Friday, October 7, 2011

Changing Colors: Fall Harvest and Preparation for Winter

The time to harvest is here. The leaves are changing and winter, I fear, is beginning to rear is unpleasant head. It's not all that bad--fresh pressed cider, local pumpkin beers, and time to celebrate with family is all a plus. But for many students, or maybe for just myself, the lack of sun after a full day of studying can get wearing... and as much as I love squash, the idea of eating it everyday in an effort to eat locally is not as desirable either.

That's where a little planning ahead can make a world of difference. While I'm a fan of canning, jamming, and the like, I find they're a bit more time consuming that I'd like during the school year. But here's a few student-friendly options for savoring the best of summer all winter long:

1. Frozen 'Pesto' (fresh basil blended in a food processor or blender with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper): just thaw and add garlic and chopped nuts.

2. Frozen Tomatoes (we just put them in a bag here and they're great for making deliciously flavored soups and sauces; avoids the dull flavor of the GMO January tomato)

3. Frozen Bell Peppers (fresh from our garden, just slice these guys into strips and ready for a quick fajita night on a snowy day)

4. Frozen Thai Hot Peppers (or any kind you like. I love bringing simple heat to a dish in the middle of winter, a great source of warmth)

5. Frozen Fruit Muffins (yes, basically the freezer is your best friend here. I chose a classic, blueberry muffins. Just wrap a freezer sealed bag, defrost overnight, gently reheat, and enjoy on the way to work).

6. Dehydrated Summer Fruits (a real favorite of mine, this is so easy to do and with such an amazing pay off. Dried fruit can be expensive and so doing it on your own; only catch is you'll need a dehydrate first, though some can be quite affordable and makes for great kale chips. I'm a fan of dehydrated cherries and even strawberries)

And, of course, I'll be sad to see all my fellow garden critters go when the snow hits (okay, maybe not these pests), but at least I'll have the owls outside my window to purr me to sleep.

Start Your Day Right: Tropical Green Power Smoothie

An apple a day may help with our overly friendly doctor situation, but a handful of spinach for breakfast is the perfect pick-me-up.

I admit, I used to be one of those wake-up-late-in-a-rush-run-to-school-skip-breakfast kind of person; but I also used to be asleep in my 8am Biology class. So Instead, for the student on the go, skip the poptart that will leave your on the edge of a sugar crash mid-day, and get fresh, sustain, energy to-go: The Green Power Smoothie.

Of course, this is just one of many variations here, but the way that the subtle tropical flavors and strong peanut-butter after taste come together is one of my favorites. the Peanut-Butter gives the the protein and brain-power to power through your morning, the ginger and orange to keep your system healthy (even on a rough schedule), and spinach and spirulina to pack it with vital nutrients.

Perfect for anyone on the go, just throw the items together, blend, and pour it a cup together. Trade it out for coffee and you won't regret it.

Tropical Green Power Smoothie


* Handful of spinach leaves
* Full, peeled orange
* 1 peeled banana, cut in half
* 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
* 1 tablespoon minced ginger
* 2 tablespoon peanut butter
* 1 tablespoon spirulina
* 1 cup almond milk (or vegan milk of choice)


1. Wash off spinach and place it into blender or immersion blender cup.
2. Place the rest of the items in the blender or cup (with fresh fruit in the bottom and frozen fruit on top)
3. Blend until everything is chopped and mix thoroughly to desired consistency.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Rainbow for Dinner

I'm not sure there's any more beautiful culinary site that delicious and fresh vegetables, raw and chopped, just begging to be dressed, sauteed, steamed, roasted, or just eaten the way nature provided them. Unfortunately, such a scene is as rare as it is beautiful for many students.

Nearly everyone at Harvard is on a meal plan and even with the ever-present salad bar, most of the prepared dishes use frozen, pre-cut vegetables; many students leave without ever having (or knowing how) to prepare meals to enjoy themselves... at least we have a series of cooking class before graduation for those about to embark into the real world of self-sustained eating.

So any chance I get, I love to host dinner parties with my on-campus classmates. Cooking together, eating together creates such an incredible bond and fun experience. This weekend, craving Thai food, instead of going out to one of the city's many restaurants we decided to try it on our own at home.

Green curry, panage curry, and pineapple fried rice--I could not have asked for a more delicious meal! I'm particularly addicted to Thai Pinapple Fried Rice and so this gave me the opportunity to try my hand at the recipe at home--brown rice, no fish sauce, everything fresh.

It was wonderful. If you're an addict like me, or just looking for a new way to use that rice cooker, try this recipe. The best part? Extra pineapple chunks for dessert!

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice


1 ½ cups salted/roasted cashews

1 cup frozen green peas, defrosted

½ red onion diced, sautéed

1 green chili minced

4 garlic cloves minced

¼ vegetable oil

3 shallots diced

2 cups chopped pineapple (about 1/4th a pineapple)

1 carrot shredded (optional)

1. Cook: 1 cups brown rice w/ a bit of curry powder

2. Mix Sauce: ¼ cup soy sauce + Tbsp curry powder + 1 tsp sriachi

3. Cook Vegetables, then add cooked rice and then sauce once vegetables are softened to desire. Stir-fry for five minutes until desired consistency is achieved.

Easy as One, Two, Three :)

Peace & Love<3

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vegan MoFo: cupcakes and cats

Okay, so its been too long. You know it, I know it... but certainly I know it. There's not excuse really, but time seems to fly by and yet often I wonder what how much has happened. A lot I suppose.

It's senior year for one. Toni and I have moved to a new home, a beautiful place with a garden and balcony, all thanks to our friend and his wonderful mum. Our baby, Marley has grown up...

... but she's at home in California with my mum, hopefully just for awhile...

and it's Vegan MoFo and my first year participating :)
[now that research over the summer has subsided and I'm back to Boston]

The theme this year: vegan eating for students.

I know that's kind of the theme for the blog... but now I'll be posting 5 times a week with a bigger focus on healthy but comforting foods, shopping on a budget, an
d taking advantage of city life.

But for today, I'll leave you with just a little something sweet:

Cinna-Punk Vegan Cupcake @Kickass Cupcakes

They have a Food Truck often at Harvard Campus its dangerous: I think they might be trying to get students addicted... ;)