Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Breakfast

Music: Ben Lee, Awake is the New Sleep

One of the best parts of summer, in my opinion, is enjoying breakfast on my front porch. Nobody is outside, just me, the birds, and the sound of my fountain. I read a zine called List written by Ramsey Beyer and she likes to call it Porch Breakfast, which sounds just right. Food just seems to taste better when you eat it outside.

This is my usual morning muesli, which I have changed from my original recipe measurements. Instead of 1/2 C boiling water to 1/2 C rolled oats, I use 2/3 C boiling water to 1/2 C oats. The oats absorb a lot but this way it’s neither too thick or thin. I do this the night before & in the morning it's ready for me. I add ground flaxseed meal, almonds, 1 tsp turbinado sugar, & whatever fruit I have on hand. My favorite: blueberries!

I also love my coffee iced in the summertime. It’s strong, but it’s good. This is 2 shots of espresso, 2 tsp sugar, & ice cold soy milk served over ice.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vegan Inspiration

Music: Edie Brickell, Picture Perfect Morning

On Tuesday night, we attended a very interesting and inspiring lecture at the Troy Public Library, called "Diet as Disease Prevention." Presented by Dr. Kerrie Saunders (a Ph.D not an M.D.), she outlined the causes of a lot of chronic disease. She illustrated how a plant-based (vegan) lifestyle affects the body in a positive and healthy way, how one can meet all the daily nutritional requirements needed to be healthy, and provided resources as well as handouts of tons of useful information. I really enjoyed it. It was sponsored by VegMichigan and the next day I joined because they provide opportunities for vegan education, informational speakers and retreats, and potlucks and cooking demonstrations, not to mention the huge VegFest annually and their presence at local events including the upcoming Green Cruise on August 8th.

This is some barbecued seitan I made for us the night we attended the lecture. Mine is stuffed in a pita with lettuce, onions, & roasted zucchini and a side salad. Sooo easy:

Take a package of seitan (I used West Soy brand from Trader Joe's) and cut into chunks. Saute in skillet in tiniest bit of vegetable or olive oil then pour lots of barbecue sauce (to taste). The seitan is already cooked so you're only really warming it. Serve hot or cold.

To cut his calories, Jim opted for just a big salad with his seitan. Beautiful and delicious. Oh, and those are roasted green beans from his pole beans in the garden! We're picking them by the bag-full now. He made a dressing of white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, agave nectar, & Vegenaise with sea salt & pepper.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Salsa and Hummus Delights

Music: Billy Joel, The Stranger

After my last post, my friend (who had first introduced me to Vienna Cafe) told me that Vesena, the owner, had passed away two months ago. I felt sad to know that she lost her battle with cancer and also that the wonderful food she created was gone.

Today I’m filling up the refrigerator with little dishes I like to have on hand for quick meals. Here is my salsa (thank you, Cecilia, & Armando’s Mexican Restaurant for the outstandingly simple and delicious recipe) and a new hummus recipe, called Kid’s Dynamo Hummus, from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. I guess she calls it a kid’s hummus because there isn’t as much garlic in it (although you can add as much as you like!) and it has cashews, tahini, chickpeas, flax oil, & nutritional yeast which are all very nutritional ingredients.

3/4 C raw cashews (sometimes all I have on hand is roasted; I just reduce the salt)

3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (sometimes I use lime for fun)

1 1/2-2 C cooked chickpeas (garbanzos)

1 small clove garlic (or more!)

1 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp flax oil (you can use more olive if you don’t have flax oil)

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

5-6 tbsp water to thin dip as needed

In a food processor, combine cashews and lemon juice and puree until almost smooth. Add remaining ingredients except water and puree again until smooth, gradually adding water as desired to thin dip and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Season to taste with additional salt, more lemon juice, and/or nutritional yeast.

Eat with delight and abandon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vienna Cafe Salads

Music: Native American flute music

There used to be a wonderful little gem of a restaurant in Grosse Pointe Park called Vienna Cafe. It was on Mack Avenue between Outer Drive and Alter on the east side of the street.

