Monthly Archives:

May 2013

BBQ Sriracha Tempeh with Black Rice

BBQ Tempeh

When I’m craving meat, I often turn to tempeh. It’s dense, but not dry, with a heartiness that won’t leave your stomach empty. And there’s no antibiotics or hormones ever needed to get it that way. Amen.

As a vegetarian, I’ve found my  “craving for meat”, is often actually a hunger for the sauces and marinades that go with it. I could care less about BBQ ribs. Wanting them on my plate is like saying I’d want Mountain Dew in my cup for breakfast. Gross.

So tempeh works for me (and seitan), especially when there’s BBQ involved. The summer nostalgia of BBQ is what I really want, not the meat on the grill that it often coats. I want the slightly sweet but tangy sauciness, grass on my bare feet, and a cup of mint tea or cold IPA in my hands.

If you want all that too, well, we might make a good fit. But seriously, even if you love a smoky brisket or BBQ pulled pork sandwich, this Srirarcha Tempeh recipe could likely make its way to the top of your summer eating list, too. Especially with all the comforts of a warm spring or summer day.

I’ve kept the sauce for this on the not-so-sweet side because I’m not a huge fan of a super sugary BBQ. I’d rather save that sweetness for dessert. However, if BBQ’s your summer sweetheart, simply add an extra spoonful of honey to the mix. The spiciness and color from the Sriracha lends itself well to a nutty, black rice. However, feel free to put this on bread, lather it with slaw, and call it a meal. A good one at that.

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Kale Dip

Kale Dip

Yes, that’s me. The one who brings kale dip to the party.

Although, I brought summer rolls to the party this past weekend, too. And I would’ve brought dessert if my sister didn’t already claim that category. I’m not sure I could’ve topped a strawberry pie and s’mores.

I love dessert, but I also love kale. In my dream world, it’d show its leaves at every party, alongside the burgers, brownies and brews. A shot of green brightens up every picnic table – especially this time of year, when the leaves are young and tender.

Kale modeling

This is the season for garden-harvesting. The season where I begin to sneak out of the city to steal a few days at my parents’ countryside home, and then return with a garden’s worth of groceries. And hopefully a nice tan. And some dirt on my sneakers. And maybe some coconut milk from the kitchen cabinets (sorry mom).

This past weekend, we had a bonfire/food-fest at my parents’ house, where I took advantage of the backyard grocery store to whip up this dip. Inspired by a recipe seen on Whole Foods, it added a light addition to the table in comparison to all the cheeses and hummus, and was deemed a success. This includes a thumbs up even among those friends who could care less about partying with kale.

Serve warm for best results and with a thicker cracker or pita chip.

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Black Beans and Plantains with Rice

Black Beans and Plantains with Rice

It felt good to get back in the kitchen cooking. This was the first full meal I made since returning from Europe. The initial few days home consisted of gorging on fruits and vegetables, and wearing off my jet-lag with some minestrone from the freezer. Though, I admit, I also chowed down on some coconut chai vegan ice cream (shout out to Philly’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream) and some wood-fired pizza from Pizza Nomad, possibly my favorite pizza place in Philadelphia, for the moment at least.

Warm-weather months mean lots of festivals, flea markets and food truck gatherings in Philly, which is where I ate said pizza and said ice cream. Like I said in my first post home, I feel fortunate to have returned from Paris in the midst of spring. It’s easy to keep your mind from missing daily travel excursions when there’s so much going on in your own city. For instance, this past weekend and the first weekend being back, I hit up a food truck meetup, a kinetic sculpture derby, and an Italian Market festival going on in my neighborhood.

Yoga On The Steps Philadelphia

 

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“Cheesy” Roasted Cauliflower

Vegan Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

Looking for a fun veggie side for your Memorial Day cookout/BBQ? I promise this one will be as addicting as the potato chips some lame-o places on your red-checkered tablecloth. It’ll be even more addicting than your mother’s potato salad, as good as I’m sure that is, and a vegan crowd-pleaser that’ll cost you just six ingredients, S&P included. Dare I say this is my favorite veggie snack? For the moment, at least.

This “Cheesy” Roasted Cauliflower takes one of those junk-food-esque routes that easily persuades vegetable-eating, without being all that junkie. Nutritional yeast, my vegan weapon of choice in dishes like pesto, acts as a nutty coating that gives the florets all the flavor they need. A dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper, and you’re ready to move onto other picnic-friendly dishes, like Watermelon and Lime Salad, and Roasted Asparagus Avocado Tartines. I’m hoping to whip up some kind of sweet strawberry treat for the bonfire I’m planning on this weekend. Although, S’mores will definitely make it onto the dessert menu too.

Whether shindigging or not this weekend, cauliflower will be hitting summer gardens sooner than not, making this a recipe you’ll want to keep in mind. No judgement if you devour 1/3 of the bowl all by yourself.

Head on over to Clean Eating mag, where you’ll find my recipe.

Euro-trip in Food

Grace Dickinson

So a lot has happened in the past few months. And I’ve learned a lot in the past few months. And I’ve had an ongoing serious of wake-up calls in the past few months. And I’ve learned to relax in the past few months. And I’ve felt happier than I’ve been in awhile in the past few months. And I really don’t know what the next few months will bring. But it’s spring. And what I’ve learned is to go with the flow. And to work hard. And life will be okay. Cheers.

I recently quit my job. A job that was bringing me down in multiple ways, and upon leaving, has made me feel liberated. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still more confused than ever about life. But I’m not stressing out every 5 minutes about what to do. Instead, I’ll be here freelancing my butt off and taking some space to be creative and let the right opportunities arise.

Something I learned recently after graduating from college is that you have to figure things out for yourself. But you don’t always have to have everything figured out. Coming to terms with this has helped me a lot recently.

A month or so after leaving my job, my friend Logan told me he was visiting some friends in Paris and Brussels. Knowing my newly flexible schedule, he kindly invited me to hop on board. I figured, what the heck, why not. My thoughts: free places to stay, who knows when I’ll have this flexible schedule again, and Europe in the springtime, um, yes please. Plus, as a writer, seeing and experiencing more of the world only ever helps development. (…meaning I should probably just keep on traveling, right? Kickstarter anyone?)

I booked my plane tickets and a week later hopped on a plane to Paris. I don’t regret the decision one bit.

So enough about my life, let’s get to the trip. The route: Paris –> Brugge –> Brussels –> Paris –>Nice –>Paris. Two weeks of excursion and lots of photo-taking. Photography and traveling are the current loves of my life. And waffles from Belgium. Sadly no French boys are in that equation, yet.

I’ve included mostly food-related photos below to give you a glimpse into the trip. I’ll be posting more photos throughout the next few weeks/months of people I met and landscapes that blew me away on my Tumblr. Feel free to stop by.

Since we already got the obligatory Eiffel Tower photo out of the way, let’s get straight to the food. Starting with a gigantic chocolate Gorilla head.

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