Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Home Grown Tomatoes presents...Pretending it's Spring

Lighter Fare for Spring Air

Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column posted by Giovanina Bucci.

It seems as though I'll be playing bachelorette for the next few days while the Beau Beau is in San Francisco for a bachelor weekend.  Which means - apartment overhaul!  I've got a number of things planned, but the most important and exciting one is repainting our bedroom.  Because right now when I wake up in the morning and open my sleepy eyes only to look up at the baby blue ceiling lurking over me, it makes me want to vomit.  Seriously.  I can handle baby blue in ridiculously small doses, but my bedroom ceiling is not a dose I'm willing to deal with any longer.  I've somewhat prepared Beau for his return to a freshly painted room, but alas, we'll see how that actually goes :)   

On another note, my Spring Fever has hit me in the face like a brick wall. Soooo ready to put away the insulated curtains, open the single pain windows, turn the damn heat down, hang my laundry on the clothesline, break out the grill, play horseshoes... I'm sure many of you can relate. And I don't want to be assumptive, but I think all of these things are within reach... I hope, anyway, and that makes me really happy. 

Flagstaff weather is outrageously unpredictable, believe it or not, so I have to keep it in the back of my mind that at any point I could wake up to sunshine, snow, frost, or a monsoon this time of year. And surprisingly, from what I hear, of all places upstate NY seems to be relishing in summer-ish sunshine according to my dearest mom (and Scarlet's post from Easter). Apparently my dad has been out in the yard painting, to which my mom has had to "remind" him, "You better cover that bald head of yours up, so you don't get a sunburn." And for any of you who know Mama Booch, I'm sure this doesn't surprise you - in the most loving way, she's all about telling you things that you're most likely already aware of! 

(Does the fact that I just spent an entire paragraph discussing the weather mean that I'm getting older?  Hmm...)

Anyway, let us move in the direction of some light(er) Spring/Summer sides and dip!  I decided to include a few recipes here, because they're super simple and don't involve very many ingredients.  To begin with, Spinach Artichoke dip has to be one of the best things ever created.  Ever.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  In a large mixing bowl, combine:

1 (12 oz.) container of Tofutti Sour Cream
4 Tbs. Vegannaise (or mayonnaise for the non-vegans)
2-3 Tbs. Tofutti Cream Cheese (optional)
6 cloves garlic (chopped)
5-6 (chopped) whole artichoke hearts (preferably, in water as opposed to marinated)
3 C. loose spinach (chopped)
1 - 2 tsp. garlic (start small here, peeps, to avoid 'over-garlicking')
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast

I roughly chop the artichokes and spinach, so that the dip has a nice heartiness to it.  Once you have all of your ingredients mixed together well, give it a taste test and make sure it's to your liking.  Add more garlic, or even some fresh squeezed lemon juice, or a dash of lemon pepper if you wish!  Spread your dip in a baking dish (8" is a good size) sprinkle it with a bit more nutritional yeast (or Parmesan, if you're going the cheese route) and bake for about 10 minutes.  Serve hot with chips or bread.  Or, of course, you can serve it hot, in a bread bowl, which is always a big hit.  (I highly recommend pumpernickel if you're going the bread route.)  And that's it!

Edamame with Sea Salt

Beau and I usually go to a super cheap happy hour on Friday's to unwind from the week.  It happens to be a sushi bar, so edamame is readily available, delicious, and $2 for a good sized bowl.  I don't know why we hadn't thought of this before - but we've started to make it at home now because literally it takes boiling water and sea salt and that's it!  There will be package directions on there, but we've found that we like to boil them a bit longer then suggested.  I put a dash of salt in the water and then salt them a bit afterward, mix them up and go for it!  They're good hot, cold and pretty fun to eat if I do say so myself.  I don't have kids, but they seem like they would be a great go-to snack that is pretty healthy and travels well...maybe?  The child raisers may want to chime in here :)  And finally...

Spicy Coleslaw with Poppyseed Dressing

Now I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of traditional coleslaw.  I do, however, love cabbage and carrots and adore the texture and crunch, it's just the flavor of the dressing that puts me off a bit.  Not to mention, that restaurants seem to really enjoy over-dressing their coleslaw - in which case the mushy 'texture' becomes a bit less inviting.

Instead of traditional dressing, try using poppy seed dressing - it's becoming really popular, so your grocery store should carry it.  I put in just enough dressing to wet the coleslaw, but keep in mind that the coleslaw will become more saturated as it refrigerates - so start with less!  Once you have dressed the coleslaw, refrigerate it for about an 1 hour.  Top with a bit of sriracha and serve - it's sweet and spicy AND crunchy.  Give it try, you may find yourself newly and deeply in love with coleslaw love!

1 comment:

Scarlet Lily said...

I LOVE the idea of a new way to make coleslaw. I totally agree that I'm down with the veggies and the crunch, but not the mayo.

Also, B & I love having edemame as a snack!

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