Pride

Once or twice a year I pull out the lame tights.

Lame, pronounced with an ‘a’ at the end. Not stupid tights. There is nothing stupid about these tights.

My old roommate has a plethora of lame, which is somewhat confusing unless you know Patty. She is a roller derby girl. She has Hollywood hair. She was a Mexican wrestler for Halloween. She loves comic books and nerding out with her boyfriend, yet looks like a model. Hipster glasses and all.

She has lame in all shapes, sizes and colors.

I have used the tights, booty shorts and the gold bikini top for a smattering of events ranging from Halloween to Rocky Horror and, most importantly, the Pride Parade.

There is something so wonderful about seeing hoards of people gather in the streets of Seattle to celebrate diversity, tolerance and love. This year, the city expected 150,000 people. When 500,000 people showed up, records were broken, and the people celebrated with dancing, nudity and so much love you felt it if you came within a mile of the city.

To march with my co-workers for a hospital that proudly supports ALL families was overwhelmingly awesome. I was filled with giddiness about marriage equality in my state and the potential for it to spread nationwide.

I spent the day marching, shaking my groove thing and collecting a stash of buttons, sunglasses and beads. I can’t say no to free things—I even took a rainbow striped rubber duck (just what I need after giving eight boxes of stuff to the goodwill… woops)

Needless to say my weekend was epic, which I made even more epic by whipping up an unusual tomatillo chile and jalapeno cornbread. All of this deliciousness came from Veganomicon—a cookbook I am growing to love more and more. The recipes can appear somewhat daunting with their two page lists of ingredients, but they have always turned out really tasty. They also have an awesome index in the back of the book with menu plans, and they give nice tutorials on the basics of vegan cooking. Sometimes it is nice to have a cookbook that tells you how to correctly cook bulgar, you know?

The two authors seem like really cool ladies. They seem like the kind of gals that intimidate you with their hipness and then woo you over with their warm heartedness and mad skills in the kitchen. You should probably check out all of their amazing recipes

Vegan Chili Verde with Jalapeno Cornbread

I recommend getting all of the chili going and then making the cornbread while the soup simmers and the flavors start to tango—the longer the simmering, the tastier the soup.

Adapted from Veganomicon

Chili Verde

1 tbsp olive/coconut oil

1 medium yellow onion, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt (more to taste if you would like)

¼ cup dry white wine

1 lbs tomatillos, paper removed, washed and diced

3 cloves of garlic, diced

3 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and diced

2 Pablano peppers, de-seeded and diced

¼ cup green onion, diced

2 granny smith apples, cored, and cut into chunks

1/3 cup cilantro

2 cups veggie stock (add more depending on what kind of consistency you want for the soup)

½ lbs of small, white potatoes

1 can of small white beans (I used cannellini)

Jalapeno Cornbread

2 tsp olive oil

3 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and diced

1 small yellow onion (which I forgot, and used a small shallot—worked well), diced

2 cups corn meal

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup oil

2 cups soy milk

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup frozen corn (optional: I love having bits and pieces of corn mixed in. Surprise!)

  • Start the potatoes: add chopped potatoes to a pot, fill the pot with water to cover the potatoes, bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to med and cook for 20ish minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  • Heat one tbsp of oil in your soup pot on med/high heat. Saute onions, jalapenos and pablanos for 5 minutes until the onions get that mouth watering smell and start to soften. Add in the cumin and salt.
  • Add in garlic, green onions, cilantro and tomatillos and saute for another 3-5 minutes, than add the white wine. Let everything saute for a few more minutes.
  • Add in the veggie stock and the apples. Turn heat to medium/low and let simmer for 20 minutes, this is when you start on the corn bread.

