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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Too Many Elfs in the Fire

PWHOA!! The Kinky Elfery Kitchen has been humming this week!! You know last Sunday, we mentioned we were cooking up a storm for a big Independence Day celebration at the home of our BFFs, Jesse and Mary Evelyn (ME) Dees. It’s a TRADITION much like our Pajama Christmas dinner. We always try to take some plant-based options folr people to try to show them that a vegan eating lifestyle is not just sticks, weeds, tofu and seeds. We will share that with y’all in a bit BUT FIRST!!
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Our FatFree Kitchen recipe for the week—French Lentil and Portobello Stew.
It’s an easy recipe to prepare and it’s OH SO DELICIOUS, even on a warm (well, let’s face it…we are in Mississippi so it’s not warm it’s HOT!) summer evening. This is one of those times where we had ALL the ingredients on hand, so all we had to do was follow directions! We are not huge fans of rosemary, so we did not obtain fresh rosemary and actually halved the indicated amount. But, that’s just us.  Because Big Solid asked for additional protein, we added some plant-based Andouille sausage. First, we sautéed the onion and added the sausage to get it a bit browned and open up the flavor.
Then we added the garlic and mushrooms and let the juices from the mushrooms help deglaze the pan from the sausages.
 
Next we added the broth, lentils and seasonings and let it simmer until the lentils were tender but not mushy.
A word about our broth…we use The Gentle Chef’s Golden Chikun Bouillon recipe. It’s an outstanding dry mix that you can whip out and mix with hot water for a REALLY great tasting broth. We always make a quadruple recipe and keep it stored in a big Ball jar so we always have it handy.
Then we made some vegan cornsticks to slurp up all the goodness that is in this Elfy-winning recipe.

So, now we move on to this week’s recipe…Eggplant and Chickpea Curry.
When we made this Elfy winner before, we also made Susan’s wonderful garam masala recipe. We still have some, so we do not have to remake it. It’s a very rich and fragrant curry.  And, believe it or not, Big Solid will eat the eggplant that is in this recipe where he usually makes an ugly face when the word eggplant is mentioned.
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Now—our Independence Day festivities included a few items from the Kinky Elfery Kitchen (KEK). The Dees are always so sweet to include some plant-based items in their preparations but, let’s face it. for a LOT of folks, Independence Day is all about RIBS and PULLED PORK. So, here’s a looksee at what we made and MAN! Did we have fun doing it. We loved the Spinach and Artichoke Pie recipe (see last week’s blog) so much, we decided to prepare a couple of those.
These brought really great reviews from folks who sometimes taste our plant-based offerings with trepidation. Next up, we made a recipe from this month’s Vegetarian Times, a Peach and Blueberry Galette. A Galette is a fancy name for a pie that doesn’t have a specific shape..it’s whatever the dough wants to do and is considered pretty rustic. We love that. Interestingly enough, Vegetatian Times indicates the recipe as vegan but when we read the ingredients, we noted it called for cream cheese (and did not specify vegan) and butter (again, not specifying vegan alternatives). We checked the recipe index at the end of the magazine where it also indicated this recipe was vegan. It was easy to veganize, however, as we got the Tofutti Cream Cheese and used a vegan margarine in lieu of butter. We ALMOST had an elf-ic fail with the dough but the overnight refrigeration helped. The recipe calls for adding 3 tablespoons of cold water…where we would have been MUCH better off with 2. So next time, we’ll add one tablespoon at a time. Anywho, with fresh peached and blueberries at peak right now, we were thrilled to have such a terrific recipe. Here’s what they looked like before going into the oven.
 And here are the finished galettes (not to be confused with Gillette, har har).
We took a couple of pints of dairy free ice cream (Cappuccino and Vanilla) for folks to top it with. Yes indeedy, it was a hit. And we prepared an heirloom tomato salad with the wonderful heirloom tomatoes from Salad Days Produce in Flora MS.
As you can see, no one went hungry. And we all gathered for our annual Fourth of July Portrait.

And, lastly, today we’ve been an Elfin whirling dervish in the KEK…preparing the following for the upcoming week. We washed, spun and dried kale
and Rainbow Swiss Chard.
Then we sautéed the Chard with some red onion slices and seasoned with a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Next we, had some golden beets that we sautéed in a little bit of coconut oil, finishing off with a maple syrup glaze, some Thompson raisins and some toasted pecans.
And finally, we used some of the kale to add to a white bean soup…one of your Elf’s MOST favorite soups. 

And, we will be making Big Solid's FAVORITE plant-based 'chikun' later today, which calls for tofu that has been pressed almost dry! Here's the best press we've found so far!l
We have been working on a Gluten Free cookie for the Crossroads Café; we debuted it this past week..it's a double chocolate chip that we call Elfin Decadence.

So, there you go! Now, we are going to run some errands before we come home to see what we else we can conjure up in the KEK! 
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As this blog ends today, we want to say that last week’s blog was read by over 2800 people!! We have NEVER had that many ‘hits’ before and we were absolutely beside ours-elf!! We think when we started this a couple of years ago, we had 40 hits! And we thought that was awesome. For those of you who read it, thanks. Please consider sharing it as we would love for folks to become Eflnistas/Eflinistes and entertainment from the KEK to go viral. We love sharing our plant-based cookery stuffs from an ordinary elf. We don’t claim to be other than someone who loves to cook plant-based, show folks that it works good things for your body and do it in a way that is enjoyable…warts and all. We have seen some mighty sad things happening this week, so hopefully we can generate some goodness along the way. Try Random Acts of Kindness, encourage goodwill, eat plants, laugh when you can and DO EPIC.
Your Elf


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