Turnips, Take One

roasted turnips with caramelized onions

I tried turnips this week. I like them.

They were tossed with a little bit of olive oil, about 1/2 tsp of agave nectar, salt, and pepper, then roasted in a 400 degree oven. While the turnips cooked in the oven, I made some caramelized onions on the stove, then I threw them both together at the end.

The verdict: I like. I am starting to think my radio nickname really should be Root-Vegetable Rachel. But we would have to switch it to Rhubarb Rachel in the spring.

 

Produce on the Edge

You know that random produce that you find in the drawer that needs to be used right now before it goes bad? We worked with that this week, and also came up with a new taco filling.

tempeh burrito

I had a four-day weekend the past week due to a day off to prepare food for my niece’s birthday party on Friday, and Martin Luther King Day on Monday. I finally got around to making some tempeh taco filling. I’ve been meaning to try this for a while. I didn’t really follow a recipe. I simmered the tempeh loaf in a shallow pan for about 20 minutes, cooled it a bit, then broke it up with a fork. In the same pan while it was cooling, I sauteed some onions, and added Penzeys Arizona Dreaming seasoning (one of my favorite spice blends ever), smoked paprika, salt, and some vegetable broth. I think it could have used some tomato paste, but I didn’t have any on hand. I tried to approximate the proportions of water and seasonings that one would get using a dry packet of taco seasoning.

Our tacos had lettuce, onions, salsa, and cilantro.

tofu scramble

Lance requested scrambled tofu for breakfast, with mushrooms. I was using the last of the mushroom blend that I chopped and cooked up before the mushrooms went past their prime. I like this technique for vegetables that are about to go bad. I can always cook them up and freeze them to add to soup later, or to blend into something like a sauce or even a smoothie. I’m getting better at not wasting produce. We also added spinach and mini sweet peppers to the scramble. It seemed like the right thing to do.

golden beet and pomegranate salad

This salad is made with some lovely Blue Moon Farms golden beets, apples, dinosaur kale, romaine lettuce, chickpeas, and pomegranate seeds. I’m a fan of fruits and vegetables in a salad, and chickpeas go with everything. It’s not pictured, but I topped this with a simple honey dijon dressing (dijon mustard, agave syrup, a bit of onion powder, and black pepper.)

chickpea salad and starfruit

The leftover chickpeas were made into chickpea salad, in which I used the remainder of the green onions before they went bad. (See the theme here?) I was going for a chicken salad-like version this time with fresh celery, onions, and some Penzeys BBQ 3000 seasoning. We picked up a few new spices over the holidays and are trying some of the blends.

This is the first time I’ve actually enjoyed star fruit. I bought it as a garnish for a fruit salad, but it’s tasty when it’s properly ripened. Here we had it with sliced kiwis and a banana that needed to be eaten that day.

On Sunday, Lance was our special guest on Food for Thought Radio, with Vegan Linda and myself. (A 7-year-old on live radio… what could possibly go wrong?) He did a good job talking about things he likes to eat, and packing lunches for school. For some reason known only in the mind of a 7-year-old boy, he also dreamed up a race in which the participants run 100 miles and drink beer. (I know a few people who would actually attempt something like that.)

Lance on Food For Thought

Lance on Food For Thought Radio

 

 

Quick Raw Vegan Pecan Pie

datesHere’s a recipe for the easiest raw vegan pecan pie you’ll ever make:

Replace the pit of a medjool date with a pecan half. Done.

How funny… I came up with the same recipe too! I have it for dessert whenever I have both dates and pecans on hand. Sometimes I go a little crazy and use an almond instead. Whoo-hoo!

This recipe is from The Date People. I hope they don’t think I’m infringing on their copyright by reprinting it. I just think everyone should eat dates, or eat more dates. As The Date People say on their Facebook page:

“They are extremely nutritious, higher in potassium than bananas, also rich in iron, calcium and vitamins. If you are looking to balance your acid/alkaline state, dates are more alkaline than almost any other food.”

If you’re like me and enjoy something sweet after a meal once in a while (or all the time), a couple of dates seems like a good dessert.

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

L.A. Gourmet Lunch

There is, and sometimes it shows up unexpectedly at your desk.

L.A. Gourmet catering left us with some samples at work, and the vegetarian portabello was assigned to me.

Inside the neat little box, I found:

  • A sandwich of hummus, provolone cheese, sauteed mushrooms (not the large cap I was expecting, but a few tiny pieces), yellow peppers, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce. It was a little thin for a sandwich, and I expected much more mushroom to live up to the name. The roll was tasty.
  • A bag of super-crispy kettle crunch potato chips – my favorite variety. (Salt and vinegar is actually my favorite flavor, but these are my favorite texture.)
  • A cup of pasta salad, swimming in dressing that was light on oil and heavy on vinegar and sugar. Not bad, if a bit ordinary.
  • A bag of apple slices. Pre-cut produce makes me nervous, but they tasted good.
  • A brownie with a caramel center.

I didn’t mean to eat the the whole brownie. I can already tell that I should not have eaten the whole brownie. I feel like a hummingbird on crack. At least I have the energy to prepare for the sugar crash later this afternoon. Maybe this is the price of a free lunch. Ugh.