Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Break Curry

I'm at my parents' house in Virginia for spring break, so I won't be posting until next weekend. I left most of my work at school, so for the next few days I'll be sleeping in and lounging and trying not to let the ominous feeling in the back of my throat turn into a fever.

Mom doesn't remember where she got the recipe for this dish, but the formatting looks like Gourmet. It was good, but she was disappointed that after all the spices she threw into it it wasn't more flavorful. Also, spending an hour or more cooking dinner is apparently extraordinary. Dad made bread (yum).

After dinner we watched Errol Morris' Gates of Heaven, a documentary about pet cemeteries. Mom: "too slow." Dad: doesn't watch movies. Me: "an expression of the necessity of critical (animal) theory."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Exxon Valdez Stir Fry

I'd been in the world less than a year when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound and spilled 240,000 barrels of petroleum. Boy am I sure glad nothing like that's happened since! I'd post another link to the article I wrote about the justice of eco-terrorism, but maybe it's enough just to mention that I wrote about the justice of eco-terrorism.

Vegansaurus tells me that some women are using fur as hair extensions. That's the kind of choice that'll inspire me to vomit on someone.

This meal did the opposite of make me want to vomit. It's a bit weird because I had to use all the fresh food I had lying around before I leave town for the week. Virginia is for lovers. Or for hanging out with one's parents.

makes approx. 3-4 servings

1 c. long grain brown rice
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb. tofu, cubed
1 crown broccoli, chopped
1 c. baby arugula, tightly packed
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 hot house tomato, sliced
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 c. nutritional yeast

sesame oil
shoyu soy sauce
ground Tellicherry pepper
red pepper flakes
curry powder

1. Cook the rice.
2. Sauté onion in a large pan with oil. Add tofu. Once the bottoms start to brown, toss in broccoli.
3. Once you've minced the garlic, throw that in and douse it all with soy sauce and pack the arugula in on top. Let it get cooking for a while.
4. After the broccoli has acquired a bright sheen, add in the tomato, avocado, seasonings, and yeast flakes. Pour in more soy sauce if needed. Mix it all up and cook until the nutritional yeast starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Cut the heat.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Polygamy Outlaw Edamame Salad

I'm stealing facts from the NYT now (via Wikipedia. of course). Congress outlawed polygamy on March 22, 1882. I'm guess I'll state that without editorializing.

This meal came together in 15 min. It's leftover edamame and sweet corn fried with half an onion, half a tomato, and an avocado in soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. Plus 1/3 c. quinoa. Simple. I realized that I often use spices too liberally.

This is the first time I've truly procrastinated in maybe two years. I've got a paper due 4pm on Thursday and I haven't written a single word. Time to get cracking. And then after that maybe I'll stop procrastinating with respect to what I'm doing after graduation.
How to be a plant.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Equinox Black Bean Burgers and Brownies

It's the vernal equinox, folks, except I'm calling it March equinox because it's only springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. Thanks for the heads up on geographic sensitivity, Wikipedia!

Haven't posted recently because it's been a rough few days. There isn't gonna be any proper recipe in this post, because my dinner was the same sort of bean patty I've posted about previously. Black beans, corn, yellow onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, bread crumbs, vital wheat gluten, sage, tarragon, parsley, paprika. On the burger goes tomato, onion, sun-dried tomato-stuffed olives, baby arugula, and fried shiitake mushrooms. I'm sure I'm not the first person to overcook shiitake mushrooms, but it's a great idea if you want them to be like chips. And you do, because it's great.

The aioli I learned how to make Friday night when my friend cooked portabello mushroom burgers. Mix veganaise, olive oil, cayenne, garlic, and lemon juice. Delicious.

These brownies would have been fantastic if I'd just added a few tablespoons more sugar to the mousse frosting. These were chocolate-y but not quite sweet. Not a pleasant surprise.

