Archive for August, 2011
For Jews around the world, early fall is the beginning of a new year, marking Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Here are recipes and menus for the vegan and vegetarian table. Rosh Hashana is more than a New Year’s celebration. The holiday’s ancient roots are as a harvest festival, and enjoyment of the abundant produce of early autumn remains central to the celebration. The foods served emphasize this holiday’s optimistic spirit. And so, naturally sweet foods are favored at the dinner table. This lovely photo of Just-as-Sweet-as-Honey Cake is by Susan Voisin of FatFree Vegan Kitchen—one of the many glorious shots she did for Vegan Holiday Kitchen.Print This Post
When the produce is fresh and locally grown, fabulous food comes together easily and fast. This summer pasta with a salsa cruda — a simple, no-cook sauce — makes the most of fresh summer tomatoes and peppery arugula. Recipe and photo contributed by Ellen Kanner. Read More→Print This Post
Thinking about making the transition from vegetarian to vegan? Erik Marcus’s The Ultimate Vegan Guide is a supportive and concise guide. He keeps the Why? section brief—those who are thinking of going vegan are already aware of the reasons for doing so. The section on How? is gloriously detailed, though not overwhelming, served in bite-sized sections. He shows how to navigate cookbooks, nutrition, supermarkets, farmer’s markets, travel destinations, veg and non-veg restaurants, and social situations. Other chapters discuss core foods and beverages, and lots more. Read More→Print This Post
Open to any page of World Vegan Feast: 200 Fabulous Recipes from Over 50 Countries, and you know you’re in the hands of a pro. Bryanna Clark Grogan has written 8 other cookbooks, and has more than two decades of experience as a chef, teacher, and journalist. Classics from a multitude of global cuisines are veganized with authentic flavors, ingredients, and techniques. This means that you may have to search for ingredients beyond supermarket shelves, and spend more than 30 minutes on a recipe, but if you’re looking for adventure in the kitchen, with recipes you don’t see everywhere else, this is the book for you. Read More→Print This Post
This creamy vegan cheese spread is absolutely addictive and delicious on your favorite crackers, rye crisp, or crusty bread. Recipe from World Vegan Feast (©2011, Vegan Heritage
Press) by Bryanna Clark Grogan. Read More→
This makes a great company dessert when peaches are in full season. The stuffing can also be used with pear halves. Recipe from World Vegan Feast (©2011, Vegan Heritage Press) by Bryanna Clark Grogan. Read More→Print This Post
Always pleasing for serving to company, yet easy enough to make for weeknight meals, this colorful Asian-flavored salad has become one of my standards. Bok choy, snow peas, and red cabbage are a companionable trio of crisp raw veggies. It’s a perfect salad to serve with Asian-style dishes like VegKitchen’s Easy Vegetable Stir-Fries or Asian Noodle Recipes. Read More→Print This Post
Chef and Zen priest Edward Espe Brown says we should treat our food like our eyesight — as something both precious and personal. We don’t. According to a recent study in Tomkins County, New York, we toss uneaten a quarter to half of all food produced in this country.
This would be wrong at any time. It’s especially so now, a time of economic hardship for all of us, and when more of us are hungry than you might realize. Thirty-seven million Americans rely on Feeding America, the national network of food banks. Wasting what we have is an insult to people who have to choose between eating or paying the rent. It is also an insult to the people who work hard (often for low wages) to produce our food.
We waste food in our homes, buying more than we need, so we end up throwing out fresh produce when — or well after — it starts to fade. We’re quick to flip out over the latest E.coli breakout and demand greater government oversight for food safety but meanwhile, some of us have science projects growing in our fridges.
Waste is not green, guys. And it’s not sustainable. Most of us don’t compost, so the waste goes into landfill and sits there producing methane, further contributing to climate change.
If you think you’re guilty, imagine the waste that happens in your favorite restaurants. Multiply that by 500. By 5,000. Think of the mountain of landfill when you multiply that waste by 55 million — roughly the number of meals a food service company like Sodexo serves in a day.
We’ve got to do better, both on a grand scale and small one. The desire is there, believes Mitchell Davis, vice president of the James Beard Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving — not wasting — America’s culinary heritage and its future. “People want to do more,” Davis says and so recently, the Beard Foundation and the Sustainable Food Laboratory hosted the industry symposium The System on Our Plates.
Underwritten by groups including the Pew Charitable Trust and the Grace Foundation, those fine folks who started the Meatless Mondaycampaign, The System on Our Plates included Sam Kass, who cooks for the Obamas, divine chef Eric Ripert and the likes of guys from Ruby Tuesdays and food service companies like Cysco and Sodexo. The goal, says Davis, was “sit down together and start the conversation” about how we all make sustainability central. People talked. And more importantly, people listened. The dialogue made everyone realize that whether you’re responsible for feeding millions or just feeding yourself, “we are all part of one food system.”
A Beard Foundation chef survey reveals though your average Joe is interested in how our food is sourced, we’re less conscious of the energy and resources — and waste — that goes into producing food. Well, that makes sense — we don’t understand or appreciate it at home, either. So where does the change start? With the government? With food system overhaul? Nah. It begins with you.
Pay attention. Are you a repeat offender, buying fresh fruit every week that goes uneaten? Buy less. Enjoy more. Use what you have. Mindfulness works on the yoga mat, in food service and in your kitchen. Be mindful of and grateful for the food you have. Maybe the earth takes note of such things. Food companies do.
Whether it’s buying into the food fad du jour or creating farmers markets that allow greater access to better food for all, “it all comes from consumer demand,” Davis believes. “One decision impacts the other. You create the catalyst for change. Sodexo serves 55 million meals a day. If one of them included an organic tomato, it would change the universe. It’s like the meatless movement — one simple thing you can do has such a big impact.”
Turns out Edward Espe Brown’s concept of valuing yourself and what you eat is more than just a Buddhist concept.
- Link here to Ellen’s Arugula Pasta with Salsa Cruda.
- See more of Ellen’s Meatless Monday Musings on VegKitchen.
Ellen Kanner is the Huffington Post’s Meatless Monday blogger, the syndicated columnist The Edgy Veggie, and contributor to publications including Culinate, Bon Appetit, and Every Day With Rachael Ray as well as her own blog.