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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Last week we had a chance to see what the WEST cooked up for the Vegetarian Challenge. This week the EAST will show us what they are made of as they take their turn going vegetarian. Many of the participant are vegetarian or vegan and it is still fun to see how both the meat-lovers and the vegetarians challenged themselves this week.

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South Region (VA, MD, NC, SC, GA) with Emily from Sincerely, Emily

Annie (MD) from AnnieRie Unplugged is recovering from some surgery so her husband stepped in for this challenge. For part of Annie’s meal he heated up some local applesauce, then whole wheat pasta & topped it off with both local tomato sauce & mushrooms! For his meal he also made a nice salad made up of veggies from their CSA – spinach, radishes, Chevre, drizzled w/Catoctin Mountain Orchards Blackberry Splash Vinaigrette. He also cooked up some sweet potatoes (Annie was able to have those too). After a wonderful meal like that I am sure Annie is on her way to recovery. Stop by her blog to read more about this meal & her local resources & send her some get-well wishes!

Susan (VA) from Backyard Grocery (meat-lover) had fun with this vegetarian challenge. Lettuce from the garden inspired her to made a peanut salad with an apple peanut dressing.  She found peanuts for her protein and added garden greens, carrot, celery root, & radish to her salad. The dressing was made w/apples, hot sauce, peanuts with the help of a food processor. Head over to her blog to see her recipe.

Jessica (SC) over at Eat.Drink.Nourish. made a delicious looking creamy baby potato and leek soup this week. Most of her time was spent cleaning the sand out of the leeks, but it was worth it. Once the potatoes & leeks were in the pot, she added some thyme from their garden & let everything simmer away. She then pureed it with the an immersion blender, added some cream and topped each bowl with some shredded local cheese. What a meal. Visit her blog to read more!

Victoria (MD) at The Soffritto two-thirds of the household was able to stick with the veg challenge this week. With all hands on deck they set out to make feta & roasted pepper pizza using home-grown, roasted & canned peppers, homemade tomato sauce & local feta.  Dad, however, couldn’t resist the temptation of sausage, so he made his own pizza and added the sausage. With their little helper on board, it looks like they had a lot of fun. Head over to her blog to read their recipes and see their local resources too.

Rebecca (VA) from Eating Floyd cooked some amazing dishes for the veg. challenge, & I have no idea where to start. She made savory baked garbanzo beans (one of her favorite ways to eat chickpeas!) She also made gujerati-style hot sweet & sour potatoes (those are calling out to me) & then she braised some baby bok choy. OH wait, how could I forget – she made black bean walnut brownies….yes, you read the correctly! To that she added a scoop of ice cream & a drizzle of black forest cherry preserves. Why are you still reading this… head over to her blog to see it all!

Jes (VA) from Eating Appalachia is a bit bogged down getting ready to leave on a trip to Europe for over 2 weeks. She (being vegan) had to laugh since this is the week for the Vegetarian Challenge and she almost missed out on it! Not much is happening in her kitchen right now, but she did eat out at a local restaurant that caters to vegetarians and vegan with a focus on locally sourced food. She loved their falafel and the “Incan Bowl” with black beans, sweet potatoes, corn & quinoa were wonderful. The sweet potato & coconut soup was wonderful also. Stop by her blog to read more and find out where this great restaurant is.

Liz (VA) from Family Foodie Survival Guide had a successful trip to the farmers market and found many things to go into her meal this week. Liz made potato-leek soup with the potatoes and leeks found at the farmers market. To go along with the soup, she made some nice looking sweet potato biscuits and had a nice salad too.  Visit her blog for all the details of her local finds and her soup recipe.

Monika (NC) from Windy City Vegan has been traveling for work this past week and she was still able to come up with several DDC meals in Chapel Hill, NC where she was staying. There is a café she frequents that is complete with its own kitchen garden and Monika even sees the owner at the local farmer’s market purchasing food for the café from local farmers. Monika brought salad fixings from her garden at home & combined those throughout the week with meals from the Curryblosson Café. She had Seasonal Bhaji with some of the salad she brought from home. Another notable meal was Vimale’s Original Uttapam which is a large onion & cilantro pancake made with rice & bean sourdough batter. Head over to Monika’s blog to read more about this café with a community feeling and more on Monika’s traveling meals.

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Today kicks off the Vegetarian Challenge for the Dark Days Challenge. This is not much of a challenge for those participants that are vegetarian or vegan, but it will be interesting to see what all the carnivores out there come up with. Be sure to check out the companion post today where the WEST will showing what this did this week.

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Preparing and eating vegetarian meals is not really a challenge for me (Sincerely, Emily.) We eat many vegetarian meals using where our protein comes from chickpeas, bulgar wheat, quinoa, as well as different beans, but none of those things are local to me. I also do not think that a meal without protein is a terrible thing as long as I am getting enough protein in other meals throughout the day. I could have added some cheese to this meal, but I did not. I also could have gone an easier route and just made something with eggs, but I did not. Instead I had local eggs for breakfast (protein) with some local cheese shredded on top (more protein) and some toast (homemade but not local flour.)

