Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall in New England

Ok, so this post isn't food related, but I wanted to share some of the pretty foliage scenes from our neighborhood! I'm excited, since this is our first Fall in our new home here. And by the time this "storm" hits tonight/tomorrow, the wind will probably have blown all the leaves off entirely!

And the following pictures are from my phone:

 (yes, the squirrels ate our pumpkins)

Hope you are enjoying the Fall weather......

Eat smart,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Roots and Soups

As we prepare for the impending storm, I thought I'd link again to my storm prep post. It seems it doesn't matter where we move, we always bring along the hurricanes. When we left New Orleans to live in Cincinnati for a year, we brought a hurricane....lost power for 5 days! And now we have moved to New England, here we go again. Sorry!! But anyway, good idea to be prepared, so get going.

Now on to the actual post. It's ROOT season! Yup, potatoes, onions, turnips, parsnips, you name it....

I roasted a big pan of roots, including parsnips, turnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, onions, and beets for color (since it was all white!). So good. Cut them up, spread them out on a baking sheet, sprinkle on some "Herbs of Provence" and some salt, bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes....done! (you might want to stir them a bit in the middle)

I love roasted root vegetables!! What's your favorite root? This was my first time with a kohlrabi and celeriac. Here's a picture of the dirty, half peeled celeriac:

Have you had celeriac before? It tastes like celery, but with a really weird texture.

Made some beet salad too (boiled beets, raw onions, apple cider vinegar, salt):

It's also SOUP season! A nice warming bowl of soup on a cold Autumn evening. Yup :)

(Harvest Corn and Squash Soup)

(Couscous and Roasted Pepper Soup)

Both of the above soup recipes are from Devra Gartenstein's "Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes". It's an excellent book with recipes by season. Both of these soups were so delicious!!

What's your favorite Fall/Winter soup?

Eat smart,

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Vegan Care Package

I think this is the 3rd time I've done Lindsay's Vegan Care Package Swap! It's such a cool idea and you get to "meet" people across the country who share the same interest in vegan food as you.

This year, my partner was Monika in North Carolina! And since I had just moved from New Orleans to New England, I was unsure if I'd be able to find really cool stuff to send (especially since she specified she liked spicy food....argh.....New Orleans would have been the best place for that!!). I usually like to include a souvenir or two of where I live, but that proved to be more difficult here, as it's not quite as "touristy" as New Orleans, lol. Oh well, hope I did ok.

She sent me some awesome stuff, including some locally made fig jam. How cool!

(check out the super cute card with the kitty and the owl!!)

(who doesn't love chocolate? And I love getting local stuff)

(local fig jam!! Excited to try it...I've never had fig jam)

(awesome mug. I think I've used it everyday since I got it!)

And she included really great coffee too! And the "Celebrate Vegan" cookbook.....the recipes look great. I've already bookmarked a ton. And one cannot have too many vegan cookbooks :)

Thank you, Monika, for this amazing package!! I love it all....and I'm definitely going to keep doing this yearly care package swap. 

Have any of you done this care package swap? (Feel free to link to your goodies in the comments below, if you did Lindsay's care package swap) If not, you should definitely try it next year. 

Eat smart,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Crazy

Yup, it's that time of year. Pumpkin season! And now that I'm in the northeast, there are plenty to choose from:

Long Island Cheese Squash (more on that later), kabocha, buttercup, acorn, sweet dumpling, pattypan, ambercup, and delicata.

Pumpkin, squash, pumpkin, squash. What's the difference? Who knows.....the ones that are shaped like those typical orange sugar pumpkins....I'll call those pumpkins. How's that? Here's a decent site with pictures of various types of pumpkins/squash:

Here, I baked the delicata:

And here, I baked up the awesome buttercup (see how to do it here):

Now on to the Long Island Cheese Squash.

That's a scary-lookin' squash. I kept putting off trying to cut into it....but when I finally did it, it wasn't that difficult!

Then I cut it into quarters:

And baked it!!

Nicely wrinkled, no?

Then I scooped it out of its skin and mashed it up and put it away....all 10 cups of it!

I used it to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin gingerbread! So good. Now I have plenty in the freezer for Thanksgiving......who needs this....

....when you've got the fresh stuff!

What will you make out of pumpkin this year??

Eat smart,

Monday, October 15, 2012

What do you do with roasted tomatoes?

I love hummus. And there are so many ways to prepare it, like my "regular" tomato basil hummus or plain tomato hummus, or even just plain ol' hummus.

Roasted tomatoes are soooo good! And they really add a sweetness, like with roasted red peppers. I usually  throw in some garlic cloves to roast with my tomatoes. I like to do two things with these tomatoes:

Sweet Roasted Tomato Basil Hummus:

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
1 medium sized roasted red pepper
2 roasted roma tomatoes (or 2 other small roasted tomatoes)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp minced garlic (or 1 roasted clove of garlic)
handful of fresh basil leaves, washed
black pepper and salt to taste

Puree everything together until smooth.

Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce:

8-10 roasted tomatoes 
2-3 roasted garlic cloves
large handful of fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste (or Creole seasoning if you like it spicy!)

Puree everything in a food processor until the consistency you want. I just scoop it cold, right onto hot pasta. But you could heat it up, if you prefer. You can easily double or triple the recipe if you want more sauce.

What's your favorite thing to do with roasted tomatoes??

Eat smart,

Monday, October 8, 2012

Merge Restaurant: Buffalo

This past summer, we performed at the International Viola Congress in Rochester, NY. And on the way, we thought we'd stay overnight in Buffalo. We ate at Merge, which is in a great part of town! It's not all vegan, but they had a TON of stuff on the menu that was and we were in heaven. 

(really nice space)

(parts of the awesome menu! Yes, they have raw food as well as vegan!)

(we started with the seitan bbq good)

(S got the Potato Kale Stew...great too)

(I think this was the BBQ "pork" wrap with Daiya and it was incredible! Not so healthy probably, but tasty)

I didn't realize until after we'd eaten that they had a bar in the back with some good beer on tap :(  Good to know for the future (ok, when am I ever really going to go back to Buffalo...??)

If you're driving through or staying in Buffalo...I highly recommend this place!! (perhaps on the pricier side, but excellent food)

The next morning we even drove over to Niagara Falls, since we'd never been there. It was raining, but we walked around anyway...very cool.

Have you been to Buffalo?

Eat smart,