The Pink Ticket

A playground of many muses.

The Pink Ticket - A playground of many muses.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 12, Mushroom Fajita Bowl w/ Avo-Cashew Cream

Mushroom Fajita Bowl

Mushroom Fajita Bowl

The weather has been such that I’m still in a bowl of warm, steamy goodness mode, but really ready for the bounty of spring.  For me, fajitas are a summer fare, to be enjoyed with a frothy margarita while watching the sunset. Dreaming aside, I decided to turn a fajita into a bowl… just like Chipotle does, only much, much better.

MMM mushrooms

Yummm mushrooms

Fajitas are pretty straight forward.  A lot of peppers and onions, and for this veggie fare, a lot of lightly marinaded mushrooms.  What really sets this one apart is the avo-cashew cream.  I nearly cried it was so good… and went back for a second scoop, wondering how it would be on toast, or a veggie wrap, or hiding in the corner with a spoon. The good news is the recipe below makes quite a bit of extra on the avo-cashew cream, so such indulgences can happen.

Mushroom Fajita Bowl with Avo-Cashew Cream
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 medium portabello mushrooms
4 medium cremini mushrooms
8 ounces slices white mushrooms
1 each red, orange, green pepper thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion thinly sliced

For the mushroom marinade:
1 lime, zest and juice
1 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Avo-Cashew Cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1 ripe avocado
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
Pinch sea salt
4-6 Tablespoons water

For the bowl assembly:
Salsa
Chopped cilantro
Avocado slices

  • Soak cashews for 2 hours to overnight.
  • Prepare the marinade by whisking all ingredients together.
  • Clean and slice mushrooms.
  • Gently toss mushrooms in the marinade and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, tossing every 10-15 minutes.
  • Prepare Avo-Cashew cream by draining the cashews very well and adding all ingredients except the water to a food processor or high speed blender.
  • Start with adding 3 tablespoons of water to the blender or processor, and adding more as needed. Remember to stop and scrape down the sides as needed. You want the mixture to be smooth, creamy, and slightly thick.
  • Heat a large wok or grill pan.
  • Add mushrooms and marinade to the pan and allow to sear.
  • Gently flip mushrooms and add peppers and onions.
  • As needed, add a little water or vegetable broth to the pan to prevent sticking.
  • Cook 5-7 minutes until peppers are softened and onions begin to turn translucent.
  • Prepare your bowls by first adding the cooked rice.
  • Top with mushrooms, peppers, and onions.
  • Add avo-cashew cream, salsa, and more avocado slices. if desired.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serves 2-4

Tips:

  • Make the avo-cashew cream ahead. It stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Pre-chopping all the veggies saves time and allows you to cook in smaller batches through the week.
  • Make the marinade ahead and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Batch cook rice! Cooked rice will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze individual servings for a quick thaw and reheat during the week.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 11, Standing On Line in the Coffee Queue

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We are three people deep, that doesn’t count the seemingly endless line behind me. It’s too early for that kind of math. It’s $2.49 for a large, excuse me: venti, coffee. I wait with my pennies in pocket, or electronic facsimile thereof. It’s like this every day. Every. Day.

They queue. We queue. Seemingly forever. At the counter they stare at the menu as if it were the first time. It shouldn’t take twelve words to order coffee. Everything in a cup to hide the coffee. Just order tea.

It’s finally my turn. Venti. Dark. Please. She seems confused. Holding the cup. “Are you sure that’s all you want in there?” she nods at the cup. I hope she meant syrup, but the strange enthusiasm and peculiar look had me almost asking, “Like what?” Better judgement prevails.

Took my coffee and ushered past the cologne drenched men and women on their phones. Too important to wait. Until tomorrow.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 11: Gone Smoothie

Gone green!

Gone green!

It’s been a long time since I wrote up an official smoothie recipe.  My approach to smoothies is throw it all in and hope for the best!  Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but somewhat close to the truth.  I prep my smoothies every weekend… an assembly line of 6 quart sized Ziploc baggies in which I divide up my greens, veggies, and fruits.  They then are popped into the freezer, and tossed in the Vitamix when I make coffee, allowing them to soften a bit before blending them when I go back for my second cup.

