Friday, May 27, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-White Bean and Sage Patties

White Bean and Sage Patties
Vegan; Serves 6 to 8; Makes 12 patties

So, this is perfect for the Memorial Day Weekend! Serve this with a Fire Roasted Tomato-Chipotle sauce (the recipe will follow) for a nice kick....

1 19-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed (reserve 2 Tbsp. liquid)
1/2 shallot, finely diced (I used 2 small green onions)
1 small carrot, finely grated
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage (I used dried sage)
Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Drain beans, reserving 2 Tbs. of liquid. Transfer to a bowl and mash. Stir in shallot, carrot, cornmeal, and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 Tbsp. of reserved liquid. If mixture is dry, add the other.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. oil. Form mixture into 12 patties (about 2 1/2 inches diameter each) and saute in batches until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil and patties. Season patties with salt and serve.

Per Serving: 214 cal.; 10 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat); 0 mg. chol.; 26 grams carbs.; 103 mg. sod.; 7 grams prot.; 5 grams fiber

Found: Whole Living June 2011

Fire Roasted Tomato-Chipotle Sauce (Super Easy!)

1 15-oz. can crushed fire roasted-tomatoes
1 chipotle pepper
2 cloves of garlic

1. Combine fire roasted-tomatoes, chipotle peppers and garlic in a food processor until coarse puree forms.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May's Monthly Meeting Topic

Yes, it's that time again. On Tuesday evening, we meet in the classroom in the Whole Foods Market in the Quarry at 7. This month's presentation will be by Kerry Davis of Air Check of Texas. One of the most efficient central HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems one can install are mini-split heat pump systems. Unlike conventional central systems, mini-split systems can be installed without air ducts and therefore avoid the problems that often beset ducts.

Air Check is a dealer and installer of the Daikin line of mini-split HVAC systems for residential and commercial applications. With the number of different manufacturers and system types to choose from, it's wise to learn the different advantages and disadvantages of each system when considering comfort, cost, and durability. Kerry brings years of expertise to our monthly meeting, and there will be no better time for you to find out everything you ever wanted to know about mini-split systems, why they are favored around the world, and why they are just now coming into favor in the US. For more information on Air Check of Texas, please visit their webpage.

Hope to see you at Whole Foods at 7pm on Tuesday evening.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-Quick-Braised Broccoli w/Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

Quick-Braised Broccoli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Ingredient List

Serves 6

•2 Tbs. pine nuts
•1 1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil
•2 large heads broccoli (1 lb.), cut into small florets
•1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (2 oz.)
•1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
•2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar


1. Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to large bowl.

2. Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, and cook 2 minutes, or until florets are evenly coated with oil and beginning to soften and brown, stirring constantly. Carefully add 1/3 cup water; cover tightly with lid. Steam broccoli 4 minutes, or until water has evaporated and broccoli is tender.

3. Transfer broccoli to bowl with toasted pine nuts, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle goat cheese over broccoli, and stir in sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle vinegar over top, and serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Per 1 1/4-cup serving: Calories: 115, Protein: 5g, Total fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbs: 7g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 74mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: g

Found: Vegetarian Times

Monday, May 16, 2011

To eat or not to eat? Pangasius aka Basa, Basa Catfish, Bocourti Catfish, Helicophagus hypophthalmus, Mekong Catfish, Pangas Catfish, Pangasius bocourti, Pangasius hypophthalmus, Pangasius pangasius, Pangasius Sutchi, River Catfish, River Catfish, Royal Basa, Silver Striped Catfish, Striped Catfish, Sutchi catfish, Swai, Tra or White Roughy

Is it sustainable to eat Pangasius?  It is a complicated subject.  If  you google "Pangasius" as of today (5/18/2011) the first result is entitled "Don't Eat this Fish".

This page from 1/30/2008 contains a transcription of a French 18 minute documentary that is more than damning of the Vietnamese farm raised river catfish.  Frozen in contaminated water, teeming with high levels of poison, and fed dead fish remains are among the statements which seem to settle the matter.

Qu'est ce qu'un Panga ? by sudotone

On the other hand QVD Seafood's video "QVD From the Mekong to the World" argues that their Mekong Delta pangasius  is not only environmentally sustainable but a "pillar of culture".  They tout their Vietnamese factory's certification by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Seafood Inspection Program (often refered to as USDC inspection for the NOAA's parent department the US Department of Commerce).

A Deutche Welle piece from 2009 "GLOBAL 3000 A Fish Named Pangasiusis" paints a somewhat mixed picture by including accusations by an Alabama catfish farmer that the fish contain substances banned in the USA, while also interviewing an employee of German firm "Deutche See".  Deutche Welle says the fish is subject to strict controls on residues.  The spokesman for the company says that they are buying organic Pangasius from one of two producers in the delta.

