Monday, October 11, 2010

Everyday Soul

For your supply of soul this week, three tantalizing treats and one perfect party idea from around the blogosphere:

• Food & Style's Shoestring Okra Fries (Baked them, spiced them, loved them.)

• Manifest Vegan's Chocolate Acorn Squash Baked Custard (Sooo making these for Thanksgiving!)

• Vegan Dad's Zucchini Pancakes (De-glutenized and served last night at my very own version of...)

• Rachel Red Lips' Naked Lady Party! Otherwise known as an all-girl clothing swap, this simultaneously frugal and fun party idea inspired me immediately to arrange one, which went off without a hitch last night. Traded some darling fall clothes with my stylish friends and fed them lots of zucchini pancakes with homemade tzatziki sauce. I highly recommend the experience.

Photos borrowed from the respective bloggers!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Keepin' It Spicy

Mexican Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

I must tell you, by the third week of this Detox for Women, it has gotten harder to stay inspired in the kitchen. The detox, lasting 30 days, bars gluten and sugar in all forms, all processed foods and even nuts and beans! So my cooking palette has been comprised solely of vegetables and a couple approved grains.

Especially in the last week, since the weather got colder, I've really been missing some of my favorite fall dishes: chili, shepard's pie (or as we call it around here, gardener's pie!), and...well, burritos. Recreating the flavors of your favorites with spices and other detox-approved ingredients is one of Natalia Rose's suggestions for keeping us cleansers from getting bored, so that's what I set out to do for good old burritos with these very, very flavorful stuffed peppers.

Mexican Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
serves 4

4 green or red bell peppers, cored
1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder
1/2 cup pepitos
1/2 avocado, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350. Bring quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until quinoa is fully cooked - around 15 minutes. In the meantime, saute the onions, garlic and tomatoes in a little bit of olive oil. Once they start to soften, mix in the spices. After it starts to get nice and fragrant, mix the sofrito-ish thing into the quinoa with the pepitos, or pumpkin seeds. Stuff a quarter of the mixture into each pepper, place them in a circular baking dish with a 1/4-inch of water in the bottom, cover with foil and place in the oven for one hour.

Garnish with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of paprika. I recommend serving it with some squash soup. Makes for a super-nommy Tex Mex dinner.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Falling for Fall

If I'm being honest, my favorite season has always been autumn. Where I grew up, in South Florida, the leaves didn't actually turn pretty colors, and the temperature never really started to drop until the rest of the country had already made the transition.

Here in Northern Florida, well, not much has changed! But I like to think I'm far enough north now to enjoy some of the natural joys of the season. Here's what's been getting me jazzed for the next couple months.

Fall Inspiration

Clockwise from top left: Peacekeeper Natural Lip Paint, an organic line of lipsticks with some really choice shades (top-rated for its low impact and absence of toxic substances on; Howl and Other Poems, a representative collection of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg's incredible work; a proliferation of butterbeer recipes with the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - boy, I could really see myself kickin' back by a roaring fire with a frothy glass of this stuff; Jules and Jim, French actress Jeanne Moreau at her finest; butternut squash bread pudding (to be veganized immediately!); meringue "bones" (with my recent meringue experimentation, how could I help myself?); The FEST 9!!! (I'm fortunate enough to be performing at this glorious annual Gainesville festival on All Hallow's Eve - couldn't be more excited); and finally, a charming Sartorialist photo of a young lady dining al fresco at a Parisian cafe - how chic...I love her hat and her pattern-mixing. :)