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Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

With kitty’s diagnosis, the beau and I have had to make some changes in our daily routine. He needs to have his shots twelve hours apart, which can seem impossible for two people who rarely seem to be home. Six o’clock is the magic time and in result, I (we) are now forced to become morning people. I really don’t mind the mornings, I just don’t care for the darkness. And because I’ve found myself in a great routine of working out on lunch, I now cook in the early morning.

While the beau is in bed reading and sipping on tea, I’ve been in the kitchen either making lunch or prepping for that night’s dinner. We’ve both admitted that my meal planning has been great for saving on cash and inhibiting us from eating out too frequently. This morning I made a big batch of hummus and a chickpea salad. Lot’s of  beans protein for my post-workout meal.

Roasted Carrot Hummus adapted from The Gouda Life

  • Three monster carrots (from FG), washed and cut into 4 inch sticks
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • splash of EVOO
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • tahini to taste (I prefer only about 1-1.5 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrots and garlic in the EVOO and season with the salt, pepper and cumin. Wrap in foil and bake until the carrots are soft, about 35-40 minutes. Pour  the foil contents into a blender, along with the lemon juice, tahini and chickpeas. Blend until creamy and season with more salt to taste. I added a tiny extra splash of EVOO to make it smoother.

Chickpea Salad 

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • vegan mayo
  • finely diced red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed reed pepper flakes (if your heart desires)
  • few pinches of dill

Using a fork, mash the chickpeas but don’t puree them. They should be chunky with a few whole ones included in the mix. Add in a spoonful of vegan mayo and mix in your seasonings. If you have scallions, throw ’em in! If you have celery in the fridge, dice it up and throw ’em in! Really, anything goes. Well, except for gummy bears. Those wouldn’t taste good with chickpeas. But raw red peppers would!

I sliced open a pita, spread on some of the roasted chickpea hummus, stuffed in some raw spinach and filled it with the chickpea salad. Lunch was delicious! I don’t know why I haven’t made this within the last year; it really fulfilled my craving for tuna.

Be prepared for some more vegan recipes this year as I cook my way through the sunrise!

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Tonight was one of those nights that I realized many things:

  • that our pantry, cupboards and fridge are pretty empty
  • I need to get back into the habit of running again in the early mornings, and
  • the dishes must be washed every single night.

I quickly washed two sinks worth of dishes after work and decided that I needed a healthy meal to ease my unexercised mind. Because of the craziness from this past weekend at the shop, we still had all of our veggies from last week’s delivery still on hand. I wasn’t in the mood for rice (again) and didn’t think quinoa would taste good paired with the veggies I thought about sautéing. I dug around and found some leftover lasagna noodles; and immediately put on a pot of water.

Random Veggie Roundup serves two hungry people

  • three or four  stalks of fresh curly kale (FG) [broccoli, brussels sprouts and zucchini would all work too]
  • EVOO
  • about three cups of sliced mushrooms (FG)
  • about two cups of sliced red cabbage (FG)
  • two cloves of garlic (FG)
  • about a cup of corn, fresh or frozen (FG)
  • veggie stock (my mom made this delicious batch!)
  • sriracha
  • Braggs liquid aminos
  • tiny splash of apple cider vinegar
  • optional: udon noodles, rice noodles, or any pasta on hand

Super easy: Cook choice of noodles as directed. I had four leftover lasagna noodles that I crumbled into bite-sized pieces.

Saute kale in a little EVOO until it is bright green, add a splash of stock if dry. Add mushrooms and cabbage and cook for just a few minutes until the cabbage becomes softer, but still snappy. Stir in corn and cook until warm.

Push the veggies to one side of the pan and cook the diced garlic in a little EVOO. It would also be delicious to add some fresh ginger (we didn’t have any on hand). Once it smells delicious, stir in with the veggies. Now add a generous splash of stock, about 2-3 tablespoons of Braggs, the tiniest splash of ACV and about two teaspoons of sriracha (less if you aren’t a fan of spice). Stir and let that start to simmer. Add in the noodles, stir and serve. Top with scallions if you have any- we didn’t, sadly.

