Chris and I have been spendingmore weekends exploring the Hudson Valley over the last year. Highway 9 shoots up through Manhattan and winds along the river until slowly everything loud and crowded blurs and disappears behind us and all we see is lush green mountains. A few weeks ago we climbed Mt. Beacon in our best city slicker hiking gear (aka $10 shoes from Rainbow and skinny jeans) and took in the miles long views from the top. Last weekend we spent drove up to New Paltz and explored Lake Minnewaska. The city has its benefits but I’m sure wouldn’t mind trading it in to see this every day…
- 1 Ripe Yellow Peach
- 1 Small Ball of Burrata Cheese
- Fresh Bibb Lettuce
- 1 Ear of Sweet Corn, husk removed
- 1 Handful of Fresh Basil
- 1/8 of Fresh Baguette, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup Roasted Cashews (unsalted)
- 1-2 Tbsp Balsamic Reduction
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
Brush corn with canola oil and grill on a stovetop or charcoal grill on each side until slightly charred. Allow to cool and then slice off kernels into a bowl. Cut peach in half and remove pit of peach. Cut into large wedges (they don’t have to be perfect). Brush the sides of the peach with canola oil and grill on all sides until tender. Remove from heat and set aside. Brush sliced baguette with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast in the oven until lightly browned and crunchy. To assemble salad, layer lettuce leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Add pieces of basil and chard corn. Tear Burrata and place around leaves. Layer with grilled peaches and add cashews and “croutons”. Drizzle with more olive oil and the balsamic reduction. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
There comes a time in every girl’s life that she must witness one of her dearest friends, with whom she once frequently ate Trader Joe’s black bean soup paired with Vino Verde before late night dance sessions at Great Scott in Allston, MA, get married on an island in the Puget Sound. That time is less than three weeks away!
To celebrate my friend Laura’s upcoming nuptials, I joined a group of awesome ladies in the woods of Massachusetts in one of the oddest, most delightful of places, The RoundHouse . Though I took many photographs, there was no real way to capture the hidden treasures that we found in every inch of the house: A closet full of costumes; themed sleeping cubbies with dream journals; a hidden tunnel; locked doors with mysteries behind them; a kitchen cabinet full of different cheese graters. The curiosities were endless and kept us up late into the night, learning how to ride the unicycle and play the xylophone. It was three days of making a raucous for no reason and celebrating Laura’s last big hoorah before married life.
But outside of the uninhibited goofiness, it was the view, from high above the Connecticut River that really did it for me. Away from the constant grind of this city I live in, I found peace and quiet and it was wonderful.
In February I bought an old Subaru to commute to a job I didn’t keep, but so far I’ve kept the car (and found a job I want to keep!) Though I never expected or wanted to own a car in New York, the bonus is the ability to getting to explore new places without renting a car or planning too far ahead.
Last weekend, Chris and I headed to City Island, a 1.5 mile island in the Bronx. The island has a decidedly New England coastal town feel minus the public beaches and Boston accents. The two-laned road there reminded me of taking the road out to Cape Cod in the summertime, as if everyone within 200 miles had decided that this was the weekend to go.
We drove down the main drag to see what restaurant options there were (hint: not veg) and ended up at Johnny’s Reef Restaurant at the other end. Policemen were strategically placed along the way to direct traffic for the various seafood shacks lining the street.
Johnny’s is set up similar to a food court, with food stations with various seafood options lining the wall and plenty of tables in the middle and on their giant patio overlooking the Long Island Sound. Chris was eager for some seafood so I resigned myself to a lunch of french fries and a soda, because I am the picture of healthy living.
After that we explored some weird antique stores, some abandoned ships and a graveyard overlooking the water. All in a productive Sunday!
The Bored Vegetarian turns 4 years old on May 2nd. When I started the blog in 2010, I was working from home for a mobile tech company and needed a project to keep me a bit more creatively engaged. The Bored Vegetarian provided the perfect avenue for combining my love for food, photos and words (not to mention over-sharing on the internet) and get a bit better at all three. Looking at some of my first posts, it’s clear that practice does indeed make perfect, or at least much much better.
