31 August 2011

focaccia with tomato & zucchini

homemade bread with little kneading or {much} waiting?  sounds good to me!

{focaccia with tomato & zucchini}

focaccia  inspired by this recipe from sometimes i veg & flour : water ratio based on this recipe.
2 3/4 cups flour
1 cup warm water
1 tsp active yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt + more for sprinkling
1 tbsp + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cherry tomato tomatoes, halved
1/2 -1 cup zucchini, sliced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

start by proofing the yeast.  to do this, stir the sugar into the warm water {i think technically it should be 110'f, but i go with luke warm} and sprinkle the yeast on top.  leave it for 5-10 minutes and it should get all foamy.  if it doesn't the yeast is no good and you'll need more. 

stir together the flour and salt.  once the yeast is proofed, add this to the flour, along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls together {it will be a bit sticky}.  knead it until smooth & elastic on a lightly floured surface {about 5 minutes}.  place it in a lightly oiled bowl and turn it to coat with the oil, then cover with a damp dish towel and place it somewhere warm to rise for 30 minutes.  it should double in size.

{before baking}

take the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet.  press the dough down with your fingers, stretching it out to about 1/2 - 1 inch thick.  be sure to make lots of good divots with your digits to trap little golden pockets of oil!  brush or drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the dough and top with tomatoes*, zucchini, rosemary & a generous sprinkle of coarse salt.

bake at 400'f for 12-15 minutes.  enjoy warm.  i ate 2 slices up for dinner along side a little glass of white wine & a green salad {so good} but this would also make a great appetizer.

.
{focaccia}

focaccia is nice alternative to pizza.  it's a little bit more chewy and i find it lighter, mostly due to the lack of sauce & vegan cheese.  i think it's prettier than pizza too. {because that counts?!  haha}  also, anything that's a tasty use of the zucchini i'm swimming in is alright in my books.


{delightful dinner}

mihl, over at seitan is my motor also made a gorgeous focaccia recently that you should definitely check out.  i'm serious - it's gorgeous.

*a tip about tomatoes that i saw on an italian cooking show {and i can't remember what it was!}: if using cherry tomatoes, place them cut side facing up on your focaccia, this way they'll dehydrate a bit but their juices won't make the dough soggy.

are you up to your ears in zucchini too?  any favourite recipes to share?  i see some muffins in my future...

30 August 2011

trailmix bars

in preparation for a little roadtrip i have coming up this week i made some trailmix bars, which i've squirled away in the freezer with the hopes that i can keep my hands off them until i leave!  they'll be great for the car and also for snacking when i arrive at my destination -  a lovely, rustic resort on lake huron, where my family has vacationed for years.  although the company is top notch and the spot might have just about the nicest sunsets ever, the food is traditional home cooking and not very vegan-friendly.  they try their best, but i'm afraid they really don't know what to do with me when i show up every year!  so it will likely be a lot of salads  & veggie chili for me for a few days.  i won't have access to a kitchen myself, so to supplement things i also picked up a some vega shake & go smoothie mix which i'm looking forward to trying out. 

{raw trailmix bars}

these bars, like most any raw bar or ball, come together really quickly which i love.  how can you beat 5 minutes of prep?!  they really remind me of trailmix with the nuts and seeds & fruit.  they are dense and tender, much like the consistency of a larabar, but with a bit more added texture.  yum.

raw trailmix bars
makes 10 bars
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup whole spelt flour
1/3 cup dates
1-2 tbsp raw agave nectar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

{tailmix mise en place}

{cinnamon}

place the cashews, oats & flour in a food processor fitted with an s-blade and pulse to break the nuts up into a coarse meal.  add the chia seeds, cinnamon, salt and the dates, giving the dates a rough chop or pulling them apart with your fingers as you add them to ensure that no little bits of pit find their way into the bars.  turn the processor back on and drizzle in the vanilla & agave through the feed tube and run until the mixture comes together and away from the edge of the bowl.  {not sure if there's enough moisture to hold things together?  stop & unplug the machine and take a bit of the mixture and press it between your thumb & index finger.  if it stays together you've got enough moisture to hold.  if not, add in another date or a little drizzle more of agave.}

add the cranberries & sunflower seeds last and pulse just a few times to incorporate them into the mix but to leave them whole.  turn out the mixture into an 8x8 baking pan that's lined with parchment paper.  wet your fingers with water {this will keep the mixture from sticking to them} and press the dough down into the corners.  start at one end and work your way out.

