Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 30 - Thank You Chow Locally!

Well, it's the conclusion of yet another MOFO. I did not gain MOFO rock star status by posting every day while I'm crazy busy. But, we did share a month of local awesomeness and much produce was eaten and given away. I'm already thinking about next year when life will be less hectic and I can truly put all of my creative energy into blogging. So many cool themes. Hoping to start doing some video for next year. So make sure to pop in…maybe even like the page so you can get notification when something new gets posted.

I want to thank Eric at Chow Locally for providing FOUR share boxes to the lucky winners. I hope you all enjoyed the produce and hopefully signed up to get a weekly box. Give yourself a big local hug for supporting sustainable and local farmers. They need  you!

As both MOFO and summer wind down, I leave you for now with a refreshing summer drink created with love and local watermelon from a previous Chow Locally box. Be well and eat your fruits and veggies.


Makes one Drink poo

1 oz. premium vodka
1/3 cup diced seeded watermelon
1/4 cup sparkling mineral water

Add vodka and watermelon to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into chilled martini glass. Add sparkling mineral water and gently stir. Garnish rim with small, thin wedge of watermelon. Drink!

Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 29 - Asian Pear Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Today's recipes features three things from this past week's Chow Locally share box:

I'itoi Onions from Maya's Farm - I'itoi onions have a ing history in Arizona having been traditionally grown by Native Americans such as the Tohono O'odham for centuries. Store in the crisper drawer. My note: we have had great luck growing this variety in our garden. The onions from last year gave us a whole new crop this year.

Mixed Bell Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - Bell pepper are a great way to add crunch to salads and stir fries, or simply to slice up and add to lunches as a snack.

Yalo Pears from Sleeping Frog Farm - Yali (Asian) pears can be stored on the countertop or in the fridge. They are slightly crispier than regular pears, so they make for a delicious crunchy snack! My note: The texture vaguely reminded me of jicama.

I got some gorgeous kale at the farmers market and had some nice radicchio left over from a previous dish. I added some almonds for extra calcium and protein and voila, a full meal salad! The dressing I used was a variation from this post. I added a little tahini to make it creamier and boost the nutrients a bit. I love how the hint of sweetness of the pear contrasts the slight bitterness of the radicchio in this salad.

Asian Pear Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Makes 2 Entree Salad or 4 side salads

1 small bunch kale (about 4 cups), torn into bite sized pieces
1 recipe Miso Ginger Dressing (recipe below), separated
1 small head radicchio (about 1 cup, can sub regular red cabbage)
2 Asian pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 bell pepper (any color but green), diced small
2 I'itoi or green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup raw almonds (I like more than less)
1 medium avocado, diced

In a large bowl, massage kale with 1/4 cup Miso Ginger Dressing. Toss in radicchio, pears, bell pepper almonds and green onions. Taste and add more dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss in diced avocado. Serve immediately.

Miso Ginger Dressing

Makes approximately 1/2 cup

1 tablespoon red miso
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth. Can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Vegan Mofo - Day 28 - Costco Vegan Pierogi and Pear Sauce

As time has been tight as of late, my eating habits have been iffy at best. I was cruising through Costco to get some Dave's Killer Bread and Pellegrino Water. There was one of those vendor road shows where they pass out samples. Well it was my lucky day! They were sampling 4 different kind of Pierogi - 2 vegan!!! I decided to buy a giant bag of the potato and onion variety. Some people I know eat them with apple sauce. I did a little play on that idea (and a much easier one). A couple of weeks ago my Chow Locally Box had Bartlett pears in it. They were not yet ripe, so I had to wait before I could eat and use them.

I took 3 small very ripe bartlett pears, peeled and roughly chopped them (about 1 1/2 cups before pureeing). Tossed those in the bullet container with about 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom and pureed it all in my Magic Bullet until is was the consistency of apple sauce. NOTE: If the pears are not soft, you may have to add a little water.

The pierogi were really good! I was surprised. I'm glad I bought the giant bag. There were plenty of onions in them and the dough was yummy. I sautéed the pierogi in a healthy amount of olive oil until they were gorgeously browned. Dip and love! The sauce will keep in the fridge for a day or two.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 25 - Chow Locally Winner and my latest share box

Hello blogatrons. I haven't had much time to create and post, but I have had some time to give away stuff! But before I do that, let's have a look at this week's Chow Locally share box, shall we?

This week's box has some beautiful stuff that I can't wait to have my way with! Look at those gorgeous peppers. Oh and did I mention the apple that is the size of a softball? I am so happy to have the box this week as I plan to do some kitchen time between study sessions. There are some fun ingredients. Hmmm. What to make….

