Archive: Vegetarian

A Plate of Hummus and Thou

A long day of work and weekday irritation that suddenly turns to dusk (and suppertime) is a scenario familiar to all of us, regardless of geography, occupation, age or marital status. We've all been there, over and again, and surely, the modern work-life balance dilemma will be knocking on your dinner plate sometime in the near future. In spite of its regular appearance, the "what's-for-dinner" conundrum never ceases to stump cooks of all kinds. As recently as Monday of this week, I fell victim to said syndrome -- tired, cranky and hungrier than I'd like to be at an hour when dinner ideas fail to penetrate the addled brain. At times like these, the very personal pieces of our personality emerge like erupting lava. Hungry at 7 p.m. after a long day, the cook becomes a strange creature, one who might, out of desperation, pour three bowls of cereal or...

By Kim ODonnel | August 18, 2006; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Vegan Brownies for Everyone

As many of my longtime readers know, I am a meat-eater who also swings meat-free. I'm hardly a vegetarian in the true sense of the word, but I do without meat, on average, in half of my weekly meals. Some may say I'm an omnivore, but the newfangled term is "flexatarian," referring to someone who eats a semi meat-free diet. Vegan, gluten-free brownies that will blow your mind. (Kim O'Donnel) As evidenced by five years of my monthly vegetarian chat, readers know that I'm hip to new and different ways of cooking traditional dishes, particularly if the revisions are undetectable to our fat-conditioned palates. To wit: Last year during the holidays, I made the discovery of pumpkin pie made with tofu, an amazing, more healthful tweak on a Thanksgiving staple. In keeping with this theme of delicious food that also happens to be free of animal products, I've got to...

By Kim ODonnel | August 15, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)

A Vegetarian Feast Fit for a Queen

You've listened to me wax philosophical about shopping at your local farmer's markets. I know I can be relentlessly passionate about eating and shopping locally, and maybe you've had enough of my stuff. But right about now is when all that philosophizing and dream weaving becomes a matter of practicality and smart food shopping. Okra at dusk. (Kim O'Donnel) August is the peak period for summer produce, and when the weather cooperates, the harvest is golden, yielding tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs, onions, garlic, green beans, okra, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, peaches, melon and berries. (I'm sure I'm missing something; please add to the list in the comments area below.) Sounds like the produce aisle in the supermarket, doesn't it? And because of the variety of veg, it's easy to forget about meat at suppertime. Last night was a case in point. I stopped off at Clarendon farm market in the...

By Kim ODonnel | August 10, 2006; 11:17 AM ET | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Kim at Kripalu

Greetings from Blissville. Since Monday, I've been soaking up the relaxed vibrations of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. The largest yoga facility in North America, Kripalu sits on 300-plus acres overlooking the Berkshires, a cluster of glorious mountain ranges in western Massachusetts. Although under Kripalu ownership since 1983, the property - Shadowbrook - dates to the 1890s, when it was originally built as a private country estate. Having changed hands a few times (including Andrew Carnegie, who used it as a summer home), Shadowbrook also operated as a Jesuit seminary for nearly 50 years. Another cool tidbit I discovered: Shadowbrook's luscious acreage was originally designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (designer of Central Park). For many, mention of the word "Kripalu" conjures up images of a Hindu ashram, and rightly so. For many of its 23 years, Kripalu did operate much like an ashram, with a few...

By Kim ODonnel | July 28, 2006; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Gluten-Free True-Blue Breakfast

Always on the lookout for new cookbooks, I was eager to crack open my newly arrived copy of "World Vegetarian Classics" by American-Brit cook Celia Brooks Brown. In addition to penning cookbooks, Brown appears on BBC's food channel and is a private chef, whose celeb client list includes Chrissie Hynde and Stella McCartney. When shopping for a new veggie title, I was particularly drawn to Brown's assertion (stated on her Web site) that "Vegetarian food still has a boring, brown, 'socks and sandals' stigma" which she has endeavored to reverse. If photos are an important ingredients in your cookbooks, this title will appeal; they are big and beautiful and dotted throughout the book. Brown has compiled 220 recipes from around the world, neatly organized by continent. Although keen to try the Pacha Rice (Egypt) and the Akara with Pilipili (black eye pea cakes from Nigeria), I made a beeline for...

