It’s hard to believe I’ve already been living in the wonderful city of Austin for a month – time flies! It’s truly been a month of new experiences, like trying new foods, meeting new people, listening to new music, experiencing a warm winter without snow, adjusting to a long-distance relationship, in addition to learning a new language (Japanese!) and how to play guitar. Oh yeah, and exercising regularly and eating well. Sound like fun? It’s been a ride so far!
But since the focus of this blog is food, I want to take you on a tour of some of the yummy eats we’ve been concocting at the Natural Epicurean. We’ve been focusing on foundational veggie foods like tofu, tempeh, beans, grains, and veggies, which are all things I love to nom.
Tofu and tempeh, which I adore (especially ‘fu).
Working with grains, the superstars being dolmas (of course!) and the black bean, corn and avocado salad. It was super bright and fresh with cilantro and lime juice.
Beany goodness. Dudes, if you’re making baked beans (bottom left), I totally recommend throwing in some baked and cubed tofu – it’s such a wonderful addition.
Breakfast foods, like my savory grits concoction and some yummy cereals in the backdrop.
Plantain chips and fruit salsa? Hell yeah. Tortilla chips were surprisingly good with savory apple chutney, too.
All the vegetable classes made me so super happy, but I especially enjoy hearty roots and squashes.
Carmelizing onions is definitely a test of patience (which I apparently don’t have, since my batch was burnt and non-photogenic), and they were lovely atop a rutabaga, turnip and ‘tato puree.
Light and fresh veggies are fun too, like these yogurt and dill cukes (and some spiralized zucchini noodles in the back).
But greens are probably my favorite of all – this was a mix of kale, chard, mustard greens and escarole, steamed and then sauteed with paprika, cumin, and salt, and served with kalamata olives, tomato and lemon juice. I feasted on this, let me tell you.
We also had an exam yesterday which included ingredient identification, knife skillz and making recipes. Everything went smoothly for me, and I made this kick-ass risotto, but the stress of it all made me completely forget about photo-taking. Next time!
Hope you’ve all been having a wonderful week, and I’ll catch up with you at brunch!