Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Soup! (and a Couple of Rants)

It’s cold! Much as I hate the cold and rainy weather, it’s the perfect opportunity to invite my son for dinner and try out a new soup recipe. I looked through Eat Drink & Be Vegan and found a winner – Spicy Pureed Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew with Chickpeas.

It is reminiscent of Vcon’s Eggplant Peanut Soup, which is knock-your-socks-off fantastic. It’s just as tasty, although the flavors aren’t quite as complex. And it is very filling. Kamutflake Girl gave it a great review as well.

Along with, we had Lemony Brussels Sprouts…..

… and Black Rice, which my dad bought for me before his surgery.

This was my first black rice and we both loved it. I think it tastes similar to wild rice, kind of nutty and lots of texture.

And now, Rant No. 1 – This month’s issue of Bon Appetit is “The Green Issue” and it has many many wonderful recipes, some of which I hope to try out this weekend. Also included is Lake Austin Spa’s Lean Star Chili recipe which I’ve made before and enjoy very much. There’s an entire article on broccoli, and another on seasonal produce, and another on locavores. AND THEN, there are two weird articles. One is a written by a former vegetarian who explains that she cannot continue being veg due to her love of sausage – of all things! The second is written by someone familiar to us, Nina Planck, who not too long ago informed the world of the vegan parents who killed their baby. Her article in this issue, “Just the Fats,” explains that trans fats are bad for you (who doesn’t know that by now?) EXCEPT the natural trans fats you find in animal products. You see, these are natural and the preferred foods to consume. She states that “on closer inspection, it’s become clear that natural saturated fats are good for you.” She implores you to return to the good ol’ days of eating butter, lard, and beef tallow (whatever that is), because it is trans fats and not butter and lard that cause heart disease. Butter from grass fed cattle is rich with K2 and prevents clogged arteries? Lard is the equivalent of olive oil? I read the article three times trying to find any mention of healthful oils, but she makes no reference to them. To my amazement, her credit at the end of the article states she is the author of a book entitled “Real Food: What to Eat and Why.” No wonder people are confused about what to eat. I think I’m confused now too.

Rant No. 2 – All of sudden today I began getting comments on the Pretty Bread I posted several months ago. I learned I had been linked on some site called Boing Boing in a post entitled “How to Bake a Gorgeous Vegan Herb Bread.” That was nice – until I read the first comment: “Mmmm... Chock fulla eating disorder goodness! And by that I mean ‘sawdust.’” As you can imagine, this set off a quite a vegan v meateater war. One commenter hurt my feelings by calling my bread a monstrosity! It doesn't really hurt me, but if you want to read some silly banter and interesting vegan bashing, here’s the link. A big thank you to all the folks who made nice comments on Boing Boing and on my bread post.

So who wants to start eating lard?!!


Jen said...

Wow... the level of ignorance in those comments is astounding. I also read that issue of Bon Appetit and shook my head at the notion of a "green issue." But I don't expect much from that magazine besides inspiration for stuff to veganize. The pistachios & brussels sprouts recipe in that issue is great, by the way.

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

I was reading those comments yesterday and just getting dismayed as it got worse and worse... I couldn't believe it and your bread was so pretty and nobody could stop shooting barbs long enough to just enjoy a difference of lifestyle for once. eek. you have every right to feel hurt by all that.

(your black rice is beautiful, btw! I've always wanted to try it, it sounds really good)

Anonymous said...

Those are ridiculous arguments they're making. Omnis will say whatever they can to make themselves feel better about eating artery clogging meats, dairy and eggs.

On a positive note... that soup looks so good! I'm not going to lie, it didn't sound too appetizing when I read the recipe, but seeing it really helps! Thanks. =)

Ashasarala said...

These types of things get me all fired up. And I just cannot stand that woman! She's so insanely ignorant. She's trying to find a way to excuse our selfish, greedy, American, over-eating habits. She'll understand one day, when she's suffering from some kind of digestive, heart or blood disease.

As for those losers who dissed your recipe, it really doesn't get more ignorant than that.

People really actually like to hurt other people's feelings. They enjoy it. And it's easiest to do it online to strangers because these kids don't have the guts in real life. If I was in your place, I would feel so hurt and insulted, but there really is no reason too. These people are imbeciles. It's one thing not to like a food or a recipe and entirely another to childishly and rudely tear it down.

You know what fires me up most of all? Destructive people. We, as vegans (and tree-hugging hippies ;) ), will spread the word in an educational, understanding and mature way because we care. We don't want to force anything on anyone (except maybe those annoying over-zealous PETA fanatics who give the rest of us a bad name). We just want to educate and save human and animal suffering. People on the flip side have absolutely no reason to react the way they do. Tearing down veganism, getting riled up and angry as all hell fire because we choose to live without unhealthy fats, processed foods and animal products. They hate it. And you know what that's called? Control. Luckily we're too smart to listen to it.

