Category Archives: new food

Eating Vegan in Fresno – Farmers’ Market

This Friday was the second week for the Old Town Clovis Farmers’ Market. Personally, it’s my favourite market. I don’t know if it’s the live music, the Old Town vibe, the variety of post-shopping (or pre-shopping) bars, the time of day, or the variety of vendors, but, it’s the one I most often frequent.

For those out of the loop, the Old Town Clovis Farmers’ Market runs Fridays 5:30 – 9:00pm May through September, on Pollasky. In my opinion, best parking is the lot behind Kimmie’s bar on Clovis and 3rd/Tollhouse.

Not only is there a wonderful variety of fresh produce, but, there are two blocks of vendors selling everything from grilled corn, to sandwiches, to funnel cakes, to tamales.

It’s one of the events I look forward to on a weekly basis. Tonight, for only $17.50, I got amaranth, 2 kohlrabi bulbs with greens, yam leaves, curry hummus, blueberries,  squash blossoms, and dinner of a tamale with beans and rice. Awesome! And, it’ll feed me for at least a week. I’ve never had yam leaves, but, the girl at the booth told me they’re awesome stir fried with some butter. I can’t wait!

For a complete list of Fresno area farmers’ markets, check out playfresno.org

Bitter Melon and Chayote Greens

I tried the bitter melon greens and the chayote greens with mild success.

 

Bitter Melon Greens

The bitter melon greens were so bitter, I couldn’t eat them. They cooked much more quickly than anticipated, but, I think even if they were slower to cook, I wouldn’t have been able to get them any less bitter. Maybe if I had let them sit in salt water overnight? Anyway, I’m really not too disappointed with the way they turned out – it was sort of expected.

 

The chayote greens took longer to cook than expected, so they didn’t go with the dish I made as well as I was hoping. Next time, I’ll know to cook them longer so they break up a little better.

 

First Farmers’ Market of the Season

Friday I went to my first farmers market of the season. Really, it was the second week they set up.

This year, it’s bigger than it was last year, with an extra block of food, music, and other goods.

Every time I go, I fill at least one big canvas bag with every vegetable I can get my hands on. I prefer getting things I can’t find in grocery stores, and the farmers market never ceases to surprise me with foods I’ve never heard of or seen anywhere else. Friday was no different.

I walked away with beet hummus, veggie chips (which includes oven baked carrots, green beans, purple sweet potato, and taro root), frog balls (pickled Brussels sprouts),  apple chipotle bbq sauce,  chayote greens, bitter melon greens, black eyed pea heads (greens?), and round zucchini. Dinner was grilled corn on the cob (on a stick, covered in chili powder) with fresh squeezed lemonade.

I’ve never eaten any of the greens before. I’m pretty excited, and will post an update as soon as I make something with them.

Greens!

>Vegan MoFo Day Eighteen: Heavenly Potatoes and a product review – We Can’t Say Its Cheese!

>I got a coupon for a free tub of We Can’t Say It’s Cheese. So, I drove all the way to Whole Foods today to pick one up. I got the Cheddar Spread. Totally worth the trip.

For dinner, I was just going to eat soba noodles again, but, with this tub of not-cheese sitting in my fridge, waiting to be consumed, I had to make grilled cheese and tomato soup. It was awesome. The spread was a little nutty, it got really melty, and went perfectly with my soup.

Follow WayFare Foods  on Facebook and/or Twitter, for your chance to get coupons for We Can’t Say It’s Cheese. Every day, they pick a new state to send coupons to.

Tomorrow, breakfast, cheesy tofu scramble. Nom!

This recipe is my favourite holiday side dish, and, it might be the dish I miss most from my omni days. This is the first year I’ll be making a vegan version.

Aunt Nicci’s Heavenly Potatoes:
6 medium potatoes, boiled whole until almost cooked
1 recipe Condensed Cream Soup Substitute (Original recipe calls for 1can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted, so I may add mushrooms to the cream soup recipe)
1/2C Earth Balance
1C Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
1/3C chopped green onion
1 1/2C Cheddar Daiya

Grate potatoes and add remaining ingredients; mix well. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.

>Some new foods. and maybe a recipe

>I love summer fruit.

I also love to taste the plethora of melons available in my area. Last week, I tried a melon that seemed to just be called Orange Flesh. It was good. Like a sweeter cantaloupe. I’m not a huge cantaloupe fan, so I wasn’t super excited about it – good, but don’t go on a hunt for it.

This week, I got a Golden Dewlicious. It was kind of boring. Until I tossed it into a blender and made a frothy Dewlicious drink. Its sweet and mild – I recommend it.

Now, today’s lunch. Its really simple, and I can’t even call it a recipe. It was just a sandwich. But, it was one of the best damn sandwiches I’ve had in a very long while.

Tofu
Nutritional Yeast
Salt
Pepper
1 very fresh tomato
mustard
veganaise
bread

Easy enough?

You wanna bake the tofu – I usually press it, then slice it into thin(ish) strips – in whatever direction you choose. Today, I made four thin slices (keeping them a very large rectangle)

cover a baking sheet with some tinfoil. Spray some Pam on the tinfoil. Place Tofu on tinfoil. Sprinkle salt, nooch, and pepper on tofu.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Flip. Bake 15 more minutes.

