15% OFF Calorie Free Noodles with coupon code "2LOWCARB"
Powered by MaxBlogPress 

Archive for January, 2013

Fracking Up The Prairie

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

I recently came upon this article, entitled “A Mysterious Patch of Light Shows Up In The North Dakota Dark” and decided it was time to learn a bit more about this thing called fracking.

The article describes a disturbing new smudge of light on the nighttime satellite map of the United States where once there was only darkened fields. It’s not the birth of a city we are witnessing — though the population is booming there now — but rather what’s colloquially been coined “Kuwait on the Prarie,” i.e., burning gas wells, intentionally ignited flares of excess natural gas extracted via induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, a.k.a. fracking.

What Is Fracking?
Like many, I’d heard of it and had a vague idea about the controversy, but seeing those pictures (do check them out), it struck me there was still more to assimilate. While I knew there were concerns about the grounwater, I didn’t realize the air pollution concerns.

Here’s a quick video explaining the process from a clean, animated, industry perspective.

What’s The Hubbub?
As if the images from NASA didn’t speak volumes enough, there’s the potential for drinking water contamination, runoff of toxic waste, and even destabilizing the ground itself (think sinkholes and earthquakes).

Several documentaries have covered the first couple of these environmental issues, the shortest being this one from Earth Focus about “the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale.”

Others worth watching are…

Further reading:

Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone


Vegan Soul Kitchen

Monday, January 7th, 2013

A couple quick book reviews today. One an impromptu rave from my friend Scott and the other one I’ve been intending for a while now.

OK, this first book comes highly recommended by Scott. He sent me an email last night drooling over the new flavors to which he’d been introduced by this book over the weekend.

The source of his excitement? Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry which was serendipitously just sitting there on the shelf of a small bookstore calling out to him following a date with his wife at a local Thai restaurant (where he inadvertently ordered their hottest boost of heat, which the waitstaff apparently writes down as “HELL SPICY” – LOL).

In particular, he ended up making the Creole Hoppin’-Jean recipe two nights in a row, it was that good. Here’s how it looked with black beans substituted for the black-eyed peas (next time):

Scott’s description, which has me looking forward to trying it…

“This thing was freaking good. I’ve been craving something different from my regular (and boring) recipes, and this delivered. I wish I had the ingredients for his ‘quiona-quinoa cornbread’ recipe too, but we’ll get to that next time after grocery shopping. I think that a key step was the homemade Basic Stock found in his book, plain old simple and GOOD.”

He also noted how healthy everything was, with the only processed food seeming to be store-bought seitan (which I’ll have to show him how to make from scratch), and with the salt and oils likely being unnecessary. The herbs and spices were right on and easily found in a well-stocked pantry.

The other book I meant to review before now is Veggies For Carnivores by Lora Krulak. I was sent this one gratis and still haven’t had a chance to make anything from it, so it’s coming with my next time Scott and I get together for a smorgasbord.

That said, I did get to read it and not just skim. Much about her approach to food feels familiar to me in the way she encourages experimentation. As she writes in the intro…

“Everywhere I traveled, I asked a few more questions of the locals and learned a little bit more about the importance of spices, herbs, seasonings, and freshness. Through my trials and experiments, I became a rare mix of culinary adventurer and dietary problem solver. As I sought to decode my own nutritional riddles, I came to understand how to do that for others.”

As you might expect from the title, it’s not all vegan; there are some egg and dairy ingredients, and even an occasional mention of meat, the latter coming via little “carnivore’s choice” notes. However, there’s a lot here to inspire and the angle is unique. It’s like a how-to guide for preparing vegetables in general (versus becoming a vegan).

While the subtitle is “Moving Vegetables to the Center of the Plate,” you won’t find a bunch of main dishes here, no casseroles, vegan meatloafs, etc.. What you will find is that aforementioned inspiration in the form of sides (“small plates” which can be combined to create a meal), soups, salads, sauces/dips, and beverages, many with variations and “fun facts.” Recommended for those cooking for a mixed dietary crowd or in need of party food ideas.

My Cookbook:

Help get out the word and
make money as an affiliate