Category Archives: Vegan

Flower-based recipes not just for pica eaters

pansy_salad

It’s an indescribable urge. 

My mouth waters. I begin to grind my teeth at the thought of chewing the succulent texture. 

I’m not salivating over a fine steak or wishing I could have a bite of a sweet truffle. In fact, I’m not even in a kitchen, restaurant or sidewalk cafe. I’d be more likely to be in a floral shop, field of wild flowers or holding a bouquet. 

It’s because this urge comes from a weird thought of mine. I have the desire to eat flowers. Particularly roses.  

I actually have never eaten a flower. But every time I get flowers sent to me or am in a garden, the sacchariferous smell of the petaled-beauties transcends into a delicious flavor. 

Until now, it has kind of scared me. There is an actual condition termed Pica that is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive, such as clay, chalk, dirt, or sand.

But flowers, like vegetables, seem like they might not fit in that category. 

On the constant prowl for unique recipes, these flower-infused bites are most definitely something I need to try.

The recipes include tempura banana flowers, candied rose truffles and more accepted recipes like basil and mushrooms and artichoke bruschetta. 

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Hysterical commentary on “healthy” eating

Nobody makes me cry my own tears! Nobody! But the lovely lady from Northwest Edible Life did just that with her post “The terrible tragedy of a healthy eater.” Eating-Paleo-Meme

As an avid believer of the paleo diet, I found many of the references completely hysterical. But you don’t need to be a health nut to get the many puns and predicaments the writer pokes fun at. I think it’s see to say, anyone who’s done a Google search on healthy eating will identify with the humor.

Seriously read it all.

All you want to do is eat a little healthier. Really. Maybe get some of that Activa probiotic yogurt or something. So you look around and start researching what “healthier” means.

That really skinny old scientist dude says anything from an animal will give you cancer. But a super-ripped 60 year old with a best-selling diet book says eat more butter with your crispy T-Bone and you’ll be just fine as long as you stay away from grains. Great abs beat out the PhD so you end up hanging out on a forum where everyone eats green apples and red meat and talks about how functional and badass parkour is.

You learn that basically, if you ignore civilization and Mark Knopfler music, the last 10,000 years of human development has been one big societal and nutritional cock-up and wheat is entirely to blame. What we all need to do is eat like cave-people.

You’re hardcore now, so you go way past way cave-person. You go all the way to The Inuit Diet™.

Some people say it’s a little fringe, but you are committed to live a healthy lifestyle. “Okay,” you say, “let’s do this shit,” as you fry your caribou steak and seal liver in rendered whale blubber. You lose some weight which is good, but it costs $147.99 a pound for frozen seal liver out of the back of an unmarked van at the Canadian border.

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There is no such thing as a “skinny margarita,” just less fattening

Cinco de Mayo is Saturday. Besides sombreros, nachos and Mexican independence, margaritas are a big factor in the celebration. But margaritas have a notorious reputation for being ridden with calories. 

A friend asked me on Facebook, “Do you have any “skinny” margarita recipes for Cinco de Mayo?!”

The term skinny girl became famous because of a recipe bottled by Bethenny Frankel, one of the cast members of The Real Housewives of New York. Her margarita mix, priced at $19, claimed to have no preservatives and its only two ingredients were agave nectar and tequila.

However, last year Whole Foods yanked it from their shelves after finding that the recipe also contained sodium benzoate, according to a New York Post article. Sodium benzoate is a preservative that extends the shelf life of products by inhibiting the growth of mold and yeast. It is not known to be harmful, however, it is currently being studied.

So what is the best way to make a margarita that is all natural and fewer calories.  

Use fresh juice never store-bought mixes! However, juice still contains a lot of sugars so Margaritas will always be a bit unhealthy, but it’s Cinco de Mayo so enjoy life a little.
 
Here’s a good recipe I found from sheknows.com:
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 ounce agave nectar

If you don’t want to use agave nectar, substitute it with splenda, orange juice or sugar-free triple sec.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

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My attempt at Baba-Ghanoush

I’ve been dying to try out this Baba-Ghanoush recipe from paleolifestyle.com, which is where I get a lot of my recipes. BG is an arabic dip similar to hummus.

I didn’t have eggplants last time I wanted to make it, so I made it using cucumbers instead. It was an excellent dip, very good for a veggie tray or a spread on a sandwich.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba-Ghanoush:

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants;
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced;
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice;
  • 2 tbsp tahini (optional);
  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional);
  • Salt and pepper to taste;
  • Fresh parsley, optional, for garnishing.

Technique

  1. To roast the eggplants, either use your grill, the open flame of a gas stove or your oven. If using an open flame, keep the eggplant near the flame and turn them often to darken the skin evenly. If using your stove, prick the skin with a fork and roast for about 35 minutes in a 400 F oven.
  2. Put the roasted eggplants in a bowl of cold water, wait a bit and then peel off the skin.
  3. Place the roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, cumin in a blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Cool in the refrigerator and serve with extra olive oil on top and fresh parsley.

