This Morning’s Harvest…The Perfect Season to Be on a Plant-Based Diet

TFL morning harvest Stunning squash blossoms, ramps, and more

TFL morning harvest
Stunning squash blossoms, ramps, and more


Radishes, peppers, baby paddy pan squash, and more deliciousness

Radishes, peppers, baby paddy pan squash, and more deliciousness

IMG_6301Four weeks ago I moved to a plant-based only diet (aka vegan; however, it seems the word “vegan” has gone out of fashion for some).   “Whatever”, I say … because even though a bit of grated parmesan has topped a few of my salad plates the last few weeks, and I consumed my last bit of organic, whole milk with my morning cup of black tea (didn’t want to waste it :-).  I feel better…  and I have lost 5 pounds in a month (a big deal to my 5’2″ frame), and my arthritis has calmed down immensely…and I love the food I am cooking and discovering when eating out.  The big test will be what my numbers are in three weeks when I get my lab work done to see if I reversed my diabetes back into being GONE  gone gone…(keep your fingers crossed).

Here’s the neat thing too… I don’t weigh, measure, or count much of anything I choose to consume …as long as it is plant-based, usually a whole food (except for a bit of bread and crackers)…this has been easy and flavorful and fun to figure out what to make for each meal and what to order out…oh, and I have been considerate of reducing even the good fats.  I had a tendency to go a bit crazy with the EVOO, nuts, and avocados before this sojourn into veganism.

I don’t do shakes or soy protein, or texturized this or that which mocks a meat product either.  Quinoa has become my friend.  Seriously!  I must say going veggie, fruit and grain based in the summer was just a stunning idea.  The plethora of outstanding produce is the perfect platform from which to launch this effort… a recipe for success I’d say.  Go plant-based in the summer months.

O.K…. I will confess that the photos above are NOT from my puny little garden…we sprinted up to Napa and our favorite little town of Yountville a couple weeks ago to celebrate my darling husband’s birthday, just the two of us…and this stunning produce is from Thomas Keller’s gardens, across from The French Laundry and down the street from his Bouchon and Ad Hoc restaurants.  We got to enjoy some of his produce at Bouchon…the best tomato and compressed melon salad EVER…with a fresh basil puree (I had them hold the slice of Spanish ham (darn) …still AWESOME though… the photo doesn’t do it justice but here it is anyway.

Bouchon...Heirloom tomato, compressed melon, teeny onions, basil puree...awesome"ness" on a much flavor

Bouchon…Heirloom tomato, compressed melon, teeny onions, basil puree…awesome”ness” on a board…so much flavor….o.k. see, there is just a teeny bit of grated parmesan on top (it’s o.k….it was from a good source 🙂

Will update you soon on my progress… below are photos of MY morning harvest, not quite so plush as Thomas Keller’s garden produce, but full of flavor and I know the source too 🙂   Local and trustworthy 🙂

My morning harvest...Japanese eggplant, heirloom tomatoes (tiny but truly full of flavor) nectarines (from our new tree, just juicy and delicious)...not the TFL but still good.

My morning harvest…Japanese eggplant, heirloom tomatoes (tiny but truly full of flavor) nectarines (from our new tree, just juicy and delicious)…not the TFL but still good.



  1. Sorry I’m not as good a Gardener as the ones who we watched at T K’s garden. I did pick up some great ideas for our garden though

    • yes, those guys are awesome…their layout is interesting and their trellising systems so simple and efficient. Can we hire them?

  2. I must admit, when I saw those first photos I had vegetable garden envy. I tried growing radishes this year and they’ve been hopeless, nothing like those beauties. Your eggplants, nectarines and tomatoes look terrific, all that Californian sunshine must be just the job. Well done with the vegan diet, but do you find it difficult to find vegan fare out and about? I would imagine that California is one of the best areas of the States to find vegan food, but all the same it’s not every restaurant that caters for vegans yet, is it? You’re absolutely right that summer time is a great time to concentrate on vegan food, and it all tastes so good when the produce is freshly picked. I’ve never heard of compressed melon before, is it an ordinary melon squashed up, or is it a variety of melon? Mmm, juicy melon on a hot day – wonderful.

    • Yes, thank goodness we live in California…where the best produce is grown. I have found it extremely easy to find satisfying vegan menu items in restaurants near me – that wasn’t the case 15 years ago when I was vegan for a year, I had to take my own food everywhere or order steamed vegetables and fruit…that was it. About the compressed melon…it is a regular melon that is actually compressed through some vacuum sealing process which squeezes out the air and excess liquid and just supremely intensifies the flavor of the melon…I tried it at home once after googling how to do it, but it wasn’t nearly as effective as this restaurant’s product…I need to get a vacuum sealing devise – they are not too expensive just haven’t figured out where to get one yet. btw what I miss most being vegan is real milk in my morning black tea and real butter!