We took a drive, I took my camera.
I was wandering in Carroll Gardens after a marathon of a meeting last week, when I stopped in Avlee for a quick lunch. Their Stafele salad was so simple and tasty that decided to recreate it at home. I’m not always a fan of fruit in salad (I blame the warm tangerines that we ate on salads during holidays growing up, sorry family!!), but the grapes add a nice sweetness to the savory gouda and crunch of the walnuts. In theory you could try this fruit-cheese-nuts combo a million different ways and really impress your friends… In fact, I did just that last week!
It’s so hot that I can’t imagine turning on the oven, so it might be salad every meal until September.
– 4 cups Baby Kale
– 1 cup Red Seedless Grapes, halved
– 1/8 Cup Toasted Walnuts
– 3 ounces Aged Gouda, chopped up
– 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1-2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
– 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
– Salt & Pepper
In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and mustard until combined. Drizzle dressing over baby kale in a bowl, tossing until the leaves are well coated. Season with salt & pepper. Add in grapes, cheese and nuts and combine with kale. Plate and seaons again with salt & pepper to taste.
We moved! We’ve been in the Hudson Valley for 3 months now. Our view is amazing, we have a yard, access to fresh air and trees and all sorts of new things, but last weekend was one of the first we’ve had to enjoy it in full. Once we moved, it took us a lot of focus and energy to get into our groove (which is sometimes still hard to do.) Chris has been commuting into NYC for work 4 days a week and I went straight into wedding season after we finally unpacked. But now… NOW it’s quiet for a couple of months before the Fall busy season. If you want to see what I’ve been working on with Modern Kicks, please follow me on instagram (and say hi while you’re at it!) I’ve also been working on a fun project in Stone Ridge, helping develop Hasbrouck House, a boutique hotel that will reopen under new ownership this Fall.
I’ve had less time to focus on The Bored Vegetarian than I’d like, and have been been thinking about what this blog should become moving forward. I’ve been having more urges to write in recent months, so I may begin using this space for that, as well as recipes and photos. Stay tuned… In the meantime, try this really tasty Tuscan Kale Salad with Avocado, Toasted Pistachio, Gorgonzola & Lemon Tahini Dressing. I’ve made it multiple times in recent weeks, so it must be a keeper.
Have I mentioned that we have natural light in every room of our apartment? No more lighting food with things I have to plug into the wall!
– 4 cups Tuscan Kale, large stems removed, leaves chopped into ribbons
– 1/8 cup Toasted Pistachios
– 1/2 Avocado
– 3-4 Tbsp Crumbled Gorgonzola (or other bleu cheese)
– 2 Tbsp Tahini Sauce
– 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
– 2-3 Tbsp Water
– 1 tsp Garlic Powder
– Salt & Pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk tahini and lemon juice. The tahini will thicken, add 2-3 Tbsp water and whisk until the dressing is smooth and slightly runny. Whisk in garlic powder. In a large bowl, drizzle dressing over the kale and toss until leaves are coated. Cut the avocado into cubes and gently toss with the kale, along with the pistachios and gorgonzola. Season well with salt & pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serves 2-3 people.
Like most New Yorkers, we’ve been dying to escape the horror that is the winter of 2015 (yes, I know you’ve had it worse, Boston). We haven’t been a non-family visit and/or friend’s wedding vacation…ever… so when our friend Tim mentioned that he was heading to California in February, we sprung for tickets and got to work planning a trip within our trip. We found this awesome Air Bnb called Sweet Rock Ranch nestled in the boulders overlooking Joshua Tree and spent a few days cooking, listening to records, hot tubbing, checking out the views and doing a bit of exploring in the park with a group of friends. I had never been to the desert before, so this was a pretty incredible introduction.
Almost immediately after we arrived, I grabbed my camera and started scaling the rocks in my skirt and inappropriate shoes. I think I am part goat.
Yes, we did got to Pappy & Harriet’s. Their bloody marys were delicious.
