Friday, May 28, 2010

Soup, There It Is

Although soup is usually something I savor in colder temperatures, it has composed two of the meals I've cooked this week! Bowl of this and and a buttahmilk biscuit to dip? Heaven.

Chile-Corn Chowder
serves 6

1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1 small white onion
1 1/2 jalepeno peppers, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 cups water
1 tablespoon red miso
4 ears worth of fresh sweet corn, de-cobbed
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
5 drops of stevia

Melt the Earth Balance over medium heat, then saute onion and peppers together for 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic, cooking for another minute. Throw in your potatoes, bay leaves, 3 cups of the water and the miso. Cook down for 20 minutes. Add the other cup of water, the corn, almond milk and stevia and simmer with a lid on for another 10 minutes. S&p to your taste.

The longer this sits, the better it gets, I'm telling ya!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Everyday Soul

This Everyday Soul is all about summer. Summer hasn't officially begun yet, and neither has hurricane season, but Florida has always tended to ignore such designations. It's been hot as Hades here lately and potentially the first named tropical storm of the year is already a-brewin' over in the Atlantic Ocean.

So last night, in true Floridian fashion, I ignored the generally accepted start of outdoor grilling season (Memorial Day) and made some killer shish kebabs. Just marinated this gorgeous array of veggies and some tempeh in lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce and LOTS of garlic for a couple hours, then skewered 'em and popped 'em onto the grill.

Grilling is so easy and so versatile that I just know it's going to be a frequent occurrence for me in the lazy days ahead. Go ahead, break the rules! Start grilling tonight! Heck, wear white if you want to! And maybe mix up something I like to call an Arnold Calmer: one cup brewed minty green tea mixed with the juice of one whole lemon and sweetener to your taste, iced down.

Trying my best to embrace the raging humidity, partially by staying inside and playing music! Made this new little page on a site called bandcamp as a way to make my tunes more accessible. Maybe give it a look.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How does pasta never get old?

No matter how many pasta dishes I make, I never, ever tire of it! This one happens to be made with my current favorite GF pasta, made of nothing but brown rice, and it tastes as close to real whole wheat pasta as it could, I think. The sweet potatoes in this dish that I improvised on for lunch yesterday manage both to coat the pasta in their gooey sweetness and maintain a few chunks, adding some texture.

Roasted Sweet Potato Pasta
serves 4

2 large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance
1 1/2 tablespoons EV olive oil
3 cloves garlic
3 small sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
1 cup frozen spinach
1/2 box small pasta, like penne

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke a few holes with a fork in each sweet potato, then roast them on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes. Just check on them to see when they're soft.

Once they've cooked through, take them out of the oven, peel them and chop them into large chunks. Boil the water for pasta while you heat the Earth Balance and oil in a pot over medium. Add the garlic and chopped rosemary to the pot. Once fragrant, plop the sweet potato chunks in, top with spinach and toss. When the pasta's done, toss that in as well. Allow the sweet potatoes to mush up into a kind of sauce, though like I said, a few chunks are ideal.

I sprinkled my plate with some mozzerella Daiya - good decision!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Georgia on my Mind

Whilst among my Southern kin, my mom and I came by a bag of some of the first Georgia peaches to ripen this season. Mm mm, do I love me some peaches! So in my fervor to fulfill this nagging craving for a fruit tart I've been having since the onset of Spring (remember?), I decided these peaches were destined to adorn one. Added bonus: It's RAW! And in keeping with the Southern feel, it starts with an easy pecan-based crust.

Raw Peach Tart
makes 8 slices

12 pitted Medjool dates
8 oz. raw pecans

Blend well in a food processor. Press crust into a tart dish, cover and refrigerate until you assemble the tart.

[Peach Topping]
5 fresh peaches, sliced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or honey

Toss and refrigerate until you assemble the tart.

8 oz. raw cashews
3 tablespoons raw agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon almond extract

Soak cashews in water for at least two hours. Blend thoroughly with sweetener and almond extract, until very, very smooth. Spread over crust, top with peaches and either serve immediately or let it set up in the fridge for a few hours beforehand.

I'm still working on my cashew cream, trying to get it to that point of sublime smoothness, so if you have any suggestions or go-to recipes for a cashew cream, go right ahead and make 'em public!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Everyday Soul (NY Edition!)

Hey y'all, I went straight from New York to Georgia, so now I'm livin' it up down South, but here are a few tantalizing photos from two very special vegan eateries I had the pleasure of dining at whilst in the Big Apple!

First, Boneshakers. This is a charming little place in Brooklyn that serves up the most deceitful breakfast sandwich I've ever tasted; deceitful in that it's DELICIOUS but also totally vegan and doesn't make you feel like you're going to die of heart failure when you've finished it. Presenting The Sag:

Next, the bakery where dreams come true: Babycakes!!! I actually went twice during the week, so I got to test a variety of things, including...

