Hummingbird Nectar

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Hummingbird Nectar Recipe ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.” โ€” Anais Nin

This sweet little lady came by for a drink this morning. In fact, we’ve gotten visits from many different hummingbirds every day since we put up our feeder. We wanted to support our local hummingbird population because many hummingbirds species are threatened by habitat loss, predators, and disease, and because they are so darned cute! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We bought a wonderful hummingbird feeder that is made from recycled glass in Mexico, filled it up with homemade hummingbird nectar (simple recipe here), and within a couple of weeks our backyard was one of the main stops on our local “hummingbird highway.”

We purchased a red glass feeder so we wouldn’t have to use artificial red dye in our homemade nectar. Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, so in the past many people dyed their nectar using FD&C Red #2 food coloring, which is now a known carcinogen. If you just get a red feeder or one with red accents you don’t have to worry about dying your nectar. It is so much fun to watch the birds come for a drink every day. This feeder has turned me into a real bird-watcher!

Here are some great tips on other ways to support hummingbird conservation.

Hummingbird Fact: Hummingbirds are highly intelligent and can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take each flower to refill.

Mini Focaccia with Tapenade

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Mini Focaccia with Tapenade ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Appetizers are the little things you keep eating until you lose your appetite.”ย โ€” Joe Moore

Feast your eyes on these cute little round focaccia breads with a caper and kalamata olive spread, topped with chopped heirloom tomatoes and fresh rosemary. These are fun to make and a great appetizer option for when you’re having company over. Delicious warm or at room temperature.

The recipe is from Party Vegan, by Robin Robertson, page 62.

Focaccia Fact: Focaccia is a popular flat oven-baked Italian bread that is traditionally topped with olive oil and herbs and other ingredients.

Tempeh and Barley-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Tempeh and Barley-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–of cabbages–and kings–and why the sea is boiling hot–and whether pigs have wings.” โ€” Lewis Carroll, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872

These sweet & savory cabbage rolls were filled with tempeh, barley, carrots, onions, and dill, cooked in a tangy tomato sauce, topped with fresh heirloom tomatoes and served over Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

From Robin Robertson’s wonderful cookbook Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, page 161.

Slow cooking really brings out the flavors in food and makes foods like these so tender they just melt in your mouth.

Cabbage Fact: Cultures in which cabbage is a staple food, such as in Poland and some parts of China, show a low incidence of breast cancer. Research suggests this is due to the protective effect of sulfur-containing compounds in cabbage.

Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce and Roasted Potatoes with Asparagus

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Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking $ Food Blog
“If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?”
โ€” Martin Scorsese

I have wanted to make this recipe for ages, but I held off because I am always a bit intimidated by the idea of making fresh pasta. It is easy to make the dough, but it can be time-consuming to make individual, filled pastas like ravioli and tortellini. Fresh tortellini has always been my favorite type of pasta though, so I finally relented. The cream sauce for this recipe also contains saffron, one of my favorite flavors!

Making these tortellini actually wasn’t difficult at all. It was kind of fun. We doubled the recipe and ended up making 200 tortellini, so we were able to freeze some to enjoy later.

The filling mainly consisted of artickoke hearts, garlic, white wine, and cashew cream. The sauce was a rich combination of shallots, white wine, cashew cream, saffron, and Earth Balance dairy-free butter.

Served tossed with fresh arugula and tomatoes, with a side of roasted potatoes and asparagus with smoked salt and pepper. From Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook, page 164.

Tortellini Fact: Because of it’s shape, tortellini is also called “belly button” pasta.

Fillet of Soul: AfroVegan Book Giveaway!

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Fillet of Soul: Afro Vegan

“Learn. Eat. Rebel!” โ€” Wheeler del Torro

Wheeler del Torro’s new cookbook and storybook Fillet of Soul: AfroVegan is a tour de force of fantastic recipes and menus from five different countries. Also within the pages is Del Torro’s poetic and engaging personal story about his evolution as a chef and young man, including the tale of his sudden and life-changing move from New Jersey to Paris and the book club he started there that would turn into the dinner parties that would turn into the vegan pop-up in New York, that would ultimately become this book.

The five menus included in this book are:

  • Dinner in Paris
  • Jamaican Menu
  • Around the Southern Table
  • Senegalese Menu
  • Ethiopian Menu

Each menu is comprised of 4 to 9 recipes, which are Wheeler’s brilliant and original vegan interpretations of traditional foods and dishes from across the African diaspora.

I can’t wait to try Golden Beet Tartare, Pepper Pot Soup, Faux Fried Chicken and Waffles, Faux Chicken Yassa, Injera, Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, and all of the other recipes in this book, one delicious meal at a time!

I did however already make some of the Spicy Chocolate Pots De Creme (pictured above) from the Dinner in Paris menu. Dessert first, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ The ingredients are so simple that I had them all in my pantry already. Now I love Pots De Creme, but I have to say that this was the best I’ve ever had, and it was a cinch to make. I topped it off with some homemade cashew whipped cream and we happily gobbled it down.

There is so much interesting information inย Fillet of Soul: AfroVegan. Thanks to Del Torro I now know that all coffee can be traced back to Ethiopia in Africa (thank you, Ethiopia!), and after reading the description in this book I am eager to attend an Ethiopian coffee ceremony!

Wheeler has been kind enough to sponsor this book giveaway. All that you have to do to win is be the first person to correctly answer the following question in the comments section below this post:

“What is name for a traditional Ethiopian coffee pot?”

Please include your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win.

African Food Facts: African food is often flavored with curry powder, garlic, nutmeg, turmeric and cloves. Peanuts, called groundnuts in Africa, are used as a garnish on soups or meat dishes.