Day 200 of the Nowhere To Be Project brought me a mysterious gift…kohlrabi. I just learned about kohlrabi last week from chef and author Celia Brooks at her SUPERVEG book signing Related Blog Post. She raved about the merits of this elusive and mysterious vegetable so much that I became obsessed with getting my hands on one. I inquired at three different grocery stores without a sniff of luck. Most of those I queried were like me, completely kohlrabi illiterate. I had all but given up on ever sinking my teeth into one when just as with love, I happened upon it when I was least expecting it (during my usual Sunday visit to the Vail Farmer’s Market). The lovely ladies of Trout Creek Farm always bring the finest produce to the market and on this day the holy grail that is Kohlrabi was included in their harvest. I snatched one up for just $2 along with my usual bounty of sprouts and greens.
All that’s left now is for me to decide what to do with my prized kohlrabi. I could use it to create a salad with mint and poppy seeds as exemplified by Celia Brooks in SUPERVEG?!? Or maybe I should be more indulgent and make fries out of it?!? I’m going to give it a day or so to consider it. If you have any clever ways of preparing kohlrabi, I’m dying to hear them. Please connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be sure to share the fate of my kohlrabi.
Day 130 of the Nowhere To Be Project fell on a Sunday. No matter where I am in the world, summer Sundays are synonymous with farmer’s markets. Buying local food directly from the source provides an unmatched opportunity for cultural immersion. If you’re like me, you worship food and understand that it, alone, holds the key to truly understanding the nuances of a locale.
The farmer’s market in Vail today was bursting with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and squash. These flavors reminded me of a delicious Tuscan Panzanella I once experienced (yes, food should be an experience!). With that sensory memory as my inspiration I created a quick yet magnificent slow cooker lasagna. It is naturally plant-based and dairy-free, and to be completely honest, it is so decadent that you wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t told you! Enjoy and be sure to share!
TUSCAN PANZANELLA LASAGNA🌿🍅
1/2 pound assorted varieties of squash, thinly sliced*
1/2 pound ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced
4 cups of your favorite homemade or store-bought marinara sauce**
1 ball of fresh plant-based mozzarella cheese, sliced***
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Oven ready dried lasagna noodles****
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt & pepper, to taste
-Begin by drizzling a bit of the EVOO into the slow cooker.
-Add a ladle full of tomato sauce to the slow cooker.
-Crack the lasagna noodles to fit the slow cooker, creating a single layer on top of the sauce.
-Drizzle a tad more EVOO on top of the dried pasta.
-Use the 1/2 of the sliced mozzarella to create the filling for the first layer of the lasagna, topping it with another layer of dried pasta and a ladle of sauce.
-Use the sliced squash to create the second layer of the lasagna, dusting it with EVOO, salt and pepper before adding another layer of dried pasta and more marinara.
-Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a single layer directly on top of the dried pasta.
-Sprinkle the chopped basil and garlic on top of the tomatoes along with another light dusting of EVOO, salt and pepper.
-Crumble the remaining mozzarella on top of the tomatoes before pouring the remaining sauce in the slow cooker.
-Cook on high for two hours and then turn the heat to low and cook for another hour or so, until brown and bubbly.
-Let the lasagna sit at room temperature in the slow cooker crock for 30 minutes before serving.
-Serve with garlic bread to mop up every morsel of deliciousness!
*I used patty pan and zucchini squash.
**Victoria White Linen is a wonderful option (and what I used) for simple marinara sauce.
***Miyoko’s makes an amazing vegan mozzarella that tastes and melts just like dairy cheese. I used this in the dish.
****Never assume that any pasta is vegan as many are made with eggs. I used Pastamoré dried lasagna noodles, purchased at the farmer’s market.
On Day 116 of the Nowhere To Be Project I found myself at my very favorite summer market, the Vail Farmer’s Market. The market winds through the village and is stocked with fresh fruits and veggies, beautiful blooms, a vast variety of handcrafted local foods, goods and art. Patrons walk the streets to the tune of live jazz music and the sounds of the rushing water in Gore Creek while marveling at the blossoming flower baskets perched in every nook and cranny of this lovely alpine town. Among my favorite finds are the local Palisades peaches, the amazing juices and snacks at the all vegan Green Elephant Juicery and the cute hand painted clogs by the Swedish Clog Cabin (I’ve literally been a fan of their designs since I began walking:-). Vail’s summer market is always ranked among the best farmer’s markets in the west and as a connoisseur of sorts, I would place it among the top in the whole world. People come from all around the globe to visit the wondrous mountain village of Vail and those who are lucky enough to be here on a summer Sunday soon realize that the Vail Farmer’s Market is a must see!
Most travelers, myself included, spend a lot of their time searching for the perfect spot. It might be a locale, a resort, a restaurant, a chair on the beach, or even a parking spot. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder and what seems just right for one may be the exact opposite for another. Take a second to consider what these might be for you:
❤️your perfect spot for watching the sun rise or set
❤️your perfect spot for being one with nature (sea, mountains, lakes, forests, plains…whatever lights your fancy)
❤️your perfect spot for feeling at peace
❤️your perfect spot for feeling inspired
❤️the place where you can truly be yourself
Okay, where is your spot? How did you find it? Maybe you’re not quite sure yet and if that’s the case, keep on searching!
On Day 109 of the Nowhere To Be Project I languished in the luxury of my perfect spot. I awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the mountains. I had coffee on the deck as I listened to the rushing of the nearby waterfall. I meandered through the village enjoying the farmer’s market packed with fresh local foods. I’ll doze off tonight to the cool mountain breeze flooding through my open window. My perfect spot is Vail, Colorado. It is my chosen hometown. Give it a visit if you’ve never been. You never know, it might just be your perfect spot too.