Friday, December 4, 2015

Autumn Spiced Roasted Cashews & Pumpkin Seeds

I don't know about you, but I've never been a fan of things that are "pumpkin-spiced."  Where's the pumpkin, dude?  [cue awkward chirping of awkward crickets]

Even though I know that in most cases there will be no pumpkin ingredients at all and I know in my head that "pumpkin spice" simply refers to a combination of aromatic spices typically used in making pumpkin pie, I still have that association of pumpkin flavor, texture, and color when a food or drink is  is advertised as pumpkin spiced.  Knowing all of these things, I *still* manage to find a way to expect it.  And as someone who loves pumpkin, it can sometimes be difficult to hide my underwhelmed response/shock.

Yup, still no pumpkin.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Roasted Oyster Mushrooms & Grapes with Balsamic & Rosemary

Fall is the perfect time for roasting food.  And not just because it's colder, because living in Austin, that is often not the case.  No, it's the precious daylight slow to awaken and quick to retire, the leaves dropping and gradual mellowing of Nature's wardrobe to russet, ochre, burgundy, and mahogany.  And that smell in the air, regardless of geography or the fact that people may still be wearing tee shirts and sandals in November - crisp, spiced, earthy, pointed, stillness.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mango Goji Berry Smoothie

I have a complex confession:  As a child, I did not enjoy vegetables.

I know, I know....most of you may have immediately thought, "Duh!  Children don't like vegetables!" So here's why it's complex:  It was all an act.

I loved them, particularly asparagus and broccoli, but it wasn't "cool," nor expected for me to even like them.  So I would do this two-faced tango of insistently requesting that my Mother make them for dinner, and once they were on my plate, nibbling at them, pushing them around with my fork as if prodding an unidentified life form, or, at the height of my brattiness, pretending to eat them and then throwing them on the floor.  It is *mortifying* to disclose this, by the way.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Finding My Tribe

For years, I've talked about reaching out to other food bloggers, finding kindred spirits who believe and practice mindfulness in their relationship with food and how they choose to nourish their bodies, minds, and souls.  And there was also a wish that has carried over from the time I was very small: to have friends that are Filipino - who understand my culture and my roots and will double over in laughter at inside jokes detailing the idiosyncrasies and too true stereotypes that come with growing up in a Filipino household.  But for a number of reasons, whether real or manufactured in my mind, I haven't put the time nor the energy into making it happen.  I've remained a lone wolf, doing my own thing and alternating between searching and evading.  Hoping for things to change while simultaneously holding close the comfort of isolation.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day: Sinigang sa Sampalok

I remember Sinigang being a favorite dish in my family.  Now saying that, allow me to offer the disclaimer that while I would eat it, it would have to be over copious amounts of steamed rice.  As a child, and even as a young adult, the sourness of it did not click with my palate and I would eat it more as a side dish in very conscious moderation, picking out the radishes.  In contrast, both my mother and grandmother would go to town, happily eating any and all of my leftovers.  This was comfort food for them.  

And so, today, on Mother's Day, which also happens to coincide with the 2nd anniversary of my grandmother's passing, I offer this recipe in their honor.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Animal Free Reaffirmation

Two and half years ago, I began living life as a vegan.  For those who haven't read the post describing the transition,  allow me to offer a brief recap. [And if that doesn't sound appealing or you have doubts as to whether or not I can truly be brief, simply scroll down a few paragraphs]   

Returning from a 3 week trip to the Philippines in 2012, I was rejuvenated and grateful for my heritage and my roots, but I had consumed entirely way too much meat as I strove to honor the gesture of the meals that were prepared especially for us as well as my role as a guest in the homes of family and friends.  So to "cleanse," I decided I would follow a strictly vegan diet for 1-2 weeks upon arriving in Austin to give my digestive system a chance to rest and recover.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Apple Pie" Overnight Oats & Chia Porridge

I have a long, pleasant memory-filled history with oats.  During the Michigan Winters, I would always use two of those instant oatmeal packets to make mine extra thick and hearty (Peaches & Cream and Brown Sugar were my favorites).  Granola, crisp and sweet, was a later addition after moving to Texas, and thoroughly enjoyed in a bowl of coconut milk, over ice cream, or out of hand as a snack.  And oatmeal cookies  - that dessert that hearkens to breakfast, thus making it most important - have always been my favorite.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gluten-Free & Vegan in Austin!
A Canary's Guide to Dining Out

Squash Curry at Sway

I don't know about you, but whenever I travel, the first thing I do is look up restaurants.

Every day is scheduled, more or less (usually more), around where I am eating.   Visiting culinary landmarks, sampling local cuisines, and having the opportunity to branch out from my comfort zone and broaden my palate.  Now, with my dietary constraints, while venturing beyond is a good thing, I still need to be super careful.  One wrong roll of the dice and I could be spending the rest of my trip under the sheets in the fetal position.  So how best to find that information?

Well, in my opinion, from the locals who are both gluten-free and vegan.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Avocado Kale Banana Smoothie

One of the most common requests I receive is for me to share more smoothie recipes.  A quick and easy breakfast, midday pick-me-up, or post workout recovery meal, I can understand the demand.  And with so many smoothie shops and juice bars proudly flaunting concoctions with epic ingredient lists, I can also understand the mystique and intimidation of making smoothies at home.

But no need to fear; I've got your back.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Baked Hummus with Mushroom, Pear, & Pumpkin Seeds

Thinking back to my childhood, one of my mother's favorite snacks during the Winter was pear or apple with balsamic vinegar.  Forget peanut butter or caramel - nothing made her happier than a bowl of fresh sliced fruit generously doused with the beautifully rich sweet tartness of balsamic vinegar.  And while I did not have the palate for it when I was younger [cue image of portly youngster with a bowl cut holding his nose], I have most definitely developed it now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Roasted Grapefruit with Chipotle & Sage

When I was a child, Winter was associated with a number of things.  Living in Michigan, snow and ice for sure, but also hot chocolate with marshmallows from packets, puffy snowsuits that made us look like Michelin men as we made snow angels and constructed ice palaces (long before Elsa), swans and geese drifting in the little spots of water amidst the lake of ice by our house, and boxes of citrus fruits that lived in our chilly downstairs pantry.