565 posts tagged food
People living their passions, that’s what life is all about, right? And what if you could live your passion in your work? Win win! I can’t wait to introduce you to two inspiring folks doing just that…
A few months back, I received a friendly email from the lovely Sarah O’Toole, a recent San Diego transplant & the creator, along with her fiancé Peter, of Cooking with CSA introducing me to their program & offering to share some of their seasonal plant-based recipes with Vegenista readers. As I learned more about their program, inspiration, & philosophy, I more than welcomed the offer to share their awesome work here. I’ve been a local CSA (community supported agriculture) subscriber for the past 4 years, & feel strongly about eating as locally, seasonally, & organically as possible, so the notion of “Cooking with CSA” is right up my alley. Also, as you may remember, I am an educator, so as I learned more, I realized we shared an even greater passion - educating children about healthy food - I was even more excited to share their mission. As a speech-language therapist in the public schools, I am often astonished & astounded by what I see children consuming - whether it’s from the school lunch program, or their own lunch boxes. Most kids don’t know what “real food” is or where it comes from. It’s such a shame, & there has got to be another way! And fortunately Sarah & Peter intend to pave that way…
Cooking with CSA was born out of Sarah & Peter’s mission to educate kids, inspire teens & empower young adults to take responsibility for their health. They wanted to show younger generations how fun eating healthy could be, so they began teaching plant-based cooking classes in San Diego schools for children. And they admit, at first it was hard, while being armed with “Kale Juice, Collard Wraps & Quinoa Salad” often evoked strange looks. But the students eventually embraced it, & those who only ate white pasta were asking for kale juice by the end of the program! While the classes were great, as time went on more & more parents approached Sarah & Peter asking for recipes & support, because they did not know how to make kale chips or green smoothies their kids were asking for. They had no idea where to buy these products or how to cook them. And if they didn’t have the resources they needed…healthy eating couldn’t happen!
Cooking with CSA now offers a Seasonal Recipe Subscription site which gives parents all the resources & tools they need to get their family to eat healthy & love it.Their goal is to get people to shop locally & really take advantage of all the wonderful farmers’ markets we have here in sunny San Diego, cook more, & use fresh, local, organic ingredients. That is certainly something I can get behind!
And, in the kind spirit of Thanksgiving, Sarah lovingly offered these two beautiful recipes, full of healthy, but tasty, organic ingredients. These dishes are very likely going to grace my holiday table, & will be a healthful treat to the whole family! Enjoy!
"Pumpkin Seed Salad"
(Makes 1 large salad, serves 2-4)
- 1 head of lettuce
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 of a red onion
- 2 carrots
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1 package flax tempeh
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika (or 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke)
- 1 Tbsp. tamari (or water)
- Tbsp. garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp. olive or flax oil
- 2 lemons juiced
- 2 Tbsp. honey (maple syrup or agave, if vegan)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- dash of sea salt
- Chop tempeh into small cubes. Place in a medium bowl. Add remaining tempeh ingredients. Stir well and set aside
- Chop lettuce, tomatoes, onions & grate carrots. Place in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Next make the dressing: grind pumpkin seeds in a coffee grinder. Place pumpkin seeds in a glass measuring cup or medium bowl.
- Mince garlic & add it along with the remaining dressing ingredients to measuring cup or bowl. Mix well.
- When ready to serve, add tempeh to bowl and then top with dressing, mix well. Add salt & pepper if desired.
"Rich Chocolate Cake with Fresh Apples"
(Makes 1 loaf)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flax meal to 3 Tbsp. water)
- 1 cup coconut buttermilk (add one lemon wedge to milk and stir, let sit for 10 minutes)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder (or cocoa)
- 1/4 cup toasted carob powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 dash sea salt
- 2 apples
- Preheat oven to 350°F & line a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Make the flax egg & coconut buttermilk, set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a silicon spatula & mash the coconut oil until smooth. Add the sugar & mix until smooth.
