Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm still alive!! And well-fed.

Hello Vegecagoans!

Yes yes I know, it's been over a month since I've posted.

I'm pretty proud of this baby. Kendra was in town for the weekend, and Katie Corey is in Chicago on extended leave from K.C., so we had a girls' night out Saturday. Because I'm poor (having had all of my money siphoned off from my bank account to the wedding registries of dear friends) I was completely on board when Marie suggested we make dinner.

Kendra, Marie and I were walking around the Green City Market in Lincoln Park on Saturday, and everything looked so lovely and appetizing! We each got smoothies from Seedling Enterprises that would probably make a great hangover cure, though we wouldn't really know. We found some purple asparagus (pictured) that was even better than regular asparagus, but turned green after cooking. I don't get it either. We also bought a "quarter ounce" of purple basil (pictured on the pasta). I don't know why we had to have purple things, it just made sense at the time. The girl selling the basil was pretty witch-tastic, but the guy next to her warned us not to get too crazy with that quarter ounce of "basil." Everyone's a comedian. As we left the farmers' market we strolled through the Lincoln Park Zoo to see critters and get a little sunburn. My favorite thing about Lincoln Park is that, because of the free admission to the zoo, you can see polar bears and giraffes on a whim. This was 6-year-old E$'s wildest dream.

But I digress. Next I took a quick trip to Trader Joe's on Ontario to pick up the linguine and some organic extra virgin olive oil. At my apartment I steamed the purple asparagus for 12 minutes (I usually do 14 minutes for green asparagus) in my Oster steamer. This little miracle worker is $29.99 at Target. Have I mentioned this yet? Probably. I love it. I use it nearly every day to steam vegetables. Steaming veggies is much better than boiling. Not only do the veggies taste better, steaming allows the vegetables to retain more of their vitamins and minerals than with boiling. Better tasting and better for you.

I boiled the linguine and mixed a ton of dried basil into the olive oil for my "pesto" sauce. I didn't have any on hand, but a vegan Parmesan substitute can be mixed in for more flavor. I then cut grape tomatoes in halves and steamed them with some sliced baby portabella mushrooms for about 3 minutes. I dished up the linguine, added the pesto sauce, and then topped it off with the tomatoes, mushrooms and the fresh purple basil, with the purple asparagus on the side.

Add copious amounts of "fine" wine to taste.

Marie, Katie and Kendra putting up with my vegan cooking. (Marie brought a little baggie of real Parmesan cheese, but still...)

Congratulations to Kendra for more than one month of vegetarianism. Wow! And congratulations to Marie for running three miles today! It was 90 degrees out! And Katie...well I know you did something really awesome today too.

I'm training for the Chicago Half Marathon again this year. Sometimes I don't believe that I actually finished last year so I'll do it again just to be sure. Today is day two of training and I'm already sore.

Product of the Day: Jonathan Product Create Volume Thickening Foam, available at Sephora. This works well in my long hair even in this heat we Chicagoans have been begging for (and are now complaining about).

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