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Chicken eggs are not baby chickens

Call me an idiot, but I always thought that when I ate a chicken egg, I was eating an embryo. I don’t know what’s worse, me thinking that I was eating a baby chicken, or me being okay with eating an embryo. But it turns out, that it is a common misconception that the eggs we buy at the store are fertilized.

Photo Credit: Clker.com, shared by "Lucy"

In fact, the eggs at the supermarket will never develop into a chick. They are unfertilized eggs. Hens need a rooster in order to have a fertilized egg. (well duh.)

No the white string that is in many eggs is not the umbilical cord. It’s called the chalazae, which helps anchor the yolk to the egg.

And blood spots are not a sign that the egg is fertilized. They are caused by a rupture of blood vessels on the yolk’s surface.

Now that I dispelled that nasty misunderstanding, the world of laying eggs is still a bizarre one.

Some people, *cough* PETA, refer to the process of laying eggs as a “chicken period.”

What the hell?

But, it is kind of true. Hens lay one egg about once a day for a period of four to six days and then rest. They are expelling the unfertilized eggs.

Now I am very confused to why vegans don’t eat eggs. They’re not baby chickens. Are they protesting the terrible conditions chickens are grown in? If so, buy locally and support a more noble business.

Mother nature is providing for us. True, eggs are high in cholesterol, but fat isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gives you the energy to go about your day, especially if your active and eat natural foods like fruits, veggies and meat.

I’m not saying eat eggs in mass quantities everyday, but it won’t kill you to eat them, and it’s not killing any vulnerable baby chickens either.

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When vegans attack I ask, ‘is there one right way to eat?’

Last week, I had the pleasure of reading some very heated ramblings about a college course an acquaintance of mine was taking, called the psychology of food.

Being a vegan, she went onto say that the book her professor wrote was “backwards.” 3o comments later, her Facebook friends, many of them vegans as well, were supporting her, giving her “intelligent” advice such as “Pardon me, my dear []… Fuck that shit. You tell her what’s up!” and “You need to fight this bitch!”

Funny, I always thought vegans were peaceful people, abstaining from meat to save the animals or some bullshit like that. But they showed more malicious behavior towards their fellow man than they did to some soulless creature that cultures all over  the world have been eating since the beginning of time.

I have to agree with this young lady that I find it upsetting that the professor doesn’t believe in eating fruits or vegetables. But I also find it hard to believe the professor actually believes this. I suspect there might be some human error in misunderstanding the text.

Assumptions aside, I put my two cents in, agreeing that fruits and veggies are a vital part of a diet, but that meat is also good and can be substituted with other protien-filled options if one is not comfortable consuming meat. And then, the vegan attacked me.

I didn’t reply. There is no arguing with someone set in stone.

She made my point, however, but from the viewpoint of cereal grains. We’ve been brought up to think whole wheat is a healthy option. People eat bread everyday to make sandwiches, as a side item to their spaghetti, a roll to their bbq, toast. Think about toast. A piece of bread with fat and sugar spread on it, optionally of course. Our bodies can’t digest all this grain.

I believe in meat. I don’t believe in over-indulging in meat. But I believe that we should eat meat. I think that the way it is prepared now days, in filthy conditions with animals being fed a largely corn diet, which our bodies also can’t digest, is contaminating the sacredness of meat. Combined with a weathly country that can afford to buy meat and eat it all the time, along with boxed fatty foods and no desire to go outside and play anymore, of course the obesity and diabetes rates in this country are spiked.

This young woman did mentioned there have been studies about meat that links it to cancer, as many other things in our daily lives are linked to cancer. So I found a study and analyzed it.

First off, the study was done by The National Cancer Institute. Not a completely unbiased party. They’re out to link everything to cancer. They’re expecting things to cause cancer. They want to scare us.

Second off, the study only regarded red meats, such as “beef, pork, bacon, ham, hamburger, hot dogs, liver, pork sausage, steak, and meats in foods such as pizza, stews, and lasagna.” But what about white meat such as turkey, fish and chicken? So, I say to my dear acquaintance, is all meat bad, or just half of it?

Third, the study was done with 50 to 71 year olds. Come on! 71? They’re almost dead anyways. There are too many other health problems that these over-the-hill participants could have developed, say I don’t know, throughout their whole life, that could have accounted for an early mortality rate.

Plus, what about the corn diet these animals are eating. Our bodies can’t digest corn. And the filthy conditions they’re grown in and prepared in. They wash meat with ammonia. That sounds more cancerous to me than the meat.

I do agree that meat does have cholesterol and that red meat shouldn’t be consumed nearly as much as Americans eat it. But I don’t believe that we should completely knock it off a diet.

Of course, there are many that would disagree with me. You can still have a healthy diet being vegan. I guess there is just no one right way to eat.

Mmmm, surf n' turf, my favorite. Photo Credit: partyblueprintsblog.com

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