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Vegan Friday: Texas caviar

The first time I ever had Texas caviar was about 13 years ago at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo. It has since become one of my go-to recipes when I want something with a lot of protein that doesn’t require a lot of effort.

The peppers are hidden under all the other stuff.
The peppers are hidden under all the other stuff.

Ingredients:
1 green pepper, diced
1/4 of a small red onion, diced
Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
1 can blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. Italian dressing
2 tbsp. taco seasoning or 1 tbsp. each cumin and chili powder
1 small hot pepper, chopped finely (optional)

Five-minute project. Maybe 10 if you haven't already chopped the vegetables.
Five-minute project. Maybe 10 if you haven’t already chopped the vegetables.

Toss all ingredients together and chill for a few hours or overnight to blend flavors. Serve with tortilla chips.

Texas caviar is an easy option for potlucks where you’re not sure you’ll find a lot of vegan protein sources.

Emily

Fall

Gratuitous lavender photo. Every time I think it's done blooming, it puts out another blossom or two.
Gratuitous lavender photo. Every time I think it’s done blooming, it puts out another blossom or two.

I spent part of today working on my pond filter and starting a few small indoor projects, including some sprouts and a worm bin.

While I was outside, I took a few pictures of the garden in its more-or-less dormant state. Fall and winter always make me sad, because I hate saying goodbye to the garden, but I’ve got a few projects planned out there for this winter, and I think we’ll be in good shape come spring.

These fire rings will spend the winter serving as compost bins before turning into raised beds in the spring.
These fire rings will spend the winter serving as compost bins before becoming raised beds next season.

So far, I’ve bought four 36-inch fire rings to use as compost bins this winter, with the intention of planting directly into the compost this spring to make incredibly rich, easy-to-manage raised beds for my tomatoes.

This pond has come SO far in the past year. It sheltered at least two rounds of tadpoles this summer.
This pond has come SO far in the past year. It sheltered at least two rounds of tadpoles this summer.

That pond filter I built out of an ice-cream bucket looks as if it’s going to work pretty well. Time will tell, of course, but so far, it seems to be working. I’ll have a tutorial for you in an upcoming Eco-Saturday entry. The picture above delights me; I can’t believe how big that lemon balm has gotten. The oregano, meanwhile, apparently thinks it’s an aquatic plant — I found some of it growing roots right down into the water. Leave it to a mint to be audacious enough to try to compete with water hyacinths on their own turf.

The arugula I allowed to bolt this summer has scattered seeds all over the small bed in the center of the yard and halfway across the yard around it, so I’ve got salad growing all over the place without having to do any late-season planting. The sage and chives are still hanging in there, too, although my Genovese basil succumbed to the light frost we had the other night. I’ll have an Eco-Saturday entry on Darwin gardening sometime in the next month or so. If you’re willing to let Mother Nature run the show, you can have a remarkably productive garden with virtually no effort.

Hope your day was good, wherever you are.

Emily

DIY is in my DNA

repairweb

Ran across this while I was looking for random stuff to use for test posts last night. I think it explains a lot about me.

My parents’ old house had hardwood floors when we moved in, and one of the boards had split or something. There was one little spot that was slightly uneven, and it about drove me bugsnot every time I saw it. I mentioned it to Dad approximately 465,782 times until he let me fix it.

Nearly three and a half decades later, I live in a house with uneven hardwood floors that creak and groan, and I am pretty sure the noise drives Dad bugsnot every time he hears it, because guess who tells me about the specially designed screws I could get to fix those boards every time he comes to visit?

Emily