Tag Archives: vegan

Hot Cold Summer

Hot Cold Life

Quinoa & raw garlic (shaved with the microplane, so nice!) with arugula, avocado, fresh corn, parsley & cherry tomatoes

It’s been a minute since we had a snacks only post – but we’re still eating. The reader might note a theme here – hot cold salads with quinoa. Harpo & I acquired a large amount of quinoa for the Drunken Boot Quinoa Crispies, but ended up only toasting and using part of it. Regardless of the grain – the hot/cold salad is one of my favorite summer snacks. In this iteration it was mainly arugula & quinoa, tho any combination of grain & green works; amaranth & massaged kale, brown rice & spinach (with lemon tahini dressing iz my personal favorite) and always topped with some fresh herb and other seasonal summer veggies for texture and color. Also, avocado A+ both for fat content and because, as vegetarians, really what else is there…

More of our daily meals can be found at No Money Meals.

Hot Cold - again & again

Quinoa with avocado, celery, broccoli sprouts, fresh corn and arugula.

Hot Hot & Cold Cold

Hot Cold with quinoa, avocado, fresh corn, broccoli sprouts and cilantro – dressed with olive oil, nutritional yeast salt & pepper

Hot Cold Salad

Hot Cold salad with quinoa, avocado, fresh corn, broccoli sprouts and cilantro – dressed with olive oil, nutritional yeast salt & pepper

Inaugural New Mystique Cooking Club

Urban house sitting has it’s privileges including – when we’re lucky – a well appointed kitchen. A recent stint on Beacon Hill in Seattle gave us an exciting opportunity to launch the New Mystique Cooking Club. NMCC emerged from a concept Harpo developed with her friend and former colleague from On the Boards, Tania.

Tania cuts bread into croutons after a cutting lesson from NKO

Tania cuts bread into croutons after a knife-skills lesson from NKO.

Both Sara and Tania consider themselves improvisationally challenged in the kitchen. While we’re able to follow recipes, we’re often unsure 1) what that bay leaf is actually doing; 2) how to cut up a head of fennel; 3) what do you buy instead if the store is out of dandelion greens; 4) what do we do with that peach that is starting to turn?

Our solution: trial and error. We decided to attempt to cooking through the entirety of Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” – using appropriate vegan substitutions. We invited NKO for the occasional benefit of having a high functioning vegan chef to help drink the cooking wine. We invited Erin and Richard not only as taste-testers, but also for their intelligent conversation, wit, and good looks. Part of the fun of cooking is sharing the booty – it’s far more entertaining and rewarding than say, abstract painting.

Erin's turn to stir

Erin’s turn to stir

Richard and NKO work on the risotto

All of those fingers in the pot taste like love.

Our first menu (all vegan):

  • Peach & Balsamic Shrub Cocktail (peach, basil, sugar, vinegar with whiskey & soda), garnished with a Basil Leaf
  • Barley Risotto (earth balance, olive oil, onion, garlic, dry white wine & homemade vegetable broth), finished with Lemon, Parsley, Nutritional Yeast
  • Massaged Flowering Kale, Fennel, Celery, Spinach & Mizuna Salad, with Homemade Croutons, toasted Cashews & Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
  • Roasted Asparagus with Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Homemade Crust
tania's selfie

Obviously we enjoyed the company. And yes everything was delicious.


It’s totally novel having a kitchen to cook in, and experience vegan snacks we only fantasized about on the trail. However, this also highlights the fact that basically all I want to eat is oatmeal and noodle soup. Hmmm… getting hungry. For further portraits of everyday vegan fare try No Money Meals.

savory oats

Savory oats with peanut butter, olive oil, Buffalo chipotle hot sauce, raw garlic. Garnished with scallions, spicy sprouts, and lots of fresh pepper.

lentil stew

Lentil stew with homemade stock, mirepoix, garlic. Garnished with scallions & lots of fresh pepper.

noodle soup

Noodle soup with tofu, gai lan, mizuno greens. With a miso based broth including tahini, coconut milk, toasted sesame oil, and sriracha.

noodle soup

Miso ramen with fried tofu, raw garlic, caramelized onion. Served with spicy sprouts, cilantro and lemon.


miso ramen with roasted garlic, mizuna, gai lan and pea vine shoots.

savory oats

Miso savory oats with pea vine shoots and black pepper.

Trail Recipes: Spinach Sprout Burrito

– Powdered hummus
– 2 C water
– .25 oz nutritional yeast
– .25 oz spinach powder
– dash Tapatio hot sauce
– 1 oz garlic infused olive oil
– dash seasoned salt (lemon pepper here)
– instant potato flakes (to thicken, if needed)
– trail sprouts
– 8″ whole wheat flour tortilla

Mix all ingredients except sprouts, tortillas and hot sauce in yr titanium mug while thinking about how many grams your pack will be lighter – do the conversion math, it’ll make you stop thinking about food for one second, you gram weenie. Put three generous spoonfuls of hummus on a tortilla, top with sprouts and a dash of hot sauce. Enjoy!

Freedom, Forever

20130903-154255.jpgPrisons exist to remind us that all of architecture, all of society in fact, is a prison. Look at this guy – bummed behind bars. It made me feel a little better after I read that all the animals in the Bear Mountain trailside zoo were rescued from poor domestic situations or were handicapped. The problem is they were almost all injured as the result of human actions, even if it was accidental.

Our species-specific arrogance dooms us to be dicks, at least to the non human inhabitants of this world, not to mention how we treat each other. Welcome to the human condition, bald eagle dude. What’s up with that?

Trail Recipes: Spinach Hummus & Sprout Burrito

Trail Burrito: Spinach Hummus & Sprouts
– 1/2 c dehydrated hummus mix
– 1 c H2O
– 1 oz garlic infused olive oil
– 1 oz spinach powder
– dash Tapatio hot sauce
– 1 c sprouts
– 2 burrito size tortillas

Mix up the hummus, water, oil, and spinach powder… Spread half on each tortilla, add half a cup of sprouts & a dash of hot sauce on each.

20130728-153149.jpgWe started finding these little guys on top of the Saddleback peaks and they dominate the remaining peaks in Maine – ripe even early in the season. No wonder the bird buddies up here look so well fed & are so conversational…