Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meet me on the sunny road...

What an amazing summer of wonder and discovery!  I have thoroughly enjoyed my rudimentary explorations of Colorado, my new home.  I continue to be awestruck by the diverse climates and landscapes I find, each place having its own beautiful and harsh nuances.  There is definitely something "great" about this West, whether that be in its vastness or the rugged handsomeness of its valleys and peaks.  It's hard not to wonder what the first newcomers thought of such places, and it isn't difficult to understand the reverence and worship that the Native Americans have felt for natural landscapes for centuries.  Anyone who knows me knows how very non-religious I am, and yet when I am in the presence of such earthly splendors I've never felt closer to god.  Appreciation is the prayer, enjoyment and preservation are the worship.    
Cottonwood Pass-Continental Divide
In many ways I feel as if I've been a tightly-furled blossom, closely guarding my inner secrets, life and love giving abilities, in anticipation of a brilliant sun.  And with the perfect proportions of nourishment and light, I....

My new and improved, plant-based lifestyle has been coming along swimmingly.  I can't quite tell if I feel so much better because I have cut meat and dairy out of my diet, or due to the fact that I'm paying much closer attention to what I eat.  As predicted, cheese has been the most difficult thing to stop eating.  I'm borrowing a bit from Alcoholics Anonymous with my "One Day at a Time" approach.  I realize it is unnecessary to think about whether I will be able to not eat cheese a year from now, and instead channel my sole focus into not eating cheese today.  Ironically or not, I'm beginning to understand that I was addicted to that component of my diet.  By making the conscious and informed choice to remove it, I'm empowering myself to start taking better care of myself and the world around me.

Kitchen experimentation has been frequent and fruitful.  There have been some flops, but they have been few.  What is most exciting, to me, is finding ways to reinvent the ingredients I love.        

Some tidbits from the kitch:
(Click on the recipe title, below the picture, to be redirected to the recipe!)

Olive-Oil Roasted Tomatoes & Fennel w/ White Beans

I dare you not to eat this all in one sitting!  Use the best olive oil you have, and a cast-iron skillet makes the transition from stove-top to oven easy.  Try this over pasta, greens, or the best way: sopped up with crusty whole wheat bread.

Cantaloupe Granita
I made this up, using the basis of another great recipe, which you can find here.  It's easy as pie.  Flaky, frozen, melt-in-your-mouth, cantaloupe pie.


4 1/2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1/4 cup agave nectar
Juice from one lime


Put it all in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Freeze 1 hour.  Remove; stir mixture and break up frozen chunks with the back of a fork.  Cover, freeze until firm, 2 hours or so.  Flake with a fork before serving.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding

I. love. this. pudding.  You will too, and you won't believe that it's dairy-free!  Trust me on this one.

I leave you with a flower, until next time.