Tuesday, September 25, 2012

(800) language is arbitrary

It's been a slightly busy/not really week for me. Last week I only had classes M W F so that was a nice break. kind of been keeping it easy on myself lately since things are about to spin out of control probably soon with exams, essays, etc. Summer is up now, as of this past Saturday, so I'm trying to shift gears into Fall cuisine/produce. I would like to try to run to the Farmer's Market next week to get some local honey (which I've been consuming in large amounts!) and produce. I recently fell in love with a little publication called Chickpea Magazine. I highly recommend it, vegan or not, it has really inspired me and I plan to cook from it quite often. I love that it's seasonally written too. I would love a subscription but the price is hella high for me. Luckily, we can all enjoy it online :)

Enjoyed Sara's amazing tuna salad for a few days. It made a really great, easy lunch to have on hand. I usually don't care much for tuna salad, but this was so perfect. Crisp celery, sweet golden raisins, fresh parsley, and olive oil > mayonnaise. I highly recommend her book (and this recipe). 

I am constantly amazed at the complex flavors and, simultaneously, the simplicity, of some of the dishes I find/make. I am all for roasting vegetables, and I'm even more for making the easiest meals possible when I'm just tired and don't have much time. This NY style quinoa was perfect and I will definitely make it again. Seriously just: quinoa, broccoli, black beans, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salsa and I made a vegan "queso" to go with it. one of the best things I've made in a while and the leftovers were to die for. vegan queso consisted of a few crumbles of vegan jack Daiya wedge, a splash of unsweetened almond milk, and a hefty pinch of black pepper: microwaved in two 15-second increments, stirred, and drizzled over this. You'd never know the difference between it and queso. AMAZING!

I have been hunting for a 21st birthday dress and I found it: truly, simply, plainly "me" as everyone has put it. Not too much longer to go now!

All these colors make me happy! I also used some tomatoes (and peppers later on this week) from a customer's garden that Jeremiah so generously shared with me. I am so stoked to use other people's vegetables (and they're free!)

Simplicity is what I'm craving lately (and soup). I try to make soup every week because it's always filling, wholesome, delicious, and stretches like crazy. It's also incredibly easy to freeze leftovers (which I almost always do). In this case, this soup flew out of the pot. Sheena calls it a "end of summer minestrone". We use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Some balsamic vinegar, ALL kinds of vegetables, herbs, and the last of the squash/zucchini of the season. Seriously perfect. I added paprika and red pepper flakes for a bit more kick, and served it with a vegan spinach grilled cheese. I am getting better at making soup and this was just lovely. (pssst make it before the leaves start falling!)

I went to my first (hopefully not last) food truck festival this weekend! I think the turn out was probably 100x more than people thought it would be. They had everything from crepes, to BBQ, chinese dumplings, cupcakes and (lucky for me) a vegan/vegetarian "gourmet" truck. I kicked myself about having to get something, somewhere. I ended up at the De-Licious truck where I got the only thing I could: carrot ginger soup. It was bright, spicy and delicious. Their other options were a butternut barley risotto, a figgy piggy panini (with bacon brie + fig jam), and some kind of awesome looking squash-esque mac+cheese. 

I mostly sat with Sadie + Jude, talked to Cory, got asked about the dogs, and enjoyed being outside in my city for once. I think the event was awesome and should happen again. I also learned that you should be there right when a food truck festival starts, or you won't know where any lines are or where to go. Maybe next time I can go to the wine lounge too :)

Okay, yes. This was a bit burnt. But trust me, this was probably another one of the best things I've made in a while. Granted the prep work was a little crazy (grating two potatoes on a box grater gets super tiring) but it was sooo good. Especially slathered in ketchup. This recipe comes from one of the first gluten-free books I purchased that I, for some reason, rarely use but totally recommend: The Gluten-Free Vegan. The leftovers were also just as amazing. I will try not to burn it so much next time. In my defense, I was using a new IKEA frying pan :). I will post the recipe down below!

Potato + Tofu Hash

from “The Gluten-Free Vegan” by Susan O’Brien
  • 1-2 T grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 C)
  • 1 medium size bell pepper, seeded + chopped
  • 4 medium-size red potatoes, scrubbed, peeled (if desired), grated + patted dry
  • 1/2 C fresh or frozen peas (NOT canned)
  • 1/2 pd extra-firm tofu (preferably silken) crumbled (1 C)
  • 2 T drained + finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp rosemary (optional)
  • salsa (optional) for serving but I’m all for a shit ton of KETCHUPPPP
-Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in the oil. 
Add the onions + bell pepper, and saute til onions are soft, 4-5 mins. 
Add potatoes + continue to cook over med-high until they begin to brown, 10-15 minutes.

-Add peas + tofu, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and heat through.
 Season with salt and lots of extra pepper (no joke), and if desired, the rosemary. Serve withsalsa KETCHUPPPPP. then thank me (or Susan O’Brien)
note: be careful to be wary of your stove’s heat retention and your pan’s. my meal was slightly burnt (mostly the onions, peppers and potatoes) so just be careful

Sunday, September 16, 2012

(791) Honi Soit Qui Mal Pence

It's been quite the week, and I haven't cooked as much as usual, but I've managed. I have recently decided to switch my major from English to French, which I'm excited about. I have realized that I am way more stoked on French than I am on English any day. I will, however, have a minor in English. I still need to think about it. Lots of exciting things happening this week!

Nothing more comforting, seriously, than a huge bowl of pho with all the fixins': sriracha, bean sprouts, jalapenos, Thai basil, cilantro and GF soy sauce. 

another amazing soup recipe: roasted broccoli + lemon. I loved the spicy paprika nuts on top, with a side of buttered toast. it was even better the next day, and the easiest soup to make! just roast the veggies, blend, and reheat! I froze the leftovers :)

More soup and tea for lunch with Miss Kathryn!

first recipe made from Sprouted Kitchen's cookbook: beach day tuna salad. my new tuna salad standby: golden raisins, whole grain mustard, celery, and olive oil (and more). seriously the best! I will be lunching on this all week!

New favorite tea picture. This tea steeper is the best, from Miss Kathryn! the top of the tea pot came off :/

Fingerling potatoes

Fingerling potatoes, onions + rosemary roasted in salt and olive oil

Rosemary, roasted potato and onion quiche from Naturally Ella. my first quiche and it was amazing! was really surprised at how good it was with vegan cheese and almond milk.

Wine night with Courtney and Ashley. the best. Courtney got us both wine tasting/vineyard tickets for our birthdays!!! I am so beyond excited. She is the sweetest. 1 month 2 weeks and 1 day!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

(784) ce jeu

I'm about to start my fourth week of school tomorrow! That just sounds crazy. I was recently "elected" the co-secretary of our French Club, which I'm incredibly excited about! I am so ready to immerse myself in French culture, watch more French films, make crepes and madelines! Our first official meeting, after the preliminary, is tomorrow. I also took a lovely trip to Charlotte this weekend to visit a friend

Easy dinners are what have been keeping me going lately. This scramble was incredibly easy to put together and a great end-of-summer dish. Lee fried the potatoes, which were amazing

French toast skills are getting slightly better. This batch turned out just a bit burnt, but still delicious and filling

On our way to Charlotte after about 5 detours!

Beautiful mason jar lights at Fern, a restaurant in Charlotte

The most beautiful bloody mary. Tasted pretty good too!

Cory's dashi ramen topped with a poached egg. This was made with zucchini noodles, so it was gluten-free too!

My farmhouse vegetable ragout. Braised in a delicious, vegan sauce, the fingerling potatoes were so tender and that was definitely the best tempeh I've ever had. It was so soft and tasted nothing like the tempeh I've eaten for years.

My new found love: Amelie's French Bakery in Charlotte. Not just because they're the only place to have macarons outside of NYC, but the atmosphere was so inviting...and French! They had everything, from pate, to madelines, French cheeses, etc. It is definitely my new favorite place. The macarons were delicious! They're also open 24 hours, which is pretty lovely. If I lived in Charlotte I'm pretty sure I would live in this bakery...and be broke.

They also had lavender French lemonade, which is amazing. I have to say, I am a huge fan of that lemon San Pellingrino sparkling beverage I had.

These were the only jam filled ones they had, but they're marvelous! Look how perfect the feet are

Tried to start off today with a healthy breakfast: avocado toast drizzled with balsamic vinegar and salt.

My new apple pomegranate lemon tea from Teavana (yet another place I wish we had here).

I made a very interesting twist on granola today from Shutterbean: candied walnut, coconut, black sesame seed granola (with many other things involved!) It is currently cooling but I'm sure it'll be great for breakfast this week.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

(779) Til Love and Fame to nothingness do sink

It looks like I cooked a lot this weekend, maybe, or had too much free time on my hands. in any case, I have a lot of things to share. I made new things, mostly, and have been lazy as holy hell all weekend since it was a three day one. hopefully I'll get my hardworking self back soon!

Friday off: fries from Emma Key's and a book

first time ever making iced green tea, and I had a bunch of leftover tarragon. so I made tarragon lime green tea. it was good (and made great photos!) but definitely was quite tart for my taste. I would suggest adding more honey (1/2 C) or perhaps less lime juice and it would be great. but I gave it a shot!

simple friday lunch to myself: pan-fried squash topped with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh basil and salt.

gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for Saturday breakfast. definitely paid for eating 4 pancakes and bacon all day long. it was good, but I still haven't fully mastered the art of making pancakes. I think the batter was way too thick, which happens sometimes when gluten-free pancake batter. next time, I want them to be thin and perfect!

I finally made pesto, which was super easy and quite spicy. I used nutritional yeast instead of parm and it was great. I didn't have much use for it so I plan on freezing it in ice cube trays tomorrow just to have on hand.

do you ever fix a meal that is really good, but you're still feeling "meh"? that's how I felt with these. pieces of GF artisan bread topped with caramelized onions, pesto and heirloom tomato. it was too peppery for me and I just couldn't dig it. sometimes I think my tastebuds take days off.

now on to new favorites: these oatmeal zucchini cookies have been on my mind ever since I read Nicole's post on Eat This Poem. they were perfect and tasted just like chocolate chip zucchini bread in cookie form. I really enjoyed that they had coconut oil instead of butter too. they were so easy to make, and even more of a delight to share! everyone was surprised/hesitant at the zucchini.

I've had this blog long enough to know that I've ranted more than a few times about making homemade pizza dough...well I did it! kind of. I used a Hogsdon Mill boxed GF mix and I have to say...it was perfect and so so easy. I was dumbfounded at why I never did it sooner. sometimes it's nerve wracking to do something new in the kitchen, and pizza crust was one of them. more specifically, it was using yeast that made me scared. but I did it and the crust was nothing short of amazing! seriously the best pizza I've had in a long time. we used a whole wedge of jack Daiya cheese, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, an all-natural pizza sauce from Whole Foods, and Applegate Farms sunday bacon. it was the most perfect pizza. next time I will be making it totally homemade however. I hope it turns out as well as this did!

after eating all that pizza (which is now, sadly, all gone), I needed a light dinner tonight. so I decided to finish off my artisan loaf of GF bread with a pairing of this salad, which has pretty much become my go to salad.

and finally, a giant bottle of wine to get me through at least 5 readings of this book for 2 different classes. happy cooking!