The owners were from the former Yugoslavia and they made the most original, delicious, and delightful salads I’ve ever seen or tasted! They were really just plates filled to the brim with fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and either some sort of grain or, if you wished, meat or sausage. The soups were also delicious and the desserts one of a kind. It was the first time I had seen fruit mixed with vegetables. Growing up, we only had salad my father liked which was boring lettuce, tomato, & maybe sometimes sliced onions. Whatever the owners could get at Eastern Market they used in their creations: crisp apples, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, mixed right in with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cucumbers. And the house dressing was outstanding.

Sadly, last year, it closed due to illness when they couldn’t afford the rent. But my salad today is a tribute to Vienna Cafe.

There’s green beans, cucumbers, jalapenos, tomatoes, lettuce, blueberries, raspberries, onions, cherries, quinoa, roasted red peppers, pecans, hempseed, radishes, avocado, fresh basil, & peas.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Big Fresh Salads

Music: Blue October, Approaching Normal

Because the garden is producing very quickly now, I've just been making lots of impromptu salads with all kinds of fresh vegetables. This is leftover chickpea smash in a sandwich with a salad of roasted green beans and zucchini, cherry tomatoes (okay, only three cherry tomatoes but more is coming!), lettuce, jalapeno peppers, and onions. The only thing missing is cucumbers but those aren't ready yet. Oh, and beets.

In the summer, I find I'm not as hungry, so this satisfies just fine. Oh, and Jim made some more chocolate ice cream with the MimicCreme, which I told him he definitely must make for my dad's 70th birthday bbq in a few weeks. The meat eaters won't believe the taste! At least I hope so.

Speaking of that, I need to plan what salads to bring. I'm thinking of two salads with the recipes doubled since there will be about a dozen of us, plus garden burgers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing

Music: White Flag, Dido, Twilight (iPod) playlist

You never know where you'll find a good recipe! When I cancelled a magazine subscription last year to Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, they refunded me my money. Then they ceased publication and I started getting the pretentious Martha Stewart Living magazine. I called and told them that I had received a refund for my other subscription and didn't want this magazine but they said consider it a gift! Go figure. Waste of their money and resources, not mine.

Each issue is exactly the same. So I skim it for good vegan recipes or recipes that I can "veganize" before I recycle it. This one caught my eye in the latest issue. It's delicious and a wonderful way to use the kale growing in the garden.

Toss 2 large bunches of rinsed and dried kale, center ribs discarded, very thinly sliced crosswise (about 10 C); 1 colored bell pepper (I used 2 roasted red instead because it’s often hard to find colored organic peppers), diced; 2-3 carrots, thinly sliced crosswise, in a large bowl.

The dressing I used was reduced by half because I thought it made just too much.

Puree 1/4 C vegetable oil, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp salted peanuts, 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar, & 1/4 tsp sea salt in a blender until smooth.

Pour dressing over vegetables just before serving. Sprinkle with additional peanuts if desired. I ate it with a chickpea smash sandwich.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Quick Meals with Leftovers

Music: Madeleine Peyroux, Dreamland

My meals today included lots of little leftovers combined to make something quick and delicious. This is warmed pita bread, spread with the last of a white bean hummus (that Jim had made for his camping trip to Blue Lake last week), roasted beets, lettuce, and raw onions with a side of Coconut Lime Basmati Rice from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan. Too easy!
1 C dry brown basmati rice
1 13 oz can light coconut milk
1/2 C water
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (usually the juice of one lime)
1/4 tsp sea salt

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, lime juice, & sea salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, stir, then reduce to simmer, cover & let cook 35-40 minutes until liquid is absorbed & rice is done.

This rice is great tossed in salads later when you have leftovers. The combination of coconut & lime is delicious and different.

For lunch I had a hummus sandwich on toasted French Peasant bread, with roasted beets, parsley, lettuce, & onions with a pickle on the side. I also ate half of a scone with my coffee for dessert.
Tomorrow I plan to make something with the zucchini that's starting to come fast in the garden and I also have some beautiful purple potatoes I got from the Farmers' Market. Stay tuned for more good vegan food!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Music: Keane, Perfect Symmetry

This is yet another new recipe from You Won't Believe It's Vegan and, at this point, I think I'll just buy this book as all the recipes I've tried I've really liked. Most are very simple like this one.

