In my typically random "odds-n-ends" fashion, here's a bit of what I've been enjoying. Above is carrot, daikon and winter squash (I know, it's out of season!) from Christina Pirello's This Crazy Vegan Life. This stew is actually very bright in flavor, like sunshine. It is finished with fresh lemon juice and Italian parsley. It's light, yet sustaining, good hot or cold.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, before . . .
. . . and after. Olive oil, salt, pepper and a tangle of fresh thyme and oregano from my herb patch (Buster hasn't yet figured how to climb into that pot, which is up off the ground, so the herbs are living the good life, unmolested!) I loved the crunchy brown parts on these sprouts. The bowl is one of the few surviving pieces I have left from my grandma Eula's everyday collection. The blue-and-white inspired me to fill in with more of the same color scheme for my own everyday. I also have her full set of fine china, but we rarely use it since we are such a rough and tumble bunch.
Collard greens sauteed with a bit of red onion, chick peas and GOBS of garlic (at least 10 cloves!) I encourage all you vegans out there to try going overboard with garlic. You'll love it! This was a full meal on its own, and I munched it for days.
Here's a shot of the above two featured dishes, along with a baked sweet potato. We've recently added a roof to our patio, which allowed me to move some furniture around and unclutter the screened porch. I've set up a small dining table out there. This was our first alfresco meal. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. I had to save a lot of this plateful, but none of it got wasted.
Homemade miso soup with daikon, onion, cabbage and tofu. This was a big batch, and I enjoyed the leftovers for several breakfasts. Having miso soup in the morning sets the tone for the day. The soup imparts a grounded, centered energy. If you ever find yourself with leftover miso soup, remember not to bring it to a boil when reheating it. Boiling kills the beneficial enzymes.
Here's a plateful of polenta with broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, onion and garlic. I LOVE broccoli rabe, also known as broccoli rape (!) and rapini. The checkout clerk tried to charge me for broccolini, another veggie which is actually a genetically modified hybrid. Broccoli rabe is more bitter than broccolini. Personally, I prefer the bitter note of this delicious vegetable. It tastes as if I've gleaned it from a meadow in Tuscany. Not only is broccolini of a less pure origin than broccoli rabe, it is also more expensive! I enjoyed the polenta for the corn that it is, but the omnivores found it to be bland to their sugar-addled taste buds.
This says summer to me -- just a homegrown tomato, veganaise, salt and pepper on good, crusty bread. This will likely be the last tomato sandwich from my garden this year. Buster easily climbs the thick stems of the heirloom vines now, and he takes the tomatoes before they have a chance to ripen. At least I still get all the grape tomatoes I want. those stems are too flimsy to hold buster's weight. I'll be buying the occasional heirloom tomato at $4.99/lb. so that I can continue to savor this late summer treat.
Stay tuned for a feature on Buster's least favorite vegetable -- the aubergine (eggplant). Aubergine is a lot more fun to say than eggplant, porridge is better than oatmeal, and polenta is better than cornmeal mush. Do you have a favorite gastronomical delight that can be elevated with loftier nomenclature? If you do, play along and share. I love expanding my vocabulary!