You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Vegging Out’ category.
Dana of Zona Pellucida seduced me into making homemade sauerkraut recently.
It’s not entirely her fault. The Angry Russian is also to blame. To this day he raves about his dad’s homemade kraut, which was made in huge barrels with yellow apples. When I started reading about candida, sugar, the digestive system and probiotics, my kraut fate was sealed. I had to grow some bacteria myself.
The other day I popped open the first jar. It bubbled and gurgled its fermented secrets at me.
I love having these sorts of mad-scientist moments with my food. I’m pretty useless, even dangerous, when it comes to working the normal kitchen gadgetry (e.g., ovens, microwaves, knives, etc.), but I excel at stuff that takes days in dark places to transform (See Sprout it Out Loud for additional evidence of my culinary nerdiness).
So anyway, I shared a serving of the kraut with The Angry Russian. His rapt expression at first bite made all the trouble worth the while. I have another jar still fermenting and I will definitely be making another batch. Maybe with apples.
One of the blogs I read, Garden Variety, featured artist Lynn Karlin today. You can check out her gorgeous work in the link below:
The raspberry bush has been sputtering out berries this summer and I’ve been racing the birds to get them. It’s our relatively peaceful version of The Hunger Games. Victori spolia.
Did you know that the raspberry fruit is not a true berry? Neither did I until I read a report from Cornell Univeristy. The fruit is apparently an “aggregate of many individual drupelets” with each drupelet being “anatomically analogous to a cherry.”
My garden raspberries are different from the ones I buy at the store. They are sun-warmed, sweeter, and burstier. Each of their drupelets is an explosion of sunlight, frogsong, and butterfly wings on the tongue. They have virtually no shelf life. Frogsongs fade fast when plucked from the earth; you must eat them while their echos still vibrate to taste the music.
Berries in general are highly perishable. There’s a significant loss of vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants within just a couple days of harvest. So I’ve been inventing ways to infuse my cells with berry goodness as often as possible. Here are just a few of my favorite berry treats.
While they need no accompaniment, sometimes it’s fun to let them frolic with friends. It’s really fun to sing along with Tori Amos’ Raspberry Swirl as I spin them around in a blender. I toss in strawberries, a squeeze of lemon, a squirt of lime, and a splash of cranberry juice and grape juice.
This concotion makes yummy popsicles. I call them Raspberry Zingers.
Sometimes I throw in a little peach to a get different texture. After filling the popsicle molds, I add a dallop of yogurt and a dash of milk to whatever is left in the blender to make a smoothie.
Another fun way to get my berry bliss on and to make myself feel incredibly fancy in the process is with “spa water.”
The idea is to send sliced fruit floating in water for hours to infuse the water with flavor. I’ve been experimenting with variations, but so far my favorite is sliced up strawberries, squished raspberries, cucumber, a little squirt of lime (or sometimes lime slices), and fresh mint. This week the pineapple basil is making a spectacular comeback after the rain we’ve had, so I added a few leaves. It’s tasty!
Fun fact: Raspberries are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K. They also contain folate, vitamin E, and potassium.
Here’s what was on last week’s menu. You can following the links (in bold) for recipes.
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt on toffee granola topped with fresh raspberries, and tea. As far as nutrition, we’ve got calcium, fiber, iron and B-12. The raspberries add a little extra fiber, vitamin C and a whole lot of yum.
Lunch: Arugula salad (picked fresh!) with oil and vinegar dressing, flatbread, and an orange.
Dinner: Ok, I admit this is an odd combination — corn chips and guacamole and a side of grilled asparagus.
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt on toffee granola topped with fresh raspberries, and tea.
Lunch: Annie’s Shells & Cheese with fresh steamed broccoli.
Snack: Rice pudding
Dinner: a 3-ounce fillet of salmon, sauteed squash, and 1/2 an avocado. Yes, I ate fish. This was the main source of my B-12 this week.
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt on toffee granola topped with fresh raspberries, and tea.
Lunch: Vanilla yogurt on toffee granola topped with fresh raspberries. Again! It’s that good.
Dinner: Eggplant parmesean and a salad.
Dessert: Eggless chocolate cake.
Breakfast: Leftover chocolate cake and tea.
Lunch: Homemade yeast roll drenched in butter and honey. I know — sugar, sugar, sugar!
Dinner: Blackbean tortillas, salsa, cheese dip and salad.
Dessert: Eggless apple cake.
