Sunday, May 03, 2009

She Ate What???

I hope you all will be proud of me. I’ve been broadening my palate by eating more beets and eggplant in various salad ways. I don’t know why I feel compelled to make myself like these particular veggies. Perhaps it’s because of their beautiful color.

Last week after receiving beets in my CSA box, and expecting many more to come, I set out to find a way I could enjoy them and discovered I actually like them raw. I made a delicious raw beet dip and ate it with gluten free crackers and atop green salads. Melody left me a comment suggesting I might like shredded beets in a green wrap. So I made myself a nice little appetizer one night and took the last bit of leftover dip and wrapped it some leafy lettuce I had. A beet wrap – sounds musical.

Thanks, Melody, it was delicious!

I still had a couple of giant beets left and although I didn’t think they would go bad anytime soon, their uncertain presence was bothering me. I remembered a recipe that my CSA farm provided for sautéed gingered beets. It sounded really good, except for the beets. Then it occurred to me to make a raw version. This was so messy to make but it’s really really tasty. Here’s the recipe I came up with. Feel free to convert it back to a roasted or boiled beet version.

Gingered Beet Salad with Radishes
2 large beets, peeled and julienned
2 large radishes, thinly sliced
1 lime, juiced and zested
1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener of choice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons raisins (or Craisins)

Place the beets and radishes in a serving bowl. Mix together the lime juice and zest, sugar, vinegar, and ginger; pour over beets and radishes and mix to coat. Stir in raisins.

This next recipe for an eggplant salad comes from one of my favorite local restaurants, Aster’s Ethiopian. This salad is not on the menu but was in a local magazine. I had to adapt it a little because the recipe does not provide for cooking the eggplant. That scares me for some reason and certainly doesn’t appeal to me. It does provide for soaking the eggplant in lemon juice. Do you suppose that cooks it? Anyway, the salad is quite good. Here is my adapted version.

Eggplant and Blackeyed Pea Salad

1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
juice of 1 small lemon
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups cooked blackeyed peas
1 teaspoon agave nectar
black and red pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper

Blanch the eggplant for 2 minutes. Drain, then cover with lemon juice and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes in the colander. Put eggplant into a serving bowl and toss with the olive oil. Stir in the blackeyed peas and agave nectar. Season with black pepper and red pepper. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and bell pepper.

Chocolate Covered Katie, my food soul mate and adorable fellow Texan, is hosting a giveaway as part of her New Foods Challenge. She is encouraging her readers to try a new a food and then tell her about. She will then enter you in a drawing for a yummy food prize. You would think eating all these beets and eggplants would make me an automatic winner, but I actually did eat something this week I’ve never eaten before – garlic scapes. I’ve heard of them and wasn’t afraid to try them, I honestly just didn’t know how to prepare them. I got a small bunch in my CSA box. If you don’t know what they are, here’s what they look like. (The green things, not the pink things.)

After a little research I figured out which part was edible and the way they are usually eaten. (Discard the bulb and use just the tops.) I just chopped and sautéed mine in a little olive oil. I have to say I am absolutely crazy for garlic scapes! They taste like hearty green beans already seasoned with garlic – yum! Since I only had a few scapes, I added some red onion and fresh mushrooms to my little stirfry. Oh so delicious.

The only sweet treat I’ve made lately is Chocolate Chia Pudding.

I made it good and chocolaty with lots of cocoa powder. Unfortunately, a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds in one sitting is a little hard on my tummy and I won’t be enjoying this any more.

This post has been long enough already, but I have one more thing. You may have noticed that Sunday dinners are becoming rather infrequent. I know a lot of you have looked forward to seeing my family feasts, but times change and I think this blog needs to go in a new direction. Don't worry, I still see my son, just not on Sundays due to his work schedule. I thought about *retiring* but I don’t really want to quit blogging. Will you all stick around if there aren’t so many family dinners? I will try to keep up with 2 posts per week of healthy food and continue to put up pretty food pictures. And I have really been into developing recipes lately. Do you like when I provide recipes? (That may change too once all these fabulous new cookbooks come out!)

Thanks guys! As always, I can’t wait to come around and see what you’ve been cooking.


Andrea said...

I thought this was a terrific post, especially since you hit on some of my particular likes and dislikes. Beets usually end up at the bottom of the bin until they decompose and I feel justified in adding them to the compost. I do like them raw and shredded though, so you've given me some ideas. I love garlic scapes.

I know what you mean about "retiring." I think about that, too. Doesn't it seem sometimes that there are already so many recipes out there? But, don't. I'd really miss your good food ideas and lovely photos!

snugglebunny said...

I would stick around, partly because you do interesting things and partly becuase we need to show the world that you can be vegan and don't need tofu or tempeh to be happy.

Anonymous said...

I'll still around even if you don't write about your family feasts. I would hate for you to retire completely, but definitely don't continue with the blog if it doesn't make you happy.

Your chocolate pudding looks sooo gooood.

jessy said...

awwww, Diann - of course i'll still read your blog - i'm enjoying the new direction it's taking on. i'm really loving all the fresh new recipes you're posting lately - and i love the raw yummies you're trying out! i'm trying to get into more raw foods and i love seeing what you're "uncooking" and creating is really inspiring and makes me want to branch out and try new raw recipes! :) i really love your recipes and your posts! :)

LKSisters said...

