Let me start off by saying that I miss the “real” world! I’ve been out here in Indio for two weeks and am so insanely busy. I have more and more posts saved up for you, but no time to get them up! And, cooking is out of the question, so I have almost 2 more weeks until I’m back in my kitchen at home and cooking up awesome dishes.
For those of you that didn’t hear, I’m on the inventory team in the merch tent for Coachella/Stagecoach, so I’m pretty much stuck in the desert for an entire month. What IS a relief is that I have some really great vegan options when it comes to show-day eats. Right now, there’s a Brazilian vegan booth with some great combo plates (including plantains!), a vegan Indian booth with lentil dahl, savory chutney and saffron rice, plus a RAW VEGAN booth! Pretty incredible to see veganism grow to change your typical food court booths, and even better to see it being a popular choice; even with Ruth’s Chris’ booth only a couple of stops over.
You may have heard that National Grilled Cheese day was this past Friday, and this here sandwich is my contribution to all of the great posts from that day. I tried out a new, vegan cheese substitute with this one and loved how it turned out. Plus, I absolutely adore buffalo anything, as long as it’s vegan; so this ended up being a magical combination. To make it slightly healthier I added some kale to the sautéed tempeh, which also adds great color and texture contrast. Don’t you love it when food looks as good as it tastes?
This recipe really comes together in almost no time at all, save for the sauteing of the tempeh. It’s pretty flexible as well; you can switch out the kale for almost any other green, and adding some diced red onion may just take this sandwich to another level! Maybe you prefer sourdough over seedy wheat breads, which sounds so good, or adding some tomato and avocado. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard.
That recipe title sure is a mouthful! And that’s not even getting to the kale part. One thing that I love about steaming is that it’s so damn easy; I mean, it is pretty hard to mess it up. In this case you don’t actually need a fancy steamer, just a large pot and pan will get you on your way to enjoying a healthy and flavorful meal. Well, maybe a steamer basket for the pot, too.
Just take one look at this recipe and you can see that it’s chock full of Vitamin A from the carrots and butternut squash, plus fiber and potassium. Quinoa gives you some lean protein and fiber, as well as amino acids. This is a well-rounded meal! When everything is steaming, you can whip up the southwestern tahini sauce in mere minutes, making this dish very easy to put together. Top it off with green onions and roasted pepitas, and you’re set.
In other news, there’s supposed to be a thunderstorm tomorrow (yay!), so maybe it’ll water my seedlings that I waited very long to plant. I love it when Mother Nature does a couple of chores for me.
Pretty Clouds and A late Pumpkin Seedling
Let’s talk about drinking for a moment, shall we? I really don’t drink very often, and lately, I have found myself not even finishing the beers that I start with dinner. So unlike me. I suppose that I just haven’t had the mindset nor the appetite for various liquors and brews (although, brews always sound better to me). But, every so often the stars align and I somehow I end up drinking double sweet tea vodkas (Dangerous!!) for a couple of hours and getting a bit giggly. Of course, that can only last so long before I wake up with a sweet headache and a little less coordination than usual.
It’s mornings like those where I hate to get out of bed, but I know that I need to get a good breakfast and some coconut water into my system. If you didn’t know before, coconut water is great for hangovers because it has lots of potassium; and it’s easier to get down than a banana. So, one morning, last week, this happened and I was yearning for a filling and savory breakfast. Clearly a smoothie just wasn’t going to cut it.
I tugged my refrigerator door open to find an assortment of fresh veggies and a block of tofu. Clearly, a tofu scramble was in my near future and I couldn’t have been happier at the thought of it. One problem I have with a block of tofu is that it’s not a single portion, but it’s kind of irritating (at least to me) to keep in around in a Tupperware container, just waiting to spoil. By adding a good amount of veggies and spices, this recipe is perfect for two people to share, even if you’re not hung over.
Life has been a little odd lately. There are times of constantly feeling like I’m super busy and occupied, then lulls where I become so overwhelmed that I just sit and do nothing. Now, that doesn’t happen to often, although I know it’s good to take some breaks to relieve stress. But, in the midst of it all, I’ve rekindled my romance with fresh summer produce and the flavor and colors it brings to the table.
I recently went to my local Farmers Market and was greeted with an array of colors and scents. So many beautiful tomatoes and an assortment of stone fruit beckoned me to take them home, I wish I had room for everything! After buying some fresh nectarines, tomatoes, freshly baked Gilroy Garlic Sourdough (!), sprouts and a couple of other things, I headed back home feeling quite satisfied with my purchases.
Food isn’t the only thing that inspires me (contrary to what I may talk about on here ALL of the time ). With the great weather that Southern California has been having lately, despite the increasing temperatures and humidity, I’ve been finding myself outdoors more and more; staying active by riding mountain bikes and doing my fair share of hiking. I’m always surprised by the views and scenery that Orange County has to offer, especially considering that I feel like I’m surrounded by concrete most of the time.
When I’m not outside, I’m back in the kitchen playing with new recipes and trying to eat a little healthier. I just bought two huge bunches of Lacinato Kale and was figuring out how to incorporate some more greens into my dinner without getting my hands too dirty. I happen to have some basil on hand as well as some lemons and an assortment of seeds and nuts to choose from. Pesto it was! But, I chose raw pepitas to experiment with. Success!