Category Archives: Sides

Farro Dolma Salad with Baba Ganoush

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Center For Yoga, Birmingham, MI

I recently returned home from a month-long journey that took me from Houston, TX to the suburbs of Detroit, MI. What I am willing to do for yoga…drive 20 hours, share a hotel room with other people for more than three weeks, wake up at the crack of dawn…and love (almost) every minute of it.

I had the privilege of studying what I love with 39 other people who love yoga as much I do. And when you get that many people together focused on a common purpose, great things happen. We laughed, we cried, we sweat (a lot), we danced, we sang and we bonded in an amazing way. I’m so happy to say that I have brothers and sisters all around the country that I shared this life-changing experience with.

Another thing we did was eat some pretty delicious mediterranean food. Who knew? Detroit is home to some incredible food. Maybe food tastes better after you’ve done a ton of yoga (or meditated for 8 hours or sat in a sweat lodge), but all I know is that I loved it. We had, among other things: dolmas; lentils and rice; cucumber tomato salads, hummus and baba ganoush. Of course, I was inspired to make some of this at home.

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Savory Chickpea Pancakes

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I know I have friends who plan meals ahead of time. Maybe even pre-cook for an entire week. I think that’s awesome. But for me it’s just so not how I typically operate.  I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, let’s-see-what’s-in-the-fridge, totally-wing-it cook.

That’s just how I roll. And sometimes inspiration strikes and I end up making a meal like this one. First, I made a big pot of curry butternut squash soup and wanted something to go with it. So I thought I’d try making chickpea pancakes as a side dish. Oh man, these are great. Super easy and really tasty.

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Festive Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

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Tis the season for hosting gatherings, sharing meals and savoring moments. I brought this simple salad to a holiday party recently and it was a hit. I knew I wanted to use fresh cranberries, but honestly didn’t really know how it was going to turn out. Well, it worked and I was asked by several guests for the recipe, so here you go.

I cooked some Lundberg Countrywild rice according to the package directions, but you could use any wild rice really. Then while the rice was still warm, I added chopped fresh cranberries so they would soften but not be too cooked. I chopped celery, apple and pecans to add. The whole thing was pulled together with a simple cranberry vinaigrette. I found the most amazing cranberry vinegar here in Houston at an oil and vinegar store called Vom Fass. If you can’t find that flavor, simply use a plain balsamic vinegar.

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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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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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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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Kale Cabbage Salad

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You know how sometimes you make a salad and you just nail it. The taste is just right. The texture is perfect. The vegetables and dressing co-mingle like they were meant to be together. This is the salad you have been looking for your whole life. The love of your life salad, if you will.

Well, I made that salad tonight. I’m a huge fan of kale salads, but I’ve made many that have fallen flat. The kale tastes too bitter or something just isn’t quite right. But tonight, ah tonight, the kale salad sang and it was a beautiful thing.

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Mustard Pretzel Crispy Roasted Vegetables

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I’ve lived in Houston for more than three years now and it still surprises me how wonderful the Fall is here. The season starts a little later than up north. It really begins after Halloween and lasts through December or longer. We don’t have much of a winter and I’m more than okay with that.

While I have acclimated to the heat and humidity of the summer months, Autumn is such a refreshing change of pace. And by the time November rolls around, I’m ready to start eating more comfort foods like soups and stews. And root vegetables and squashes become the new staple in my pantry.

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Indian Food Part III: Dosas

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Nearly every culture has it’s own form of crepe, pancake or soft flat bread. The French version is world famous and for good reason. The Swedish have their thin pancakes, Russians make blinis, Norwegians have lefse and Ethiopians make a spongy bread called injera. In India, they make dosas. Which are not only awesome tasting; they are vegan, gluten free and full of protein. Whoa. How cool is that?

You’ll need to start making dosas, the day before you want to serve them. A pain? Maybe. But really worth the effort. A lot of this time is just soaking and fermenting. So the hands on work takes place mainly when you are making the crepes.

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