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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mama, Please Let Your Elf Grow Up To Be Vegan

 First and foremost, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all you Moms, wannabe Moms, soon-to-be Moms, StepMoms and otherwise caring Moms. The hand that rocks the cradle (or heart), is the hand that rules the world. We hope you have a special day of rest, relaxation, joy, and love.
We skipped a week; mostly because we just plumb ran out of time to put anything decent together for you AND our EXPERT (Susan Voisin) was out of the country.  We rely on Susan to share our blog and we’ve missed being shared! Hopefully, she’ll be home soon and can see what fun we’ve had with our repeat recipes of the top FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipes. We did indeed prepare the Healthy Hash Brown Casserole. 
It’s an easy recipe, has great ingredients (kale, chickpeas, potatoes) and great flavor. We highly recommend. The sauce makes the dish and once you bake it, you realize it will not last long at the table. The pic we took was of the casserole in progress and ready to throw in the oven.

For the coming week, we will endeavor once again to surprise you with a selection of our top 10-ish recipes.
One of the things your Elf has learned since becoming a part of the great crew at The Crossroads Café is more delectable ways to prepare vegetables and an ever-growing knowledge of great vegetables to prepare. Chef Joe Moorefield always has a selection of four vegetables for customers to choose from to accompany the entrée (which is not vegan but, from what we understand is AWESOME). He’s introduced us to Rainbow Swiss Chard, Lacinato Kale, Kohlrabi, varietal beets such as Candy Stripe as well as variations on ways to cook old favorites such as cauliflower and spinach. That being said, there is a hydroponic farm located nearby that grows supremely beautiful greens and vegetables. Salad Days and Two Dog Farms are located in Flora MS and bring us the most gorgeous of produce. Here are just a few pictures of what they have to offer.
Heirloom tomatoes—at the market and on our table made into a nice salad with cucumber and shallots.

Rainbow Swiss chard again, at the market and on our table sautéed with onion

Yukina (Asian spinach) which we have yet to cook and consume.

And, finally, wonderful Kale at the market and sautéed with mushrooms

We love to shop locally and this time of year offers spectacular choices. More and more farms are becoming organic making a variety of selections available. Why on EARTH would we want to buy vegetables shipped in from somewhere when we can get the real deal right here?
Big Solid and your Elf have been taking a ‘tonic’ daily made from turmeric, ginger, lemon and a wee bit of cayenne. It’s a great anti-inflammatory fighter not to mention digestive aide. Your Elf LOVES it..the taste and fire. Big Solid, on the other hand, has nothing good to say about the taste! He gags it down and swears it needs vodka. However, he does drink it. Thankfully, for him, it’s only a shot! We just throw all the ingredients into the VitaMix (and remember to attached the lid securely) and crank it up. Whip out the old nutsack, strain and drink…as shown in the pictures below!

And finally, let’s check in with the progress of our little bitty gardenin’ elf-fort. We’ve had some pretty cool temps lately (and we’ll remember them fondly in August, whew!) which may have slowed down some growth. Howseomever, things are beginning to take off, so in the next few weeks, we should see some real nice little veggies popping up. And speaking of popping up, we’ve had some potatoes to sprout in the garden. All winter, we threw our organic scraps in the garden and would turn it over from time to time. Consequently, when we prepped the garden to plant this year, we found an abundance of earthworms. Apparently, the potatoes that had been thrown out there after living too long in the pantry decided to grow. Should be fun to see if they ‘make’. We did pull some small tomato sprouts and a zucchini sprout since we already have those planted. Next week, we hope to have some pictures to show off, sorta. 
And what would the month of May be without graduations…including Elf-red. He’s all decked out in his graduation finery. We aren’t quite sure what he’s graduating from or to but we are celebrating nonetheless.
And The Elf got this cool gift from her brother…love it!

So til next week, when we will have maybe a surprise or two, y’all live well, laugh a lot, practice kindness, eat plants and, oh yeah…DO EPIC!

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