Saturday, August 15, 2009

Austin Ice Cream Festival

      It's 100* here in Austin, Texas right now and there aren't too many thing available for doing outside. There's canoe and kayak renting for $10 per hour on Lake Lady Bird. Add a six pack and a couple sandwiches and you've got a great afternoon!

      If canoing is not your forte, then there is still time to make it to the Austin Ice Cream Festival going on today at Waterloo Park, just east of the capital building. Enjoy an ice cream eating contest, a screaming for ice cream contest and a popsicle stick building contest. Oh, and mountains of ice cream to be devoured!

      There will be vegan selections so those with dairy problems can still enjoy the festival. There is a small charge of $5 to get in the gate, but sponsor donations will go to help out the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Austin, a great organization to support.

      You know where I'll be for the rest of the afternoon! Also, if you're looking for some real food while you're in the area, check out some of the amazing Thai places downtown or head up to the University of Texas campus near 19th and Guadalupe and check out Veggie Haven next to Brave New Books. Freebirds is also just south of Lake Lady Bird on the south east corner of Riverside and Congress. Excellent places for the gluten-free vegetarian!

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Indian Inspired Spinach and Red Lentils

      One of my favorite ingredients to cook with when I have no clue what to make for dinner is red lentils. They're flatter than normal lentils, cook fairly quick making, and they go really well with just about anything else making them perfect for using up the rest of whatever you have. Just like in this instance where I threw in the remainder of various leftovers into this. It turned into a tasty and satisfying dinner for me and the boyfriend.

Indian Inspired Spinach and Red Lentils

1 C Chopped Spinach
½ C Red Lentils
3 Shallots
2 tsp Butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 C Vegetable Broth
½ C Water
Salt, Cumin, Coriander and Turmeric to taste

      Heat skillet over medium high heat and saute shallots until softened and slightly browned. Add lentils and stir until lentils are evenly coated in oil then add liquids and stir well. Add spices plus salt and spinach and let cook until most of the water is gone. Taste to see if anything needs to be adjusted and continue cooking until lentils are soft – about 15 minutes total. Serves 2.

      Also, I just got my Vegetarian Times subscription in my mailbox yesterday evening and was thrilled to see it. I've been on a cupcake baking binge recently and little real food cooking has gone on (like cupcakes aren't real food?), but this issue gave me tons of new ideas to help get me back in the mood for real food again. Really, there is nothing wrong with two days of cupcakes.

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