Friday, October 14, 2011

Explanation for My Pledge to be Vegan


Foodie Fish

Many of you may be wondering, is the food buzz just a phase? You may have noticed in your childhood, your mother probably had phases where she would make the most amazing cuisine for dinner for a week, and then go back to “peas and mashed potatoes again?” For me, this is not a face. Food is my life. Some people eat to live, well I live to eat. When I eat, I always try to make it an event. I am like Remmy from Ratatouille, sometimes I get tired of taking and just want to make! Which is why it broke my heart when I have recently lost my ardor for cooking. I also started running out of time to cook, sophomore year and all.

Recently, I have not felt quite like myself. I have been finishing jars of peanut butter at a time instead of making something gourmet. I have also been to forcing myself to eat meat, just because I felt peer pressured. Actually, I have never been the BIGGEST fan of meat. I love lamb, in certain applications, but in general I just tell people I love meat. When I was little, I ate nothing but eggs and tofu every night as my protein. However, back then, I got made fun of for that and thought I did not even like tofu for a while. I needed a change. I have been craving soooo much chocolate, nuts, and seeds lately. I have not craved any non-plant sourced protein. Weird? I know.

I realized I needed a juristic change. I wanted dream about the next meal I would create. So for a variety of reasons, I was easily talked into taking Peta’s 30-day vegan pledge from a friend of my (he happens to be a blonde guy with dreadlocks).

Surprisingly, this change to veganism has made me incredibly happy. I am probably the fattest vegan in history, since I use it partially as an excuse to eat as many vegan desserts as possible. I have been stuffing my face with the most delicious vegan peanut butter cookie dough, matcha cupcakes, and a whole lot of other sweet vegan concoctions. My friends were surprised, but I have been vegan for a week and do not feel at all restricted and deprived. Conveniently, it is extremely easy to be vegan in Princeton with Whole Earth center and the underground Spice and Souk market.

My favorite part of the transition, I’m back baby! The constant need to cook and create is back. I love vegan cupcakes to death, and a friend of mine gave me the most awesome recipe for green tea cupcakes that are so moist and flavorful, I accidently ate the wrapper when licking it. Vegan cupcakes have to work twice as hard to be delicious. What I love most is how every ingredient contributes to the flavor. For an apple cake, you would use apple sauce rather than butter, which just gives it so much more tart, apple flavor.

I have tried a vegan burger, a vegan ‘meatball’ sub, and of course many pastries. I have really gotten into cooking vegan. You have to be so much more creative, and there is no meat or dairy to fall back on. Meat is an easy crowd pleaser, but I plan on challenging myself by making extremely desirable vegan dishes.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kelsey's Banana Bread


Foodie Fish

Sorry it’s been so long since my last recipe! Who likes bananas? My close friend Kelsey is absolutely obsessed with them. She especially loves them adding both for flavor and moisture in banana bread! So I decided to invite her and some of my other friends over to make some. This banana bread recipe is the most moist you’ll ever get. The secret? Sour cream. Trust me on this one.


2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 stick of butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons sour cream

4-6 bananas, mashed

semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

· Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

· Sift the flour, baking soda and powder

· Cream the butter with the salt and sugar

· Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream to the mixture

· Then add the dry, sifted ingredients

· After the mixture is a smooth consistency, stir in the desired amount of chocolate chips

· Place the mixture in a bread pan and bake for 1 hour

What really did it for me is adding semi-sweet chocolate chips. We use a delicious organic high-end chocolate chip from Princeton’s Whole Earth Center.

The Restaurant Week Series Part V: Le Perigord

The first impression La Perigord gives is that it is a truly authentic French restaurant. The captain is very friendly and seems happy to seat you. He asks you about your evening in a thick French accent while handing you the menu and demanding the rest of the wait staff to bring out freshly picked flowers he is sure to keep the place operating smoothly. The fresh bread brought to the table was obviously straight out of the oven. The smell of baguette filled the air, and the fine French baguette was so warm steam came out when tearing a piece off to devour it. No butter required for this bread. Le Perigord makes an excellent first impression.

Paté du chef is a good start at a French restaurant. This chef happens to have a very good selection of spices in his paté. It came with ratatouille, a French stew, but it was very light and was certainly fit for those above the level of a peasant. The vegetable tart seemed more like a frittata with all due respects to the French. It was, however, delicious and had a flaky, buttery crust. This delicious slice of tart came with a tangy butter sauce. Some good advice for those planning on visiting this restaurant: after finishing the tart, ask for more baguette and soak up the remainder of the butter sauce with the bread. It is truly an out-of-this-world experience.

Incredible sauces was evident in the food during the main course as well. A bed of tiny scallops was covered in a red sauce, which must have been roasted tomatoes or something. The mustard sauce served with veal kidney was also worthy of being slurped with a spoon.