For me a partial answer is found in the report by Seafood Watch, a program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  They label Pangasius as a "good alternative", not a "best choice" in their report last updated 12/07/2007.  They point out that since Pangasius is native to the Mekong Delta it does no harm when farmed Pangasius escape into the wild.  This is a major point in its favor since transfer of invasive species through aquaculture is a major problem.

Seafood Watch considers the rish of transfering diseases from the farm raised Pangasius to the wild stock to be moderate since there is no reason to believe that it will not happen. Aquaculture can produce a great deal of polution, but the scientists at Seafood Watch concluded that the risk from polution to the Mekong Delta is only moderate.

"Siting and locations for cage production in the Mekong River Delta is relatively benign. The environment in this region is already highly degraded from non-aquaculture sources, and the area is heavily used by a large human population. Additionally, large-scale cage aquaculture serves a dual purpose when combined with housing, which is built above submerged aquaculture cages (Phillips 2002). This method may aid in reducing impacts on land from development."

They note that what regulation of polution comes from import regulations of other countries rather than from the government of Vietnam.  For that reason they state that the management regime is ineffective.

Perhaps things have improved in the Delta since 2007 on the otherhand things might have gone downhill with the economic downturn.

In any case, American farm raised catfish is still considered a better choice but especially if you can confirm the conditions under which your Pangasius were raised you have a choice that is much more sustainable that most other fish you can purchase.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-Potato and Cauliflower Burritos

Potato and Cauliflower Burritos
30 minutes or fewer; Vegetarian or Vegan

Since Cauliflower is still in season, here is a recipe to try that hits the yum factor!

1 15-oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tsp. canola oil
1 small onion, halved and sliced (1 cup)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups small cauliflower florets
1 medium Yukon gold or russet potato (I used 2-3 small red potatoes since I can find them local), cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro
4 8-inch flour or whole-wheat tortillas, warmed
1 cup cooked brown rice, warmed
1 cup grated vegan Monterey jack cheese

1. Pulse tomatoes, chipotle chile, and garlic in food processor until coarse puree forms.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and oregano; saute 2 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, potato, and tomato mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover, and simmer 5 minutes more, or until cauliflower and potatoes are tender. Stir in cilantro.

3. Divide cauliflower mixture among tortillas, top with rice, and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up tortillas, leaving one end open.

Per burrito: 366 cal.; 10 grams prot.; 12 grams fat (<1 gram sat. fat); 55 grams carbs.; 0 mg chol.; 491 mg sod.; 7 gram fiber; 7 grams sugar

Found: Vegetarian Times June 2011

Vegan Black Metal Chef episode 1 Pad Thai

If the tasty Meatless Monday recipes haven't inspired you to go veg, perhaps this will.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-Grilled Portobello Tacos w/ Salsa Verde

Grilled Portobello Tacos with Salsa Verde
Ingredient List
Vegan; Serves 6

•1/3 cup canola oil
•3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
•1 tsp. black pepper

•6 large portobello mushroom caps
•6 6-inch soft corn tortillas
•2 avocados, sliced
•2 cups chopped tomatoes
•3 cups shredded cabbage
•Vegan sour cream, optional

Salsa Verde
•4 tomatillos, chopped (or 1 cup canned)
•1 large green bell pepper or poblano chile, roughly chopped
•1 large bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only
•1 medium onion, chopped
•3 cloves garlic
•3 tsp. organic sugar or agave nectar
•1 1/4 tsp. canola oil
•1 tsp. pepper
•1/2 tsp. salt


1. Preheat grill or grill pan to high heat. To make Marinade: combine all ingredients in small bowl.

To make Tacos:

2. Brush mushroom caps with marinade. Grill mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes per side. Cool until easy to handle, then slice into strips.

To make Salsa Verde:

3. Purée all ingredients in food processor 1 minute, or until smooth. Pour salsa over mushroom strips, and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Lightly warm tortillas 15 seconds per side in skillet or on griddle. Fill tortillas with sliced mushrooms, avocado slices, tomatoes, and cabbage. Top each taco with sour cream, if using.

Nutritional Information

Per taco: Calories: 278, Protein: 6g, Total fat: 15g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbs: 35g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 257mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugars: 12g

Found: Vegetarian Times April 2010

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Strangest Advertising for a water saving toilet you will ever see: Numi by Kohler

I'm quite comfortable talking about toilets.  Talking about Joseph Jenkins and humanure doesn't phase me.  I have talked plenty about our Toto with its soft close seat.  I've even investigated the after market bidet converters like the Tushy Clean that turn an ordinary commode into a bidet.  I am perfectly willing to advocate for the toilet tank sink.

But, the advertising for the $6,000 Numi toilet from Kohler suggests that the fashionable elite will install them in their glass walled high rise living rooms. I suppose that when the fashionable couple is in need they will just drop trousers and get down to the necessaries without having to miss their view of the city.  Even for me, that is just too much.

Follow the link.  If they haven't removed it yet you'll find the pictures to which I refer under the "home" tab.   I'm sure they will have to take it down some day so if you are reading this in 2012 try this link to a design blog.