Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Good Life

I'll tell ya, what with school and work and new romance, I've had very little time for much else. Knitting, blog posting, zine completing, exercise, laundry, taking out the recycling... they're all going neglected.

Last week in school we had a class on anti-aging and I thought you might be interested in what I learned. Turns out, lots of spiecies live to be ten times their age at puberty. For us humyns, generalizing that we hit puberty at 12, would suggest that we're built to live to 120. And it's not unheard of - studies have been done on populations who've lived past the age of 100 to identify the key components of their lifestyle. I think this stuff's downright fascinating because it encourages us to look at our priorities in this day and age, in this culture. It's not some miracle, it's actually quite simple - not easy necessarily, but simple.

These people who were studied (I think the book's called The Longer Life, btw):

1. Ate frugally.
When one eats less, one can live longer. Eating puts stress on your organs; when organs are less stressed, and when they detoxify, they are able to process better and can extract more nutrients from less food. They also ate high quality foods (unrefined whole foods, non-pesticided, etc).

2. Had a congenial occupation.
They were artists, writers, scientists... they never retired because they loved what they did.

3. Consumed healthful fluids.
Coffee? Soda pop? I don't think so. Try filtered or spring water, fresh pressed organic fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas...

4. Spent time outdoors.
They had a love of nature, and enjoyed spending time in nature.

5. Abstained from stimulants and sedatives.
Again with the coffee... and the sugar and the alcohol and the....

6. Got adequate sleep.
Imagine actually getting to bed by 11pm?

7. Lived in temperate climates.
Cold climates put stress on the body. Bring on the Toronto winter.

8. Enjoyed a reasonable sex life.
It seems people who live on long-term healthy relationships live longer - so pairing off has more benefits than providing you with a date for national holidays.

9. Sought medical attention when needed.
And I don't think we're just talking aobut alopathic practitioners here.

10. Practiced good hygiene.
Are you flossing daily?

11. Developed a placid and easy-going personality.
Meditation, anger management, self-help... it'll save yer life.

12. Had an active lifestyle.
Ah-ha there's the exercise.

Pretty interesting, no?
Think it'll motivate you to take a new look at the way you go about your life?
Friday, November 25, 2005

Mail-order brownies

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I got a package in the mail yesterday...

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A seemingly unlikely box to send something in, but not from Josh, the great guy who made that super zine that I distro, Zen and the Art of Brownie Baking.

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He's sent me this smart new zine on the way he sees the privilege he carries around in the world. It's called Excuse me, can you please pass the privilege? and you can order it here.

An so, to celebrate. I thought I'd post this recipe from Ripe #3, even though the lack of chocolate in my life is torturing me (you enjoy this for both of us).

Zen Brownies

I got really excited about brownies after reading Josh's zine Zen and the Art of Brownie Baking. This kid is really into brownies. I'm talkin' HARDCORE. Josh explains that he makes them about three times a week, which in my mind qualifies him as an expert. He parallels brownies to punk rock, writes about brownies as part of the revolution, the brownie revolution, ethics in regards to eggs... He's a brownie purist (no bells and whistles in his 8" x 8" baking pan, thank you very much) and when it comes to texture says this: "Brownies should be fudgy, not cakelike. If you want cakelike brownies, eat some fucking cake."
Hell yeah.
Like I said, inspired by his zine, I worked out this recipe.

1 cups flour
1 cup dry sweetener
1/2 cup cocoa (Dutch-process prefered)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup apple sauce or blended silken tofu
1 cup organic (non-dairy) milk
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
1 heaping tbsp. instant coffee (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350oF. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sweetener, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt. Add the tofu or applesauce, milk, oil, coffee, chocolate and vanilla, and stir just until all of the flour is absorbed.
Pour into a lightly oiled and floured cake pan, and bake for about 30 minutes. Okay wait - if you're going to be "serving" them you may want to oil and cocoa the pan so they don't look white from flour on the bottom, Also, Josh says to use an 8" x 8" baking pan. My brownies bubbled over and then sunk down nicely into the pan. Either put a cookie tray under it to save the hassle of cleaning the bottom of the oven, or use a slightly larger pan. Check with a skewer for doneness. These babies are so fudgey they don't really hold together when warm. Add an extra 1/4 cup flour if you want a more stable consistency.

* You could also make bite-sized brownies by baking them in mini muffin cups. Just reduce the baking time, and don't fill the cups with too much batter.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Open to suggestions

I think I wanna knit a vest.
It's funny - I've never desired a vest before...

