Tomatoes and avocado with smoked salt

Just like it sounds. The tomatoes are from our CSA.

With pesto zucchini pasta.¬†Yes, we’re obsessed.

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Vegan BLT and the story of a young gymnast

At the end of third grade, I remember sitting on the mat in front of the foam pit with all the girls on my gymnastics team. In preparation for the team’s annual party, the coaches asked each of us what kind of sandwich and cookie we wanted for party lunchbox. I was nervous about what to request. Fortunately, my last name is at the end of the alphabet, so I was able to listen to what everyone else picked. Unfortunately, the trendy lunch was a BLT and Oreos–things we did not eat in my Jewish household. And like I said, I was 8, so I don’t even know think I’d ever heard of a BLT. I did, however, know what being cool was, and it did not involve PBJ and/or chocolate chip cookies.

In second grade, I’d broken my arm, missing out on a lot of gymnastics, meanwhile the other girls my age had shot ahead. I was on the training team and they were on the “D-team” or developmental team, a designation for highly promising young gymnasts too young to compete (this was in the 80’s, and if memory serves, 9 was the youngest age allowed in competitions). If that wasn’t bad enough, my from Lindsay. who lived down the street, was on the D-team and her mother dropped me off at the gym for the end of the year demonstration, and then told me to “get a ride with Lindsay” to the party afterward. I took that to mean that her mom was coming back and driving us to the party. An hour later, sitting in front of the gym, it was clear that her mom wasn’t coming and everyone was already at the party and no one knew where we were. I have no idea how we called her mom to come get us.

Needless to say, in third grade, I didn’t want to mess this up. So when Coach Mike called my name out, I said I wanted just an L. I knew I didn’t want bacon, and at the time I hate tomatoes. So for me, I had an L sandwich and some Oreos, which I’m sure I didn’t eat either. Probably not the coolest lunch, but I felt ok about it then.

Now, I’m much more confident about my food choices, and better yet, have devised the ultimate (vegan) BLT–portobello “bacon”, arugula, tomatoes, and avocado, on toasted bread, with a thin spread of Earth Balance. Crispy, salty, juicy, and not embarrassing in the least.

Swiss chard with potatoes and mushrooms, homemade refried black beans, and guacamole

The chard, potatoes, and mushrooms are cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. And this is why it doesn’t pay to wait to update the blog. I remember this was very tasty, but I don’t recall the seasonings.

That said, the key to the recipe not being a pile of mush is to cook the vegetables separately. First, pan sear the mushrooms until they release their juices, then set them aside. Cook the potatoes in the tomato sauce, then add the chard when the potatoes are very soft. Add the mushrooms back and cook about 5 minutes. Voila.

For the beans, cook the beans for a long time and season well with salt, pepper, and garlic.

Avocado broccoli salad and black beans and rice

One of the best comfort meals…

Salad: 1 cup cooked and then cooled broccoli (or defrosted frozen broc), 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 cup cooked corn, 2-3 green onions diced, 1/2 avocado chopped, 1 TBL lemon juice, 1 TBL vinegar, salt and pepper. Optional, chopped cilantro.

Black beans and rice cooked in the rice cooker and topped with salsa.

Spiced red lentils with cabbage and spinach AND potato-cado salad

For the cabbage and spinach: Heat Earth Balance in a dutch oven and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, allow the seeds to pop. Then add 1 diced onion with 2 garlic cloves and saute 1-2 minutes. Add ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Add 2 cups cabbage and 2 cups spinach. Cover and cook on medium-low for 1 hour until soft. Do not add water.

For the lentils: Saute 1 diced onion with 3-4 garlic cloves and 1 inch of chopped fresh ginger. Add 1 TBL paprika, 1 TBL cayenne, and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Add 2 cups red lentils, 6 cups water, and 1 faux chicken bullion. Bring to a boil, the cook covered on medium until lentils are soft. Uncover slightly and allow lentils to thicken about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve with potato-cado salad.

This picture sucks, which is the main reason I didn’t give this dish its own post. Sorry about that.

Chop 4 yukon gold potatoes and boil 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water.

While the potatoes cook, chop 4 TBL fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup white onion, and 1 ripe avocado. Pour 2 TBL lemon juice and 2 TBL white vinegar into a small bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add onion and cilantro and mix well.

When the potatoes are done, mix them together with the avocado and salad dressing. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.