For all of my American readers-hope your Thanksgivings were delightful! Mine was lovely. This year I was a guest at a warm family gathering on the NC Outerbanks and nearly all of the side dishes prepared were vegan. I made a delicious veggie dressing (my favorite T-day item by far) and a rich mushroom gravy that was favored beyond the traditional meat-based sauce.
I also co-pugsat. This is Argus, who added his own unique flair of humor to our holiday. Thanksgiving was marked by taking him for walks, and snuggles while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (one of my favorite traditions).
One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is always the leftovers. I was sent home with them by the bagful. A quick stop at Whole Foods for some veganaise, buttercrunch lettuce, and rosemary olive oil sourdough and I was in leftover sandwich heaven. Mine featured some raw homemade cranberry relish from my mom, Field Roast’s celebration roast, and my dressing augmented by some crumbled Field Roast Italian links. Divinity doesn’t even begin to cover it.
How did you celebrate Thanksgiving this year?
I just adore the holidays. The lights, the colors, the inner warmth you feel after walking around outside in the nippy winter air, buying gifts, making gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating, all of the smells of oranges, cloves, chocolate, cinnamon, and fir tree. But this joyful time in the year does not come without a heavy dose of reflection. I always look back over my shoulder at where I was for the holidays last year. In so many ways recent months have been about transit and transition. It’s nice to feel a sense of stability in the season even when life has been all over the place. Not that the holidays aren’t. But for some reason I tend to find solace in the mayhem that is this season.
This year my holidays will look slightly different than they have in the past, but don’t they always change from year to year? I’ll be passing the holidays with some new friend-family I’ve made for myself over recent months, and my sweet heart will be at my side. The 2 of us decided to give each other 2 gifts and a stocking this year. It makes for a simpler holiday. I’ve already begun my shopping. I’m kind of in between living situations right now, so it’s her house we’ll be decorating with my beautiful vintage aluminum tree and a few other things I’ve collected over the years. We bought each other ornaments over Thanksgiving at a little Christmas shop on the beach. Hoping to post decorating photographs after the fact, so stay tuned!
I’ve always been a tea drinker, but as the weather cools I find myself drinking it more and more. I have a variety of teas, usually at least 5-7 different types at any given time. Their purposes range from the delicious to the medicinal. I always like having several different types of each on hand so regardless of the need there’s a tea to remedy it.
I thought I would share several of my current favorite teas with you all. The ones I drink most often, the ones that just tickle my taste buds in just the right way, and the ones I use medicinally.
I like to keep a couple varieties of black tea around in case I need a little pick me up but don’t want to brew or the caffeine of coffee.
Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin ~ a delicious seasonal black tea based tea that I’ll add a splash of almond milk to
Twinings Lady Grey ~ I’ve always loved the classic taste of Earl and Lady Grey teas. Lady Grey in particular as it’s got a more floral taste. This one features bergamot and lemon, and I always add a splash of plant milk to it as soon as its brewed.
Tulsi Sweet Rose ~ I absolutely adore everything with roses. This tea tastes delicate and light and is naturally sweet. Tulsi means holy basil, and all of Tulsi’s teas are holy basil based. This is a wonderful herb that promotes calmness and vitality. I often enjoy a cup of this as I read before bedtime.
Yogi Tea Bedtime ~ This is also a delicate tea, that has a slightly minty taste to it. Another I like to drink before bed.
Republic of Tea Get Gorgeous ~ is a fruity, rooibos based tea with skin purifying qualities.
Traditional Medicinals Echinacea and Echinacea Elderberry Teas ~ I almost always have a box of echinacea tea around my kitchen. Echinacea is a natural immune booster, so if I’m feeling under the weather (or if people around me visibly are) I’ll be sure to incorporate a cup or two into my day. The elderberry blend is fruity and bright and is wonderful for a cough or scratchy throat.
Traditional Medicinals Raspberry Leaf Tea ~ Raspberry leaf has been used for centuries by women for relief of menstrual cramps and symptoms. This tea tastes a lot like green tea but has the delicate taste of a white tea as well.
Tulsi Lemon Ginger Tea ~ I often drink this tea just for its heavy herbal taste but I also use it for upset stomach as the combination of lemon and ginger works wonders on your belly.
Drinking a cup of Twining’s Lady Grey tea as I take Beans the Wonder Rabbit on one of her frequent hops.