Worsted weight wool.
Cables could be good.
Or should I try my hand at fair-isle?
I'd like it to be knit all in one piece.
(Lazy? Yes. It's not the finishing that'd bother me with something like this as much as the purling rows. I want speedy or it might not happen.)

Any suggestions?
Please and thank you?
Friday, November 18, 2005

Real simple

It's good to throw some simple meals into your dinner rotation. Consuming simpler foods and chewing well means that your body can spend less energy on digestion and put more energy towards assimilation (getting nutrients) and elimination (getting rid of what it doesn't want). According to proper food combining you should have meals that are starch + veg OR protein + veg, but don't fret about that too much. Just enjoy the wholesome goodness.

Steamed Veg with Tahini Dressing

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Choose some of the vegetables you like steamed or try something you don't normally eat. I'm thinkin maybe red chard, baby bok choy, carrots... ideally they'd be organic and locally grown. Wash 'em, chop 'em to an appropriate size, and steam 'em but not for too long, they should still be a bit al dente.

The Dressing
2/3 cup filtered water
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt

All ingredients should preferably be organic and raw. Chuck all ingredients into a food processor or blender and give 'em a good whirl.
Serve over the steamed veg. (This would be an especially good dinner if you'd packed in the grains earlier in the day, or you could serve it over a cooked whole grain of choice - millet, quinoa, brown rice...)

Green-Grain-Seed Bowl

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organic green or black kale, or swiss chard, washed and chopped
cooked millet, quinoa, brown rice or another grain
raw sunflower seeds
tamari soy sauce
flaxseed oil*
nutritional yeast (optional)

Put greens in a steamer basket in a sauce pan with an inch or so of water at the bottom (be sure the veg ain't touching the water or you'll lose more nutrients), cover and steam till al dente.
Toast the sunflower seeds yerself in a small skillet for a few minutes, or better yet, keep 'em raw.
Pile it up in a bowl - cooked grains, steamed greens, a little handful of seeds. Drizzle on tamari and flaxseed oil to taste, and shake on some nutritional yeast if you like.

* Flaxseed oil (great for Omega-3/essential fatty acids) should always be refrigerated, and don't ever cook with it. It goes rancid about six weeks after opening (it'll smell/taste like paint), so don't buy a big bottle unless it's for a lot of people, and use it often!
Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sucess the second time 'round

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Cozy Cabled Toque

I wanted to put my new cable skills to good use, and I was on a roll coming up with ribbed toques anyway, so this variation just worked out. I'd also heard that cables make a hat warmer. (BTW: This one's not for me, it's a gift.)

1 skein Lamb's Pride Bulky (85% wool, 15% mohair; 114m/125yd, 113g/4oz) in Autumn Harvest
6.5 mm (US 10.5) 16" circs
6.5 mm (US 10.5) DPNs - set of 4
cable needle (optional)
5 place markers*
1 darning needle

*Note about place markers: for me it made sense to have one at the beginning of the round and then before each point of 4 knit sts (just so I didn't get too into the k2p2 groove). If it makes sense for you to have markers at the beginning of each rep, do that instead.

sts: stitches
PM: place marker
BC2: do a baby cable with the next two sts. You know, switch the order of the sts and then knit 'em. I am not knit-minded enough to explain it any better.
C4: Slip the next two stitches onto a DPN/cable needle and hold behind work. Knit the next two stitches from the left-hand needle, then knit the two stitches from the DPN/cable needle.
Decr: decrease

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Cast on 72 sts. PM (different colour/style from the other 4 you'll be using) and join in round.

Round 1: *K2, P2, PM, K4, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2; rep from * till end of round (4 times)
Round 2: *K2, P2, Sl M, K4, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2; rep from * till end of round
Round 3: *BC2, P2, K4, P2, BC2, P2, K2, P2; rep from * till end of round
Round 4: same as round 2
Round 5: same as round 2
Round 6: *BC2, P2, C4, P2, BC2, P2, K2, P2; rep from * till end of round

Rep these 6 rounds until tube measures 8 inches.

Decr round 1: *K2tog, P2, K2tog, K2tog, P2, K2tog, P2, K2tog, P2; rep from * to end of round (4 times) - 52 sts.
Decr round 2 (switch to DPNs when necessary): *K1, P2tog, K2, P2tog, K1, P2tog, K1, P2tog; rep from * to end of round - 36 sts.
Decr round 3: *K1, P1, K2tog, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1; rep from * to end of round - 32 sts.
Next round: *K1, P1; rep from * to end of round
Decr round 4: *K2tog; rep from * to end of round - 16 sts
Decr round 5: *K2tog; rep from * to end of round - 8 sts

Break yarn, leaving a 6" tail. Using the darning needle, thred tail through remaining sts. Pull though centre to inside. Weave in ends.