Your meals sounds delicious! Especially beet and radish salad with red wine vinegar and ginger and lime - a great combination of flavors!

Anonymous said...

Those garlic scapes sound good! I'll keep my eyes out for those.

I'll definitely keep reading your blog as long as you write it!

Chrissy said...

to be honest, i hadn't really noticed the shift in direction - too distracted by all the yummy food! in other words, i'll keep reading if you keep dishing. thanks for sharing so much already!

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

Yum! Everything looks so delicious!! Especially the eggplant salad!

I had never, ever even heard of garlic scapes until last year. I still haven't tried them -- haven't seen them around here yet.

Adriana said...

You can make garlic scape pesto.

Amy said...

Mmmm I adore fresh beetroot but the whole staining thing always puts me off :( I really should eat them more!

And sorry about the Chia pudding. I've thought about making a chia pudding because it sounds nutritious and looks delicious but there's not a doubt in my mind that it would hate my belly too *cries*.

As for family dinners, don't get me wrong, I have always loved your family dinner posts, but I love posts for solo food just as much! Whatever direction you take your blog, I'll still be here reading!

Lisa said...

Lucky you to find the garlic scapes! I hope to try them someday too but haven't noticed them at any stores yet.

Margaret said...

I have only heard of one other person who had a problem with chia seeds. I'd like more information if you don't mind. Can you send me an email?

Visit my website for more chia recipes and info.

Jes said...

Garlic scapes sound wonderful! And those salads look so fresh and satisfying!

Oraphan said...

Oh, no! No way, please don't retire just yet!! I really enjoy reading your blog. Every post looks wonderful and it's so inspiring! By the way, I'm so happy to find out from you that the plant I grew from one garlic with roots in my garden called "garlic scapes" and I can eat them. Yay!!

Unknown said...

of course I would stick around without the family dinners!

the gingered beet salad looks awesome! Beets are one of those foods I never liked until I had it raw. Funny how that works.

About Me said...

Please keep up the blog, I love it and will continue to love with or without Sunday dinners. Also, I do love when you provide the recipes!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. The recipes are ever so helpful as I then have a new "starting place" for my experiments. One of my many adopted families has 4 gluten free members, so that aspect of your blogging is valuable too. Good luck with the new venture

Amey said...

Hi Diann,
I love your blog! I'll read it, even if you only post once a month!
I totally understand about "retiring" ... I've thought about it too. But I just post more infrequently... when the spirit moves me. I'm actually behind a few posts right now. Hmm, maybe I should go blog!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I am definitely going to have to look for these! So you’re a garlic-lover too, huh? Is there any way we’re not alike?! ;)

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Ooh. I have never ever tried garlic scapes but your description makes me want to. It sounds great.

Unknown said...

Please keep going with the blog! I love the recipes and reading about the goings on with your lovely family and Austin. Plus, in the last 6 months I've added at least 5 of your vegan ideas to our Sunday meat-eating family lunches, so there's progress too! Blogs can be high maintenance I know, but whatever way you want to take Eat n Vegan, I'll be there.

urban vegan said...

Look at all those colorful, phytochemical-heavy veggies. I always enjoy seeing the variety of foods you make.

Anonymous said...

Keep blogging. Please. And the beet and eggplant dishes look divine.

Music and Veganism said...

I loooove raw beets! So earthy and delicious.

I've been enjoying reading your blog lately, just 'cause. You have a nice, straightforward writing style and you take great pictures. Don't retire!

Susan G said...

Love your blog no matter what the direction!

My favorite way to eat beets is roasted (whole, about 1 hour - then peels slip off easily) in horseradish vinagrette.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Heck, you can't leave us Diann, you would have a riot on your hands!

I loved that first photo, gorgeous!

Erin said...

Oh yes, shredded raw beets are great in salads. I have one recipe with shredded apples and beets, seasoned with oil & vinegar, it's really good. I don't eat beets that often though, because I can't stand dying the entire kitchen, myself included, pink!

On the subject of your blog, please keep writing! Regardless of pace or content. I enjoy your posts both with recipes and without. My one suggestion would be more bunny pictures :)

Romina (La Cucina Vegan) said...

Love your blog. I agree with snugglebunny that it is refreshing that you show that you can eat great healthy vegan food that doesn't involve tofu all the time. I also count on your black-eyed peas recipes and all the other wonderful healthy recipes you provide. I haven't had the opportunity to try scapes yet but look forward to it.

Ricki said...

The beet wraps (ha! musical, yes!) sound yummy. And I would love to try that eggplant salad.

Re: Sunday dinners, of course I'll miss 'em but am always happy reading whatever you write! I love the recipes and would enjoy reading more, too.

life said...

I've just came across to your blog.
Interesting blog!

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

I hardly cared that the dinners weren't as frequent... they're fun to look at, for sure, but really it's just great to see what healthy colourful things you've made in general. Blogging should be relaxing, right? And don't retire unless you really have to! We'd miss you!

Anonymous said...

You can't retire!! You're way too young! Of course we'll stick around, Sunday dinners or not! There would be some very sad vegans out there if you stopped!
I love your recipes, and love the way you adapt things, too. Guess I love it all!

Macie said...

Stick around! I love the recipes and photos :)

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