Sunday, October 22, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #17: Macaroni With Butternut Squash & Avocado

The Libra days are leaving and the feeling leaves bittersweet sentiments. We have this last full week of October and next week is Halloween. I still haven't found the perfect green skirt for my mermaid "fin," but I'm sure to be close.
Also, I have been having the most wonderful time volunteering at the Philadelphia Film Festival. Just saw Greta Gerwig's first directed film, "Ladybird." It's so sad, profound, and excellent.

My friend canceled on the Paris trip. I am planning to go solo, staying at a popular hostel (we were going to split rent on an apartment), purchasing a 4-day Paris Pass, and mapping out my itinerary. Although not in October, these well-crafted plans are another belated birthday treat for me, a gift before the year is out. I think it's imperative to please wanderlust every once in a while, especially if manageable.
Today's recipe is one of happiness and pleasure. Not a true kind of mac n cheese. There's no soaked nuts, no nutritional yeast,, no dairy free cheese. Just the simple enjoyment of seasonal butternut squash puree and avocado becoming friends in a pretty bowl.

Macaroni With Butternut Squash & Avocado Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup macaroni
1 15 oz can Farmer's Market Organic Butternut Squash Puree
1/4 cup almond milk (or any other dairy free milk alternative)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 avocado, ripened
basil leaves to garnish
Bac N Bits (optional)

Prepare macaroni to package directions.
Drain and place macaroni back on stove, adding butternut squash puree, salt, turmeric, garlic, and black pepper.
Stir together, heating for 7-10 minutes while preventing macaroni from sticking to the pot.
Pour some mac into a bowl and top with avocado, basil, and bac n bits.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #16: Pumpkin Spice Golden Milk

A hot mug of golden milk with pumpkin spice makes everything so sweet.
I haven't had a Califia Farms Ginger AlmondMilk in forever. While some stores just aren't carrying it around, the price for a small bottle went for around $3 or more. I still remember the first taste. It was a pretty yellow and brown speckled drink with a spicy kick. For me, I realize that I was paying for the experience of eating out at Whole Foods Market, getting a drink to have alongside my hot bar food. Plus, I have to save as much as possible for the upcoming overseas trip.
Why not make golden milk on the cheap?
Now this is a simple beverage to concoct. Everything needed is in the fridge and cabinet.
If you need a break from pumpkin lattes and apple cider, golden milk is a treat perfect at any time of the year-- hot or cold.

Pumpkin Spice Golden Milk Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ginger

In a small pot, bring milk, maple syrup, turmeric, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and pinch of ginger to a boil, stirring continuously along the way.
Serve hot.

A delicious easy drink.

Also god with a warmed pumpkin bagel with Field Roast Chao.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #15: Turmeric Rice and Tofu

Turmeric rice always hits the spot.
I used Tastybite Rice for evil purposes. Well, not evil. Just, well, I don't have the best experiences with microwave rice. It tastes better simmering slow and steady on the stovetop. Nonetheless, I zapped my rice and have the shame of desperation for quick hunger resolution staining my heart and mind. Also, I feel like laughing for disclosing this info.

Turmeric Rice and Tofu Ingredients and Preparation

Tastybite Heat & Eat Vegan Long Grain Rice
1/2 cup cubed extra firm tofu ( I didn't cook my tofu)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander

Warm your rice in the way that makes you happy.
Mix in tofu, turmeric, salt, and coriander.

Simple as is. Turmeric makes everything beautiful.

Golden bowl for one.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #14: Tis The Season Grocery Hauls, Birthday Cards, and Self Love Presents

At Trader Joe's, I picked up favorite seasonal items: Pumpkin Bagels, Pita Crisps with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Spice, and Lentil Soup. I also picked up a basil plant! Tofu Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce and Soft & Juicy Mango are my usuals.

Pumpkin! I had visited Trader Joe's three times prior. It didn't take til the fourth visit for my pumpkin treats to be in stock.

Basil! Look how beautiful and green it is. I hope it can somehow last through winter. Until then, I look forward to cutting leaves and making pesto. 

Birthday cards from my Ohio gals.

Fun! Fun!

I bought the 20th anniversary edition of Bic Runga's "Drive," one of my favorite albums. Also, realized that I almost forgot what a physical CD felt like.

Remember these booklets with nice pictures and such inside? Wow!

I love the copy of her handwritten scrawl of "Swim" lyrics, my favorite song of hers.

