that's what two caterpillars on my tomato plants must be saying.
they are covered with cocoons made from parisitoid wasps. i was thinking of trying to use tweezers to carefully pick all the cocoons off but i know i should just let nature take its course. poor little 'pillars!
after 2 days the caterpillars were gone. i'm guessing the rain washed them off the stems and some birds or strong ants carried them off for dinner.
summer is officially here until september 22nd and i plan to savor every last minute. we're eating plenty of watermelon, zucchini and cucumber (one from our garden that didn't taste like dramamine!) and i'm really in the mood for a nectarine right now.
today my kitchen was sunny and raw after some inspiration from Carmella's amazing ebooks that i finally ordered today :
john and i created this delicious summer dish of spiralized zucchini tossed with sliced button mushrooms, raw cashews, diced avocado, cilantro, olive oil, and a few seasonings.
as Carmella would say, it was to live for!
this eggplant made me so happy all season long, from the first bloom to its last fruit. i plan to grow at least four eggplant next season. i'm hoping the baby eggplant are able to mature before the cold weather comes!
this meal was so delicious i made obnoxious sounds the whole time i ate like What About Bob?. i got the quinoa recipe from Donna during the vegetarian retreat and decided to add mango and stuff it in baked portobello mushrooms.
of course we had to have a side of tater tots. the side of squash was a last minute idea - i baked the butternut squash being used for soup tomorrow with the mushrooms and tots in an effort to save electricity. when i smelled its goodness while i was plating the other heavenly items i decided to sneak a little taste tonight with earth balance (vegan butter), brown sugar and cinnamon.
here is donna's recipe for the quinoa salad. you can thank us later. =)
Mango Quinoa Salad
1 C quinoa
1 small cucumber or 1/3 slice regular size - finely diced
kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn
1 1/2 wide sliced of red pepper - finely diced
2 leaves of basil finely chopped
1 sprig of mint - leaves finely chopped
1 T finely chopped cilantro
2 t lightly toasted sesame seeds
2 T coconut oil - if thick then heat and melt
1/4 t toasted sesame oil
1 t raw organic agave
1/2" piece of ginger (or more), grated
3 T shoyu or tamari
cook quinoa with water in a 1:2 ratio (1 C quinoa, 2 C water). bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes. while quinoa is cooking, mix the marinade, then chop ingredients. (or get someone to chop the ingredients for you while you mix the marinade like i was lucky to have tonight). allow quinoa to cool slightly. add veggies, marinade, mix lightly, and enjoy!
john was proud and wanted to take a picture of his beautiful chopping. now he understands why i make him wait while i digitally capture my meal memories. :P
i used a bit more red pepper, left out the basil, and added one chopped mango. (i learned an interesting way to cut a mango watching this video.) i did not have sesame oil and i added a lot more ginger to the marinade since i love it so much. the ginger/coconut oil/shoyu combination really make this dish. plus the sweetness of the agave and mango! yum!
• 2 tablespoons commercial pure aloe vera or aloe vera gel from a plant
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until creamy.
2. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Instructions for use:
1. Wet your face with water.
2. Apply scrub to your face with a gentle circular motion. Take care not to tug the skin, and avoid the eye area.
3. Rinse with warm water followed by a quick cold-water rinse.
4. Cleanse your face with your normal cleanser.
i left the mixture on my face, neck, and rough spots for about 20 minutes, then rinsed it off in a nice steamy shower. my skin was left looking radiant and feeling oh so smooth. as john says, my cheeks are extra buttery. :P
i also gave myself a pedi and painted my toenails bright peachwith one white flower in protest of the fall season. ( would have posted a pic but my feet are shy =)
i am notready to say goodbye to summer just yet...are you?
fried red tomatoes sandwich with lettuce, mung sprouts and vegenaise
nutty stir-fry with barley
this is nellie grace.
miss nellie is a 2 year-old pomeranian staying with us for the week while her mommy (my cousin kate) is away. i'm learning she likes to play ball, take walks, sniff, and snuggle. she does not enjoy steps or loud noises.
john came home thursday with a tomato sicilian pie from his brother-in-law franco's pizzeria. mmm mmm mmmm was it GOOD! i topped my slice with some fresh basil, dried oregano and sauteed chard from the garden.
i had an eggplant ready to be picked so i decided to give eggplant "bacon" a try. i used a potato slicer to shave thin slices and marinated them overnight in a mixture of olive oil, shoyu, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. i baked them at 350 degrees in a casserole dish for about 10 minutes. i would have liked them a bit more crispy (yet another reason i want a dehydrator) but the taste was surprisingly close to bacon. the eb-l-t (eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) was phenomenal. with a bit of vegenaise and sliced avocado...*drool*
when i got a nice little round watermelon in my organic co-op box this week i got the idea to make watermelon soup in melon bowls. i didn't feel like following a recipe - just read through a few to get an idea. i added strawberries, diced cucumber, ginger, mint, and rice milk to the chopped watermelon in a blender. quick, easy, and yummy.
my organization skills are pitiful but i managed to compile all of my hand-written and printed recipes into a nice plastic blue folder so i wouldn't lose them, but now the folder is missing. i like that most of recipes are right here on this blog but of course not the apple cobbler recipe i created myself and won't be able to find anywhere but in that blue folder!
my grandmom says to pray to St. Anthony when something is missing, so St. Anthony, will you pleeease help me find my recipes (and my sanity while you're at it)??? thank you in advance!
(hey, in this day and age i'm sure saints even read blogs. missy is a latter-day saint and she reads my blog :P)
update: i found them in my room hiding under my duffel bag that is half unpacked from last week's stay at my mom's - at exactly 4:44! (i love when i catch 11:11 and triple number times =) thank you Saint Anthony!!!
we were hungry hungry hippos this afternoon so i made us a mexican lunch/dinner = linner (or dunch). very yummy but it looks like a mexican food bomb went off in my kitchen. i'll get to it later.
the soup was a modified version of Vegan Yum Yum's black bean soup. the corn fritters recipe was also from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook, but i made them with gluten-free all purpose flour. before i dug in i topped the fritters with a bit of tapitío and guac. for the taco salad i sauteed bell peppers and squash and topped with guacamole.
(i ♥ guacamole)
i'm off to indulge in my newest obsession - online scrabble.
ta ta for now!