The Taco Bowl (Without The Taco)

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2015 is the year of the Taco Bowl, didn’t ya know? Okay. I just made that up. But, seriously, it should be. My Taco Bowl adventure this week started with my discovery of butterbeans…yes, omg, butterbeans…at the farmer’s market. Too. Much. Fun.

I’ve been fascinated by the butterbean ever since I saw the Chef & The Farmer episode where Vivian makes butterbean burgers. After I saw the show, I tried to do it with lima beans. Ergh. Not good. So, when I came upon butterbeans at the market this past Saturday, I was beyond excited.

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On Sunday night, I spent 2 1/2 hours making these delightful treats…or what I thought would be delightful. Again, they turned out, well, rather underwhelming. So, I froze 6 patties and, in the morning, let 2 defrost. I made one for lunch and was not terribly impressed. Then, last night, I made GF pasta with marinara sauce and cooked up one of the patties on the side. I threw a little Vegenaise on top and chitty chitty bang bang…they tasted amazing.

Then, today, I made a Taco Bowl with refried beans, lettuce, mushrooms, julienned carrots & crumbled the butterbean burger on top. Another hit. YUMMY! So, with this recipe, it’s just a matter of what you do with it. The cheese doesn’t stand alone in this case.

Oh, and one more tip. Seriously – leave out the cumin. It’s just not necessary for these burgers & putting it in just gives it a funky taste.

That’s all.

U

 

Is it a sign?

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I am a firm believer that the Universe sends us signs here and there, telling us where to go, when to leave and more. I’m pretty sure that I got one of those signs this week.

All Summer, I’ve been building an organic container garden outside of my apartment. I live on the second floor and I started, very simply, planting various plants in wine crate boxes on the southern side of my building. It was a sort of ugly space to begin with, so I figured it would be nice for both me – having an organic garden – and my landlord – improving this space.

It was going well. I had tomatoes, a few peppers, tons of basil, loads of sage and a happily growing cucumber vine. Then I went out of town. And my landlord decided to paint the windows above my little haven. I came back to find paint chips in every single box and pot – in the Peppers, Tomatoes, Basil, Mint…and more. Paint chips! He had moved the boxes around, put them back in different places and there were oodles and kaboodles of paint chips in the boxes. I wanted to cry. I had worked so hard, battled nature, bugs and crazy Midwestern storms only to be undone by MAN. So ironic.

As I pondered the situation for some sort of gift or deeper understanding, I realized something important. This garden was and is important to me for many reasons. Eating fresh, organic food is so vital for me. And I need to have the freedom to plant, reap, sow and enjoy. I don’t have that here. At all. I am tied to a building that doesn’t allow me to grow. Literally and figuratively.

I am taking this as a definite sign that I am READY to own or rent a home where I can garden. I am open to the possibility of moving into a space that allows me to do that. Sooner rather than later. :)

As a P.S., I spoke with my Landlord about it, he felt terrible and offered to take money off of my rent to pay for the damaged plants. He said, “I value you as a tenant and feel terrible about this.” Wow. Perhaps the “sign” was simply that I needed to speak up and say something? :) Nevertheless, I think I’ll be staying here. 

Italian Fries With Vegenaise Sriracha Sauce

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Italian Fries. Crispy. Oven baked. Drizzled in Olive Oil. Doused with Italian herbs and a sprinkling of parsley and thyme fresh from the garden. Dipped in Vegenaise with Sriracha. Enough said.

Go make some. Now.

*Based on this Martha Stewart recipe…but I kept the skins on and sliced them as thin as I possibly could. And only baked for 20 minutes. If that. Keep an eye on them. Oh, and the sauce? Just a few TBSP of Vegenaise and 4 drops of Sriracha.