What I Ate Wednesday #64

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1 cup frozen mango, 3 deglet noor dates, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 4 large leaves lacinato kale, and 1 cup homemade almond milk, all topped with a homemade granola of apples, buckwheat groats, cooked brown rice, walnuts, goji berries, blueberries, hemp seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, maple syrup, and coconut oil.

breakfast (1)

I crafted this particular granola on the first morning of my stay in my parents’ NYC apartment over Vassar’s spring break, implementing the limited supply of items in their pantry as well as the various superfood ingredients that had traveled with me. Thus, instead of abiding by my usual template for fresh fruit-sweetened granola by pureeing up a mixture of fresh & dried fruit with various spices and coconut oil in which to coat nuts and grains, I shredded an apple and mixed it with about 2 tbsp each of maple syrup and olive oil to provide adequate moisture for the rest of the granola. Quite crunchy, nicely spiced, and bejeweled with bursts of juicy blueberries, this makeshift granola turned out surprisingly well for a creation comprised of odds and ends.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—chia seeds, almond milk, walnuts, hemp seeds. Whole Grain—buckwheat, brown rice. Fruit—mango, dates, apples, goji berries, blueberries. Leafy Green—kale. Superfoods—Amazing Grass powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries.

Morning Tea: Mayan Secret Green Tea from local NYC store Spices and Tease.

Though the aroma of this tea (which includes sencha green, mate, rooibos, and darjeeling teas mixed with lemongrass and bits of carrot, pineapple, and papaya) promised a complex fruity flavor, the amalgamation of various teas created a harshness that vastly overpowered any hope of a pleasingly refreshing tang. Perhaps I’ll simply have to play around with the steeping time and amount of tea used for each cup, but my experiences with this tea thus far have proved rather unfortunate.

Lunch: A sandwich of BBQ Tempeh strips, celery-apple-carrot slaw coated in Luscious Lemon Dressing from the Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen, and avocado slices between two experimental cornbread fritters. I served the sandwich alongside a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, sprouted almonds, and dulse flakes, tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Green Raw Slaw from Bao’s. For dessert, I enjoyed a raw truffle made with sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted almonds, dates, and maca powder, inspired by this recipe.

lunch (3)

lunch (7)

lunch (8)

The impetus for this sandwich began with my discovery of a waffle iron hidden in the back of a cabinet in the NYC apartment currently subletted by my parents. Inspired to craft a savory waffle in part by this recipe of Kristy’s, I contemplated a southern-flavored checkered quickbread to complement the Barbequed Tempeh Sandwich Filling that I had made earlier that day from a new cookbook of mine—the James Beard award winning Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley, who apparently served as the executive chef at NYC vegan staple restaurant Angelica Kitchen for nine years. Unfortunately, the lack of gluten-free flours in my parents’ sparse pantry rendered me scrounging for waffle base options. In a bout of vegan MacGyver-ness, I combined 1/2 cup white cornmeal (already in the pantry), 1/4 cup roasted buckwheat grouts finely ground in the food processor, and 1/4 cup almond pulp leftover from the milk I had made that morning to comprise the full cup of flour required for four waffles. After mixing the flours with nooch, baking powder, baking soda, paprika, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, maple syrup, liquid smoke, almond milk, and coconut oil, I excitedly heated up the waffle iron, oiled it, spooned the batter in to yield a satisfying sizzle, closed the iron, waited for the light to signal the waffle’s completion, opened the iron, and…experienced utter failure. The batter had all but completely stuck to the iron, probably due to both an inadequate oiling of the iron and an overly thick batter lacking in a starch of any sort. Sigh. I managed to salvage the remaning batter by pan-frying it into thick pancakes, but still reeled from crushed waffle-based dreams. Curse you waffle iron! I shall prevail eventually.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tempeh, sprouted almonds, sprouted sunflower seeds, almond meal, tahini. Whole Grain—cornmeal, buckwheat flour. Vegetables/Fruit—celery, apple, carrot, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, dulse flakes, ginger, pears, dates. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, radish greens.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of Carpe Diem’s Kombucha in Quince flavor.

With an off-putting taste of artificial sweetener (certainly not one of the actual ingredients, though) and an inadequate amount of carbonation, this particular brand of kombucha failed to fully satisfy my mid-afternoon beverage needs. Try as I might to find a brand of local kombucha (other than the Madison-based NessAlla, of course) of as high a caliber as GT’s, I’ve not yet honed in on one. The search continues!

Dinner: A Middle Eastern feast, shared with my parents in their temporary NYC apartment, of Cookie & Kate’s Crispy Baked Falafel with Creamy Tahini and Dill Dressing, sandwiched between Cara’s Gluten-Free Pita Bread along with mixed greens and cherry tomatoes, accompanied by a side of cauliflower and carrots roasted with cumin, paprika, and coconut oil.

dinner (4)

dinner (9)

dinner (3)

dinner (1)

My changes to Kate’s original falafel recipe include substituting canned chickpeas for dried (I worried about the digestibility of merely soaked rather than fully cooked beans), adding 1/2 cup sprouted almonds and 1 tbsp GF flour blend to the mixture, and omitting the salt. Though Kate warns against implementing canned beans in the recipe, I found that adding the almonds and flour ensured adequate binding of the falafel, even when using the more moist canned chickpeas. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and not at all dry or mealy like many of the falafel recipes with which I’ve experimented in the past, the falafel verily impressed my parents (and fulfilled my mother’s three-day-long craving for falafel), who helped me to scarf down the entire batch of herby chickpea fritters. My only critique of the recipe pertains to the Creamy Tahini and Dill Dressing; the lemon tasted a bit too harsh, in my opinion. However, that minor flaw certainly did not prevent me from slathering the dressing all over my falafel sandwich.