I am happy that I have family and friends that eat meat but respect my decision to be vegan. I educate them on good eating and they don't get all defensive. They listen and take tips where they see fit.

I'm sorry I went off here. LoL I just get so crazy when I read about people being ignorant. It makes me ripsh**. To end on a positive note, don't listen to those crazies. I know you won't, but it feels good to say it. And for the record, that bread looked absolutely fantastic! :)

Jen said...

To chime in once more about that BA article — it's led to some interesting (to me, at least) commenting in the omni food blogger world, with lots of self-identified "former vegetarians" announcing how much they just love to eat meat and how they only buy "free-range" "grassfed" etc... It's scary to see how effective this so-called "humane meat" marketing campaign has been.

Vegan_Noodle said...

First of all the soup looks fantastic.. looks like we are in for another cold, rainy day here in Texas!!

I am in shock about that article. Reading what you wrote (doubt I'll take the time to actually go read it...) just made my jaw drop. Unbelievable.

And how awful of those omni-jerks to criticize your recipe! It's not like we try out their cruel, artery-clogging meat and dairy dishes and go criticize their cooking. I might just have to pop over there and see what's going on for myself...

MeloMeals said...

People can be such jerks... and really, they end up embarrassing themselves with that type of behavior..

I can't stand that woman... She is soooo ill informed when it comes to nutrition and her piece on the vegan child who dies was full of misinformation.

Heather said...

I too read the confession from a former vegetarian and thought: "tasteless and tacky." I have loved Bon Appetit for several years and devoted a huge portion of my dissertation titled: Postmodern Feminism, Hypertext, and the Rhetoric of Cooking Websites (I know! It's not as pretentious as it sounds, though, honest) to Both are always very meat heavy and while I still sometimes make meat for my husband (after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma even he is less inclined to eat meat), Bon Appetit is just sort of boring to a vegetarian.

The article's rejoinder to eat meat again was just in poor taste and frankly a bit misinformed. Raising meat is a major environmental pollutant, a fact the editors and the article writer ignored. Sigh.

For a more informed take on livestock, check out the January/February edition of Vegetarian Times.

Anonymous said...

It drives me crazy how meat eaters get up in arms about vegetarianism. Like we somehow personally offend them.

Think I'll stay away from Bon Appetit all together!

Chin up!

Randi said...

I too was dissapointed in that Bon Appetite this month. Especially since the cover recipe used a prepared mix. I expected more from BA. And, the author who isnt a vegetarian anymore is actually a very popular foodblogger. From what I remember, her new husband is a vegetarian.

urban vegan said...

The soup looks so warming.

As for rant #1, why doesn't she access the years of medical studies (including the 7 country study, among others( that essentially disprove her point?

As for rant #2, not worth your time, babe. Small minds say small, hurtful things. He is obviously unqualified to rate real vegan food. But it brings up an important point that I continue to stress: the stereotype of veganism is that it tastes like sawdust. Its blogs like yours that helps bust the myths.

So you go, girl--and keep on rising above!

L'Atalante said...

If it makes you feel any better, I discovered this site through the BoingBoing link and have been enjoying your writing far more than the think-they're-funny commenters who approach ANY topic with knee-jerk contempt.

Judy said...

I didn't get a chance to comment on the post below, but I wanted to say how glad I am to hear that your dad is home and doing better.

I can't wait to try that stew from EDBV, especially since you said it's kinda like the eggplant soup which we loved!

The brussel sprouts, however, can stay right where they are on your blog. :)

Dori said...

Count me out on the lard thing. That "news" just defies common sense. I made that stew from ED&BV last weekend. I liked it well enough, but definitely needed the coriander and lemon juice squirt when serving.

Celine said...

black rice and brussels sprouts! my favorites. sawdust is up there on my list of faves too, what with my ED and all. bah! people, gotta love them so as not to strangle them.
it's funny, I think it's Bon Appetit I received for the first time a few days ago as part of an dealio. I haven't read it yet as I am keeping it for light plane reading, but I'll think of you when I get around to it!

Sheree' said...

How rude! People who leave comments like that have no interest in doing anything positive with their lives. By the way your bread is beautifu! The soup sounds wonderful, but what took my heart away was your brussel sprouts. How I love those sweeties! Darn I wish I had some. :o)

Anonymous said...

I remember your bread - it looked absolutely stunning! I'm sure it tasted wonderful. I hope you don't let these uniformed and unkind comments upset you. I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing you colourful pictures - I love brocolli and brussel sprouts too! Amanda

Carrie™ said...