Every December my best friends and I make a shared spreadsheet of goals for the new year. We try to update it as the months pass and we’re able to check things off the list (or in some cases, not). Some goals get transferred from year to year without being completed, some we have the satisfaction of knowing we did it(!) Last year was a tough one for me – there were lots of transitions in my career and feeling a bit like I wasn’t getting anything done that I’d laid out for myself. When I decided to start working for myself at the end of 2014, my biggest promise to myself was that I would start taking better care of myself and prioritize the things that help me do that. Many of those things go hand in hand. Cooking makes me feel good, creative projects make me feel great, and eating healthy is key. When I can do all three things at once, it’s the best!
I’ve been working on a inspiration photoshoot with some talented local ladies Michelle Bablo and Katie Osgood, and when Michelle and I decided to have a brainstorming session, I took the opportunity to do my take on this Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup from Cookie & Kate. The soup is rich and spicy with a nice balance from the fresh lime juice. Serve it with some toasted bread for dipping.
– 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
– 2 lbs of Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
– 1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
– 4 cloves Garlic, minced
– 3 Tbsp Thai Red Curry paste
– 2 tsp ground Coriander
– 1 tsp ground Cumin
– 1 Tbsp fresh Lime juice
– 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (preferably micro-planed)
– 4 cups Vegetable Stock
– 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
– Unsalted roasted Peanuts, chopped well for garnish
– Cilantro for garnish
– Salt to taste
In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add onion. Saute for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Once the onions are translucent, add in the squash, red curry, ginger cumin and coriander. Season with a pinch of salt. Combine ingredients together and cook over low/medium for about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer for approx. 20 mins or until squash is soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Using a hand blender, blend soup until smooth. Add coconut milk and lime juice and blend until ingredients are well combined. Serve hot with cilantro and crushed peanuts as garnish.
I haven’t written a recipe post since July. JULY. With the career overhaul(s), life distractions and overall lack of inspiration (thought I have had some good meals), I just haven’t been in the kitchen as much. Things aren’t slowing down any time soon, with my event planning business in full swing and a move barreling its way towards us in about 6 months, but I promise I’ll try to be better.
With that, on to the salad.
Chris and I realized a few weeks ago (thanks Gothamist!) that there is a giant Food Bazaar about a 15 min drive from us. When I say giant, I mean it. Every produce imaginable; spices from all over the world; aisles of cheese; bags of sea salt. It’s almost overwhelming.
I’ve never worked with fava beans for whatever reason, so I was excited to see a barrel of them at the store, ripe for the picking (and boiling, and shelling and removing of skins). Add some bright nutty greens and some creamy goat cheese and you’ve got an easy week day lunch.
– 2-3 cups of Watercress, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces, large stems removed
– 1/2 pound of Fava beans in the pod (also called long beans)
– 2-3 Tbsp Goat Cheese
– 1/8 cup chopped fresh Mint
– 1 Tbsp sliced Almonds, toasted
– 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
– 1 Tbsp fresh Lemon juice
– 1 Pinch Lemon Zest
– 2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
– 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
– Salt & Pepper
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath for after you’ve cooked the beans. Add Fava beans to boiling water and cook for approx. 3 minutes. Drain and add to the ice bath until cool enough to handle (this stops them from cooking). Shell the fava beans and then carefully remove the tougher layer from around each bean (this is a little time consuming). In a saute pan, add some olive oil over low/medium heat. Add chopped garlic and being to soften. Add in fava bean and toss to coat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Continue to saute until beans get a little browned and are soft but not mushy. In a small mason jar, add lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, zest, mustard, salt and pepper. Screw on the lid and shake rigorously until ingredients are incorporated. In a bowl, drizzle some of the dressing and then pile in the greens and mint. Toss with the greens with the dressing using tongs or your hand, adding more dressing as needed (you may not need it all). Add in warm fava beans and continue to toss ingredients together. Add crumbles of goat cheese, saving some for the top of the salad. Move the salad into a service dish, sprinkle with remaining goat cheese and top with toasted almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
A few weeks ago we got a surprise package in the mail from our friend Tim with a copy of Hiking the Road to Ruins by David Steinberg enclosed. Chris and I have been spending more and more time exploring on our weekends, so we were very excited to receive this unexpected guide to the kinds of weirdo places we love (Thanks Tim!) Since I had a venue walk through in Westchester on Sunday, we decided to take advantage of the trip and make it a half work/half adventure day. After my meeting, we ate in Scarsdale at the Candlelight Inn – hello best egg salad sandwich ever – before heading up a windy road to Tackamack County Park to explore the long-abandoned army trails. We got a little nervous as we got further and further up and realized “oh.. there’s actual snow here…” and glanced sheepishly at our beat up Converse and thin flannel. We’re not quite hikers yet, folks, still a ways to go…
Steinberg’s book has a very detailed written explanation of how to get to the tunnels, plus a tiny hand written map to help you get where you’re going. We had read an account of the area being a hotbed of evil/Satantic occurrences, so I definitely used this opportunity to misquote Blair Witch Project, one of my favorite “hiking” activities. The walk was fairly straight forward, as we wound up through the park, through a residential area, through a pine grove and finally hit a low wall that was the ceiling of the tunnels.