These are Lemon Blueberry Scones but they were more of a cross between a muffin and a cupcake. Other scone recipes I've made came out much denser and firmer (as I believe scones should be). In those recipes I think cutting in soy margarine made the difference. Nevertheless, made with fresh blueberries from the Farmers' Market, these were delicious.

3 C whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 C chopped walnuts

2 C blueberries

3/4 C oil

1 organic lemon, zested & juiced

1/4 C sugar plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling

1/4 C pure maple syrup

3/4 C soy milk

1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts & blueberries.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, lemon zest, 1/4 C of sugar, maple syrup, soy milk, vinegar, & vanilla & lemon extracts.
  3. Add wet mixture to dry until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Drop dough in 1/4 C (or less) scoops about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with remaining sugar if desired.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy with a cup of tea.

I split one with Jim for dessert along with some cherries and my lemon blossom tea.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fashion and Style

Music: Ben Lee, The Rebirth of Venus

As I've mentioned before in this blog, somehow being vegan made me look more closely at the world around me and how I was doing things.

Around the same time I went vegan in 2007, I started buying all my clothes (and sometimes shoes) used at the Salvation Army, thrift shops, or vintage clothing stores. Living in Royal Oak, there are many, such as Lost and Found Vintage, T.J.'s Sweet Repeats, & Mother Fletcher's. I also like the Neighborhood Thrift Store & Salvation Army in Grosse Pointe. Most of the clothes are barely worn; in fact, many still have price tags on them! I've found designer labels from JCrew and Calvin Klein to DKNY & BCBG. Best of all, I rarely pay more than $8 for each item! Compare that to when I used to buy brand new Gap jeans for $50! Crazy! And I'm much happier with the fit and style of the clothes I buy. They're broken in since they've been worn and washed.

I first started haunting the Salvation Army in Royal Oak after I complimented a woman who was wearing the cutest cherry colored capris. I asked where she got them and she told me, "Salvation Army for $3!" That was that.

I like to dress uniquely and I always hated shopping at department stores or malls. Boring! Buying used means combing the racks, but it's fun! Everything is organized, clean, and arranged by garment then either color or size.

I get lots of compliments on my clothes and part of the fun is watching peoples' faces when I tell them where I shop. I'll never go back to retail. There's so many clothes waiting to be worn again that there's no need to buy new.

Additionally, I also buy all my dishware, pots and pans, picture frames, and art work used.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some New Recipes

Music: fountain burbling

Jim made up this quick little curry-like mix of zucchini squash, petite diced tomatoes, & beet greens seasoned with basil & oregano from the garden, minced garlic, sea salt, & fresh ground pepper. We served it with brown rice and I made a little salad of lettuce, roasted beets, cucumbers, & onion.

And I’ve been trying out different recipes in You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan. I’m still not sure if I will buy the book but I’m leaning toward buying it because the recipes are very good! I was excited to try an easier falafel recipe because most recipes I find require that you fry the falafel patties, which makes so much mess, not to mention all of that oil! This one bakes them in the oven and the ingredient list isn’t daunting.

1/2 C bulgur

1/2 tsp olive oil, plus extra for baking

1 C cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-oz can, drained & rinsed

1/2 large onion, diced

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dry)

1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp dried coriander

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil.

  1. Soak bulgur in warm water (enough to cover it) for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Saute onion in 1 tsp olive oil until slightly soft.
  3. Combine chickpeas, onion, parsley, flaxseed, garlic, salt, & spices in a food processor & blend until combined but not completely smooth.
  4. Drain bulgur & stir some into the chickpea mixture so it holds together but isn’t too sticky. This is where I had a little trouble as they didn’t want to stick together very firmly. So I chilled it a bit. I think I might have added a touch too much bulgur but they did form into golf ball-size balls okay.
  5. Place balls onto baking sheet. The recipe said to flatten them slightly but I was afraid they’d fall apart if I did, so I left them as is.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown, turning baking sheet halfway through baking time.

