Sunday, August 3, 2014

Garden Vegetable Spaghetti Squash

I'm not sure anything makes me happier than making a meal that is mostly composed of items straight from my family's garden. 

This is why this vegan, gluten-free Garden Vegetable Spaghetti Squash dinner made me so excited when I made it. Well, plus the fact that my Dad ate it also as a meal and not as a side dish with some type of meat. Althought, this would make an awesome side dish, too. It is another one of those dishes that is so versatile. It can be a main dish for a vegan, but also a side dish for someone who eats meat. 

The chili peppers, spaghetti squash and tomatoes were all straight from the garden. When you make this adjust the oil and seasonings to your liking. For example, my Dad likes it more garlicy, so when I make it for him, I use about 8 cloves of garlic. I prefer it spicy, so I usually add more crushed red pepper. 

Serve with sea salt, cracked red pepper and nutritional yeast. Or, if they are not vegan, some grated parmesan cheese is also a great topping.  

Garden Vegetable Spaghetti Squash 
By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

1 spaghetti squash 
25 cherry tomatoes (about a pint) 
4 cloves garlic 
2 medium chili peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil 
crushed red pepper 
sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Cut the squash in half length-wise, and place it cut-side down in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with about 2 inches of water. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, flip over and bake another 25-30 minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a knife. 

Meanwhile, chop the garlic and peppers, removing the seeds. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and set aside.

Once the squash is done, let cool enough to touch it and remove the seeds. Using a fork, scrap the flesh to make it like spaghetti. 

In a pan heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Add in the crushed red pepper and salt (to your taste). Then, add in the tomatoes and peppers. Once the tomatoes start to get soft, lower heat and mix in the spaghetti squash. Cook until warm. 

Be careful not to burn the squash, but make sure it is well well mixed. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco

Where do I even begin? 

There are tons of words I could use to describe this vegan, west-coast restaurant, but I will try to boil it down to one -- amazing. From the customer service to the scrumptious desserts, they quickly won me over. 

Friends told me I absolutely had to go there during my first trip to San Francisco in July, because it is "the best vegan restaurant in the country." While, I beleived them, I was a little skeptical about what all the fuss was over.  

Then, I had the first bite of my Braza De Reina Tamale, and I got it. I totally got it. 

Here is the description from the menu: chard & corn masa, toasted pumpkin seed, chile poblano & Christmas lima bean filling, sweet corn, roasted pepper & cherry tomato stew, lambsquarter greens, tomato-habanero sauce, avocado, radish & jicama salad, cumin toasted pumpkin seeds.

There were so many flavors, but none of them competed. They all meshed perfectly, and created the perfect balance. 

My friend who I was traveling with and is not vegan or vegetarrian, but was open to trying Millennium during our vacation ordered the Wellington, and said that was fab, too. 

If you're astonished that all of this delicious, tasy and well-platted food was all vegan, dessert will totally blow your mind. I certainly blew mine! 

Vegan. Yes, vegan. And, absolutely amazing! 

Oh, and of course what meal wouldn't be complete without a decaf cappuccino! 

Millennium is easily in my top 5 list of restaurants to eat at. My only complaint? It's so far away! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Vegan Green Beans Almondine

I love steamed green beans. I have fond memories of sitting at my great-grandmother's house in Lake George snapping off the ends of fresh ones. Even everytime I am preparing them now, I think of her. 

So, when I saw a batch of these fresh green beans at the Old Town Alexandria Farmers Marrket while in Virginia last weekend, I just knew I had to make something with them. 

The other other thing I remember as a kid is always ordering string beans almondine when I went out to a rrestaurant my family frequented. 

What better way to combine both memories than this vegan green beans almondine. This version has a bit of lemon in it, but if you don'lt like lemon, just leave it out. Serve as a side dish or alone. Either way, it is sure to please. 

Vegan String Beans Almondine
By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

fresh green beans, with the ends snapped off
1 lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I use soy-free Earth Balance) 
3/4 cup vegetable broth
sliced, raw almonds

Steam the green beans until tender. 

In the meantime, in a pan, heat melt the butter. Add in the vegetable broth and juice of the lemon, and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 3-4 minutes. 

Once the beans are cooked, place them in a serving dish, pour the lemon butter brotherr over them and sprinkle with raw sliced almonds. 

(After serving I season mine with a little fresh ground pepper and sea salt.) 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Golden Beets with Dinosaur Kale Over Pasta

I'm not sure about you, but I love finding inspiration everywhere.This Golden Beets with Dinosaur Kale Over Pasta was inspired by a visit to the Old Town Farmers Market in Alexandria, Va. during a weekend roadtrip with my best friend.

The veggies at the market were just beautiful. Tables and tables full of fresh produce with a large water fountain in the background made the perfect setting. 

It has a light lemon, wine sauce that fits perfectly with the slight sweetness of the beets. red onion a d garlic adds an extra depth. I served this over gluten-free ziti pasta, but feel free to pick your own. Finishe it with sea slat and freshly ground pepper. If you're not worried about it bring vegan, sprink some freshly shaven parmesan over it. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hot Habanero Salsa

Once making fresh salsa, you will never, well almost never, buy jared salsa again. 

This Habanero Salsa is spicy, healthy, vegan, gluten free and sugar free. As always season appropriately to fit your tastes. I sometimes use two habanero peppers to give it extra kick, but start with one and see how you like it. 

Same goes for the cilantro. I like the herb, so I always had extra. But, start with few sprigs and then add more to fit your taste.

Make ahead or serve immediately. 

Spicy Habanero Salsa
By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

4 tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt 
1 (or 2) orange habanero pepper
Fresh cilantro 

Quarter the tomatoes, green pepper, onion and garlic, and place in a food processor. Cut the habanero in half and add in. 

Add in the salt and several sprigs of cilantro. 

Process until all the vegetables are finely chopped.

Serve with tortilla chips. 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hometown Diner in Bolton Landing, New York

If there was ever a place where I thought I was on an episode of "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" it would be at the Hometown Diner in Bolton Landing. 

Truely a hidden gem, it is located just outside of the busy Bolton Landing business district. But, the food and atmosphere, I felt like I was in someone's house, are awesome. 

The two-page menu, which includes lunch and snack items in addition to breakfast, is simple, but unique. I couldn't decide between the homemader raisin bread french toast or the blueberry pankcakes. I finally settled on the pancakes after the waitress told me they were made with real blueberries. 

I was skeptical, but pleasantly surprised when I cut into the pancakes to find more blueberries than I could ask for inside of them. Not too dry, or too thick or thin, the pancakes perrfectly hid the wild blueberries until you started eating them.

This place is going on the list of my favorites, and is absolutely worth a stop if you are staying in the area. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saratoga Coffee Traders

When it comes to Saratoga Coffee Traders, it is as simple as this, I love that place. 

Where to even begin? 

First, they have dog-friendly, outdoor seating, which made it perfect for my friend Jen and I, because we both had our dogs with us. 

Second, hello, vegan food! There were so many healthy options, both with and without meat, making it perfect for a vegetarian and a meat eat to grab lunch. But, what really impressed me was the hummus wrap I had, which was vegan. 

The third, and may be fourth, items I loved might actually be obvious, but the coffee. Since giving up caffeine, decaf coffee sometimes leaves something to be desired at some places, but certainly not here. It was fab. Oh, and did I mention the free second refill? 

Fourth, the location. With it being right on Broadway, there is a lot of people watching to be done, and just the overall ambiance was nice. It wasn't a stuck up crowd of wanna be hipster. Everyone was really friendly and chill, and they all pretty much liked dogs -- a definite plus! 

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