Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Little Bit of Spring in the Air

I can’t believe how warm it is outside! They say we’ll hit 55 degrees (or even break a record). While it feels nice I’m a little worried about the freeze-thaw effect on my plants. J. says that snow helps protect the plants during very cold weather. And as it’s only February 10 there’s a lot more cold weather to come.

But it feels like spring today; it’s even sunny! A real Michigan winter treat.

I’m thinking a lot about the herbs I’m going to grow again this summer. Parsley, sage, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, lavender (my special favorite), and J. will grow his endless supply of basil! I’m also going to grow my cherry-size tomatoes; I change every year the kind I buy. Sometimes I get the little pear-shaped yellow or red ones, sometimes grape-size. The grocery store “cherry” tomatoes are just too big. The size I prefer are the kind you can just pop in your mouth. Of course, I still slice them because I think they look really pretty inside! I also plant green peppers & jalapenos for my salsa. I get all my herbs, peppers, & tomatoes from Royal Oak in Bloom every Mother’s Day. I’m too impatient to start things from seeds, but J. does.

Today I made some Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice and black beans to go along with the leftover salad from yesterday. The rice recipe is from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan while the black beans is my own recipe.

1 C dry brown basmati rice (you can also use regular brown rice instead; sometimes I use white basmati rice—I just cook the rice for only 15-20 minutes instead of 35-45 minutes)

1 can (13.5 oz) light coconut milk

1/2 C water

2-2.5 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 tsp sea salt

In a saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, lime juice & salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, stir, then reduce heat to low, cover, & cook for 35-45 minutes until liquid has absorbed & rice is cooked.

Black Beans

Put 1/2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil) in a saucepan with 1/2 of a chopped onion and chopped green pepper (if I can’t find organic green pepper I leave it out). Cook until onion is translucent. Add 1 can of black beans (with liquid), sea salt, pepper, & cumin to taste. Add 1 tsp sugar and stir. I usually also add green Spanish olives (with the pimientos) for a nice color & flavor. That’s it!

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