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Bitten by the gardening bug

Back in October, Alex and I moved into a new apartment. (We had spent only a year in our previous place. The apartment wasn’t bad but the landlord was greedy.) When apartment hunting, I specifically looked for one with outdoor space because I was hankering for some gardenin’. At a certain point, though, I’d given up on finding my dream place and started responding to ads without photos. (The shock! The horror!) As luck would have it, one of the apartments we went to see actually had a terrace! The apartment was also very attractive but the terrace was the clincher.

Now, eight months after moving in, I have what’s shaping up to be a dream terrace:

2014-06-01 17.43.59

I have two window boxes that are hanging over the railing that contain mint, parsley, and basil. (I had cilantro but it started bolting in the 70°F weather. Now I’m trying to see what happens when you plant store-bought scallions that have been kept in water…) I have several pots that contain tarragon, oregano, lemon thyme, and sage. I also have three elevated planters that house multiple okra plants and a dozen green bean plants.

I’m particularly fond of my adorable little bistro set on the terrace:

2014-06-01 13.56.36

The small begonia plant I picked up at Trader Joe’s this morning is so precious!

Did you spot the tumbling composter in the panoramic shot? It’s the black drum on steel legs. (Next to it is a non-operational vermicomposter–or “the green thing.” I may put it up on craigslist since I’ve never used it and I no longer plan on using it.) Instead of schlepping my vegan scraps to the farmer’s market, I plan on making and using my own compost. The bin is already full of scraps, getting nice and warm from all the nutrients breaking down. Alex says it’s also forming an earthy aroma. (“It stinks like garbage,” he says, “but not in a bad way.”)

Out front, I have another elevated planter that houses a handful of strawberry plants. (It’s so exciting seeing the berries form! Now to try to keep the squirrels and birds away from them…) There’s also room to plant more things but that may be a project for next year. I’m thinking a blueberry bush and a fig tree in a super sunny spot on the side of the house.

For a girl who thought she had a black thumb, all of this gardening is very exciting! I started slow (planting just the two varieties of veggies) not only because I’m a first-time gardener but also because Alex and I just signed up for the local CSA. I was afraid of being inundated with kale, tomatoes, and zucchini all harvesting season long. I’m eager to see how everything turns out but, in the meantime, I’m enjoying a cold beer on my terrace, watching ships sail across the New York Harbor.

Life is good.

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Food & Recipes

Did you do somethin’ new?

On Thursday, Alex had all four of his wisdom teeth removed. As a result, my Vitamix blender has been getting quite the workout! I made:

I’d also whipped up a batch of almond butter since we’d finished the jar adding the nut butter to our porridge and smoothies.

So, in an effort to give my blender a rest, I turned to my juicer! And came up with this tasty concoction:

Bright & Cheery Juice
Serves 2
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141 calories
34 g
0 g
1 g
3 g
0 g
456 g
148 g
21 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
456g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 141
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 148mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 34g
11%
Dietary Fiber 8g
33%
Sugars 21g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
316%
Vitamin C
49%
Calcium
10%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 carrots, peeled
  2. 3 sticks celery
  3. 1 beet, small, peeled
  4. 1 cucumber, large
  5. 1 apple, peeled and halved
  6. 1/2 lemon, peeled
  7. 1 bunch parsley
  8. 1 knob ginger
Instructions
  1. Add to juicer in batches until everything has been juiced.
  2. Stir well to incorporate.
  3. Divide among two glasses and serve with ice (optional).
beta
calories
141
fat
1g
protein
3g
carbs
34g
more
acid-stars.com http://acid-stars.com/
It was bright and refreshing and delicious! It also helped that it’s almost 70°F today and all our windows are open! It’s amazing what a little sun and a springtime breeze can do for you.

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Food & Recipes

Every move is like a lightning

Last week, Alex and I were craving pancakes but wanted something a little different from our usual carrot cake pancakes. I had one ripe banana and not much else… so I whipped up a batch of these plain pancakes that we ate with vegan butter and maple syrup, with a side of tempeh bacon. So delicious!

Perfect Pancakes
Serves 2
Perfect, fluffy pancakes, ready to be topped with your favorite toppings!
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327 calories
68 g
0 g
3 g
8 g
0 g
317 g
596 g
12 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
317g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 327
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
4%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 596mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 68g
23%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 12g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
9%
Calcium
57%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 banana
  2. 1-1/2 C almond milk
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 Tbsp liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup or agave syrup)
  5. 1 C whole wheat flour
  6. 2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Mash banana in a small bowl.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla, and sweetener. Mix to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir well to combine, being careful not to overmix.
  5. In an oiled, preheat skillet/griddle, add batter in scant 1/4 cup scoops. Cook in batches of three or four at a time (being careful not to overcrowd the skillet) for about 4 minutes (or until the tops look mostly cooked), then flip and cook until lightly browned, 2 more minutes.
  6. Keep on a plate covered with tin foil until ready to eat. Serve with your favorite pancake toppings, such as warm fruit compote, coconut creme whipped cream with fresh fruit, or vegan butter with pure maple syrup.
beta
calories
327
fat
3g
protein
8g
carbs
68g
more
acid-stars.com http://acid-stars.com/
This recipe makes about eight 6-inch pancakes.

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