This weekend I did something I haven’t done in far too many months: made brunch. The swiss chard and leeks were flavorful and the cream added a rich fattiness to the dish, perfect for dipping bread.
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard
- 3 Leeks
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 2-3 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Fresh baguette (optional)
Rinse swiss chard and remove large stems. Chop greens into 2 inch pieces. In a large pot, heat 1/2 inch of water over medium heat and add greens. Cover and stir until the leaves wilt and are tender. Remove from heat and drain remaining water. Slice off the root end of each leek and discard. Thinly chop each leek from the white until the light green part. In a large saute pan, saute chopped leeks in olive oil over low/medium heat. Once tender, add in chopped garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in wilted swiss chard and combine until mixed well. Add in cream and continue to stir over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a baking pan (I used a low ceramic dish), spread the chard and leek mixture. Make deep wells for the eggs. Carefully crack each egg into a well. Bake in the upper third of your oven for 15-30 minutes (check on them to see how they’re coming along), or until the white are the eggs are firm and the yolks still runny. Once they are close to being done, sprinkle with cheese before putting back in the oven to finish. Serve hot with bread.
This post feels a bit like an awkward first date. My inclination is to comment on the weather (which sucks) and how the seasons are finally changing (slowly), but in truth there have been heavier things weighing on me the last couple of months. It’s amazing to see how unhappiness in one area of your life can completely wipe away the joy you find in the others, but am happy that I’ve made the decision to choose to pursue joy, even if it means things are a bit up in the air at the moment. Spring is the season of rebirth & growth after all.
- 2 lbs Asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 4 cloves roasted garlic (learn to roast it here!)
- 1/2 Onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 2 cups Milk
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender, about 25 minutes. While the asparagus is roasting, saute the chopped onion in a saute pan with a bit of olive oil and salt until tender. Combine the roasted asparagus and sauteed onion in a large sauce pan. Top with vegetable broth and using a hand blender, blend the broth with the asparagus and onion until it begins to liquify (you can also use a blender). Add the milk and continue to blend, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Finish with fresh lemon juice. Over low heat, bring the soup to a simmer for an additional 10-15 mins or so. Remove from heat and strain soup with a mesh cone strainer. Garnish with a bit of creme fraiche and toasted pinenuts and serve hot.
Dead Horse Bay is a small body of water within the Brooklyn Marine Park. The area once was home to Barren Island, which was a trash and dead animal dump for Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. In the 1920′s the island and its trash was buried to create Floyd Bennett Field, New York’s first municipal airport. In the 1950′s, the landfill cap burst, exposing the area to a century’s worth of garbage. You can still find old bottles, shoes and other pieces of the lives of the people who once lived there…
Vegan January has come and gone and though I have one more vegan post to make, I thought this beet gnocchi was a bit more fitting for the Valentine’s Day holiday (although a couple of days late!) I’m still perfecting my gnocchi-making technique, but I love the gorgeous color and hint of earthiness the beets bring to this recipe. You’ll likely have a bit of leftover beet puree with this, so I encourage you to make a Chocolate Beet Cake with the remainder.
(adapted from Food & Wine)
2 pounds medium-sized Beets, scrubbed, tops and bottoms cut off
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Ricotta
1 large Egg, beaten lightly
pinch of Nutmeg
3/4 cup Romano Cheese, shredded
3 cups Flour, plus extra
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped and toasted
1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup fresh Sage, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Fresh Lemon juice
Fresh Sage leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking pan drizzle beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour or until beets are soft. Remove and allow to cool. Once you’re able to handle them, use your hands to peel away the skins. Use a vegetable peeler if needed. Cut beets into cubes and puree in a food processor. In a standing mixer (which I don’t own – I used my Cuisinart with a plastic paddle and pulsed to control the speed), combine 1 1/2 cups of the beet puree with ricotta, romano, egg, nutmeg and 1 Tablespoon of salt on low/medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and slowly sprinkle in the flour with the mixer on low/medium speed until it just comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and a little sticky. Don’t over-knead – you want the dough to feel light. Cover the dough and let it sit at room temp for about a half hour.
