What a week we have had! Not only did we get to help out at the Crossroads Café again (and up the donation amount to ARF of MS), we made cookies (and we understand that a woman came in and bought ALL of the Double Chocolate Chip to take to a tailgate at the Ole Miss game!) and turned SEVENYTEEN! But first, we need to report out on our FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipe this week…the Mushroom Barley Soup with Cannelloni Beans and Cabbage. http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/02/mushroom-barley-soup-with-cannellini.html
We’ve not cooked much with barley in the Kinky Elfery Kitchen but we will most certainly up the usage of this high protein grain. This is an easy and lovely soup that offers a lot of nutritional value, great tastes and a sense of fall that we have been waiting for since practically the first day of spring here in Mississippi (understanding that the First Day of Spring in Mississippi is the ONLY day of Spring…we go immediately to hot/humid). Gosh when you have mushrooms, cabbage, beans, and barley…how can you go wrong! We cooked up the barley first and as it was cooking, sautéed the onions until they started to show brown (always adds such a nice nuance of flavor).
Then added the mushrooms and garlic and let that infuse with the mushrooms.
Next up, we added the thyme and sherry (yep, we doubled the sherry) and let the alcohol cook off.
Since we cooked the barley in our Gentle Chef’s Chikun Bouillon, we KNEW that flavor would be awesome, so adding the mushrooms, cabbage and paprika just added another level of great taste to the mix. Now, we know Susan used red cabbage in her recipe but we used green.
And another neat thing about this recipe is the use of two smoked paprikas, one being just plain ole smoked and the other spicy smoked. We LOVE smoked Paprika in the KEK, so always have e different kinds at the ready—hot, bittersweet (our favorite) and sweet. We completed our little early fall meal with a vegan pimento cheese sandwich on a whole wheat bun (and a little Pinot Grigio).
It was excellent and just the right amount of substance! Not too little and not too much. One of the things we LOVE about Susan’s recipes is her inclusion of the nutritional values. So many cookbooks and recipe sites do not do that but for those of us who like to track things like sodium, sugar and fat intake, it makes things so much easier!! So, thanks Susan!! You can find Susan’s recipes at her FatFree Vegan Kitchen site and we encourage you to sign up for her newsletter as well.
THEN!! We got on a soup roll with an exotic Moroccan soup from the Isa Does It cookbook called Harira.
It was an easy way to ‘hide’ eggplant from Big Solid. AND, since we are trying to get more ‘starch’ (remember we are loosely following some of the John McDougall ideas on potatoes, rice and pasta), this recipe also has angel hair pasta that really adds more substance than a thinner soup might have. This soup is delicious and shows off the exquisite tastes of Moroccan cuisine.
And finally, we did indeed have a milestone birthday Friday and continued to celebrate on Saturday. Yes, your Elf turned 70 (and yes, I am calling it seventyteen because I SWEAR I feel much younger than 70). A HUGE SHOUTOUT to Mitchell Moore and the folks at Campbell’s Bakery Madison for the awesome job done on the cupcakes!
Mitchell hisownself has opted for a plant-based diet as a means to become a more healthy person, so who else would the Elf call on for a special order. Yes, the cupcakes were vegan, the ice cream was dairy-free and the champagne was vegan friendly. We had a MOST marvelous time and the non-vegan participants came away with a new awareness that plant-based does not necessarily restrict you from enjoying some of the more ‘decadent’ offerings in the dessert world. So, thanks MITCHELL and CAMPBELL’S BAKERY/MADISON for a job well done!! Here are a few pics of the day!
The Elf and Mail Order Annie. MOA kept the neighborhood aware of all the aging going on in the KEK.
Big Solid, The Elf having a little bubbly!
MiniPearl found a home on Corinthia's shoulder. She wanted to go home with Corinthia!
The Elf and her friend Gigi (one of the Veganistas!). Gigi was preparing to participate in a half-ironman triathlon relay today, so we wish her the BEST!! So, there you have it for the week and for another year gone by for your Elf. We are totally convinced that one reason we feel so good is eating a plant-based diet. We'll have to surprise you next week with our FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipe..since it's getting cooler, we'll dive into more hearty fare and see what happens. In the meantime, remember to laugh out loud, do a kindness (or more), eat plants, and DO EPIC!
Your Elf -- To Elf-inity and BEYOND!!