{pressed & cut}

depending on how thick or thin you like your bars, you might fill the entire pan, 3/4 of the pan or only half the pan.  place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to set, then remove it and cut it into bars. 

{trailmix, stacked}

i spread mine out to cover about 3/4 of the pan, and after chilling, cut them into 10 bars, then popped them into an airtight container where they wait for me in the freezer, hidden behind some freezer burned peas that have been in there for far too long.

{roadtrip ready}


not into bars?  like things a bit more spherical?  i actually made these as raw trailmix balls for the music festival i helped bake {or in this case un-bake} for, and they were great that way too! 

also a bit of good news - summer wellness weekends over at diet dessert & dogs isn't going to end just because september {gasp!} has arrived.  hurray for wellness weekends all year long!


26 August 2011

fresh garden wraps and a little boasting

just a quick post before the weekend begins!  (or i suppose it's already begun for most of us!)  i've been busy in the kitchen this afternoon baking up some treats to sweeten some of the artists at yet another local music festival taking place this weekend.  so far i've made a batch of these pb & puffed kamut squares and some 2 bite blondies and i think i'll also bake up some mini cupcakes!

for lunch today i made big wraps full of fresh veggies from our csa this week. 


this week our share contained: 
lettuce
zucchini (yellow & green)
cucumbers (slicing & pickling)
yellow beans
beets
carrots
dill
radishes
corn
broccoli
tomatoes
a melon
potatoes
green onions
and fresh garlic! 

i also found a jar of pickles in my bin!!!  my friend tara (who we split our share with) had gifted me a jar of her fermented garlic dills!  and they are so yummy! 

{unwrapped}

 but back to the wrap.

{beets & cukes}

these wraps were quick & easy and bursting with flavour!  i love farm-fresh veggies! 

fresh garden wraps
2 ezeikiel wraps
1 cup of carrots, grated
1/2 cup of beets, grated
1 or 2 green onions, diced
4 big leaves of lettuce
1/2  cucumber, sliced
sliced olives {as many as your little heart desires!}
vegan mayo

start by grating or shredding the carrots & beets.  i do this with the grating attachment on my food processor.  not only is it quick, but it keeps the beets and all of their glorious {and staining} juices contained.  start with the carrots and remove them from the processor before getting started on the beets, unless you don't mind pink carrots.  {for the record there is no shame in pink carrots.}

lay out the wraps and spread a little bit of vegan mayo on each {i used vegenaise}, the layer on your vegetables!  wrap things up as best as you can and secure with a toothpick {or 4}.  eat up and enjoy your weekend!

{eat up}

oh yes, and for the little bit of boasting :)  cupcakes and kale is feeling the love!

* i was over the moon last week when i finally made it to the land of foodgawker!  i now have one whole listing in my gallery!  and given how long it took for that one, i'm sure it will be another few months before it has a friend.  don't get too lonely soba noodles & spicy peanut sauce!

* my pb & puffed kamut squares are also now found on this kamut website.

* and a new naturopathic clinic in sudbury asked if they could share cupcakes and kale with their clients :)


happy weekend to you!!
xo
jess


25 August 2011

chocolate chip cookies

am i the only one who is seaching for thier perfect chocolate chip cookie?  i've been trying to create the perfect recipe for a cookie that rival the cookies my mom used to bake.  i have her version of the recipe and i could try to veganize it, but that would be too simple, now wouldn't it?  instead, i keep trying new recipes. 

some are great and some are only okay.  the batch i made last night i would have classified as "good", but not great.  m, however, went gaga for them.  apparently the perfect cookie is in the eye mouth of the beholder.  these cookies might just be "the best cookies i've ever made".  or so m says. {i think he just likes to pay my baking lots of compliments to encourage me to keep the treats coming.}

{m's perfect cookie}

but on the off chance that he's not alone in his taste, i figured i would share them.  a word of caution: these do not taste healthy in any way and they are far from fluffy; rather they are a little bit crunchy, a little bit chewy, and thin caramelized  little things.