CORN BREAD BREAK

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside to let it curdle (yum).
  • Saute cut up shallot/onion and jalapenos in the oil. I did mine in my cast iron, and then you don’t have to wash it—as you bake the corn bread in there too! Winning!
  • While those are sauteing, sift together all the dry ingredients. Stir together and then make a well in the middle to pour the soy milk mixture into.
  • Mix together and add in the oil.
  • If you haven’t removed the sauteed onions/jalapenos, do so now and then add the batter into the warm and oiled cast iron. You can either top the corn bread with the onions/jalapenos or you can mix it into the batter before you pour it all back into the cast iron.
  • Pop the cornbread into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

BACK TO CHILI!

  • Now that everything is all delish, whip out the old immersion blender. For those that don’t have this tool (you should probably get one), transfer batches of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until mixed. I left some chunks. I like things a bit chunky.
  • After you have reached your perfect consistency, add in the beans and the boiled potatoes and let everything warm up and mingle until the corn bread is done.
  • The ladies recommend adding in a tablespoon or so of sugar into the chili if the tomatillos are too bitter, I added just a dash and it was perfect.
  • Let the cornbread cool just a bit, smear some honey on that bad boy, top off your chili with some avocado and cilantro and then dig on. OH HOW DELICIOUS!!

All of that chili in my belly, all that support and rallying around love, so many smiles… it was a good weekend.

Make love legal, people. Make love legal.

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Chaos Box

I let myself have a bit too much fun this weekend.

Woops.

After suffering from the WORST allergy attack after doing yard work for a record ten minutes my bestie and I decided to bike to our fave brewery. Mmmmm Interurban IPA, how I love you.

One beer turned into two. Which turned into cocktails and Thai food. Which turned into another beer at the Fremont Solstice Celebration. Which turned into margarita happy hour at El Camino.

my bestie is so stinkin’ pretty.

Worst.

Idea.

Ever.

And when I say worst, I mean best. Best because I spent a summer(ish) evening with my best friend. Best because we always have fun when it is just the two of us drinking too much alcohol. Best because it reaffirmed the idea that this summer will be lived balls to the wall, full of insane ideas explained away by the “chaos box theory”.

This theory was presented by a lovely young lady from Atlanta, GA. After asking me my astrological sign and studying my face for a minute or two, she exclaimed that I liked to put things in boxes.

She hit the nail on the head. If there is something I have to admit (bashfully, and with a little bit of hesitation), it is that fact that I like things to be in their place. I am a planner. I fear change. I like when things are color coded and organized.

I guess this is a Capricorn thing?

Needless to say, this lady suggested that I just put chaos in a box. I take the next two months before my big adventure and LIVE. IT. UP.

Perhaps this will take shape in the form of staying up later than 10 pm. Or it will morph into more road trips to places to see people who make me smile. Perhaps it will simply be the idea to let my hair down (figuratively, of course) and allow myself to live it up.

I mean, I’m only 25 once, right?

I took a baby step in this direction by making a recipe without any hint of a recipe. GASP.

It turned out REALLY good, by the way. Chaos box:1 Regular box: 0

Braised Collard Greens with Grilled Asparagus and a Fried Egg

*I need to work on recipe titles…

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of collard greens
  • ½ a bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup of brown rice, and 6 cups of H20
  • ½ cup of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder

Start the brown rice. I like to boil mine in about 6 cups of water, reducing to a simmer for 30 minutes. Then I remove it from heat, drain, and let it sit in the pot with the lid on for 10 minutes. That last 10 minutes steams it and makes it the PERFECT brown rice—which is saying a lot, I know.

Wash and cut out the stems of the collard greens. You can cut these into 1 inch chunks and use them as well as the leaves, which I cut into strips. Wash and snap of the ends of the asparagus stalks.

Feed to your hungry puppy, if one exists.

Turn the oven on to 400 degrees and roast asparagus (tossed in 1 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper) for 10-15 minutes, until soft but not mushy.