Meals like this make me happy: they are simple and full of flavor. They also inspire me to make a shopping list!

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One morning while walking back from brunch, we noticed how chilly it had become over the previous week. I then thought that I should put out extra feed for the birds to enjoy; I did after all have to winterize the porch. And then the idea of a vegan alternative to suet came to mind.

While understanding that most birds in the ‘hood are indeed omnivores, I’d prefer not to purchase any products made of animals and bring them into our living environment. I quickly turned to the Internet for a recipe and took to the kitchen early yesterday morning. It was the chilliest day yet!

Veggie “Suet” Blocks Makes four blocks

  • 2 cups of veggie shortening
  • just over a cup of bird seed
  • about half a cup of peanut butter (it’s all I had in the cupboard)

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Melt the veggie shortening over a low heat to prevent it from burning. Once completely melted, turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Then stir in the seeds. Pour into a mold (I used an aluminum pan) and cool until solid- I put the pan out on the back porch and it only took about thirty minutes to harden. Cut and put into feeder; I had a leftover suet cage from last winter. Hang and watch the birds gobble it up!

Oh, and you can keep the leftovers in the freezer until the next time you need to refill.

This was a softer recipe and next time I think I’ll try adding a little chickpea flour to firm it up more- but it did hold it’s shape well. I love having birds around and jump out of bed in the morning when I hear them in the (glass) feeder. I’ve only seen one blue jay this year and he was gorgeous! Don’t get me wrong, the little chickadees are darling but I’d love to have mister blue come to visit again this winter. Here’s to lending a helping hand and enjoying every bit of nature, even while living in the city.

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To piggy-back off of a previous post, instead of buying gifts for each other for the anniversary of our first date, the beau and I decided to take a day trip to Woodstock, NY. I had only driven through this little town after hiking once before but he was more familiar with it because his art had been featured in a gallery down there. I got up early to run my long run, shower, have a hearty breakfast at our regular spot and hit up the local car wash thanks to the HUNDREDS of crows that live in the trees outside of my apartment this time of the year. We were on the road by eleven and at the trail head by noon.

A co-worker suggested that we hike up Overlook Mountain, which I didn’t know the beau  would be interested in doing. Luckily, I was wrong! I think the short distance (just over a mile) combined with the fact that it was on an old carriage road were the selling points. We bundled up and started up the trail!

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We passed a bunch of people who were already heading back to the car, it was a gorgeous autumn day, and within no time had to stop to take our coats off. By the time we made it to our destination, it was getting a little grey out and snow flurries were floating in the air. We decided not to hike to the fire tower and just to the abandoned hotel because we wanted enough time to walk around town before dinner. I loved it! I read up on this old building and it was originally built in 1871 but unfortunately burnt to the ground in 1923. It was so much fun to walk within it’s walls and imagine what it had looked like over a hundred years ago.

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We spent quite a bit of time wandering around but it got cold fast, so back down the trail we went. And then decided to explore the Buddhist monastery across the street from where we parked! There was a retreat happening but we did get a peak inside of the meditation hall.

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Once downtown we shopped, visited a couple of galleries, dreamt about purchasing antiques and laughed plenty of laughs in a neat children’s toy store.

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Seriously, what are those naked baby angels? And did you ever get to dissect owl vomit?

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The beau had originally suggested a trip to Woodstock because he had found an all vegan restaurant for us to have dinner at: Garden Cafe on the Green. Reservations were at five and we had a cute little seat in the window.

I think we were both overwhelmed to have so many options! We both agreed that we should try as much as we wanted/could and that we did! Besides the wine and side salads, this is what we ordered:

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For appetizers: the caesar salad with toasted almonds and the quesadillas with roasted red peppers and kalamata olives. The salsa, guacamole and sour cream were a big hit in my book!

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Dinner for him: pasta with “meatballs” and garlic bread. A classic!

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Dinner for her: wild and brown rice mushroom saute, cornmeal crusted tofu with red wine fig sauce, butternut squash terrine with pistachio swirl and roasted brussels sprouts. Out of this world delicious!

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For dessert: warm chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This serving was huge! Bigger than my hand! My only criticism of this rich, creamy dessert is that it wasn’t a brownie; it was a cake. Of course neither of us complained!

It was a wonderful day. Not buying gifts for each other was a great decision and I enjoyed spending time with him rather than money on an object. I would highly recommend this small town to any New Yorker looking for a day trip, even with the winter weather pressing us. Just remember to bundle up and hold the hand of your loved one.

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Listening to: I am love love loving Lorde’s new album PURE HEROINE. 400 Lux and Glory and Gore are on repeat all day long. Hard to believe she’s only seventeen; are you a fan?

Anxious about: next week’s race. I set a huge goal for myself and four weeks ago it seemed totally doable. Today, I am still struggling to shave off  thirty seconds off of my pace. Day one my average pace per mile for 6.2 miles was 9:48. Last week/halfway with training it was 9:25. Realistically if I continue to eat my cleanest, run every run with intention and stay hydrated, this is a perfectly attainable goal. But it is easier said than done. This afternoon’s run was just over three miles at an average pace of 9:00; so damn close and so damn hard for me to continue. I’ve got my work cut out for me friends.

Excited about: I was invited to a cookie swap/potluck dinner next month put on by and for local bloggers! I’m looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully trying some good food. I did make a note that I was vegan so hopefully a couple of people will take that into consideration and provide goodies that I can sample and bring home to the beau. If not, that’s okay because let’s be honest, I don’t need all those sweets!

Wondering: if a blood test is really the best bet for finding food allergies? Now that I’ve been vegan for almost a year now, I’m finding that I’m very sensitive to specific foods. I’ve hinted before but gluten has become a major problem for me and it wasn’t until a near-disasterous car ride home from a sushi date that I figured it out; there is gluten in soy sauce. I’m also noting that tofu also causes digestion issues. But not tempeh, which is fermented soy. It could also be that because I am physically pushing myself harder more frequently, my body hasn’t figured out how to adjust or I haven’t properly figured out how to fuel on workout days. Or maybe I’m eating too much fiber at once without any grains? I’m considering a blood test and wondering if anyone out there has ever had one?

Planning: on decorating the mantle in our bedroom this holiday season. Can I just say that holiday decorations are expensive! I’m going to try and save some cash by using items already in the apartment and DIYing some projects.

Loving: all of the love in the air! My little sister is engaged! A close friend of mine is getting married in nine months and asked me to be part of her special day! Another close friend is pregnant and due in the Spring! I don’t feel old enough to announce any of that news but I can happily say that all were planned.

Eating: Despite having belly troubles, I am loving tofu scrambles and burritos. And then stuffing my tofu scrambles inside the burritos. It’s a win win really. I’m also loving my cookie butter and sliced apples snack mid-morning while at work. And vegan gummy bears. And the return of frozen pineapple and raw kale in my breakfy smoothie. Can you tell I made a trip to Trader Joe’s? Speaking of TJ’s, they discontinued our beloved soy chorizo! Insert wailing. The portobello mushroom burger this past Sunday at Carmen’s was probably by far the best portobello mushroom I’ve ever had. Ever. I hope it makes a return to the specials board real soon. I’m craving a good sloppy Joe.

{Wedding magazines found at local CVS. OMG YAY! card found at Troy Cloth & Paper. Dark chocolate found at The Grocery.}

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In this week’s bag:

  • brussels sprouts: these will be roasted and then baked into a macaroni and cheese with soy chorizo.
  • spaghetti squash: gobbled up this afternoon with leftovers! I got up at 6 am to bake the squash and then packed them into our lunchboxes with lentil meatballs and homemade sauce.
  • yellow onions: will be used in the “cheese” sauce for the mac & cheese mentioned above and also the carrot soup below.
  • salad mix: all that talk about pasta requires at least one salad for dinner, tonight.
  • kale: while the squash was baking, I made a big pot of short grain brown rice. I picked up some shredded unsweetened coconut on lunch… you know what that means… all time favorite kale dish!
  • cameo apples: Sliced and dipped in peanut butter, simple but the best morning snack at work.
  • yellow carrots: all time favorite soup time!

