4th of July and other summer eats.
I am not a big 4th of July fan. I’m not especially patriotic, especially after sending my husband off to do two tours in Iraq. I don’t drink, I don’t like being kept up until two a.m. listening to fire crackers, and obviously I don’t want to go to meaty cookouts. Especially if said cookouts are prefaced with, “We will have [meat], [other meat], [third meat], [non-vegan side], and chips. Sorry, Katie!” So i’ve turned the 4th into another holiday where I just make a big meal composed of whatever the fuck I want. Especially since the beginning of July is my veganniversary! Five years, what what!
My menu was pretty simple. I had been hoarding a pack of tofurkey beer brats and vegan buns that I got from Whole Foods last month. I had an abundance of produce from the Farmer’s Market, including cucumbers that I shouldn’t have bought because my cucumber plant in the garden is blowing up. I also had a crazy amount of summer squash, and some asparagus that had gotten shoved to the back of the drawer, so after removing the smelly tips, this was its last chance to be eaten.
(Sorry for the poor photos, it was already half dark out.)
All of the preparation was pretty simple, I spent more time peeling and chopping than anything else. The kitchen looked like the set of a vegetable snuff film by the time I was done. The cucumbers are marinated in a vinegar/water/oil solution with salt and pepper and a little sugar, the squash was cut up with potatoes and roasted in the oven with fresh herbs, the asparagus was grilled and then tossed into the oven, and the peppers and onions were sauteed. Brian and I spent most of our day on dessert, so we didn’t want to make anything time consuming or fancy for dinner.
Hello, lovely! The cake has actually been in the fridge for a week, it’s a summer fruit buckle cake (tester for Isa and Terry), I made a double batch just so I could have a second one for the holiday. It’s full of sweet cherries, blueberries, and awesomeness. I’m really excited for this recipe to come out, it’s easy to play with so you can mess with the oil/sugar content quite a bit without a big impact on the final product (I replaced half of the oil with applesauce in this one). Then Brian and I made Rad Whip for the first time, and I broke out the ice cream maker to make peach ice cream with fresh peaches. I used the basic recipe from Veganomicon, and threw in just a little bit of cinnamon. It was AMAZING and i’m sad that it’s all gone now.
Now to move backwards through food porn time! Woooooooooooooooosh!
I realize that summer officially only started a few weeks ago, but I don’t care. Is it above 70 degrees? Are all of my sweaters packed up? Is the Farmer’s Market up and running? Are Brian and I fighting over the air conditioner? That’s how I measure the start of summer.
I had the brilliant idea that I should exclusively take salads to work, I will get more vegetables in me and since I eat at my desk, I will have a longer lunch trying to eat a big salad instead of a teeny box of noodles. Well, all that really means is I have a longer time to get interrupted by things like the phone. Whatever, i’m sticking to it as much as I can!
Salad #1 is mesclun mix, cucumbers, leftover grilled asparagus, and leftover soycurls. A container of homemade vinaigrette and Joanna’s minty fruit salad are also in there. P.S. There are two things that make me think, ‘yep, summer!’ One is putting pesto on everything, the other is making that fruit salad.
Salad #2 is more mesclun, cucumbers, half of the biggest organic mango i’d ever seen, and tempeh mixed with veganaise. I was kind of sick of the vinaigrette I had made and didn’t have a lot of time, so I just steamed the tempeh in the microwave while I was putting everything else together and then just mixed it with the veganaise.
On Memorial Day, I decided that Brian and I were going to have a pizza party. I mostly decided to make multiple pizzas because Brian is a one-topping (usually mushroom) kind of guy, and if I am going to go through the trouble of making pizza, I would like to have a little more fun. We made one with just Upton’s Naturals Chorizo, one with potatoes, seitan sauage and mushroom, and then my fancy pizza. I laid down some pesto, then threw on a whole mess of caramelized onions, garlic, and sundried tomatoes. Then I decided to make a stuffed crust because I wanted to use up the bag of Daiya I had bought, so the little bit left didn’t get lost in the depths of the fridge.
One of my favorite summer activities here is going to the Farmer’s Market. I love getting up super early, riding my bike downtown, coming home and putting all of goodies away, getting some chores done, and then spending the hottest part of the day upstairs watching t.v. until dinner time.
Delicious Farmer’s Market brunch! Pesto grilled tofu, red flannel hash from Vegan Brunch, strawberries with mint and agave, and collards.
One thing that helps get me out of bed on Saturdays is the fact that I can now buy a hot vegan breakfast at the market. I KNOW! There is a fairly new local company who sells mostly vegan (and i’m pretty sure all vegetarian) food items at our health food store, and they have a booth at the market. The sell smoothies, something with eggs in it, and the most amazing tofu tacos ever. The tofu is pressed like crazy so it’s nice and chewy, and the sauce is to kill for. Seriously, I am about to murder this girl forthe recipe because I tried to replicate the sauce at home and failed. The only bummer is that instead of selling smaller tacos two for $6, the now sell fuller ones for $4 each, which means half of your filling falls out.