Fava Beans are the window to the soul

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Fava Beans are scary… the first thing I thought when I saw them was “roaches.” And when you put two of them next to each other, they look like E.T.’s eyes. But, truth be told, they’re actually good. They’re not overly squishy or especially strong tasting, like some other beans. They’re pretty mellow and have a nice consistency.

So, we tried “Fava Bean Delight” from Simply Vegan the other night. It was a really simple dish, and was hearty enough as a meal, served over rice. It starts with a chopped small onion sauteed in olive oil. When the onion’s transparent, the fava beans, chopped tomato, cumin, black pepper, and lemon juice are thrown in for another 10 minutes over medium heat. The lemon juice adds a nice tang to what otherwise might be a starchy-feeling dish.

The 4am applesauce cake

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I cook 4-5 times a week, but I haven’t gotten into baking. The last time I tried was about a year-and-a-half ago when I made the most pathetic brownies you ever saw. They were about 1/4″ thick.

But I’m giving it another shot. Now that my kitchen skills are slowly improving, I’m baking an Applesauce Cake. I’m deveganfied it, though, by greasing the pan with butter and by using refined white sugar rather than organic sugar.

I have my fingers crossed, but feel confident that this cake will turn out significantly better than my brownies.

USDA Proposal for Meat Labeling Draws Criticism

USDA Proposal for Meat Labeling Draws Criticism

This is disturbing. The USDA wants to get rid of mandatory nutrional labeling on meat, allowing posters and brochures to take their place. Their reasoning? “Because there are more than 3,300 cuts of beef alone (when you differentiate among products of different grades and trim levels) sold at retail, it would be extremely difficult to label each product from every species with nutrition information.” Oh, boo-friggin-hoo.

Just more proof that the USDA does not have the American public’s interest at heart (want more?).

Vegetarian soap

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Something I hadn’t even really thought about was brought to my attention recently: soap. For some reason, I had totally forgotten that soap is made from animal by-products (tallow)… that kind of bugged me out that something like soap, which can be made almost as easily without any tallow, is concern for vegetarians. Leather is one thing because it’s obvious that it’s from an animal source, but soap?

So today I went out and picked up a couple bars of soap not made from an animal source. One is Kiss My Face brand Olive and Aloe soap (Kiss My Face can be found easily in most stores, as they make a lot of hand and face lotions) and a bar of Clearly Natural Cucumber soap. We’ll see how it works… so long, Irish Spring!

Pasta, peas, and garlic soup

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Tried an interesting dish the other night, a garlic broth from Moosewood Cooks at Home with pasta and frozen peas thrown in, topped with freshly grated parmesan:

Garlic Soup

I was very pleased with how good the broth tasted. The pasta and the peas added a nice, hearty nature to the dish. Next time, I may throw a few saffron threads in the broth for good measure.

One thing I learned: 6 cups of soup is a lot. I had no idea it would feed the two of us for a week. :)