The Cookie Sandwich


The Wonder Bun! Mmmm...

Be back Thursday! <3

Monday, May 10, 2010

Everyday Soul

Today, I depart for New York City for a week! Gonna take a Spring romp around with my best bro, Tommy (Hard Work). Couldn't possibly be more excited. So I may be posting some pictures from sweet vegan restaurants that I hope to hit up in the city, but until next week, probably no recipes. To hold ya over, here's some Everyday Soul.

First, MOMS! Aren't they the greatest? Made mine sweet potato pancakes for breakfast yesterday morning. Since I've been home, I've read about half of her as yet unpublished novel - it's FASCINATING! What a role model. :) How did you spend your Mother's Day?

I love being able to have Pizza Fusion's Gluten Free Very Vegan Pizza delivered. It feels like such a luxury. Pigged out on this after I played a show on Saturday. Whole cloves of roasted garlic, people.

And lastly, I wanted to share with y'all my favorite beverage of the moment: the Kombucha Spritzer. Mix one-third of a Synergy Kombucha tea (flavor of your choice), a splash of cold water, the juice of half a citrus fruit, and one packet of stevia, then serve on the rocks! These are so refreshing, taste like soda without be remotely bad for you, and save you regular Kombucha drinkers some serious dollars.

Happy Monday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Soul Food digs Daiya

Consider this my official blogger nod to the new vegan cheeze sensation, Daiya. We don't have a Whole Foods in Gainesville, so the excitement over its being stocked at Whole Foods everywhere came to me a bit belated. But back in South Florida, Mom and I got over to one of the organic mega-stores and picked up some of the mozzarella variety, which we have thus far scattered on a pizza and the pasta seen above. The verdict? I'm so hooked on this stuff. Can't wait to make a grilled cheese.

The marinara we used for the pizza and the pasta was very rustic, and thoroughly homemade, right down to the freshly picked tomatoes from the little garden in my grandma's backyard. If your summer plot is beginning to overflow with tomatoes like ours is, I highly recommend this recipe - it makes a LOT of sauce!

Garden-Style Marinara
3 lbs. very ripe tomatoes
1 whole head of garlic
2 small yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 large purple or green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup fresh basil, firmly packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
red pepper flakes
olive oil

Squeeze half of the tomatoes into a large bowl, allowing everything but the skins to fall in. Cut the rest of the tomatoes in half, spread on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, s&p. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes.

Make a paste with the garlic and onions in a food processor. Transfer to a large pot with chopped bell pepper and a few shakes of olive oil. Saute until the pepper softens, then add both the squeezed and roasted tomatoes, all the herbs and red pepper flakes to your taste. Let the sauce cook down for about an hour on low heat.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My mom's totally rawsome.

So on this lovely Cinco de Mayo, I'm excited to share with you her amazing raw recipe for luscious, decadent chocolate mousse. What makes my mom's version of this fairly common raw dessert so spectacular for me is its strikingly similar flavor to a Christmastime classic in my family: the chocolate orange. You know, those balls of chocolate wrapped in orange peel-patterned foil that you smash on the table so that it breaks into little slices. Chocolate tinged with orange zestiness...too good!!

And hey, to add a little Mexican flair to it, you can replace the orange extract with vanilla, then mix in some cinnamon and a pinch ancho chili powder! This mousse is very versatile - change the flavors up and it becomes a whole new sensation.

Who'da thunk I'd be enjoying a glorified avocado for dessert four nights strong?

Raw Orange-Chocolate Mousse
serves 2

2 ripe Haas avocados
1/4 cup cocoa powder (Green & Black is my favorite!)
2 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
2 packets of stevia
1 teaspoon orange extract

Peel avocado and blend with all other ingredients in a strong food processor until very smooth. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour. Or the freezer for half an hour, if you're in a hurry. But trust me, it's the chilling that really takes it to the next level.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Everyday Soul

Here we are at Monday once again! Somehow this week slipped by quicker than I knew. Maybe it was because I was havin' so much fun. But really, this has so far been the most therapeutic vacation. I'm so thankful to be home. Here are a few morsels of Everyday Soul for y'all, to get you going for the week:

Who's seen Fried Green Tomatoes? It's an old Southern favorite of mine. Saw it first with my grandmama, and relived it Sunday night with my own mama.

Discovered the wonder of chia seeds! Apparently, they are the richest plant source of omega-3's ever, and they help control the usual blood sugar spike that occurs with the digestion of carbohydrates. Definitely my new favorite superfood. I'm hoping to someday fulfill this new dream I have of sprouting chia seeds for consumption in a Chia Pet.

And lastly, Nerve City had hardly plugged in their guitars at this warehouse show I went to Saturday night before I knew I'd love 'em. Warming up with Mr. Sandman? Come on. "Patience As a Virtue" is where it's at.

Have a good one!