As for the pita bread, I utilized the gluten-free flour blend from Bob’s Red Mill instead of Cara’s homemade blend, replaced the sugar with maple syrup, substituted 1 tbsp flaxseed meal for the xanthan gum, and decreased the salt to 1/4 tsp. I had rather excited myself about the prospect of perfectly crisp, toasty, homemade pita pockets, and therefore became thoroughly disappointed when the pitas would not puff up or slice open as promised (reasons for this fault include the omission of xanthan gum, not allowing the water bath to adequately heat up in the oven, or over-working the dough). Regardless of cooking complications, the pitas still tasted delicious, acting as sliced of bread between which to sandwich the falafel and fixings, rather than as pockets in which to stuff the ingredients.

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas, sprouted almonds, tahini, chickpea flour, fava bean flour. Whole Grain—sorghum flour. Vegetables—onion, garlic, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots. Leafy Greens—mixed green, parsley, cilantro, dill.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: How do you adapt your cooking to kitchens not as well-stocked as to which you’re accustomed? Do you own a waffle iron? Have you had luck with it? What is your favorite brand of kombucha other than GT’s? Have you made pita bread yourself before?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #63

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1/2 a cameo apple, 1/2 of a frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tsp maca, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1 tbsp goji berries, a large handful of kale, and 1/2 cup Gingerberry kombucha, topped with the last half-cupful of my most recent granola creation featuring GF rolled oats, raw buckwheat groats, unsweetened shredded coconut, flaxseed meal, pecans, and walnuts coated in a puree of apples, dried apricots, almond extract, cardamom, cinnamon, and coconut oil.

breakfast

Though I ran out of almond milk for this particular smoothie, later this morning I blended up an experimental milk comprised of the nutty odds-and-ends in my pantry to create a hybrid almond-cashew-pistachio-flax milk. Tinted slightly green from the pistachios, this milk serves as a deliciously creamy precursor to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and boasts those heart-healthy omega-3′s about which we health-conscious folk rave thanks to the flax seeds. I may just start regularly incorporating different nuts into my homemade milk routine to compliment the standard almonds.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed meal, pecans, walnuts. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—apple, banana, goji berries, dried apricots. Leafy Green—kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries, maca, flaxseed meal, kombucha.

Morning Tea: Pukka Herbs’ Three Fennel tea with sweet fennel seed, wild fennel seed, and fennel leaf.

I picked up three sample packets of this lovely tea at last weekend’s NYC Vegetarian Food Festival and have adored its powerful anise flavor and aroma for the past couple of days. A huge sucker for anything fennel, I fell in love with this tea upon first glance and deeply regret having already exhausted my meager supply of it. Perhaps a tea shipment is in order…

Lunch: A salad of mixed greens, shredded carrots, slivered almonds, diced dried apricots, sage-braised giant white beans, brown rice, and dulse seaweed flakes, all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Bao Fermented Food’s Green Raw Slaw of kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, radish greens, apples, pears, garlic, and ginger.

lunch

Unexpected leftovers discovered in the refrigerator comprise a wonderfully positive aspect of living in Ferry Haus along with 20 other talented veg*n cooks. The sage-braised white beans gracing this salad stem from one such occasion of wonderful lunchtime surprise.

As for the Green Raw Slaw, I picked up a jar from Bao’s booth at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival and cannot adequately express my happiness with my frugal ($4 off of the original price at the festival!) and mouthwatering purchase. Kale and fermented food all rolled into one immensely flavorful salad topper? Be still my beating heart.

Meal Checklist: Protein—white beans, almonds. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables/Fruit—carrots, apricots, apples, pears, garlic, ginger, dulse flakes. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, radish greens.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha in Gingerade flavor.

Dinner: A simple saute of broccoli, brussels sprouts, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos; an amaranth-millet pilaf seasoned with liquid smoke and paprika; and a pile of crunchy roasted chickpeas seasoned with liquid smoke, agave nectar, and paprika.

dinner (1)

Stay tuned for the recipe for this deeply satisfying dish, inspired by my mother (who recently adopted a vegan diet after watching Forks Over Knives), in an upcoming blog post.

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas. Whole Grain—amaranth, millet. Vegetables—brussels sprouts, broccoli. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts, broccoli.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Do you like to combine different nut/seed varieties when making plant-based milks? How do you feel about fennel/anise-flavored items? Does your local grocer carry Bao’s tasty raw, fermented products? Have you tried roasting chickpeas before?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #62

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1/2 a jonagold apple, 1/2 of a frozen banana, a handful of frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tsp maca, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1 tbsp goji berries, 3 leaves of kale, and 1/2 cup homemade almond milk, topped with a half-cupful of my latest granola creation featuring GF rolled oats, raw buckwheat groats, unsweetened shredded coconut, flaxseed meal, pecans, and walnuts coated in a puree of apples, dried apricots, almond extract, cardamom, cinnamon, and coconut oil.

breakfast (3)

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond milk, flaxseed meal, pecans, walnuts. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—apple, banana, blueberries, goji berries, dried apricots. Leafy Green—kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries, maca, flaxseed meal.

