I grew up a city girl. Technically I grew up in a suburb, but the suburbs of DC are pretty city-fied. So when, after Mark’s military career was over, we moved to a rural part of the state some of my friends were shocked. And it’s true that we don’t have the best shopping or the best restaurants (except for 213!). But what we do have, within 45 minutes is this:
And frankly, this alone makes it worth it that I have to drive 2 hours for fabulous shopping or that there are very few vegan friendly places around. I love the beach that much. While this picture was taken early in our visit today and before the sun came out strong, it is still beautiful. Add in some friends and some great food, and today was an incredible day. (Yes I put on sunscreen but yes I did get a little burned. I’m putting aloe on it and figure I’ll be fine in the morning!) There was one little unfortunate incident with my phone right as we got to the beach, though. The kids opened the back of the car and the water jug fell out, spilling water all over the parking lot. In true kid style they both just stared at it, so I jumped to the back of the car and dropped my phone onto the asphalt. While it still works, it is not looking very good.Luckily it didn’t ruin my day and we had a really great time. And after 2+ hours of wave jumping with 7 kids I worked up an appetite for the lunch I packed.
I will begin by admitting I ate the berries with my hands. It was the beach, afterall!
But the best part was this broccolini salad. Under normal circumstances, as a side dish, this would serve 3. However if you have been jumping waves while holding a 2 year old and the hand of a 6 year old while also watching 5 other children, this serves 1 as a main course. Particularly when you like it so much that you refuse to let anyone near you have even a bite and you say things like “You have your own sandwich! This is mine!”
The one caveat I will add to this recipe is that I like a really saucy salad and even I thought this was a little too saucy. When I made it the night before it looked a little dry to me so I doubled the sauce but, when I make it again, I will make it like this (which is half the sauce I made). By all means, if you want super saucy, double the sauce.
2 cups raw broccolini crowns, chopped small
1/2 yellow squash (seeds removed), chopped small
1/2 zucchini, chopped small
1/3 sweet onion, chopped small
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Mix the broccolini through the dried cranberries in a medium bowl. In a blender mix the mayo through the sea salt, scraping down the sides until the mixture is thoroughly creamy. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Top with the sesame seeds and then chill.
After lunch we swam some more and then packed up and came home just as the rain started. After showers and a little relaxing it was, of course, time to make dinner. (Because these children insist on eating multiple times a day!) To continue my salad theme, I decided to use some of the fresh beets I got at the farmer’s market on Saturday. I’ve been eyeing this recipe from the NY Times for a few days and decided to give it a try with my own tweaks (of course!). I used chunked sweet onion, balsamic vinegar, spicy brown mustard, and parsley.
My ‘not so pretty’ RA hands covered in beet juice but it was worth it. The family, as a whole, really liked this salad. I served it with veggie hot dogs and plain green salad. The recipe doesn’t give an amount for the herbs and I just used about a tablespoon. Next time I’ll use more, and I’d like to try it with cilantro.
E went back for seconds and thirds and T, my picky child, said “I have a new vegetable I like. Beets! This was good, mom. It tasted like apples!” When I was eating the last bits of it out of the bowl as I was cleaning up (Because I didn’t see any reason it should go to waste!) E said “Hey! There’s more??” and lunged for my fork. And you can definitely tell she enjoyed it since her face got tinted purple from the juice.
Today was a really nice day filled with yummy vegan food. I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are! And now I’m excited to see what tomorrow might bring.