While asparagus is roasting, heat up 1 tsp of olive oil, and throw in the collard greens. Let wilt for a couple of minutes and then toss in the spices and garlic. Continue to let these bad boys simmer and toss in the ½ cup of vegetable stock. Reduce the heat and let all of those amazing flavors mingle. I kept the collards on the stove the whole time the asparagus was cooking, it definitely cooked down a WHOLE lot, but the flavors were outstanding.

Once the rice, collards and asparagus is done—cook the egg. I am lazy and just popped it into the same pan that I used to cook the collards, and it made it SO MUCH BETTER. The egg soaked up the leftover flavors that were in the pan…

Just drooling thinking about it.

Eat. Enjoy. Thank spring/early summer for giving us all these amazing veggies.

Cheers to the summer of the Chaos Box.

Eggs and Stuff.

I feel like I have a lot on my plate these days. Not in that good, delicious way… more in that GAHHHHH !??! WHY!??! Way.

Here are a few things that have resulted from these moments of WTF.

1) I started eating eggs again. What can I say? I missed those little bombs of protein. However, I am sticking to a rule that they have to be from chickens I know have good lives. Which basically limits me to buying eggs at the farmer’s market stand where the woman has a binder filled with pictures of her animals. She shows them admiringly like they are her children. I like this woman.

Or I can get them from friends, as owning chickens is the hip thing to do. An old friend from college sold me two dozen perfect eggs for $8. She opened up the carton to explain which egg came from which type of chicken. That is what I’m talking about. Local to the extreme. Both of these options have fulfilled my egg craving and have resulted in recipes that delight my taste buds. Such as:

Grilled Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Pizza

I made this puppy with a cornmeal pizza crust (delish) and added some mushrooms, popped two eggs on top and called it a meal. It was awesome.

Ingredients:

½ bunch of asparagus

½ onion

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 cornmeal pizza crust (I get frozen ones from my local health store, good things to have on hand)

2 eggs

Cheese of almond cheese if you are feeling so inclined.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss asparagus spears with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes, until soft.
  • Sautee onions and mushrooms until caramelized and the smell makes you want to lick the incredibly hot pan… yum.
  • Paint pizza crust with olive oil and salt a pepper, pop on grilled and sautéed veggies and put in the oven for 10 minutes, if you are using cheese—pop her on.
  • After 10-15 minutes in the oven, pull out and immediately crack eggs on top of pizza. Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  • Take out and let cool before gorging yourself. I didn’t do this, and then felt my mouth blister. BUT IT IS SO GOOD.

2) I found myself back on the yoga mat—thank goodness. I had taken an accidental break from yoga when I stopped doing my work exchange due to lack of time. Not working at the yoga studio resulted in not making time to center myself. I am tightly wound enough as it is, so when I don’t spend time breathing and stretching I am a hot mess. Especially when you load on more and more stress in my life. Not doing a work exchange has made me realize that yoga is EXPENSIVE. Thankfully there are Living social and Group On’s. Life savers. So last week I found myself in a hot yoga studio, rejoicing in the pain and bliss that comes from not practicing for a month or so. It is good to be home.

3) When all else fails drink beer with your friends, hang out on a roof top and realize that being a 20-something (which can suck a lot of the time) is actually amazing. When else is it okay to drink too much beer (mmm Fremont brewing company), eat too much food, and then stay out until 2:30 am being ridiculous? Let them eat cake, I say.

4) Always, ALWAYS go to the farmers market. With impending homelessness looming in my future, and the thought of packing and selling my possessions in a mere 2.5 weeks has left me flustered. I was going to skip my weekly trip to the market, but I knew that would cause me to sink further into this gloomy state. Thank goodness I rallied. It is cherry season in Washington, which means a big bag of red jewels that stain my fingers and taste like summer nights in Eastern Washington. Cherries! Snap peas! Apples! Asparagus! I filled my bag to the brim and then sat back with an iced coffee and watched the puppies, babies and the adorable people of Seattle.

This is a good place.

These are good people.

This is my home.

But it is time to move on.

It is time to get going.