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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FYG Fall Breakfast Ideas

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Green Apples + Raw Walnuts

Now that it’s Fall, a busy time of swirling activity and change, I’m looking for a grounding seasonal breakfast to start my day. Don’t know about you, but I can get into a morning rut. Always having the same thing…usually some variation of raw or minimally cooked oatmeal, nuts and seeds.

As recent as five years ago, I was mostly eating boxed cereal for breakfast. I thought this was fine, even healthy. I’ve learned so much since then. I wouldn’t dream of eating that way now. First of all, boxed cereal is not a food, it’s a processed food product. There is nothing in nature that resembles a Cherrio or Fruit Loop.

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Vegan Chocolate Donuts With Peanut Butter + Chocolate Glazes

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This summer has found me wandering and traveling and tasting lots of wonderful things in lots of wonderful places. Had the most excellent vacation in the Pacific Northwest where my indulgences included some of the best coffee I’ve ever had and vegan donuts…preferably together.

The whole donut thing started in Seattle where we found Mighty-O Donuts on our very first day. We were looking to fuel up before our paddleboarding excursion on Puget Sound. Mighty-O promotes their donuts as organic and clean, but they don’t make a big deal about them being vegan. I like that. They are just donuts without any animal derived ingredients. No where that I could see was the word vegan used; on their website or at their storefront. Both times we went, the place was packed. People really do appreciate a good donut.

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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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Shaved Raw Vegetable Salad + Ginger Dressing

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Had the best simple salad just like this while visiting my old hometown, Cincinnati, last week. It tasted as if the greens were just picked from the farm and the raw vegetables were sliced impossibly thin. In case you didn’t know, the Ohio Valley is home to a most excellent foodshed and the chefs in this town really know how to take advantage of the bounty of the summer season.

This salad idea came from a fabulous meal I had at Salazar in Over the Rhine (OTR). The food scene in the OTR neighborhood has exploded over the last few years. Every time I visit, there is some new cool hip trendy spot to hit. This year, one of the places to see and be seen at is definitely Salazar.

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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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Blueberry Pie Granola

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Here’s my summer go-to granola. Blueberries are so good right now. And they are even better if you can find a place to pick your own. We are lucky where I live to have a wonderful blueberry farm about a half an hour away. Houston peeps if you haven’t been to Moorhead’s Blueberry Farm in Conroe, do yourself a favor and go. It’s so fun. But be warned. You will probably come home with way more blueberries than you know what to do with. Stick those babies in the freezer and enjoy them all summer long in your smoothies.

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Creamy Orange-Vanilla Smoothie

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Growing up in a suburb outside of Atlanta, my free time was often spent hanging out at Perimeter Mall with my friends. Checking out black light posters and other stupid stuff at Spencer’s gifts; and on a good day, getting an Orange Julius. Making this little smoothie takes me back to that time. I can still picture it all.

I don’t really know what was in an Orange Julius. Probably some things I wouldn’t want to have now. But what I put together today is simple, yummy and perfect for a summer afternoon by the pool. I started with some toasted coconut almond milk from Califia Farms. This is my new favorite brand. I get it at Whole Foods. Check it out.

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Coconut Milk Panna Cotta + Fresh Cherries

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I  ♥  panna cotta. But when I see it on restaurant menus, it’s almost never vegan. Panna cotta is an Italian dessert that’s a cross between jello and pudding. It’s typically made with cow’s milk and gelatin, neither of which are vegan. Gelatin, believe it or not, is made from cow or pig skins, ligaments, tendons and bones boiled in water. Disgusting. YUCK! Who wants to eat that? Not me…ever.

So I made a vegan version of this luscious dessert two ways: (1) with vegan gelatin powder (thanks to a little gift from my friend, Tessa) and (2) with agar agar flakes (a thickener derived from sea vegetables) to take the place of the gross gelatin. I like the agar agar version best, but try them both if you feel like it a decide which one you like. The texture for both is similar. The taste of the vegan gelatin version is a little tangy and the agar agar version is a bit richer.

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Vanilla Waffles w/White Peaches + Blackberries

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Monday mornings I usually get up at 4am to teach a 5:15am hot vinyasa class. It may sound crazy, but I love starting out my week this way. I love the dedicated students who come to my class week after week. We have a blast while most everyone else we know is still sound asleep.

Because it’s Memorial Day today, there was no early morning class and I got to sleep in. After coming off a very busy weekend, I have to say it was kind of nice.  And I woke up craving blackberries and waffles. Actually, blackberries have been on my mind for days and when I have an unusual craving like that I try to listen to my body. It turns out blackberries are packed with loads of nutritional benefits.

This easy vegan gluten free waffle recipe comes from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian RecipesI hardly altered the recipe at all, mostly just added a little more vanilla extract. Next time, I may even add some vanilla bean paste or scraped vanilla bean seeds to the batter for an extra flavor boost.

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