Food from the north

I’ve been spending far too much time away from San Diego, and even more time away from Vegpod, for which I am truly sorry.
This past month, my days have been happily spent in a garden. Lots of heavy weeding, shovel skilling, soil turning, seed sprouting, water feeding, earth worm saving, compost smelling fun!
Yes fun!
And better yet? I had one of my best girls with me. Also an amazing vegan pastry chef.
In case you don’t know what 2 vegan chef’s look like in a garden….farm6.JPG
If you took the art of being a chef one step further, I believe you would see a gardener. Gardening/Farming is arguably the oldest known occupation. Growing your own food takes you back to your roots, in the literal meaning. To see and learn just how food comes to be at our tables, from a tiny seed is magical!
And with hard work, comes lots of hearty meals…I could easily get used to this.
Starters from the farmers market: nasturtiums, radishes, romaine, dill, & oregano

A total of 4 gardens were worked on. And with those 4 gardens came early mornings to beat the 95 degree heat.
My morning breakfasts were usually some type of whole grain hot cereal (triticaleh, whole wheat, or steel cut oats) doused in almond milk, and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Lunch & dinner is where the real magic happened.
Homemade Black bean burgers, with roasted peppers, and grilled onions. Served with a cup of navy bean soup, and my fabulous Blueberry Acai Sun tea.

Megs Top 10 reasons to garden:
#1 Garden to be creative. Gardening provides an outlet for creative and artistic expression. You decide what to grow. You decide where to grow it, and how. Express Yourself!
#2 Garden to learn. The more you learn about plants and gardening, the more you want to know. Get out there and teach the youth! They need it most. Plus its fun to play with dirt!

WWII Poster, Build a victory garden!

#3 Garden to exercise. Gardening activities provide both cardio and aerobic exercise. Studies show that an hour of moderate gardening can burn up to 300 calories for women, and almost 400 calories for men. Yup.
#4 Garden for Urban Revitalization. Unless you are pimpin’ it up in the OC, chances are your neighborhood could use a little more love. Gardens are usually a pleasure to look at, and can change shady eyesores, into a beautiful array of colors.
#5 Garden for safe, healthy food. Contamination, pesticides, additives, preservatives…. do I need to go on?
OG Strawberries=yum

#6 Severe Allergies? Hardline vegan? Or just worried about how the food you eat is grown? Maybe you want to know what exact nutrients your food is grown with. Grow your own! Your veg-friends will be envious.
#7 Maybe even my favorite, garden for the sake of the sunshine! 15 min. a day provides your suggested daily amount of vitamin D. And you’ll have a healthy glow.
#8 THE FUTURE OF FOOD, get the movie, watch it. You’ll be growing your own food in no time.
#9 Meditation. We all need it. And you’ll feel a stronger connection with life, our planet, our environment.
#10 Vegan Mac-N-Cheeze! You might not be able to find this at your garden space, but help me in mine, and I’ll cook you up some grub!

The ripe vegetables had been picked over well from the winter and fall, but we made due with plenty of chard, parsley, celery root, fingerling potatoes, celery, chives, leeks, bay leaves, and mint.
There was leftover dried corn from the fall to which we made fresh popcorn with nightly.
Earth-balance butter….yummmm

El Corazon Celery Root

Crusted Tofu, Sweet potato/Celery root mash, Quinoa Pilaf, with walnuts and sun dried tomatoes, and sauteed greens, with yellow onion, and tomato.
We ate pretty good, no?!
Did I mention that all the food scraps, peels, you name it, ended up in the biggest compost pile I’ve ever scene. Well they did.

Sadly, our time at the farm had to come to an end. I came home and my lettuce bed had shriveled away with the heat wave that swept thru San Diego. Sort of made me happy there was more to do at home. They say the best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow, and a true garden is never finished. But I’m still hoping it won’t be long before I’m back to diggin in the dirt up north again. Till then, watch out for snakes!
California kingsnake

Hillcrest Farmers Market


Ahhh, Sunday mornings. Upon wakening, I open my eyes, do a quick stretch, grab my bike, and I’m out the door. OK so it doesn’t happen quite like that every Sunday morning, but the one thing that I do enjoy waking up early on the weekends for, is the Hillcrest Farmers Market. Some of you might argue with me over which is the best of the 20 plus markets San Diego has to offer, but I think I’m sticking with Hillcrest! Located in the DMV parking lot, every Sunday from 9am-1pm, rain or shine, summer & throughout the small season of what is called winter here in Southern California.
There are so many wonderful vendors, but heres some clips of my favorites!


First, and my most favorite, is La Milpa Organica Farm stand. They carry a HUGE selection of the most vita-rich greens imaginable. Ranging from chards, kales, dandelions, collards, mustards, spring mix, and any other dark leaf you can think of. Lately they’ve had a braising mix, which is a blend of all their amazing greens! Heres a pick of them before cooking!


Another new favorite edition of mine, is the Majestic Garlic booth. Geni is usually there with a ton of different flavors to try. All of their spreads are always vegan friendly, and mostly raw. Try the cucumber mint, tarragon, and the smokey flavors! Great for sandwich spreads, cracker dipping, or baked potatoes. Don’t put up a fuss about the garlic breath either! Garlic has been used to fight disease spreading agents, and is super high in anti-oxidants.

Who can walk buy the raw pie guys without stopping to look at the vibrant pizzas! Live pesto pizza is a favorite, made with a flax cracker crust, pesto sauce, and topped with fresh veggies. The also have all different flavors of dessert pies, as well as zucchini noodle pasta! Raw foodies beware!


And the coolest kids you’ll meet at the market, with the best organic avocados, chiramoyas, and friendliest smiles….. Creekside Tropicals!


So if you haven’t been, you should. Support our wonderful local farmers! Your money goes directly into the hands of the farmer, you know exactly where your food is coming from, and you get the best deals in town! What more could you want? I’ll personally provide a wake up call for anyone that wants to bike down on a Sunday morning with me:) We can shop, then munch on some vegan tamales, and samosas! Your treat!