While the dough is sitting, melt the butter over low/medium heat. Bring melted butter to a golden brown color and remove from heat. Strain through cheese cloth to remove the solids. Set aside. In a saute pan, fry the whole sage leaves in a bit of olive oil until they crisp up. Remove and allow to cool on a paper towel. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Prepare an ice bath and keep nearby. Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces and roll each one into 1/2 inch thick ropes. Cut each rope into 1/2 inch pieces. Boil in batches, letting the gnocchi simmer about 1 minute past when they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into ice bath to chill while you cook the remaining.
Once you’ve finished with the gnocchi, saute the garlic in a bit of olive oil over low heat until fragrant. Add the brown butter and chopped fresh sage and stir for a minute or so. Stir in fresh lemon juice. Add gnocchi and combine until the gnocchi turns a rich red. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss in walnuts. Serve hot garnished with crispy sage leaves.
When I first moved to New York, brunch was an event, with a lot of thought put into who had the best mimosa deal, breakfast potato option (hello Cameo tater tots) and best chance of getting a table right away. These days I prefer making brunch at home after a quick trip to the grocery store and grabbing coffees from Cafe Grumpy. Chris will throw on some reggae and draw at the table while I get to work in the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite times of the week and most weekends I wouldn’t trade it for the hour-long waits and overpriced omelets of the past.
This scramble recipe can be modified to include whichever vegetables you have on hand.
- 1 container Soft Tofu, drained and crumbled into small pieces (I left mine on the bigger side)
- 1 small Onion, chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- 2 Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties, chopped up (I used Gardein)
- 1 cup Kale, chopped, big stems removed
- small handful of Basil, cut into ribbons
- 3-4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large saute pan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over low/medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and saute until nearly translucent. Add in the bell pepper and continue to saute. Next add the garlic and the chopped sausage patties. The sausage will take a bit to brown up, but they’ll take on some of the flavor of the other ingredients as you do so. After about 5 minutes of sauteeing the sausage, add the tofu and mix together. The heat will help evaporate some of the liquid in the tofu. Add in kale and basil and season with Nutritional Yeast and salt & pepper. Continue to saute until all ingredients have been incorporated well into the scramble and the tofu has firmed up from the evaporated liquid. Serve hot.
I learned how to make a rich Alfredo sauce from a chef named Rose while in college at WWU. I was working at Sadighi’s, an outdated “fine dining” restaurant ran by Mr. Sadighi and his 70 year-old chef Rose. If you’ve lived Bellingham, you know which place I’m talking about. I was the hostess/busser/official napkin folder, but we never had more than six tables (total) on a Friday or Saturday night. Evenings were spent in the kitchen with just the three of us, and if I was lucky, Rose would make me dinner. She made the sauce from scratch with just a pan, spatula, fresh cream, garlic and a touch of dijon. The result was heavy, coma-inducing and delicious. When I took the first bite of this vegan version, it immediately took me back to that small kitchen and those weekend nights spent with Rose and Mr. Sadighi. It’s that kind of rich.
- 1 cup Raw Whole Cashews
- 8 ounces Dry Pasta (I used Bucatini)
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 handful Basil, washed and chopped
- 1/2 handful Italian Parsley, washed and chopped
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a bowl, cover cashews with cold water, cover and place in the fridge to soak over night. Drain and rinse the cashews once softened. In a Cuisinart or Vitamix, add cashews and cover with fresh water, about an inch above the cashews. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.
In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water until just al dente. Set aside 2 cups of pasta water and drain. In a large saute pan, saute shallot in olive oil over low/medium heat until tender. Add garlic and continue to saute. Add 1 cup of pasta water and stir. Add pasta and add an additional cup of pasta water. Add cashew cream (I used about 1/2 cup and an extra 1 Tbsp, but add more/less based on your taste). Stir the pasta with the cashew cream until coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh basil and parsley, continuing to stir over low/medium heat. Feel free to add more pasta water if the sauce seems too thick for your liking. Once the pasta is well incorporated with the sauce, season again to taste and squeeze lemon juice over the top of the dish. Don’t be too heavy handed – you can always add more lemon to taste. Serve immediately.