I literally LOVE everything in this bag! And could repeat it for another three weeks before the frozen goods kick in.

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And while we’re on the topic of veggies, this weekend the beau and I will be vending at the Albany VegFest 2013. Stop by and check it out! There will be demos, speakers and samples galore! Make sure to say hi if you do pass through! Stay happy and healthy my friends!

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Let’s see, we no longer have internet at the apartment. We took a day trip to Woodstock, NY. I flew down to Baltimore on Thursday for a conference on Friday and am back in state to work at the shop today for the Farmer’s Market. It’s been a little busy.

For the first time since signing up for Field Goods, I don’t have a photograph to share with you all. When I reminded the beau that he’d have to pick up the veggies, the first thing he said was “I’m not taking a photograph!” And I don’t blame him, he would rather dive in; and dive in he did. I know we have a small serving of mustard greens left, apples, more turnips for roasting and cider. Our favorite autumn drink: hot cider with a shot of caramel vodka. You’re welcome.

I didn’t get to sight see much while in Baltimore but I did enjoy my very short stay. There were many colleges in the area which meant there was a ton of foot traffic, interesting shops scattered along the streets and many restaurants that I would have loved to eat at and sample. I did a quick search online once I checked into my hotel for the best vegan place to eat and hands-down the response was The Land of Kush.

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Everything on the menu is vegan and the minute I saw the macaroni and cheese, I knew I needed a side sample. Once deciding on the special platter (one entree, two sides), I opted for the Kush BBQ Ribs smothered in BBQ sauce and the collard greens.

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It was all so good! The collards were a little bland, but when paired with the mac & cheese, it was the perfect bite. Now for the ribs (soy protein), I haven’t tasted BBQ like that in a looooong time! There were red peppers in the sauce and bites of potatoes; I regretted not grabbing a hunk of corn bread to lap up that sauce! I was very satisfied and let the guys behind the counter know. They were welcoming and hinted that I should drop by again after I told them that I’d have time before my flight on Friday night.

And that’s just where I returned after dropping a few new colleagues off at the train station. Hey, I was only like three blocks away… and when in Baltimore…

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This time I chose two crab cakes, more mac & cheese and the live kale salad. My little sister is obsessed with crab cakes (she will order them off of any and all menus) and let me tell you, this would have fooled her. Again, I haven’t had a crab cake in over a year now and my problem, I’m now craving them and they’re miles away! The beau and I will have to start experimenting with soy protein to try and recreate theirs.

I’m also going to try and recreate the kale salad. I could taste the lemon juice and garlic with each bite, but occasionally there was a hint of creaminess. I liked that it wasn’t all creamy and overpowering and had to ask them what it was: avocado. I would have never guessed because there wasn’t an avocado taste or green color; I’m going to try my hardest not to go overboard when I give it a go.

I love a place where the people are happy and this place was just that. I also love a place that will tell you everything that’s in what you’re eating. I believe there shouldn’t be secret ingredients for two reasons:

  1. As a consumer, I’d love to know what I’m eating. For allergy reasons. For health reasons. For ethical reasons. For the fact that it’s a right to know what I’m putting into my body as fuel.
  2. As a provider, you want to encourage your customers to eat well and have a healthy lifestyle. My favorite restaurant in Troy is not based solely on the taste of their product (which is always amazing) but because I have a relationship with the owners and chef. If I ask, they tell. They want me to eat healthy at home and go to them as a second kitchen. And I do weekend after weekend. (and if you haven’t guessed, it’s Carmen’s!)

Do you agree? Any who, I’d definitely recommend it if you are ever in that area.

Food wise I’m happy to be home again and have the option of cooking my own meals. I ate a lot of fruit salad, grilled veggies and one veggie sushi roll in the airport. I’m also happy to have someone to share my meals with; eating on the road can be lonely in a new place. Lucky for me, I have a great sense of direction and had a good book in my backpack.

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