A li'l bit a' detail:
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If you make one, or even think about making one, lemme know.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Meme-me-me-me-meee --

Because my computer has been somewhat incompatible with Allison's blog recently (if takes forever to upload the page - it's the weirdest thing), I don't get over there as often as I'd like. Which means that I only just discovered that I'd been tagged with a meme. Which is fine by me as, contrary to a number of other knitbloggers, I secretly love them. And so I present to you 20 Things About Me:

1. I was born right here in Toronto on a late-September morning 25 years ago.

2. I have a bit of a complex about living here again - as if truly growing up is about moving far away from your home town (well in this case, city of 2.5 million). I fantasize about living in Montreal all the time.

3. I have six parents: My mum and her partner (they've been together since I was 3), my dad and his wife (they've been together since I was 5)... and my mum and her partner's best friends who have been around for a lot in my life and we celebrate eveything with them and their daughter (Christmas, Channukah, Passover, Easter, birthdays...).
This is a bit of a contentious issue with certain family members, but I don't have the strongest ties to my extended biological family so I say if there's love, the more family the better.

4. I have two brothers who are 14 and 10. Technically they are "half-brothers" (they're my dad and step-mum's kids) but I've never been a fan of the "half" appendage. They are soccer stars and rock stars and I love 'em both like crazy, although I try not to let on like I do (they're at that age).


5. Being at my baby brother's birth is what made me realize, at the age of 14, that midwifery was my life's calling.

6. I dropped out of school for a while in eleventh grade. I was travelling a long way to attend an arts school as a Music Theatre major, and singing and dancing just didn't seem to click with my plan to catch babies. I transfered to an alternative school and the experience I had there really raised my consciousness about the world to a whole other level.

7. I focused so much on midwifery between the ages of 14 and 18 that I was the first person to ever get into the McMaster Midwifery Education Programme straight out of high school.

8. Being a midwifery student was too much for my 19 year-old self and I had to drop out of the programme. That was a hard decision to make.

9. 19 was also the age that I learned to ride a bike. My friend Adrienne taught me on her little brother's bike on a dead-end street. There was a four year-old on a bike with trainning wheels watching us like we were nuts. (My mum tried to teach me when I was younger, but I just wouldn't do it.)

10. I think bike riding is hot. (Okay, well not if you're wearing all sorts of sporty cyclist gear - that's not bike riding, that's cycling.)

11. I am not athletically-oriented by any means. I was on the girls' soccer team in sixth grade, but I think the coach only let me on because he knew how proud my dad would be of me.

12. In high school, my friends Adrienne and Laura and I started up a feminist health collective called PussyWillow. We visited schools and commnutiy groups doing workshops on menstruation and the dangers of mainstream menstrual products. We sold beautiful handmade reusable cloth pads for real cheap. That's when I started making zines - the first ones being on menstrual and sexual health.
Beating Around the Bush, issue 1

13. I do childcare for a living. Not babysitting (which is for 14 year-olds), but childcare. I am seroiusly bothered by the fact that childcare does not get enough respect in this capitalistically-driven culture of ours.

14. The summer of 2002 my friend Roco and I did a tour of Intentional Communities, mostly on the west coast and along the northern part of the US/Canada border (on the US side). We hitched around for 5 weeks visiting farms, co-ops, communes, and other co-housing situations to see community in action. Everyone was very generous to us.

15. In January 2003 I moved into an intentional community in Peterborough called Big Cedar. It was a very important experience for me to live there (what with communal dinners, weekly meditations, three-hour house meetings and running a natural foods buying club out of our house...), if only for a year, and I consider the folks there to be my chosen family.
Big Cedar, spring 2003

16. I started throwing pots four years ago. You know, like ceramics, making pottery on a wheel.

17. I became vegan five years ago when I was living on an organic herb farm in Nova Scotia. It wasn't because of the animal rights so much as because I fell in love with someone who was vegan. He took off for California pretty quickly, but the food-consciousness seems to have stuck.

18. I devour cookbooks like trashy romance novels. I have close to 50 of them. I would even stoop so low as to buy them off Chapters.Indigo.ca (which is horrible since we should all be supporting our local independent booksellers - I know, I used to work for one) because they're 33% cheaper online and I just keep craving more.