- Add the flax “egg” & mix even more, then add the coconut buttermilk & vanilla.The batter will look a bit uneven & will separate, that’s normal.
- Sift the flour, cacao, toasted carob, baking soda, baking powder & salt together into the wet ingredients. Stir well with a metal spoon, but don’t over mix.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl, making sure that all the ingredients are well blended. Then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Top with 8-12 thin apple slices, laying them two by two, they will overlap slightly. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.
- Cool in pan on a rack for about 15 minutes, at which point you can remove cake from pan & slice.
I hope you enjoyed meeting these inspiring healthy eating crusaders & encourage you to visit their website, learn about their programs, & check out their calendar of events. And, if you’re local…
Come celebrate at the CSA Holiday Party! For the first time ever they’ll be gathering members from ALL the different CSA’s in San Diego! Meet others facing the same challenges, but gaining the same benefits, learn secrets to making the most out of your box, get a packet of Cooking with CSA’s favorite fall & winter recipes - perfect for the upcoming holidays - & get their top 5 kid friendly CSA Recipes! Learn more here.
***(photos courtesy of Cooking with CSA)
Cauliflower Steak with Mushroom Gravy, Gobhi Musallam, & Lasagna Bechamel. Click here to see more Indian-inspired Thanksgiving dishes.
So this post was a long time coming! Something I meant to share weeks ago, but I’ve been too darn busy. Anyhoo…I’ve got an exciting review for you!
After reading Choosing Raw’s write up & interview with the creator of Hampton Creek Foods, producer of the truly innovative products "Beyond Eggs" & "Just Mayo," I was super intrigued & wanted to give it a try for myself. The only problem? It’s not available in stores yet! So I decided to reach out to them & ask if they would be interested in sending me a few samples to review for Vegenista. Almost immediately, the wonderful people at Hampton Creek Foods emailed back & said they’d be happy to send me “samples” right away. A few days later a large box arrived with beyond generous “samples” of their Just Mayo, Chipotle Mayo, Beyond Eggs for Cookies & a recipe book. Wow. Just. Wow.
For the 1st half of this review I am going to focus on the mayo. So what’s the big idea? "Just Mayo" is a sustainable, delicious It’s a full fat mayonnaise that uses "Beyond Eggs" in place of egg yolk in the emulsification process. In addition it’s….
- Non GMO
- Lactose Free
- No Artificial Colors or Flavors
And…I am delighted to report….it’s good! I’ve done other reviews of vegan mayos, & i am often disappointed. Nothing ever seems to compare to everyone’s coveted Vegenaise. To my surprise, in a side by side taste test with Vegenaise, Just Mayo held it’s own. I found them to be very similar in taste & texture. The differences, Just Mayo has a slightly thinner texture, & there is the tiniest bit of sweetness in the finish.
The Chipotle Mayo has a nice little kick to it, without being too spicy or over powering. It would be perfect on a vegan burger, or would make a nice zesty vegan coleslaw!
It’s back to school time, which means back to work for me at my job as a Speech & Language therapist, & back to packing early morning lunches! Most of the time I throw together a quick salad of fresh lettuce, veggies, legumes, avocado & homemade dressing, but sometimes I crave sandwiches too & one of my favorites Tofu “Egg” Salad. I have a few different variations that I like to play with - traditional, curried, truffled, etc. & I like to keep it served simply on ezekiel bread with lettuce & sprouts. It makes for a wonderful & satisfying lunch on the go since I am usually working at my desk, or en route to a therapy session when lunchtime rolls around! For this review I tried a spin on my more “traditional” version, using the Chipotle Mayo where I would normally use my tried & true Vegenaise. And it did not disappoint. Creamy, zesty, crunchy & delicious. This is my new fave!
"Beyond Eggless Salad" featuring Hampton Creek Foods’ Chipotle Mayo
Makes 4 servings
- 1 package of organic extra firm tofu, pressed & drained
- 1/2 cup vegan chipotle mayo
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 green onions (white & green parts) finely diced
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
- 3/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp, freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Crumble tofu with your hands into a large bowl.
