December 15, 2014

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.

Watercress and Fave Bean Salad The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients
– 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.


December 4, 2014

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.

Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-1
Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-2
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Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-13

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…


October 22, 2014
gga2014h

GALA GALA HEY! APPLE FESTIVAL
SUNDAY, OCT 26TH
3 PM – 10 PM
FREE

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)
Slyboro (NY)
Orchard Hill (NY)
Farnum Hill (NY)
Docs (NY)
Naked Flock (NY)
Harvest Moon (NY)
Harpoon (VT)
Castanon (Spain)
Enlightenment Wines (NY)
Aspall (England)
JK Scrumpy (MI)
Crispin (CA)
… and more!


September 16, 2014

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:

Atlas Obscura
Abandoned NYC
Scouting NY

Industrial Brooklyn 18 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 17- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 16- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 15- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
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Industrial Brooklyn 11- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 11 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 6- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 9- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 8 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 7 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 5 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard 4
Industrial Brooklyn 3 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard.
Industrial Brooklyn 2 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard.
Industrial Brooklyn - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard

August 25, 2014

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…

Hudson Valley Views Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Bridge Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Views Lake Minnewaska Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Views Lake Minnewaska Mountain Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog

July 16, 2014
Grilled Peach Salad the Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 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

Directions

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.


June 9, 2014

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.

The Bored Vegetarian Round House Views
The Bored Vegetarian Picnic Tables
The Bored Vegetarian Round House
The Bored Vegetarian Plants
The Bored Vegetarian Catwalk
The Bored Vegetarian Hole
The Bored Vegetarian Raccoon
The Bored Vegetarian Pantry
The Bored Vegetarian Stained Glass
The Bored Vegetarian Library
The Bored Vegetarian Donkey
The Bored Vegetarian Green View
The Bored Vegetarian Girls Walking

May 16, 2014

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!

City Island Roof The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Food The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Napkins The Bored Vegetarian
Johnny's Reef Restaurant The Bored Vegetarian
Lady Rage The Bored Vegetarian
Broken Boat The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Hidden House The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Trees
City Island Games

April 30, 2014

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.

Swiss Chard and Leek Baked Eggs The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 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)

Directions

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.


April 16, 2014

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.

Roasted Asparagus Soup by The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 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

Directions

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.