Mar 18, 2012

My Daily Bread...sometimes rice

sprouted mung bean maki sushi
When it comes to mealtime, the spectrum goes from mundane grub to gourmet. Most families rotate the same handful of dishes week after week, while others travel the culinary world in search of new cuisine. 
Some people simply eat to live while others truly live to eat. Do you know someone that would skip eating if they could, that see lunch as an interruption to their busy day? Do you know someone that moments after finishing lunch, have their mind on what's for dinner?

Above, miso sprouted mung bean red pepper sushi, using zucchini in place of nori. Nori can be used for rolling, but it doesn't hold up unless served right away.
I wouldn't say I live to eat, but I do find a good meal uplifting, setting the tone for what I do next. A very short menu of recipes items is what I typically draw from each day. More often than not, what can be made in fifteen minutes and needing no more than 5 ingredients wins.

wild blueberry raw cheesecake
When I don't have fifteen minutes, I'll usually have some leftovers in the fridge to fall back on. Definitely making large batches that last a few meals is a big time saver.

To the left, raw wild blueberry cheesecake with pecan crust. Cashews and bananas make the perfect base.

Every morning I start out with a protein shake with one or two scoops of Brendan Brazier's Vega. As the best snack ever, dip a ripe banana in raw almond butter and then in the choc Vega. Try it sooner vs later.

(from anywhere across North America you can get it from Ryan and Courtney, the cool people at Vegan Essentials, or from Giacomo, raw food vegan bodybuilder, at Vegan Proteins)

Taking pictures of food has become a good habit for me. It's nice to be able to share a fun little visual journal of some of the food I've made for others and myself over the past year or so. Again, keep in mind that I don't eat like this all the time.

Maple tempeh (marinated in maple syrup, garlic, agave, balsamic vinegar & olive oil), roasted green beans, carrots, mashed potatoes and peppered mushroom gravy.  
Savory seitan roast (wheat gluten with vegetable stock, garlic & sesame seed oil), wild rice cherry stuffing, Brussels sprouts, carrots and broccoli.

Above, rustic pizza (sauteing the mushrooms with garlic before topping the pizza adds all the more flavor) and two-bite seitan wellington (pastry can be filled with homemade seitan, Tofurky or walnut & mushroom filling).

Instead of bell peppers I cooked marinated chayote squash. Chayote has great texture and holds flavors well. The protein was strips of seitan, wheat protein, brushed with garlic oil and baked til lightly crispy. Homemade salsa and mexi rice rounded out the toppings. Napa cabbage and lettuce leaves are fresher alternatives to tortillas.

90 of these raw coconut butter pecan cheesecake cups were made for a party recently. Coconut, pecans, cashews and banana form the base.

Below, broccoli napa ramen. Vegetable stock heavy on the ginger and scallion, with some sesame seed oil.

Mar 13, 2012

Purpose and Spice

I was really moved after watching the video of five star chef Narayanan Krishnan. It is so beautiful to see someone with a clear and driving purpose in life.

The following is an excerpt from the article Once a rising star, chef now feeds hungry.
In 2010 Narayanan was a Top 10 CNN Hero.

 "Krishnan founded his nonprofit Akshaya Trust in 2003. Now 29, he has served more than 1.2 million meals -- breakfast, lunch and dinner -- to India's homeless and destitute, mostly elderly people abandoned by their families and often abused.

Krishnan's day begins at 4 a.m. He and his team cover nearly 125 miles in a donated van, routinely working in temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

He seeks out the homeless under bridges and in the nooks and crannies between the city's temples. The hot meals he delivers are simple, tasty vegetarian fare he personally prepares, packs and often hand-feeds to nearly 400 clients each day.

Krishnan carries a comb, scissors and razor and is trained in eight haircut styles that, along with a fresh shave, provide extra dignity to those he serves."

Building the Akshaya project

You can also view on Youtube Narayanan Krishnan and on the CNN site Narayanan Krishnan CNN Heroes Tribute.

Tasty Palettes' Ven Pongal

Naturally I was curious about the Ven Pongal and Sambar dishes Krishnan mentioned in the videos so I looked them up.

The blog Tasty Palettes has the recipes for the Ven Pongal and a few variations of the Sambar. It's quite an impressive blog. The dominantly Indian recipes are rooted in tradition but many include contemporary touches or options.

What is notable, is the large number of vegan or vegan friendly dishes available.