Morning Tea: Eden Organic Genmaicha Tea.

Lunch: A deconstructed salad of sorts (perhaps “lettuce wraps” would serve as the correct term?) of four large leaves of lettuce schmeared with hummus and topped with quinoa, celery, mushrooms, sauerkraut, and dulse flakes, all drizzled with Liquid Gold Dressing.

lunch (1)

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas and tahini in hummus. Whole Grain—quinoa. Vegetables—mushrooms, celery. Leafy Greens—lettuce, cabbage in sauerkraut, dulse flakes.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha in Hibiscus (Botanic No. 7) flavor.

Dinner: A comforting and astoundingly flavorful soup of lentils and split peas cooked down into a creamy puree with mushrooms, celery, leeks, and cubes of tofu, served over a bed of wilted kale and topped with a brown rice-black bean pilaf as well as a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.

dinner (3)

Thanks to Franny and Robyn for anoter scrumptious Ferry dinner!

Meal Checklist: Protein—lentils, split peas, tofu, black bean. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—mushrooms, celery, leeks. Leafy Greens—kale.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #61

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1/2 of a winesap apple, 1/2 of a frozen banana, a small handful of frozen raspberries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1/2 cup WholeSoy Organic Unsweetened Plain Yogurt, and 4 medium leaves of curly green kale, topped with a generous 1/2-cupful of a variation on Amie Sue’s Maple Pumpkin Spice Crunch Cereal.

2nd breakfast (1)

I’ve recently embarked on a mission to pack a bit of padding on my slender frame, and have thus started incorporating more calorie-dense, healthy fat sources into my meals—this accounts for both the peanut butter and coconut oil gracing the smoothie I’ve featured here.

A note on the soy yogurt: Ferry House just received a bulk order of 24 oz. containers of WholeSoy Organic Unsweetened Plain Yogurt, the ingredients of which include simply soy milk, cornstarch, and live active vegan cultures. While I usually opt to exclude soy yogurt from my diet, due to the inclusion of various sugars and questionable chemical-esque products in most brands, I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with the WholeSoy yogurt thanks to its probiotic content, creamy texture, and short ingredient list. The yogurt lends a pleasing tang and velvety consistency to smoothies such as the one above.

As for the cereal, I slightly altered Amie Sue’s original recipe by substituting half of the rolled oats for raw buckwheat groats, replacing the pumpkin puree with that of apples, using two medjool dates in place of 2 tbsp of the maple syrup, and baking the cereal at 260° for about 90 minutes. The resulting cereal proved flaky, crunchy, and just the right balance of sweet and oaty (no, these two characteristics don’t seem like opposites, but think about how you would describe unsweetened, “hippie-crunchy” granola. Oaty, right?).

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, chia seeds, peanut butter, soy yogurt, almond pulp in cereal. Whole Grain—rolled oats and buckwheat in cereal. Fruit—apple, banana, raspberries, goji berries, dates in cereal. Leafy Green—kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries.

Morning Tea: Numi’s Chocolate Pu-Erh tea.

Lunch: A saute of mushrooms, shredded brussels sprouts, kale, almond butter, and balsamic vinegar, topped with tangy marinated mixed beans and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, accompanied by two thick slices of Leek-Sundried Tomato Bread stuffed with the vegan mozzarella cheese from the Sept+Oct 2012 issue of VegNews (bread recipe inspired by Ricki Heller’s Cheese-Filled Onion and Olive Bread), drizzled with flax oil.

lunch (2)

Moist, dense, hearty, and oh-so-savory, the cheese-stuffed bread provided both novelty and immense flavor. However, I do wish that I had opted to employ a flour other than the quinoa, for its pronounced bitterness tended to overwhelm the palate’s experience of the bread. I would certainly still call this bread a huge success, though! My enthusiastic Ferry housemates would definitely agree.

My changes to Ricki’s original recipe: replaced olives with sundried tomatoes; substituted leeks for green onions; and used quinoa flour in place of amaranth flour, oat flour in place of millet flour, and chickpea flour in place of soy flour.

Meal Checklist: Protein—mixed beans, tahini, almond milk, flaxseed meal, chickpea flour (last four in bread), soy yogurt in mozzarella. Whole Grain—quinoa and oat flours in bread. Vegetables—mushrooms, leeks, sundried tomatoes. Leafy Greens—kale, brussels sprouts.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha in Gingerade flavor.

Dinner: Three Polenta Sweet Corn Cakes topped with schmears of vegan mozzarella and accompanied by crisp greens tossed in a dressing of olive oil, Dijon mustard, cumin, nutritional yeast, and apple cider vinegar, and topped with both a salsa of tomatoes, cucumbers, mango, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice, as well as a dollop of tangy marinated mixed beans.

dinner (1)

Thanks to my dear housemates Tori and Alex for such a splendid dinner!