I served them in warmed pita halves with lettuce, radishes, & roasted beets with Tahini Sauce. Which you make like this:

1/4 C tahini

6 tbsp water

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Pinch sea salt

Combine all in blender until smooth.

I will use the leftover falafel in salads or mashed with some tahini sauce or Vegenaise with veggies. Delicious and easy. A very good recipe.

This is just the leftover orzo salad from the other day served with lots of extra veggies for a quick dinner.

And for lunch today I made a tofu sandwich with side salad. Quick, easy, delicious, fresh, & good for you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just Another Farmers' Market Saturday

Music: George Harrison

We got so much wonderful produce at the Farmers’ Market today. And they had blueberries for the first time this year--major excitement! I also got some radishes, black raspberries, beets, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, a cucumber, & Old Mission cherries.

With all these wonderful veggies, we decided to make a quick stir-fry for lunch with some brown rice. Jim made a sauce with papaya nectar, arrowroot, ginger, soy sauce, agave nectar, & brown rice syrup.

I added a salad of lettuce, avocado, radishes, & onions with white wine vinegar & olive oil, sea salt, & ground pepper.

Jim opted just for stir-fry.

Yesterday, I tried a new salad recipe called Tara's Mediterranean Pasta Salad from You Won't Believe It's Vegan!
Super easy!

1 1/2 C uncooked orzo (cook, run under cool water, then set aside)
15 Spanish olives, cut in half
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
a few small zucchini squash, chopped
1 6-oz jar of marinated artichokes, drained then chopped
chopped parsley
garlic cloves, minced, as many as you want (I used 3, the recipe called for 6)
1 tsp Italian spice (I made my own from the book's recipe of 2 tsp each of basil, oregano, & marjoram, & 1 tsp sage)
Olive oil & white wine vinegar as dressing to your preference (the books says 1/3 C! I think not! More like 1-2 tbsp) I used white wine vinegar because I didn't have lemons--I much prefer the juice of a lemon or lime as dressing

I sauteed the onion and the zucchini in a few tsp of olive oil with the Italian spice until softened, then set aside to cool. Then in a large bowl combine everything. Chill in the refrigerator to blend flavors. If you want, you can also add chopped tomato, capers, and black or Kalamata olives.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Some Vegan Sandwiches

Music: Bessie Smith

For dinner the other night after work, I sauteed a very large portobello mushroom from the Farmers' Market. In a skillet, I added a little bit of water to simmer it in until almost all the liquid was absorbed. Then I sauteed it in a tsp of olive oil, sea salt, & ground pepper. As you can see, it was so big, it was larger than my bun! I served it with a bit of Vegenaise, sauteed onions & lettuce with a little side salad of more lettuce, onions, & leftover roasted beets.

And this was just a quick sandwich of roasted zucchini (from the garden!), onions, & beets with lettuce on toasted sprouted Trader Joe's bread, leftover Quinoa Salad, and more roasted zucchini, avocado, & parsley.

Yesterday, I visited my good friend in Grosse Pointe, where we grabbed takeout from the Sprout House, then watched the boats go by on Lake St. Clair in Patterson Park. I ate a tofu sandwich with grated carrots, sprouts, and sun dried tomato with potato chips. It was a gorgeous day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Salad

Music: Iron & Wine

A co-worker (thanks, John!) recently showed me a new cookbook called You Won't Believe It's Vegan! by Lacey Sher & Gail Doherty. I've been perusing it for a couple of weeks now and, while some of the recipes are very good and there's several I'm looking to make, I'm really surprised how much oil is used in the recipes. Even Sarah Kramer's beloved cookbooks really lay on the oil and, since Jim has been reducing calories, I've been eye-balling oil amounts & using them sparingly. You don't need as much oil as many recipes call for, especially if you're halving them like I sometimes do since I'm only cooking for 2.

That said, I tried the Quinoa Salad recipe yesterday for lunch and it's excellent! The only ingredient I didn't have was the corn but sometimes you don't feel like that corny taste, you know? So I think it was good that I didn't have it after all.

