Monthly Archives: December 2011

wednesday wisdom: into the new year

into the wild: nosara, april 2011.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot

meatless monday: best of 2011

I love a good year-end list! To honor the final Meatless Monday of 2011, it’s my great pleasure to present to you, in no particular order, a meatless roundup: the Best of 2011.

the year of the vegetable: 2011. (via pinterest)

BEST BREAKFAST:
Gluten-Free Banana Bread (May 2)

MOST REPEATED DISH:
Creamy Avocado Pasta (May 16)

MOST UNIQUE FLAVOR COMBO:
Roasted Strawberry & Asparagus Quinoa Salad (February 14)

BEST DESSERT:
Coconut Lime Granita (July 4)

BEST COMFORT FOOD:
Broccoli Basil Mac & Cheese (November 7)

BEST REC. FROM A FRIEND:
Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas (from Jenn Morrissey, October 31)

BEST RECIPE FOR THE WORST EVER INGREDIENT (BOK CHOY):
Sauteed Bok Choy with Tofu & Brown Rice (from Mel Russo, June 20)

BEST USE OF TOFU:
Pumpkin-Seed Crusted Tofu in Lemongrass Broth (February 28)

BEST THING THAT I DIDN’T ACTUALLY HAVE TO MAKE:
Harmony Hotel’s Avocado Salad (April 18)

Here’s to a great 2012 and many more marvelous Meatless Mondays to come! xoxo, S

wednesday wisdom: like a giant tree

the bodhi tree, bodh gaya, india, 2010.

‎Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree, in the midst of them all.
Buddha

meatless monday: winter quinoa salad

winter quinoa: as festive in color as its in-season components!

Look at this pretty, healthy holiday salad! The arugula and pomegranates remind me of little sprigs of holly, and the white quinoa and goat cheese like soft snow…lovely. This recipe from Apples & Onions calls for leftover turkey (from your meaty holiday table), but that can easily be replaced by a block of lightly sauteed tempeh OR omitted entirely. After yet another weekend of party-food indulgences (December, you kill me!), this clean, protein- and vitamin-filled dish sounds pretty good for tonight.

Apples & Onions’ Winter Quinoa Salad
(Serves 2)

For honey shallot vinaigrette:
1 med. shallot
2 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
6 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For salad:
1 c. uncooked quinoa, cooked according to the package directions and cooled to room temp.
1 pomegranate, de-seeded (see how here)
1 c. roasted & salted pistachios in shells
2 c. arugula
4 tbsp. goat cheese

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend til smooth.

To make the salad, combine cooled quinoa and pomegranate seeds in a large mixing bowl. Pour in enough dressing, about half the total amount, to thoroughly moisten the quinoa. Reserve the rest to add in just before serving.

Shell pistachios and lay them out on cutting board. Use a chef’s knife as a weight to crush your pistachios. Lay the blade flat – the edge facing away from you – over the nuts and press down gently with your palm. A little pressure crushes the nuts slightly and separates them from that stubborn, purple skin.

Stir the arugula into the salad and add more dressing as desired. Top with crushed nuts and crumbled goat cheese. Salt to taste if necessary.

wednesday wisdom: classic battle

 image via pinterest.

meatless monday: roasted winter squash salad

C is for Cookie. Party. 2011.

Cookies, cakes, eggnog, pies, cheese, chocolate, dips, pudding, cream, breads, butter, sugar, salt, drinks drinks drinks…the December diet! All of the above are in season, but so is winter squash (like kabocha, delicata, and acorn). Try 101 Cookbooks’ Roasted Winter Squash Salad when  you decide to give your gut the night off. Like, tonight.

Heidi Swanson’s Roasted Winter Squash Salad 
1 pound / 450 g roasted winter squash*, cut into 1-inch / 2.5-cm chunks, skin removed

4 celery stalks (with leaves if possible), diced
1/ 2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 big handfuls toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried currants / dried figs

2/3 cup / 160 ml beer (something along the lines of Anchor Steam)
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

If you haven’t already roasted your squash, start there*.

In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking together the beer, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt. Taste, adjust with more sugar or salt if needed, and set aside.

Toss the squash in a large bowl with about a third of the dressing. Let it sit for a minute or two, add more dressing, and most of the celery, red onions, walnuts, and currants. Toss again. You’ll likely have dressing left over, but this is a salad you should overdress in the beginning – the squash really drinks it up. Also, taste for seasoning at this point and add more salt if needed. Sprinkle with the remaining celery, red onions, walnuts, and currants, and enjoy. Let sit at least 5-10 minutes and serve.

Serves 6.

*Toss 1 1/2 inch thick slabs of (de-seeded) squash with a few gluts of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, and 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary in the top third of a 425F / 220C oven until completely tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle. For this recipe, slice into 1-inch / 2.5 cm chunks, leaving the skin behind.

Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 20 min

wednesday wisdom: wise like wes

wes anderson's bill murrays by derek eads.