Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cool Food for Hot Days

The past 16 days have brought record heat to Austin with temperatures between 100 and 107 degrees every day. It couldn’t even cool off at night. Several people I know had their a/c go out, including my mom. Our office a/c went out too. Thankfully, today we caught a bit of a cool front and even got some rain. It’s been rather pleasant. I’ve been eating tons of cold food, and even when I would cook dinner, I wouldn’t eat it until it was room temp.




My last CSA box included much of the same, squash, oriental cukes, carrots, onions, and chard. Not pictured are cherry tomatoes, radishes, garlic, beets, and red potatoes. My prize was finding this gorgeous heirloom included!

I haven’t eaten an heirloom tomato in ages. I simply sliced it and ate it with just a bit of salt.


I had forgotten how completely delicious they are. It was like eating the tomatoey-est tomato juice you can imagine. Simply fabulous.

I’ve also made a great big cucumber, onion, and tomato salad, which I seasoned with basil and salt.


There’s been many many batches of Green Smoothie Dressing to go on everything, from green salads I take to work to leftover steamed broccoli.



Of course there was more raw beets to eat. I had been hesitant to put them in my spiralizer, but I finally relented and ended up with a lovely bowl of red and gold beets and a few radishes. Jessy, can we call these *boodles*?



I got a near-empty jar of Dijon mustard, thinned it with water, and poured it over the beets for my dressing.

I mentioned in my last post that it was my brother’s birthday. I was thrilled that he (not vegan) asked me to bake him the Moosewood Deep Chocolate Vegan Cake. I made it for my own birthday last year and it was beautiful.



Sadly, I knew a layer cake would never last being transported in my car to my mom’s house with an air conditioner that had only been working a few hours. So it looked like this. (My brother is much older than the number of candles on the cake!)




Quality trumps beauty! I made it using my best Scharffenberger cocoa and 99% chocolate. Bro loved it, once again proclaiming it the most delicious, moist, richest, and best cake ever. I think it has a lot to do with the fantastically yummy peanut butter frosting. I just had to take this picture.


A funny restaurant story – when we were eating out for our birthday dinner, there were no vegan entrées, so I ordered sides of asparagus, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms, then handed the waiter my menu. He said, Ma’am, you forgot to order your entrée!

Before I end, I want to ask you all to go visit my blogger friend Judy. I’ve been following her for several years and have admired her cooking and baking skills, even when the food wasn’t vegan. Well, now she has publicly declared her decision to go completely vegan! Please let her know how delighted you are and go give her some love.

32 comments:

Emily said...

I will have to check out that recipe, peanut butter frosting?!?!!? YUM!

Virginia said...

that cake looks good! where can i find the recipe? i don't own any moosewood cookbooks =(

happy belated birthday to your brother! i hope your a/c got fixed!

aTxVegn said...

Virginia, I added the link to the cake recipe. It's really fantastic!

Andrea said...

That tomato picture made my tongue tingle! And the spiraled beets make me think I may have to get one of those gadgets. Is it hard to use?

The cake looks fabulous, and when I looked at the recipe I saw it was a variation of "wacky cake," which is my favorite kind of cake to make. This version has additional oil and vinegar.

I'm glad to hear your weather has improved!

nora said...

i LOVE that shot of the beater! food porn at its finest. also, those heirlooms are ab gorgeous!

Amey said...

wow, that 100+ weather sounds pretty intense. Here, we have been having FOG FOG FOG, and I am so tired of it! I want to wake up with the sunshine and have a nice toasty day!!!

The fresh, summery food looks great... I have so many green tomatoes on my plants, I can't wait for big slabs of tomato with a little sprinkle of salt!

Ricki said...

Poor you--such sweltering heat! But it seems you made the most of it. I love heirloom tomatoes, too. And that cake is stunning. Happy B Day, bro! :)

Erica said...

i love heirloom 'maters... they have so much more meat to them than those anorexic tomatos in the store.

also, beet noodles are awesome with gomasio or dulse flakes and sesame seeds.

Carrie said...

i SO want that cake!

Judy's Nutrition said...

Thank you for the shout-out!

jessy said...

that’s hot, hot, HOT Dian! wowzers! sadface on people’s a/c go’n out. i cannot imagine how uncomfortable that would be! hooray for the hidden heirloom, and cucs! i totally forgot about your green smoothie dressing – dan & i need to make it again! boodles = happyface! i love the name, Diann! you’re too awesome! totally gonna try that out! sooo goooooood! the cake looks amazing – nice job! i laughed out loud at your story at the restaurant! ahahahahahaa! totally gonna check out Judy’s blog! thanks!

shellyfish said...

I do miss those hot temps - I'm such a sucker for the heat. I hope your mama's AC is back up, though. Not easy to sleep when it's like that.
Your beets look so beautiful! I need to find a spiralizer! I'm off to congratulate Judy!

miss v said...

i love your spiralized beets - so pretty. and that cake looks gorgeous!

Hannah said...

Simply gorgeous veggies... That is one beauty of a tomato!

Amazing cake- I'm sure that no matter what form it was in, it was absolutely delicious!

Usha said...

100 + each day must be difficult ! hope it cools off soon...the salad looks light and perfect for hot days.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I've had that cake for my birthday before-- so good and chocolatey!

mtbVegan said...

heirloom tomatoes rule. I love them. And that cake looks awesome.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a suggestion for a good spiralizer? I really want to buy one for various reason and keep getting contradictory advice
thanks I LOVE this bog

aTxVegn said...

Anonymous, I have the Joyce Chen spiralizer and that's the only one I have, so I really can't compare. It makes beautiful noodles and ribbons, and supposedly some other shapes I just haven't had time to play with. The beets didn't stain it, so I have to say it's easy to clean and very easy and quick to use.

Thanks for loving my blog!
- Diann

Veg-a-Nut said...

It has been hot here too. I think your summer heat dishes look wonderful. I have been eating scrambled tofu, weird comfort food for me. Happy Birthday to your brother! I have to pop over and visit Judy and congratulate her on her decision to go vegan. What an inspiration you are. Oh and your CSA box looks great. We picked ours up today and it was the smallest and sparce box we have ever gotten. Maybe next week it will pick up. I can't wait for some delicious summer squash.

Jes said...

What a beautiful heirloom tomato! I can't wait till ours are ripe.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Your cake looks fabulous. How sweet of you to pull out all the stops for your brother. And I'm jealous of that tomato! Maybe we'll get some in St. Louis soon.

Cafe Cyan said...

That heirloom tomato looks delicious - I cannot wait until we get them (***dreaming***).

I think I want a spiralizer - your boodles look so cool!!!

Susan G said...

Oh, those tomatoes! We don't get ours till August!

Erin said...

Love your "boodles", a spiralizer has been high on my list of items to buy for too long. And you cake sounds amazing!

Adriana said...

Beets in the spiralizer? Of course! Green smoothie salad dressing sounds divine. Too bad my cilantro bolted!

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