Meal Checklist: Protein—marinated mixed beans, soy yogurt in mozzarella. Whole Grain—cornmeal. Vegetables—corn, cucumber, cilantro, tomato, mango, jalapeno. Leafy Greens—lettuce.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: How do you feel about soy yogurt? Do you find the flavor of quinoa flour overwhelming? How do you temper its intensity?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #58

Breakfast: A smoothie of 1/2 a honeycrisp apple, 1/2 a frozen banana, about 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp carob powder, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder, 4 large leaves of lacinato kale, and 1/2 cup homemade almond milk, accompanied by a Raisin-Almond Butter Cinnamon Roll adapted from “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread.”

breakfast (2)

raisin cinnamon rolls (1)

Cinnamon roll close-up.

Forever enamored by the plethora of yeasty, hearty, whole-grain, scrumptiousness of the recipes featured in Jennifer Katzinger’s “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread,” I once again opened my already copiously stained copy of the cookbook I received just this Christmas to try my hand at another one of Jennifer’s sweeter offerings—Raisin Cinnamon Rolls. One of two cinnamon roll recipes featured in the cookbook (the other is for Pecan Cinnamon Rolls), these subtlely sweet, intensely-cinnamony rolls boast an extra helping of decadence due to their filling of maple butter and plumped raisins. However, because maple butter costs quite the pretty penny, I opted to employ roasted almond butter in its place, imparting an extra level of unctuousness to the rolls. Though these rolls prove superbly moist and light when enjoyed straight out of the oven, I’ve found that they do not keep well and turn rather dry and crumbly after a mere two days of sitting on the countertop. Thank goodness I only made half a batch! I’ve also slathered these cinnamon rolls in an Orange-Scented Fig Jam spiced with fresh rosemary to yield astoundingly tasty results.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, almond milk, almond butter, garbanzo bean flour, chia seeds, almond meal (last three in cinnamon roll). Whole Grain—brown rice flour, teff flour. Fruit—apple, banana, blackberries, goji berries, raisins. Leafy Green—lacinato kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, goji berries, Amazing Grass powder, chia seeds, carob powder.

Local Ingredients: Kale from Don’s Produce (no website).

Morning Tea: Organic & Pure Peppermint White Tea.

Though I usually harbor an aversion to peppermint tea, the delicately sweet note of the digestion-friendly herb featured in this surprisingly complex tea blend nicely complements the almost perfume-like taste of white tea—perfect for quiet afternoon contemplation and aiding your gut after lunch.

Lunch: A Mushroom-Spinach Melt Sandwich of cashew cheese melted over the filling of Green Kitchen Stories’ Spiced Spinach and Mushrooms in Almond Tartlets in between two slices of the Focaccia recipe in “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread,” accompanied by a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, purple carrots, two spoonfuls of adzuki beans, and dulse seaweed flakes all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Fizzeology’s “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut.

spinach mushroom melt (3)

salad (1)

I recently experienced a bit of an epiphany in realizing that I could craft hot, melty, ooey gooey sandwiches in addition to their (still delicious) cold counterparts with all of the gluten-free bread-baking in which I’ve engaged lately. This Spinach-Mushroom Melt comprises the second hot sandwich I’ve created, right after my quite well-received Roasted Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese. After warming two slices of herbed focaccia on my built-in stove-top griddle, I piled on the spinach-mushroom saute offered by Green Kitchen Stories, topped it with three thin slices of cashew cheese, placed the now open-faced sandwich back on the griddle, and covered it with a large pot lid until the cheese melted, then slapped the second slice of focaccia on top. Yum.

Meal Checklist: Protein—cashews, adzuki beans, chia seeds, garbanzo bean flour, flaxseed meal (last three in bread). Whole Grain—teff, brown rice, and buckwheat flours in bread. Vegetables—onion, shiitake and crimini mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, purple carrots, sauerkraut veggies. Leafy Greens—spinach, mixed greens, dulse seaweed, greens in sauerkraut.

Local Ingredients: Purple carrots from JenEhr Family Farm, alfalfa sprouts and mixed bean sprouts from Troy Community Farm“Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut from Fizzeology, mixed greens from Don’s Produce (no website), “farmhouse mix” sprouts from Garden to Be, spinach from Snug Haven.

Afternoon Beverage: Half a bottle of Reed’s Culture Club Goji Ginger Kombucha.

Though the locally produced NessAlla still wins the place in my heart dedicated to my favorite kombucha brand, the Goji Ginger flavor of Reed’s Culture Club kombucha could give NessAlla a run for its money. Tangy, sweet, and deeply flavored, this superfood-boosted kombucha tastes like a true work of fermented art. Funnily enough, Reed’s also produces my father’s favorite variety of ginger beer—perhaps I can fool him into trying this more nourishing beverage instead…

Dinner: A scrumptious vegan bowl of sprouted quinoa, roasted brussels sprouts leftover from my grilled cheese adventures, Black Pepper & Thyme Tofu adapted from Olives for Dinner, and Parsnip Bacon adapted from Food & Wine, all slathered in a dilly version of Christy Morgan’s Cashew Basil Aioli.

dinner bowl (6)

I feel that this meal needs no explanation. How can one ever go wrong with a vegan bowl? I would like to offer one suggestion, however: run to the kitchen and make the Black Pepper & Thyme Tofu immediately. You won’t be sorry.

Also, on a quick recipe-related note, I subbed liquid smoke for the smoked sea salt in the Parsnip Bacon—my mother’s obsession with the concentrated smokiness of this genius product has now transferred over to me.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tofu, cashews. Whole Grain—sprouted quinoa. Vegetables—brussels sprouts, thyme, parsnips, dill. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts.