{cookies, stacked}

chocolate chip cookies
makes 24 cookies
1/2 cup cold earth balance margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 flax egg {1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp hot water}
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup organic all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

preheat your oven to 350.  cream together the earth balance & both sugars in a large bowl.  add the flax egg, molasses & vanilla and mix to combine.  in a seperate bowl mix together the flours, baking soda, salt & cinnamon.  add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix to combine.  stir in the chocolate chips. 

the cookie dough will be a bit wet, so place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to make it easier to work with.  form the cookie dough into balls, rolling them in your hands {about 1 tablespoons worth} and place on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.  don't flatten them because they spread like crazy on their own!  bake for 18-20 minutes.  when you remove them from the oven they should still look a bit soft - they'll firm up a bit within 5 minutes at which point you can transfer them to a cooling rack.

{a little crispy, a little chewy}

{definitely 'okay'}

{hint of cinnamon}


i must admit they were pretty good warm from the oven and i think they'll make excellent ice cream sandwiches.  what i do really like about them is the subtle little hint of cinnamon... mmmm...

but the search continues....

24 August 2011

summer corn salsa

i made a bit batch of this summery salsa to go with a simple little mexican dinner last night.  fresh, local corn has such a nice sweet crispness to it.  i left the recipe clean and simple, (only 5 ingredients!) to let the flavour of the corn shine through.

{summer corn salsa}

when choosing corn, organic is the best bet since corn has been so meddled with genetically.  for the zucchini, any type will do - i went with a green variety from my csa called italian largo.  i also listed the salsa verde as optional because it's really not essential, the raw flavours of the vegetables shine without it, but i did like the subtle smokiness it offered.


{simple & fresh}

summer corn salsa
2 cobs of corn
1 medium zucchini
1 large tomato
1/2 lime
sea salt
optional: 2-3 tbsp smoky salsa verde

cook the corn by boiling it, or if you prefer roasting it on the barbeque.  {i was afraid of being rained on last night - i melt, don't you know - so i opted to boil in on the stovetop}

allow the cobs to cool and then slice the kernels off of each one using a sharp knife.  dice the zucchini and the tomato and toss in a large bowl along with the corn.  add the juice of half a lime and season to taste with sea salt.  if using, stir in the salsa verde.  serve your sweet corn salsa with organic corn chips or alongside a mexican feast.

{served with organic corn chips}


{yum}

i think this would be a lovely dish to bring along to a potluck or picnic, don't you?  {or maybe just a virtual potluck???}

22 August 2011

chocolate & almond buttercream cupcakes

did you get up to anything fun this weekend?  i attended a surprise birthday party for one of my best (and oldest) friends.  i just love surprises!  i brought the cake ...well cupcakes, actually...  they were moist and chocolatey and topped with an almond-vanilla buttercream.  sadly i had forgotten my piping bag at home in sudbury so i improvised and used a ziplock bag, cutting off the corner.  it worked okay, but i felt a little bit out of control with it!  the resulting cupcakes were not uniform... i tried my best to let go, and accept the beauty in their imperfection.

it worked.

sort of.

then i decided that i could perk them up a bit with cupcake flags which i've never made before...

{S for susan}

{cut-outs}

i had fun getting crafty and i think they got the job done, drawing the eye up and away from the icing! 

{flags}

{birthday cupcakes}

chocolate cupcakes based on the basic chocolate cupcake in VCTOTW
makes 12 (i doubled the recipe for 2 dozen)
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
 2 tsp vanilla
1 cup organic all purpose flour
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

preheat your oven to 350.  mix together the almond milk and cider vinegar in a large bowl and set aside to curdle a few minutes.  add in the oil, sugar and vanilla and mix until well combined.  into a separate bowl sift and combine the dry ingredients.   add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth. (careful not to overmix - that will definitely give you thick, dense cupcakes instead of light & fluffy ones!)

spoon the batter into a cupcake tin filled with liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing with almond vanilla buttercream.

 almond vanilla buttercream
1/2 cup earth balance vegan margarine
3 cups icing sugar
2tsp pure almond extract 
2 tsp almond milk(more or less as needed)

whip the earth balance and incorporate the almond extract.  add in the sugar and milk  a bit at a time, mixing as you go along until you reach a consistency and flavour you're happy with.  ice your cupcakes and take the results of your icing job with a grain of salt.  and maybe eat a cupcake to help too.


