as sad as it makes me, it's time to say goodbye to this little blog. it was born out of a desire to counter my tedious graduate school work with something creative, and has lead to so many wonderful opportunities. but now, as i approach the one-year anniversary of earning my master's, i'm craving change and a fresh start.
my future is very much up in the air, but as i explore more creative opportunities, i need a site that reflects my commitment to professionalism—an organized space to house my growing collection of writing samples. i've been working behind the scenes to create my new site, and it's finally ready to launch. i sincerely thank you for your readership and hope you'll continue to follow me as i embark on this new adventure!
i was completely addicted to cafe yumm during grad school. the food is simple—a bowl of brown rice, black beans, avocado, tomato, cilantro—but the vegan sauce is what makes it so special. i'd been flirting with the idea of making my own batch of sauce for years (the ingredients are listed right on the jar), but the fear of it not tasting as good as cafe yumm's held me back.
if you've had cafe yumm before, you'll quickly realize (to my dismay) that my hesitation was warranted—this isn't an exact match, in terms of taste (though color and texture are spot-on). i'm now even more convinced that there's a secret ingredient in yumm sauce that makes it so unbelievably delicious. regardless, this is still a versatile vegan sauce that can be poured over rice, quinoa, salads or used as a spread on sandwiches.
1/2 cup water 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup chopped almonds 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup nutritional yeast 1/4 cup cooked soybeans (edamame) 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp curry powder 1 tsp dried cilantro 1 tsp dried oregano
in a food processor, blend water, olive oil, almonds and chickpeas until the consistency is sauce-like. then add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, soybeans, garlic, salt, curry powder, cilantro and oregano. blend until all ingredients are incorporated and smooth.
happy friday! i hate to keep bringing up the weather, but i can't resist sharing this bit of news: it's going to be warm (like, high sixties to mid-seventies) and sunny this weekend. i'm looking forward to spring produce (green garlic!) at the farmers market and soaking up some much-needed vitamin d.
1. so much yellow 2. margherita pizza with arugula (and pino noir rose!) at ken's artisan 3. she found the one sun patch in the apartment 4. more signs of spring 5. stained glass 6. rifle paper cards 7. practicing my calligraphy strokes 8. pink trees! 9. grapefruit mimosa at tasty n sons 10. penny and drew, being adorable
though it's technically spring, march in portland is still pretty schizophrenic. random hail storms and frigid nights are not uncommon this time of year—hence, my non-stop cravings for baked pasta. baked pastas can be inherently heavy, so to offset that and pay homage to the new season, i doctored mine up with fennel and artichokes.
baked pasta with fennel and artichokes 8 oz. pasta (elbows or shells are best here) 1 tbsp olive oil 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped 1 bulb of fennel, sliced very thin (stalks removed, fronds reserved) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil 1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts, packed in water 1 cup fresh baby spinach 1/2 cup grated cheese (mozzarella and cheddar both work)
cook pasta until al dente and set aside. in a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. once heated, add diced onion and sliced fennel and cook for about five to ten minutes, or until slightly browned. next, add garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. cook for another two minutes or so, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning. add spinach and cook just until it begins to wilt. next, pour in can of crushed tomatoes and simmer the sauce for about ten minutes.
meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees f. drain, rinse and chop the artichoke hearts and add them to the sauce once it finishes simmering. add pasta to sauce, turn heat down to low and stir to combine everything. pour pasta and sauce into a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and the reserved fennel fronds. bake dish for about ten minutes, then turn oven to the broil setting and broil for about three minutes (or until the cheese is bubbling and browned).