Tiny Mix Tapes published an article I wrote a few months ago about Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's sort embarrassing how sincere it is.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Flavor Flav Spaghetti

Flavor Flav was born the same year as my dad. That's really funny for some reason. I'm not gonna post "Cold Lampin' with Flavor" or anything, y'all can seek that out if you want it.

This pasta was pretty good. I like the contrast between soft pasta and snappy vegetables, but you could always bake the veggies first. I meant to put in some black olives but forgot. You should use more onions if you've got em, too.

makes approx. 3-4 servings

8 oz. rice bran spaghetti
2 small red onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 beet, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 large parsnip, peeled and diced
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
5 oz. Vegan Gourmet mozarella
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. parsley
red wine vinegar

1. Boil the pasta for 2 min., then let sit, covered, for 20 min.
2. Sauté the onion in a pan with some oil. Add the garlic, followed by the beets. As you finish dicing the carrot and parsnip, toss those in.
3. Drizzle red wine vinegar over the vegetables, sprinkle salt and pepper. Turn up the heat a bit and let cook for a while.
4. Pour in the diced tomatoes with a little bit of water. Add the seasonings. Simmer for a while.
5. Cut the block of cheese into cubes and mix in.

From "Chips" in Reg Johanson's Courage, My Love:
& the letter from MasterCard: "We are unable to process your application due to derogatory information obtained from the Credit Bureau". / somebody's been talking shit about me / nobody appreciates a class traitor any more

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ides of March Black Beans with Vegetables and Quinoa

Julius Caesar was stabbed to death 2055 years ago. It's incredible to me that such an historically distant event could have enough cultural significance as to admit of reference without elaboration. But of course there are tons of similar examples. The continuity of tradition.

I have to study for a modal logic midterm tomorrow, so this recipe's gonna be sketchy. I've been able to cook kidney and navy beans and chickpeas satisfactorily, but for some reason dry black beans resist me. Even after an overnight soak and 2 1/2 hours on the stove they were a bit starchy/hard.

makes approx. 3 servings

1 c. black beans
4 c. water
1/2 c. quinoa
1 c. water
bagful of kale, leaves torn and stems chopped
1 Satina potato, peeled and cubed
1 c. frozen sweet corn
5 shallots, diced
coconut oil
agave nectar
ground black pepper
hot sauce

1. Soak the beans overnight. Simmer for at least 2 1/2 hours.
2. Sauté the shallots in coconut oil in a large pan. Add the kale stems.
3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook potato until tender.
4. Add corn and kale leaves to the pan. In a measuring cup, mix water, agave nectar, and seasoning. Pour into pan with sherry and cover.
5. Simmer quinoa for 15 min.
6. Uncover pan and add potato. Heat through.

Real bad news for people who resist animal oppression. As if there weren't enough reasons to hate the prison-industrial complex. The government better get wise to the fact that this level of repression is going to come back to bite them.

(UPDATE 3/16/11: My favorite song is appropriate for the occasion.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Savings Stew

Daylight Savings Time. Why does it exist? I don't like it. It always takes me like a week to get around to resetting clocks, so several times a day I get temporally disoriented.

The above photo doesn't look particularly appetizing, does it? The stew tastes pretty good, though, promise. I should have let the vegetables simmer a bit before adding the lentils.

makes approx. 4-5 servings

3 red onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Satina potatoes, cubed
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/2 beet, peeled and cubed
4 c. water
1 c. red lentils
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
red wine vinegar
canola oil

1. In a large pot, sauté onion in oil. Add garlic, followed by potatoes, carrot, parsnip, and beet as you finish preparing them. Splash with red wine vinegar and let the vegetables cook for a few minutes.
2. Add water and seasonings. Cover, bring to a boil. Partially uncover and lower to a simmer.
3. Add red lentils. Simmer for 30 min.