{hbd susie Q!}

happy birthday again my friend, and welcome to 30!  love you much.  xo.

19 August 2011

mexican tortilla soup

yesterday i travelled down to southern ontario to spend a bit of time with my family.  one of my brothers and his partner wife (they're newly married, but i still forget call them as such sometimes!) have just moved back from vancouver and i wanted to spend a little time with them.  my brother jamie set to work early in the morning roasting tomatoes and by the time i arrived home there was a fiesta in the kitchen!  i could literally smell earthy chipotle-stewed beans from the driveway!

the entire dinner was incredible, but i think we all agreed that the tortilla soup stole the show.  the rich broth was so tasty and every bite was different with fragrant cilantro, creamy avocado and crispy tortilla strips.  i made my brother jot down his recipe today so that i could share it here!  (i'm also sharing this via wellness weekends!)

{mexican tortilla soup}
nadzilla's tortilla soup
serves 6-8
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large white onion, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs of ripe tomatoes
2 fresh jalapeno peppers
2 dried morita (chipotle) chilis
8 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp sea salt

{with bites of creamy avocado}
 
garnishes
fried tortilla strips*
avocado slices
chopped tomato
cilantro
chopped toasted chilis
hot sauce
wedges of fresh lime

start by roasting the tomatoes & jalapenos.  to do this, space them evenly in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, with the tomatoes all stem-down.  roast them at the highest possible heat until the skins blacken (about 10-15 minutes).  meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic & onion until golden.  set aside.  once the tomatoes & jalapenos are done, remove them and allow them to cool before peeling the skins and seeding the peppers.

combine the tomatoes, jalapenos and sauteed onions & garlic in a blender and puree until very smooth.
 
in a large soup pot, simmer the blended tomato mixture, covered, for 20 minutes.  add in the vegetable stock & salt.  stir and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.  serve with a variety of garnishes so that everyone can customize their soups!

*for the crispy tortilla strips, take 8 corn tortillas (stale ones are especially good here) and cut them into strips.  heat about a 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet and fry the tortillas until they're crispy, about 5-6 minutes.  remove them carefully with tongs or a slotted spoon, place on a paper towel to drain, and season lightly with fine sea salt.

and here are some shots of the rest of our meal - it was amazing!


{corn tortillas piled high with beans, avocado, tomato & salsa verde}

{jicama salad with orange, red onion & toasted chilis}

{the chilis in this were so earthy & rich}

{dessert: grilled mango & pineapple}

our meal  was finished with a dessert that was perfect - bbq'd skewers of fresh mango & pineapple.  yum.  after tasting the mango and pineapple, i'm eager to try it myself and maybe experiment with grilling other fruits.  i'm wondering if this will be equally as amazing with other summer fruits...

have you grilled fruits before?  any suggestions as to what i should try first?

18 August 2011

i got a daisy!

well, let me start by saying that i was so touched when i received an email from one of my readers (and fellow vegan bloggers) sharing that she wanted to recognize my little cupcakes and kale!  my blog is still relatively new, only 2.5 months going, and to be honest, i'm always surprised to see that people are actually tuning in to read!  (so hello to you all, far and wide!!)

rachael said some pretty lovely things about me and this blog and for that i am so thankful.  

"This award is given to fabulous vegan (or mostly vegan) bloggers who make their readers smile with personal stories, delicious recipes, and fabulous tips. You appreciate the beauty in life while in the moment, and that’s an important part of living! Compassion comes from the inside out; as a vegan blogger, your compassion shines through your heart and is apparent in the words and memories you share everyday with your readers. You change the world, and for that, you’re truly a daisy: something that captivates and brightens people’s day. "

if you'd like to read her entire feature you can find it here.  rachael also asked that i share a little more about myself...

how long have you been vegan and why did you choose to change to this lifestyle?
this is a bit of a long story, and one that i would like to share in full in the future, but for now i'll keep it short.  i've been a vegetarian for the past 20 years and vegan for the past 2.  there are many reasons for which i choose to live a vegan life, and they're all intertwined... but breifly, i'll say it's because i'm a compassionate person and i like to live my life that way too.  i love animals and cannot possibly find a reason for their unnecessary torture & slaughter for consumption.  i believe that by changing the way we consume, we can affect change in the world.  i really don't see another way that i could live.

