April: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers (The Bold Vegetarian Chef)

“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” – Julia Child

I have been a vegetarian since 2005, with the exception of deliciously fresh Pacific Northwest seafood. When I go to a new restaurant that has a veggie burger on the menu, it’s usually what I’ll end up getting. Ordering something simple and universal at a variety of places makes it easier to find new twists that each chef has added to make it their own. Are the patties made in-house from scratch? What kind of bread is it served on, and what garnishes and sauces come with it? But despite sampling nearly every veggie burger that crosses my path, I’ve never tried to make my own – until now!

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March Bonus Recipe: Pi Day π

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” – Carl Sagan

Pi Day was first explained to me in my high school calculus class. My teacher Ms. Hall was the sweetest little old lady who was we saw as a surrogate grandmother; she ran the student knitting club and the junior prom committee, and always found a way to make math fun. Pi Day comes from the first several digits of the never-ending Greek letter used to measure a circle, and so 3.14159 transformed into 3/14 and Pi Day was born. Every year, Ms. Hall would order for several dozen apple pies, load up her little Volvo wagon, and drive very slowly and carefully to school on March 14 to inspire a bunch of girls with math.

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Clark University: a History of Challenging Convention

Last Friday, Clark University was just one of many colleges across the United States to publicly announce that students who are involved in protests against gun violence will not be penalized for their actions, and it will not impact their admission or enrollment status. From the school’s Twitter:

“A statement to future Clarkies from President David Angel: We’re aware many high school students around the U.S. plan to engage in peaceful walkouts over the coming weeks to protest gun violence. Some high schools indicate students may face disciplinary action for doing so. Working toward meaningful change on issues of consequence is central to who we are as a community, as expressed by our motto, “Challenge Convention. Change Our World.” If you’re considering Clark, we doubt you’re waiting for our permission to stand up for your beliefs.”

But this certainly isn’t the first time – nor the last – that Clark students and professors have been intent on disrupting the status quo.

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March: Vegetarian Vindaloo (S.O.U.P.S.)

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – James Beard

I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but lately I’m more likely to be adventurous in the kitchen. And because I have a ridiculous number of cookbooks that I like to flip through, rather than searching the internet for a specific dish, I’m going to try and review new vegetarian recipes that use a variety of flavors, techniques and ingredients. So here we go!

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February Bonus Recipe: Mandelmusslor

“Cooking is like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne

This recipe is a bonus because it’s “just” a dessert, while the other recipes I’ve explored can be considered a full meal on their own (or at least the centerpiece of one). I usually don’t plan any big gestures for Valentine’s Day, and would much prefer to make food from scratch with people I care about. I’ve often said that cooking is my love language: if I cook for you, it means that we’re friends. So thank you to everyone who has been taste-testing these recipes with me!

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February: Peanut Stew with Winter Vegetables & Cornmeal Dumplings (Afro-Vegan)

“Good music goes with good food.” – African proverb

This peanut stew looked delicious when I was flipping through “Afro-Vegan,” and it turned out to be just that. I hadn’t attempted cooking African cuisine before, but the friends who graciously agreed to be my taste-testers for the evening really enjoyed it. One had even traveled to Africa several times for work, and claimed that this recipe tasted almost exactly like an authentic peanut stew!

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January Bonus Recipe: Thai Curry

“Friends for a meal are easy to find, friends until the end of time are difficult to find.” – Thai proverb

Living in Seattle has allowed me to become exposed to a lot of amazing Thai food. Although I’ve tried cooking some before, with mixed reviews, this curry seemed fairly foolproof because of how few ingredients it requires. I always love a recipe that calls for “whatever you happen to have in your fridge.” It might not end up with the most authentically Thai ingredients, but I’m guaranteed to like it!

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