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Friday, September 30, 2011

Chard and Lentils pre-MoFo

Hey guys! Nothing super-special here but I didn't want to say nothing for a few days and then zoom straight into MoFo. This is the simple dinner we ate tonight:

Steamed farmers market chard, lentils stewed with celery, carrots, garlic, onion and spiced with paprika and thyme. Easy, healthy, and cheap, all of which are especially important to me since I anticipate some multi-step recipes and a couple bags of expensive groceries this MoFo. I'm doing other bloggers' recipes as my theme, and although I tried to stay pretty close to foods I usually eat, I did want to change things up a bit!
Oh, and shout-out to G, who made a blogger's recipe for dessert! Today is also Vegan Baking Day, which I only found out this afternoon. When I told G, he jumped right in and made Kristen's Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies. I only had a bite because he actually used the full amount of sugar and oil (what kind of monster does that?!) but they were very, very good. Good for him!
Happy MoFo (and Friday!). See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Work Slowdowns, Not Stoppages

Yes with the union talk.
I don't know if you guys are paying attention to the Occupy Wall Street stuff that has been going on in NYC for the past two weeks but it is kind of important. When I was at lunch on Saturday, the protest at Union Sqaure Park flooded right past me and turned the corner, where, it turns out, about 80 people got arrested and there were some horrifying and unnecessary acts of police violence. I don't know your politics, but I've been to similar protests in the past and having it all stream right in front of me and then learning of the outcome is a little overwhelming and frustrating. I don't agree with everything the protesters are doing and I realize "the message" is getting convoluted and that, yes, it's annoying when a protest slows down the buses on very busy 14th St. but these people want to raise awareness - for everything. Just keep your eyes out and you will see the injustice in public and in private spectrums. And especially behind-the-scenes private trades that affect the public who are dealing with a bad economy and joblessness, due to no fault of their own.

As to slowdowns, not stoppages on the homefront, I had a few frustrating moments with my camera today where I thought it was broken, and right in time for MoFo too. It seems okay now but I'm going to give it a rest until then, I think. Technology needs some time off, and I do too.
I'm trying to pump another zine out soon and I anticipate October being really busy with MoFo, so I want to get as much done before then as I can. I'm bad with time management and easily distracted so I think I'll just stay away from blogging until the 1st, unless something TOTALLY AWESOME happens.
In the meanytime, here are a few photos that have been building up over the past few whatevers. Let them tide you over for now. I'll meet you at the MoFo. Peace.

                                                       Orange-Carrot juice w/ coconut

                                            Quinoa for breakfast with bananas and raisins

    Rice noodles in miso broth over bok choy - topped with sallions, sesame seeds, and hotness

                                        Grapefruit-Carrot juice with turmeric and ginger, tea

                                   Biscuits with apple-whiskey marmalade and Earth Balance

                                OIAJ with goji berries and blueberries, almond butter remnants

    Dinner salad with mixed greens, cucumber, red pepper, tomato, carrot, onion, and blueberries

Sunday, September 25, 2011

V-Spot Restaurant Review

I don't know what's in the air. G's baking bread and I'm eating out. I suppose part of it is still the excitement from Let Us Eat Local and seeing how well other (actually trained) chefs can make food, and partially out of being cheap.
Groupon had an offer for $54 worth of food for $19 at a local all-vegan restaurant, V-Spot, so I jumped on it. For the Groupon deal we had a limited menu but were still able to pick some tasty looking things. The meal was for two appetizers and two entrees. We went with raw nori rolls and two empanadas for the appetizer. I was especially excited for the raw nori rolls, which were filled with a ginger-almond pate, carrots and cucumber:

This is the one and only photo I took before I got self-conscious and frustrated with the lighting. They were tasty little nuggets. G also really liked the empanadas. I had half of one, but really couldn't deal with the oil. I think a lot of people must be fans, though, because I see V-Spot at veg events a lot and there is always a long line to get the empanadas. These were filled with carrots, corn, seitan, and some other things.
For the entrees, G went with Bandeja Paisa - a "Columbian variety plate" with seitan, vegan chorizo, brown rice, black beans, avocado, plantain, and an arepa with queso (I believe it's Daiya). My meal was quinoa with coconut-curried kale, chickpeas, and tofu. Although the restaurant serves mostly Latin-American inspired food, this was a lot like an Indian chickpea-paneer dish, with the super-firm tofu acting as paneer. This was really tasty. The chickpeas were cooked well and no one flavor was too overwhelming. The quinoa was crunchy and slightly sweet.
Unfortunately, neither of us could take more than a few bites of the entree, not being used to even a two-course meal, haha. I had the leftovers today for lunch:

I added the raw broccoli on the side, heh.
Since it's rare that G and I go out together (though it's becoming less so, I suppose), we allowed the restaurant experience to include dessert. There's always room for that, right? We picked a slice of pumpkin cheesecake to share, which was great. Very firm. I don't know that I'd ever be able to recreate it. Not too pumpkin-y, but nicely spiced. We tipped well (I should mention the place was poppin' and our server was very patient and kind) and walked to the train, to get some digestion going. The walk may have been punctuated with a rest stop at a bar for a beer. I got Southern Tier Pumpking and G got a Weihenstephaner Kolsch. The Pumpking was so good! It was sweet and spicy.
Anyway, I would call the night a success. We almost went to go see Moneyball but we need an excuse to go out again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

HH's Harvest Bread for Fall

Happy Harvest. Bring on the fall, seriously. Things really are changing and it's not the leaves, yet. Nope; Greg baked something! In the time I've known him I am pretty sure that he has never turned on the oven. Neither of us is sure what came over him but I was browsing Happy Herbivore the other day and G saw this Harvest Bread recipe and almost immediately set about planning what we had and what he needed to buy. Why this bread? Why now? Some mysteries of the world will never be answered.

It came out pretty well. It is described as "super moist" and it certainly was. It could have benefited from being cooked a little longer but I don't think that's any fault of G's. I am super proud of him and now eagerly await piles of cookies. Plus I love to imagine him in an apron grating vegetables and stirring!
Does your significant other cook or bake often, or do you mostly take care of that?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let Us Eat Local 2011

Just Food, the organization that is partially responsible for bringing the farm vegetables to the food pantry I work at, threw their fourth annual local food gala, Let Us Eat Local last night. It was a tasting event featuring the food and drinks of New York City and nearby restaurants and companies. Proceeds from the event went to funding more of Just Food's amazing programs as well as to farms upstate that were damaged by Hurricane Irene. And, boy, it was swank.
As a current Just Food volunteer I was offered the opportunity to volunteer at LUEL, which meant that for two hours I cleared tables but for the rest of the night, was able to pretend I was a fancy foodie taking in the sights, smells, and tastes of restaurants that I am usually far too cheap to patronize. This flyer details some information about the event and lists participating companies and restaurants.
I've sort of talked down on local food in the past (Smorgasburg) but I appreciate Just Food's work immensely. Their programs fund sustainable farms, CSAs, and educate people about nutrition and food's impact on a wider, more global scale. They really understand the impact of what and how we eat. LUEL was not filled with meat sandwiches, cheese after cheese after cheese, and then more meat. There was admittedly some of that but I will tell you that I brought along a snack bar completely unnecessarily. It might have been partially due to the two samples of beer but I also felt completely at ease asking the cooks what was vegan and trusting their response. So, here's what I ate:

Fat Radish: Sauteed carrot with hijiki and crispy kale
Orwasher's: Spelt bread (1/2 whole wheat) with raisins and sunflower seeds
Red Jacket Orchards: Apple butter on Orwashers bread
Gramercy Tavern: Watermelon salad with roasted and pickled beets
Angelica's Kitchen: Nectarine and cucumber soup
Candle 79: Fall root vegetables with almond cheese and a balsamic reduction
Pure Food and Wine: Late summer succotash with corn pudding
Rick's Picks: Smoked okra aka "Smokra"
Dell'Anima: Tomato soup
Kelso IPA
Sixpoint IPA

I've had Sixpoint beer and Red Jacket juice before, as well as been to Angelica's and had Rick's Picks "Mean Beans," spicy pickled green beans, but everything else was so completely amazing. I think my favorite dish was the carrot with hijiki or the raw succotash and pudding! I'm very tempted to just go spend the money and enjoy Pure Food and Wine and, of course, Candle 79. Both may really happen soon. Needless to say, there was plenty for vegans to enjoy, and all served so professionally and with such class.
I felt really fancy for a night (except for the fact that my "nice" clothes were a too-small shirt held together at the bottom by a safety pin and too-big pants that I had to punch another hole in the belt with a paper clip) and, more importantly, felt really empowered too! The local farm movements are something to be happy for no matter where one lives, but in New York City, it's especially heartening to see that even a busy, urban environment can foster such amazing community. It made me look around at New York City very proudly. I noticed that a lot of restaurants offered seafood dishes, particularly serving Fluke, and it hit me that, wow (and duh), I live on an island. These fish live in our waters. It's amazing. (But, yes, we should be keeping them in the waters.)
Joel Saltain spoke, Mark Bittman was wandering, and my super-crush Cathy Erway was there too! Besides them, I was volunteering alongside some really interesting and nice people coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and it was an all around good time, all for a good cause. Thank you, Just Food, for the opportunity! Can't wait to hit the Farmers Market tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Liz's Last Lunch (in New York!) (For now!)

