Category Archives: Entrees

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Pomegranate

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I guess you know you’re a grown up when you can say with a straight face that you like brussels sprouts. Because I’ll tell you, even just a few years ago, I would have never even wanted to try them. Now I love these little guys so much…especially roasted.

Discovering the wonderful world of vegetables has been such a fun process for me. I started this journey about 15 years ago when I decided not to eat meat anymore. I haven’t missed it a bit. But for years, I still ate eggs and dairy and many of my meals centered around cheese.

Then about 5 years ago, I thought I’d try eating a vegan diet for health reasons. I have never felt better in my life and now I can’t wait to try new veggies whenever I get the chance. And luckily for me, there are so many more choices available at restaurants for vegetarians and vegans today.

The idea for this recipe came from a lunch I had recently with my friend Missy at True Food Kitchen. The concept behind this restaurant (which has locations in Texas, California, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona and Virginia) is an anti-inflammatory menu based on the work of Dr. Andrew Weil. The omnivore menu changes seasonally and identifies items that are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.

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Peruvian Vegetable Stew

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Peruvian Vegetable Stew topped with Salsa Criolla

” Not all those who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

Spent an amazing weekend at Wanderlust Festival Austin recently. This year’s event was just as wonderful as last year’s or maybe even a little better. The festival includes tons of yoga classes, workshops, music, cool vendors and more. It’s a wonderful time to connect with friends, do LOTS of yoga of course and include a bit of wandering.

Yogis tend to be seekers and part of that path includes straying off a set course from time to time. This is usually where the good stuff happens: serendipity, growth, discovery.

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French Green Lentil Potato Salad

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photo 2 (16)While traveling recently, I found myself having the nicest summer supper on a screened in porch in the beautiful little village of Mariemont, Ohio. The meal was unfussy and the company was relaxed. My friends, Mike and Shelley, know good food. They mostly make it themselves from scratch and seek out the best fresh local ingredients they can find.

On this night, Mike made French green lentils from a Julia Child recipe he’d been wanting to try. With his vegan friend visiting, he thought it was the perfect time. I agreed. He’d also picked up some newly harvested potatoes from the farmer’s market and threw together a french style potato salad. To round everything out, Shelley sliced some gorgeous local tomatoes and we had a feast.

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Old Bay Fried Green Tomatoes + Roasted Red Pepper Remoulade

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Every year I make a summer road trip from Houston to Cincinnati. It’s about 17 hours each way, for a total of 2,000 miles. 2000 MILES!!! That is a heck of a lot of driving. But I love it and I look forward to it each year. I break the trip up into two days and almost always stop in Memphis on the way there.

This year it was just me and my oldest son, Jonah, who was going to jazz guitar camp at the University of Louisville. We stayed in downtown Memphis right on the Tennessee River and made our way to Beale Street for dinner and meandering. We ate at Miss Polly’s Soul City Cafe and I had fried green tomatoes. Traveling as a vegan can be challenging at times, but wherever I go, I seem to do just fine. And this meal was no exception. It was fun Southern soul food and I loved it.

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Beluga Lentils + Fava Bean Puree

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Sometimes I go to the grocery store with a specific grocery list based on recipes that I’d like to make that week. And sometimes, well, honestly I’m just not the organized and I wing it. Last week, I went to Central Market here in Houston which is a specialty store run by the Texas chain HEB and I winged it.  Central Market is a foodie paradise. You want it, they’ve got it. Didn’t know you wanted it, they’ve got it!

On this day, the store was featuring all things Italian. They had a special produce section with the most interesting and unusual vegetables. And when I spotted the fava beans, my heart skipped a beat. No lie. Fresh fava beans are something you rarely see in a grocery store. If you are lucky, you can find them in the late spring at a good farmers market.

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Easy Noodle Stir Fry

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I love eating vegetables. I love drinking vegetable juice. I love smoothies with vegetables. I love shopping for vegetables at the farmers market. I love growing vegetables. I FRIGGIN’ LOVE VEGETABLES! And…I’m a mom of two teenage boys who until relatively recently hated most vegetables. This seemed really unfair to me. I took it personally. And felt like I had somehow failed as a mom.

I mean, come on, this is a big part of my life and I was unable to share it with my kids. Over the years, I would talk to other moms whose kids ate vegetables and pretty much whatever was served for dinner. I’d hear things like: “I’m not a short-order cook,” or “They have to at least try a tasting portion.” Well, this never, I mean never, worked in my house. It always lead to drama at the dinner table which took all of the fun out of our family dinner. I want that time to be one where we share and laugh and connect…not a time to argue, fight or negotiate.

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Macrobiotic Bowl

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Food fascinates me. Well, clearly, I write a blog about it. Seriously, I love how I introduce some new thing about food into my life and then it leads to something else. Or I meet someone or go somewhere and learn something completely new.

Eating an amazing meal in Boulder, CO inspired me to transition to vegetarian eating. Reading the World Peace Diet during my yoga teacher training affirmed my commitment to a vegan lifestyle. My first macrobiotic meals, at Casa de Luz in Austin and Green Vegetarian Cuisine in San Antonio, felt life changing too.

Although, I’ve only had a few macrobiotic meals so far, I love the way they make me feel. Balanced. Energized. Vibrant. Healthy. There is something to it and I want to learn more.

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White Bean Enchiladas + Green Chile Sauce

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I get so much pleasure out of teaching yoga and making connections with so many different people. One thing I have discovered, unexpectedly to tell you the truth, is that it is such a joy to teach yoga to families. Seeing parents engage with their kids on the mat…being silly together and being focused, making animal noises and playing games and then lying still at the end of the class.

Family Yoga Night has become something I so look forward to and thoroughly enjoy. After the class, we usually have a potluck (it’s a yoga thing!). This month, I made these yummy white bean enchiladas. I’ve made black bean/sweet potato enchiladas with red sauce for years. So I thought how about white beans with green sauce and it works perfectly. I adapted a recipe for the sauce from a cookbook I picked up while traveling in New Mexico last summer. It’s a winner.

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Mess o’ Greens Gumbo

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With Fat Tuesday tomorrow, it seems like the perfect time to make a big old pot of my favorite gumbo: Gumbo Z’Herbs or as I like to call it Mess o’ Greens Gumbo. I adapted my recipe from the Gumbo Shop, a restaurant in New Orleans, where you can get, believe it or not, vegan gumbo. Yes, vegan gumbo in a town known for its seafood and andouille sausage and cooked gator.

I even made my batch gluten free for the first time by using GF all purpose flour in my roux. And it worked with a little help from some xanthan gum. Just whisk flour, xanthan gum and olive oil together until it smells like popcorn and turns the color of peanut butter.

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Arepas For My Friends

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Living here in Texas, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with several people from South America, particularly from Venezuela and Columbia. I know it’s hard to generalize about entire countries or continents for that matter, but my South American friends are the warmest, kindest and loveliest people. They are very dear to me.

It breaks my heart to think how worried my Venezuelan friends must be right now with the political turmoil taking place in their home country. Many of them have been sharing information, news and videos on Facebook about these struggles. Another friend participated in a rally in our suburb to bring awareness to the situation. I want them to know my heart is with them and I hope the violence ends soon.

So tonight I make arepas for my friends.

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