15 January 2014

You're Invited!

So I kind of forgot I resumed this blog.  Oops!  I swear, this memory of mine...

So I kind of forgot I resumed this blog.  Oops!  I swear, this memory of mine...

Just kidding.

My memory isn't that bad.

I was just trying to be funny.

In all honesty, though, I kind of had forgotten that I had revived this blog.  Part of that revival is going to mean making posts a regular part of my schedule, and not just because I need to post or because I impose it on myself but, rather, because I want to!

Tonight I had two great friends over for dinner.  Since moving to California, I have become really good friends with this girl, Rosie, whom I met through Instagram, as well as her boyfriend, Rich.  They are WONDERFUL people and I feel so lucky to have them in my life.

For dinner I made curried parsnip and sweet potato soup with Sarah's "Life-Changing Loaf of Bread."  They both seemed to like the food (they licked their bowls clean!).  I also made Rosie a batch of dark chocolate cashew cream truffles for a belated birthday gift.  She already posted a picture of it to Instagram!

These are the dark chocolate cashew cream truffles I made for Rosie's belated birthday.  She snapped this photo right away and tagged me on Instagram!  Rosie is so popular in the Instagram world that by tagging me I got 66 "Likes" and 4 new followers!

I hope to host more events like this.  It was a much more enjoyable way to spend my post-work hours instead of by myself...streaming Netflix.  Rosie and Rich, you have an open invitation!

The stage is set!

The Life-Changing Loaf of bread I made, fresh out of the oven!

Here it is close up.

Choppin' some parsley for soup garnish (I also served dinner with toasted pumpkin seeds!).


 Everything is just about ready to go, except for the soup.  I took this right before Rosie and Rich arrived.

Dinner is served!

07 January 2014

Another Day, Another Post

I'm off and running!  Two jazzy days in a row of blogging!  You might call that a roll!  I'd actually composed this blog post during the day but, as I sit here typing, I have more--different--words I want to say.  I think those four sentences were it!  Wait, four, if you include that last "I think..." one.  Now it's six.  Ok, this last and final, seventh, sentence consists of the only previously unscripted words I wish to express.

My head hurts.

Now that I have re-entered the blogging sphere, I thought I’d share with you all where I’ve “been” (in the world of food) for these past nine months.  I swear, I have eaten.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have eaten at some pretty incredible restaurants…once, twice or twelve times (Source);  I’ve made some incredible friends who have actually prepared food for me;  I’ve found some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G farmers’ markets with the most insane produce I’ve ever experienced; and I’ve also dabbled in some cooking of my own, both inspired by other recipes and my own creations!

So without further ado, here is an Instagrammic snapshot into the good eats I’ve had this past almost-year:

I ordered this at The Plant, one of my favorite veg-friendly restaurants in San Francisco.  This beauty has perfectly cooked quinoa (which is an art, in and of itself), the BEST smoked tempeh, beautifully cooked seasonal vegetables and refreshing pea shoots.  Happy mouth.  Happy tummy...very happy tummy.

I love Cha-Ya.  Specifically, their seaweed salad.  It's unlike any other seaweed salad I've had.  I get it literally every time I go.  I assume their other dishes are tasty??

Pictured here is a HUGE bowl of soba noodle wonder.  There are some mushrooms mixed in there (everything's better with mushrooms, right??), some baby lettuces and a generous topping of crispy rice noodles and avocado.  The whole thing is drenched in "plum yaki" sauce.  I don't know what that is but I do know that it's darn tasty.  I had this at Source.

Another Source meal.  Umm.  Ridiculous, right?  So much food.  Hidden within that freshly oven-baked pita, among the snappy leaves of organic lettuce and buried below a river of liquid cashew 'cheese' is about the best burger I've ever eaten.  Made with beets.  I swear, carnivores would be fooled...and, perhaps, converted. 

This might be another Source meal?  It might be a "Squash the Funghi" [translate: butternut squash and mushrooms] dosa.  It might be the thing I order 90 percent of the time I go.  Might...

Finally, a non-Source dish (although there's nothin' bad with Source).  What you have here is a Flacos dish!  Ooh, baby, was this incredible.  Not only was this my first ever experience having a vegan empanada, but it was my first experience having an empanada...period!  How I went so many years without having one is an utter mystery.  I mean, just look at that!

Funny little story:  I made this raw 'toast' in my dehydrator in Michigan and transported it back here to California to enjoy.  That there on the left is freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.  The warm lighting perfectly captures how magical this little brekky was.

I made up this raw little breakfast bowl (I'm into eating raw for breakfast, if you can't tell--it ensures I get in one raw meal a day, which makes me feel my best!) and am pretty darn proud of its presentation and creativity.  It's your basic chia pudding, rehydrated with water, splenda and cinnamon, and topped with perfectly in season (at the time) persimmon and pomegranate plus a glob of sprouted almond butter for an even greater protein boost!