- Add vegan mayo, red pepper, green onions, parsley, mustard, turmeric, salt & pepper, & mix thoroughly.
- Serve in a lettuce cup, between 2 slices of sprouted whole grain bread, scooped into a pita pocket, or wrapped in a whole grain tortilla.
Is it bad to admit that I liked the Chipotle Mayo so much that I’ve already used the whole jar? Yep, guilty as charged. In addition to making a delightful eggless salad, the Chipotle Mayo is also wonderful on avocado toast for just an added bit of zing, as a sandwich spread of course, & even used as an aioli dip for sweet potato fries (oh yes she did!).
So the question on your minds probably is…would I spend my hard earned money on a jar of this stuff? Why, yes, yes I would. Absolutely! So when can you grab a jar of this for yourselves? Soon, I hope! In the meantime, you can ask for Just Mayo at the prepared foods/deli section of your local Whole Foods which will help increase demand so that Hampton Creek Foods products can get their products into stores & on to shelves faster.
And stay tuned for a “Beyond Eggs for Cookies” review in the very near future. Now that the temperature has cooled down enough for me to turn on my oven, it’s time to bake some cookies!
Review Disclaimer: These products were sent to me free of charge for editorial review. All opinions are my own.
More Vegan Goodness to Infiltrate the Monkey Paw Menu!
Hey y’all! Remember last week when I broke the exciting news about LOVELIKEBEER’s “Menu Series 2” collaboration with Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery? And didn’t I promise that I had an exclusive inside tip to share? Well here it is folks: in addition to LOVELIKEBEER’s 100% vegan, 100% scrumptious, & 100% awesome “Mumbai Monkey Sandwich,” a few other vegan-friendly versions of Monkey Paw’s classic menu items will also be appearing on the launch party menu!
Browse the reviews & you’ll “hear” many a Yelper singing the praises of Monkey Paw’s "Stoner Fries" - crispy waffle fries smothered in meat, veggies & cheese, & the "Cheesesteak Sandwiches" - which of course is just more meat, veggies & cheese on a hoagie. But they also get a few slaps on the wrist from some forlorn & hungry craft beer loving vegetarians, disappointed in the lack of veg-friendly options. We deserve more than plain waffle fries & ketchup, am I right?
Well, my compassionate friends, high, dry, & hungry vegans we will be no more as the Monkey Paw chefs have brilliantly concocted an almond milk based vegan cheese! What does that mean exactly? It means that starting July 24th (that’s Wednesday dudes!) the Stoner Fries (see photo above!) & ALL of the existing Cheesesteaks can be ordered with vegan cheese & San Dieg Soy Dairy tofu. Yeah, take that “Cheesesteak!”
Thank you, Monkey Paw, for making it easier for pub-crawling vegans to get their grub on, & thank you, LOVELIKEBEER, for heading up ”Operation Veganize San Diego!”
While LOVELIKEBEER’s ”Mumbai Monkey Sandwich,” with part of the proceeds supporting this awesome shelter, will be around for time & all eternity (yeah, that’s a stretch, but we sure hope it’s a reaaaally long time!!!), it’s not known how long these other vegan munchies will be available. So do us all a favor & patronize the Paw, order up the animal friendly “Cheesesteak,” go crazy on the “cheezewiz” with the veganized “Stoner Fries,” & show San Diego bar & restuarant owners that we mean serious business, a.k.a, we like to EAT!
For more details & to RSVP to the launch party click here. Hope to see you all there!
Every once & a while a day comes along where there is not much on the agenda. No work, no plans, no obligations. Perhaps a jog, or a yoga class to fill in some space, otherwise…an empty calendar. Days like this, I most often find myself gravitating towards the kitchen, immersing myself in some sort of culinary undertaking. If I could spend all of my days like this, I would.