Breakfast: Leftover apple cake.
Lunch: El-D’s amazing vegetable soup with yeast rolls.
Dinner: Sharky’s for El-D’s birthday. I had fried oysters, a bit of fried fish, and edamame and corn succotash.
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt on toffee granola topped with fresh raspberries.
Lunch: Quinoa and avocado salad.
Dinner: El-D’s amazing vegetable soup.
Breakfast: Yeast roll with butter and honey.
Lunch: Bombay House vegetarian lunch buffet. I treated myself to my comfort food.
Dinner: Mushroom stroganoff and roasted cauliflower.
Breakfast: Peanutbutter on crackers.
Lunch: Popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast.
Dinner: Not sure yet.
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.
Today was exactly like that quote from Charles Dickens.
Spring Break was a couple weeks ago. Quite suddenly the frenetic pace in which I have grown accustomed to functioning, came to a screeching halt. Then there was silence and time. I can’t remember when I had such a vast expanse of both.
Last year at this same time I was learning new ways to kneel and kiss the ground even as that ground was spinning away beneath my wheels and shifting beneath my feet. Prayers were being flung to the heavens. Finally, the ground gave way and I poured right through the hourglass into a completely different life. And here I am.
This year I am learning to operate at a slower pace. The curriculum is challenging, but the lessons are definitely worth the while….as well as delicious! El Diablo made these fluffy rolls this week the slow way.
They took *forever.*
Piping hot and drenched with melted butter and maple syrup as they were, I ate entirely too many of them.
Now, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry bushes are ready to be planted. This season’s new seeds will be planted soon, along with the seeds collected from last year’s garden.
As we are making way for slow food, I’m remembering some of the things I read in Barbara Kingsolver’s memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life about how to rely less on fossil fuels through the food choices we make. So I leave you today with food for thought.
- Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars.
- The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations…. an average of 1,500 miles….
- If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
I’m the black sheep vegetarian in a family of meat eaters. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it.
This is not a brand new thing. It’s been two years since I converted. Still, when I get invitations to family functions they say things like this:
We’re having a party. I know you don’t eat x or y…or z — good lord aren’t you starving yet?? Well, you can come anyway.
I swear I am not trying to wreck havoc on people’s dinner parties (unlike The Good Greatsby, whose humorous post can be found HERE). I don’t mean to be difficult, but I might be a little complicated. The vegetarian thing is just what makes sense in my heart and in my head. I’ve tried to explain it all, but I obviously haven’t really done a good job of it because just a week ago I was asked (again):
So…I still don’t understand…are you doing this for religious reasons or what?
And then there was there was the following exchange with the Resident Teaologist, who when preparing lunch couldn’t find what she needed:
Resident Teaologist: You said you had arugula, so I didn’t get any at the store, but I don’t see any in the fridge…
Me: That’s because it’s out in the yard.
So we go out to the yard to pick the arugula. She stares at it and says,
It’s so weird that you are about to eat something that was just growing in your ground.
I had to giggle. That this bewilders others bewilders me. How did we ever get so far removed from our food? And what have we lost as a result of this distance? And what exactly have we gained?
Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm — which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commercial fertilizer. The genius of American farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems.
God made food; the devil cooks.
–James Joyce, Ulysses
The Devil insists his Sin-a-Buns are easy and quick to make. One must wonder why then he started them in the morning and then made me wait ALL DAY (until dinner!) until they were “ready” to eat.
The answer to that mystery is this: because he’s The Devil.
The Devil’s Sin-a-Buns
They are nothing short of amazing.
This time last year I was trying to figure out how to be a vegetarian and documenting my trials and tribulations in obnoxious detail. Although I had been working at it for five months, by May 15, 2011 I had only made it without meat for two consecutive weeks (Enlightenment Day 125).
A year later, I’m happy to report that I have finally got the vegetarian thing on automatic. The hardest part of the conversion was dealing with hamburger cravings, especially in the summer when all my family’s gatherings traditionally revolve around eating them.
The media successfully made hamburgers much less appealing to me recently with the “pink slime” reports. Apparently, 70% of beef products in our country contain this additive which consists of various cow parts glooped together and then gassed with ammonia to disinfect the concoction. Yum!
This isn’t brand new news…we’ve known about this at least since 2009.
And the beef industries comeback?
“Beef is beef.”
…Yes, thank you…I’ll have the veggies.