Chewing Out the Food Industry

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Chewing Out the Food Industry

“Altoids has a $10-million-a-year advertising budget. That’s five times what the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation spend to encourage consumers to eat five fruits and vegetables a day.”

A must-read. (via Ev)

Orthorexia nervosa

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Eating Healthy Can Make You Sick

This excellent article discusses the newly-coined eating disorder of “orthorexia nervosa,” an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. This is one of those traps that I hope never to fall into. In my own opinion, if you go beyond veganism (into raw foodism, fruitarianism, etc.) then you’re a likely candidate for orthoexia nervosa. To me, a complex, varied diet that I enjoy is the most important. As a vegetarian I don’t feel like I’m limiting myself or becoming obsessive about the “little things” (like cooking out small bits of nutrients from veggies by stir-frying them for a few minutes). My goal is to always enjoy what I’m eating while remaining aware (but not obsessing over) the positive or negative health ramifications of the food.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat a bag of Double Stuf Oreos and a block of organic tofu.

Vegetarian Chorizo (Chourico)

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Last month, I mentioned a recipe for Portuguese Chouriço and Kale Soup that sounded very tasty and quite simple. Of course since chourico (chorizo) is sausage, it’s not exactly vegetarian fare. I wondered, out loud, how I could duplicate this recipe’s flavors without using the meat. I got some great responses. Ann mentioned Soyrizo, a soy-based version of chorizo by El Burrito Mexican Foods. I put in a special order with a health food store and am waiting for it to come in. Jen mentioned TVP, which I’ve never tried, but I picked some up over the weekend. CompassRose mentioned that Bryanna Clark Grogan over at VegSource might be able to help.

Well, lo and behold, Bryanna is now offering up a bunch of vegetarian chorizo recipes, including Portuguese Chouriço! I’d like to think she stumbled upon the Veg Blog and was inspired, but I’d be flattering myself. I’m content with chalking it up to a happy coincidence.

The recipes look very doable and the original recipe from the Food Network was simple enough that this little bit of added work is no big deal. I can’t wait to try it out.

Creamy Chickpea Soup

After having tried a few recipes from The Voluptuous Vegan (a gift from Alex), I can definitely say that the book’s recipes are among the most unique I’ve tried. However, I can also say that it’s not a book to go to when you get home at 8pm wondering what to cook for dinner. The dishes are time consuming, but the results are very much worth it.

Last night I made the Creamy Chickpea Soup with Moroccan Spice Oil. The soup itself was pretty straightforward, though it took a couple hours to cook (like most good soups). Chickpeas are a pretty mellow ingredient, but they worked well in this particular dish. The key was the spice oil. It’s made by toasting whole cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds, then grinding them with ground cinnamon, ginger, and red pepper flakes. The spices are then transferred into a skillet with a 1/4 cup of olive oil and cooked until the oil is heated through. The mixture is then strained through cheese cloth (I used a spice bag) and the remaining dark brown oil can then be saved for a month in a tightly sealed jar. Just a bit of this oil is added to the soup just before serving and really adds a lot of strong flavors to the soup.

Though I can’t post the recipe here, I will point you to this hard to read page (a cache of the Vegetarian Times article that posted these recipes) that has the recipe for both the soup and the oil. Start with the phrase “This soup is a centerpiece unto itself…” and go through the phrase “… and store in tightly closed jar.”