Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Sandwich Named Lexi

My college-student son shared his favorite coffee shop, Margie’s Blue Mug, with us on one of our visits.  Besides coffee, Margie’s offers a variety of breakfast and lunch items.  One of those is my new favorite sandwich; the only sandwich I want to eat right now: The Lexi.

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I get it vegetarian/vegan, without the cream cheese and sliced turkey it usually comes with.  My son says it’s spectacular with those things, so if you’re not vegan, I’m sure he’d recommend you add those in to the somewhat quirky ingredients:

the stuff

For one sandwich

  • 1 whole wheat bagel (or bagel of your choice)
  • 1-2 TBSP prepared basil pesto (get or make pesto without Parmesan to be vegan)
  • 1-2 TBSP apricot jam (I used peach today)
  • sliced tomatoes (I used 4 slices from a roma tomato)
  • sliced red onion (I used one thin slice, separated into rings)
  • lettuce (Margie’s uses a greens mix, I had romaine)

Spread pesto on one side of the bagel, and jam on the other.  YES!  This is the quirky part, but what a combo!  These two condiments MAKE the sandwich.  They’re what make me want to make a Lexi for every meal.  Even breakfast.

spread jam and pesto

Put the lettuce, onion and tomato on the bottom half, top it with the lid of the bagel and there you are!  The Lexi!

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WARNING– this sandwich disappears in a hurry.  One second you have a whole bagel sandwich, the next second you have a plate with a crumb or two on it.  Yup.  It’s THAT yummy.

 

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, restaurants, Vegetarian

Celine’s Favorite: Squash Blossom Soup

Aka: Sopa De Flor De Calabaza.  When Mom and Dad moved to New Mexico years ago, Mom immersed herself in all things Southwest, especially the flavors.  She and Dad had a favorite restaurant in Palomas, Mexico called The Pink Store, where she ALWAYS ordered their Squash Blossom Soup.  Last summer, as my plants produced more squash than I could keep up with, I decided a bit of flower pruning was in order and thought about Mom’ favorite soup.  A squash plant makes tons more male flowers than female (the ones with a baby squash at the base of the blossom), so you can gather the male flowers for this soup.  Or, if you need a break from squash, gather some female flowers as well.  Without the recipe from The Pink Store, I was on my own with my friend, The Google.  I selected a recipe that was attributed to Frida Kahlo–I think Mom would have liked the recipe with a history.  And, like Mom would have, adjusted it it to ingredients I had on hand that stayed within the intent of the original recipe.  So here you go, Mom:

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I made this prior to becoming vegan, but it will be super easy to veganize the recipe this summer.  I’ll place vegan substitutes in parenthesis.

ingredients

  • 1 white or yellow onion, peeled, and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter  (use veggie or “No Chicken” broth for sauteing)
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off, or one package frozen corn
  • chile peppers of your choice–I used 1 poblano and 1 jalepeno–finely chopped, seeded if you want less heat
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chopped summer squash–I used 1 zucchini and 2 patty pans
  • 2 or 3 tomatillos, chopped
  • 1-2 cups squash blossoms, cleaned and rough-chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth (No Chicken broth)

For toppings:

  • tortilla chips
  • plain yogurt (soy yogurt or skip altogether)
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • avocado

In a large pot, melt butter (heat about 1/4 cup of broth) and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.  3-5 minutes.

saute onions

Add chile peppers, corn and cumin.  Cook for an addition 2-3 minutes.

add peppers and corn

Add squash and tomatillos, cook 2-3 more minutes.

add squash

Separate the stems and sepals from the flowers.

clean blossoms

Chop and add squash blossoms and continue to cook, 5 more minutes.

chop and add blossoms

Add broth (No chicken broth) and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Adjust seasonings to your taste.

add broth

Ladle into bowls, garnish with toppings and enjoy!

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Squash blossoms taste like squash, only more delicate.  They add a luxurious texture and flavor layer to this soup; and for me, a lovely memory of my Mom.

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Filed under appetizer, comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Food memories, Garden produce, Gluten-free, lunch, recipe, restaurants, side dish, Vegetarian

“Cheesy” Broccoli Mashers

Potatoes are my ultimate comfort food.  I love them baked, fried, mashed, boiled, stuffed, scalloped,… I don’t think I’ve encountered a potato I didn’t like.  Aside from being comforting and yummy, potatoes are nutritious–containing almost half your daily requirement for vitamin C in a single potato!   This post is really more of a technique rather than a recipe–think of what you’d stuff a baked potato with–and mashers can be your go-to side dish in no time.

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Just a few ingredients, a couple of pans and you’re on the way:

ingredients

  • 4 medium red or yellow potatoes–“boiling” potatoes work best for mashers–washed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 bunch of broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 packet of vegan cheese sauce, (purchased at a natural foods grocery) prepared according to the package, thinned with 1/2 cup soy milk
  • extra soy milk to adjust the texture of the mashers

Cut your veggies into pieces of a similar size, cover with water and boil until potatoes are fork tender.  I don’t peel the potatoes to keep as much of the nutrition intact as possible.

chop and boil

Prepare the cheese sauce and thin it a bit with non-dairy milk.  Set aside.

prepare cheese sauce

Drain the veggies and place back into the hot pan to cook off any left-over water.  Add the cheese sauce.

drain and add sauce

Mash everything together, adding a bit more non-dairy milk to adjust the texture to your preferences.  I like to leave my mashers a bit chunky.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

mash

Serve as a side dish!  Mashers are a yummy and nutritious alternative to chips or fries with (veggie!) burgers.

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What will you put in your mashers?

 

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Garden produce, recipe, side dish, Vegetarian