November 24, 2014

Spicy Habanero & Maple Brussels Spouts


Here's an impossibly easy new recipe to pucker up mouths at your Thanksgiving table! Inspired by a non-vegan dish served at one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, Saraghina, these brussels sprouts are spicy as all get out, sweet and salty with just the perfect amount of caramelized crispness. It takes just about 20 minutes and is the perfect addition to any meal. Pictured above on a stuffed Sunday brunch table surrounded by roasted potatoes, apple rosemary coffee cake, tempeh scramble, roasted romanesco, raw farm carrots, watermelon radish, and (of course) coffee. 

2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
1/2 - 1 Habanero pepper (minced finely- adjust to your spice tolerance)
1 lb. Brussels Sprouts (trimmed and cut in half length-wise)
2-3 Tbs. Pure Maple Syrup (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the hot pepper and stir. A minute or two later, add the brussels sprouts and saute, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Season with salt and drizzle with maple syrup and continue heating until you reach desired carmelization. Taste for sweetness/ spice and adjust accordingly. Serve hot!

Yours in celebration,
NRG



November 17, 2014

Harvest Plate


Last weekend I winterized my rooftop garden and harvested the last of this summer's magic. What a delight and joy the garden was! I've learned a lot about container gardening, plantings, watering schedules, and soil needs- I can't wait till next spring to plant a new crop of veggies and flowers.  My summer meals could be characterized by the photo above, which was just developed with a batch of other surprises. The garden's yield was quite small so I would often make a harvest plate like the one above with a tiny pile of roasted okra, sauteed squash, vinegared kale, and raw sliced carrots. The recipes were very simple and plant-focused, using olive or sesame oil, garlic, vinegar, and salt to encourage the singularity and earthiness of each vegetable.

Yours under the the greyest New York cloud,
NRG

November 6, 2014

Non-Traditional Hosting- Part 1


Boy howdy do I love to host. There are few things sweeter than seeing your home full of close friends, hearts weakened by warm cinnamon buns, spirits light in the noon-sun, hands wrapped around coffee mugs. If you come to my house to eat, you come willing to perch a plate on your knees, eat out of a mug if we run out of plates and bowls, eat quiche with a spoon and pinch kale salad with chop sticks. This is non-traditional hosting. I do not have a kitchen table so if the weather is sweet, we move everything out of the living room window to the roof-deck for a picnic (see above and below). If the weather is sour, we huddle around a small coffee table, perched on couch-arms and benches.

photo by KM
I do not have matching plates or bowls -and I don't mean that in an Anthropologie-esque sense. These gatherings can be so sloppy at times that they'd send Martha Stewart running for the hills. But alas! Thank the heavens for the good people of New York! We're famously easy-going guests and non-traditional hosts, whipping up what we can with what we've got, dimming the lights ever so, making a curtain into a tablecloth, and lighting a candle for the extra touch of class.


Yours under a grey sky,
NRG

PS! The top photo was published first on my Instagram! If you aren't following me yet, you can find the pictures at @theveganette!


November 3, 2014

Fresh Cashew Mozzarella!


One month after receiving my copy of Miyoko Schinner's book, Artisan Vegan Cheese, I have finally begun my forays into the mystical world of nut cheeses. Giving up cheese was the hardest part of going vegan for me. I loved the smell and taste of pungent, aged cheeses and the beauty of a well-rounded, fruit-and-jam-loaded, olive-garnished cheese plate. I discovered Dr. Cow's nut cheese a few years ago and since that time, have spent hundreds of dollars on their delicious product (I kid you not!). In a dual effort to minimize my food budget and to learn new tricks, I've started to make my own!

This buffalo mozzarella was incredible! The cheese has a near-perfect consistency and only takes a few days to make, as the bacteria is cultured from pre-made vegan yogurt (I used plain coconut). I enjoyed this cheese on many caprese salads and sandwiches this weekend, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and EVOO and sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt and fresh pepper. I know it's the end of the season for caprese, but there are still some good tomatoes out there! Enjoy them while you can.

You can find Miyoko's recipe here on her blog- http://www.artisanveganlife.com/a-better-buffalo-mozzarella.

To a cheesy life!
NRG


October 27, 2014

Deconstructed Sushi Plate


Woosh! This year has been racing along at an unmatched speed and I've been like a dry leaf in its gust, dreamily floating from project to project, getting stuck in a gutter or two and catching a few glimmers of light along the way. I'm just returning from two glorious weeks out west spent camping, climbing, and eating at some of the best vegan restaurants (list to come)! I realize I've been a bit neglectful towards the veganette as of late but am happy to see that so many of you are still using it as a source for recipes! Thank you for your support and readership!

Deconstructed sushi is one of my favorite weekday meals. Use whatever veggies you have around and get creative about your slicing techniques! I like to incorporate a few hot items to the plate along with the seasoned rice, but if you're in a hurry, raw toppings will do just fine. This week's special included a baked maple tofu, green meat radish, roasted acorn squash seasoned with mirin and sesame oil, cucumbers, slivers of purple carrot, avocado, and celery leaves!

To make perfect sushi rice, cook short grain as directed (I use Nishiki or Botan brands). In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons sugar until dissolved. Pour over the cooked rice and stir with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool slightly while preparing the vegetables.

Yours in celebration,
NRG