Another brand new blogger to the Vegan Bloggers Unite! fold, please welcome the author of The Little Foxes Ashlee. Here she is in her own words, “I’m Ashlee. I’m a 30-something plant-based lifestyle coach and reformed corporate and government advisor who aims to show that the ethical vegan lifestyle is fantastically stylish, beautiful, tasty, carefree, sassy, and fun without compromising on principle. Along with my foxy-lookin’ rescue dog, we’re trying to inspiring stylish vegan living, eating, and dressing via The Little Foxes. I also manage the Vegucated Schoolhouse Community, write guides on going vegan for Vegucated, and write for Ecorazzi.” Please join Ashlee on Twitter and Facebook. Welcome Ashlee!
Some days are just magic. And after many days (weeks, months…) where life in transition from traditional expectations to the struggle of new and exciting horizons can seem grueling, heartbreaking, and downright difficult, a day where life effortlessly seems to flow is so welcomed and inspiring. Yesterday was one of those days.
It started out like any normal day. Rise and shine, tidy up the apartment, bang out some work. And then, when taking the dogs for a walk, a one minute elevator conversation with a very glamorous woman led to the prospect of some freelance work. Then I met the loveliest gal (sporting the cutest assemblage of french braids I’ve ever seen) at my nail place and we bonded over our mutual distaste for J-Lo and the homogenous style of Chicago’s Gold Coast (a sea of Uggs, scowls, and sunglasses even when it’s not sunny) and our shared love for full-bodied Brooke Shields-esque brows and recycled budget fashion.
The day was positively splattered with sparkles of hope. Everyone seemed joyful, kind, open – Even Phil, the homeless guy I chat with who hangs out in the local park, was even more chipper than usual. How do I know? We high-fived. He never does that.
And a glimpse of a rare, irresistibly crepey peach English Garden variety rose at the end of a stroll on a misty day just made everything seem relaxed and right.
Nothing tangibly extraordinary, but rather a feeling of peace – like things are organizing themselves after months of hard work, and I can kick back a bit and watch it all unfold. Do you ever have those days? Aren’t they just marvelous?
I love dreary, enter-spring kind of days. While some people loathe drizzly, grey weather, I find it cozy and renewing. I welcome these days with open windows and a brightly-flavored, but filling meal that summons spring, while also respecting the delicate dance that is the unfoldment to it.
Creamy Chilled Farro with Asparagus
- Yields: 4 servings
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 – 45 minutes (depending upon whether or not your farro is quick-cook)
- 8.8 oz (~ 1 1/2 cups) farro, cooked according to package instructions
- juice of 1/2 small lemon
- 1 avocado, ripe
- 2 tbsp hummus (I like tahini-free or lemon hummus to complement the sauce)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, raw or roasted (I like roasted for this recipe. It adds depth)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and diced in to 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 tsp soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos
- 1 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
- 6 grinds of Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning (because I’m an addict, people)
- 1 tsp olive oil, for sautéing
- Optional: 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more, if you like a kick)
- dash smoked paprika, to taste
- salt + pepper, to taste
- basil, chiffonade, for garnish
- Bring water or vegetable broth to boil in large stock pot and cook farro according to instructions. Once cooked, drain in colander and rinse with cold water. Drain again to ensure farro is dry.
- In a blender, combine peeled avocado, walnuts, hummus, water, soy sauce, chili pepper, smoked paprika, and smoke seasoning. Blend until smooth. Gently add lemon juice until desired tartness is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- In a shallow pan, sauté garlic and olive oil, gently folding in the diced asparagus. Sauté until bright green and still firm.
- In a large bowl, combine the farro with the blended sauce mixture and half of the garlic asparagus. Add more red pepper flakes if you like your food with a kick. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to chill.
Once cooled, serve in individual ramekins and top with remaining sautéed asparagus and finely chopped basil, chili pepper, and walnuts. Serve with flatbread and olive oil for dipping. Think spring-like thoughts.