Returning to the Kitchen

I woke up early this morning, wondering why I had done so, since I had gone to bed not so early. Then I remembered that it was newsletter morning. Yay! I missed you all last week. I have to say I didn't miss cooking, just because I had whirled back into town on Monday morning after a long trip to Mississippi (where those of us from NC feel like real Yankees), and then had a big catering engagement and two kirtan (music) events to prepare for. I am pleased to report that I took the time off to plan for all those commitments, and nobody got hurt; nothing burned; and I didn't die from stress and fatigue. In fact, all of those events went extremely well. In fact the kirtan at Vegan Flava Cafe went so well that we will probably be singing there regularly. I was going to share a little video with you, and then realized that the owner of the video didn't put it on You Tube. Well, for those of you who are connected with me on Facebook, it is up there on my page, along with some videos from the festival in Morrisville yesterday.

And speaking of music, one of our customers asked me to make an announcement that Awakening, my band's debut cd, is now available for sale. You can preview it here. Or download it here. Or better yet, buy it from me in person when you pick up your food. Okay, public sales announcement is now over. I just did it because she (annonymous customer) made me do it. ;-) Now you are free to scroll down to see what great food we will have this week.

(photo samadhikirtan.com)

Entree #1 - Yellow Split Pea & Pumpkin Dal

When I went out to the farm the other day, there were these ugly pumpkins that just jumped into my arms, like little lost puppies begging for a home. At the farm they have cookin' pumpkins ("ugly" ones) and showin' pumpkins. Naturally I opt for the ugly ones because 1) they are MUCH cheaper and 2) they are way more flavorful than the jack o'lantern kind. If you are going to make this at home, let me just tell you though that peeling and cutting a pumpkin (think slaving away forhours) is not something you really want to do more than once. To avoid pumpkin burn out, I suggest cutting it into large wedges, about 4-6 inches deep. Then bake those babies in the oven until they are just tender. Then when you take them out and let them cool, you can easily cut the wedges into manageable cubes. Or if you are making a puree soup, just bake the pumpkin longer so you can just scoop the flesh off the skin. Life-changing! *GF, soy-free

(photo foodandwine.com)

Entree #2 - Southern Succotash Stew

Since the other two entrees on the menu are repeats of old classics, I wanted to add something new. This is a recipe by Susan Voisin over at Fat Free Vegan. Her website is a veritable treasure trove of delicious vegan recipes. For those of you who are using this newsletter as a resource, bookmark her site, you can find a sumptuous version of just about anything there. For those of you who just want to get down to business and order some food, let me tell you that this is a a great combo of those veggies that are still plentiful in the autumn - tomatoes, carrots, corn, green & Lima beans, okra, turnips (for that true Southern flair), and Creole seasoning (for that even deeper Southern flair). *GF, soy-free

(photo fatfreevegan.com)

Entree #3 - Cream of Green Soup

This weekend I had a catering job for which I made an amazing! Bengali vegetable dish of deep fried eggplant and spinach. I will find a time and place to work that recipe into our menu one week, I promise. This week is not that week; however, working with all that spinach (like 5+ pounds of it), reminded me of this soup. We haven't made it in quite a while, I am ashamed to say. It is my own recipe that is based loosely on the one that is linked in the photo credit. Here is what I have to say about it - half spinach, half kale, made creamy by sunflower seeds and butternut squash; then spiced simply with salt and pepper and pureed to green perfection. Wa-hoo! *GF, soy-free

(photo healthyblenderrecipes.com)

Side Dishes:

Brown Rice - $1/serving (1 cup)

Quinoa - $2/serving (1 cup) My creative side was really pushing to make this an exciting pilaf with broccoli or something. And yet my grown-up left brain had to step in and remind the right brain of the number of items already on the menu and the time available in which to cook them. She promised the right brain that we will make a quinoa pilaf some time soon, as an entree. So stay posted. *GF, soy-free

(photo telegraph.co.uk)

Veggie Cutlets - $2.50 ea. or 2/$4. Add in our famous tamarind chutney for an extra $1. This is a bit deja vu isn't it? Yes, so what had happened was... my food processor broke, and being that I just moved, I didn't know where my back-up food processor was. Finding that spare machine became my first priority. So know that it is found, we are going to try again. Here is the deal, everyone who ordered these savories the last time, you will get them this week, with complimentary chutney. Those of you who were on the fence about ordering them before, feel free to do so now (and send us good food processor energy). *GF, soy-free

​(photo manjulaskitchen.com)

Love Your Body Bites - $1 ea. or 6/$5. The recipe linked here in the title and the one in the photo credit are two different recipes. This is important to know because we are going to offer balls made from both recipes. One set are made with candied ginger, cranberries, raisins and the like. The other will be made with dates, pecans, pumpkin puree, and coconut. Ideally you would order more than one Bite so that I could just give you a variety; however, feel free to specify which flavor you want. So many choices! I know, right? Eating tasty can be so hard sometimes. ;-) *GF, soy-free

(photo paleogrubs.com)

#Mississippi #catering #kirtan #planning #Samadhi #Awakening #album #yellowsplitpeaandpumpkindal #pea #pumpkin #dal #southernsuccotashstew #tomatoes #carrots #corn #greenbeans #limabeans #okra #turnips #Creoleseasoning #creamofgreensoup #spinach #kale #sunflowerseeds #butternutsquash #quinoa #veggiecutlets #loveyourbodybites #candiedginger #raisings #dates #pecans #pumpkinpuree #coconut #veganflavacafe #Morrisville #festival