Inside the Vault

So this morning as I chastised myself for not blogging more regularly (thank you Sarah...), I looked at all the things I'd cooked in the last week that would have made a perfectly good blog-- pepper steak stew with asian spinach salad, mac and cheeze, fresh summer corn chowder, fruity quinoa, tofu feta and watermelon salad...blah blah blah. Missed opportunites? Perhaps. Instead, I thought I might take a look at my fridge and show you what's been made and what's in the hopper. For me, ideas are always popping. When I go to the store, I get everything on my list plus a few random things that were in random recipes I've read this week, thinking "ooh! that sounded so good in that one...where did I read that? Whatever...I'll just get it."

Here, then, is my attempt to remember what's goin' on in my fridge.

Let's start in the middle. That large green-topped tub is the left over corn chowder. I got the delicious recipe from here.  The best thing about it is it really tastes like corn. I know that's because I used the real deal-- freshly cut off the cob corn, but it was quite tasty. I like a smoother chowder, so I pureed more than 1/2 the soup with my immersion blender...I'm glad I did.

Skipping up to the top shelf, last week I tried some "pre-made" stuff from Whole Foods. Their edamame and carrot salad has always been a favorite of mine, but I also indulged in the sesame noodles. They were a smidge oily, but they were SO yummy. I'll have them again when I'm NOT listening to Dr. Neal Barnard and cutting out as much oil as possible. I also indulged in a little freshly chopped mango on that trip, and I threw it into Mango/Lime pancakes as well as smoothies with soy milk and kale. Talk about creamy green goodness. I am in love with kale smoothies. I ran out of bananas and didn't even miss them.

I've pretty much been sold on the Silk brand original, light soy milk. I love that it doesn't have much fat, doesn't taste to soy-ee, and is not so sweet that you can't cook with it. Maybe that's just me, but I'm diggin' it. I also keep some boxed almond milk on hand, but this is my official go-to.

You might also notice a little container of yogurt on that second shelf. That was breakfast this morning-- Peach yogurt with 1/2 apple, 1/2 banana and a bit of museli sprinkled on top (from IKEA, of all places...). Whole Soy is my favorite soy yogurt. It's so rich and creamy, it feels indulgent, but it's oh-so-good for you!

The produce bins are really where it's at in my fridge- they're always teeming over with goodness. There's a little dill sticking out from my watermelon/feta salad there. This is a great summer dish that my dear friend Jim made for us one summer, and we swooned like teenage girls. Chop up half a watermelon, lay it on a cookie sheet and pour some apple cider vinegar over it. Toss to coat and let sit for 15 minutes. Toss again and let it sit a little longer, then drain. Throw this in a bowl with similarly sized chunks of fresh tomato (best with heirlooms, of course), a handful of dill, and a cup or so of vegan feta (I used the recipe from Happy Herbivore). Drizzle with balsamic syrup if you're that kind of person, or just sprinkle with black pepper and serve. It's pretty, tasty, summery, etc. Love it! I think it would be great with some added mint, but I am not growing any this year, sadly.

I am growing all manner of other herbs, though-- Sage, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil (It's doing well!), Cilantro and Rosemary. They are all thriving, so my store-bought herbs are laying to waste in those refrigerator drawers, sadly. I'm also having a heckuv a time growing tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos and yellow peppers. My lettuce is begging to be snipped (I'm coming!), and some swiss chard looks nearly ready too. I've got squash and beets in the back wondering if this is for real (they're quite small at the moment). I may not have a bonafide garden yet, but they're growing like I do.

Other delicious goodies in the produce drawers are some left over ears of corn (4 was definitely enough for the soup), summer squash that I'm waiting (for what?) to grill, celery and carrots that wish they were juice in my cup, some dark, dark beets that also would like to be liquidated, and parsley to make that juice feel extra healthy. I've taken a chill pill on the juicing, but only because the juicer was making funny noises at me like it would explode. Now that it has had a rest, perhaps it's time to clear out the bottom drawer? The kale, however, I have found is way better in smoothies, so I don't "waste" it in the juicer anymore. I love the fibrous texture it brings to my morning sips.

You might notice also that there are 2 tubs of miso (yellow and red) and 3 tubs of something from "Oasis." That is now my most favorite brand of hummus. It's truly, truly, truly outrageous. I prefer the roasted garlic most, but I also find myself buying their baba ghannouj and spinach/artichoke versions as well. They are such a great snack, especially with homemade pita chips. Delish. The miso has been going in all manner of things these days. I have been keeping a bit of cashew-miso mayo from Appetite for Reduction on hand for sandwiches, and that's always a treat. Paul loves this stuff. I also seem to be making miso soup for breakfast on occasion, which is both weird and wonderful. I just drop in green onions and it's finished. It's great served in a mug in place of coffee, I've found.

Finally, there is left over pasta from my foray with morels last week. It was a first attempt and very good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. I just sauteed them with a little onion, lemon zest and greens. They were good-- do not mistake me-- but I'd like to be  a morel expert, and I'm not yet.

Ooh-- in case you missed that lingering bottle on the top shelf, that's a bottle of Short's Sustenance Ale from a lovely trip up north last week. Please, Paul, drink up before I steal it back. :)