Archive | August, 2012

End of August

31 Aug

Well we did it! One blog post everyday in the month of August! Most days we had two posts. What a wonderful and fulfilling challenge. It was a great way to kick off the blog! I’m really pleases with the positive response we’ve gotten. THANKS.

I hope you all have a great weekend and nice (US) holiday. Take some time over the long weekend to smell the flowers (like Lucy here)
-Kerri

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Restaurant Review: Spoon Revolution Vegan Bistro ****

30 Aug

Today I finally made it to Spoon Revolution in Concord! Their dishes are 100% vegan and gluten-free. Their menu is very limited so don’t expect a lot of choices if you visit. Today, they had 1 soup (Vegetable Bean), 2 salads (Hummus salad and a garden salad), 3 entrees, and 1 dessert. Each day, they offer a 3 course meal for $8.99, which is what I opted for: Soup or salad, entree, and a dessert, plus iced tea. If you choose something outside of the designated 3 courses, you pay an “a la carte” price. Check out their site for more information.

Mixed greens salad with fresh hummus

Courgette and quinoa cold casserole (Grated young zucchini, quinoa lightly cooked in house vegetable stock and seasoned with walnut oil, fresh oregano and lemon juice, blended with uncooked fresh organic tomato and basil sauce.)

Iced Tea

Mango Madness Mango, banana and apricot with coconut milk, oats and brown rice syrup.

I will definitely go back to Spoon Revolution! Three things stood out to me, though, that prevented me from giving them 5 stars: the limited menu, the sluggish atmosphere and the lack of organic ingredients. Sorry, Spoon Revolution… you just can’t compete with Susty’s!

Throw everything in the pan curry

30 Aug

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I am a firm believer that great things come from one pan. I will throw everything i have in the fridge in a pan and serve it up about once a week or every two weeks.
This time I also used up a can of pigeon peas that I bought for the first time. I’ve never eaten them before so I didn’t know how I would like them. Turns out they were the perfect thing for my vegetable curry.
I cooked onion, garlic, pigeon peas, tomato, carrot, and mushroom in one pan and added a couple scoops of curry powder and soy milk. Simmered for 10 minutes and devoured! I will be buying more pigeon peas next time I go shopping! Next time I’ll use a little less curry powder and I think this meal will be perfect. It’s great for leftovers too!
What do you add to your curry?
Or what’s your favorite one pot meal?
-Kerri

Frizzled Cabbage and Smashed Bean Club

29 Aug

I recently received a massage head of cabbage in my CSA and wanted to make something interesting with it. After requesting help from my facebook friends, I decided on the following recipe. Unfortunately, I got nervous with using 8 tablespoons of butter, so I tweaked it a bit. Still delicious, but not quite “frizzled.” If you would like to try the true frizzled version, click the link below. Otherwise, try out this sauteed “frizzled” cabbage alternative:

Frizzled Cabbage

(Adapted from Food.com)

1 head of cabbage

2 tablespoons of vegan butter

Salt

Pepper

1.Core and very thinly slice the cabbage.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet (I use non-stick) over medium heat.

3. When it is bubbling, add the cabbage.

4. Salt and pepper the cabbage.

5. Stir occasionally and cook until mostly wilted, about 10 minutes.

6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage is starting to caramelize (brown), about 10 minutes.

7. Do not let burn.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/frizzled-cabbage-83524?oc=linkback

For lunch today, I followed another one of the Happy Herbivore’s meal plan recipes: Smashed White Bean and Avocado Club. Definitely one of my favorites!

~Kate

Lentil Soup, lots and lots of lentil soup

28 Aug

I’ve been wanting to cook lentils for a while now. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten the before this year. They always looked weird and un appetizing to me. Some lovely Indian dal changed me mind. I’m still too intimidated to cook Indian food at home, so i made lentil soup. This recipe is simple and tastes great! It came out more like a stew, perfect with a piece of toast. It tastes way better than it looks, trust me 🙂 

Simple Lentil Soup:

1 lb green lentils

1 large potato

1 large tomato

3 large carrots

1 med onion

6 leaves of kale

5 cloves of garlic

2 tbs oil

1 quart vegetable stock

2 cups water

salt and pepper

 

In a blender, pulse garlic, onion, carrots, and kale. This cuts down on the chop time.

 

Heat oil in large soup pot.

Add vegetables from blender to pot.

 

Add salt and pepper. (A good large pinch)

Chop potato into small pieces and add to pot, stir occasionally, cook for 5 minutes.

Rinse lentils with cold water.

Add Vegetable stock to pot. (I poured the stock into the blender and then into the pot so I could get every last little piece of the green vegetable mix out of the blender.

