As the Carolinas settle into fall we’re blessed with awe inspiring weather. The sun peaks through the clouds in the late afternoon temporarily tricking us into thinking that it’s warm. But then the afternoon rolls into the evening and the air is crisp once again.
I woke up Sunday lazily and refused to venture beyond the bed until the sun shined bright outside. The husband knew that breakfast, or rather brunch by this time, was in his hands. And luckily he aimed to please with these fried green tomatoes and purple potato hash browns.
The beginning of the week was marked by my broken blog. I tried endlessly to figure out why Serene Kitchen would no longer upload photos and fretted as days went by to no avail. Luckily, my friend and seriously talented website builder fixed the problem. But even still, it was a light week of posts while the problem was being resolved. There were still some memorable food finds, most namely the patty pan squash pictured above and the fresh pastas I scored at the farmers’ market.
I could tell you that as I child I turned my nose up at Brussels sprouts. I could say that even the smell turned my tummy upside down. I could say all of these tidbits, but I’d be lying. There were very few foods that as a child I didn’t like. Broccoli, I couldn’t get enough, Brussels sprouts, more please, and asparagus, I ate them like pixie sticks. The only food I can remember having total and complete disdain for was stuffing.
Saturday morning I awoke without alarm at 5:30 am. I’m normally an early riser, but it was Saturday and the sun had yet to climb the horizon. I hesitated confused until I remembered the reasoning behind my abrupt morning rise. We had a full day ahead. We had to make it to the farmers’ market to ensure ample choice in fresh pasta and it was the Southern Grounds Festival with the Wood Brothers, Brett Dennen, and Steel Pulse.
Eating a mostly plant-based diet is by virtue of its name mostly about vegetables. And eating all the gems of the season naturally follows suit because if you’re going to choose high quality foods, then you’re aware that you’re often going to be eating locally, especially with regards to produce. And this week’s food finds have revolved around autumn.
I’ve fallen in love with these beets like a chocoholic falls in love with a Kit Kat bar. I saw them from across the farmers’ market and was intrigued by the tiny droplets of root vegetable bliss. I got the idea for beet risotto, in all its pink-hued glory from one of my favorite vegan chefs, Christina Pirello. While you may avoid the beet stain on your counters and your hands, that same pinkish color is a gorgeous way to color your risotto.
Autumn Greens with Butternut Squash, Purple Potatoes, and Sunflower Seeds, in a Red Wine Vinaigrette
I know I’ve been obsessing about these purple potatoes all week, but I just couldn’t help myself because I purchased a slew of them and didn’t want the little gems to go to waste. One of my favorite late summer and autumn greens in South Carolina is peppery arugula grown out on Wadmalaw Island. Though it’s grown in much of the country, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting your hands on it.
I wrote yesterday that I was enchanted with these purple fingerling potatoes that I hunted out at the Marian Square Farmers’ Market last weekend. On Monday I roasted them up simply with whole garlic and sea salt and then Tuesday, along with a deep golden butternut squash, I adorned a pizza with autumn’s best.
It’s been great to be back in the kitchen. From Kale and Beet Quinoa with a Spirulina Balsamic Vinaigrette to Vegan Caesar Salad and Roasted Turnips, it’s been an exciting week of cooking up healthy treats. I’ve spent much of the week focused on, well, condiments. With salad dressings galore and loads of Spirulina, these recipes cut the preservatives out and put the nutrients back in, with flavor being the centerpiece of every recipe.