Staight Talk from a Comfort Foodie: World Peace Through Vegetarianism
I became a vegetarian in the early 80's. The Czech refugee I had lived with forbade any meat products from entering the little hovel we called home. I didn't own a car then, and only traveled as far as my Raleigh three-speed English racer could take me. On Fridays that was to the home of a well-respected psychotherapist whose house I cleaned. When my chores were finished I'd welcome myself to her stocked pantry, and indulge on a simply prepared can of Star-Kist. I had to time that lunch well enough in advance of my homecoming as not to carry any lingering fish on my breath, otherwise I might not hear the end of a long speech about how Krishna may have incarnated into that same tuna that I had so ravenously devoured.
At nineteen years old, my relationship skills were practically non-existent. We argued about everything and nothing at all. I would storm out of the cabin and head to the deli in the center of town, the one with the huge loaves of European style bread in the front window. The ticket was always the same: turkey piled high on raisin-pumpernickel with Russian dressing, and a can on Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray tonic on the side. There was a hidden spot behind one of the galleries where a stream ran, and I could sit in silence while I mulled over the thought of living alone. Each stolen bite of that sandwich brought me closer to a sense of myself ? reminding me of all the cold-cut meals I had consumed as a child. When the last crumb was finished, and I had licked the last drop of dressing from my fingers, I would go back to the place I called home, knowing full well that it would just be a matter of days before I returned to the same spot.
Preparing dinner, in those years, wasn't a simple as braking open a bag, or defrosting a pot pie. We had no freezer compartment in the four foot high GE that was packed with containers and bags from the food co-op. A big bag of carrots for juicing was always on the bottom shelf, and bags of exotic flours stuffed the middle ones. We did eat well, though. Every night there was a variation on a tofu dish with fresh vegetables from our garden. I became quite proficient at cooking with soybean curd, and one year entered the local tofu cook-off. My non-fish version of Gefilte, aptly named Gefilte-Fu took first prize and brought home Mollie Katzden's bible to vegetarianism ? The Moosewood Cookbook. Oh, how I adored that book! Twenty-five years later, its soy sauce stained pages crammed with additional index cards with recipes like lentil loaf and mock salmon salad still sits on my bookshelf.
We lived a simple life with four dogs, a cat, and a semi-permanent resident who slept in his old VW bus. I can't tell you his name ? because he didn't go by one. "No Name" was the moniker that some folks referred to him. I just called him Doctor, bestowing the title half out of respect for his age, which was somewhere around middle age, and half because of my perception of his spiritual knowledge. He viewed himself as a Yogi-celibate, and living a life of renunciation. His constant presence in our 200 square foot cabin, though, was a blessing and a curse. At best he was a mentor who challenged the presumptions of my middle-class upbringing, and at worst, a drain on my food stamp allotment.
There was no door on the bathroom. In fact, the toilet and bathtub were in the kitchen. So I learned quickly how to shed excess modesty ? or did my business when the cabin was vacant. "Doctor" likened himself to Richard Alpert, who through education and doses of LSD, had had a spiritual awakening, and as a phoenix rising from the ashes of his former self, emerged as Ram Das. We dosed ourselves many times in those years with the psychedelic sacrament and each trip had a meaningful lesson. The long hours of meditation and mind expanding thought were always followed by a broth of root vegetables, which I had prepared the previous night.
The Doctor and I once hitchhiked together to a Rainbow Family Gathering in the Blue Hill Mountains of West Virginia. We each ran around naked for a week, were fed curried goulash by the Hare Krishna Kitchen, and played drums until the early morning hours. I learned how to make whole wheat japatis from The Sufi Kitchen, and took instruction on meditating with a pyramid on top of my head. I saw the Doctor get in the sack one night with a young hippie girl. After that my impressions of him were never quite the same. I packed up my sleeping bag and hitched home to Woodstock alone.
The T-shirt that I wore till it was thread bare and read "World Peace through Vegetarianism" has long since become a canvas for someone's art project. My kids most requested meal is meatloaf, and my partner will only consume tofu when it is camouflaged with other vegetables in Asian hot and sour soup. I still go to the health food store and buy marinated tofu salad, but it's the one container that could sit in the fridge without the risk of being ransacked as a midnight munchie by my carnivorous family.
1 cup green lentils½ cup barley4 cup water1 teaspoon sea salt1 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs1 clove garlic, minced1 medium onion, minced1 rib celery, sliced thinly2 eggs, beaten⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
1. Add lentils and barley to boiling salted water. Allow to boil for a minute, then reduce heat and simmer with a lid ajar for about 40 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat.
2. Add bread or cracker crumbs along with remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Place mixture in a well oiled 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes.
5. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before inverting over a platter to serve.
Serves six to eight.
