Starting this moment, I will officially be blogging from Austin, Texas for the next six months. And since I just arrived on Friday, my pantry supply is minuscule - some chickpeas, red lentils, brown rice and quinoa is pretty much the extent of it. Oh, and this stuff:
What you're looking at is some Farmer's Market goodies, as well as veggie bouillon, and hiding in the back is this bottle of lavender balsamic vinegar - it's as amazing as it sounds. No, more amazing. I could eat the stuff with a spoon. Oh, and vegan queso - cool, eh? The guy who sold me this also has vegan kimchi and other awesome condiments, so I'll definitely be back next Saturday.
Not pictured is the vegan donut I snatched up. But don't worry, I'll be back to picture it next week. And every week after. Because, vegan donuts.
And so, my brunch. Basically it's more like a supper, but I ate it around brunch time so it totally counts. I had cooked some chickpeas earlier in the day, and I knew I could make a meal out of 'em with brown rice, veggies and a sauce.
I present to you "Spanish-Style Chickpea Queso Bowl". Well the chickpeas are Spanish-style - the queso adds a fusion element that I promise works quite well. I don't have a recipe today (I'm developing it for my bowl book!), but I can at least share the method.
Heat some olive oil and saute a small onion and a couple cloves of garlic. Shred about a cup of green cabbage and continue to saute until everything softens. Then add paprika (about a teaspoon) and salt to taste. Stir it around and add about 2 cups of chickpeas. Keep it on the stove until everything is hot, remove it from the heat, and add a splash of awesome balsamic vinegar. Voila! I could just eat this mixture straight-up, it's so good.
I served the chickpea mixture atop brown rice, with shredded carrot, sliced olives, cilantro and tomato, and poured on a generous helping of vegan queso. Depending on how spicy the queso is, go ahead and add some hot sauce.
Despite not being very brunch-y, it made a fantastic meal, and I can't wait to track down foodstuffs like tofu and fruit and flour and baking powder and... well, one thing at a time.
Michael and I had a brief Skype date over brunch, and plan on spending future Sunday mornings together in a more leisurely fashion (he had to run off to work today). Seriously, thank God for Skype. Being apart is hard enough, I couldn't imagine not getting to see each other's faces!
And this, my friends, is my new happy hippie yard, complete with greenery and lawn decorations galore. Yesterday I got to spend a lucky hour sitting outside in a warm sunbeam - a far cry from back home, covered in snow as it is. Today I plan on enjoying the weather some more (sunny and 15 C!) and exploring my neighbourhood, which has this total cabin vibe, what with all the trees and quaint houses.
So take care, guys - hope you had a good weekend, and for the teachers I know (like Michael, Jolene and my former self), good luck at school tomorrow!