I often drink Republic of Tea’s Get Gorgeous tea while watching Netflix, in the afternoon or after work in the evenings.
So there you have it! My current tea cupboard. I’m always collecting and trying new things from the tea aisle at the co op.
Happy Tofurky Day all! The holidays are always an interesting time for me. Between the foods, the community, the family (drama), and the laughter there’s always a time for reflection. Thanksgiving is one of the harder holidays to engage as a vegan as the meal so often centers around the consumption of a single animal slaughtered for the meal’s very purpose. This year, I’ll be spending a couple of days on the NC coastline, enjoying the late autumn ocean, cold sand, and the privilege of being a guest at a vegan-friendly Thanksgiving meal. To all of you who celebrate the day in some fashion: have a great one and even if you don’t–take a moment to pause and meditate just for a moment on some of the things you’re thankful for in your life.
Many mornings, I climb out of bed and light a stick of incense. I cuddle and pet Beans the Wonder Rabbit and Leonor Fini, I grab a cup of coffee from the kitchen. Some days I exercise on my yoga mat with hand weights, others I might go for a jog around the neighborhood, and still others might find me propped up in bed listening to NPR and scrolling through the beautiful blogs I read and follow. There’s something very important to me about morning ritual, though my mornings often take many different shapes based on my schedule. Taking a moment to light that incense and clear my head, stare at those Carly Simon clouds in my coffee, and appreciate the exact moment in time in which I am suspended is truly priceless.
I’ve written about my love of pudla before. I always tend to opt for savory rather than sweet breakfast so this is the perfect meal for me. I’ve taken to eating pudla for lunch as well: it’s simple, the ingredients keep well, and it’s a good way to use up vegetable remnants that otherwise might go on the compost heap.
Recently, I have a go-to combination for my pudla. A bit spicy, tangy, and filled with tomatoey umami goodness it’s sure to please.
Tomato, Spinach, and Chili Pudla
1/2 cup chickpea flour
pinch baking powder
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup water
dash of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped tomatoes
handful spinach, shredded
1 green chili, sliced
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Add water and lemon juice, then stir in veggies. Heat oil on medium in a wide skillet. When you splash a couple of drops of water across the oil’s surface and they pop and sizzle, you know it’s ready. Pour in pudla batter, and and flip once the outer edges begin to crisp. Cook, flipping occasionally, until the center is well done. Top with your favorite salad dressing, pasta sauce, hot sauce, or just nutritional yeast.
Since the chilis add a good bit of heat to the pudla, I’ve been topping mine off with some plain canned marinara from Trader Joe’s and nutritional yeast. I love the simplicity of this dish and it’s wholesome, filling quality. I’m excited for some seasonal pudlas to make their way on to my plate as soon as I begin frequenting the Farmer’s Market again. So many veggies to look forward to!
PB&J&G? Why peanut butter and jelly and greens of course! A vegan’s dream: peanut butter AND greens!
My eating schedule is whack, let’s just put it that way. I don’t work normal hours–I’m often on a night shift making other people’s food during dinner time rather than my own. On my days off, my body is still used to its funky hours of eating, so I tend to generally stick to them–listening to the signals that tell me when it’s time to eat. My smoothie is usually my pre-work/midday pick me up, after I’ve eaten breakfast but before my pre-shift meal (usually eaten around 4:30pm).
(makes 1 hefty glass)
1-1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 banana, peeled and broken into chunks
1/4 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries
large handful fresh spinach
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
Toss everything into your blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy!
I often find myself getting very full after drinking this smoothie, as it’s thick and chock full of goodies to keep me going through the mid-afternoon slump I often find myself in. It’s got the goodness of greens with a kick of protein from the peanut butter. The banana adds just the right amount of sweetness, though I’ve also made it without the banana and it’s tasty as well, just not so sweet. The smoothie in the picture has blackberries in it, but I alternate between the two, as I bought several bags of each on sale at the co-op recently. You can also freeze your bananas, but I find that this often makes the smoothie a bit too thick, so using them fresh is perhaps best.
Hi there potluckers! It’s hard to believe it’s that time again. So much has happened since the last VVP. I’m thrilled to once again participate and contribute my first ever appetizer to the blogroll. Inspired by this Potluck’s choice ingredient, beets, I’ve created a delightful appetizer that’s not only seasonal but sure to please!
