1st Sunday of Fall

After a Friday night on the town, which included trying my first ever Manhattan way too late into the night so I woke up with a killer hangover that lasted 24 hours, and resulted in my Saturday being pretty zombie-fied, today was absolutely perfect.

Like any other 20 something girl of the 21st century, I adore Fall. I always have, though, since I can remember fall has been my favorite season. Not only does the cooler temps mean I can break out all my scarves and boots and sweaters jackets and whatnot, but it also means BYE BYE FRUIT FLIES HOLLAAAA.

Anyway, today Col and I started our day with a curried tofu scramble and Slate’s Cultural Gabfest, and then went shopping at the Salvo for warm clothes and picture frames, then when he went to do the sunday football thang, I took a run downtown and it was fucking GORGEOUS. Another reason I love the fall, it is great for running! It’s less sweaty and I feel as if I have more stamina, plus I’m not too bundled or freezing.

After I ran, I spent the afternoon cooking for sunday dinner and for my upcoming week. For sunday din I made my famous/favorite butternut squash soup and a banana avocado chocolate mousse for dessert. I made quinoa, hummus, spinach, and veggie mason jar salads for two days of lunch for the upcoming week, along with two servings of my carrot orange ginger juice to take to work this week!

After a massage from the sweetest guy on the planet and a nice stroll around the neighborhood post-soup, we’re having mousse in bed and watching office reruns on netflix to end our sunday.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day! Recipes for the soup, juice, and salad jars to come this week ya’ll.

xoxo, gossip girl. jk. Just me.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Orange Carrot Ginger Juice

Roc City Skyline

Roc City Skyline

Quinoa Hummus Spinach Veggie Salad Jars

Quinoa Hummus Spinach Veggie Salad Jars

Cucumber & Tomato Salad

I. LOVE. SALADS.

Be it “boring” lettuce-based salads, pasta salads, bean salads, etc., I am a salad lover through and through and I do not understand why more people aren’t, and why the word “salad” gets a rep as a restrictive diet food that induces hunger rather than satisfies it.

Obviously people haven’t been doing their salads justice. I load my lettuce-based salads with every kind of veggie in my house, any kind of bean I have, maybe some hummus or cold grains, and some yummy balsamic and olive oil. COME ON, THAT’S DELICIOUS.

Anyway, cucumber salad is one of my favorite summer dishes. My favorite has always been a dilly cuke salad with a greek yogurt base, but since I no longer eat yogurt (which is honestly the only thing I really miss about my pre-vegan diet), and had a huge box of perfectly ripe tomatoes, I decided to create a yogurt-free cuke salad with tomatoes and a balsamic base. It’s full of herby flavor from rosemary, and subtle sweetness from a drizzle of agave nectar.

Bottom line: it’s damn good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, cubed
  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Chop the 4 tomatoes, 3 cucumbers, and 1/2 onion into a large bowl or container. In a smaller bowl, mix oil, vinegar, garlic, agave, rosemary and salt and pepper. Pour over veggies and mix well. Taste and season as needed. Cover and place in fridge for at least an hour. It’s best the next day after all the flavors are incorporated and sit together for a while. Serve with anything and everything and enjoy!

Avocado Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 large red potatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp. grainy mustard
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
  • salt & pepper to taste

To make this dish take less time, I microwaved the potatoes to cook them through. Once they are fork tender, refrigerate for about an hour or until they’re cool. Slice them into bite-size chunks and put in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mash the avocado, mustard, lemon, salt & pepper, and rosemary until they’re fully incorporated and semi-smooth. Pour avocado sauce over the potatoes and mix until they are fully covered with the mixture. Mince the scallions and mix them into the potato salad along with salt & pepper to your liking. Refrigerate for an hour or so, or serve immediately if you like it at room temperature.

I hate traditional potato salad, so I don’t really care that I “can’t” eat it as a vegan. I’m just not big on mayonnaise-based salads in general, so veganaise potato salad wouldn’t tickle my fancy either. But, I saw a recipe for mashed avocado with chickpeas to make a salad, so I figured I would try out a potato salad that I would actually like, and would be healthy, decadent, but not too heavy. This is it! It’s easy, SO FLAVORFUL, tangy, and overall delicious. I took the leftovers to work today and the salad is even better the next day. Happy eating, betches! 😉