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Sunday, June 5, 2016

An Elf in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

WOWEE!! What a week it’s been! Not a WHOLE lotta activity food-wise but a LOT of other stuffs that occupado’d our Elfin time. BUT FIRST!! Let s get all up in our FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Elfy award winning recipe from last year…Skillet Gardener’s Pie.
You know, sometimes your Elf doesn’t plan ahead well and we THOUGHT we had plenty of fresh spinach for this recipe. YET—when we pulled it from the ‘frig to prepare the recipe, we quickly noticed that it had gone too far past the expiration date and just didn’t look all that appetizing. Plan B…we had plenty of fresh Kale!! So we substituted. And since Big Solid was a bit skeptical about this dish, we also added vegan crumbles. So, boiled us up some potatoes (skins on)

sautéed our chopped veggies in a larger skillet than last time (so we had much more room) 

added our crumbles 

then KALE YES!! 

Our smashed potato topping was generous enough to cover all of the vegetable/crumble goodness and into the oven it went.
We thoroughly enjoyed it and, since it made a righteous sized entrée, we had it for at several lunches during the week. Bein’ as how we like a lot of spice, we added a fair amount of cayenne. It is a recipe we will have many more times as it’s really not hard to prepare and uses some good veggies. Thanks always to Susan Voisin of FatFree Vegan Kitchen for her expertise in developing healthy recipes.
OK—for our next Elfy award winning recipe, we are preparing Vegan Sausage and Mushroom Étouffée.
We LOVE to prepare plant-based meet analogues and sausages are really easy. We will be making an Andouille sausage from The Gentle Chef’s cookbook. We try to keep a supply of these on hand as they are great with red beans and rice, in a bun or a tofu scramble. Since Big Solid is not totally vegan, he likes an egg white omelet from time to time and will occasionally have a small bit of the diced Andouille in it. 
During the week, we had a lovely dinner of all great fresh produce, most of it from the wonderful folks at Salad Days farm in Flora MS. In fact, one of these days SOON, we will be visiting the farm (all hydroponically grown vegetables) and doing an entire blog about them. In any event, we had Salad Days Collard Greens seasoned with Bragg’s Aminos, a wee bit of coconut oil and a wonderful concoction called “Bacon Salt” (no salt at all but gives a nice smokey flavor to things). We also had some magnificent Candy Stripe beets from Salad Days that we parboiled, drained and then let them slow roast on the stove top with a mixture of Organic Maple Syrup, coconut oil (1/2 tsp) and about a 1/4 tsp of cayenne. OMG, were they good!! And finally, we tossed some fresh cauliflower florets (not from Salad Days) in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (very small amount), 2 heaping tablespoons of Harissa (a very exotic spice from Morocco) and some maple syrup. We then baked them at 350º until browned at the ends…not mushy at all but nicely touched with brown. We will repeat this because it was delicious!! And, nope, we did not get any pictures because we ate it almost before it got to the table. OH…and we made vegan cornstalks as well. As long as we can get this kind of fresh produce, we will continue to enjoy experimenting with various spices.
And, as you can tell, there has been much growth with our spaghetti squashes.
Our tomatoes are not faring well, but we just like playing in the garden. In fact, we just planted some fennel that we ordered since we are addicted to the Tomato and Fennel soup and HAVE YOU PRICED ORGANIC FENNEL LATELY!! We should be seeing some okra soon as well as some zucchini and cucumbers.
For The Elf and Big Solid, Friday night is DATE NIGHT and we always go out. This week, we went to one of our favorite haunts, Anjou. The Elf always has the Bistro Salad without the goat cheese crumbles and the bacon lardons BUT they allow us to bring our own 'protein' in the form of Chikun Shreds.
It's always delicious and the staff/chef are eager to work with vegan patrons. 
And finally, your Elf has a new hat!
 We love it! There’s a neat little store in downtown Madison MS called The Shop Around the Corner; they did the stitcheriness for us. And you know how we love purple.
We are headed to the Memphis area this Thursday to spend some time with the Brother of The Elf, Jud) and his sweetie, Suzanne at the Memphis Film Festival. It’s a bit of a misnomer as in actuality it’s a gathering of many of the stars of early shows such as many of the westerns, Lassie, Daniel Boone, etc. Among those who will be there are Darby Hinton (played Israel Boone), Jon Provost (Timmy from Lassie), Robert Fuller (Jesse on Laramie), Ron Ely (Tarzan), Mark Goddard (Johnny Ringo) and many more. It’s always a blast and we look forward to some Elfin star-gazing.
So, until next week, remember to laugh a lot, love deeply, take every opportunity you have to be kind and always, always DO EPIC!
Your Elf

1 comment:

  1. And that Bistro Salad from Anjou was Salad Days lettuce :) Sure looked tasty!