On this particular lazy morning, I awoke to a grey sky & wet ground. Could it be? Rain? A rare occurrence in typically “sunny” San Diego, but one that is always welcome by me. And when the weather turns, I like to bake. But first, coffee, email, & a scroll through the tumblr dash, & I stumbled upon a recipe for "Strawberry Lemon Chia Jam" from this darling blog, Going Home to Roost.
I had a basket of berries from the CSA which, as you can see, were nearing expiration. I knew I had to put them to use while still salvageable, not to mention I am always looking for new ways to sneak chia seeds into my diet!
And…I get to use one of my Wreck Canning Jars! Yay! I love these! I saw them on Bittersweet & had to start a collection. I get them from Pigment in San Diego’s North Park ‘hood, but they’re also available at Crate & Barrel. They’re great for jams, obviously, but also salad dressings, pickles, etc, & there is even a “juice jar” which I find is perfect for homemade nut milk. I’m obsessed.
This jam could not have been easier to prepare. Fresh berries, chia seeds, lemon juice, & agave. No need for store bought with added sugars & preservatives when you can easily DIY? And the flavor? Outstanding. The bright & zest lemon marries beautifully with sweet & summery strawberries. Once set, the chia seeds expand in their “gelatinous” way, giving this jam great texture without the use of gelatin (yuck) or pectin, & also giving you a great source of omega-3s & antioxidants.
So, what to pair with it? Not any ol’ piece of toast would do. I thought about muffins, or biscuits, & then…scones. I became a lover of scones when my old house mate & very best friend Anne used to spend her weekend mornings making all manner of scones - coming up with tasty & often unique flavor combinations with different berries, herbs, preserves, etc. She was definitely an artisanal scone bakestress, & I owe my love of scones to her. However, my previous attempts at vegan scone making failed to impress, so I’d learned to live without them. Until now. It was time to see if I could a vegan scone recipe that would pair perfectly with my jam. And thus, I came across this "Lemon Vegan Scone" recipe that seemed as complimentary to my jam, as it was promising. The only problem? I was out of flour. So I put whole wheat pastry flour to the test, hoping to impart a lighter texture, than the “stone brick” scones I’d made in the past. And I am happy to report…it worked!
"Whole Wheat Lemon Scones"
(adapted from The Healthy Everythingtarian)
- 3 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup vegan sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon zest
- 8 Tbsp. cold coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt & lemon zest. With a pastry cutter or with your hands, cut coconut oil. into dry ingredients. Mixture should be crumbly. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, lemon juice & ACV. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, until it begins to curdle. Add vanilla extract.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients & fold gently with a spatula until dough comes together. It will be sticky. On a heavily floured surface, knead dough gently. Place on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, & form into a circle approximately 1 to 2 inches thick. Brush with almond milk & sprinkle with extra sugar.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until scones are golden brown on the edges.
The scones were light & fluffy, & a bit on the crumbly side, but better crumbly than a solid brick! They were just lovely with the tangy strawberry jam & might be even better with a drizzle of sweet vanilla glaze! A definite addition next time.
Enjoy! I sure did!
Let’s face it, life is, well…busy. It can be hard to manage school, jobs, children, partner, pets, time with friends etc. & maintain a healthy lifestyle. While I am no longer a student & don’t have children, I do often work 6 days a week (when I am not on summer vacay - yay!) & try to squeeze in yoga/gym/decompression time in the evenings. That often leaves me at 8 o’clock at night scrounging through the fridge trying to put something quick & easy together. When weekends allow, I like to “bulk cook” so I’ll have leftover meals to quickly heat up, I’m about to work weekends again, bulk cooking isn’t always possible. Sometimes, I’m so tired & overwhelmed I don’t eat dinner at all, other times I’ll stop at the market for my quick go-tos - usually a frozen pizza or Amy’s Rice Mac & Cheeze. While it’s vegan, it’s not optimally healthy food. In a perfect world I’d eat fresh, non-processed whole foods at every meal. But last time I checked, it’s certainly not a perfect world. Yet, in the world of “convenience foods,” I will say it’s getting better.