Because mornings have to be almost no-brainer for me and because eating in the morning is enough to induce nausea for me, I’ve found that a smoothie really helps me break my fast.  It also helps me get in enough fruit in a day, as I’m not a huge fruit eater.  Since the bulk of my smoothies are still leafy greens, like spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, etc. my smoothies are also almost always a lovely deep green.

This week’s blend was especially refreshing; and while the US colored its beers and fountains green, this Irish girl stuck with this.  Enjoy!

Gone Green Smoothie
3-4 large leafs kale
3-4 large leafs collard and or mustard greens
1 inch piece cucumber
1 inch piece carrot
1 inch piece broccoli stem
4-5 large strawberries
7-8 chunks pineapple
1/2 scoop Vega very vanilla powder** or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Add to blender with about 1 cup of water (you may need more if you don’t have a high speed blender)
  • Blend until smooth and refrigerate until ready to consume
  • Makes 1 serving

**Note: I don’t advocate routine protein supplementation; if you need the calorie boost, then a protein powder such as Vega or Hemp is recommended as the balance of macro nutrients is excellent.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 10, Tonight’s the Night

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She didn’t believe in coincidence. The laws of probability righteously explained the guy in the car next to her–a dead ringer for Rod Stewart as one of his creepy stalker songs streamed through the radio speakers under the guise of a love song, according to the DJ. Still, it was uncanny–if not unnerving. Traffic had barely moved, as if drivers suddenly though raindrops would cause damage to their cars paint.

The light turned red a third time after only inching forward. She wondered about the guy she’d met once, years ago, as she sometimes did when the banality of a commute, or life, crept over her. He had such a presence, she felt him before she saw him. She was fairly certain no accepted laws explained it. A fellow time traveler, alien among the insane; she’d’ studied him from her park bench the way she had all others except careful to avoid his attention. She failed. She wondered where he was tonight. The kept in touch, superficially. He had yet to catch up to her.

The Rod Stewart song wailed to its painful end and the man in car inched just out of view. She creeped herself out a little thinking of Rod cyberstalking women today, and writing hit songs about it. Finally, in an act of attrition, the light changed and this time, traffic moved.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 10, Goddess Redressed

Goddess Dressing Redefined

Goddess Dressing Redefined

As a vegan who doesn’t like a lot of salads (ironic, I know), I find myself challenged with creative ways to go beyond the mundane romaine and tomatoes and stick to a more seasonal plate.

This week, a couple bags of rainbow salad mix (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and red cabbage) and a jimaca called for a thick, creamy dressing.  I’ve always liked the idea of goddess dressing, but mostly in name… but with half a bloc of tofu and an avocado, I decided to try a version a little less green (a.k.a. no onion and less parsley).  Only slightly green in color, the flavor is subtle and really brought out the sweetness of the jimaca and didn’t mask the flavors of the other veggies.

Goddess (re)Dressing
1 avocado peeled and pitted
1 Tablespoon parsley
zest and juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup vegan mayo**

**if no mayo sub the following:
6 ounces firm tofu
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and puree until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
  • Allow to sit 6-8 hours before using.
  • Refridgerate for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
  • Thin with a little water as desired.

Use to top your salads or veggie burgers.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 9, Drive-By

It wasn’t the window down in the middle of a blowing snow storm. It wasn’t the wobbly, low tire. It wasn’t even the neon pink, three inch nails wielding the helm of the 95 Buick La Sabre. It was the flash of red ash hitting the dry cleaners bag rippling in the window breeze behind the Plasticine head of hair. Who picks up dry cleaning and then smokes on it while letting snow blow under the plastic?

She flicked the ash of her Camel menthol. The scent of tinged plastic faint in the air. Fucking that woman who works in the plaza down from his office. What was she, an eyeglass sales bimbo? She almost hoped his suit was catching fire behind her. It would serve him right. Why even get his damn dry cleaning? She refused to cry. She inhaled deeply, the menthol death curling around her lungs, over her lips.

