Red Breakfast

This was breakfast one lazy Saturday morning – my strawberry freezer jam and Earth Balance on toast and a small bowl of raspberries and strawberries for me to graze on.  So good; I’ll be making that jam each year from now on.

Another strawberry-full concoction – a smoothie using up some of the frozen strawberries I had from when we went strawberry picking earlier in the season, with some banana, orange juice, soy milk, and a drizzle of coconut milk for creaminess.  Yum.

– Crystal

Hot Weather Cookin’

In case you haven’t heard, it’s been unseasonably warm in our part of the world.  Yesterday was a record-breaking 37C (99F) – and that’s not including the humidex.  Our little window air conditioner isn’t really cutting it these days.  Needless to say, the idea of spending as little time as possible in front of a hot stove is pretty appealing.

Mmm, big salads.  This one was on a bed of mesclun mix that I grew on the balcony, with candied walnuts, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, cucumber, dried cranberries and a simple balsamic dressing (probably something along the lines of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, agave syrup for a bit of sweetness, and a touch of dijon mustard).
Tonight’s was a big plate of fresh Vietnamese salad rolls.  Thin rice noodles, fried tofu, mango, mint, lettuce.  With a simple peanut sauce for dipping – I’m sure you can find a million recipes online, my basic non-recipe is natural peanut butter, water, hot sauce, soy sauce, agave, rice vinegar – to taste.  Throw in some crushed peanuts and you’ve got yourself a really good sauce.

Oh, and some miso soup with chives from the balcony, just because.  

Stay hydrated, folks!  Drink lots of water and eat tons of fruit, it’s full of water and vitamins to rehydrate.  Frozen grapes are a godsend.
– Crystal

Strawberry Muffins

My quest for this week is to put strawberries in everything I possibly can.  Strawberry muffins seemed to make sense!  These are honestly perfect.  I topped half with pumpkin seeds and half with almond granola, just because.  I doubled the recipe and brought some in to work, and they were a hit!

Strawberry Muffins

4 oz. Earth Balance vegan margarine
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 banana
2 cup flour (I used half whole wheat, half all purpose and liked the texture a lot)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soy milk, with a tsp of cornstarch dissolved in
1 teaspoon vanilla
Approximately 2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and coarsely chopped

Cream together margarine and vegan sugar until light and fluffy. Add the banana, and cream until well blended. Combine soy milk, arrowroot and vanilla. Add to creamy banana mixture.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly, until fully combined, but being careful not to overmix.  Fold in strawberries. Fill muffin tins nearly full, and bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes.

After the gym today, I had one with a smoothie that Trevor made.  Strawberries, guava pulp, lulo pulp, mango pulp, a fresh squeezed orange, soy milk and a splash of passionfruit juice.  The frozen tropical fruit pulps were purchased at our local Latin grocery; they have lots of great things there.

– Crystal

Strawberries Galore

Sometimes, in our strawberry off-season, I get lured into buying those plastic cartons of strawberries shipped from god-knows-where that are quite anemic, whitish on the inside and sort of bitter, from the grocery store.  It’s easy to get used to that taste and think that’s what strawberries are supposed to taste like.

And then you take a little trip one Saturday to your local Pick-Your-Own strawberry farm, and bite into one of those juice little gems right off the plant, and you think, this is what a strawberry is supposed to taste like.  

Wasting no time, I brought our pick home and got to work.  I had my heart set on trying a no-cook freezer jam, so I could preserve some of the amazing taste of summer fruit for more dark, wintry days.  I picked up a couple packs of this stuff, and followed the directions for that.  I liked that brand of pectin because it requires far less sugar than other kinds.  Anyway, the freezer jam method is pretty much the same for each brand of pectin you use, just the measurements vary a little bit.  Crush/chop fruit (I used a potato masher), add sugar, mix in pectin, et voila.  The great thing about freezer jam is there is no sterilization of the jars required, and the jam ends up tasting like the fresh fruit instead of cooked down fruit.  

I ate some with a spoon.
Next up was pie.  My go-to recipe for strawberry pie is Kittee’s Strawberry Pie.  It is perfect in every way, and doesn’t require any weird gelatin to set it up.  (Gelatin is gross, by the way, it’s made from animal bones and skin – yup, that’s what jello is made of.)

It sort of fell apart – oh well!
And all of that only used up one of the two containers of strawberries we have.  I’m going on an all-strawberry diet for the next week.
– Crystal

Breakfast in Bed

We celebrated Valentines Day this year with breakfast in bed, as is generally our custom. Coffee, juice, and blueberry pancakes topped with strawberries. The recipe is from Vegan Brunch, which also features other things such as cinnamon buns, waffles (gingerbread!  peanut butter!), tofu omelets (!), frittatas, scones, sausages, and more.  You really just need to buy it already.  Most of the pictures turned out horribly, but there were a few worth sharing.