19. I'm not vegan anymore. I consider myself an ethical whole-foods vegetarian but I still say I'm vegan a lot of the time because it's easier to explain.

20. I am writing a cookbook. I've come up with around 150 recipes so far. Maybe 200.

21. I sat a 10-day Vipassana Meditation intensive in Sutton Quebec last fall. Ten days of meditation for ten hours a day. No talking, no reading, no writing, no getting down with yourself, and no eye-contact. I'm pretty sure the experience saved my life.

Damn! I miscounted - 21! (Who likes round numbers, anyway?)
More than you ever thought you'd know, hey?!

And now to tag - I pass this meme on to Jill, Kelli Ann and Missy - who all seem like good sports, and none of whom I believe have had this already.
Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sweaty Saturdays, week 2

So it wasn't just a one-off. Here's what I did this week:

Tuesday morning: up 4 flights of stairs, 5 minutes bike, stretch, 16.5 minutes bike, 5 minutes rowing machine, 5 lb. & 12 lb. weights, ab crunches - 7 reps of 12, stretch, down 4 flights of stairs.
I found I had all this energy that night and ran/sped-walked to the video store (a distance of about 3 subway stops away) and back.

Friday evening: up 4 flights of stairs, 5 minutes bike, stretch, 15 minutes bike, 5 minutes rowing machine, ab crunches - 4 reps of 12, stretch, down 6 flights of stairs.
When the Bell Orchestre show ended at 12:45am, I sped-walked home from the Music Gallery and beat the streetcar I'd been originally planning to catch.

I am finding already that I can see more times in a day where I could exercise. There were a couple times this week that it came to mind and I shoulda just done it before I got lazy/distracted. I hope this coming week I make it to a yoga class too.

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Why you've gotta sweat:
We sweat to maintain homeostasis - in this case, a balanced temperature in our bodies. When it's hot out (in the external environment), we sweat. When our body's hot (from nerves, exercise, whathaveyou), we sweat. But sweating is also important for detoxification. Just like pee, sweat contains nitrogenous waste - stuff your liver has decided it doesn't want.
Which is why you're not doing yerself any favours by slathering on that anti-perspirant you picked up at the drug store. You're keeping those toxins in with more toxins (chemicals like aluminum trichloride and parabens*). If you want deodorant, take a trip to the health food store and experiment with some'a those products. I like ones with tea tree, lavender and lichen plant. (If you're an excessive sweat-er, sage can be taken internally - but that's a bit of a different story.)

And, of course, shower! Once you've let those toxins go, you wanna get them off yer skin, too.

Note: I am no expert on detoxing - this is just information I've picked up from reading and school, etc. I encourage you to do further research.

* There was a good article on deodorants in October's Alive Magazine, this article on the other hand seems to show Proctor & Gamble using the FDA as their mouthpiece.
Friday, November 11, 2005

Sooo goood.

I can't get enough of this dish... Here's Andrew to give you the lowdown.

Butternut Risotto

Who knew that vegan brown rice risotto could be so rich and delicious? The brown rice takes longer to cook than traditional arborio white rice, so we needed to use a lid and give it more time than common risotto. But using a bit of vegan margarine and soymilk with the smooth, roasted squash helps to give a similar creamy deliciousness you've gotta love. You could even roast the squash and garlic a day in advance if you happened to have the oven hot.

Step 1: Roasted squash (time: about 45 minutes)

1 small butternut squash, halved, seeded
1 whole head garlic, a tiny bit of the top sliced off
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375oF.
Slice butternut squash in half. Scrape out the seeds.
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Lube up squash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper if desired, place face down on baking sheet (use parchment or foil if you want less baking sheet clean-up later).
Drizzle some olive oil into the head of garlic and place beside squash to roast.
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Bake for about 30 minutes before turning squash face-up. Remove the head of garlic. When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic.
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Mash it in a little bowl with the back of a fork. Set aside.

Bake squash about 15-20 minutes more until it's tender throughout (poke with a knife or fork). When cool enough to handle, scoop the squash out from the skins and mash smooth in a bowl for later.

Step 2: The Risotto (about 40 minutes)

1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups sweet brown rice*
4 cups vegetable broth (we used Imagine Organic No-Chicken Broth)
1/4 - 1/2 cup organic non-dairy milk (unsweetened soymilk pref. - I like Natura)
1 1/2 - 2 cups roasted butternut squash (see above)
1 head's worth of roasted garlic cloves (about 6 large cloves), mashed (see above)
1 tsp. thyme
sea salt (try 1/2 - 1 tsp.) and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (flat-leaf pref.)
1-2 tbsp. non-dairy, non-hydrogenated margarine (we used Earth Balance non-GMO Natural Buttery Spread)

* It's important to use sweet brown rice over other brown rices as this one's had it's husk removed and will therefore cook faster and produce a creamier dish.