Local Ingredients: Parsnips from Driftless Organics.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: What is your favorite cinnamon roll filling? How about your favorite vegan hot sandwich? Have you tried/seen Reed’s kombucha before?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #57

Breakfast: A green juice of applecarrotkale, parsley, and lemon, blended with 1/2 an avocado, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, and 1 tbsp goji berries, accompanied by a hefty slice of Raspberry Rooibos-Tea Bread from Jennifer Katzinger’s “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread.”

avocado juice (1)

raspberry rooibos bread (1)

As with so many other healthy eating techniques and recipes (banana soft serve and perfect tofu burgers, anyone?), my virtual buddy Gena of Choosing Raw first introduced me to the notion of blending juiced veggies with avocado to yield a creamy beverage more substantial than yet just as nourishing as a standard green juice. Figuring that if I could blend avocado into my morning juice, I could amp up its nutritional content even further by also pureeing in hemp seeds and goji berries. New breakfast triumph!

I alluded to Jennifer Katzinger’s Raspberry-Rooibos Tea Bread in my last post on the gluten-free sandwiches in which I’ve recently reveled, promising more details in this post. The recipe that called to me the most earnestly out of Jennifer’s entire book, this bread did not disappoint my high expectations for it. The bread’s base of teff flour imparted a deep hue, hearty texture, and a unique flavor wavering between earthy and nutty, while the rooibos tea lent a slightly red tone and sophisticated taste. Each layer of the bread took on a distinct characteristic—the bottom proved oh-so-moist and chewy while the top held an almost coffee-cake-like crumbly texture. Studded with tart raspberries and only mildly sweet from a minimal amount of agave nectar, the bread appealed immensely to my sugar-sensitive tastebuds and provided a complex way to wake the palate after a night’s rest. The next time I make this recipe, I intend to incorporate a bit of cocoa powder as I think it will nicely complement the bread’s flavor; besides, aren’t raspberries and chocolate a match made in heaven?

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds. Whole Grain—teff flour. Fruit—apple, avocado, goji berries, raspberries, lemon. Leafy Green—kale, parsley. Superfood—hemp seeds, goji berries. Added Veggie Bonus!—carrot.

Local Ingredients: Carrots from Tipi Produce.

Morning Tea: Triple Leaf Tea’s White Tea.

Lunch: A TLT (Tempeh, Lettuce, & Tomato) Sandwich with Avocado on Jennifer Katzinger’s Light Teff Sandwich Bread, accompanied by a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, carrots, and dulse flakes, all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with the “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut from Fizzeology.

TLT sandwich (1)

salad (1)

If you haven’t yet witnessed me waxing poetic about my recent sandwich ventures, I encourage you to do so by checking out my latest post. There, you can find the details of the TLT with Avocado featured above.

As for the “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut, this month’s mix of lactofermented yumminess contains a surprising plethora of unorthodox vegetables, which I will now list to fulfill your veggie-loving needs: green and napa cabbage, bok choy, brussels sprout tops, black radish, red pepper, carrot, red beauty heart radish, onion, cilantro, turnip, burdock root, dandelion greens, lotus root, yellow dot, evening primrose seed, wild parsnip, garlic, delicata squash, bok choy root, wild carrot, lambs quarter seed, apple, eggplant. Um, wow.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tempeh, chia seeds, almond meal, flaxseed meal (last three in bread). Whole Grain—buckwheat and teff flours in bread. Vegetables—cherry tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, carrots, sauerkraut veggies. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed, greens in sauerkraut.

Local Ingredients: Carrots from Tipi Produce, alfalfa sprouts and mixed bean sprouts from Troy Community Farm“Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut from Fizzeology, tempeh from the Simple Soyman, mixed greens from Don’s Produce (no website), “farmhouse mix” sprouts from Garden to Be.

Afternoon Beverage: A glass of NessAlla Kombucha in their seasonal Cardamom Hibiscus Ginger flavor.

Dinner: Two of Dreena Burton’s Mushroom-Pecan Burgers topped with Julie Morris’ Superfood Goddess Dressing from her book “Superfood Kitchen“; a Mixed Veggie Slaw with Peanut Lime Dressing (recipe below); and the leftover wrappers and marinated veggies from the Raw Falafel and Hummus Wraps with Marinated Mediterranean Veggies that I brought to the raw potluck last weekend.

dinner (1)

Super hearty, densely textured, and wonderfully savory from a thoughtful combination of seasonings including miso, sage, oregano, balsamic vinegar, and tamari, Dreena’s Mushroom-Pecan Burgers filled in every box on the “Great Veggie Burgers” checklist. Slathered in Julie’s tangy Superfood Goddess Dressing—deemed as such due to the inclusion of hemp seeds, flaxseed oil, and Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder—the burgers provided a delectable focal point to my dinner.

I drew inspiration for the Mixed Veggie Slaw with Peanut Lime Dressing from Fresh Restaurant’s recipe for Tangled Thai Salad. My simplified version of the recipe I’ve provided below—I used most of the veggies listed in the recipe simply to clean out my refrigerator, so feel free to substitute any other veggies you like.

Mixed Veggie Slaw with Peanut Lime Dressing

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

1 small head savoy cabbage, shredded
2 small beets, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup butternut squash cubes, shredded
1 medium bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground
2 tsp coconut milk (can sub any other plant-based milk)
3/4 tsp agave nectar
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup toasted sesame oil

Place all of the veggies in a large bowl and toss to combine.