If you're interested in learning about the locations fur farms and suppliers in the US, please download The Blueprint.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Johnny Appleseed Stuffed Buttercup Squash

I had no idea, but Johnny Appleseed was one of the greatest people to ever live. Who knows really, but he was vegetarian, treated animals with the utmost respect, was a lifelong itinerant, wore shabby clothes, planted apple nurseries, etc. I wish there were more primitive Christians in the world, because then I would be so much cooler with Christianity. Seriously, I'm gonna go to the library and take out all the books on J. Appleseed like tomorrow.

I think this squash is buttercup. If someone reading this knows better, tell me what's up. I'd never cooked one before, but I totally lucked out with the purée I filled it with. So good.

makes 2 halves

1 buttercup squash, halved
1/4 c. cashews, soaked in 1/2 c. water
1/2 crown broccoli
1/2 hot house tomato
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper and paprika and hot sauce to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Place the squash, broccoli, and garlic in the oven. Take the garlic out after a few minutes.
3. In a blender, purée cashews and water. Add in the tomato, broccoli, and garlic; purée until smooth.
4. After the squash has been cooking for approx. 25 min., fill it with the puréed stuff and pop back in the oven for another 15-20 min.

I ate this with some delicious baba ghanoush, black olives, and chips that my good friend made and brought over. So nice of her.

If y'all missed it on Vegansaurus, there's a Vegan Pen Pals Project! Do it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Biggie Smalls Bruschetta and Stir Fry

The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered 14 years ago. We all know the story, so I'll just leave ya with a track. So many classics to pick from, but right now I'm partial to "Juicy". Bringing you back.

The bruschetta's just some slices of bread drizzled with olive oil and topped with leftover sauce from the spaghetti I made a couple nights ago. 18 min. in the oven at 375F.

makes approx. 3-4 servings

1 c. long grain brown rice
5 shallots, diced
1 fat clove garlic, sliced
1 lb. tofu, cut into little rectangles
1 1/2 broccoli crowns, chopped
1 hot house tomato, sliced
1/8 c. walnuts, chopped
shoyu soy sauce
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
1 tsp. white sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne, 90k Scoville
1/4 tsp. salt
sesame oil

1. Simmer the rice 45 min.
2. Sauté the shallots in a large pan in sesame oil. After they start to brown, add the garlic for a couple minutes, then toss in the tofu and broccoli. Douse in soy sauce, cover for a while.
3. Once the broccoli starts to turn bright green, uncover and add in walnuts, tomato, and seasonings. Heat through, try to get the broccoli a little crispy on the edges.

Here's my review of Mike Leigh's most recent film, Another Year.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Telephone Spaghetti

On this day in 1876... I'm just gonna let Wikipedia tell it, because their wording is so endearing. "Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the telephone." Kooky! There's also a thrilling little narrative over at the Timeline of the telephone page about how Bell and some guy named Gray were neck-and-neck for the patent.

This spaghetti could've really used some more vegetables or mushrooms or olives or something, but it came together out of a desire to hold off shopping until Wednesday, when I get a 5% student discount. Mom taught me well. So here it is, a simple sauce with a special sweet touch and some spaghetti noodles. (Yes, that's the most obnoxiously alliterative sentence I could come up with.) To cook the noodles I used the energy-efficient method provided on the packaging.

makes approx. 2-3 servings

6 oz. spaghetti
2 small red onions, diced
3 shallots, diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 15-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
3 spoonfuls peach compote
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. sage

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti. After 2 min., shut off heat and let stand, covered, 20 min.
2. Sauté onions and shallots in oil in a pan. After several minutes, add sliced garlic. Stir to avoid burning the garlic. Add the minced garlic, then after a couple minutes the pressed garlic. Give it another minute or two, then pour in the two cans of tomatoes. Let it approach a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add peach compote and seasonings. Simmer 5-10 min., or until noodles are done or you can't wait any longer.

That is all.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Svetlana Alliluyeva Stir Fry

Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, defected to the US 44 years ago. I guess she's living in Wisconsin now. Weird.

