Monday, February 8, 2010

My name rhymes with Vegan.

I was talking to my husband's cousin today; I guess by extension my cousin, and was telling her I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. She is a vegan, so she asked me if I had ever thought I should go vegan? I gave her two answers.
 "The short answer to have I ever thought about it?: A lot of the meals I make for me lean towards vegan, but because of my name I could never have become one. The long: For me personally I try to eat a balanced healthy diet. Sometimes that includes dairy and eggs and bottom feeders (seafood). It was the diet that I developed for myself when I was 16 and it just kinda works for me. I know most of the arguments pro and cons and I have never been truly convinced that veganism is for me. I am a strong believer in the environment (as Jeff and I learn more we have even gotten a bit hippyish), animal rights, nutrition and local food. Even though Jeff and the babies eat meat, I make sure it is hormone and antibiotic free, as well as knowing the source and farm. I drive restaurants crazy because in this day and age I expect them to know where IT comes from. If they don't I don't order it. So that is part of the long answer. I know by definition this does not make me a vegetarian, that is usually why I say a mostly veg diet"
Here is a vegan recipe for my cousin.

Mark Bittman's Simplest Dal, with Celery Root
 from "How to Everything Vegetarian" 
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, washed and picked through
  • 2 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 cardamon pods (yes they made a huge difference)
  • 2 cloves (also made a difference)
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds (I used dark)
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • roughly 1 1/2 cups peeled and 1/2" cubed celery root
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (optional)
  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish.
  • lime wedge

Put all the ingredients up until salt (salt goes in when done),  in a sauce pan large enough to hold everything plus water to cover by an inch and a half. Simmer until Dal is soft about 30 minutes. Add salt and oil when done and check seasoning.

I serve it over cumin flavoured basmati rice, a hefty squeezed of lime juice and garnished with chopped cilantro leaves.

photos by me with help from my assistants, Billie & Elijah.


  1. Red lentils..umm love them ...they are full of protein and a very good source of iron...I cook it bit differently but this is one of my favorite ingredients. Thanks for the post...

  2. we're a fan of lentils in this household because of the versatility!



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