Now featuring veg headlines

You’ll notice on the right sidebar, there are now dynamic news headlines from Moreover. The keyword search that brings them up is: vegetarian OR vegan -“las vegan”. If you want to see more headlines, use the “Veg*n news headlines” link that tops off the “General Links” category.

The secret of life

The Secret of Life

The people of the island of Okinawa, Japan have the longest life-spans in the world. In addition to averaging a five-year longer life than Americans, they also have a higher percentage of inhabitants over the age of 100. And of 32 of those centenarians surveyed, only four were living in a nursing home.

“Generally, people have genes that should be getting them to their to their mid-80s. … In our country, we live about 10 years less than that on average because of terrible health habits,” explained one American doctor. The longer life spans are connected with the very limited part that meat plays in the Okinawan diet as well as the high-carb, low calorie nature of it. They eat a good amount of soy, Omega-3’s, and at least seven servings of vegetables a day.

Sunflower Cafe, tea, and curried tempeh

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Today I met up with Alex (who loves to see what’s he’s eaten posted on my blog) at the Sunflower Cafe, a vegetarian (95% vegan, actually) restaurant in Vienna, VA. We split an order of the fried “chicken,” which I had heard and read a lot about. Folks: it lives up to the hype. Though it’s a tad salty, this stuff has the consistency and flavor of fried chicken. From what I’ve read, this is what they recommend that the non-vegetarians start with.

Alex went on to order his usual: General Tso’s “Chicken.” It was excellent (as I stole a few from him). I decided to jump in feet first for my inaugural visit to the restaurant and got the Macrobiotic Tofu dish. Boy, that sounds appetizing, eh? It included a number of ingredients I didn’t recognize (but which were, fortunately, cross-referenced to an index in the back of the menu), but it turned out to be a good dish. I swear the tofu multiplied in front of my eyes, though. (More on macrobiotic cooking)

Of course, making the trip out to Vienna also meant I got to go to my favorite tea shop, the Coffee Caboodle and pick up a couple of new teas. I got some China Young Hyson green tea (which I’ve never tried before) and China White Mutan as well. I’m especially stoked about the new white tea, since I’ve only had Sow Mee and Silver Needle. My first cup of this $40/pound gem (I only got 1/4 pound, don’t worry) was, for lack of a better term, exquisite.

When I got home a few hours later, I was going to cook something up for dinner but felt lazy. Unfortunately, all the restaurants in my town were closed by 7pm, so I made a trip to the supermarket and tried out “Curried Tempeh and Rice” from Simply Vegan. Total preparation and cooking time was about 25 minutes and the end result was a chewy, flavorful (but not overpowering) blend of organic tempeh chunks and frozen peas stir-fried in olive oil, onion, tamari, curry powder, garlic powder, and freshly grated black pepper served over basmati rice.

Now that you know my full dining habits for the day… :)

I’ve also been experimenting a bit more, especially with pasta dishes. In the past week, I’ve had two improvised dishes making use of orzo, freshly grated Pecorino cheese, garlic (lots of garlic!), and various herbs and spices. One recipe was good enough that I submitted it to VegetarianRecipe.com. If it’s accepted, I’ll link up to it. Otherwise, I’ll post it here in a few days.

The vegetarian that really wasn’t

One of the blogs on my daily reading list (I forget which) linked up to this edition of “This American Life” about people who perpetrate hoaxes so deeply that they end up believing the lies themselves. Of particular interest is the story of one guy who claims to be vegetarian to impress friends. Very strange.