In general, this challenge has gotten me my to step out of my backyard and see what local foods are out there past the local meat and milk/dairy products I have found and  challenged me to meet some farmers in my area. I have also found that all farmers markets are not created equally. I guess I already knew that, but it still surprised me when I come across it.  We have many farmers markets in our area, but not all are selling local foods. While the sellers may be from the local area, some of the produce (and other products) are not and have traveled many miles to get there. When I decided to look past my backyard and freezer for the Vegetarian Challenge, I decided to go to farmers market that is a “producers only” market. I have been there before, but it was time to go back for more mushroom! I only stepped out back for one item on my plate, the broccoli and while it would been easy to just step out back for other vegetarian items out of the garden, I am glad I headed down to the farmers market. The butternut squash and the mushrooms are both locally grown and wonderful! This past Friday I posted about this vegetarian meal. You can read more about it here, including where everything came from.

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This week we have our third mini-challenge for the Dark Days Challenge. Vegetarian Theme.  For some of the carnivores participants this is a big challenge, for other carnivores it isn’t. And it will be interesting to see what the vegetarian and vegan participants cook up as well. Did they challenge themselves to try something new and different?

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West Region (CA, CO, TX, UT, Mexico) with Emily from Sincerely, Emily

Lynda (CA) from Cortina Creek made some wonderful looking sourdough pancakes this week. Lynda grows and grinds her own wheat and the sourdough starter has been growing for 3 generations originating with her grandparents (what a treat!) She used cherries that she had preserved from a farmer’s market last summer, she used eggs from her chickens and she made the cheese using local milk & cream. The oil came from her son who grew and pressed the sunflowers himself. I would say, not only was this a local and vegetarian meal, but it was mostly from family grown and raised ingredients.

This wasn’t much of a challenge for the vegetarians over at d.i. wine & dine.  Instead of just another “normal” meal for them they decided to challenge themselves and make blue corn tortillas using local blue corn meal. The local ingredients go on and on with anasazi bean, spinach and potatoes. They also added another layer of flavor using a mostly local homemade peach salsa.  Head over to their blog to see more photos and read more about their challenge.

Teresa (CA) from Not from a Box wasn’t super challenged by the vegetarian meal this week, in fact eating vegetarian meals is a normal occurrence around her place. Coinciding with the DDC was lent and as she had done in years past, she gave up meat again this year. She prepared a flavorful parsnip and apple soup and paired it with a nice looking grilled cheese sandwich. Her list of local ingredient is long and impressive. Visit her blog to read more.

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Amusingly, the first post I opened for our vegetarian challenge, from the entertaining WoohooTofu (ironic name there)  boldy proclaimed “Crazy for Chicken.” She gets them by the boatload, something I may try for the summer when my freezer isn’t full of frozen veggies. She made a lovely family heirloom chicken soup. Oh course it wasn’t Woohoo that I was worried about. After her gorgeous celeriac a gratin two weeks ago, I’m fully confident that she can whip up vegetarian with one hand tied behind her back. I was a little concerned with game-loving Sanborn Sanctuary, but they came through, although not without editorializing meat. ;) We’ll have to award flying colors here, for sweet potato latkes with garlic aioli. I am making this for dinner tonight. My other meat eater, at Backyard Farms, also stepped up to the challenge, with that vegetarian staple food, pizza.

Dave at Happy Acres checked in at the last minute. Another inveterate meat eater, they made some lovely meals nonetheless. He caught this season of bookends perfectly with spinach (new and fresh and grown in spring) and a lovely roasted sweet potato (preserved from last year’s harvest). I won’t spoil it by mentioning that they served it with steak. (oops) And vegetarian theme notwithstanding, I have to bring up their amazing “southwest chicken pot pie” made with tortillas and green tomato salsa.

UPDATE: Thank goodness I went looking for the wonderful, thoughtful MNLocavore.com this morning. I wanted to see why she had dropped out of the Challenge. Turns out no such thing. She’s in it and as thoughtful as ever. Her post reminded me of my daughter confessing that she’d made breakfast for a vegetarian friend, but had first made some bacon for herself before cooking eggs. She didn’t think to clean the bacon grease out of the pan. “Wow,” her friend said, “why are these eggs so delicious?!” Yeah, bacon. Here also is her post from February 8, another vegetarian option.

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Northwest Region  with Miranda from Pocket Pause

Up here in the blustery Northwest my blogging neighbors have been cooking up some yummies. It seems crustless quiche were popular for our veggie challenge. Along with my fritatta, Farming Mom got back into blogging action to tell us about her yummy “egg cake” for the veggie challenge, a chocolate mousse for the dessert challenge and a bunch of other local fare. If you’re in the NW, check out her post for some great local resources of SOLE foods. Be Creative snuggled up with some delicious looking tomato soup after a chilly walk in the rain, and it may not be long until she shows up with a quiche or fritatta as well: her chickens are laying!