Three years later, back to checking out books and media, after finally paying off my library fine. I promise to return my things on time and not hoard them as if the ten cents and dollar fines don't add up. It's a privilege to utilize the library.

New face and body treats: Valentina's Naturals Refreshing Body Mist makes you smell like sweet oranges and Dickinson's Witch Hazel with Aloe has been a great face/scalp cleaner.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #13: Putting Fair Trade Chocolate In Painting

Chocolate girls with chocolate.
I have a great stash of chocolate just to enjoy for this beautiful birthday month-- delicious gifts to myself of course. In the meantime, when I'm not devouring my tempestuous abundance, lately the chocolate bars have been incorporated into painting practice.

Chocolaty brown inspiration from Lashana Lynch (Lady Rosalind Capulet) and Sterling Sulieman (Prince Escalus).
This latest project combines glorious splendor of dark and brown skin tones that were featured in Shonda Rhimes produced Shakespearean show, Still Star Crossed, which had sadly been canceled over the summer. Lashana Lynch, the actress who played strong, brazen, independent lead, Lady Rosalind Capulet is in every painting. I wasn't super invested in the characters. I purely thought about their time, slavery, and chocolate, desperately trying to bridge this romantic period with contemporary plights about the damaging industry that barbarically exploits children, children and adults who have never tasted chocolate, but carry deep seated scars from having to pick the seeds that make it.

Alter Eco's Salted Almonds for Lady Rosaline. I haven't tried this one yet. My willpower has been very, very strong.

Nib Mor's All Natural Superfruit Cherry flavor is by hands my favorite. It's incredibly pleasing to a cherry chocolate fiend, with bursts of cherry goodness in every bite. I'm a little broken up-- haven't been able to find this in months. One store carries it, but the bar is white due to mishandled temperatures and doesn't taste as good if stored properly. Once winter hits, I'll be ordering from the website.

In progress painting of Prince Escalus and Lady Rosaline Capulet with the Nib Mor cherry bar. I was obsessed with this mentioned (never shown rendezvous) of the young lad and the beautiful lady caught by his father in the stables. Thus, I painted what could have happened-- with a cherry bar included.
In progress painting in Theo Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. I ate this immediately afterward. How could I not? It trembled in my hands, melting, pleading sweetly.
At this rate, maybe these three works will be finished this week.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post # 12: Chocolaty Pumpkin & Cherry Smoothie

An in studio beverage before
The pumpkin love continue on with a cherry twist.
I wasn't sure how this would come out. Pumpkin and cherries aren't as well known a combination as pumpkin and cranberries-- that tight fit due mostly to their positions on holiday plates. I found a lovely recipe by Nonstop Awesomeness Nathan. I fought back tumultuous jealousy at his catchy blog name whilst imagining him picking fresh cherries from his front cherry tree or the gorgeous orange color that his efforts created....
Just kidding.
I love my smoothie too. I didn't have much pumpkin puree left and used an ample amount of frozen dark sweet cherries. 
One day, I'll have a cherry tree and a large garden and everything.  
Until then. I'm a stickler for frozen fruits and celebrating my birthday with pumpkin goodies.

Chocolaty Pumpkin & Cherry Smoothie Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries
3 tablespoon cacao powder
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend all ingredients together. Drink merrily.

Circle of love.

The perfect reprieve is a good book and a tantalizing smoothie.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #11: Cacao & Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates

Who needs candy bars when dates provide irresistible ooey gooey goodness?
It's National Dessert Day and a fine time to share a four ingredient sweet and salty snack.
Dates are a sweet, divine decadence that one can split open and shove anything inside. Or eat plainly.
Recently, on a trip to the new Burlington Coat Factory downtown, I bought a package of Food Empowerment Project recommended Essential Living Foods Cacao Powder, a steal at $3.99, another birthday present to myself.
Stuffing dates should also be a mandatory weekend escape. There are many, many ways to craft-- nutty butters, chocolate and coconut oil, or pumpkin nougat (later). With raw crunchy salted peanut butter, a generous sprinkle of fair trade bliss, and a bit of cinnamon spice, this little treat in the afternoon feels so special and nice.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates Ingredients and Preparation

8 dates
2 tablespoon Trader Joe's Chunky Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon cacao powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Open up the dates and pit if needed.
Spoon in the peanut butter.
Sprinkle with cacao powder and cinnamon.

Not exactly a glamour shot, but these were good!

Close up shot. As scrumptious as candy.