To make the dressing, place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well to coat.

Meal Checklist: Protein—pecans, tahini, flaxseed meal, peanut butter, hemp seeds. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats. Vegetables—butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, zucchini, bell peppers, beets, cucumbers. Leafy Greens—spinach, savoy cabbage, Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder.

Local Ingredients: Spinach from Snug Haven, beets from Harmony Valley Farm.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Have you ever tried blending juice with avocado? What is your favorite sandwich? What veggies do you like to incorporate into slaws?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #56

Before launching into my weekly What I Ate Wednesday spiel, I’d like to thank you all for the outpouring of support I’ve recieved for the article I posted yesterday, entitled We Can Keep Romanticizing Our Food Choices as Long as They Don’t Involve Animal Suffering. Here’s an excerpt: “Do we think that shopping in a manner that we consider morally sound, in that it supports the local economy, serves as a legitimate excuse to overlook the ethical implications of other aspects of our food choices, such as whether or not a sentient being—who would undoubtedly choose life over slaughter—died merely to satisfy our taste preferences, even though we know that humans can easily thrive on a plant-based diet?” I hope you’ll hop on over to yesterday’s post and give it a read if you haven’t already!

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1 frozen banana, a large handful each of frozen pineapple and raspberries, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1/2 tsp maca powder, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder, 8 medium leaves of lacinato kale, and 1 cup homemade almond milk, topped with 1/2 cup of my version of Nouveau Raw’s Pumpkin Caramel Cereal.

smoothie (2)

This Christmas, I positively shrieked with delight upon unwrapping Superfood Kitchen, a gorgeous tome by Julie Morris of extremely healthy recipes featuring every superfood imaginable. Though I already incorporated many of what Julie categorizes as superfoods into my diet prior to reading her artfully written cookbook, her playful voice inspired in me an even greater awareness of the benefits of including these highly nutrient-dense foods into everyday meals. As such, I bought a bag of goji berries that have earned a spot in my morning smoothies, imparting in them an intriguing chocolately flavor, and have also began to utilize some variety of berries—the most antioxidant-rich of fruits—in every smoothie.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, almond milk, almond meal, chia seeds, sunflower seeds (last three in cereal). Whole Grain—buckwheat. Fruit—banana, raspberries, pineapple, dates, apricots, persimmons. Leafy Green—lacinato kale. “Super Food”—Amazing Grass powder, hemp seeds, maca, goji berries, chia seeds.

Local Ingredients: None.

Morning Tea: Eden Organic Genmaicha green tea.

Lunch: A salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, carrots, parsley, and dulse flakes, all tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Kickapoo Kimchi, accompanied by a plate of Happy Crackers with garlic powder and sundried tomatoes, a ball of Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella, and a dollop each of Roasted Garlic & Kale Hummus and Sweet Potato Hummus with Fennel Seeds and Smoked Salt.

lunch (3)

You know it’s a good day when not one, but two hummus varieties grace your plate. A sucker for roasted garlic, kale, sweet potatoes, fennel seeds, and smoked salt, both of the hummuses in which I reveled today spoke directly to my culinary heart, nourishing my spirit as well as my health. Both hummuses pack a huge flavor punch and finish with a spicy kick—yum!

Meal Checklist: Protein—sesame and flax seeds in crackers, cashews and soy yogurt in mozzarella, tahini and garbanzo beans in hummuses. Whole Grain—brown rice and quinoa in crackers. Vegetables—parsley, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, carrots, kimchi veggies, sundried tomatoes, garlic, sweet potato. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed, cabbage in kimchi, kale in hummus.

Local Ingredients: Carrots from Tipi Produce, alfalfa sprouts and mixed bean sprouts from Troy Community Farm, Kickapoo Kimchi from Fizzeology.

Afternoon Beverage: A tall glass of NessAlla Kombucha in a gorgeous seasonal flavor of Hibiscus Ginger Cardamom, oh my!

kombucha

Dinner: Three Shiitake Cabbage Rolls with Chestnut Cream from Veggie Wedgie accompanied by a Borchst-Inspired Shredded Beet and Fennel Salad loosely based off of Leanne’s Brilliant Beet Slaw.

dinner (2)

During the summer when I first glimpsed Veggie Wedgie’s cabbage roll recipe, which featured two of my all-time favorite ingredients—tempeh and chestnuts—I vowed to recreate it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, a little thing called college got in the way and forced me to endure five long months with this recipe tantalizing me every time I opened my “Recipes to Try” Word document. Fortunately, after finally making them, the cabbage rolls certainly lived up to the high expectations I had set for them—deeply earthy from the shiitakes, hearty and toothsome from the tempeh, refreshing and leafy from the cabbage, and decadently creamy from the chestnut sauce. This deceptively simple recipe falls short of absolutely nothing in the flavor department.

