I spent almost all of yesterday in the kitchen. Getting ready for VFT with a St. Patty’s/last week of winter/almost spring theme, took a lot of preparing, but it was exactly what I wanted to do. Dinner started with homemade hummus and pita triangles while the troops gathered. James, Jane, Derek, Peter and special mystery guest, Lauren were all in attendance. Lauren was Derek’s friend from the old neighborhood, and elementary school. She was one of his first friends, and definitely one of his first female friends. Then they moved, we moved and fast forward, there is this beautiful woman walking in the door last night. It was a thrill to see her and learn that the two have managed to maintain a friendship, a definite upside to the Internet.
The 8 of us sat down to garden salad (with tomatoes and herbs from our garden) corn and asparagus salad, veggie subs (zucchini, yellow squash, vidalia onion, green pepper and portobello mushrooms, grilled and layered on a whole grain sub loaf) and of course, shepherds pie. Well, two shepherds pies, just in case we had a full house, and we did! I used mushrooms instead of carrots in mine, yesterday and did put potatoes on the bottom and top. I also broiled them for the last 5 minutes, giving the top that nice color. And then came the homemade desserts. Because it has gotten rave reviews and looks so pretty (pretty enough that Jane took a picture and thought it made great “wallpaper” for her phone, but I didn’t….) I will share the recipe for the dessert trail mix that I made.
Sweet and Salty Popcorn Mix
1 bag vegan microwave popcorn
a couple of handful of mini pretzel sticks broken a bit
a couple of handfuls of salted peanuts
Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
a very small amount of soy-milk (regular milk for the non-vegans)
a very small amount of Earth Balance (or other butter substitute or regular butter for the non-vegans)
After popping popcorn, lay it out on a tray. Sprinkle with the pretzels and peanuts.
In a small saucepan mix about half of a cup of chocolate chips (I don’t measure) with an ounce or two of milk and a teaspoon or so of the “butter.” Warm on medium flame and keep stirring until the chips melt. It needs to get to a consistency that can be poured, which is why I add the milk and butter…Once the chips are all melted and you can pour, use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the trail mix and then set in the fridge till ready to eat. You can really play around with this recipe, maybe adding anything that would make your taste buds happy. (Mini marshmallows? almonds? M&Ms… no limit!) Vegan or not vegan, this makes an excellent treat for young and old, alike!
I then made a second batch of melted chips and dipped fresh strawberries in it. I laid them out on another tray and put those in the fridge, too. Suffice to say, there was no left over dessert. I am considering adding peanut butter to the chocolate next time!
When I wake up to health news suggesting high–protein, low-carb diets, lead to cancer, I am not at all surprised and I am once again happy about the choices I make at meal time. Subjects on a diet like this had higher levels of N-nitroso and other metabolites that have been linked to cancer. They also had lowered concentrations of fiber-derived compounds thought to protect against cancer.
Hooked on the apple cider vinegar, I am starting to think my observation is NO coincidence! In fact, I am off to drink some now, before I get ready to start the fitness part of my day. Jane and I have some dinner to work off. It’s all good! Enjoy this last Friday of winter, that is about to melt into spring. Time to get back in the pool for this blogger! This weekend, a moon to be seen. More about that, tomorrow. Music and art fairs abound this weekend, too. Farmers market Sunday. Life is good! Hope where ever you are, you are feeling the same. Much love.