Keep vegetable broth hot in a small saucepan on a back burner.
Sweat onions gently in some olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or medium skillet on medium-low heat, taking care not to brown them, until translucent. Add rice, and toast for several minutes.
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Now turn up the heat to medium-high and add the first couple ladles of hot broth, until the rice is just covered. Adjust heat so that you're only ever simmering, not boiling. Gently stir every minute or so.
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Add another ladle every few minutes, so that there's always just enough broth to caress and cook the rice.
When you're about half-way through the broth, add some extra broth and put a lid on it, turning the heat down to low. Steam the rice like this for 15-25 minutes, until the rice is close to done. Now turn the heat back up a bit, add soy milk, and let most of the liquid simmer off (you don't want it runny), then turn heat to low again.
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Fold in the roasted garlic and squash (The suggested amounts are flexible - you may want more, or you may end up with extra of both!)
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Season with salt and pepper and thyme (careful, the broth may be salty already). Stir in the parsley and the margarine.
Take off heat, add lid, and let it stand for 5 minutes to allow maximum tastification.
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

A little dip into design

I started a cabled toque on Monday night. My own design, in Lamb's Pride Bulky, on 6.5mm circs (my favourite needles).
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But it didn't look right (- baby cables spaced out by six rows just look like mistakes). So this morning I frogged it.
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I am a reluctant frogger. I don't like doing it.
Here's hoping it works out in round two.

Can anyone tell me, will cables tighten the circumference of the toque?

I am so excited about tomorrow's recipes! We have a guest chef in the house!
Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The thing about crafty grrls is that they're resourceful

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I have a winder, but I'm without a swift.
And I don't have a chair with an appropriate back, and I live alone and I can't very well call Jill over everytime I need someone to hold my skein.

So I found a pillow. But the pillow wouldn't rotate around so I had to pull yards off onto the counter and then wind. Pull pull pull, wind.

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Surely there must me a better way. Right?

Late night addition:
So I finished that Manos ribbed toque. Colour "V". (Jill, you think numbers are weird - doesn't it seem silly to give a yarn a letter in lieu of a name? Especially "V" to describe what I would call Burnt Orange.) I won't say much more about it - the pattern'll be in Take Back the Knit #3.

You can wear it like this:
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Or this:
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(You'll have to excuse the less-than-wonderful photos - I'm still trying to negotiate set-up with my self-timing camera.)

I think I dig it.
Saturday, November 05, 2005


I've come to notice this year that in the knit-blogging world there is a substantial, and lovely, element of encouragement and motivation. And so today I've decided to post about something that's not knit-related and it's not even about food, but that I need to feel motivated about if it's going to become a regular activity - getting fit.

Somewhere between Laura's Health Group and Jodi's Self-Portrait Tuesdays, I bring you Superfit Saturdays (or maybe just Sweaty Saturdays). I'll talk about getting up off my arse, and why it's important to sweat.

I visited my naturopath last night and discovered that in the 4 1/2 weeks that I've been off wheat, sugar, dairy and the rest, I haven't lost a single pound! Whaaa! What am I doing this for then?! Health... right. But I'd also like to feel a little more comfortable in my 5'4" frame. (I'm not saying I think I'm huge, I'd just like to have a little less of a belly and feel more comfortable with my physical presence.) And I want to do it without some scary eating disorder mentality. So my doctor said exercise. Just twice a week, just 20 minutes. But I have to sweat.

Bike season may be coming to an end. (It was cut short at least for me last week when my front tire hit the streetcar track and I went flying, landing halfway under a parked car, with honourable road rash to show for it despite the autumn layers I was wearing).
But it shouldn't be that hard. It's not like the Y membership I had for the past 10 months and only used 3 times. There's a workout room right in my building that's free to use. I just have to put on some sneakers and take the elevator up 4 flights (I'm kidding, of course I'm taking the stairs).

Here was my workout this morning: bike 5 minutes, stretch, bike 15 minutes, rowing machine 5 minutes, a few reps with 5 lb. weights, 36 ab crunches.
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(Are you noticing the high ceilings and great light in my apartment? More on that another day.)
Then shower.

I feel better for it.

