I will be playing a show Tuesday, Novermeber 19th at Toast: Ultra Lounge and Bistro @6pm. Come by and join in on the free wine tasting that will be taking place. coastalnoise.com/musicdates
The last couple days I've been debating back and forth about what kind of article I'd like to put out. I've got a list of growing topics and I have let several days go by doing light research on different ones and pondering them over, waiting for one in particular to really spark my interest and get me to sit down to start writing. Of course, I know the burden largely falls on me, and I can't wait around for inspiration to strike much more. As of lately, I've been considering putting an emphasis back into eating vegetarian "based" diets. I say, "'based", in quotes because I believe some leaner meats are easier on the body in the long and short terms, so I will not omit them completely. Going off of my feelings at the time, I reserved a vegetarian cookbook from the library in the mix of some other reads I had selected for the next couple weeks.
Once I had spent some time looking through my new book, I started thinking about a diet that still implemented meat and turned my attention to the Paleo Diet, which has become popular in the last few years. This diet, suggests eating a diet that is similar to how our Paleolithic ancestors ate for tens of thousands of years before man began his agricultural endeavors, which, according to Paleo proponents, has totally screwed us. Evolutionarly speaking, our bodies are geared toward certain types of food (meats, nuts, seeds, vegetables, greens, and fruits) for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. Foods such as breads, wheats, legumes, diary, and rice my go down easily for most, but the argument is that our body does not take as much from these foods because of counter active anti-nutrient properties that put our digestive system on the defense, among other reasons.
A picked up and read Robb Wolf's, "The Paleo Solution" and found the information interesting and compelling. I had begun planning my shift to the Paleo diet for a personal experiment of one month's time. However, I thought it might be best to do some additional research to see what others have written in regards to a vegetarian or vegan diet up against the caveman diet. So I dove in the internet to research and take notes on what was being studied and discussed.
That's when things started to get hairy.
I knew that the different camps greatly opposed one another and all sides argue different reasons and cases for why their way is the best optimal diet for humans, but the more I searched, the more I saw how complex the science could get. It's like listening to an atheist and a bible salesman having a spiritual debate when all you want is to have a nice Sunday picnic on the grassy knoll. Yes, there was random Kennedy reference in there.
My plan was to write about my findings and perhaps discuss my plan for a Paleo switch, but the rabbit hole seems to go so deep that I cannot possibly put my findings down and be satisfied with what my output would be. I would feel like I had left something out, missed important case studies for one side or the other, say something incorrect about a particular diet, or generally just not have all the facts together. Until I can get more information in a way that seems to make a better complete puzzle, I will hold off on my Paleo breakdown. In the meantime, I've already found my local Grass Feed Farm which I plan on ordering my grain free meat from, should I choose to make the commitment.
All of this still left me with another big problem. I didn't have anything to write about! So I reflected back to my vegetarian cookbook. I'm not gonna lie, I made two dishes from it and they were both bomb. The first, a mushroom soup, complete with leeks, onions, cream, and plenty of vegetable broth and thyme. Throw in the baked French bread and I had a solid meal on my hands. The second was even better, and this is what I've decided to put down for tonight. It's not Paleo, but it IS damn good and pretty easy to make. Just make sure the kidney beans you get don't have chili sauce in them because it will make the dish more liquidy. I make this warning because...well, I bought kidney beans with chili sauce in them. If I don't make one shopping mistake when I go to the grocery store, then I'm probably somebody else.
Taken from: "Vegetarian: The Best-Ever Recipe Collection" by Linda Fraser
Sweet and Sour Mixed Bean Pot
About 4 potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups tomato sauce
2/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/4 cup each light brown sugar, ketchup, dry sherry,
cider vinegar and light soy sauce
14 ounce can lima beans
14 ounce can kidney beans
14 ounce can of chickpeas
6 ounce green beans, chopped and blanched
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh thyme and marjoram
salt and freshly ground black peppers
fresh herbs, to garnish
1. Thinly slice the potatoes and boil for 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes thoroughly, toss them in the olive oil so they are lightly coated all over and set aside.
2. Place the butter, flour, tomato sauce, sherry, vinegar, and soy sauce in a saucepan. Heat gently, whisking constantly, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Simmer gently for 3 minutes, stirring.
3. Rinse and drain the beans and chickpeas and add to the sauce with all the remaining ingredients except the herb garnish. Mix Well.
4. Preheat the oven for 400F.
5. Spoon the bean mixture into a casserole.
6. Arrange the potatoes slices over the top of the casserole, overlapping them slightly and completely covering the bean mixture.
7. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked and tender. Remove the foil and cook another 20 minutes to lightly brown the potatoes. Serve garnished with fresh herb sprigs.