what is your favorite vegan junk food?
you're probably expecting me to say cupcakes here - but i actually have a bit salty tooth.  i love the occasional snack of plain ruffles chips with a homemade dip made of silken tofu, cider vinegar, garlic & fresh herb.

where is the absolute best place you’ve ever travelled and why?
wow, this is a tough one... and i don't know if i can pick just one place!!  i love nyc for obvious vegan foodie reasons... and i love italy too...  but i think mexico might win out here.  m & i have been travelling there every winter for the past several years and there is always something amazing to explore; villages, ruins, markets, cenotes and snorkelling with fish!  fresh corn tortillas hot off the press are pretty incredible too...

what is your guilty pleasure?
here's where the cupcakes come in!  the city i live in doesn't yet have a vegetarian, let alone a vegan restaurant.  no vegan bakeries either.  the only time i generally get a vegan baked good is when i make it myself, and i love my own baking but sometimes it's nice to treat yourself and let someone else do all the work! - so whenever i'm travelling and find myself in a coffeeshop, restaurant or bakery offering real (read: vegan) food, i always indulge and try something sweet!  my other guilty pleasure (and i can't believe i'm about to share this!) is america's next top model...eeep!  i did it - it's out there... hahaha

what are you most passionate about?
food.  hands down.

what are 5 other blogs that make you smile?
heart of light
this is one of the first blogs i started reading.  it's not vegan, but full of wonderful photography, food, crafting, life... it's really lovely.

pictures pups and pies
i only found this blog since starting my own.  amazing food, incredible photographs and cute shots of her little dog too!

peas and thank you
if you haven't read mama pea's stories yet, what are you waiting for?  great vegan recipes and hilarious reading is only a click away.

finding vegan
my beloved finding vegan that i've been following for months getting kitchen inspiration.  i still love it and get giddy whenever i now see MY photographs on it!!

cursory birds
my brother jamie is hilarious and a super talented writer.  also amazing in the kitchen.  i mean - come on, check out his tortilla soup below...


{homemade tortilla soup}

here's a little sample of an amazing meal i got to enjoy with my family last night - all made from scratch by my brother & sister-in-law.  incredible.  more photographs and a recipe are up next...


16 August 2011

zucchini pappardelle & high protein pesto

after realizing that it's already mid-august and my favourite season can't last forever, i've been trying to soak up summer with every ounce of my being.  lots of bike rides, lots of lake swims and lots of garden-fresh goodies.  one of my favourite summer flavours is freshly-picked basil,  and i've been on a bit of a pesto kick lately.  after making some incredible kale & walnut pesto last week i couldn't wait to try a recipe from oh she glows for a high protein pesto.  from the moment i saw it, i knew i had to make it.  and it did not disappoint.

{pesto, blending}

like any pesto, it came together in a flash.  first i sampled it right from my kitchen-aid.  and i ate it with mary's organic crackers.  then i spread it on a slice of multigrain toast. 

{with crackers}
 
then for today for lunch i enjoyed it tossed with raw zucchini pappardelle and some little tomatoes from my very own garden!  (this is a big feat because i had little success year in my garden!) 

{summer colours}

high protein pesto from angela at oh she glows  
notes: i did adjust the recipe ever so slightly by adding in some extra virgin olive oil and a serious sprinkling of freshly-cracked black pepper.

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1 15-oz can cannellini beans (1 1/2 cups)
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (i used 2)
1/2-3/4 tsp fine sea salt (i used 3/4 tsp)
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (i used 4)
lots of freshly-cracked black pepper!
    add garlic clove to processor and process until finely chopped. then add in the rest of the ingredients to taste and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.  toss with fresh zucchini noodles*, enjoy liberally and savour summer while it's still here!

    {zucchini pappardelle}

    *have you tried zucchini noodles before?  they're a great alternative to traditional pasta which can be a bit heavy, especially on a hot summer day.  if you've got a spiralizer collecting dust in the back of a cupboard in your kitchen, this is the time to use it!  i don't have one of these (though i'm in the market for one) so i just use my vegetable peeler and gently peel each noodle of one at a time.