Roasted beets with shiitake and roasted garlic paté
1/2 block extra firm tofu
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
3 medium sized shiitake mushrooms
3 medium sized beets
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons oil
Preheat oven to 400. Begin prep on the paté topping by slicing tofu into large chunks and slicing scallion. Slice beets into 1/8-1/4 inch thick medallions and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Over medium heat, heat your oil, then add shiitakes and sauté. When nearly done, add sliced garlic and toast it until golden. Remove from heat. In your food processor, combine tofu, the white part of the scallion, vinegar, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and mushroom/garlic mixture. Combine until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. When beets are done, allow them to cool slightly then spoon about a teaspoon of paté on top of each. Garnish with the remaining scallion slices and eat immediately.
Caramelizing the shiitake and toasting the garlic gives the paté a robust, nutty flavor.
This dish perfectly captures fall. The rich, creamy toasted flavor of the paté is quite a match for the earthiness of the beets.
Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of the virtual feast!
Moving into this new house has opened up many doors for me in terms of how I do things. There were several bags of popcorn kernels on the communal foods shelf, and I had a hankering for popcorn and a movie after a long double shift at work.
I’ve never made stovetop popcorn on my own before, and I was so scared that I’d burn the dickens out of it, but this turned out delightfully: just the right amount of salty, with a hint of pepper and some nutritional yeast for a bit of extra umpf!
Perfect Stovetop Popcorn
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
3 Tablespoons oil
salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to taste
melted Earth Balance to drizzle (if desired)
Pour the oil into a soup pot (one that has a lid!) and heat on medium. Toss 3-4 popcorn kernels in the oil, when they pop add the rest (and replace the pot’s lid) and remove from heat. Wait about 30 seconds, then place the pot back on the burner and shake! This ensures there won’t be lots of burnt kernels. Shake the pot back and forth over the burner until the intervals between popping kernels is a least several noticeable seconds. By this time you’ll have a bunch of popcorn! Vent the pot and give it a few more shakes, then immediately remove from heat and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Add Earth Balance if desired.
I really liked the cheesiness of the nooch on my popcorn, but I’ve also kept it simple and just eaten it with salt and pepper. Lots of pepper mind you!
We ate our popcorn and watched Cabin in the Woods as a late Halloween celebration. I didn’t do anything for Day of the Dead this year, as I’ve just gotten settled in my new house, and Halloween was a fairly simple deal this year as well. Sometimes the simplicity makes the holiday shine all the brighter. I’m still catching up on horror movies, though! Something about the falling leaves and cold weather makes it just the perfect season for a cinematic scare.
Since there have been some serious changes in my life over the past few months, the foods I’ve been eating have changed too. Lately I’ve eaten far more foods that I haven’t myself prepared. I can often be found at my local co-op several times a week, grazing at the salad and hot bars. I’ve also learned to indulge in restaurant meals at least once a week as a treat to myself. Working as a cook also facilitates a different type of eating through the vegan shift meals I prepare each day. My schedule (working mostly night shifts, 5-10pm) also alters the way that I eat. So things are different, and my new favorite and go to foods are different too.
So, I’ve reverted back to my default diet-changing method: the gluten question. I’ve blogged so many times about gluten! Gluteny gluten gluten. I love my carbs, my breads, my pastas, my tortillas especially, and I’ve always worked to try and strike a balance between healthful foods and refined carbs. And then there’s pasta:
You can always trust Portlandia to be witty about current trends and issues. Working in a restaurant, there’s lot of gluten free requests and questions. I also think it’s interesting to see the way that groups of people react and engage any kind of health trend or craze, either founded or a little bit shaky.
As the weather begins to change, my joints begin to act up. I’ve had this problem since childhood and it’s always gone undiagnosed and for the most part unnoticed. Creaky, achy, or swollen joints are just a part of my natural state of health. Cutting down on the gluten cuts down on the inflammation. (I’ve also talked about another major inflammatory agent, carageenan, here.) So I’ve been limiting my gluten intake (or at least becoming more mindful of it again) as part of my gluten consciousness.
Favorite foods lately have included: simple smoothies (often with 4 ingredients or less), corn tortilla chips with lots of guac and salsa (nearly always the norm for me), thai food, and lots of tea and coffee as the weather cools. I’m also drinking cider these days, and am exploring more gluten free beers as well, in addition to traditional ones of course. I’ve also reclaimed brunch as my own and I love the midday meals marked by bellinis and mimosas and delicious vegan foods.