There used to be a time when finding healthful frozen meals was unheard of, & forget finding anything VEGAN. Remember TV dinners? I sure do. As a kid I tolerated them, only because of the chocolate brownie that awaited as long as I ate the rubbery mystery meat & mushy green beans. Then, as a starving college student it was all about Slim Fast & vegetarian Lean Cuisine. Shameful, I know, but I did what I had to do. Then slowly but surely, Amy’s emerged with healthier frozen meals, Trader Joe’s started offering a plethora options, & even Candle Cafe introduced frozen meals inspired by the famed dishes at their Manhattan restaurant - but still - these meals tend to be high in fat & sodium, mass produced, highly processed, & not the healthiest. So what is a busy family to do in this imperfect world where time seems to escape us all? What if there was a fresh, healthy, vegan meal plan that could be delivered right to your door? No need to worry about planning, shopping, cooking? Sounds like the busy person/family’s dream! Well…look no further than “Veestro Vegan Delivery.”
Veestro recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their meal delivery service & one look at their mission & I knew I wanted to take them up on their offer. About Veestro:
At Veestro, our goal is to make healthy dining conveniently accessible to you & your family. We provide high-quality, plant-based meals that you can feel good about. Veestro meals are not only nutritious, but a delight to your palate, wallet & time.
Our meals are prepared using all-natural ingredients, without GMOs, chemicals or preservatives, to ensure the freshest home delivery meals around.
We have created an eclectic variety of gourmet meals to please the whole family. Mix & match with our create-your-own meal plan, keep children happy with our kids’ menu, & satisfy the exotic palate with internationally inspired entrees.
Two days after I accepted Veestro’s offer a generous delivery arrived. I arrived home after a long day at work, followed by a quick stop at the gym, to a very large box on my doorstep. At first I was confused, I hadn’t ordered anything online, had I? Then I read the shipping label - Veestro! But I was worried, how long had it been there? Had everything melted/spoiled? Nope. Thanks to their dry ice pack, everything was frozen & intact. And by generous delivery I am talking a week’s worth of soups & entrees & even desserts! Of course, the first thing I dove into were the "Raisin Nut Cookies" before any thought of taking photos or tasting notes! I do remember that I enjoyed them, & they were crisp & not too sweet, as natural fruit juice is used as a sweetener.
The first entree I tried was “Savory Croquettes with Veggie Hash.” I’ll admit I chose it because it sounded a bit comforting. And I love comfort food!
I really didn’t know what to expect, & may have even kept my expectations a bit low, but was more than pleasantly surprised at how tasty this was! The croquettes - made of tofu, nooch, tamari, miso, & spices & covered in panko bread crumbs - were scrumptious. Fluffy & almost creamy inside with a lovely herbaceous flavor, & a crunchy breaded texture outside. My only complaint is that there weren’t more than two (although, I was completely satisfied hunger-wise, I just enjoyed then that much!). The croquettes were served on a bed of tender “veggie hash” comprised of sweet potatoes celery root, yams, potatoes & spices, along with a tangy, spicy red sauce made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, jalapenos & spices. Deeelisshhhh!
"Savory Croquettes with Veggie Hash"
While listed on their website as an “appetizer” I ate this as a light dinner & found it to be the perfect portion, & it was a cinch to prepare - the croquettes baked for 10 minutes in the oven, while the veggies & sauce required only a quick zap in the microwave.
The next dish I tried was the soba noodle salad.
"Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce"
I absolutely love a soba salad & make sure to have buckwheat noodles in my pantry at all times. I loved the convenience of one of my favorite things packed up & ready to go - no boiling of noodles or chopping of veggies - just a quick defrost & dinner is ready! This dish combined seasoned firm tofu, Napa cabbage, scallions, sesame seeds with soba noodles smothered in a velvety sweet & slightly spicy peanut sauce. I usually prefer my noodles with a bit more veggies, & it would definitely be easy to bulk up the vegetable content depending on your preferences - more cabbage, shredded carrot, broccoli, snow peas, pea shoots, etc. However, for a quick, on the go meal, it is tasty enough as it is.