There wasn't any special method to this one, so I'm just gonna tell you what's in it. Tofu, edamame, corn, Red Chieftain potatoes, crimini mushrooms, shallots, garlic, soy sauce, turmeric, cumin, paprika. Use hot sauce too!

I made some cookies for a little get-together Saturday night. My brown sugar is a solid block for some reason, so I used all white sugar. Funny how they turned out like sugar cookies with chocolate chips tossed in, rather than proper chocolate chip cookies.

Not sure if I ever posted a link to the second installment of my comic, so here it is.

Also, watch these horrible yuppie foodies rationalize eating a live lobster. They eat an animal while it's alive. They ain't comfortable, but they do it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fiume Salad

On this date in 1924, the Kingdom of Italy annexed the Free State of Fiume, revoking after only four years the Treaty of Rapallo. In the 19th century, the city's official languages were Italian, Hungarian, and German. Gabriele D'Annunzio invaded the city for 15 months just prior to the establishment of formal autonomy in 1920. He basically threw a big party, but his brand of anarchism was what Wikipedia calls "anarcho-fascism," which makes sense in that historical moment but would (I sincerely hope) be a contradiction in terms these days.

I haven't made a salad since the summer, but I went to Another Year right after class this evening, so I needed something quick that would use up the half beet and single carrot hanging out in my fridge. I chipped a plate while washing the dishes because I was simultaneously writing the introduction to my review of the film. I've been getting clumsy lately, need to abide more in the moment.

makes 2 servings

2 c. spinach, very tightly packed
1/2 beet, skinned and cubed
1 carrot, skinned and chopped
1/4 c. walnuts
olive oil
red wine vinegar
yeast flakes

1. Mix the dressing in a shallow bowl or plastic container. Pour over the salad and sprinkle nutritional yeast on top.

This family is an inspiration: The Zero Waste Home. Funny how these projects seem always to be initiated by women. Or not funny.

An Open Letter to My Father

Dear Dad,

Do you have stock in a palm oil extraction firm? Not quite sure why you were irritated enough by my "comment that 'Palm oil is bad'" to call it "a gross oversimplification." I should have clarified that I didn't care in the least about the claims that palm oil is bad for one's health. What I believe is a salient ethical consideration re palm oil is the environmental damage its production requires. You're right that I made "a rainforest destruction problem sound like the product itself is dangerous, evil, etc."" You know why? Because a product that necessitates rainforest destruction is itself bad. Your analogy between palm oil and electricity is completely spurious. A better analogy would be between palm oil and diamonds. Bloody, bloody diamonds, which are bad products in virtue of the consequences of their production.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

National Pig Day Hearty Red Soup

Today's National Pig Day in the US. Apparently, people do all sorts of wacky stuff to celebrate pigs, including eating their flesh. From a newspaper in Arlington Heights, IL (not too far from where I grew up): "Is it time to celebrate what the pig offers by downing spare ribs, bacon, and ham? Or is it time to give the little guys a break - to step back and just appreciate all they offer us?" This makes me hurt so much. Suicidefood says it best.

Composed of mostly red or reddish ingredients, this soup nevertheless contains no slaughtered pigs, making it a good option for NPD. This is the first time I've sliced garlic. I like it!

makes approx. 6-8 servings

1/2 lb. red kidney beans
3 small red onions, diced
1/2 bulb garlic, sliced
1/2 beet, cubed
3 Red Chieftain potatoes, cubed
5 carrots, chopped
7 crimini mushrooms, diced
6 c. water
1 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. shoyu soy sauce
4 Tbsp. yeast flakes
2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. chili powder

1. Soak the beans in 4 c. water overnight. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for approx. 60 min.
2. Sauté onion in oil in a large stock pot. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, beet, and garlic as you finish preparing them. Let it all cook for a couple more minutes, then pour in the kidney beans with their water. Add another 2 c. water and 1 c. broth. Bring to a simmer, then partially uncover the pot. Stir in the soy sauce and seasonings. Let simmer for 20-25 min.

Steve Lambert makes good work.