    {yum}

    {a little more to spare...don't mind if i do!}

    that little bit of pesto will have to wait... for now i've got a sunny day to enjoy!

    15 August 2011

    soba noodles with spicy peanut sauce

    almost everyone and their mother has a version of this recipe.  and rightly so.  it is so good.  i'm pretty sure i made this at least 3 times last week - i know, i'm likely overdoing it.  but honestly, m and i just can't get enough of it! 

    {soba noodles with spicy peanut sauce}

    soba noodles with spicy peanut sauce
    1/2 box soba noodles
    2 tsp toasted sesame oil
    1 tbsp rice vinegar
    3 tbsp tamari
    1/3 cup natural peanut butter
    1/2 cup water
    1 tbsp sriracha or to taste
    2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (today i use broccoli, carrots, bok choy & green onions)

    start by cooking the soba noodles according to the package directions.  with about 30 seconds left in their cooking, i threw in about a cup of chopped broccoli just to blanch it a bit.  drain the noodles and broccoli and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. 

    to make the quick and easy spicy peanut sauce,  combine the sesame oil, rice vinegar and tamari in a small saucepan and warm over medium low heat.  add in the peanut butter and stir gently as it softens and melts.  add the water a bit at a time as need be until the sauce has reached a smooth consistency.  continue to stir is as it simmers and thickens for 3 or 4 minutes.  add some or all of the sriracha (alternatively another chili sauce or dried chili flakes) to create as much heat as you like.  remove the spicy peanut sauce from the heat and toss in a large serving bowl with the soba noodles, broccoli and all of the remaining vegetables and serve.


    {chopsticks to make it last longer - not really, but anything to slow me down a bit!}

    this recipe can be really versatile as you can really use any vegetable that you have on hand.  i don't think there's anything that wouldn't go with this peanut sauce!  not only that, but you can also change up the noodles too, making it totally acceptable to eat this 3 times a week.  or more.  you'll see.

    some other veggies that would be worth trying:
    green beans
    cucumber
    kale
    daikon
    snow peas

    other noodle ideas:
    udon noodles
    rice stick
    raw zucchini noodles

    {so good}

    i'm also sort of in love with these pictures too, all thanks to my dalew farms carrots from my beloved csa i think!

    {dalew farms carrots}


    what about you, do you have a favourite version of this recipe?  feel free to link up and share it in the comments!

    12 August 2011

    a potluck, a salad & a csa

    oh my, what a lovely supper in the park last night!  there was a huge turn out for the monthly vegetarian/vegan potluck with lots of smiling faces - such a pleasure to meet new folks and of course sample an array of food!  the only downside to there being so many people is that it's impossible to try everything - but i certainly made an effort anyways!

    i stuffed my plate with such colourful things including a gorgeous beet salad, pad thai, a soaked couscous, homemade roti (amazing!) & potato curry, seitan 'wings', korean dumplings & i even grabbed some raw kale (that was a garnish, hah!).

    {round one at the potluck}

    {this beet salad was a big highlight for me}

    i think i ate my dessert before i snapped a photo but trust me - there were some sinful vegan treats!  in addition to my contribution there were cupcakes, a raw pumpkin pie, strawberry cheesecake and even local gleaned apricots stuffed with almond paste... oh me, oh my...

    also, i realized in all of my puffed kamut excitement yesterday that i forgot to mention this weeks csa delivery.  the box is really filling out every week!  here's what i received this week...

    csa week 7:
    lettuce (3 varieties)
    cauliflower
    broccoli
    zucchini (3 varieties)
    green onions
    carrots
    beets
    radishes
    red potatoes
    sweet corn
    basil
    fresh dill
    cucumbers (2 varieties)
    and tomatoes!!

    the tomatoes were just so small and sweet - i couldn't resist chopping a bunch of them up today and enjoyed them in a big massaged kale salad along with cucumber, olives & hemp hearts with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling of sea salt.  so good!

    {massaged kale salad}

    {kale, tomato, cucumber, olives & hemp hearts}

    do you have anything special planned for this august weekend?  i have a few things that i'm really looking forward to, both in the kitchen and in the fresh air - but more of that next week :)

    for now, happy weekend!
    xo
    jess