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Nothing says summer to me more than sunflowers — except perhaps a Sunday supper cobbled together from the garden.

We’ve had a cooler spring, so a lot of my summer vegetables are late in arriving.  Tomatoes, for instance, are still green on the vine.   But finally the zucchini and yellow squash have arrived, as have the green beans.

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I sauteed some onion, garlic and mushrooms, then added the chopped zucchini, squash and snapped beans.  Then I added some pinto beans I had already cooked, along with two cans of diced tomatoes and some Italian seasoning and let it all stew.   Yum!

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For dessert, I had some blackberries from the garden.

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Now for another of my summer favorites: an after-dinner walk in the cool of the evening.

What’s on your plate tonight?

 

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I don’t shop at Whole Foods that often, mainly because I find getting into and out of my local store such a pain.  I hate their parking lot!  Turns out I’m not alone —  apparently other people have the same problem.

But Whole Foods does carry some items that my local co-op doesn’t, and it has, hands down, the absolute best salad bar.  So when a friend wanted to meet for lunch last week, we braved the parking lot to eat  at Whole Foods.  It was right after I paid for my ginormous salad that I noticed a sign with the following words:  “Collards are the New Kale.”

Really?

Yep — according to this Whole Foods blog.

I’ve personally been a fan of collard greens for awhile now — I did have a Southern mama, after all.  And thanks to my gardening hobby, I’ve  spent decades  growing and eating all kinds of greens, including turnips, kale, mustard, and arugula.  I even have a Japanese green whose name I’ve long forgotten that kindly reseeds itself each year.  Gotta love free food!   This particular green tastes a little like spicy spinach.

When cooking my greens, I usually just throw them in the steamer for a few minutes, then eat them plain or with a little vinegar.  I will add them to soups, stews, salads and smoothies.  And of course I’ve made kale chips.

Chips must have been on my mind when I saw that sign promoting collards, because I immediately wondered if I could make collard chips.

Yes.  Yes, I can.

Thanks to Whole Foods and inspiredRD.com, I have discovered a tasty treat!

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Okay, so my collard chips aren’t the prettiest looking things.  But they do satisfy my chip urge.

Now I’m wondering if mustard greens would make good chips?  Hmm….

 

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I just made the BESTEST EVER gingery carrot tomato soup.  The recipe comes from FatFree Vegan Kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs, and it was super easy to make.

You only need a few ingredients to pull this soup together:  carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, veggie broth, canned tomatoes, cayenne pepper and tahini.  It cooks up in 40 minutes.  Susan, the recipe author, recommends letting it simmer longer for the flavors to really meld.  However, I was hungry and couldn’t wait, so I dove right in.  The soup was already so good with minimal cooking, I’m wondering how much better it’ll be reheated tomorrow?

On a side note, my dog Meghan goes bonkers for carrots, so she was underfoot while this was cooking.  I guess I can be nice and share with her…

On a double side note, I love my new soup mug from my oldest and dearest friend, K.

 

 

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I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to cook 50 new recipes.
Today’s recipe was Chocolate-Covered Katie’s black bean brownies.

I love looking at the recipes on this site, though I hardly ever make any because I would end up over-indulging. Luckily tonight, friends are coming over for dinner or else I would eat the whole pan in one sitting. (Yes, I just had to try one right after they came out of the oven!) These are delicious and I truly can’t taste the beans.

I’ve made several other recipes for black bean brownies, but I’ve found them to be rather dry since they don’t have oil. This recipe does use oil and maple syrup. Since I’m trying to limit oils to avocado, nuts and seeds, these brownies will be for special occasions only.

I wonder how my guests will like them. I also wonder if I should “spill the beans” about the ingredients?

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I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to cook 50 new recipes.  Last week I made FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Dal Tadka.

FatFree Vegan Kitchen is one of my favorite “go-to” sites for recipes.  I saw this recipe posted on site owner Susan’s Facebook feed and, since I had red lentils, I decided to give it a try.

The recipe calls for red lentils, tomato, ginger, onion, garlic, and spices.   It comes together very easily.  To add flavor, Susan suggests browning some onions.  I did, though because I made the dish ahead of time and put everything in the fridge, I forgot about the onions until after I ate the bowl pictured above.    Silly me!

I ate the dal over steamed cauliflower, and it was quite delicious.  A nice summer meal.

 

 

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I recently turned 50 years old and one of my goals for the year is to make 50 new recipes. This week, I made vegetable fried quinoa from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen’s site.

I chose this recipe because I had some bok choy that needed to be used up. Plus, conveniently, I had all the other ingredients on hand: carrots, mushrooms, quinoa, tofu, spices, veggie broth and soy sauce.

While you cook your quinoa, you saute the other ingredients, then mix together when everything’s done.

This was the perfect recipe to make on a Monday night after cutting the grass — in other words, quick, easy, and filling!
I’ve been eating the leftovers for lunch, cold, along with a salad.

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I recently turned 50 years old and one of my goals for the year is to make 50 new recipes. The latest recipe is Black-Eyed Pea Masala ftom Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen’s site.

I chose to make this dish because I have some home-grown purple hull peas in the freezer, and it’s about time to use them up lest they get freezer burn.

I love Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen; many of the recipes are easy to make. This recipe Was especially easy. cook black-eyed peas (or in my case, purple hulls), onions, canned tomatoes, and spices. Serve over brown rice. Add some greens (I steamed kale). De-licious!

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