avocado squash

Tortillas: Tortillas are thin, unleavened breads made from cornmeal. This flat, round bread was staple food of the Maya and Aztec/Mexica of Mesoamerica. Maya and Aztec/Mexica cooks made tortillas from dried corn kernels that they had boiled in water mixed with charcoal or lime. This served to loosen the skin; it also increased the amount of protein the body absorbs from corn. The technical name for this process is nixtamalization. 

  Once the corn had been boiled, the tortilla makers removed the skins from the kernels by rubbing them between their hands. They crushed the corn on a stone with a stone roller (called a Metate and mano) to form a paste. They then kneaded the dough and shaped it into thin, round cakes. Aztec/Mexica cooks baked these on a special stone griddle, called a “comalli”, that rested over a fire. Tortillas are still made in the same way by Mexican cooks today! The Maya tortilla makers shaped their tortillas thicker than those of the Aztec/Mexica. Because no Maya griddles have been found, it is believe that they cooked tortillas on or under the ashes fire.

  Father Bernardo de Sahagun, who wrote about the Aztec/Mexica shortly after conquest, detailed many types of tortillas that they prepared and ate. He wrote that in addition to being made from amaranth. Sometimes they were flavored with turkey, eggs, or honey. The Aztec/Mexica wrapped tortillas around a variety of foods. These fillings included chile sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, and avocados. The result was the ancestor of modern taco, burrito, and enchilada.  

8 nectarines
5 seasoning
5 mangos
5 whole-grain pasta
4 pineapple juices
4 packs of strawberries
3 packs of dates
3 packs of bananas
3 whole-grain spaghetti
3 seaweed chips (dogs)
3 tomato sauce
3 packs of blueberries
3 squash
3 avocados
2 vinegars
2 peaches
2 packs of raspberries
2 packs of Persian cucumbers
2 tropicana juices
2 packs of organic greens
2 packs of potatoes
1 pack of peppers
1 baby banana
1 pack of cherries
1 pack mini peppers
1 salad dressing
1 black bean quinoa salad
1 pack baby Bella mushrooms
1 frozen steamable vegetables
1 clif bar (eat)

shopping at associated upper westside

total : $149

Green Pasta (or Avocado-Spinach Pasta)

I found myself craving avocado the other day, and have a bunch of frozen spinach in my freezer, so I looked up a few avocado-spinach pasta recipes, made note of the common themes, and made my own, much simpler version.

When I made it, it involved one frying pan/skillet and one large saucepan, and no chopping, but I am not sure if you can get the ingredients I used in other countries (I am in Australia). It’s also fairly easy to modify and add bits in.

Ingredients:

  • Pasta (4-5 cups for ~three servings.)
  • ~2 Avocados (In Australia we have AvoFresh which is prepackaged. I used the Firm Avocado, which had two mashed avocados in it. If you can’t get prepackaged, then this is no longer a no-chop recipe)
  • ~100g Greek yoghurt (substitutions could be sour cream, for a similar flavour, or regular yoghurt, for a lighter flavour)
  • Parmesan cheese (I used about half a packet of the prepackaged kind, but I am big on cheese, so it’s really to taste and to thicken up the sauce. I’d estimate around 1/3 of a cup? If you don’t like cheese, it isn’t really necessary, as the sauce doesn’t need too much thickening anyway. I just like chunky sauces.)
  • Frozen corn or peas, about 1/2cup - 1 cup depending on your preference
  • Chopped Spinach, about 2 and ½ cups (we have Birds Eye Frozen Spinach which comes in 75g portions, and I used about five of those, but I really like spinach. If you can’t get pre-chopped spinach, you can chop it yourself, stick the sauce in a blender, or eat the leaves whole.)
  • Lemon juice (optional, just for adding flavour)

Instructions:

  • Boil water for your pasta (putting salt in the water helps it to boil faster, apparently) and put your pasta in to cook, stirring occasionally.
  • Once you add your pasta to the water, start your sauce in the fry-pan thing. I firstly defrosted my spinach in the microwave to give the pasta a chance to start cooking (because I always seem to finish my sauces before my pasta is done).
  • Add your yoghurt, spinach, and avocado to your pan and mix well. Make sure to squash the avocado a bit with your stirring utensil (I had a wooden spoon), especially if you aren’t putting it through a blender. I had my stovetop on about halfway, because nothing really needed cooking, it just really needed to be heated through.
  • Once the soft ingredients are blended together nicely, you can add your frozen veggies (and any other bits you want to add like pine nuts or spices and such). Start adding your parmesan. It’s supposed to be a fairly chunky sauce, but if it’s too thick, add some water. If you’re adding lemon juice, you can add it now, or when you take it off the heat.
  • Once everything is in your sauce and cooked through, lower the heat and just stir occasionally until your pasta is cooked.

I always make multiple servings so I can freeze portions to eat through the week, but if you want to just cook one serving for yourself, just divide the ingredients. I got three large servings out of this, but normally I get four servings from four cups pasta (I just didn’t cook enough pasta because it was tiny).

I normally don’t like standing over a hot stove, but as the sauce wasn’t up too high and didn’t take long to come together, I wasn’t standing there for long at all, and just had to check in every couple of minutes to stir it and check the pasta.

(I hope I did the tagging correctly, this is my first time submitting anywhere!)

Random Ingredient Vegan Chili

-I titled it this because I literally went to the grocery store and looked around and grabbed random things I thought would make a good unique chili.  It came out GREAT. :D  This recipe filled a 5 quart dutch oven, so I ate it for dinner then also had lunches for the whole week! And I actually wanted to eat it every day. 
You really can’t go wrong when using the “grab random food” strategy for making chili.  When you try out this recipe add things you like or take out things you don’t think you’ll like, it’s so easy to make it your own!
I’ve bolded the ingredients that make this chili a little more fun and adventurous :)

Ingredients
-1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
-1 can of black beans
-1 can of white beans
-1 can of red kidney beans
-1 can of corn
-¾ can of artichoke hearts, cut in fourths
-1 fresh tomato, chopped
-1 avocado, chopped
-onion, celery, carrot mix (all diced, bought it pre cut/mixed but obviously you can buy these three things separately and add them. Probably 2 celery stalks, 1 small onion, and 1 or 2 big carrots)
-¾ carton small whole mushrooms, I roasted these in the toaster oven for about 15 mins before adding them
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 bag of baby spinach
-¾ package of gnocchi (don’t include if gluten free)
-olive oil (for sauteing)
-½ carton of Trader Joe's butternut squash soup (1 carton = 1 quart) 
-spices: fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, roasted paprika, cumin, turmeric, (optional) hot sauce. (sorry I don’t have quantities, I just put in random amounts usually. If you don’t know how much to add, start small, mix, taste, and add if you want more flavor!)

Directions
-Saute the onion, carrots, celery, and pepper with olive oil for 5 minutes.
-Add in literally everything else and have fun stirring until it is well mixed.
-Simmer on low/medium heat for ~30 minutes.  Let sit for ~15 minutes to thicken.  It starts out pretty watery looking when cooking but once you let it sit it becomes wayyy thicker.
-Enjoy!  Optionally with hot sauce on top. I sometimes eat it with crushed Ritz crackers as well.

The colors of summer falling into fall: Vegan Caprese Interpretations with Tomato, Avocado and Butternut Squash

At what point does a name and the essence of what it is designating separate? As I ate this salad - can it be called a salad? What definintively constitutes a salad? - the combination of the balsamic glaze, the tomato and the basil gave me the food experience connoted with the word “Caprese”, yet without the mozarella, I didn’t know if I could call it such a name. Reading about a professor teaching about The Platonic Dialogues through a Sandwich I felt the common experience of experiencing common sense without truly pinpointing at what point my experience was common. We know what a salad, or a caprese is not, but when asked to define exactly what it is, interpretations vary. And this is perhaps the reflection of my dancing shadow of a Caprese salad on the dark wall of Plato’s cave. 

For the recipe, click the Read More

Keep reading