My cosmopolitan, intelligent, and kind sister is moving to Spain to teach for nine months! She's leaving on Wednesday and since today was the last time we could get together, she came over for lunch.
I didn't have much time to plan or prepare, so the meal was modest but I was happy to see her before she left. She's an omnivore but has interned with Slow Food USA and has an open mind to all kinds of food, so (I think) she was alright with the simple repast:

A spiced quinoa-chickpea dish and kale salad (her first raw kale!). The kale salad had olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. The leaves themselves were actually the most tender I've made due to these salad servers/forky things:

These were actually a present from my sister from a previous trip! They're pretty, aren't they? The wood also smells really amazing. I think she got them in Argentina. She really knows what I like, haha. They were prefect for kale salad, which usually calls for "massaging" the leaves, a step I tend to skip because I hate touching food, much less groping or "massaging" it, whatever you want to call it.
The quinoa-chickpea dish is something I just threw together. This is an approximate recipe:

Spiced Chickpeas with Quinoa
                                 Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup cooked chickpeas (I used dried and soaked; you can use canned)
1 TBS olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp coriander
dash nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa (I used white but I think red would be pretty)
1/3 chopped sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
3 large carrots, grated (equalling about 1 1/2 c.)

-Preheat oven to 400*
-Toss chickpeas, oil, salt, spices, and garlic in a large bowl to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
-Pour chickpeas onto a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.
-While chickpeas are cooking toss quinoa with sundried tomatoes and carrot.
-When chickpeas are done, add to quinoa and carrot.
-Top with a squeeze of lemon and parsley (Optional. I didn't do this but decided later that it would have been tasty.)

The roasting of the chickpeas might also be optional. I thought it would be a nice crunch in the quinoa but they kind of get soggy after sitting in the warm quinoa. Maybe if your quinoa is cool, that would work out better. Anyway, it tasted alright.
I didn't prepare any dessert because I'm a horrible sister but gave her one of Sarah's truffles.
Like I said, low-key. I had to run to a volunteer meeting soon afterward and she had to START PACKING but it was nice. Liz, I send you with my best!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Udon in Spicy Miso Broth, Bok Choy

After a long, annoying day at work, and a chilly walk home (okay, from the train, but still), there's nothing more soothing than a slurpable bowl of soup. And, of course, some greens.


As food multitasker extraordinaire, I slightly steamed the bok choy over the cooking udon noodles and boiling some separate water for the miso broth. The broth is just miso paste with a squirt of sriracha. I added chopped scallion, peeled carrot, and tofu cubes on top of the noodles. The bok choy was still crisp, though cooked a bit. Seasoned with red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and a splash of soy sauce. Cheers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Food, who cares!

Halloo! I've heard great rumblings about this upcoming MoFo, so sign up or be sure to tune in, at least! I don't have enough time tonight to make another blogger's recipe, I'm going to a Raincoats show with my friend in a few minutes and I am really excited! To make sure I don't pass out from excitement, I made sure to eat a lot of super nutritious foods today.


Soaked oat groats and chia, goji berries, and banana. Since it was a cool morning and a cold breakfast, I had some Irish breakfast tea too.
I snacked on some carrot-parsley juice all morning, which looked kind of sludgy and definitely had a chew but was really refreshing.

Leftovers from last night: steamed kale, bell pepper, and zucchini with added chickpea.
Dinner was the quickest I could cobble together:

Raw kale salad marinated overnight with tomatoes and zucchini. Plate of crudites with red pepper hummus and pretzel chips.
Woo Raincoats, okay, good night!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chia Pudding, Greens, Bars, and MoFo Prep!

Surely I can't be the only person obsessed with chia pudding after seeing all that Vida Vegan Con coverage, right? Apparently I see a picture of glop and think, "Hey, I could make that!" All recipes I found make 2-4 servings and I thought I did the math correctly to reduce it for one, but this was a little thinner than all the photos make it seem.

