Weekend Recap: October 28, 2012

After a long and stressful Chipotle-fueled week at work, I was ready for some great times and tasty food when the weekend finally rolled around.

Saturday Fatterday:

Looking down on Silicon Valley from Fremont Older Open Space Preserve

The first order of business was take the D-Monster (my dog, Dylan) somewhere to burn off a little energy.  I loaded her in the car and we headed to Fremont Older Open Space Preserve for some trail running.  We started at the Prospect Rd parking lot and ran the Seven Springs Loop Trail.  I let Dylan set the pace and after 2 miles she decided she didn’t want to run anymore so we walked the final mile back to the car.

Hot Dog

After the run, we had a pumpkin carving party at my apartment with my roomie and our respective boy toys.  Unfortunately, Dylan kept trying to eat our pumpkins so she had to be locked up inside while we continued to work on the balcony.  She looked so sad! In the end, we had cramped hands, four fine looking pumpkins, and an obscene quantity of seeds to roast… I’d call the party a success!

My pumpkin has warts

For dinner, the four of us made the trek to Oakland to eat at Souley Vegan.  I went there once before a couple years ago and loved it so I was so excited to go back.  Last time, I ordered the sample platter which has a sampling of most of their dishes.  This time, I knew exactly what I wanted so I ordered a plate with southern fried tofu, BBQ tofu, and potato salad and a cayenne lemonade to drink.  For dessert, I had a slice of strawberry lemon cake while everyone else had cinnamon rolls.  Everything was delicious, I need to make time to eat there more often.

Tofu overload at Souley Vegan

Sunday Funday:

My roomie and I are both running the Big Sur Half Marathon in few weeks and we wanted to get a 10-miler in this weekend to prepare (and burn off some of the soul food from Saturday). We were itching for a change of scenery, so we headed up to San Francisco for our longish run. The day started at the Sports Basement in the Presidio (hello free parking in the city!).  Our route started out west to Fort Point, then we turned around to run through the Marina, Fort Mason, Aquatic Park, and the cluster-eff that is the Embarcadero.  We turned back toward the Presidio after reaching the Ferry Building.  Our pace was casual, 9:50/mile on average, and we stopped to take pictures in a few places.  The amazing weather and excitement from the Giants fans everywhere made it a perfect day for running in the city.

The Golden Gate Bridge enveloped in fog

After the run, I changed into some clean clothes and downed a Vega smoothie. Then we drove across town, back to the Ferry Building to reward ourselves for our efforts.

First, we got our caffeine fix with mochas from Blue Bottle Coffee…

Soy mocha from Blue Bottle Coffee

Then we picked up vegan donuts from Pepples. I opted for salted caramel.

Many flavors to choose from at Pepples Donuts and they’re all vegan!

Finally, we found a bench outside to enjoy our goodies al fresco. Sunday was a fun day, indeed!

Enjoying my coffee and doughnut with a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge

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Braised Collard Greens

 

My obsession with collard greens started with my recent discovery of the Oakland Ethiopian restaurant scene. My personal favorite is Addis because their food is delicious and the service is always very friendly. I also really enjoy the 10 minute walk to the restaurant from the Rockridge BART station because it goes through a very charming neighborhood filled with bathtub container gardens and artichoke plants.

Most Ethiopian restaurants offer a vegetarian combination with a pretty standard set of dishes, served on a giant piece of spongy injera bread. There are two legume dishes; lentils cooked with spicy berbere seasoning and flavorful yellow split peas. The veggie combo usually has 3 vegetable dishes; a simple salad of lettuce dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, cooked potatoes and carrots, and of course, braised collard greens.

I’ve been experimenting with collards at home and the results have been delicious. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe!


Braised Collard Greens Recipe

 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Earth Balance (or more olive oil)

1 large onion, diced

salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 mirin (rice cooking wine)

2 bunches collards, thoroughly washed

3/4 cup vegetable broth

 

To prepare greens: Cut in half length-wise. Working in small batches, stack leaves, roll lengthwise, and slice 1/2″ ribbons.

Heat olive oil and Earth Balance in a large stock pot. Add onions and seasonings, cooking until onions begin to brown.

De-glaze pot with mirin and add collards, broth, and additional seasonings to pot. Toss greens in liquid then cover pot with lid and cook over low heat for 1 hour – 90 minutes.