Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Temporarily Out of Service

I think it was a good thing I listed so many great places to visit in the last Favorites Friday because I am temporarily unable to get fresh posts up.  All the pictures for the yummy recipes I was going to share are currently stuck on my computer which is having technical difficulties.  I've borrowed my husband's in the mean time for other things and he is working on a solution. 

So please enjoy all the links and if you are looking for some great blogsto keep you busy just go to my blogger profile and check out some of  the many blogs I follow.  

Be sure to check back often though, because I'm hoping to get this fixed ASAP!

A jolly good ride, ol' chaps, jolly good!

My husband is what I call a "bike brain".  He identifies bike frames on the fly the way I identify birds.  It's impressive.  I often receive several bike related links from him each day and I see him longingly reading about the interesting bike cultures  in places like San Francisco and, mother of all bike places, Portland Oregon.  When he saw that a Tweed Ride was happening here in Seattle it was a bike dream come true.  So last Sunday found me dressed up in some second hand digs to get a decent early 20th century tweed-y look and heading off to Cal Anderson Park for the first ever Seattle Tweed Ride.

Over fifty people joined the tea-time picnic and then the slow paced parade like ride from Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill to Gas Works Park in Fremont.  We got plenty of stares and grins, I guarantee that.

For those, like my husband, who enjoy bike gawking it was heaven. The bikes ranged from modern road bikes to mountain bikes, to fixed gear, to cargo bikes to one vintage European mail bike.

There were lots of fine looking tweed-y ladies and gents, lots of laughs and a good time all around.

Those good times continued on for a number of folks who after gasworks continued the ride to a good British style pub.  Mark and I opted out of the pub fun for a leisurely, if long, ride home along the Seattle waterfront where, at Starbucks, the gentleman who made our coffee turned out to be one of our fellow tweeders.  Love that small world stuff.

Our ride eventually took us over the West Seattle Bridge and along the west Seattle waterfront where we rode off into the sunset and the peace of our Alki neighborhood.

I'm looking forward to next time already and there's no doubt that Mark is too - if the permanently plastered grin on his face was any indication.

More pictures can be found here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's Favorites Friday Time!

It's Favorites Friday time!   I hope everyone enjoys all these links - I did!

There were a couple could articles this week on Food Issues.  Mixed Greens Blog wrote a thought provoking post on what leads us to change the way we view our food in Carbon 101 Foodprints.  I think this is a great post that shows how we are each on our own paths to figuring out our relationships with food and that we will each be challenged towards change if we allow ourselves to be and what provokes that change may be different for each person.

Over at MNN (Mother Nature Network) there was an article about potential foods we could lose due to monoculture, genetic modification and industrial agriculture.  I really enjoyed the bits of history they provided about where mass outbreaks have happened before with disastrous results, like the potato famine.  To me this brought home, even more, the importance of avoiding and hopefully eventually banning GMOs as well as supporting local small agriculture with an emphasis on diversity of both crops and varietals.

I loved the post that The Daily Raw Cafe wrote to her Aunt Gigi and the marinated collards recipe that went with it.

For a delicious sounding vegetarian mexican food fix check out Oven Aversions' Mole Burrito with Guacamole  This sounded so delicious and she had a good point about products that seem to be one thing but turn out to be another.  By the way, I only recently discovered this blog, but I'm really enjoying it so far.  You should definitely check it out.

Live Green Mom decided to make her own chocolate syrup and it sounds yummy!

Seitan is my Motor had a delicious sounding Carrot Coconut Soup.

Rawmazing did it again.  The recipes on this blog never fail to inspire me to eat more raw goodies.  Just check out the recipe for Cinnamon Raisin "Toast"

BitterSweet had a recipe for Adzuki Bean Gyoza - Little Bundles of Joy, Indeed!

Here's a source for coupons for natural and organic products - eat and live sustainably and save a little money in the process!

Julia and Julia goes Vegan?  Oh yeah!  Check out A to Z Blogging of Conscious Cook and Vegan Table.  I'm looking forward to following Pink Vegan's progress.

So simple and so delicious made with three of my favorite things - mushrooms, asparagus and tempeh. See what Vegan Minded Blog wrote about here.  Yum!

Last, but not least I came across something fun over at Dinner at Christina's where everyone gets together and shares their "firsts" in the culinary world from that week.  It's called Friday Firsts and she explains how it came about here.  Go check it out and share a first!

Well, I hope that keeps everyone busy over the weekend.  I also hope everyone enjoyed my recipes from this week and the story of how I met my husband.  I really will have to share my stories sometime about all the gourmet dinners I've had while out in the wilderness, especially the one where we had home cooked southern food in a snow cave during a blizzard.  It's a good one.

