Sunday, July 22, 2007

Summer Celebration

Yeah, I know this has nothing to do with protein, but it has a lot to do with my summer celebration! Turning another decade older, finishing comps exams and perhaps starting a family are all excuse enough to celebrate with body art. This is my second tattoo, and it does actually have a lot to do with veganism. I see being vegan as being an integral part of the earth. The earth's inhabitants (floral or fauna) share the planet in a balance (thus the green/blue ying-yang). As vegans, we participate by trying not to harm that balance and by respecting all life. In addition, I am a born-environmentalist (before it was trendy!) and am a member of just about every group out there, from WWF to the Sierra Club (and active, not just card-carrying!). All of this is reflected in my newest body art (on my thigh). I've been wanting this design for quite a while, although my first tattoo was a cat (something else I was born loving!).

Meanwhile, I spent the week in a total haze, still not quite sure that I was finished studying and finding it difficult to relax! Luckily, this weekend's gorgeous weather made it a little bit easier for me. Unlike Dreena's rainy, cool summer, we have been in a sort of a drought. My husband hasn't cut the grass in about a month and we can barely keep my herbs and tomato plants alive. However, this weekend the temperature has dropped and we are loving every minute of it, despite the fact that there's still no rain. It gave me ample opportunity to make my weekly trip to the Farmer's Market in Fredericksburg, where I picked up a huge sack load of fresh fruits and veggies for our week's meals!
This is just one of the beautiful things I got that day. Organic, multi-variety okra. Aren't the colors amazing? And look at the different shapes and sizes! I know, most people are already saying, "eww," at the thought of this mucus producing veggie, but the only way to enjoy okra is to grill it! Simply combine some salt, pepper, ground red pepper, a tad bit of sugar, and some olive oil. Brush this on the skewered okra, along with some cherry tomatoes and onion wedges, and grill for a few minutes on each side! Divine! I promise you, this is nothing like okra in a stew or anything. They are crispy and flavor-full - I ate about half of what you see here!
Here is the cooked okra, alongside our main meal of grilled veggies. The farmer's market supplied us with cherry tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, and an enormous and very sweet red onion. These were just grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper. But we used a red wine and balsamic vinegar reduction sauce to marinate them in (after chopping into bite sized pieces), along with some basil from our back porch pot. The white stuff is Vegan Gourmet mozzarella (sorry, but nothing like the real thing!). My hubby had the veggies in a sandwich with real mozzarella and liked it well enough. The flavors are supposed to get better after a day or so. I'd say, a two and half star rating here, for the veggies (out of four). Maybe three? I always feel bad giving food a low rating :)

This last photo is a shot of Quinoa Curry from a Vegetarian Times magazine (Feb 07 issue). I didn't realize that I had made it before, and was just looking for a way to use up some leftover mango chutney (mmmm!!). This is a great dish to use quinoa - an excellent source of protein (and a complete protein at that!). Quinoa also provides as much calcium as a cup of milk! Recipe rating about three stars (despite running out of curry and thus it not being spicy enough). Well, off to do a little bit more coursework and house cleaning. I am trying very hard not to sit down and finish my new Harry Potter book in one sitting!


urban vegan said...

Pretty tattoo--and pretty eats, too.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Your tat is great! I have never had grilled okra. I must try this. My DH only remembers nasty okra as a child. Poor thing.

Quinoa is a favorite in our home. What a lovely littel grain.

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

Thank you! I wish I took as good pictures as some of the other bloggers out there - time for a new camera? And yes, okra and quinoa are to underrated foods!