Mid-Winter in Maine...

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Currier & Ives: Winter in the Country

Well, not really mid-winter yet, but we are surely right in the thick of it, aren't we?? We're even on the upswing with daylight increasing well...daily, although its hard to tell! Don't get me wrong, this post is NOT going to be a downer about Winter in a state that is located on some of the furthest latitudes North in the lower 48 (or is it 49)?? We've had a rather lovely weekend and just wanted to share it and a recipe. I have no photos to prove any of what I am about to type so you must have blind faith that the food was good and the company even better. The weather co-operated too with a nice little snowfall, just at the right time, enough to make everything look like a Currier & Ives postcard...

Lets back up to Tuesday when I had a phone call from long-time GA friend who now lives in 2 locations: Georgia and Vermont (sound familiar?)  For a girl who never spent any time north of Savannah, GA until she married a yankee, Deb did alright for 17 years in Vermont then finally put her foot down and high-tailed it back to Georgia (on a part time basis) to warm her lil' okole (Hawaiian for patootie, Debbie also lived in Hawaii and plays a mean uke!).  'Living the dream' of retirement and freedom to do as she pleases within limits, she decided to take a road trip over the White Mountains to come to Appleton for  a visit. This was no easy task as it involved convincing her husband, renting a car (they have only one right now) and then making the trek without a GPS!! I was sitting on the other side of those mountains thinking this is never going to happen but as it turns out, the stars were all aligned and Debbie turned up at 3 pm on Wednesday! Rosie and I were so happy because David had been away for 2 weeks already and had another week to go before returning to the Ridge! I started a series of Food for Life Classes on January 12 but it was held off for a week due to weather so I was starting a new series on Jan. 19 and now I had an extra pair of hands (besides my usual lovely assistants from the Picker Family Resource Center).

We breezed through Wednesday evening and Thursday chatting and prepping for the class. The class is full (20 ppl) and everyone enjoyed the first session. This is the first series for which we have been able to offer SCHOLARSHIPS! Yes, we've received a nice donation from an anonymous source which will enable people to join who may not have taken the classes due to budget constraints, a wish come true for us in our efforts to reach-out to our community. :-)

Friday we had another snow storm which came & left early enough so I could keep an appointment with Patricia & James who are designing the Leafy Cafe Web site, so exciting! The website is one of the first steps in offering a Whole Foods, Plant Based Personal Meal Service and Cooking Class Parties! Patricia & James are both artists who also have very strong social media skills :-) and experience building websites. I dropped my friend in Belast while I was at the meeting then we both went to the Co-Op to shop for dinner. The Belfast Co-op has been in operation since 1976! Anyone remember their first co-op experience?? Mine was at Stockton State College in 1977, those 70s must have been the years of the co-op! I wonder if Stockton still has its co-op, anybody know? We have our first Birthday Party Cooking Class scheduled for February 4th, even without a website - Thanks to Colette!!

We returned home with zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and a few other organic goodies like Kale, onions & portabello mushrooms and proceeded to make one of the best veggie pasta meals ever served at The Leafy! My sister D came for dinner and the 3 of us laughed, reminisced and had a wonderful time. We had a delicious non-dairy chocolate mousse for dessert (recipe from the CSG) but I failed to take any photos, sorry! I did not think the weekend could have been topped except it just kept getting better. We took long walks any time weather permitted and a drive down to Pemaquid Point on Saturday. Debbie left on Sunday so I joined my sister for a noon-time spinning class at The PenBay YMCA . Ahhh, life is good!
Until Next Time,

Sláinte!


Vegetable Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce ~ Gluten Free, Dairy Free YUM!! trust me on this one!

Serves at least 6, especially if you serve it on a bed of sauteed Kale, Onions & Mushrooms!

Ingredients for the “Pasta”:
2 zucchini squash, shaved thinly lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
2 yellow summer squash, shaved thinly lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
2 long, fat carrots (or maybe 3 or 4 if they are skinny)
Your choice of chopped herbs

Ingredients for the Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce:
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (cannot use any other) soaked in spring water for an hour.
2 roasted red peppers, peeled & seeded (make life easy and use the kind in a jar)
1½ c water or low-sodium veggie broth
Pinch of garlic & onion powders (or you can roast some fresh garlic & onion for a more intense flavored sauce.
Lemon juice to taste (about the juice of 1 lemon
Nutritional Yeast to taste (about 1 T.)

Method for “Pasta”:
1. Using a Spiralizer, Mandoline or vegetable peeler and knife, process all veggies into spaghetti-like shapes.
2. Set aside “noodles” until sauce is ready.
3. When sauce is finished, lightly steam the veggies in a large sauté pan with a small amount of water or in a microwave oven for a couple of minutes – do not overcook You want them to maintain their crunch!
4. Heck, you don't even have to cook these noodles, just serve them raw tossed with the sauce if you prefer!

Method for Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce:
1. Process all ingredients for the Red Pepper Sauce in a high-powered blender or food processor adding the water as needed until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings.
2. Place in a saucepan and warm through on very low heat as this burns very easily

How it all comes together:
1. Toss the lightly steamed veggie noodles with a small amount of the Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce. Many people believe this sauce to be dangerously high-fat however I find that with 1 cup of cashews I generally get at least 10 servings of sauce which is less than your daily 1 oz serve of nuts. Just be sure not to eat any other nuts on the day you have this sauce!
2. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs
3. We had this “pasta” on a bed of sautéed Kale, Onion and Mushrooms with the extra sauce on the side and it was as beautiful as it was delicious, wish I had taken a photo!!





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