Still good, though. I didn't add any sweetener, just soaked goji berries and banana. And cinnamon on top.
Went to the food pantry and handed out potatoes, beets, and acorn squash! Can't wait to see the squashes come back to the farmers markets!
This was my packed lunch and snack, eaten at my desk at work:

Superfood Slam ProBar, which Lacey got me hooked on. They are expensive but they're all really good. I've tried four different flavors so far. And salad: romaine, baby spinach, zucchini, shredded carrot, onion, mushroom, and bell pepper with chickpeas tossed in, if you're counting.
I also had an orange later in the day.

Steamed kale, zucchini, and orange pepper with tempeh in a tahini-sriracha sauce for dinner.
Dessert was one of Sarah's treats.

AND for those of you who haven't heard yet, Vegan MoFo is in October this year! That's only two weeks away! Here's the sign-up if you're interested. For my theme I'm planning on making other bloggers' recipes. I do have a fair amount bookmarked myself, but I'd love to find some new blogs or something I've missed and kick off MoFo with a boost of community and a giveaway. So send me some recipes to recreate! It can be a breakfast, lunch, snack, entree, dessert, or anything. I'll pick 3 of your suggestions to add to my list and if I make a recipe you forwarded over, I'll mail you something fun. Deal? Deal!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wild Ginger

G's band was recording almost all day on Sunday so he ate at a restaurant near the practice space and came home raving about the meal (udon noodle soup.) Wild Ginger is a place I've passed numerous times but never gone into because, well, I don't usually eat out.
But when G suggested we go for lunch, I agreed, for variety and because it's nice to hang out with him during the workday. So, yes, despite all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Manhattan, we hopped on the train to Brooklyn.
The place is very nice and open inside, not at all crowded, and the service was quick. Lunch specials come with miso soup to start:

It was warm and flavorful. And at an all-vegan restaurant, I don't have to worry about bonito in my miso!
I ordered Basil soy protein with asparagus, zucchini, and peppers, hoping for a lot of vegetables. Brown rice and a spring roll also came with the meal.

Keeping in mind that this is not exactly my type of food (I signed a contract with G that I wouldn't order steamed greens), this was tasty. The soy protein tasted a bit like Italian sausage to me, what with the basil, peppers, and a slightly sweet sauce. I ate all of the vegetables, as much of the rice that I could with chopsticks (aka not much) and left the spring roll and most of the soy protein for G to finish. It wasn't bad but, like I said, I much rather whole, real foods.
G got Mango soy protein in plum sauce:

He seemed to like his plate enough but says he would have preferred something darker (I guess my meal qualifies there.) Anyway, it was a nice meal out with a nice dude. I actually would return to Wild Ginger, maybe to order a noodle dish or a salad. The menu is varied but the lunch menu is pretty heavy on the fake meats (though it is a good deal and a lot of food.)
Don't worry, I just ate a big salad for dinner to make up for the lack of greens at lunch.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Keep It Simple, Stupid

In honor of the primaries today, a titular throwback to the strategies of James Carville and the Clinton administration ("It's the economy, stupid." And, of course, it still is.) What can I say, I just watched Singles and I'm still in 90s mode.
My meals were pretty simple today too.

Soaked oat groats with banana, walnut, and cinnamon.
A snack of a juicy pear and then a salad for lunch.

And dinner, lettuce wraps.

With red pepper hummus, cucumber, red pepper, carrot shavings, and mushrooms.
Chocolate-banana soft serve for dessert. (That one's for you, Andrea. It's still soft serve season.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chickpea Cutlet Time

I'm digging into fall, even if it's a little pre-emptive. I DO also have some of that 2 lb bag of dried chickpeas left. Hence, chickpea cutlets:

In a tahini thickened mustard-caper sauce with string beans and red pepper.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thus Begins Fall

Today was very quiet and subdued for a lot of reasons.
Breakfast was a smoothie I had never made before. I kind of made it up as I went along but the flavors are basic flavors.

Pear-Carrot smoothie with ginger, lemon, walnuts, and flax meal.
Lunch was salad:

And dinner didn't happen so much as I just ate steamed broccoli and some roasted (okay, burnt) string beans standing up. I also baked, because, like I said, it was a very subdued day around here and baking seemed fitting.

Happy Herbivore's Gingerbread Loaf (with added dried cranberries.)


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lentil Almost Tacos

Quick, quick, while I type with one hand and tie my shoes with the other. I'm running out to meet G. Dinner tonight:

Lettuce "taco shell" filled with lentils and cabbage, topped with avocado, chopped tomato, mushrooms, and Frank's Red Hot. Delicious, quick, and light.
Oh, alright, just because you're so good, here's breakfast too:

Mango and banana topped with coconut flakes and cacao nibs. Also super tasty but not too filling. The in-between was a blur. Like this post. A whirlwind.
Have a good night!

