The Latest

It seems I finally have a few quiet moments to myself, so I’m back to share a few of the most recent happenings from Honolulu Town.  And unfortunately, I have not taken any photos of the exciting goings-on!  Shame.

Our newest neighbor, a 2-year old BOY(!!!), had a few days off from preschool and has pretty much been living in my apartment.  It’s been great, because his mom came over, too, so we got to know each other a little better.  They left for the mainland last night for a couple weeks, so it was a semi-restful day for us today.  Our other neighbor downstairs invited us out for a walk around town, so we went through Chinatown and stopped at the local YMCA to check the programs.  They actually have a preschool (in addition to daycare), which I never realized.  We took a long, scenic route home, and my friend stopped to pick up a caterpillar and a few spare leaves–we’re going to watch it form its chrysalis and then become a beautiful butterfly.  🙂

I’ve tried a few new foods.  Nothing special, really, but definitely not my typical thing.

1.  Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup:  carrots, cooked and blended with some chili, cinnamon, lemongrass, onion and green onion.  There were probably more ingredients, but I pretty much just played around with flavors until it tasted good.

2.  Cheesy Asparagus.  I’ve never enjoyed asparagus, but as with the mushrooms from the other day, I was willing to go out on a limb.  And I now understand that canned, slimy, soft asparagus will never, ever compare to fresh, crispy, only slightly soft, spears of green goodness.  I started out with 16 spears.  In a large skillet, add 1 tbsp of oil, 2 tsp of nutritional yeast, 2 tsp garlic powder (or to taste–I love this stuff!), pinch of sea salt, and about 1/4 cup of water.  Heat for a couple minutes, add the asparagus spears and heat on medium for an additional 2 or 3 minutes, then reduce heat, cover, and let steam until you’ve reached your preferred texture.

3.  Jamaican Bammies.  Say what?  Okay, my neighbor decided to host a Jamaican-themed vegan dinner.  I am the only vegan in the building, but she thought it would be fun.  A bammy is a Jamaican flatbread made of cassava.  Her version was cassava with some banana and collard greens mixed in.  They were so incredibly tasty!  I thought they had pineapple in them, but there was none, so I guess it was just a very tropical-tasting dish.  I don’t really know how they were made, but the banana and cassava were mashed together, and then fried.  I’ll be looking for vegan bammy recipes now that I know about them!

4.  New Favorite Trail Mix.  This one is really easy, and it’s the perfect flavor combo for me:  1/8 cup pepitas, 1/8 cup craisins (or raisins), and 1/8 cup chopped dates.  It’s my new favorite snack.  I typically would make a trail mix with nuts, but they’re much heavier than pepitas, so this is my perfect balance!
Yesterday afternoon, while the boys were running from place to place, we created a toddler buffet with peanuts, sliced peppers, cheeses, olives, sliced apples, corn, and tomatoes.  It was fairly obvious there would not be a nap, and there was no slowing them down for an actual lunch.  We covered all the bases with the proteins, fibers and the rest, so I think we’re good!

In addition to the bammies on Vegan Jamaican Food Night, my friend made steamed collards and carrots in coconut milk, and I made a big batch of (basmati) rice and beans cooked in coconut milk and pineapple juice, and added a little heat–chili, red pepper flakes, and some other spices.  It was still very sweet.  And I found a jerk tofu recipe on EthnicVegan.  It would have been the perfect complement to dinner, but I had a medium firm block of tofu, and it would have been better served with the extra firm variety!  The flavor of the seasonings was still really delicious, and not very spicy.  I’ll kick it up a notch next time!  🙂

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