Coming soon to Rutabagas and Other Adventures:
  • Zucchini, Carrots and Broccoli Two Ways
  • A cookbook review - Vegan Brunch
  • Fennel and Grapefruit Salad
and much much more...

Question:  What has inspired you to change your ways of looking at food and how you eat?

Now I'm off to spend the weekend enjoying the spring weather:

 Reading through my new Vegetarian Times Magazine:

And dreaming up recipes for all the lovely produce in this weeks CSA from Full Circle Farm.

A Yoga Dream

I have a yoga dream.

The studio would be an easy stroll from my home. It would be spacious with earthy tones and a no scents policy.

All the instructors would be warm, gentle and funny.  They would first and foremost encourage non-judgement and would practice it themselves.  They would believe strongly that a practice is a persons own and encourage them to find what works for them at that time, in that pose, in that place on the mat.  They wouldn't feel the need to control every aspect only offer suggestions gently and without pressure.  They would respect each person for who they are and you'ld know it.  You would know that you are valued that when they say Namaste they really mean it with all they are.

Included in the schedule would be mid morning and mid afternoon options.  There would be a good gentle to intermediate vinyasa class available at those time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  On Tuesday's and Thursday's there would be Yin Yoga at the same times - so a weeks practice could have a balance of Yin and Yang.  The classes would be long enough to provide a good 15 minute seated meditation after shavasana, sometimes guided, sometimes not.  Different techniques of meditation would be intorduced and practiced.  The beginning of the class would include plenty of pranayama in all its variety.  We would be reminded to smile.

Connected to the studio would be a completely organic vegetarian café with lots of fresh raw foods.  There would be comfy chairs to sit in and chat over a cup of herbal or green tea, maybe an ayurvedic option.  There would be a lending library with books on yoga, ayurveda and sustainable natural living and eating. Only completely natural and sustainable products would be sold and used in the studio. There would be a sauna. There would be plenty of options to meet the needs of various incomes so that yoga would be available to all.  The whole thing would be non-profit.  There would be plenty of happy healthy smiling people.

This is my yoga dream.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This and That

I'm sorry Reduce Footprints, I couldn't do it.  I was afraid this would happen.  I had a funny feeling when I read this weeks Change the World Wednesday Challenge that I wouldn't be able to pull it off.  Every time I went to the grocery store over the last couple weeks I would check and walk away sad when it wasn't there.  But today, it appeared and I could not resist - I mean I WRITE about vegetarian food so how could I keep from grabbing up the March copy of Vegetarian Times when first I laid eyes upon it?

You wouldn't expect that of me, right?  Am I forgiven?  Maybe the fact that on the same errand I stopped by the library to pick up a googgely-gob of cookbooks on all things raw.

So at least I fulfilled that part of the challenge.  You gotta meet me half way, OK?  OK.

The third part of my errands this afternoon was to pick up my CSA from Full Circle Farm.
It was LOADED with delicious fruits and veggies - lots of them.

Yes, two people really can eat that many fruits and vegetables - and then some, really!  This weeks share:

3 pounds Garnet Yams
1 head Cauliflower
1 bunch Carrots
1 Cucumber
3 Hass Avocados
.66 pound Snowpeas
.66 pound fresh Shitake Mushrooms
.66 pounds cut mixed Salad Greens
1 monster head Green Leaf Lettuce
6 Braeburn Apples
6 D'anjou Pears
6 Navel Oranges
1 Mango

Oh and if you look closely at the pictures above you'll see a special little something that we added to our order this week, Seattle's own Theo Chocolate Coffee Dark Chocolate Bar - YUM!

All those fruit and veggies were organic and only cost $37.05.  They would have cost significantly more at the local PCC where I regularly shop and I'm supporting a local farm directly by buying through them - as the local season progresses more and more of the produce will come from Full Circle itself.  I'll be able to drop the size of the box when my own p-patch starts producing and use their substitution options to make sure I don't get to much of any one thing or not enough of another.  I can put my order on hold altogether if I get inundated with too many veggies (is there such a thing?) or if I get a chance to go out of town for vacation or I decide to just shop the local farmer's market for a few weeks.  It's all good.  I love my Full Circle Farm.

Now I'm going to sit here and enjoy the view of pink blossoms and busy hummingbirds while I peruse my pile of cookbooks, my new magazine and attempt to not eat the whole chocolate bar before Mark gets home - I would be in SO much trouble!

Vegetarian Reubens and Romance

I met my husband in the woods.