I've discovered recently that I've actually developed a liking for brussels sprouts and am now seeking out different ways to cook them. I would love to know how you did them lemony.
I'm not sure what beef tallow is either and the word "lard" just sounds gross anyway. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's good for you. Opium is natural, so is lead, but I wouldn't ingest them. I only know of this woman through what I've read on blogs and she sounds like a crackpot.
It was nice of BoingBoing to put up a picture and link to your Pretty Bread. They were the ones that put the "vegan" label on it and that seemed to start a whole big thing. I don't understand why people feel the need to make fun of our food choices. I get comments at work all the time. I NEVER say anything to them about what they eat, so why pick on me? There were some nice comments at BoingBoing, so just focus on them and don't let the others bring you down. We love your stuff!!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

comments and articles like that really irk me - makes me happy to NOT know any omnivores like those commenters!!

on a positive note, the soup looks like the perfect way to warm up during these frigid months; and those brussels sprouts are calling my name, loud and clear!!

Monika K said...

Really makes me want to buy the magazine (so that I can rant right along with you). I never thought I'd see people advocating lard's a strange, strange universe we live in!

Anardana said...

I left a pro-vegan comment on boing boing :)

Rose said...

Honestly, what kind of a person claims that eating lard is good for you?

I went on the site that linked to your beautiful bread and read all those aweful comments until I just couldn't take it anymore 'cause omni's can be so cruel to us vegans sometimes :(

Anonymous said...

My niece gave me a subscription to Bon Appetit for Christmas so I have that issue. I only had time to scan through some of the recipes so I'll have to read that article. I did make the Lean Star chili for my family -- I'll be interested to see how yours turns out because we didn't care for it.

I also read through the comments on your bread -- it's amazing that people would negatively comment on something they've never tried. One commenter suggested something like people should visit your blog and try some of the recipes because they're really good. I agree, everything I've made from your blog has been fantastic. My family requests your Texas Trash all the time.

Where did your dad get the black rice? I've never seen that kind of rice before.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

People can be so cruel. Are there really people out there who have nothing better to do than post negative comments on others' blogs?

I, for one, LOVE your blog and all the recipes I've tried from it. Keep up the good work!

Ruby Red said...

Nina Planck obviously knows nothing about a healthy diet, and she has no qualifications to give health advice. She makes me so mad.

Your herb bread looks gorgeous. Too bad about some of the comments - I got so sick of them I had to stop reading.

The sweet potato and peanut stew sounds like a really great dish. I've yet to try a stew that contains peanut butter (or is it peanuts?), but I'm sure it makes it creamy and delicious, not to mention full of HEALTHFUL plant fats (take that, Nina).

Brussels sprouts are amazing - I have such a weak spot for those guys.

Dreena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dreena said...

aTxVegn, I heard about this boingboing thing (though I knew nothing about boingboing before now) and wanted to drop by to give my words of support.

First, about the criticism - well, it isn't criticism, it's nastiness. There's a very big difference between the two. Criticism can be quite helpful, and therefore welcome. But nasty comments, have no purpose or meaningful intention... just mean spirited. People will say things on the internet that they would *never* say in person. Makes them feel 'big', or 'funny' or 'important', maybe? Not sure the reason, but I am familiar with it and really there is no sensible explanation for it. So please try to not let it seep into your thoughts - b/c you have too many positive thoughts and great energy to share.

Also, I am always surprised by the level of 'attack' by non-vegans. I often wonder if it's a level of insecurity, or feeling threatened by their own doubts that perhaps... just perhaps... a vegan diet really is healthy, and is the only compassionate choice. But, then, based on their comments, compassion is not something they are concerned with.

Be proud of your accomplishment having this recipe recognized, and keep on sharing your vegan goodness! :)

and some ((hugs)) to you...

aTxVegn said...

Thank you all for your support and reinforcing vegan spirit! I think I'll stay away from Boing Boing and enjoy this awesome veg-friendly community. I'll see you all tomorrow with a Sunday dinner post.


bazu said...

Rant-worthy, indeed! Nina Planck... don't even get me started on that. Ex-vegetarians... don't get me started on that! I thought that whole argument was, like, so 2007- didn't Food and Wine and the NY Times and a plethora of other publications beat them to the punch already?
As for the horrendous comments about your bread... I've seen virulent anti-veganism before, many times, but I'm really scratching my head trying to figure out what exactly it was about your bread that set them off? There's nothing "offensive" or strange about it- it is just a normal loaf of beautiful bread! Huh?!

Emilie said...

I read Boing Boing as regularly as I read anything and I saw your beautiful bread on there! I was excited for you--it's got huge readership so lots of people were able to see your work. I'm sorry it caused you grief--people are just ridiculous. Bread is bread is bread. Some has egg, some doesn't. Some is whatever, some is gorgeous, like yours was.