Posts tagged vegetarian
Last week, I headed over to the Studio City Farmers Market to pick up some organic produce for a video shoot I was doing at my friends’ house as part of an oral history project for the Chinese American Museum‘s newest exhibit, “L.A. Heat: Taste-Changing Condiments“, which focuses on art inspired by Sriracha and Tapatio, two divine hot sauces made right here in Los Angeles. (I’m honored to be on the advisory board for this exhibit, which runs now through July 12!)
The videographers asked if there was somewhere we could go that inspired me, and I immediately suggested we head to the farmers market. Walking in with no real idea of what I was going to make—other than knowing I’d be using Sriracha in my recipe—I was struck by the beauty of these purple Brussels sprouts. I’d never tasted them before, let alone seen them! The kind woman at the produce stand told me they were similar in taste to regular Brussels sprouts, but with a slightly sweet note. With that, I couldn’t wait to try them!
Another week, another successful trip to the Downtown Glendale Farmers Market! Not only did I find plenty of inspiration in the fresh, local, organic produce on display, I also discovered some varieties of produce I’d never seen before, like Shunkyo semi-long radishes, AND I found a grower with organic passionfruit, macadamia nuts, and cherimoya!
But what really called to me this week was the fat stems of asparagus I saw standing regally in shallow pans of water. I grabbed a small bunch, scooped up a leek, and a big handful of handsome sunchokes in the hopes that I could make an interesting soup. But once I got home, I wanted to be a little more adventurous than that. I don’t play with sunchokes too much; I usually just throw a raw one into my green juices, but I’ve been wanting to roast some for a while now. They get a wonderfully hearty flavor redolent of artichokes, which is why you may also find them labeled as Jerusalem artichokes at the market. (more…)
It’s no secret that I’m super into food and cooking, but not too many people know that I’ve got a very deep love for music as well. Cooking gets me thinking, but music… music gets me feeling. I’ve gotten in a rut recently. Not an emotional one, mind you, but a creative one. I’d been making a lot of my favorite dishes over and over again, and playing all my usual playlists ad nauseam. But, I gotta give a monster shout-out to the app Spotify for introducing me to all kinds of songs and artists I’ve never heard—or often even heard of—through its “Radio” and “Discover” features, not to mention the countless recommendations friends have sent to me via a collaborative playlist or through the in-app messaging system. And now, I’ve discovered another really cool tool within Spotify that’s not only gotten me even more excited about finding new music… it’s also gotten me excited about cooking new dishes.
It’s called Geotunes, and its purpose is to help people “locate and listen to songs written about cities, landmarks, events and more using a giant interactive map as your musical playground.” My buddy Tim Herscovitch is actually the one who introduced me to it; he’s been working as the Interactive Content Lead on it and suggested I could use it to put together themed playlists for when I’m cooking a dish from a particular region for friends. After Tim gave me a quick little tour of the Geotunes app within Spotify—all of which is free to use by the way—I felt inspired to start listening to music from some of the countries with my favorite foods. I clicked on India and set it on shuffle for a while and got to dreaming about what I wanted to make.
Sure, I could pop in some Ravi Shankar while whipping up some chana masala, but I like that Geotunes doesn’t just find music from your selected city/region/country, it finds songs that are about your chosen location. Sure, they aren’t all going to be to your liking since it spans all genres, but you’re able to isolate the songs you like on your own playlist and skip those you don’t enjoy. And every so often, you come across a little stylized “g” (the Geotunes icon: ) next to a track, which lets you know there’s some bonus information about it and how it ties into your place of interest.
