Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our 2013 Garden Progress...

Back in May I posted about starting up our garden, and I had wanted to post photos, but never quite got around to it. So today, as I was puttering around out there, I snapped a few pics, to show our garden's progress.
Some wee green bean sprouts. These share beds with
winter squashes, pumpkins and melons

Cucumbers in the center, crookneck squash on the left,
zucchini on the right, and wee beet sprouts on the other side
of the trellis.

A robust crookneck squash plant. 

Herbs, tomatoes and carrots

The strawberry bed is overflowing! (those are raspberries in back,
baby lettuces front right, and collards and cabbages in back on the right.

Look at all those little green strawberries!

Peppers in pots... sweet bananas, red bells, poblanos and habaneros

Lemon Balm

Raspberry buds!

We have already been enjoying fresh herbs, broccolini and baby lettuces, and we are really looking forward to more! I think we'll have some strawberries in the next few days. Can't wait!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ode to the Vegan Bowl

I've recently come to fully appreciate the awesomeness of the Vegan Bowl. Bowls are nothing new... they are mentioned in thousands of vegan food blogs, they're to be found in vegan cafes and you'll find recipes for them in many vegan cookbooks. Isa Chandra Moscowitz devotes several pages to bowls in her book Appetite for Reduction (which, by the way is my current FAVORITE cookbook... you should definitely buy it!) Basically, a Bowl is a combination of a grain, a bean (or tofu) and veggies, tossed together in a bowl with some kind of sauce for flavor. The cool thing about bowls in that the possibilities are endless! Mix and match different combos, and you could have a Bowl every night, and never have the same meal twice.

A few favorite combos of ours:

  • Brown rice, tofu, broccoli, kale, shredded carrots, corn and ginger nama shoyu sauce
  • Quinoa, garbanzo beans, kale, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, diced cukes and tahini sauce
  • Barley, assorted greens, shredded carrots, avocado and Green Goddess dressing (recipe in Appetite for Reduction... DELISH)
  • Brown rice, tempeh, kale, diced tomato, shredded carrots, avocado and miso lime dressing

We tend to just "wing it" a lot of times... throwing bowls together based on what we have in the fridge. We haven't been disappointed yet! You really can't go wrong with these. It's fun to experiment with different flavor combinations.

Bowls can be sanity savers on busy weeknights, particularly if you prep veggies up ahead of time, and keep them in the fridge. (see this post for more on this) I also make up a few sauces each week, and keep those in the fridge, as well. With prep work done ahead of time, you can walk in the door after a busy day and have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. Faster than ordering a pizza!

Our Bowl Ingredients from the other night... grilled tofu,
shredded broccoli stems, steamed kale, shredded carrots, barley,
broccoli florets, Green Goddess Dressing and sliced avocado.
Since some of my kids are much pickier eaters than others, I often lay all the bowl ingredients out on the counter salad bar style, and let each family member pick and choose to create their own bowl. They like the freedom of choice, and I like that they're more likely to actually EAT something healthy if they put it together themselves.

 Noodle is very happy with his Bowl.