Here's hoping my trip up there wasn't just a sophisticated version of procrastination what with Monday's Anatomy and Physiology exam I have to study for.

*ParticipACTION was this Canadian government initiative to get the public moving. They'd have these little educational commercials on TV in the 80s and 90s called Body Break with hosts by Hal Johnson and Joanne McLoud (who I always believed were a couple). The ads would always end with "Until next time... stay fit, and have fun!" (It's a little hard to convey the hokeyness of the ads if you never saw them.)
Friday, November 04, 2005

Beware of Monotone Dinners

Coconut-Cashew-Sesame Cauliflower

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When I moved this fall, I stole a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook that'd been in my mum's house for, like, two decades.

I've been on a big of a cauliflower kick recently, so I was excited to try out this recipe. (Note: I've made a couple adaptations.) You may be interested to know that cauliflower is considered good brain food. It's easier to digest than broccoli, though it contains lower amounts of vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll.

1 medium head (2 1/2 - 3 lbs.) cauliflower
1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut (fresh coconut pref, through not crucial)
2 tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1/4 cup oil (organic unrefined coconut oil pref.)
1-2 fresh hot green chili(s), sliced into thin rounds (or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne)
2 tbsp. black mustard seeds
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. sugar or honey (optional)
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Wash, and cut cauliflower in such a way that piece's aren't more than 1" x 2" big. As long as it's tender, the stalk may be peeled and sliced into wider-than-matchstick-sized pieces.

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Toss coconut into a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Toast unitl lightly browned, then empty into a bowl (pay pretty close attention as I didn't and burnt a first batch of coconut). In the same skillet, do the same for the sesame seeds, then the cashews. Empty contents of bowl into a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup water, the green chili, salt, sugar or honey (if desired) and lemon juice. Give it a whirl until smooth.

In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-high flame. When very hot, add the mustard seeds. They should begin to pop almost right away. Once they do, stir the cauliflower around on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the blended mixture, plus the other cup of water. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil and then cover. Lower heat a simmer for about 10 minutes, stiring occasionally to prevent sticking, until cauliflower is al dente.
Serves 3 or so as a main dish (I had mine with millet, hence the very white meal), though it's so rich that I'd serve it as a side along with other veg dishes (maybe curried potatoes or eggplant, dal, something spianchy) and rice.


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This soup is warming and filling - and a great source of protein!

1 1/2 cups dry red or green lentils*
4 cups water
2 dried chiles, whole
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. sea salt
3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. grated ginger (or an additional clove of garlic)
1 cup chopped tomato (optional)
4 cups chopped spinach (optional)
1 tsp. garam masala
2 tsp. lemon juice

*I'm sure you'll notice that green lentils hold their shape more, while red lentils will made more of a paste/smooth texture.

1. Wash lentils in several changes of cold water. In a medium pot, cover them with 4 cups of the water and add the chile, turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until tender (about 30 minutes).
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It may be necessary to add another cup of water, adjust to desired consistency.

2. When lentils are almost cooked, heat oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds and cook for about 15 seconds before stirring in onions and garlic.
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Cook until onions begin to brown - about 5 minutes - and then add tomatoes and/or spinach and cook another 5 minutes. (As you can see I only added spinach).
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3. When lentils are tender, remove and discard the hot pepper. Stir in the onion mixture, lemon juice, garam masala and salt to taste.

-adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant
Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bringing you the news.

First off, thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my hundreth post. I'm so glad you're reading. If there were just 24 people in the whole wide world reading the blog, but they all found it helpful or entertaining, I'd be real pleased. Hearing from you makes slapping something up on the internet feel a little more human and a little less outerspacey.

I've been carrying around a relatively mindless knitting project this week. I'm coming up with simple ribbed toque patterns in both bulky and worsted weight yarns for Take Back the Knit #3.
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The yarns here are Manos and Lamb's Pride Bulky. Of course, it's a self-fulfilling project as toques are my favourite thing to knit, and I have yet to make one that I actually love the look of on me. It may be a life-long experiment.

And for those of you who're patiently waiting for the third knit zine, and perhaps you missed out the first time, I'm offering up this:
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Take Back the Knit #1 is going back into print. Not as fancy as the second issue, but it's likely to keep you warmer.
Go here to order. Order for you! Order for your friends!

And come back tomorrow for Foodie Fridays - I'm making an Indian cauliflower-coconut-cashew-sesame dish, and likely some other surprise!

"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



    foodie fridays (posts with recipes)

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    * Fasting and Cleansing
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