The army tunnels are the remains of what once was Camp Bluefields, a National Guard rifle range which closed in 1912. After the grounds were used by the YWCA and the ROTC, the area was eventually abandoned after World War II, where it’s sat and deteriorated ever since. With miles of available cement walls, layers of graffiti cover every available inch, as well as some of the trees surrounding, almost like a Tacheles in the woods.
We didn’t bring headlamps along, so didn’t venture too far into the tunnels, but you can walk the stretch of the area without much daylight, if you dare. We’d like to go back in another season to explore the other side and bring more lighting to explore, but overall it was a cool place to explore and capture in photos. On to the next one…
GALA GALA HEY! APPLE FESTIVAL
SUNDAY, OCT 26TH
3 PM – 10 PM
We’re celebrating apples, fall and Cider Week NYC with our favorite annual event, Gala Gala Hey! We’ve got pies this year from the incredible Gowanus pie shop, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, cider on tap, in the bottle and in flights from all over the world, and Americana music from some really fantastic bands.
We’ll also be bobbing for apples, playing cornhole and busting out some other surprises to help us celebrate this awesome season (umm, apple masks anyone?).
Stay tuned for a schedule of bands!
Styles of pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds:
Salted Caramel Apple
Sweet Potato Apple Crumble
Apple Pear Rose
Black Currant Apple
Ciders,pommeau and apple wine from:
Aaron Burr (NY)
Orchard Hill (NY)
Farnum Hill (NY)
Naked Flock (NY)
Harvest Moon (NY)
Enlightenment Wines (NY)
JK Scrumpy (MI)
… and more!
If you’ve been following The Bored Vegetarian for a while, you may have noticed my love for exploring the old, the abandoned and the decaying. I remember driving by an run down yellow house every day growing up and always having an urge to climb inside and see what secrets were hidden in its rotted interior, but because of my general fear of breaking the rules, I never did.
When we took our first trip to the East Coast when I was 13, I was amazed at all of the history that was laid out there in the open. Cemeteries in-between buildings in Boston; hidden rooms for the Underground Railroad in our host’s house in the suburbs; the stories I heard wandering around Ellis Island clutching my walking-tour tape player. I was so excited and intrigued by it all that it motivated me to abandon my roots in the Northwest nearly 10 years ago, and I’ve been exploring ever since.
A few weeks ago, Chris and I joined Mitch Waxman of the Obscura Society NYC on his walking tour of some of the industrial areas of Brooklyn and Queens, along the Newtown Creek. I have lived in Greenpoint for almost 5 years with this wasteland practically in my backyard, but I had never truly understood how huge of an impact irresponsible industrialization has had on my neighborhood and surrounding area. It was eye-opening (and eyeball-burning), disgusting, dangerous, smelly and educational. All the things needed for a nice Saturday stroll!
Looking for unexpected places? Check out these resources:
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…