Posts tagged southern

Black Bean Chili, Quinoa, Kale, and Squash Fritters

My Garden Grows Squash Fritters with Creamy Dill Sauce

Community Garden

The community garden outside my office. My department's plot is in the back center.

Fritter Veggies

Fritter Veggies

 

Well, not literally… but I did just harvest my first squash from the new community garden at work. The facilities team built a fenced-in garden with one above-ground plot for each department. It’s a wonderful job perk, and one that really helps me out, since I have an apartment with no ground space to grow veggies and very little sun on my porch. So far, I am growing yellow squash, green and red bell peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, basil, mint, parsley, okra, and chives. This is my very first garden! :-)

In honor of my squash harvest, I decided to make a meal around squash fritters. I found a squash fritter recipe at This Primal Life that I heavily modified to make the patties more colorful and crunchy.

Squash Fritters with Creamy Dill Sauce

Fritter Ingredients

  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 fresh ear of corn kernels
  • 1 tsp Lowry’s seasoned salt (or regular salt)
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed mixed with 1 tbsp. water (as egg replacer)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp. chives, chopped fine
  • dash chili powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • dash pepper
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil for frying

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup Vegenaise
  • 1 tbsp. dill
  • splash apple cider vinegar

Directions

Combine sauce ingredients in a small dish and mix well. Refrigerate until fritters are ready.

Wash the squash and zucchini, chop off the ends of each, and grate through a cheese grater. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and let sit for 10 minutes. If you have a cheesecloth, drain the grated squash through it, otherwise, do like I did and squeeze the squash with your hands to drain it. There was quite a bit of water, and you want to get out as much as you can. You can use a clean washcloth or napkin to press more water out. Next, heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on medium to medium-high heat. As the oil is heating, combine the grated squash in a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients (green onions, bell pepper, corn, flaxseed mixture, garlic, parsley, chives, chili powder, flour, and pepper). Mix thoroughly with a spoon. Once the oil is hot, use your hands to make patties about three inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place the fritters one at a time on the end of a spatula or slotted spoon and carefully drop into the oil. My fritters took about 3 or 4 minutes to brown nicely on the bottom. Once they are browned, turn them over with the spatula and fry another 2 or 3 minutes. Drain on a clean kitchen towel. Drizzle with dill sauce when ready to eat.

To accompany my fritters, I made quinoa, steamed kale, and black bean chili from a PCRM database recipe. The meal was outstanding if I do say so myself. I’m looking forward to more yummy squash meals from my garden.

Fritters Fritterin'

Fritters Fritterin'

Black Bean Chili, Quinoa, Kale, and Squash Fritters

Black Bean Chili, Quinoa, Kale, and Squash Fritters

 

Remedy logo

Dinner at Remedy Diner

Soy BBQ and Potato Salad

I was a hungry hippo and I inhaled the key lime pie before I could take a picture.

I scarfed down a delectable meal last night at The Remedy Diner. I ate a soy BBQ sandwich topped with coleslaw, potato salad, flash-fried broccoli with ranch dressing, and key lime pie – all vegan! I know it’s not the healthiest meal, but I was craving some serious comfort food. My sandwich was so good, I got all quiet when I started eating it. I also got a fabulous peach cocktail. I forget the name of the drink, but it’s on the ‘spring drinks’ section of the chalkboard menu. My favorite items were the fried broccoli and the peach cocktail. The key lime pie was good, but there was a definite Tofutti/”fake cream cheese” taste to it. Next time, I’m gonna go for the vegan chocolate cake.

If you’ve never been to Remedy, now is the perfect time. They’ve just updated the menu with loads of vegan options (and meaty options for omnivores), and are now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays! Plus, the waitstaff is easy on the eyes… just sayin’. Now all I need is a Remedy location in North Raleigh… or maybe I just need to move downtown.

My Big Fat Vegan Asheville Vacation

I just spent a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend trip with my boo.  We decided to go on a pseudo-staycation, so I wouldn’t have to take time off work. We picked Asheville, NC because of its status as hippie-crunchy mecca of the East Coast, and because we haven’t been to Asheville since the Biltmore Estate field trips of our elementary school days. It was only a four hour drive from Raleigh, but in hindsight, we should have stayed two nights instead of just one.

On Saturday afternoon, we toured the magnificent Biltmore Estate and later attended the Asheville Symphony’s Romeo and Juliet. Both highly recommended, but what had me on cloud nine was the city’s culinary delights. We ended up eating so much, we’re still full two days later.

Saturday night, we dined at Mela, an Indian restaurant on North Lexington Avenue. Mela is an omni restaurant with a heavy vegetarian and vegan selection. I ordered a salad of spinach, mango, beets, candied walnuts, and jicama, along with a raspberry and coconut milk martini, just for starters(!) The salad totally outshined my entree, the aloo gobi masala, which was a wee bit too spicy for my tastes.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake at French Broad Chocolate Lounge

For dessert, we headed to French Broad Chocolate Lounge, an all-natural gourmet chocolate bar featuring decadent truffles, cakes, cookies, and mousses. I ordered a slice of the vegan chocolate cake, made with Theros olive oil, rich cocoa powder, and agave nectar. I also got an individual “Buddha” vegan truffle made with dark chocolate and coconut milk. I practically inhaled them both.

Tofu Benedictine

Tofu Benedictine at Laughing Seed Cafe

The next morning, with martini and chocolate hangovers, we went to the Laughing Seed Cafe for the organic Sunday brunch. With a completely vegetarian menu, Laughing Seed was right up my alley. I ordered the “Tofu Benedictine,” a spin on my old favorite, eggs benedict. My plate was piled high with “scratch-made biscuit, grilled organic tofu, grilled tomato, sautéed spinach, and seitan sausage over grits with herb oil and béarnaise.” Breakfast was so delicious, I finished my meal and wanted to actually lick the plate clean.

truffles

Vegan Buddha Truffles collection at French Broad

So after brunch, we decided to walk around town. Somehow, the French Broad Chocolate Lounge seemed to pull us back in, and we ended up in line for brunch dessert… which is not really a thing people do. But I managed to down yet another piece of that decadent, moist, vegan chocolate cake, and purchase a six-pack of vegan truffles for later consumption. The cashier kindly asked me if I would like a bow for the truffle box, but I pointed to my stomach and said they were going straight in there. “Word,” she said.

After a day of sight-seeing around downtown (two fantastic stores are Malaprop’s Bookstore and Blitzkrieg Games), we headed to Wasabi sushi for an early dinner before heading home. All I can say is Holy Cow they have Tempura Sweet Potato sushi rolls. My boo and I agreed it was one of the best sushi meals we’ve ever had.

sushi

Avocado and Tempura Sweet Potato Rolls at Wasabi

I have to say, I am left feeling pretty disappointed after this trip. Not in Asheville of couse, which was like a vegan’s dream world. I’m disappointed that Raleigh is so much larger and more populated, and yet we have only a fraction of the cool eateries and local, sustainable ideology Asheville seems to have. Maybe I’m just bitter, but here in Raleigh it’s like you have to hunt for a nutritious, local, vegan meal. Yes, we have Irregardless and we have Remedy, and I love those restaurants. But in Asheville, we couldn’t walk down the street without finding yet another place overflowing with vegetarian food. In any case, Asheville just became my second favorite foodie vacation spot (I think Western Mass will always be number one for me).

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