Let's get down to what we are really here for today…free stuff. This is the last Chow Locally giveaway for the month and the winner is…. #1 Jackie! Way to go. I'll be contacting you to set up your pick up. Congrats. Wait, which Jackie is it? :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 22 - Giveaway Day and My Latest Breakfast Obsession

Honestly this could be eaten any time of day. But for me, I like savory stuff for the early meal of the day. The other day I was totally strapped for time and creativity. I grabbed a few staples from my fridge and counter top. Last week's Chow Locally box had roma tomatoes and cucumbers which are perfect for this easy meal. You can sub any type of tomato or cucumber about 3/4 cup each. Dice up a medium ripe avocado. Top with 2 tablespoon hemp seeds and 1/3 cup of your favorite hummus, salt and pepper if you please and DONE! I like to squeeze a touch of lemon juice over the top for a little added tartness. For variety, change up the type of hummus you use. This version was an artichoke hummus.

It wouldn't be MOFO Monday without a giveaway now would it? I have one more Chow Locally box to give away. One lucky winner is going to take the prize this week.

Here is the fine print on what you need to do to be eligible to win:
1 - You must live or be in the Phoenix area.
2 - You must be able to pick up your fresh produce on the day specified for  the pick up location you chose. (I will contact you with details on pick up locations/times).
3 - You must leave a comment about why you like to eat local by midnight this Wednesday, September 24th, 2014. Please make sure to leave a way to contact you should you be the lucky one.
4 - If the winner is unreachable by Sunday, September 28th an alternate winner will be selected at random

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 18 - Giveaway Winner

Well lovely readers, for the first time in several years, I did not make the MOFO challenge. I missed posting yesterday. I knew this year would be challenging with the new job and classes, and I was right!

No worries though. I will still be posting throughout the rest of the month, just not every day. I gotta make some other stuff a priority right now. I am committed to bringing you more local produce info and recipes, so make sure to keep checking back. Even better, follow the blog and you will be notified when a new post goes up. Yes, I'm shamelessly asking for followers (and suggestions for things you'd like to see on the blog as well).

I just finished a raw food class recently. It was a really fun class. We learned a lot of great skills and recipes. The instructor was excellent. In her day job, she uses raw food diet and nutrition to help people with cancer heal. It's really quite an amazing thing.

Anyhooooooo. I thought I would share a few pictures of the bounty from our final night potluck with you.

It's time to announce the winner of this week's Chow Locally Box!

The winner is…#9 Debbie Martinez! Congrats Debbie! I'll be contacting you to set up delivery!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 16 - Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Soup

This story has absolutely nothing to do with cooking, but I want to tell it anyway. I am the youngest of three kids. If you are a parent or the baby of a family with more than two kids, you can probably relate to how parents slip a little when it comes to acknowledging their youngest offspring. It is not intentional or malicious or because they love them any less. It is likely they are mentally and physically exhausted after raising the older sibs. Or perhaps with their wisdom, they realize that if not every single thing is a big deal with their kids, there is a good chance they will still be well-adjusted adults.

At a very young age I realized my mom had this affliction. There were fewer photos of me, I wore hand me downs, I got to stay up later then the older two did at my age. But the most obvious slippage was my birthday. Mind you, my mom always remembered my birthday, she just managed to get the date wrong most years. She would also make us our favorite cake for our birthdays, well kind of. I was a chocolate lover from word go. A couple of years inadvertently made my brother's favorite: Strawberry. I was a sassy little kid, so she never got a hall pass. I always gave her a hard time. For most of my childhood, there was a debate as to my real birthdate. We often celebrated today, the 16th. After several years of mentioning to my mom I was pretty sure the date was wrong, my birth certificate was drummed up only to realize the mistake…mom's recollection was two days off. So happy fake birthday to me! 

I'm not sharing this story out of bitterness or self pity. I'm actually pretty amused about it these days. Actually the older I get, the more I can relate to her little slips. I don't even have kids, but life gets busy and some things just fall out of the memory. I'm just grateful she was thoughtful enough to make a cake and later my favorite dinner on my birthday. I now usually call her on my real birthday to say "Thanks for going through labor to get me here, you did all the work". 

To celebrate my un-birthday, I decided to make something nice and sassy and spicy (as I have been accused of being by many members of my family). Today's Chow Locally ingredients are:

Poblano Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - Poblano peppers are a fun summertime treat as they are larger and milder than many peppers. Sore on the countertop and then try stuffing with favorite ingredients. My note: I didn't stuff these as I have already stuffed some peppers this month. These had a bit more kick than I'm used to in a Poblano = Happy Kimmy.

Yellow Onions from Sleeping Frog Farms

Roasted Polbano and Black Bean Soup

6-8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large carrot, diced small (about 3/4 cup)
1 large tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced small 
1 teaspoon hot chile powder (you can use mild if you like it less spicy)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 - 15 oz. cans black beans (do not drain or rinse you want those juices for flavor)
2 cups vegetable broth

In a 4 quart pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté until they are just soft and onions are translucent, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking. Add garlic, tomato and poblano peppers and sauté for another minute or two. Add chile powder, cumin, black pepper, salt and coriander. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Add black beans and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. When soup just starts to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and vegan sour cream if desired (optional).