic meal ever.” Indeed, […]

  9. Oh, I enjoyed your post. 🙂 Indeed, I whine to myself about limited photography settings and equipment and know-how… Carry on, my friend! Inspire anyway. Love your blog.

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