Zelda: Life with Greens

Since I was busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. The first thing Zelda brought to my attention, as she started walking across the keyboard to type this out, was my utter lack of a category tag with her namesake. The next demand? Her own month.

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Hi guys, Zelda here. I originally hail from a backyard in Brookline, Mass. and I was named when my human pals had a fleeting obsession with a Nintendo emulator back in college. Those were the days you could actually fall sleep on top of computer monitors! Anyway, I seem to have quite a popular name, so I do occasionally go by Zeldarella and Dorito.
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Patience, grasshopper.

Back in my younger, feral kitten days, I had a thing for sauteed mushrooms. That got old, and after a brief thing for nutritional yeast, I stuck to my meat cereal until I found something just as special as I was…leafy greens.
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Look at the size of the collard greens they grow here!

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When we moved to Portland, Jess decided that she was growing up and learned to cook. She started adding the most irrestible greens into our diet: spinach, kale, chard, hell, I was even nibbling the collards.
I quickly became a salad aficionado.
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Dinner!
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I sniff ‘em out the moment Jess comes home from the five farmers markets she seems to go to per week. They don’t need washing – just throw them on the floor! I will hunt my way through bags of groceries if I have to, and no one wants me to eat plastic, right?
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Are these leafy greens? I think not.

-At one point, we had a farmshare, and the variety of greens ruled! I’m not sure what Jess did besides take pictures of it, but I was content.

That is, until one awful day….-

Fennel?! Really? Who eats this sh*t?!

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Besides that fennel crap, I do consider myself adventurous about green vegetables. I like to investigate any type of greens – sauteed, steamed, braised, whatever you call it. Yeah, I’ll come licking your dinner bowl, but don’t expect me to finish. I want the fresh stuff.
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These smelled like fire.

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Even though I’ve knocked over every basil and mint starter Jess has brought home (those are false greens!), is it so much to ask for that we have a freaking indoor garden? What type of vegan is she?
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My 4th birthday party.

Now, as many of Jess’ friends can attest, I’m the real reason Jess does not keep beer in the house. She’ll tell you it’s gas, or it’s healthy, or it’s because she’s classy and prefers wine and cocktails, but really, it’s me. I’ll lick wine, but what’s the point? There are no bubbles!

I prefer porters and have a soft spot for Portland microbrews, but I’ll drink the heck out of anything made with hops. I’ll sniff out and lick cider, but it’s not really my thing. I just ruin it for everyone else. I’m really excited that Jess’ brother is supposed to come for Thanksgiving, because he always keeps a case of cheap beer in the fridge.-

Sharing is caring, y'all.

Once, I had 4 licks of beer before someone noticed, and fell asleep while Jess read some book about sparkling vampires.

I have fur. Therefore, Team Jacob.

Ah, dessert.

I’m sure you’re wondering…what sucks about life in Portland? Well, I have an awful roommate. His name is Huxley and I think he’s sleeping on a shelf in a closet somewhere. He has no appreciation for the finer things in life.

I thought you may need some more proof of my fine dining skills, so I got this from Jess’ archives:

Sorry, I got nervous on camera!

Thanks for reading, and just remember – anytime you see leafy greens on this blog,  I was there first.

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Take 1

I’ve had a few minutes of free time on my hands lately, and I’ve found myself dedicating that time to reading cookbooks. It’s a sure sign of cookbook love when you find yourself browsing through one for hours on the couch, mug of warmed peppermint chocolate soymilk in hand, and cat on lap [or insert animal companion or blanket of choice here]. The latest ‘new’ book to come into my life is Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. I’ve made one meal so far, as pictured below, and here are a few quick things I’m digging about this book already: the spices, the recipe format, the recommended pairings and musical selections, and southern drink concoctions. Frozen Memphis Mint Julep? I don’t care that it’s December; that sounds perfect, year round.

Next up, I’m looking forward to trying the Whole Grain Mustard & Cornmeal Seitan Medallions (now, what seitan recipe to use? hmmm) and the Cajun-Creole Coated Tempeh Pieces with Creamy Grits soon! Who’s coming over for dinner?

Take 1: Cajun Tofu, Greens with Tahini (I used purple kale) and Coconut Brown Rice

Thank You, Vegan Soul Kitchen

The MoFo Farewell, alla Vodka

Happy last day of MoFo! I haven’t quite been keeping to my proposed theme and daily posting as much as I intended, but I like to think that posting elsewhere (and co- planning a vegan bloggers conference, zomg!!!) has helped make up for it a tiny bit. That, and getting wrapped up on the MoFo reader for hours at a time on a regular basis – but, who hasn’t? It’s the weather for lengthy simmering on the stove, and I’ve done so recently with mulled pear apple cider, French Moroccan lentil soup, and creamy tomato vodka sauce.

The recipe for Penne alla Vodka comes from Veganomicon, and I served it over spaghetti one night with beanballs, and with the traditional penne, and balsamic braised greens on another. I’m newly allergic to almonds, so I subbed raw cashews and the result seemed even creamier than I remembered.

For the love of appropriately early Sunday night Italian dinners: Whole Wheat Spaghetti alla Vodka with baked Roasted Garlic & White Bean Balls (modified from the chickpea cutlet recipe).

Balsamic Braised Greens:

Whole Wheat Penne alla Vodka:

Cheers! With a Citrus & Jalapeño-infused vodka cocktail: