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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Chickpea Pumpkin Curry

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

As we officially head into autumn, with the days and especially the nights starting to get cooler, I find my cooking naturally swinging away from the light and quick meals of the summer toward the hearty, rich, and sweetly spiced dishes of the new season.

I’ve already cooked up several batches of chili this month and more recently an 8×8 pan of apple crisp (from a bag of pick-your-own apples harvested with my Dad) briefly survived a couple days between the oven and my stomach. :)

Another meal that paid homage to the foods of fall was this impromptu chickpea pumpkin curry.

chickpea pumpkin curry

Near as I can recall, the ingredients, if not the exact measurements, were as follows:

  • 1 lb dried chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin, unsweetened
  • 1 box Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper (jalapeno, if you like)
  • curry powder, etc., to taste

Aside from the cooking time to ready the garbanzo beans, this was as quick as a summer meal and super easy. The pumpkin didn’t add much flavor of its own in comparison to the rest of the ingredients, but it did create a nice mouthfeel. Definitely a keeper.

Deluscious Vegan Cookies

Friday, August 16th, 2013

I recently had the honor of receiving a beautiful gift package from Deluscious Cookies + Milk containing four of the six flavors from their new vegan line of cookies!

As is probably obvious just from looking at the pictures below, these were definitely guilty pleasures. :)

 
 
Click an image to view larger in new window.

Of course, I’ve never had their non-vegan cookies, but these tasted as you would expect a gourmet cookie to taste; they were very rich, dense, chewy, and super sweet. Indeed, according to the description of the vegan oatmeal raisin on their site, “some say this is better than our classic” version. That’s always nice to hear.

I like to bake my own healthy cookies, so it’s rare that I buy them, but it was a fun indulgence and I’m happy to bring the “VeLuscious” lineup to your attention. The more companies start offering vegan options, the better.

My favorites were the Chocolate Decadence which reminded me of a big chocolate donut ball covered in a crystallized sugar glaze and the cinnamon sugar which was similar in flavor to a snickerdoodle. Didn’t get to try the peanut butter though. ;)

Disease Prevention with a Vegan Diet

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

I really like Dr. Greger’s presentation style: quick, often funny, and jam-packed with persuasive arguments for a vegan (or at least plant-based) diet, backed by peer-reviewed research and data.

His talk last year on The Leading Causes of Death really made an impression on friends and family. I predict the same for his latest yearly wrap-up entitled More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases.

As before, I recommend you set aside the hour it takes to watch as Michael Greger, M.D. “runs through the top dozen reasons people visit their doctors.” As he puts it, “the sixth leading cause of death may actually be doctors,” referring to the estimated 100,000 Americans killed each year due to adverse drug reactions.

Add in medical mistakes (which the Institute of Medicine estimates kills at least 44,000 Americans) and that brings “health”care up to our country’s third leading cause of death. Throw in hospital-acquired infections, and we’re talking maybe 187,000 Americans dead every year (and millions injured) by medical care.

This presentation is his response to these dire statistics, to help people “avoid getting sick in the first place… in hopes of moving my colleagues and me lower down the list of common killers.” :)

Available on DVD.

Note: If you use that link to purchase, I get a small cut of the sale, at no extra cost to you.

Vegan Cook

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

It’s been a little while since I posted. The last entry being the touching video of a young child’s appreciation of all life and his discovery through a series of cogent inquiries that his meal was once a living animal. If you haven’t watched it yet, do check it out.

So, what have I been up to in the interim you may ask? Well, a couple things have gotten in the way of blogging in the last month, one a nuisance, the other a rather positive development.

First the drudgery: My hosting company alerted me to some resource usage issues, primarily related to database queries and traffic. You may have noticed some actual down time as they forced my sites offline. After much, and continued efforts, I’ve managed to significantly improve the situation and remain with the same hosting company for now. One of the things that helped was to add a caching plugin here and elsewhere. You may notice faster load times as a result, but if you also happen to notice anything amiss, please let me know.

Now, on to the good news…

Starting in mid-May, I joined the Susty’s vegan cafe team as a part-time cook! It’s been an amazing experience and a nice change of pace from my usual position in front of the computer. Of course, I still do freelance web development, but now get to supplement that with a far more reliable means of income generation as well as mobility and social interaction. Those first few weeks, my feet definitely let me know how much sitting I’d been doing!

While an inveterate home cook and recipe creator, I’d never worked in a commercial kitchen before. There’s a lot to learn. Everything from the opening and closing routines (turning everything on or off, mopping, putting out or taking down the open sign and flag, etc) to the dishes themselves (ingredients, portion control, and plating) to what to start cooking when to multi-task several orders at once to get things out at the right times.

It can get a bit hectic at times, but everyone is always having fun together and we’re serving wholesome vegan food, so it’s all good. Indeed, the owner, Norma, takes great care to ensure she buys only organic and, when in season, locally. Produce often comes from her own garden or those of local farmers. We even have organic black beans grown and hand-shelled just a mile or so down the road. And, everything, including seitan and the soymilk in the baked goods, is made from scratch.

There aren’t really any videos of Susty’s on YouTube, but I did dig up this excerpt (5:33-7:23) from a longer video of a couple folks waiting for their meal at Susty’s circa 2010. It gives you a small feel of the decor and music. They even catch a bit of the farmer’s market tents across the street (Thursday afternoons during the season).

I also found this vid of one of Norma’s beautiful daughters, Willow…

From the description:

Uploaded on Aug 22, 2011 – Willow explains how and why she and her restaurant, Susty’s on route 4 in Northwood, NH opposes nuclear power, supports alternative energies, and coordinated the food for this “Picnic for Peace” commemorating the first protesters arrested in 1976

Till next time, “Bring it on down to Veganville.” :)


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