Weight Loss Recipe: Turkey Tomato Wrap
Are you struggling to lose or maintain your weight? Then this recipe can help you along the journey. Long term weight loss isn't about hunger, misery and crash dieting. It's a whole new way of learning to prepare nutritious food that your body needs and enjoys. This recipe is one of a range of hunger fighting, low fat recipes to assist you keep your weight under control.
These recipes are wonderful and they are old family recpies. Armenian Baked Fish
Holiday Recipe: Filled Cookies
From the book: Christmas In Dairyland (True Stories From a Wisconsin Farm)
Mays Featured Holidays and Recipes
There are three great days in the month of May that I would like to talk about...Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day. I will share a brief history and include a couple of delectable recipes. Happy May!
Sot Suppe (Norwegian Sweet Soup)
My mother was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants who homesteaded our small Wisconsin dairy farm in the late 1800s. When my mother was a child, sweet soup was a traditional part of Christmas Eve, served cold with julekake, lefse, Christmas bread, or open-faced sandwiches. Sweet Soup is made with dried fruit and tapioca.
English Cucumber Sandwiches
Have you tried English cucumbers yet? They're a little different from the regular garden cucumbers usually found in grocery stores and at farmer's markets, although they look almost the same. The main difference is English cucumbers have a thinner skin (so they're better for slicing and they don't have to be peeled) and fewer seeds than garden cucumbers. Another difference is that English Cucumbers are wrapped in plastic wrap (instead of a wax coating) to maintain freshness.
The Taffy Pull (A Story and a Recipe)
One year when I was growing up on our Wisconsin dairy farm, the Brownie leaders had announced we were going to make some extra-special candy at our next meeting.
Fortunate Lemon Chicken
A delicious chicken meal for you to prepare at home. The lemon sauce is fresh and tangy and somehow I always end up eating too much :-).It takes a bit to prepare but is worth the effort. And ending the meal with a fortune cookie is great fun ? especially if you write your own fortune and make your own cookies (see below).
Dining With The Romans
Numerius was a slave and ate one meal a day consisting of gruelmade with cracked wheat.While Spurius a plebian purchased his meals from street vendors,food shops and taverns located nearlarge public buildings and bathhouses. Marius a patrician and amember of the Roman senate had the means and the influence toenjoy his meals that were cooked and served by slaves in one oftwo spacious dining areas within his home. Quintus a freedman lived in the country where he grew vegetables and raised somelivestock for an absentee owner. He and his family ate fresh produce, mashed beans, bacon and cheese that were cooked with fresh herbs, olive oil and salt.
Cool Summer Gazpacho
This refreshing tomato soup is a great cool meal for those hot summer days. If you don't like your food spicy, you can leave out the jalapenos, if you like it spicier, just add a few drops of your favorite hot sauce. You can also try adding other vegetables as well. You can try adding some carrots or celery, or roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic for an added dimension of flavor. Enjoy!
How to Make Your Own Low Fat Vanilla Ice Cream
Sometimes, when you have set yourself in the weight loss journey, you may miss your old friends: snacks.
Low-Carb Pastry Pizzazz
This delicious treat adds only 1.9 grams of carb for a Superb Roll of any size. Just add a glaze to the rolls once they are baked. While the rolls are baking, make ½ or ¼ of the below mentioned glaze. Apply the glaze thinly with a pastry brush to the tops of the hot rolls. It will set within minutes. The rolls will freeze well, even with the glaze. Thaw at room temperature or follow directions for heating in the oven.Glaze
Burmese Shrimp Cake Recipe
Little pounded shrimp balls seasoned and fried till lightly brown. This dish is quite popular as a finger food and is also a good accompaniment to a variety of dished, like the famous Mohinga - A spicy noodle soup with fish sauce.
Low Carb Christmas Enchiladas!
Basic Quick Mix and Recipes
With an easy basic quick mix, you can make a wide variety of inexpensive homemade biscuits, breads, and other baked goods. This mix is easy to make and store and great for any family on a tight budget.
My Mothers Recipe Box
Remember the days when cookbooks weren't so readily available, and you or your mother relied on only one or two different cookbooks for cooking all of your family's meals? I still have my mother's old cookbooks, as well as my grandmother's. Each one is worn from age and use--if you flip through the tattered pages it is obvious which recipes were turned to time and time again. These cookbooks will always number among my most precious treasures.
Planning Help: Meal Two
One meal planning challenge for me has been to `lighten up' for my family's and my health. My husband and I were both raised on `meat and potatoes' so it has been a difficult change. But we are making gradual progress.
Nutritious Chocolate Recipes
Are you eating enough fruit lately? How about chocolate? Well, here are three cool ways to make sure you're getting enough of both of these important foodstuffs this summer and both are very quick and easy.
Shrimp Scampi Recipes
Many people have different ideas on how to prepare great shrimp scampi recipes as you will see below. Some of the ingredients are the same and usually it is served with pasta. The type of pasta that you serve with your dish is up to your own taste.
Tasty Rice Pudding
1 cup - uncooked rice
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