The recipe called for 2 cups quinoa which I thought was crazy, since it doubles when it cooks. I did not halve the veggies and 1 C of quinoa was plenty for this salad. I don't like the grain to overwhelm the salad, I like it to be sort of equal amounts grain & veggies. So I used 1 cup when I cooked it. Always rinse quinoa first because it has a bitter coating on it. Cook it in 1 1/2 cups water, covered, until all the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Any package of quinoa you buy will have cooking instructions. Remove from heat and let rest about 10 minutes, covered. Then uncover it and fluff it with a fork and allow to cool a bit.

For the dressing, again I halved everything. The original recipe calls for 1/4 C fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 C finely chopped cilantro, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tsp sea salt, black pepper to taste. I used 1 tbsp lemon juice (all I had), 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 C cilantro, garlic powder (ran out of garlic!), 1/2 tsp sea salt, & pepper to taste. Combine all in a small bowl.

For the salad, in a large bowl, add 1/2 an onion, diced, 1 large carrot, grated, chopped roasted red peppers (I think I used an entire pepper from the jar), & the cooked quinoa. Add dressing and mix well. If you want to add corn, add 1 C fresh or thawed frozen (you can also used canned, rinsed well, of course).

The recipe recommends that you chill and allow flavors to blend for about 30 minutes but who am I kidding? It was lunchtime, I ate it, the quinoa cooled quickly, and it was delicious!

I served it with roasted beets from the Farmers' Market--different pretty colors, too!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Natural Air Conditioning

Music: Cornsmoke (native American flute)

A vegan blog talking about something other than food? Well, it just naturally turns to that. Once I started to pay better attention to my body, I started to look at my world around me more closely and what I can do naturally and more gently on the earth. That’s how I feel about air conditioning.

I didn’t grow up with central air. In fact, we didn’t have it in my parents’ house until I was a sophomore in college. It was in 1988, after a string of very hot days when my mother insisted to my father that they finally get it. My room upstairs was always too cold in winter & too hot in summer so it didn't really matter to me. Of course, in the dorms in grad school, there was no air conditioning either but the thick plaster walls & carpet-less floors somehow kept it cool.

Since moving out of my parents’ house, however, I haven’t had it except for when we purchased new furnaces in our last two houses. I didn’t even think about it and I suspect most people don’t. (I probably think about things way more than the average person; another Taurus I work with would agree with me wholeheartedly).

In my current house, I have the furnace checked every 2 years. It’s an old furnace, installed in 1979, but the service repair company tells me it’s in fabulous shape. The last time I had it checked, the man told me that it was in such good shape because we not only took care of it but also because it didn’t have air conditioning attached to it. He said that we run our furnace only about 6 months out of the year whereas with air conditioning, you’re using it year-round. So, of course, it isn’t going to last as long. Makes sense. But that got me thinking. I don’t think I’ll have air conditioning put in if and when we replace this furnace after all.

I don’t like being cold. I enjoy hot weather. As my grandmother always told me, "You'd feel a lot cooler if you stopped moving around so much!"

I work in a library, however, and it is climate controlled. Translation= too cold in the summer for me! I feel like I’m in a refrigerator. I love the feel of the warmth on my skin in the air and I open my windows at home whenever I can.

So how do I keep my house comfortable when the temperatures climb in the summertime? I leave the windows open all night long and I put a fan in my living room window drawing the cool air inside then, in the morning, I close them trapping the cool air inside the house. I then draw all the shades and curtains on the sunny parts of the house. The temps in my house rarely exceed 78 degrees even when it’s in the 90s. I do have ceiling fans and a room a/c in my bedroom for the rare sticky hot night or when Woodward Avenue is just too loud!

I think not having a/c also helps me keep a perspective on how warm it really is. I have to laugh when people complain that 80 is too hot. Here in Michigan, I wait all winter long for summer so you will never hear me complain that it’s too hot. (Too cold, definitely)!

I’ll still have to wear a sweater inside the library all summer but I go outside and sit in the Peace Garden every break I get.

