Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

We stumbled upon the Grange one Sunday while looking for a place to have brunch. After a rich dinner the night before at Persimmon in Providence, RI, we really didn’t want to go the route of eggs, sausages, and other heavy stuff. What a great surprise to find a vegetarian restaurant with a great atmosphere and surprisingly flavorful food!

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My kale Caesar salad was super-fresh and absolutely delicious. But the real winner was the “carrot pastrami” reuben sandwich. Served on French rye, it’s got the kraut, Swiss and Thousand Island…but carrots filling in for the pastrami…and you just don’t miss it! Full of flavor and texture, I don’t know what they do to the carrots, but it rocks! My wife had the roasted veggie bowl: delicious and big enough to take half of it home to enjoy again.

Reuben sandwich with "carrot pastrami."

Reuben sandwich with “carrot pastrami.”

They’ve got a full bar for those that crave a cocktail…though their house-made juices are fantastic.

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We will be back!

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When asparagus is in season, it’s time to gorge. I’ve got it growing in my yard, and the patch gets bigger and happier every year with minimal maintenance…definitely one of those veggies every lazy gardener should grow.

I love it raw, chopped into salads, pickled, oven-roasted, and in pasta dishes. This is a great side dish with any main course slab of meat.

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1 lb. fresh asparagus spears
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper

 

The easy way to trim asparagus spears is to grab the thicker end between two fingers and bend it. It will snap at the point where the tough part ends and the softer, edible part begins. Toss the bottoms into your compost pile.

Heat the butter and oil in a pan and then add the asparagus spears. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until al dente. You don’t want them mushy.

While the asparagus is still in the pan, sprinkle the Parmigiano Reggiano on top, letting it melt a bit. Season with salt and pepper.

I ate this batch right out of the pan!

 

 

Do vegetarians and vegans secretly want to be carnivores? Why do so many vegetarian foods need to look, taste and even have names that sound like meat products?
Why do we need to call it this?image
 Is it because the real name: ” ‘Repulsive cubes of tofu’ salad” wouldn’t sell?
 
What about this one?
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Looks like dog food, with one difference: I wouldn’t give it to my dog.
Or perhaps my favorite:
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“Chick’n?” CHICK’N?! Are you effing kidd’n me?!
My vegetarian and vegan friends have legitimate reasons why they choose their lifestyle. Some don’t like factory farms or the way they treat animals and the environment. I don’t either. I buy grass-fed and pastured meats which come from small farms which use humane practices.

Some find the death of any animal for their food, even it’s done humanely, not acceptable. I feel that my manly omnivore cravings are nothing to be ashamed of, and obtaining animal protein in a sustainable way, whether farming, fishing or hunting, is the way to go. And for me, no plant protein can replace the quality of animal protein.

There are those that don’t eat red meat because of the negative effects on their health. Grass fed beef instead of corn and grain fed beef all but eliminates this problem. And we’re now seeing the negative health effects of meat substitutes like soy, even organic soy. Non-organic soy, which makes up 80% of the world’s crop, is Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready seed that gets oversprayed with herbicides.  Sorry…I’d rather have healthy beef, pork and chicken than GMO Frankenfood in my family’s diet.
If I was a vegetarian or vegan, I would write to the people who make these crappy products. They’re making them look bad. I’d be carrying that organic broccoli stalk high above my head and showing my pride, not hiding behind food disguised as quasi-meat.
Proud carnivores would never allow a piece of meat to be shaped to resemble a vegetable. A dinosaur chicken nugget, maybe. But never a vegetable. Now pardon me while I cook up some bac’n.

Cucumber season is winding down here in Southern New England. If you think these veggies are nothing special, it’s probably because you bought them from a supermarket, where they’ve been grown on the other side of the planet, covered in wax to prevent bruising, and then shipped to your local store where they place them under artificial lighting.

Go to your local farmer now. Buy some amazing fresh cukes. Then try any or all of these suggestions…

CRISPY CUCUMBER SOUP

3 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and seeded

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup vegetable broth

4 cups plain yogurt (I like the full fat yogurt)

1/2 cup mint leaves

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

Peel and seed 2 1/2 of the cucumbers and place in a blender with garlic, broth, 3 cups of the yogurt, mint leaves, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Mix well. Add remaining yogurt and wisk in.

Finely dice the leftover 1/2 cucumber and place in soup bowl. Add soup on top.

Garnish with a pinch of SEA salt, preferably Fleur de Sel.

REFRESHING CUCUMBER DRINK

This is a recipe I found last summer, and it’s one of the most refreshing summer drinks you can make for yourself. But it also requires a lot of preparation. It’s worth it. I made a pitcher this past weekend, and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was!

Ingredients per pitcher:

8 English cucumbers, peeled and seeded

4 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves

12 Tablepsoons fresh lime juice

8 teaspoons sugar

16 ounces vodka

4 ounces Cointreau

Peel cucumbers and quarter lengthwise. Remove any seeds. Cut a couple of quarters into thin stalks for garnish. Rough chop the rest of the cukes and put them in a food processor. Blend until totally liquefied. Strain cuke juice through a fine sieve, squeezing out as much liquid as you can from the solids. Throw the solids in your compost bin.

In a pitcher, combine mint, sugar and lime juice. Muddle the mint leaves, then add 1 cup crushed ice to the pitcher and stir well.

Add 3 cups cucumber juice, the vodka and Cointreau to the pitcher and stir well again.

Strain liquid into tall glasses filled with ice. Garnish with cucumber stalks.

PIMM’S CUP

Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur made in England. There are many variations of this drink, but my favorite is this simple:

Pimm’s No. 1

Ginger ale

1 smaller cucumber, peeled and quartered lengthwise

In a tall glass filled with ice, pour 2 oz of the Pimm’s No. 1. Fill to top of glass with ginger ale, leaving enough room to place a stalk of cucumber in the glass.

And nothing comforts me more than a bowl of chopped cukes with sour cream, some finely chopped fresh dill and a pinch of salt. Something my Mom gave us as kids that I still love today.

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