Around the World in 80 Bites – Bite 2

Leave a comment Standard

Pohutukawa honey

Bite 2 stays in New Zealand for this buttery little number. Pohutukawa is sourced from the tree of the same name. Though it does not have the same prestige as its more famous honey relative, manuka, it is still a honey of note.

Manuka honey is touted as having health benefits due to the presence of MG or Methylglyoxal. MG has antibacterial properties and the amount of it is measured through the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). The higher the UMF, the greater concentration of MG, thus giving the honey stronger antibacterial action.
Manuka Honey Benefits

Honey in general, however, is considered to have healing properties. Even the ancient Egyptians¹ reportedly recognized the medicinal properties of this nectar. Honey is considered to be antibacterial and antiseptic. It has been used to dress wounds (likely not the same stuff you have in your cupboard!) and comprises one of the ingredients for soothing a sore throat i.e. lemon and honey in hot water. Add a little ginger and you’ve just added an anti-inflammatory component to the mix. My favourite drink when I’m feeling under the weather or I’m just simply tired of drinking plain water.

Pohutukawa is a sort of pale yellow colour and is described as having a “butterscotch” flavour. I first tried this honey in Wellington, New Zealand. I ordered the pohutukawa ice cream (delicious!) and have been a fan ever since. Every year around Christmas time, I treat myself to a jar of this stuff. It is good slathered on toast, drizzled on plain yogurt or simply eaten from the jar. Not overly sugary but still sweet, pohutukawa honey is an ideal way to satisfy a sweet tooth without having to eat too much. A teaspoon tablespoon will suffice.

The Pohutukawa is considered New Zealand’s Christmas tree as it blooms crimson in December during New Zealand’s summer.

Related
Pure New Zealand Honey – Native Floral Honeys
The 12 Days of Christmas: The Pohutukawa
¹Medical News Today article: What are the health benefits of honey?

Meatless Monday – The Problem with Being Vegan

Leave a comment Standard

I just saw a promo on the Food Network for a t.v. show entitled “The Worst Cooks in America”

The scene
Cooks and celebrity chefs sit in a circle, à la Alcoholics Anonymous meeting style, and a guy says in relation to how bad his cooking was “…it made everyone turn vegan…including the dog.”

Vegetarians often get the short end of the stick, vegans even more so, when it comes to socializing and food. Vegetarians fare better when it comes to public places of dining though. Most restaurants/cafés tend to have at least one item on the menu that is designated vegetarian and for the lacto-ovo peeps, there are a number of dishes made with dairy, eggs and vegetables and nary a piece of meat or gelatin in sight. However, following a vegan diet and eating communally in mixed company is a lot more challenging. This Meatless Monday post is an editorial on the problem with being vegan.

Part of the joy of food is being able to share it with others, either from a communal plate or the experience of mutually savouring a delectable dish. Vegans are often left on the sidelines of the snack table at a party much like a wallflower at the school dance. They often pack their own meal when invited to dinner parties and bring along some groceries to events where food is being offered freely to the guests.

There are positives too of course:

  • health benefits associated with a plant-based diet
  • creative cuisine (who knew cashews and chickpea brine could do so many amazing things!)
  • less environmental impact

Food is social and meant to be enjoyed with others; but the best plates of food are those that everyone can eat with gusto regardless of the vegan label.

Related
What if we all became vegetarians? on the Care2 site
Meatless Monday – Veganism & Travel: It’s Complicated

GMOs Have Got to Go!

Comments 2 Standard

It’s that time of year again when sadly there is still a need to March Against Monsanto.

Website: March Against Monsanto

Monsanto, or ‘Monster’santo, is a powerful corporate entity implicated in the disappearance of honey bees, a contaminated food supply and environmental upheaval. Though the March today is aimed at this particular company, there are other issues connected to Monsanto that have implications for food safety. Click on the following items for more information:

seed sovereignty, fair trade, GMOs, glyphosate, neonicotinoids

Related
Posts on Weal Food where the monstrous Monsanto name is mentioned.

Around the World in 80 Bites – Bite 1

Leave a comment Standard

Those would be vegetarian/vegan bites! Brace yourself for a whirlwind of posts where I indulge myself by posting about some of my favourite global foods.

