Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Went Apple Picking!

You know it's fall when you finally get to go apple picking!!! Fall is my absolute favorite season...what's not to love?? Sweaters, beautiful weather, squash, apples, and bonfires. Perfect! On Sunday, I went with Steve and a bunch of friends to an orchard about 30 minutes outside of Columbia, and we picked a literal butt-load of apples! I could barely carry all of them! There are about 6 or 7 different varieties, too! This was so much fun...the perfect combination of celebrating fall and local food! Hooray! I, of course, want to bake with these bad boys, so I need your help! Any good recipes for desserts using apples? Help me out! :)

In other food happenings, we also had our traditional Sunday breakfast at Cafe Berlin this weekend! I had one of my favorites: the vegan breakfast burrito! This isn't on the menu, like the slinger I had, but Steve, Eli (the chef), and I came up with this as an amazing alternative to the breakfast burrito already on the menu...filled with meat and eggs and cheese. boo! This creation is a big tortilla filled with scrambled tofu, tempeh bacon, roasted red and sweet potatoes, cilantro, spinach, and a drizzle of maple syrup...served with a side of their homemade salsa! I always load mine with a healthy dose of hot sauce and wash it down with a biiiiiig 'ol mug of fair trade coffee! aaaahhhh perfection!Last night, I was feeling some comfort food, particularly some nice southern dishes. I had a few more ears of local corn and some local okra to use up, so I already had a good start on dinner! I made the Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce from the PPK Blog and used it with sliced seitan(I even got to use up the last of my local blueberries in this dinner! score!). If you haven't made this, please please please do it! So sweet and spicy!!! I served it with ears of roasted local corn...slathered with Earth Balance and sea salt...homemade whole wheat biscuits, and my oven-fried okra. Outta this world! Steve couldn't stop raving, either! The okra tastes a lot like my grandma's real fried okra, but it is much, much healthier! Try it out next time you get okra from the market!

Oven Fried Okra (serves 2-4...depends on how much you like okra!)

1 lb fresh okra, sliced into 1/2" rounds

2 Tbs canola oil

1 tsp hot sauce

1/4 cup soy milk

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the soymilk, oil, and hot sauce. Add in the okra and coat with liquid mix. Let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the liquids. Add in the dry ingredients, and stir to coat with dry mix. Spread okra in an even layer on the prepared cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until coating gets crispy and brown, and you can smell the yummy okra. Serve warm with any of your favorite southern meals, especially bbq seitan :)

I may love the big city, but homestyle cooking is still one of my favorites!!


Anonymous said...

Wow that breakfast buritto looks yummy!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I wish I could be of more help, but I usually just eat my apples whole, or sliced with some Missouri made peanut butter. But there is always applesauce, apple muffins, or apple pie filling (I don't like pie crust, but I suppose you could make pie if you really wanted too).

You are so lucky! I love Cafe Berlin, I wish the chef would make me something special. I don't even like tofu but this looks good. Tofu scrambles are really the only way I can handle to stuff.

Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce AND fried okra?!?!?! Now that is a meal. And the corn on the cob. I gotta get a better "someone is cooking good vegan food in the area" radar on. ;-)

The Administrator said...

A super simple dessert with apples that I've always loved (and it's done in seconds) has been to merely carmelize a little sugar in a sauce pan with some water to thin it out, then add in a few apple slices and more water and sugar (to taste). Sometimes, I'll drop in some blueberries toward the end, which should be about 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices. Serve it up with a little soy ice cream -- holla!