Finally, I enjoyed a beautiful slice of cheesecake!
"Raspberry Tofu Cheezecake"
Who doesn’t love a slice of rich & creamy vegan cheesecake? An indulgence that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like! My Mom is known in our family for making the BEST (dairy based) cheesecake, & I’ve been dying for her to perfect a vegan version. It’s hard to get the texture just right, but with all the new vegan cream cheeses on the market, perhaps we’ll hit the mark soon. This cheesecake from Veestro was creamy & light with a tangy raspberry swirl & graham cracker crust. It did not boast the silky, creamy texture of a dairy based cheesecake, rather, as it was tofu based, it had a more “spongy like texture,” but it was pretty darn good. And as I don’t often have cheesecake lying around, it was especially awesome to pull this out of the package & enjoy!
Can you believe that Veestro sent me more that this? I still have a few soups, veggie meatloaf & lasagne to try! I’ll be back with part 2 soon, & will review the nutritional content & cost then as well.
Until then visit veestro.com to see all of their dishes & delivery options!
The premier issue of Go Raw! Magazine launched today & is loaded with tips, recipes, & inspiration. I’ve been gently leaning toward the possibility of adopting a mostly raw food diet, been reading lots of great books, & am considering taking some raw food home cook classes. At first going raw can seem pretty daunting, & the use of dehydrators, spiralizers, etc. soud like a hassle, but when I began to dig deeper I realized one can “go raw” pretty easily with a few kitchen essentials. And come to think of it, I eat quite a bit of raw food already - green smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch, but it’s whole grain bread, crackers, & brown rice pasta that throw me off. And some foods I prefer cooked. I do know one thing for sure - I feel my best eating clean & mostly raw, so it comes down to experimenting & changing habits!
If you’re interested in raw foods, check it out. It’s free, yo!
Savory Garden Green Smoothie
I think I speak for many when I say I could probably live on green smoothies alone. I drink one just about every morning, changing up the flavors & ingredients, sometimes adding protien powders & superfood additives, sometimes keeping it simple with fruit, greens & coconut water. I love my sweet green smoothies, & never had it occured to me that a savory all veggie based green smoothie could be just as satisfying.
I’ve been reading "Raw & Simple" & came across a recipe for a "Garden Smoothie" & instantly had a plan for all the leftover crudites from my recent housewarming party. Off the subject, I am such a jerk & did not take any photos, & I had such a beautiful spread of vegan food! Oh well. Guess I’ll have to have another! Anyway, I tend to over plan & over prepare, & at the end of the night had bags of fresh cut veggies that weren’t used to replenish the platter. I thought to myself, "how in the world will I eat all of those vegetables?" The simple solution - a savory green smoothie. Oftentimes when I am trying to clean out the crisper, I throw whatever I can into the juicer. But this time around I was looking for something a bit more substantial. If you are lucky enough to have a Vitamix, your leftover veggies can whip up into a creamy delicious drink in seconds. I can’t attest to how it would work in a regular blender, but it’s worth a try! I did not take accurate “measurements” rather haphazardly threw stuff in! As JL would say, this is “intuitive” smoothie making! Here is roughly what went in:
"Savory Garden Green Smoothie"
- 1 cup filtered water
- handful of spinach leaves
- handful of cucumber slices
- handful of celery sticks
- handful of yellow bell pepper
- handful of orange bell pepper
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1/2 shallot
- a few sprigs of fresh basil
- 1 cup ice
- sea salt to taste
- a few shakes of tabasco
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or Vitamix. Turn on full speed & blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning & heat to preference.
I can’t tell you how much I really enjoyed this smoothie. So much in fact that I am on my 3rd batch of it! Yep. That’s a lot of leftover veggies, & a lot of veggie-vita-goodness in my system. I like to enjoy this super cold, as it’s been warm & muggy around here, but I bet this would go down nicely as a soup if left in the Vitamix long enough to heat it up.