And don’t forget: not having air conditioning means your electric bill is lower.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some Summer Eats

Music: Silent Violet

This blog post might be a little long today (and longer than I usually like to make it), but I was away from the computer this weekend for the holiday and wanted to catch up all my delicious meals.

This past week has been some very good eating. I refuse to eat bad food & most people who know me know that it is a #1 priority with me. If it isn't good, I won't eat it. Taste trumps all.

This is a Veggie BLAT from (of all places) Gwyneth Paltrow's blog, called GOOP. A Facebook friend turned me on to this site; she still eats meat but is very into healthful living so some of her recipes are vegan, like this one. I tried some LightLife Smart Bacon for the first time and, while I don't like to eat a lot of processed foods or "mock meats," this adds a nice flavor to this sandwich. That's toasted French Peasant Bread (from Breadsmith), spread with Vegenaise, with avocado, tomatoes from the Farmers' Market (hothouse, which weren't fabulous but just okay but very juicy), lettuce from the garden and, just because I love it, sliced onion. We ate it with side salads & steamed beet greens.

On Thursday, I made this Jerk-Spiced Seitan from Vegan Express. In a bowl, I combined 1/2 C fruit nectar (I used papaya but you could also use mango or pineapple) with 1 tbsp cornstarch until dissolved, then I added 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, & 1 tsp jerk seasoning. I served it over jasmine rice with a little side salad of lettuce, onions, & Spanish olives with a little sea salt, pepper, & lemon juice.

Then I took a package of seitan and sauteed it in 1 tbsp olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat with one small sliced onion. When it was nicely browned and the onions translucent, I added the jerk mixture, which I improvised because I didn't have ready-made Jamaican jerk spice seasoning. Heat until warmed through evenly.

This is some leftovers (of the chickpea toss & rice) with a side salad and some refried beans, a recipe from The Garden of Vegan:

2 tbsp soy margarine (I used Shedd's Willow Run)
2 C cooked or canned pinto beans (DO NOT RINSE IF USING CANNED)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

In a medium pan on medium-high heat, melt margarine until bubbling, then add beans & cook for about 3 minutes Add onions, salt, & pepper but don't stir. Reduce heat & cook until onions have softened. Mash the beans to your desired mushiness (I like to mash only about 1/2 of them because I like the whole bean rather than a cream).
This was an outstanding impromptu salad (my favorite), with half of a Tofurkey sausage (Jim got the other half), diced avocado, pepperoncini, chopped carrots, leftover basmati rice, Spanish olives, slices of onion, and cilantro, parsley, & lettuce from the garden.

This past weekend, I made some of my salsa recipe, made with the first jalapenos from the garden as well as some fresh cilantro which is coming in like crazy. I'm picking it every day now so it doesn't bloom. So good!

Over the weekend, I spent every evening at Detroit's Cityfest, listening to live music. We only ate there on the last day. What did I eat? I got some pita with hummus and half a falafel wrap from Motown Kabob, which was surprisingly good. I just asked them what ingredients they used to make their food & told them I was vegan. The spread in the falafel wrap was a tahini mixture and it was oddly good. Odd because there was chopped dill pickle in it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fancy Lunch that Only Looks Fancy

Music: George Harrison

The kale is coming fast & furious in the garden. Jim is growing three kinds: dragon, red Russian, and green. I picked several large leaves to steam yesterday morning. It filled the skillet but you know how kale (& spinach & mustard & beet greens) always shrinks dramatically. I just rinsed it really well and put it dripping wet in the skillet, covered it, & let it steam until done. Then I drizzled in the tiniest little bit of toasted sesame oil and Braggs.

I served it with some simple basmati rice and Chickpea Toss. I also cut up an avocado & added some leftover roasted beets for the side. I think it took about 30 minutes to make it all. Best of all, there were leftovers! The chickpea toss can be eaten cold tossed into a salad and so can the rice for another meal.

Jim picked some baby zucchini yesterday so I plan to make something with that for lunch today. Stay tuned for the next deliciously awesome vegan recipe!