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Which I Mostly Avoid Delicious Temptation

Hey guys! Today was a pretty productive day and I have Sarah to thank for it all! See, the baked goods from her giveaway were delivered while I wasn't home, and since I live in an apartment building, the post office took the box back to HQ - without telling me which HQ - leaving an illegible tracking number. After seeing Michelle and Shen post about their luscious goods, I was determined to pick mine up! Sooo I took the day off from work, heh. Plus I had a lot of stuff I needed to get done, and I did! I feel very accomplished.
I started the day with a smoothie. Gotta get them in while it's still warm enough out.

Spinach, banana, mango, flax meal, lemon juice, ginger. Raw pepitas on the side. After dealing with the (very pleasant) Post Office on the phone, I hopped the bus over to pick up the winnings. You've already seen the other two post the insides, but do they have a picture of their animals eying the winnings?

I think not. Get away from there, Haxan! Chocolate is not for kitties. But honestly, Sarah put together a really nice box of stuff: Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles and Brownie-Cookie Dough Truffles with a sweet handwritten card telling me I'm way more inspirational than Shen (her words not mine.) The care and time put into individually wrapping and boxing everything was quite evident. Thanks so much, Sarah! Tryyyying to hold off on eating everything way too quickly, I had an apple. Yes, I did.

Then a truffle. I couldn't help it. And all was well.
Then I ran out to pick up some groceries, came home and ate lunch. Pretty much a repeat of yesterday.

Lentils with cabbage over spinach with chopped carrot and zucchini. Dusted with curry. cumin, and turmeric.
Then more errands...chores, cleaning, etc., who cares, and dinner! An awesome, awesome salad. G applauded the salad.

After griping about fresh figs the other day, someone left a comment about a fig and pear salad. I expanded on that idea. This is spinach, arugula, carrot, tomato, cucumber, pear, fig, walnut, and avocado salad topped with just a few small pieces of tempeh. Dressed with balsamic-flax meal-mustard. Such a great bowl of nutrients, healthy fats, crisp vegetables, juicy fruits, and creamy avocado PLUS the "elusive" vegan protein. Honestly one of my favorite salads. And I love salads!
I won't leave you hanging any longer. Here's G proffering his truffle.

Check out that glory, eh? Have a good night!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My computer ate my snack

I ate a hearty breakfast, packed two nice snacks and a lunch and headed out to the food pantry this morning ready to face the day. When I got there, however, all the bags were packed (we had carrots, tomatoes, and red cabbage today) and they were ready to open, 40 minutes earlier than usual, so there was nothing for me to do - not even talk to the (small line of) clients! It was cloudy this morning, so a lot fewer people showed up. However, I did chat with one volunteer who asked me for some tips on eating vegan and vegetarian and keeping fit - though, I must say, she told me she was 53 years old and she looked amazing!
Anyway, here's what I had prepared:
Breakfast of soaked overnight oat groats, chia, goji berries (thanks for the reminder, Michelle), half a banana, coconut and raw pumpkin seeds.

The snacks I packed were a Ginger Gold apple and a Berry flavored Amazing Grass bar, but my computer deleted the photo! I can't blame it, though; they were both pretty tasty.
Lunch was spinach with cooked lentils and cabbage and chopped raw carrots. With sriracha.

Simple, and a lot more flavorful than I anticipated.
And dinner I'm really proud of! All raw sort of pasta in a cream sauce dish.

This is spiralized zucchini with chopped tomato in a tahini sauce, topped with nooch and black pepper. I love it. More than I've ever loved real pasta. And it's also much more filling than one would think.
Dessert was not raw! I warmed up a cinnamon roll, which I didn't take a photo of, but I do have a picture of G's dessert, which he begged me to document for you - which I assume means he really liked it. "Isn't this what the people want to see?"

This is basically a giant vegan macaroon. It smells amazing. I suggest clicking for a close up on that *glisten*. He picked it up from cupcakeland (which, if you're in Brooklyn doing the vegan food thing, is pretty close to Foodswings - not that they don't have their own desserts). Looking at the website, it says they use organic dairy, but G seems to be under the impression that the place is all vegan. Maybe they changed their policy? Anyway, I don't have much commentary from G because he is too busy spooning creamy coconut confection into his mouth, but let's just say he bypassed a cupcake from CUPCAKELAND for this.