Now then, about India. I’ve got my Spotify account and I’ve downloaded Geotunes on my desktop… so what food do I want to make now? Here are a few of my favorite Indian recipes that I think would be GREAT to cook alongside the Geotunes India playlist on shuffle:
This recipe is straight out of Anupy Singla’s celebrated cookbook, The Indian Slow Cooker. It uses quite a little list of different spices, but that tends to be the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with Indian cuisine. Seriously, this just screams comfort food to me. Bonus that it’s vegan and gluten-free! (Photo & recipe via The Perfect Pantry)
Sample track I liked from the “Geotunes: India” playlist — “India Pindia”, by Tøyen
My good friend Melissa, the mastermind behind one of my favorite blogs, has been on a roll lately with her delicious ayurvedic-inspired recipes and this latest one of hers looks no different. Chock full of mung dal (split mung beans), beets, beet greens, and basmati rice, I’m getting hungry all over again just looking at her beautiful picture.
This kitchari recipe is vegetarian, but can easily be made vegan by using coconut oil in place of the ghee (clarified butter) that’s called for. Bonus that it’s also gluten-free!
(Photo & recipe via Vegenista)
Sample track I liked from the “Geotunes: India” playlist — “Hunting Tigers Out In India”, by Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
I love Heidi Swanson’s original recipes and her wonderful cookbooks, but I really love when she tweaks other people’s dishes. Here, she transforms chef Suzanne Goin’s potato-tomato gratin simply—by using curry in place of thyme.
Vegans: Feel free to use coconut oil instead of butter and unsweetened coconut milk for the cream. (Photo & recipe via 101 Cookbooks)
Sample track I liked from the “Geotunes: India” playlist — “India Sleeping”, by Mars
I’ll be putting some more of these cooking and music posts up in the coming weeks, since I think it’s kind of a neat idea. Any cuisines in particular you’d like to see? Leave a note in the comments section or hit me on Twitter: @RandyClemensEsq. Hope you’ve gotten inspired too!
I love a good salad, but sometimes I want something a little heartier. This is when salads boosted with beans, grains, or rice come to the rescue. They’re cool and refreshing, don’t take much time to put together, and they are indeed filling.
When my fancy friend Colleen mentioned that she was making dinner with white beans, something clicked. I had no idea what I was going to eat, but white beans sounded delicious, so I went straight to my nearby Whole Foods and picked some up along with a few other ingredients that inspired me. (All organic, of course.) Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
White Bean and Kale Salad with Lemon
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 bunch green kale
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 1/2 cups cooked white beans (I used cannellini), or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained
- 8 plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 large shallot, or 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and minced
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh dill, or parsley
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
Finely mince the zest of 1/2 of your lemon. Prepare the kale by removing and discarding the tough, thick ribs running down the center of each leaf. Coarsely chop the leaves into bite sized pieces. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the kale with the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a healthy dose of black pepper. Massage and squeeze the kale firmly so that the leaves begin to soften as the fibers break down. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the white beans, tomatoes, shallot, dill, and chia seeds along with the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon, the reserved lemon zest, and the remaining 2 1/2 tsp olive oil.
After the kale has rested, give it a few more firm squeezes to ensure that it’s nice and soft. Toss with the bean mixture, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. You can eat this right away, but the flavors improve if allowed to sit for at least an hour. This recipe will keep for up to 5 days if stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
It’s still a little surreal to get to announce that my third book, The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook, is now available on better bookstore shelves everywhere. It seemed to be the natural progression, since I went vegetarian a little over three years ago, and my love of Sriracha certainly hasn’t died down in the slightest bit. All the recipes are vegan, but it isn’t chock full of gross fake meat soy nugget crap. Nay! This is an ode to the almighty vegetable! Stuff from the earth. It isn’t just for vegans or vegetarians; it’s for anyone looking to incorporate a little more produce into their diet without skimping on flavor.
My third book… it sounds crazy to think it, let alone say it. It’s hard to believe that my first little restaurant review for the now-defunct Sherman Oaks Sun newspaper back in May 2005 would become the genesis for hundreds of magazine pieces, ultimately encouraging me to pitch The Sriracha Cookbook to Ten Speed Press back in October 2009. (more…)