Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumnal Eats

Sorry I failed to post last night. I spent the weekend in Nashville attending the Tennessee Equality Project's (an LGBT equality advocacy group) Olympus gala, where I received a Champion of Equality award for my work as an LGBT beat reporter at the Memphis Flyer. And then we visited with Paul's family (they all live in Middle Tenn), and of course, I squeezed in a trip to Nashville's vegetarian restaurant, The Wild Cow!

Anyway, yesterday was the first day of fall! And I spent much of it barbecuing with Paul's family and driving home to Memphis in his car. So I didn't have time for a proper Mabon celebration. Mabon is another name for the Autumn Equinox, when we celebrate the second harvest as the earth turns inward and prepares for the long winter ahead. Basically, it's time to accept the fact that summer fun times are over, but pumpkin soups, bonfires, and apple cider are coming!

I spend all summer dreading fall. I hate the cold, even the sorta cold. I shiver when it's 70 degrees outside. But when that equinox hits, I know I have no choice but to suck it up and embrace autumn. Besides, fall is the time of my birthday, Halloween, and Thanksgiving — my three favorite holidays (in that order!).

Anyway, enough blabbering. I made a few special meals today to celebrate Mabon. For breakfast, I had these Harvest Morning Muffins.

These are whole-wheat muffins with grated carrots and apples. Very fall. And very tasty with a cold glass of almond-coconut milk and a banana. Here's the recipe (you have to scroll down). It's not vegan as written, but I subbed Ener-G egg replacer powder for the 3 eggs in the recipe.

I can't tell you about lunch yet, because I'm saving that for a review post tomorrow. But it involved a sweet potato, so it was seasonally appropriate.

Dinner was extra special. I did a little ritual honoring the changing of the seasons, lit some candles, and set out the new yellow mums I bought today. Mums are so autumn. I made Curried Pumpkin Soup.

 And Spicy Hummus with Pita.

The soup was creamy and simple — just pureed pumpkin, almond-coconut milk, onion, garlic, curry powder, and veggie stock. It's from a recipe I found online and printed out years ago, but I can't seem to find it now to link.

And the hummus was very different from what I usually make (here's the recipe, but you'll have to scroll down past some other recipes). Instead of tahini, it called for peanut butter! And you know what? I think I like that better. Tahini is great and all, but peanut butter is the bomb (can I even say something is the "bomb" anymore?). The hummus also has a chopped cayenne pepper from my front yard garden. Oh, and I picked the pita up from my favorite Middle Eastern joint, Al-Rayan. They have the softest, fluffiest pita.

But you can't let a holiday pass without dessert and booze, right? I picked up a Cream Cheese Brownie from Imagine Vegan Cafe to enjoy with this Bridgeport Witch Hunt Ale. The spiced ale had hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and isn't "Witch Hunt" the cutest name for a fall beer ever?

Happy Autumn, y'all!


Jenny Bradley said...

Bianca, I love your blog so! I spend all summer dreading fall as well, but your post made me feel much more positive about it all! Besides, it may rain in SF, but the sun still comes out (I lived in Chicago three years -- NOW THAT WAS WINTER, haha).

Love what you do!

Amey said...

I know what you mean. I always resist fall a bit, but once the equinox comes, I just accept it. Over the years, I've come to appreciate the quietness of fall though... and also all the apples and pears and squashes. Hummus with PB sounds very intriguing! And those pitas look so good. sooooo good.

Kayla Gillman said...

Ah - fall beers are hands down the best, especially when paired with other awesome fall items. I love absolutely everything about this time of year, and have already made two batches of spicy pumpkin chili and indulged in more than my fair share of Southern Tier's Pumpking :)

Sal said...

mmm cream cheese brownie! yum.

your soup sounds great too. It's starting to be soup weather here now too and I hate the cold as well. But I like soup - silver linings and all that! :)

Linda Kocsis said...

Mmmmmmm, this all looks absolutely delicious! I'm getting hungry! ;)

Lynsi said...

Congrats on your award! So awesome! And I need to know now how to make a vegan cream cheese brownie.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby Bean said...

Peanut butter in hummus? That's crazy talk. Gotta try it.

Babette said...

Really, you think peanut butter might be better than tahini in hummus? I don't really believe you, but now I want to try it to verify.

Congratulations on your award!!

Oh, after your post on Tofutti pops, I kept thinking about that good old Tofutti ice cream and tonight, I went to the store that carried it years ago. And it still does, yay! That stuff is good.

Sheridan and Drew said...

You're so silly. I love fall and all things pumpkin-flavored that come with it! But, I understand your love of summer as well. Everything looks and sounds tasty as usual, but I want that brownie/beer combo! YUMMM!!!