Bite 1: New Zealand

This South Pacific nation is comprised of 3 islands, easily grown produce and a crop of renowned chefs. Due to its relative isolation and rich soil, it is an ideal breeding ground for innovation and self-sufficiency. Check out Bite for recipes, tips and salivatory pics from some of New Zealand’s finest.

http://www.bite.co.nz/our-people/?page=3

Related

https://wealfood.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/meatless-monday-land-of-the-long-white-meringue-cloud/

Meatless Monday – Holiday Mode

Leave a comment Standard

Today is Victoria Day in Canada, a national holiday. The long weekend it creates also marks the beginning of what one hopes will be a long season of warm weather, weekend getaways and a generous supply of fresh local produce. Today’s Meatless Monday I’m in holiday mode so have chosen to list a few meatless links for your perusal. The first 2 are related to previous posts on Victoria Day and the British empire while the third is about National Vegetarian Week (May 18-24, 2015).

https://wealfood.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/meatless-monday-the-accidental-vegetarian/

https://wealfood.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/meatless-monday-commonwealth-day/

http://www.nationalvegetarianweek.org/#

Food, Food, Glorious Food!

Leave a comment Standard
IMG_5593

The staff of life: bread. Mural in Santa Clara, Cuba.
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014

IMG_5694

Food-related statue in Havana
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014

IMG_5369

Ubiquitous cake no doubt made with Cuban sugar.
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014

IMG_5481

Sugar cane
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014

These are just a sampling of some of the (many) photos I took while in Cuba last December.

I adore travel and I’ve noticed that a lot of my travel shots tend to involve food. So here I go again, creating another electronic portal for my passions: travel & food.

Instagram account:
Wanderlust & Flour Dust

Profile:
Vegetarian foodie adventures of a travelling baker.

Check me out if you’re connected:
https://instagram.com/

 

Meatless Monday – A Recipe for Kindness

Leave a comment Standard

Part 2 of Hot Diggity Docs presents a recipe inspired by the documentary film The Queen of Silence.

A music-driven documentary
about a deaf gypsy girl
falling in love with Bollywood

Retrieved May 11th, 2015 from: http://thequeenofsilence.com/

This entry into the Toronto documentary film festival chronicles the life and environment of a deaf girl living in a ‘gypsy’ camp in Poland. Though ‘gypsy’ is the popular term used to describe these people, it is considered derogatory. Roma or Romani are more appropriate names.

5 Intriguing Facts About the Roma from livescience

The Roma people are thought to have originated in northern India and interestingly enough, Denisa, the 10 year-old protagonist in this film, is a Roma girl inspired by the Bollywood DVDs she finds in the trash. By emulating the Bollywood starlets, Denisa is able to express herself through dance.

Meatless Monday takes this theme and goes to India for inspiration. The following recipe was adapted from the book The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry. Vegetarians can use paneer instead of tofu if they wish.

saag = spinach
paneer = cheese

Saag and Cubed Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 250 gram or half package of tofu, sliced into cubes
  • 1 bag of spinach, chopped into bit-size pieces
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • a couple of Tablespoons of grapeseed oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • half a small chile, minced and de-seeded
  • 1 teaspoon each of curry powder and garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, divided into 2 X ½ quantities
  • ¼ teaspoon each of ground turmeric, turmeric powder, fenugreek powder and coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Mix ½ teaspoon of cumin and all of the turmeric, mustard and fenugreek with some oil (about ½ Tablespoon). Toss tofu in mixture to coat; sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt. Bake in a preheated 350ºF for 30 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, turn tofu gently. Set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a pan; add chopped onion and cook 1-2 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add chile, ginger, coriander, ½ teaspoon cumin, black pepper, curry, garam masala and a sprinkling of salt; stir to combine.
  4. Add spinach. Cook until the leaves wilt, about a few minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Mixture should get creamy.
  6. Add tofu and mix gently. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related:

How to Make Paneer Cheese from the kitchn
Paneer Recipes from Veg Recipes of India
Hot Diggity Doc from Weal Food