Add extra water (I added 2 cups and it came out pretty much like stew, add more water of veg. stock for a thin broth)

Cover pot and let cook for 30 minutes.

taste test lentils, continue to cook until lentils are soft but not mushy.

Serve with toasted crusty bread.

Enjoy. Makes enough for sharing and the freezer 🙂 

Chocolate for Breakfast!

27 Aug

Thank you Happy Herbivore for giving me yet another delicious meal to wake up for! Chocolatey Oatmeal! I received the recipe from one of the meal plans. Considering you get about 21 recipes for $5, it’s a pretty inexpensive way to eat healthy and make simple, delicious meals. If you are interested or would like more information, check out the Happy Herbivore’s meal plan website at http://www.getmealplans.com/

 

Recipe: Chickpea Salad!

26 Aug

I recently was at the store and ran across a pre-made Chickpea Salad that was vegan. It tasted great, but I figured I could easily make my own version at home. I copied the ingredients and with the help of a few online recipes, I pieced together what turned out to be an amazing salad!

Kate’s Chickpea Salad

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves garlic (or the equivalent in garlic powder)

1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt

Pepper

1. Saute onions and peppers over medium heat for about 4-6 minutes. Onions should be slightly translucent. You can skip this step if you prefer raw veggies.

2. In a large bowl, combine veggies, garlic, chickpeas, and cilantro.

3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix and pour over salad.

4. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Refrigerate before serving so all the flavors can combine.

I also wanted to share one of the most exciting items I have received from my CSA: MELON!

Vietnam Noodle House

25 Aug

I went to the Vietnam Noodle House on Main St. in  Nashua, NH the other night. I’ve been meaning to go there for ages.

It was really late, so I was glad to see they were still open, and still taking sit down customers (they have huge take out popularity).

I was overjoyed to see that half the menu was vegan AND the vegan menu including appetizers were listed first! I Hate having to search forever in a menu to find anything.

Mike was glad to see that they also offered omnivore options too.
We Split the vegan egg rolls. They were AWESOME! the best I’ve ever had! perfectly crispy, not oily, and the presentation was lovely. We ate it with the spicy “rooster sauce” (watch out, it’s super spicy)

For my meal I order the house special which was like stir fried veggies with tofu and their three types of marinated seitan (mock beef, mock pork, and mock chicken). The veggies were nice and firm, just how I like them. This was piled high over a bed of broad noodles (resembled wide egg noodles). I loved this dish but next time I’ll try a different noodle.

My meal was only $7.50 and there was enough for great leftovers lunch the next day.

The staff was a bit slow but super polite and friendly resulting in the tip of a lifetime 🙂

The decor is comically weak, but the food speaks for itself.

I can’t wait to go back here!

Anyone want to go with me?

-Kerri

The Sweet Simple Pleasures of Late Summer

24 Aug

My neighbors started a small but amazing garden this year. They generously gave me some of their tomatoes the other day.

These tomatoes are the most flavorful tomatoes I can ever remember tasting. They are far and above, way better than the tomatoes in my CSA.

I ate these tomatoes by themselves and they were awesome, but what really hit the spot was my open faced tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich.

I have a sweet memory of my first tomato and mayonnaise sandwich. I was probably 11 when I went through a pretty severe Harriet the Spy phase. Harriet love tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches, so of corse I needed to try one.

My Nanna lived with us, and she saw me making the sandwich in the kitchen and got all excited. Seeing the tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich stirred up memories of her past and childhood when she used to make them all the time. She said that she had not seen one in years and years and decided to join me and have a sandwich of her own.

Now tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches are like comfort food. It always brings me back to that day with my Nanna in the kitchen and Harriet the Spy on my mind.

I made my tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich open faced this time because the tomatoes were so beautiful I thought it would be a shame to cover them with a piece of bread.

I toasted scali bread in the toaster oven (an italian style bread covered with sesame seeds), and topped the toast with vegan  mayonnaise and large slices of tomato.

I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life.

-Kerri

Bummer

24 Aug

Since starting the vegan diet back in February, I have noticed many benefits ranging from increased energy to fewer stomachaches. Unfortunately, I also noticed I was breaking out more often, specifically around my mouth. Some people said it was hormone-related others said it was my body detoxing. Keep in mind that even during adolescence, I never had any problems with acne.

Last week, I noticed I was breaking out more than usually and assessed my diet. I had several soy-based meals. This week, I decided to cut back on the soy. Sure enough, my skin is clear. It’s nice to know what most likely was the cause, but super disappointing that it is soy 😦 Obviously, this reaction isn’t severe enough for me to cut it out completely, especially since I have been eating soy for as long as I remember, just not in the same quantity as I have been recently.

My plan is to cut back on tofu and tempeh and focus more on beans and quinoa for protein. Any other suggestions?

~Kate