Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Haze, Garden Days: What I've been up to in my garden this summer!

One of my favorite pastimes is spending time gardening. I have quite a large garden in the back of my house, and an even larger piece of property that I can wild forage upon. I simply love this, and on many given days you can find me out in the back tending to my plants, and running around examining and harvesting wildflowers. There is really nothing that you can buy in the grocery store that could ever compare to what you can grow at home. Further more, seeing all the different species of plants pop up at different times creates a much more profound understanding and appreciation of mother earth and what she provides us. For example, when spring first rolls around, we get a lot of detoxifying plants popping up like dandelion leaf, but by the end of the summer and into the fall we start getting things like squash, which are sweet, heavy and nourishing and prepare us for the winter months of cold and snow. So here is a little play-by-play of my garden, (mostly chronologically)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Homemade Oat Milk

       Hey there everyone! So today I want to share something that I have been really getting into recently, non-dairy milk alternatives! While I am a locto-ovo vegetarian and I do eat dairy, I have been making much more of a concerted effort to cut down on unnecessary dairy such as milk. Don't get me wrong, I do love my cheese, eggs, and milk, but if you are going to eat them it is so super important to get them from ethical, local sources. Lately this has been weighing on my mind more, so I've been either picking up milk at the farmer's market from local dairy farmers, or buying milk alternatives when I can't make it down to the farmer's market.
      I've experimented with store bought non-dairy milks, (and sadly I can't drink almond milk due to my boyfriend's allergies) and have come across a few that I really appreciate. My top 3 have become coconut milk, hemp milk, and oat milk. I'm more than happy drinking a ton of this stuff whenever I want it, but there is just one major issue when push comes to shove: the cost. For example, at my local grocer a small 32 oz container of hemp milk is a whopping $3.99! That is nuts (no pun intended)! So today when I ran out of my beloved hemp milk and my grocery budget was running low, I decided to give homemade oat milk a try, as I had a big canister of oats on my kitchen shelf. The results were wonderful and it probably cost my no more than 50 cents to make 32 ounces, ridiculous in comparison to that $3.99 I was paying for the same amount of store-bought. Oat milk tastes kind of like...well liquid oats I suppose. If you can imagine a liquid incarnation of oatmeal, it would be oat milk. Definitely give this one a try if you're into DIY dairy alternatives :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lemony Couscous, Asparagus, and Feta Salad

Hello everyone! I haven't posted in such a long time, I've been so incredibly busy since graduating school! In any case, I've just recently realized that I really need to step back and keep doing things I enjoy, such as sharing my lovely recipes with everyone on here. So, here is one of my favorites this summer: Lemony cous cous, asparagus, and feta salad! This is really one of my go-to dinners over the summer, as it is light, cooling and refreshing, especially served over a bed of nice greens. I've always felt like the energetics of summer are more attune to lighter, fresher foods, and this salad really embodies that. The couscous (truly the food so nice they named it twice!) creates a nice, fluffy airy effect and a wonderful texture, while crunchy asparagus, zesty scallions, fresh, bright parsley, and salty, briny feta all meld perfectly together in an acidic lemon vinegarette. 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Vegetarian Cassoulet

So for some reason I've been thinking a lot about detox lately. Now I know at least for us New Englanders Spring (the season of internal/ external detox!) is far from having sprung, and it is still quite cold (lets talk about 5 degrees last night). I suppose that is why I created a vegetarian version of a wonderful stick-to-your-ribs french dish cassoulet, but added some wonderful, delicious detoxing dandelion greens! Essentially what they do is stimulate bile production from your liver, which in turn flushes out many of the toxins that are accumulating there as well as promotes paristalsis...I suppose lets just call that the intestinal elimination of said toxins. If you'd like, you can read more about dandelion greens on this post that I wrote about a year back (god, actually exactly one year back...talk about synchronicity!) This dish also has wonderful rosemary to support the circulatory system, parsely for loads of vitamin c and its heavy metal detox qualities, thyme for its lovely antimicrobial properties and tons of yummy beans and veggies for fiber, nutrients and vitamins! Oh yeah, and all of the above for their *phenomenal* flavors!



Sunday, February 9, 2014

My First Adventure into Fermentation....Homemade Yogurt!

Hey everyone! Well the snow and cold have certainly not been relenting here or anywhere else. Yesterday we just got nailed with over a foot of snow! And while it certainly makes life a bit more difficult, it is oh so beautiful and gave me my first ever "adult" snow day since graduating college! With all this time on my hands, I thought I'd make a recipe I'd been wanting to try for a while, but that takes a good amount of time and watching to complete: homemade yogurt. Now don't get me wrong, this recipe couldn't be easier, it just requires you to be there to complete simple steps every few hours-- kind of like making homemade bread. Very hands-off, but takes a little while.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Contemporizing my Roots: Gołąbki Bez Mięsa...aka Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

A good portion of my heritage is indeed polish. My great grandfather (whom everyone called Dziadziu) was the first member of our polish family to emigrate to the states. Crazily enough, him and his siblings started a brand new and successful life in Chicopee, MA, and he even wound up becoming the mayor after living there for a while! Talk about living the American dream. But, I must admit that I have never really made too much of an effort to explore that many Polish cultural aspects, especially food, but I think with good reason as most of Poland's dishes incorporate some sort of meat, blood, marrow, etc (see: kielbasa, blood soup, pyrogies filled with all kinds of meat, and more).  But one thing that I have been wanting to try for a while now that I knew I could easily vegetarianize is simply cabbage rolls, or "Gołąbki" as they are known in Polish.



Really I'm not sure if my Dziadziu would be so proud of me because I kind of made this recipe "un-Polish", but it still has the basic idea. Instead of the normal meat and rice filling, I used a base of lentils, mushrooms and ricotta, 3 things that work very well together to create a creamy, earthy delicious taste. After rolling the filling into the cabbage leaves, I smothered it in a kind of "every vegetable in the fridge" spicy tomato sauce, though you can certainly make whatever kind of tomato sauce you like.  I'd almost venture to call them the "lazy, health-conscious person's ravioli". All in all, these guys are quite tasty and very healthy, so give 'em a shot!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Carrot Harvest Solution: Crispy Curried Carrot Fritters

So this summer I planted a HUGE bed of carrots, not really thinking about the fact that I'd have around 50+ of them at once when it came time to harvest. I kind of forgot about this fact through the end of summer and beginning of fall, but the other day I wanted to plant garlic for next year in the same, sunny bed as I planted the carrots this year, result being a crap load of carrots I gotta use up (with pleasure, of course). I pictured a few examples of my carrots below, a few different varieties to keep life interesting. I think my favorite was the "purple haze" which is the one furthest to the right. They all taste amazing, though. Not even close to the hard, dried out giants you find in the grocery store. Carrots fresh out of the ground taste incredibly sweet and fresh, and have a gentle crunch to them, not like their grocery store counterparts that take a good bit of gnawing to get through. So, though I was enjoying these carrots immensely simply dipped in hummus, I had (and still have so many) that I wanted a way to incorporate a huge amount of them into a meal, something more interesting than roasting or steaming. Result: crispy curried carrot fritters!



I used a similar recipe over the summer when my zucchini plants were fruiting in overdrive, trying a few variations such as mexican and italian. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can tweak the herbs and spices to what you like. For some reason, I really like the sweetness of carrots with the spiciness of curry, so I decided to throw in some curry powder and accompanying spices and fried em' up. Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, but with so many incredibly immune boosting veggies and spices (tumeric in particular!) it is a perfect way to enter into the increasingly cold winter months. Enjoy!