Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Garden Recipe Already!

These are the ingredients I used to make bruschetta - it is by no means a traditional recipe. I love reaping the benefits of DIY - I put on the apron I made as featured in a previous post and already got to use ingredients from my newly planted garden.



Red Onions

Basil Leaves
(Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil for example!)

Mix these ingredients together and drizzle oil over top before stirring. I like to use scissors in cooking so I chopped everything up a little finer once it was in a bowl. Serve on top of sliced french bread! Add feta and/or rosemary sprigs to garnish if you are not looking for a strictly veg recipe or are feeling ambitious.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Plants and Plants and Plants and

GARDENING TIME! This may very well be the last garden I plant while living at home (as I am moving in the fall) - lots of great space with a little shade and mostly sunshine! It was a perfect day to plant - I got out there in the late afternoon when it was warm but with a mild cool breeze. Tonight I will give the entire thing a light mist. I love this time of year and this is one of the reasons why. Planting season gives us an opportunity to physically and spiritually reconnect with nature by initiating the phenomenon of its natural life cycles. As I mentioned in a post about preparing quinoa, the feeling of running my bare hands through soil, much like grain, is a humble and organic experience!
No gloves for this girl...

Today in my vegetable and herb gardens I planted:

Tomatoes, green and yellow cucumber and zucchini, fennel, red and Spanish onions, eggplant, organic radishes and spinach seeds, coriander, nutmeg and lemon thyme, rosemary, pineapple sage and basil.

I also have some parsley, chives and dill already going with a few flowers here and there as well! As pictured right, the chives, perennial flowers and dill have spiraled a bit out of control! Below is a picture of my treasured herb garden.

Wish me luck - if you have any questions please ask and also look back to see summer veg recipes posted with the freshest ingredients of those listed above. If you know of any recipes that call for them then please do not hesitate to share them with me!

happy gardening!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spontaneous DIY

This is the stuff I made! I am a hand sewer and do not own or know how to use a sewing machine and still these projects were really easy. First I made a simple square apron for all of my veg cooking endeavours. Value Village is a fabric goldmine! Made a pouch purse for my friend too with the same material. Very fun and easy process which also makes a great gift. These were some spontaneous crafts as I am new to creating other than bags and purses. DIY really saves alot of money plus all of the time and various forms of energy that would have been otherwise spent in the process of shopping/buying/consuming.

DIY Apron Instructions

Cut out two layers of fabric in the whichever shape you want your apron to be. Simply hand-stitch them together by looping the needle and thread around all the outside corners. Cut out additional squares if you want to sew on pockets in which obviously only three sides will need to be stitched. Use excess material to cut an approximately two 1 inch strips for the straps. I sewed these onto the sides and added a button over each.

DIY Purse Instructions

Another project I did with the same fabric was a pouch for my friend who likes to shove all of what are usual wallet contents into a small-medium sized purse-like thing. I made one custom for her which includes a pocket for cards!

Cut out a double layer fabric rectangle slightly larger than a standard piece of paper. The purse is going to fold like a letter. First fold up the bottom half and sew the sides together. Wen sewing the top of the bottom fold together, leave a space to act as the top of a pocket. Sew three sides down around wherever this opening is located. Fold down the top and cut the corners on an angle. Sew the sides of this together.
Add the button to the bottom of the bag and sew a few inch long piece of material to the bottom of the top flap, parallel to where the button is sewed at the bottom. Carefully make a button hole with scissors.

These are really basic and simple but I wanted to share the recent acceleration in my DIY initiatives! Get creative and use different coloured threads, patterns and accessories that look good together.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I-Actually-Made-Veganaise Post

I made this for my friends a few weeks ago and they loved it! I got the idea from an Ecogrl Cooks Vegetarian! recipe post and altered ingredients to accommodate what I had around. This lead to me making veganaise for the first time and it was a complete success! For the veganaise I acquired directions in a post from Epicurvegan. These are both blogs with stunning veg recipes in large quantities! Here is the recipe that I ended up using for this dish altogether, hope you get to make this or some form of it and enjoy it as much as I/we did. Sorry no photos for this one - life gets a bit too postmodern for me when I actually start taking pictures of every other meal I prepare! Hope you like the recipe!

Sweet Potato Fries & Spicy Dipping Sauce

1) Peel and slice yams or sweet potatoes. Put some muscle into it and use a good knife - be careful they can be a bit challenging to handle at times! Cut into desired length and width (pretty much the same size as a large french fry)

2) In a mixing bowl, add 1-2 Tablespoons of extra virgin sesame oil, 1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder and 1 Teaspoon of Cumin to the cut potatoes, distribute evenly over the batch and sprinkle with pepper

3) Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for half an hour at 425 degrees in the oven. I find it impossible to make them really crispy so be prepared for them to be on the soft side - this is how they are supposed to turn out when you make them yourself. So in my experience, if you want them to be crunchy then go to a restaurant where they have a deep fryer!!!

4) While these are cooking you can prepare the dipping sauce. The first ingredient is VEGANAISE: Put 1/2 cup of soy milk in a blender with 1/2 cup of canola oil. Add 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 Teaspoon of Dry Mustard Powder, 1 Teaspoon of salt1 small clove of finely minced garlic, freshly ground black pepper. I put in some chives too because I tend to put them in everything! Start with these ingredients and then add plain firm tofu until consistency is as thick as desired. BLEND AWAY

5) Combine veganaise with 3/4 of a fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 pressed garlic clove, 1 Teaspoon of Paprika and 1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder. Serve on the side of fries.