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Butternut, Parsnip and Apple Soup (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

12 Jan

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 5

Happy 2014, everyone! I hope yours is off to a good start. Weather notwithstanding, January has been much better than December for me. And that’s even with not drinking all month. And those of you who know me or read this blog regularly know that this is not normal for me. And I don’t miss the alcohol as much as something else…

I’ve been pining for winter. I shouldn’t complain, really, but while the rest of the United States is being frozen by the “polar vortex”, the same weather condition is making it hot and bothered here in California.

I’ve given up hoping that it will even rain. It’s going to be 80°F next week for three days. I’m worried that the entire city of Santa Barbara will spontaneously combust at any moment. And I’ll be honest—sunny days with cloudless skies do not make me feel in the Christmas spirit at all, which made my December a bit miserable. Continue reading

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Virtual Vegan Potluck #4: Indian Beet Chutney

15 Nov

Chutney17 I’m so excited to be part of the fourth Virtual Vegan Potluck! It’s always so much fun reading through all of the creative recipes, but my favorite part is being included in this awesome group! Annie is just the coolest for setting all of this up.

I’m also very happy that she chose the beet as the special ingredient this VVP, because it reminded me of an unusual yet delicious recipe I’d tried once before. If you’re visiting my blog for the first time, you won’t know that I’m absolutely obsessed with Indian food. In fact, my first VVP dish was a curry, although a Caribbean one. (My second was a cottage pie, and third was these delicious homemade Snickers, in case you were wondering.)

If I wasn’t married, I’d probably cook Indian food for every other meal. Continue reading

Fruits of the Garden: Gazpacho

2 Sep

Gazpacho12Don’t be shocked. Another blog so close on the heels of the last one? I know. I’ve even shocked myself.

Another thing that has distracted me from my blog recently is my garden. Man, it’s been great growing all sorts of produce! My favorite part has been going to the farmers market and saying to myself: “Oh, I don’t need that….that….or that. Got it at home.”

A little smug, maybe, but there’s nothing like pulling some fresh lettuce for a salad, kale for a smoothie or tomatoes for gazpacho. I’m pretty sure the second-best place to eat gazpacho is in California, as we’ve so many similarities to Spain. And, if I look out from my backyard and squint as the sun is setting, Santa Barbara’s downtown does look a lot like a Spanish town on a picturesque hillside. (Have I mentioned lately how much I freaking love this place?) Continue reading

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Homemade Schnickers Bars (and Paleo!)

10 May
Yep, it's food porn.

Yep, it’s food porn.

Ding ding! Round three! The Virtual Vegan Potluck is such a wonderful highlight in my blogging world. It’s amazing that so many bloggers get together and make this whole thing happen! There’s 169 bloggers from around the world this time. Of course, there’s a few superheroes at the helm that keep us all in check: Annie at An Unrefined Vegan; Somer at Vedged Out; and Jason at Jason and the Veganauts. Hurrah and huzzah to these lovely folks! It must be like dealing with a huge class of kindergarteners.

vvpLOGOAnd this time I’m doing a dessert—homemade Schnickers Bars—after two rounds of main courses. If you want to check those out, they are here and here. I’m happy to say that you can make this a raw vegan dish, but I used roasted salted peanuts and roasted peanut butter, so it’s not technically raw. You could make this paleo by subbing the peanuts for almonds, but I didn’t have time to do that. But at the rate these treats are going to get eaten, I’ll have a chance to try that out very soon. Continue reading

Paleo Pumpkin Lasagne

29 Apr
Who doesn't love a good lasagne?

Who doesn’t love a good lasagne?

I’ve been wanting to post this blog for some time. Not just because I love writing my blog, which I do, but it also turned out so delicious!

But man, I tell you, I love my new house too. I’ve been doing a bunch of cooking, but now that I don’t live in a 650-sq.ft. house with a tiny yard, I’m going crazy. I’ve got all sorts of things happening in the garden, from kale and radishes to squash and peas. Even turnips! Anyone know when it’s time to pick turnips? I’m guessing not quite yet, since I started them from seed a few months ago.

Hey, who else is shocked that it’s May next month? That’s also what’s freaking me out. We moved to our new place officially in December, and almost five months have blown by? I guess that shows how seriously romanced I’ve been by this city and our home. Between the two, sitting at my computer for more than what’s necessary for work is hard to do. Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash Chorizo Bake

12 Mar
Yes, this was just my first serving...

Yes, this was just my first serving…

Well, it has been hard finding time for this blog since I moved into the new house. I have to admit it’s because we’ve been so wonderfully spoiled with our new home! First of all, we’ve got the landlord to beat all landlords, a ridiculously big lot perfect for planting a garden and letting the dog run like crazy, a spare room for guests, plenty of storage space for bikes and a spare freezer…oh, the list goes on. Sorry to go on about it, but after living in what now feels like a cave for five years, I’m more than a little excited about what I’ve got now!

And between having our lovely friends drop in for visits, digging and planting the garden, training for a half-marathon and actually working, it’s been hard to sit down and get some of the recipes on to the blog. This is one that I conjured up with stuff out of the fridge a few weeks ago when The Husband was back down in Laguna on business and I was all on my lonesome.

I put it down for breakfast, lunch and dinner categories because I actually ate it for all three meals. That’s how good it was! I made it with my favorite sausage—Mulay’s all the way—but if my vegan friends wanted to sub Soyrizo and use some vegan cheeze, you’d have a mighty tasty meal. Seriously. This was hard to share with The Husband when he got home. Actually, he’s lucky there was any left!

This is a great thing to make with spaghetti squash, especially if you need a cold-weather dish of comfort food. And a tip I learned recently—stop trying to cut the squash in half! If you’ve got the time, bake it whole. Stab it a few times (carefully) with a knife, then stick the whole thing in the oven on a baking tray for 40 minutes at 350°F. At that point, cut the stem end off, then slice in half. See if it’s fully cooked; if not, roast it open faced for about 10 more minutes.

Also, I only cooked the squash al dente, as this gets cooked a little more at the end. Enjoy! Continue reading

Curried Sunflower Dip (And Giveaway Result!)

11 Nov

Today’s first order of business is to congratulate Yvonne, one of my commenters, on winning the Sweet & Easy Vegan cookbook! Yvonne, since you’re not one of my regular followers, please get in touch so I can get your information to get the cookbook sent to you.

The second order of business is, of course, a recipe. I keep trying new recipes from the excellent cookbook Eat Raw, Eat Well by Douglas McNish. Everything I’ve tried has been delicious, and I keep making myself try more recipes, as it’s so good for your body to get raw, fresh produce in your body. Continue reading