You see, there was a backpacking trip where I knew a bunch of the people and he knew a bunch of the people and all those people met up at a trail head in Olympic National Park on October 20th, 2000.  I was pulling my gear out of a friends car when a big red truck pulls up with the famous (infamous?) SARboy.  That's short for Search And Rescue and that was his trail name at the time.

I was told that upon seeing me he said to his fellow passenger, "Man, she's cute - too bad she's taken."

That's me with the monster pack!

Yep, I was not single.  Was not looking.  So that this all happened was a bit of a shock.  What happened?  I'm getting to that.  We donned our enormous backpacks (Did I mention this was to be a gourmet backpacking trip?  Someday I'll have to share the menu and recipes.) and headed up the trail.

Switch back after switchback after switchback.  Eventually it was noticed that someone had fallen far behind, it was their first time on the trail since they had gotten out of the army and that was a couple decades earlier.  A bunch of folks decided to wait for them while myself and one other girl headed on to secure the campsite.  We had gotten about a half mile or so shy of the campsite when my companion went down.  She had slipped on a root that had made a step in the trail and had come down on her ankle at a wonky angle with her full weight and the 75 pounds or so she was carrying. (I told you, heavy packs!)  So we dropped her pack and I assisted her along at a hobble till we got to camp.  Eventually everyone else showed up along with the dropped pack and went about setting up camp while I and SARboy took a look at the injured girls ankle.  You see, we were the two with medical training on the trip and so were thrown together to care for (or torture if you asked her) the injured party.  First thing was to get that ankle into the icy cold creek and set up people to make sure it stayed there.  For some reason it kept popping back out of the water seemingly of its own accord.

It became obvious to me that there was a fracture along with the severe sprain so once it was thoroughly iced I slathered a bunch of herbal salve (a slimy green murky looking thing that works wonders) onto the ankle and we got it wrapped up nice and sturdy.

The injured party decided to stay for the remainder of the trip and just keep off the foot and keep it elevated and gripe at us when we insisted it go back into the icy water.  And so SARboy and Trail Artist (yep that was my trail name at the time, I had a way of making art out of random objects along the trail) were thrown together for better or for worse.

We worked well together with little or no effort and ended up falling hard.  (Yes, there is way more to this story - but this is a food blog so I will be moving along now -maybe I'll tell more on This Northwest Life at some point - like how Mark almost caused me to break my own ankle on the way out or how he had threatened I would have to marry him if I asked him to hold my coffee mug one more time.)

It took us a few weeks of talking online and on the phone to figure it all out.  Then came the very painful part, for me, of ending a 6+ year partnership with an awesome guy and one of my best friends.  Not fun, not easy.

Eventually Mark and I agreed to meet up again for a snowshoe backpack trip near Mount Hood.  We had a blast.

When we came off the trail we had our first meal out together at a local McMenamins.  We knew it was meant to be when we both ordered Reubens and Beer.  Reubens are one of my husband's favorite things and those two things put together were why I chose a form of Reuben as the special meal for my husband of 9+ years.  (Yes, we were married 3 months to the day after meeting.  Go figure.)

Now that we have a more vegetarian bent on our eating we didn't want regular old reubens and I had seen several references to Vegan and Vegetarian Reubens.  The ones that intrigued me most were those using tempeh.  None of the recipes seemed quite right, so we winged it, as usual and ended up with a delectable, rich and amazingly messy Tempeh Reuben.  It rocked!

Here's the recipe.  The marinade was adapted from an adapted  Vegetarian Times Recipe.

Vegetarian Reubens

8 oz package tempeh, I used multi-grain, sliced in half and then down the middle to make it thinner.

The marinade:

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Marinade the tempeh for several hours to overnight.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.


3 Tablespoons mayo*
3 Tablespoons ketchup
3 Tablespoons chopped dill pickle

Combine the above and set aside.

To put the reubens together:

Slather the dressing on 2 slices of really good artisan bread - rye or a multi-grain, or a sourdough.  Layer slices of tempeh on two of the pieces of bread,spoon a little of the marinade sauce over it, top with a slice or two of swiss cheese* and a goodly pile of sauerkraut.  Put the other side of the bread on top of that.  Repeat for sandwich number two.

Heat a griddle or skillet lightly coated with oil over medium heat and grill the sandwiches on both sides till lightly browned.

Serve with a juicy dill pickle and big cloth napkins.

*This could easily be vegan by using veganaise in place of regular mayo and using a vegan swiss cheese or other vegan cheese option.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Where I wish I could be on these sunny days

These pictures were taken back in 2001 during a backpack snowshoe trip at Mount Baker WA.

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