By Kim ODonnel | July 17, 2006; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Corny Propositions

Yesterday's chat got readers all lathered up over corn, which has made its glorious debut at local farmer's markets. On Sunday, I picked up some that had been grown in Berkeley Springs, W. Va., and it was out of sight, some of the best corn I have eaten in the last few years. White corn from Berkeley, W. Va. (Kim O'Donnel) Because of its hidden husk-cloak, corn is always a mystery to the shopper. Can you really tell if the ear you picked will be free of worm holes or rot as well as sweet and tender to the bite? If you've got a secret for weeding out the goodies, please share in the comment areas below. The next question in corn world is: Cob or kernels? Do you eat your corn right off the cob, typewriter-style, like my kid brother, Tim, or do you prefer to shave it off...

By Kim ODonnel | July 12, 2006; 09:03 AM ET | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0)

The Zuke-A-Mole Trick

Zucchini's in the house! Get ready, because once it starts, summer squash doesn't stop producing. As one of the most prolific items in the garden, it requires cooking ideas that go beyond the same ole zucchini bread and ratatouille. The zucchini, aka courgette, has arrived at local farm markets. (Kim O'Donnel) Last summer, I came across this zinger, a unique dip that remarkably resembles guacamole. It's so similar in look and mouthfeel that you could almost fool people. Don't get me wrong; I love guacamole, but like it or not, the avocado is high in fat - about 25 grams each. Of course, if you're a vegan, this is a great way to get plant-based fatty acids, but the tendency among we fat-loving Americans is to add fat to the fat. In the case of the guac, we like to add sour cream, cheese, even the dreaded mayo, and then...

By Kim ODonnel | July 7, 2006; 11:34 AM ET | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Scared of Tofu? Grill It

There's something about bean curd that scares the bejeezus out of meat eaters. Even the most open-minded carnivores run for the hills at the sound of the word "tofu, " and to their defense, the squishy white stuff does require a bit of kitchen schooling as well as flavor-doctoring before becoming palatable. But scaredy-cats, I gotta tell you: Summer is the time to get over your tofu terror because the white stuff luvs the grill. A kicky marinade and a handful of skewers is all you need to bring tofu to life. Last weekend, I tried out the recipe below with delicious results. The hoisin sauce is key here, as it contains sugar that caramelizes on the edges like a good barbecue sauce does on pork or chicken. With the direct heat of the grill, the tofu cubes trade in their squishiness for a chewy (and dare I say it)...

By Kim ODonnel | June 23, 2006; 02:00 PM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

A Mayo-Free World

If you're stuck in traffic at 2 o'clock this afternoon, turn on your radio, pretty please. I'll be feeding Sam Litzinger, my on-air pal on Washington Post Radio (107.7 FM, 1500 AM...or if you are computer-bound, www.washingtonpostradio.com). This week, I've got a few painless side dishes suitable for weekend cookouts and all things grilled. I won't divulge all the tasty secrets, but one of the items on the menu is mayo-free potato salad, a concept that deserves far-better treatment than its goopy, mayonnaise-y counterpart. What is up with the mayo in the potato salad, people?...

By Kim ODonnel | June 2, 2006; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Meat of the Vegetarian Matter

Yesterday's vegetarian chat touched on how one transitions to vegetarianism and morphed into weighty discussion of the highly personal quality of such a journey. A few leftover comments include: Boston, Mass. "I don't think people can convert to being omnivores to vegetarian overnight. I'm not a full veggie (yet), but I started by cutting almost all red meat out of my diet and eating at least two veggie dinners per week. Next I decided I'd only eat ethically kept meat, which is more expensive, so my meat eating reduced for reasons of wallet. Once I went veggie for two weeks to try it out, and the temptation to eat meat was overwhelming. So I'm in favor of gradual life changes -- but then I'm not (too) concerned about killing animals to eat them, which I understand is a powerful motivating factor for many vegetarians." And a reader from Colorado wrote:...

By Kim ODonnel | May 26, 2006; 08:16 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

 

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