The third of my breakfast installments--and raw too!  Shock!  I made probiotic coconut yogurt which I know sounds frightening and creepy, like it should belong in the movie Alien, but I assure you, it was delicious, made even more so by drizzling in some raw local honey and dropping in some dried cherries.

The last in my now dubbed "Breakfast Series."  This bad boy is my favorite of the bunch and, I'm proud to say, created the recipe.  Basically it's strawberry sprouted buckwheat groat porridge with flaked coconut, nectarine and hemp hearts.  Say that ten times fast!  Yeesh, I feel like the names I have for these breakfasts are getting progressively longer!

Gorgeous.  Just gorgeous.  Now I can't take full credit for this recipe (though I can take a little) since it was inspired by Ali over at Inspiralized.  It's cucumber 'noodles' with roasted persimmons, roasted grapes, Trader Joe's A-MA-A-Z-I-N-G rosemary Marcona almonds and Kitehill 'cheese.'  Here is the original recipe.  I will totally make this again.  In fact, as I type this I am sad I do not have *cough* any of these ingredients on hand so for now it will have to serve as a distant memory.

This pear upside-down cake was the brainchild of Ashley at Edible Perspective.  Her recipes are solid.  Period.  This one was no exception.  Now I want this too...again, though, I don't have any of the ingredients.  Sad :(

Another EP brainchild.  I wasn't kidding when I said her recipes are solid.  I seriously make them all the time.  This spaghetti squash with chunky mushroom and chard marinara sauce I think I had, like, three nights in a row.

I went to a Vegan Mac and Cheese cook-off with one of my closest California friends, Rosie, who also has an amazing food blog.  The event was super fun and it was awesome to see all the creativity people injected into veganizing a very non-vegan dish!  For the record, my favorite was the Mac and Cheese with the crispy sage, which you can see in the bottom right of the photo.

Geez.  Writing these captions and, essentially, reliving all these amazing meals is making me hungry.  I lifted this recipe directly from 101 Cookbooks  I didn't need to change a thing.  And yes, it really was as good as it looks.

Okay, I kind of forget if I made up this recipe or borrowed it.  I think I borrowed it from a source but then changed so much of it that it became my own.  Funny how that works!  It's rosemary-turnip soup that I thickened with Vitamix pulverized germinated brown rice.  Day-um, I'm creative (if I may be so humble).

Pretty as a picture!  Hey, wait!  I hosted a vegan potluck at my apartment a few months back with two vegan Instagram friends--the aforementioned Rosie of Rose Petalz Vegan Blog and Jen of Wholly Vegan.  We each made a course.  Rosie made this raw Brie nut 'cheese.'

Jen's dessert of coconut cream pie.  Mmmmm.  Oh, and I made a cauliflower crust pizza.  Not pictured (obviously).

More in the way of friends cooking for me!  My former coworker, Louis, made this gazpacho and brought me in some.  Now, I'm not normally a gazpacho type o' gal but this was dynamite.  Just ignore the weird thing on the left of the photo--the star of the photo is the soup!

I love cold-pressed, raw juice!  I must say, juice is one of the best parts about having moved out here.  I can find juice all over (and do) and the flavors are so creative!  I have made a ritual of starting my day with a green juice, which makes my mind and body very happy (though it makes my pocketbook very sad--green juice ain't cheap!).

Cafe Gratitude is a California institution and rightfully so!  The food was incredible!  When I went I ordered I Am Warm-Hearted (that's how they do their menu--"I Am...").  I Am Warm-Hearted consists of grilled *organic* polenta, ratatouille and cashew ricotta, basil and Brazil nut parmesan.  Are you drooling yet?  I am.

What better way to end than with dessert?  Toasted coconut ice cream made with full-fat coconut milk.  Holy moly.  No.  Holy Gelato!

05 January 2014

I'm Back! (Plus a Recipe for the BEST Mushroom Soup Recipe...Ever)

Many moons ago I had this blog called "Delightfully Vegan."  I loved it.  I wrote recipes, talked general food stuff and shared goings-on in my life, as they related to healthy living.  Then I moved to California and Delightfully Vegan was not more...until now!

That's right, I'm back!

And to kickstart this revival, I'm offering the BEST mushroom soup recipe ever.  It's not me being conceited.  It's just a fact.  This is, hands down, the best [mushroom] soup my taste buds have ever experienced.  I'm sure that once you try out the recipe and taste it for yourself, you'll agree.

In the words of Julia Child, Bon Appetit!

Creamy Mushroom and Potato Soup

-  20 dried Cepes mushrooms, thinly torn 
-  5 small-medium Yukon hold potatoes, peeled and diced-
-  4 semi-large cloves garlic, minced
-  1/4 heaping c. freshly chopped parsley
-  6 c. boiling water
-  1.5 tsp. sea salt (or more, to taste)
-  1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
-  1/4 c. cashew cream 

1.  Sauté potatoes and mushrooms in oil over medium heat for three minutes. 
2.  Add boiling water, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
3.  Let cook, uncovered, for one hour or until potatoes are tender. 
4. At the very end, stir in cashew cream and mix thoroughly to incorporate...that's it!