As for the shredded beet and fennel salad, I formulated the recipe out of a desire to provide a light, acidic accompaniment to the cabbage rolls while abiding by the Balkan origins of the dish. Borchst first popped into my head, but I yearned for a dish more toothsome than a pureed soup to offset the already creamy component of the chestnut sauce. However, I held onto the notion of highlighting beets in my side dish, and also decided to play off of the flavor profile of borchst by incorporating caraway seeds. A beet salad tossed with a caraway-laced dressing seemed like the perfect playmate for the cabbage rolls, and I’ve included the brightly flavored recipe here:

Borchst-Inspired Shredded Beet and Fennel Salad

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup fresh dill
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp caraway seeds
2 garlic cloves
3 raw beets, peeled and finely shredded
1 large fennel bulb, finely shredded

  1. Place lemon juice, dill, parsley, olive oil, seeds, and garlic in the bowl of a mini food processor. Blend until everything is broken up, but still slightly chunky.
  2. Drop into a bowl with shredded beets and fennel. Stir to coat.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tempeh, chestnuts. Whole Grain—none. Vegetables—shiitake mushrooms, dill, parsley, beets, garlic, fennel. Leafy Greens—savoy cabbage.

Local Ingredients: Tempeh from The Simple Soyman, beets from Harmony Valley Farm.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Which superfoods do you like to incoporate into your daily meals? What is your favorite creatively flavored hummus? How do you feel about borchst (I’ve never actually tried it!)?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

Vegan MoFo #20: What I Ate Wednesday #47

Breakfast: A smoothie of 1 frozen banana, 1/3 cup frozen raspberries, 1/4 cup cashews, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp carob powder, 1 tsp lucuma, 1 tsp spirulina, 7 small leaves of red russian kale, and 3/4 cup homemade almond milk, topped with a heaping cupful of Spiced Double Pumpkin Granola with Dried Figs.

While I expected the addition of cashews, an ingredient I’ve often seen included in smoothie recipes but never before utilized myself, to impart an unrivaled creaminess to this smoothie, I experienced a completely ordinary creamy-velvety factor in this morning’s breakfast beverage—perhaps I simply added too much almond milk? Nonetheless, the genius flavor combination of chocolate and raspberries never fails to satisfy, nor do huge crunchy clusters of spiced pumpkin granola goodness.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—cashews, hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, almond milk, flaxseed meal. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—banana, raspberries, dried figs. Leafy Green—red russian kale. “Super Food”—hemp seeds, chia seeds, carob, spirulina, lucuma, flaxseed meal. Added Veggie Bonus!—pumpkin puree.

Local Ingredients: Red russian kale from the Phillies Bridge Farm Project.

Morning Tea: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

I’ve recently discovered the subtle beauty of white tea—a delicate morning beverage perfectly conducive to inward contemplation.

Lunch: A salad of spicy mixed greens, parsley, tomatoes, carrots, quinoa, kidney beans, avocado, and dulse flakes, all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with sauerkraut.

A fairly standard salad, though I’ve decided that I don’t much enjoy the somewhat bitter flavor of kidney beans on their own.

Meal Checklist: Protein—kidney beans. Whole Grain—quinoa. Vegetables—tomatoes, carrots, parsley, avocado. Leafy Greens—spicy mixed greens, dulse seaweed, cabbage in sauerkraut.

Local Ingredients: Carrots, parsley, and spicy mixed greens from Phillies Bridge Farm Projecttomatoes from Wicklow Orchards.

Afternoon Beverages: Eden Organic Genmaicha tea.

Dinner: A Meatless Monday Deece dinner of brown rice, pinto beans, sauteed garlicky spinach, steamed cauliflower with paprika, a tangy saute of zucchini and yellow summer squash with red onions, and a succulent corn relish with tomatoes and red onion.

The corn relish completely surprised me, as I stumbled upon it hidden near the stir-fry station rather by accident, and ended up serving as the highlight of my dinner. I also swoon whenever the Deece offers silky sauteed spinach, while the sauteed zucchini proved unexpectedly flavorful—can you say economical use of thyme? Ha, how punny.

Meal Checklist: Protein—pinto beans. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash, red onions, corn, tomatoes. Leafy Greens—spinach.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicines’ Organic Ginger tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Have you tried adding cashews to your smoothie? What do you think about the flavor of kidney beans? What’s your favorite type of white tea?

Happy WIAW and Vegan MoFo!

Until next time, Ali.

Vegan MoFo #9: What I Ate Wednesday #46

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1 frozen banana, a handful each of frozen blueberries and raspberries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfoods Powder, a generous knob of fresh ginger, 3 large leaves of curly green kale, and 3/4 cup homemade almond milk, all topped with my most recent granola concoction of apple-cinnamon-walnut-pepita-apricot-goldenberry yumminess.

One of my dormmates declared this particular batch of autumn-inspired granola as, “the best granola you’ve made so far!”—a meaningful statement seeing as I’ve whipped up a batch of granola every weekend since my arrival at Vassar. Luckily, you too can partake in the climax of my granola-making prowress by following the instructions I’ve provided in a recent MoFo post.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, walnuts, pepitas, almond milk, flaxseed meal. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—banana, blueberries, raspberries, dried apricots, goldenberries, apples. Leafy Green—curly green kale. “Super Food”—hemp seeds, Green Superfood Powder, flaxseed meal. Added Veggie Bonus!—ginger.

Local Ingredients: Curly green kale from the Phillies Bridge Farm Projectapples from the Arlington Farmers Market.

Mid-Morning Beverages: A mug of warm lemon water.

Another mug of Organic Vanilla Rooibos Tea from Equal Exchange.

