Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall and Meatless Monday

We were in Hamburg for the weekend (more about that later), and whilst riding the S-bahn, we overheard a couple of Spaniards commenting on fall in Germany:

"It's so depressing!" one said.

"I know, it's so grey, and everything looks dead, que horror!" replied the other.

Fall in the park, Wiesbaden
Their comments got me wondering whether you need to grow up in a colder climate to appreciate the beauty of fall. It's true that some days have a melancholic quality about them, but I find the crisp air is invigorating, and all of the colours fall brings, with changing leaves, crysanthemums, dahlias, gourds and other fall produce are stunning. I walked through the park on my way to pick up some groceries this morning: the orange and yellow trees were reflected in the pond, and suddenly a flock of geese took off into the grey yonder. It took my breath away.

Since it was a cool, rainy morning, soup seemed to be in order for lunch. Here are a couple of recipes for Meatless Monday/Cold Fall Day:

French Onion Soup (adapted from Maximized Living Nutrition Plans)

1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium onions, sliced into rings
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp dried thyme
3-4 tbsp tamari
8 C vegetable stock
slices of Provolone or Swiss cheese

1. Heat the oil. Cook onions and garlic until translucent.
2. Add mushrooms and cook until soft.
3. Stir in thyme and tamari, saute for a minute or two.
4. Add water, bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until ready to eat.
5. If you have oven-safe bowls, you can fill them with soup, top with cheese, and broil. I don't have oven-safe bowls here, so I stirred the cheese into the bowls just before serving.

Creamy Garlic Dressing (adapted from fresh at home)

I use this dressing as a Caesar substitute. It's also great as a dip, just adjust the water for consistency.

1 tbsp capers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 C sunflower seeds or yogurt, or a combination
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 C olive oil
filtered water (I start with 1/4 cup, and add more depending on the consistency I want)

1. Throw everything into a Magic Bullet or other blender.
2. Blend until smooth, adding more water if you need to.

What's your take on fall? Any great fall recipes, meatless or otherwise? Let me know!

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