Month: May 2011

vegan convenience: Amy’s and gardein

There are so many vegetarian and vegan meats out there now, which is GREAT!  But…some are better than others.  As I stumble upon different products that taste really yummy, I’ll share them. First up, gardein bbq pulled shreds.  This product is perfect if you come home late from work and need something substantial and filling to eat, yet you just can’t be bothered to cook.  Get this–only 160 calories and 19 grams of protein!  And it tastes really good!  I mean, really good!  Vegetarians constantly get asked the question: “Where do you get your protein?”  Well, here is a prime example.  Amy’s makes a ton of quick, good food.  My friend Eli’s favorite is the Tofu Scramble and before I started to cut way back on dairy, I loved the very naughty Cheese Enchiladas.  One day I begrudgingly tried a slice of the Roasted Vegetable No Cheese Pizza (cheese-less pizza?  really?) and I ate my words.  It was unbelievable.  The crust, the caramelized onions, the artichoke hearts, and everything else is just perfect.  Cheese would have ruined it.  I now have it …

spring fiddlehead pasta

Fiddleheads are a seasonal treasure only available to us in the month of May.  They quite literally are ferns that have not yet opened.  In New England, we are lucky to have the right climate for these beauties. Perhaps it is their exotic appearance, short window of availability, or their asparagus-like taste, but every time I see fiddleheads in the store I get so excited!  The past few years, I’ve merely steamed them and then sautéed them with garlic, olive oil, and salt as a side dish.  This year, while scooping these violin-shaped vegetables out of the bin at Whole Foods Market, I had a conversation with a man who was as enthusiastic as I was.  He let me in on his secret that he puts fiddleheads with ziti or penne as a main course.  As a vegetarian always on the lookout for a new dish, I had to try this. I decided to make a pasta dish that would utilize the spring wonders that I have available in my garden: parsley, thyme, and chives. spring fiddlehead pasta ingredients …

building a cucumber trellis

Pickles are an obsession of mine. I’ve been known to eat a whole jar in one sitting.  The absolute best in my opinion are Woodstock Farms Organic Kosher Baby Dill Pickles.  This year, I’ve decided to make my own baby dill pickles. I have tons of dill sprouting. Lots of garlic growing. There are also plenty of harmonie cucumber seedlings thriving that were started indoors and transplanted outside just yesterday.  This cucumber variation is meant for baby gherkins. Thanks to my dad’s handy skills, I also have two big trellises made of birch scavenged from my parents’ house and lots of hemp twine. These trellises are space savers and they can handle many cucumber plants, which is a good thing because I will need a ton of cucumbers for pickles! step-by-step First, you’ll need three long branches from a tree of your choice. I’d suggest at least four feet depending on how tall you’d like your trellises to be and how big your pots are.  The branches we used were somewhere around six feet long. step 1: Push the three branches down a few inches …

the very first bouquet of 2011

There is nothing like picking your first bouquet of the season.  The spurts of color around our yard such as creeping phlox, myrtle, pansies, and primrose are admirable, but unpickable.  Yesterday, I finally got to grab my pruners and head outside to cut flowers: a purple tulip, grape hyacinths, and a few sprigs of broom. Even Stevie is captivated by the colors.

tough love with seedlings (and chaos management)

I, girl who loves to talk about compost and hike in the mountains, just spent nearly two days at work in an all-day seminar on product management.  The seminar was as interesting as a corporate meeting can be, but as the minutes ticked by I panicked about all of the things building up.  I could almost see giant pop-up email notifications in my peripheral vision. VP of foolishness: At one point during the day, I found myself mentally starting a to-do list, responding to an email request from one my colleagues on my Blackberry, tweeting out a review that had just gone live, and looking up the new address for my doctor’s office on my iPhone–all at the same time (and I’m not kidding).  I was simultaniously handling two phones, one social media site, email, a power point in front of me, and a guy using phrases like “perceived value” and “‘win/loss analysis.”   Self-evaluation When I realized what I was doing, I had to actually laugh at myself.  I’m so important that the office can’t function without me?  Hardly.  I caught myself before it could get any …