Lunch: A salad of spicy mixed greens, carrots, fennel, pea shoots, homesprouted alfalfas, a juicy red heirloom tomato, chickpeas, brown rice, and dulse flakes, all tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with a dollop of lacto-fermented salsa.

This salad features sure signs of dwindling summer produce: the last of the heirlooms, fall-friendly fennel, and pea shoots that normally crop up in the spring but reappear later in the year for a second round. Onward to the root veggies and hearty greens of winter!

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—heirloom tomatoes, carrots, pea shoots, alfalfa sprouts, fennel, salsa veggies. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed.

Local Ingredients: Carrots, fennel, pea shoots, and spicy mixed greens from Phillies Bridge Farm Projectheirloom tomatoes from the Arlington Farmers Market; lacto-fermented salsa from a Vassar alum’s garden.

Afternoon Beverages: Another mug of warm lemon water.

A bottle of my very own homebrewed Kombucha, flavored with black tea.

Dinner: Another Meatless Monday Deece meal of roasted brussels sprouts, sauteed zucchini, roasted root vegetables, roasted butternut squash, and a huge dollop of hummus.

This Monday, not only did the Deece feature oodles of delectable vegetable-centric dishes like they do for every Meatless Monday, but they also set up a long buffet table in the middle of the cafeteria filled solely with vegan options to further ease the potentially difficult process for those unfamiliar with vegan eating of choosing plant-based options. Go Vassar!

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas in hummus. Whole Grain—none. Vegetables—brussels sprouts, zucchini, parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, butternut squash, beets. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts.

Local Ingredients: You’ll have to inquire with the Deece cooks!

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicines’ Organic Ginger tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Which late summer/early fall produce are you enjoying the last of lately?

Happy WIAW and Vegan MoFo!

Until next time, Ali.

Vegan MoFo #3: What I Ate Wednesday #45

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1 honeycrisp apple, 1/2 of a frozen banana, 1 large knob of fresh ginger, 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1/2 cup homemade almond milk, and 3 large leaves of green kale, all topped with a generous cupful of yet another scrumptious variation on my fresh fruit-sweetened granola consisting of concord grapes, honeycrisp apples, maca powder, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and dried calmyrna figs.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond milk, walnuts, sunflower seeds. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—banana, apples, concord grapes, dried calmyrna figs. Leafy Green—curly green kale. “Super Food”—chia seeds, hemp seeds, Green Superfood Powder, flaxseed meal, maca powder. Added Veggie Bonus!—ginger.

Local Ingredients: Curly green kale from the Phillies Bridge Farm Projectapples and concord grapes from the Arlington Farmers Market.

Mid-Morning Beverages: A mug of warm lemon water.

Lunch: A salad of mixed lettuces, spicy mixed greens, home-sprouted alfalfa and bean sprouts, green zebra heirloom tomatoes, carrots, black beans, quinoa, and dulse seaweed flakes, all tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Madras Curry Cauliflower Sauerkraut.

You may notice the absense of my infamous blue ceramic bowl, which has housed every single WIAW salad (save those in lunchboxes) since the onset of my participation in the weekly blogging event. Heartbreakingly (and regularly breakingly), I slipped while carrying my beloved salad bowl the other day, causing it to fall to the ground and shatter into an unmendable array of terra cotta shards. My mother had employed this blue bowl since her college days, but I suppose it simply couldn’t handle the pressure of four more years of scholarly life. Thus, for the time being, I’ve employed a medium-sized metal mixing bowl as my salad vehicle of choice. Rest in peace, blue bowl. You are missed.

Meal Checklist: Protein—black beans. Whole Grain—quinoa. Vegetables—heirloom tomatoes, carrots, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, cauliflower, onions. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed, cabbage in sauerkraut.

Local Ingredients: Carrots, mixed lettuces, and spicy mixed greens from Phillies Bridge Farm Projectheirloom tomatoes from the Arlington Farmers Market.

Afternoon Beverages: Another mug of warm lemon water.

A bottle of my very own homebrewed Kombucha, rife with black tea flavor.

Dinner: A widely varied Deece dinner of (starting from top right and rotating clockwise) steamed brussels sprouts, tofu, roasted root vegetables, mixed salad greens, a dollop each of hummus and baba ganoush, steamed broccoli, and an unpictured side of quinoa toted with me from my dorm room.

This dinner and photo actually come from my Monday night meal—or Meatless Monday night meal, I should say! Just last year, the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC), in which I now actively participate, joined the list of 30 colleges across the U.S. and Canada that highlight animal-friendly dining options every Monday. Since then, over 485 students have pledged to welcome the bounty of surprisingly high-quality plant-based fare the Deece offers at least once a week, instead of the oppressive alternatives. Yet another reason why I absolutely adore my new home at Vassar—go vegan awareness!

For more information on Meatless Mondays at Vassar, take a gander at this article in the September 2011 issue of the Miscellany News.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tofu, chickpeas in hummus, tahini in bana ganoush. Whole Grain—quinoa. Vegetables—brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, eggplant in baba ganoush, broccoli. Leafy Greens—mixed salad greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli.

Local Ingredients: You’ll have to inquire with the Deece cooks!

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicines’ Organic Ginger tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Are you attached to a particular bowl or other piece of diningware? Has any of your diningware been in your family for generations? Does your school participate in Meatless Mondays? If not, have you contemplated launching an initiative to do so?

Happy WIAW and Vegan MoFo!

Until next time, Ali.