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“Vegetarian” is always a great theme to cook with: you’re pretty much guaranteed all your guests can eat it, vegetarian dishes are generally pretty healthy (other than those pasta and cheese options), cooking with all vegetables (especially seasonal) is generally the most sustainable way to cook, and cooking vegetarian is easy: no worrying about bringing meat up to safe temps!

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Wahoo! I FINALLY cooked an entirely SOLE meal, and was up to the veggie challenge. I have been slacking off, more or less, during this entire challenge, but i finally did it. On a week that most of the other recappers are busy! Oh, well.

For my vegetarian dish, i made a fresh salad and a fritatta of sorts. The fritatta was more veg than egg, and i DID use balsamic on the salad but ALL other ingredients were from either right down the road (literally), or a neighboring state (Californian olive oil).

This “fritatta” turned out way more veg than egg, but was still pretty yummy. I followed my normal fritatta guidelines: potato crust, veggies, egg mixture poured over the top and baked at 400/425 for 20 minutes or until firm throughout. For this meal i used the following ingredients:

  • 5 eggs from a neighbor’s hens
  • half bunch kale (from Gathering Together Farm (GTF), an organic farm 1 mile from my house)
  • 3 cloves garlic (from GTF)
  • 1 purple potato (GTF)
  • 1 crown broccoli (GTF)
  • 1/3 leek (the white part) (GTF)
  • 1 smoked serrano pepper (from my step-mom in Eugene)
  • pinch dried basil (stored from my Austin garden)
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Splash milk from Lochmead Dairy (about 40 minutes away, no hormones added)

For the salad, i tossed GTF’s salad mix with a shredded beet (from Denison Farms, also local/organic), chopped walnuts (that i picked locally this past Fall), more salt and pepper and a drizzle of California olive oil and who-knows-where Balsamic. Local, fresh, seasonal, healthy, SOLE and vegetarian! I finally did it!

PS, in exciting personal-blogging news: i’ve launched a brand new website: Pocket Pause. I will post a full on introduction for my next Friday post on March 9th, but feel free to check it out now!

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Do you enjoy cooking vegetarian dishes, or do you find them limiting?

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I have been trying and trying to make a refried beans that I like…being vegetarian it has been a challenge.

Right now this one is my favorite, and it is easy!

1 pound dried black beans or dried pinto beans

2 TBSP minced garlic divided

1 medium tomato diced (optional)

2 TBSP cumin

1 TBSP chili powder

2 TBSP olive oil

salt to taste

  1. Place the beans in a large saucepan, and cover with an inch of water. Place over high heat, and bring to a boil. When the beans have come to a boil, drain, and return them to the same pot. Cover the beans with 2 inches of water, and stir in 1 tablespoon of garlic, the tomato, cumin, and chili powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until the beans are very soft, about 3 hours and 45 minutes, adding water as needed.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, mash them with the remaining tablespoon of garlic, the oil, and salt to taste; use additional water as needed to achieve desired consistency. Place over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve.

This recipe is from All Recipes and I have not had to tweak it at all (except I usually use black beans)

We’ve used in tacos, dips, and just out of a bowl.  I must say that will keep searching for the ‘perfect’ refried beans but if I never find it I will be very happy with this these!

Kim can also be found at the inadvertent farmer where she raises organic fruits, veggies, critter, kids, and…a camel!

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bunch of tomatoes

All I can say is my oh my do I have tomatoes…planted 40 plants

WHAT was I thinking???

They looked so little when in their tiny starter cells.

So what to do with all these?

How about raw tomato sauce

Raw? Why raw you are wondering…

Well here is the deal, I have recently become vegan…but this has nothing at all to do with that!

So no I am not a raw food vegan…

I am a lazy vegan….as opposed to a lazy vegetarian which I perfected over decades of hardly working!!!

I just don’t want to stand around a big pot all day cookin’ up sauce so…

tom crate3

I decided that lazy was the word for the day I would make the sauce raw…

Why not I said to myself…there is no law stopping me.

So that is precisely what I did!

tomato sauce1

First I washed…

Then I cored…

Then I threw…I threw them into my Vita-Mix that is!

Then I added…

pepper4

Part of a pretty pepper from my plot…say that 3 times fast!

To which I also added…

tomato sauce2

Fresh basil, part of a sweet onion…

Parsley from my window sill…

Salt, pepper…

Roasted garlic…I LOVE roasted garlic!

If you put something roasted in your raw sauce does that not make it raw anymore?

And a touch of organic extra virgin olive oil.

Whirred it all around and voila’

Fresh, raw, yummy tomato sauce…

Which I forgot to take a picture of…sorry!

 

We have used this on pasta

Over roasted eggplant

As chilled soup

As tomato juice with a dash of Tabasco!

And of course with as many tomatoes as I have…we froze A LOT!

I must say it is scrumptious…is it exactly like cooked tomato sauce…no

But it beats standing around a big ol’ pot in the middle of August!

Go… enjoy…

Eat!

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