On bread, spread veganaise and mustard (I used spicy brown). Pile high with tomato. Add baked tofu. Eat.

This would be fantastic with a plethora of other veggies/fruits, but I like to keep it simple. Really, it needs only the tofu and the tomato. In fact, I ended up eating a slice of the tofu, sans bread, topped with tomato and I was in heaven.

>new food of the week: unknown squash

>Okay, maybe not totally unknown – it was bright green and very large. It had sort of a zucchini flavour and I think it was a cucuzza squash. I picked it up at the Farmers Market. I liked it, and would probably buy it again.


Squash chow Mein
1 bright green cucuzza squash (you can use any squash you’d like) – peeled and diced
1 package chow mein noodles
2 vegan sausages (recipe here) – cut in half (lengthwise) and sliced
soy sauce or hoisin sauce

cook chow mein noodles as directed

sautee squash and sausage until cooked. add sauce. add noodles.


eat.

>New Food of the Week – long time no see!

>Dear Reader(s?),
I’m sorry I have been completely slacking on new posts. My excuse? I’ve been totally uninspired. I’m broke, so I’ve been eating a lot of beans. Like, every night of the week. (Exciting?)

A few weeks ago, I may or may not have mentioned my next new food was the plantain. It was a failure, so I didn’t update. Okay, not a total failure. I made a plantain soup that was okay. It would have been better if my plantain was a little less ripe, I think. I also veganized a great-sounding dessert with a sugary “gravy” poured over the fried plantain. I let the gravy get too hot, and it turned to hard candy. It wasn’t as pleasant as that might sound.
I promise to try plantains again sometime, but I’m just not ready yet.

This week, I had much more success. I was at the farmer’s market on Friday, and I picked up quite a few new foods (with Mom’s money — THANK YOU MOM!). I got:
Armenian Cucumber
Lemon Cucumber
Italian Zucchini
Yellow Zucchini
some squash that’s the size and shape of a baseball

and…. pumpkin greens!

So far, I’ve tried the pumpkin greens, and they are fabulous. I made a stir fry. This is kind of my go-to for summer veggies. When in doubt, stir fry.

Pumpkin Green Stir Fry
a large handful of washed pumpkin greens and vine (and flowers if they’re attached); chopped
tofu; pressed, cubed
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon
generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper
Splash of soy sauce

Bread your tofu in a mixture of flour and garlic powder — to do this, simply toss the tofu cubes in mixture.

Heat oil in pan (I did vegetable oil with a splash of sesame oil for some flavour). You want it really hot so the tofu doesn’t just soak the oil up. Fry tofu until its brown and crispy. set aside.

lower heat. In same pan, add garlic, crushed red pepper. cook for 30 second to a minute – until garlic is fragrant (NOT burned!). Add pumpkin greens. cook 1-2 minutes. Squeeze lemon over pan, add soy sauce. Let cook until greens are tender. Add tofu.

Eat.

This was great on its own last night. Tonight, I ate leftovers, and put it into a homemade whole-wheat pita and it was pretty awesome.

>New(ish) food: Purple Asparagus

>

Raw Purple Asparagus

Yup. I found it at Whole Foods and had to pick it up. and with a name like Purple Haze Asparagus, how could I resist?

It tastes just like green asparagus (though maybe a little bit sweeter), and it actually turns green(er) when you cook it.

 Steamed purple asparagus

I threw it on mini pizzas last night for dinner.

 Pizza Ingredients:
1 Sandwich Thin “bun”
Pizza Sauce
Daiya Cheeze (I used “mozzerella”)
Purple Asparagus
1 Clove Garlic

Chop asparagus into 1inch chunks. sautee with crushed garlic until nearly cooked through.

Spread sauce on pizza. Sprinkle with cheeze. Top with asparagus/garlic. Add extra cheeze if you’re so inclined.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Dinner: corn, steamed purple asparagus, mini pizza. There were some
collard greens involved, but I ate them before they made it to the plate.

>A shout out to me!

>My friend Nichole at http://veganniche.blogspot.com/ has been inspired by my weekly new foods. This week, she tried plantains for the first time. The post can be found here:
http://bit.ly/9vDBrj

>New Food of the Week: Hominy

>I have never had hominy. I hear its fairly common in the south.

My recipe for it comes from the Vegetarian Times I just got in the mail (just in time!). This month’s issue is a really good one. If you’re not a subscriber, I recommend finding it somewhere (pre-subscription, I bought mine at Whole Foods)

Some hominy nutrition facts:
1 Cup of hominy has 115 calories, 1gram of fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. Its canned, so its full of sodium.

So, faithful readers (and by readers, I think that only means Jess), what’s your favourite thing to do with hominy?

Update:
I made the Hominy Salad with Basil-Shallot Viniagrette from this month’s Vegetarian Times Magazine. It was great. The recipe included grape tomatoes, lima beans, and yellow bell pepper. It was bright, colorful, refreshing, AND hearty. 

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