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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hitch Your Wagon to an Elf

Y’ALL! July is done! Already! Didn’t it just start? Slow down world!! There’s much yet to do! So, we’d best be workin’ on it, right? Here we go…barreling into August with the all energy and drive of a two year old wanting out of a lap.
We had our Veganista Night last Sunday night at Kevin and Gigi Carter’s awesome house. We reluctantly but lovingly said farewell to one of our own, Misty, as she moves forward with the next adventure of her life, here pictured with Big Solid. (Note: to clarify, her next big adventure is NOT with Big Solid.)
As usual and in the understatement of the year, the food did not disappoint. Misty brought an awesome Quinoa salad,
Leslie and Gigi collaborated on
a spicy and delicious Chickpea Curry
with Caribbean Greens (to die for),
and your Elf brought yet another Chickpea dish called Spicy Cajun Chickpeas and Grits (pictured later). It’s the vegan equivalent of Shrimp and Grits. The recipe is from the Vegan Slow Cooker for Two but we doubled it and it’s a good thing we did!! Here’s the link to the recipe. It is FABULOUS!
We also brought dessert that we forgot to take a picture of until it had been served…Vegan Richa’s Salted Date Caramel Pie.
The title is really a lot longer so we thought we’d just share the link to the recipe instead. It's a bit on the labor intensive side, but it is just delicious!
The table was set and we were all ready to EAT WELL!!
A closeup of a typical plate looked like this!! You can see the Chickpeas and Grits here about noon on the plate.
And nothing is complete without the Veganista selfie at the close of our gathering. Left to right, Misty, Leslie, Gigi and her husband Kevin (our great hosts), The Elf and Big Solid.
It was a lovely night and we wish Misty the best!!
Week Two of our Green Chef meals got off to a good start. Our Green Chef box arrives on Friday, usually in the late morning. We rush it inside to get it out of the heat and commence to opening it up with great curiosity and anticipation! And this time, we were ready with the necessary containers to keep our meals TOGETHER and eliminate that frantic and energy draining search for all the ingredients. One thing we also learned from Week One was prioritizing what days to prepare the meals. Some of the produce is more fragile than others, so it behooves us in the Kinky Elfery Kitchen to realize that spinach doesn’t last NEARLY as long as a peas or a squash. So, Monday, we fixed the Sweet Potato Samosas for supper. We got our mise en place (SO much easier when one is organized)! Chia Seeds, Baby Spinach (the fragile produce), Tamarind Barbecue Sauce, Peas, Red Cabbage, Cilantro, Toasted Coconut Flakes, Sweet Potatoes, Curry Seasoned Bread Crumbs, Coriander-Coconut Dressing and Roasted Red Peppers.
While our sweet potatoes were boiling to a fork-tender consistency, we prepped our salad of spinach, red cabbage and coarsely chopped red peppers. Then when our sweet potatoes were ready, we drained and gave them an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Then they were ready for mashing.
After they were mashed all up (next time, we’ll use a potato ricer), we added the ingredients for the samosas (peas, curried bread crumbs with a chia ‘egg’ binder).
We squished all that up and formed into patties that went into the ‘frig for a bit.
We sautéed them in hot avocado oil to get a nice crust…actually, we cooked ours a bit longer than the instructions to get a harder ‘edge’.
We finished the salad by tossing our ingredients with about half of the coconut-coriander dressing and sprinkling with some of the toasted coconut flakes and chopped cilantro. The salad was split and placed on the plate. Then we shmeared the BBQ Sauce on the plate and placed two samosas over it. We topped the samosas with the remaining dressing, cilantro and toasted coconut. Isn't this pretty?!
In fact, the samosas were so filling, we each only ate one and saved the other for a left-over lunch!!
Our second GC meal of the week was another surprise to the senses—Veggie Polenta. Now, this meal had eggplant as its base but when we contacted GC folks for alternatives, they suggested either zucchini or Portobello mushroom cap. We went with the Portobello and just rode out the remaining instructions quite nicely. Here is our mise en place: Yellow Bell Pepper, Parsley, Polenta, Mushroom caps, Garlic Pine Nut Sauce, Snap Peas, Veggie Bouillon, Shallot, Corn, Thyme, Tomato, and Marjoram.
Big Solid is not wild about Polenta either but, once again, a clean plate belies that statement. So, here you go. We made the Polenta (so sorry about the blurriness) with corn and snap peas.
The final plating really looked quite lovely and it lasted only briefly after we were seated. It’s really kinda fun to have something you’ve never tried turn out to be such a nice meal…even when there is initial trepidation!!
We took Wednesday off to prepare a meal Big Solid LOVES (he’s really been great with all this new stuff) and that’s Taco Salad. Nothing to picture as it’s just lettuce, fresh yummy tomatoes, ground chili seasoned crumbles (Boca), grated Daiya Cheese and crushed up corn chips (yes, FRITOS!).
Our final GC meal of the week was prepared Thursday night..White Bean Ratatouille. This was ANOTHER one that we thought, 'oh boy, we hope this works'. So, here’s our mise en place: Parsley (upside down), Balsamic Seasoned Tomato Sauce, Yellow Pepper, Baguette, Spinach Sunflower Pistou (a Provençal cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil), Zucchini, Pine Nuts, Lemon, and Grape Tomatoes.
We sliced and toasted the baguette, drizzling with EVOO,
covered the toasted baguette sliced with the Pistou and plated the ratatouille with a fresh lemon wedge and glass of chilled white wine. It was delicious!!
Next week’s GC arrived this morning and we have already organized and stored/refrigerated. Looks like some good stuffs on tap for next week!!
We saw a recipe by Kathy Hester (Slow Cooker Vegan cookbooker!) on Facebook this week that looked mighty tempting, so we thought we’d give it a go to share with a friend. Tempeh and Fresh Figs Braised in Port…my goodness!
Well, thanks to a relative (Patrice O’Brien) we had a ‘passel’ of fresh figs, we ALWAYS have tempeh, and Port, so what the hey! We got our mise en place with EVOO, cubed Tempeh, Balsamic vinegar, dried Thyme, diced onion, fresh FIGS, minced Garlic, dried Rosemary and The Gentle Chef’s Chik’n Bouillon. (Note: the recipe calls for fresh rosemary and thyme but we didn’t have any. Besides, those are not big faves of Your Elf, so we minimized the amount.)
We sautéed the onions and garlic.
After that cooled, we put the tempeh, quartered figs and cooled onion/garlic mix in a container to sit overnight in the ‘frig.
The next mornin’, we piled everything in the Crock Pot and let ‘er rip for about 7 hours on low.
We tasted it when it was cooling off and OH BOY!! We hope our friend likes it as much as we did! And, we will most surely make it again when we have a day that is not already ‘spoken for’ in the meal department!
Well, dear Efinistas/es, we have reached the end of another week and another blog. We sure do look forward to all the Green Chef goodness for next week as well as the other fun meals we have planned. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy as much as we do!
We also wanted to take a moment to remind folks where our EOB (End Of Blog) reminder comes from (‘DO EPIC’). It’s from the beautifully written book Bright Side by Kim Holden that chronicles the story of one strong young woman, Kate Sedgewick. In spite of tremendous odds and personal pain, she maintains and shares nought but positivity..her DO EPIC. In the mind of Your Elf, that means to remember to Look for the GOOD, be an EXAMPLE of the GOOD, and ACT for the GOOD as HARD as you can, in as MANY WAYS as you can, EVERY DAY that you can.

Your Elf

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to miss my Veganistas SO MUCH. I love y'all and can't wait to get back for a visit and haven't even left yet! ��

    ~ Misty