The car sped away; ash and tattered plastic flipping in the wind.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 9, Tandoori Style Tempeh

Tandoori Style Tempeh

Tandoori Style Tempeh

This week I decided to remake an Asian favorite. In flipping through a very omni-heavy cookbook, The Essential Asian Cookbook, I came to tandoori chicken and thought, let me do it vegan-style!

And so it was done.

And so it is delish!!

 

 

Tandoori Style Tempeh

2 packages tempeh
1/2 medium onion
4 large cloves garlic
1 large chunk (about 1 Tablespoon) fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 – 8 ounce container almond milk yogurt, plain
couple dashes of chili powder

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove.
  • Cut blocks of tempeh into 4 equal pieces and place tempeh in the water for about 5 minutes. This step removes some of the bitter taste some complain about with tempeh.
  • Remove from water and place in the baking dish.
  • In a food processor or high speed blender, add onion, garlic, ginger, spices, and yogurt and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Pour the sauce over the tempeh and turn to coat.
  • Cover dish and place in refrigerator. Marinate for at least 5 hours but overnight is recommended.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Baked tempeh pieces for 35-40 minutes, until just golden.
  • Serve hot over brown rice.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Makes 4 servings.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 8, Tahini Miso Slaw

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Not your average slaw!

I get bored with salads so this week decided to change it up… I also wanted to squeeze in as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible since I’m recovering from injury.  This slaw brings together carrots, cabbage, and horseradish root to meet that bill.  Enjoy!!

 

Tahini Miso Slaw
3-4 small stalks of broccoli
1 lb carrots
1/2 small head purple cabbage
1/4 – 1/2 cup pickled horseradish root (to taste)

For the dressing:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 c rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon yellow or white miso
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons water

  • Using the shredding blade on your food process, run through the broccoli, carrots, and cabbage. (You can also buy all three pre shredded if you want to save time.)
  • In a large salad bowl add the shredded vegetables, and the horseradish.
  • In a small blender or shaker bottle, add the dressing ingredients and blend, or shake, very well.  Shaking may take up to a minute to fully incorporate.
  • Add dressing to vegetables and toss to mix.

Tip: if you are eating salad all week, like me, only add dressing just a few hours before serving.

 

Project 52: The Creatives Week 8, Wrong Guy

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She noticed his eyes kept darting quickly toward her chest. One of them, she thought, why hadn’t she noticed this on any of their other dates?

“Is it true?” he asked, sipping his beer, pointing quickly toward her chest.

She looked down, realizing he’d been distracted by the pin on the lapel of her denim jacket. She grinned slightly; one thing a kid of the 80s couldn’t resist was a basket of little one-inch pins near a cash register. Sorting through them risking some type of blood borne pathogen from sticking ones finger 18-odd times looking for the gold. It would take until sometime in 2005 for her to finally find that one worthy a space on her brand new denim jacket: “I slept with Mick Jagger.” It was the perfect irony, especially since the jacket was a knock off of 1980s UK fashion.

She never thought when fastening the $3 button on her jacket anyone would think it as serious–like Mick handed out souvenir buttons at the end of the night? But this was the third such inquiry and she began to wonder not about what this said about her, but her choices in whom she chose to date. The casual trepidation with which they asked raised her curiosity: was it fear or fascination?

“Does it matter?” she asked coldly.

“Well, uh,” he stammered slightly staring into his beer, “it’s kinda funny, if it’s a joke.”

She finished off her drink and threw a $20 on the table. “Keith Richards is my favorite Rolling Stone,” she said before leaving.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 7, The Death of Bonnie and Clyde

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Love among murderers, they say, is the only thing that doesn’t die; that even for all the folklore, the rumors never truly pan out. “For those who rely on fact,” Ms. Parker snorts as she snuffs out the Camel. She sits alone at night amid the shadows always on the right side of the bench. She laughs, “Shotgun style.”

“But still.” she sighs as she lights another smoke, “there is something to be said about when you’re poor.  The options are really quite different.”  The night falls quiet around her sadness and she lets the blue smoke fill the spaces. She’s nothing more to say as she pulls her skirt, smoothing it gently over the scars, smearing ash.