So there you have it! A pleasingly savory (& spicy for me!) green smoothie. Don’t waste your leftover veggies! Juice ‘em, make a delicious broth, or by all means make a smoothie. To your health!
Happy Vegan Pizza Day!
It’s Vegan Pizza Day, yay! While there is tons of cool stuff happening around LA, there’s not much going on here in San Diego. We’re experiencing a bit of a heat wave in these parts, so my plans to make vegan pizza at home have been foiled. I’m knee deep in party planning for a shindig I’m throwing next weekend, & cleaning my house before a busy week ahead, but who knows, perhaps I’ll venture out this evening for a little VPD celebrating?
I didn’t want this very awesome day in vegan history to go by without a shout out to Blind Lady Ale House, in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood, who makes the best vegan pizza pie in town! Last year I celebrated Vegan Pizza Day properly at BLAH, & if you missed my review, you can read all about it here!
How are you celebrating?
Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Radish, Chickpeas, Parsley, & Dill
I do believe summertime is in full swing! I’ve been easing into my lighter work schedule & spending a lot of time catching up on unfinished business around the house, but also making sure to make time for “me” - which typically consists of getting up early for a morning run, followed by yoga practice, then an afternoon sitting under the big tree in my back yard, reading a book & enjoying a wholesome & delicious lunch - like this salad pictured above.
In the summer months I crave simple light salads, fruits, & fresh juices. My CSA has been generously supplying beautiful summer produce, & I’ve been delighting in peppery arugula, cool cucumber, sweet chioggia beets, spicy peppers, crisp green & yellow beans, hearty sprouts, juicy strawberries & fresh herbs. I am so grateful to have local, organically grown produce so readily available to me. I saw a very thought provoking quote on a t-shirt today, "someone is praying for the things you take for granted." It stopped me in my tracks. When it comes to wholesome, nourishing food, I think I often do take for granted (not on purpose, of course!) that I can afford a bi-weekly CSA share, & have access farmers’ markets offered several times a week in surrounding neighborhoods. It’s so important to take pause, be mindful, & cultivate gratitude for the abundant good fortune that so many of us have.
The inspiration for this colorful “gratitude” salad came to me last Friday, which was the perfect way to enjoy the welcoming summer solstice. I awoke early, enjoyed a coconut-almond milk latte, & went to yoga, then met up with Anna for a hike, & lunch at Casa de Luz. Among the macrobiotic yumminess upon our plates was a small scoop of quinoa salad with radish, cucumber, parsley, & dill with a zesty lemon dressing. I had just been gifted with a large bunch of dill in my CSA share, & always at a loss with what to do with that much dill (other than pickles, of course, but the pickling cukes have not arrived at the farm stand yet), I was instantly inspired & had exactly what I needed to try to recreate the salad at home. For the dressing, I made a batch of Kris Carr’s fresh & simple "Lemon Oil." I also added a handful of chickpeas (because they needed using!), & for extra green goodness, I served the salad atop a bed of spicy arugula.
"Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Radish, Chickpeas, Parsley & Dill"
- 2 cups cooked quiona
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & finely diced
- 2 watermelon radishes, peeled & finely diced
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1 small carrot, spiralized or shredded
- 1 bunch arugula
- In a large bowl, combine cooled cooked quinoa with cucumber, radish, onion, dill & parsley. Toss well.
- In a mason jar, combine lemon juice & zest, evoo, garlic, sea salt & pepper. Give it a good shake to emulsify & incorporate all ingredients. Pour over salad & toss. Serve a scoop of quinoa salad over a bed of arugula.
While there was a certain "je ne sais quois" present in CDL’s salad that I could not quite replicate, my version was close enough & just as satisfying. I love the cool crunch of the veggies with the fresh herbs, & lemony quinoa. Wholesome, fresh, light & summery.