Archive for Food

Indian Food

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 06/04/2012 by arabrhizome

Since I became vegan a few months ago, Indian food has been a big part of my diet. The reason for that is quite simple, indian food is filled with vegan options. Whenever I’m out at a friend’s house ordering take away, or we want to go out for dinner, I go for indian food. This makes everything simple, as I am sure of finding at least one, if not more, vegan options. However, I haven’t been cooking indian that much. I mainly just cook some Daal, or Dahl, because it’s easy and it’s very close to a Lebanese dish I’m used to cooking.

Lately I’ve been trying to make my own though. Ordering take away can be very expensive. Cooking at home is always cheeper. So I’ve been experimenting with indian cooking. I’m still not very happy with the results. I don’t know why but I can’t seem to get the spice mix right. It’s not so much the heat that’s the problem but the flavour. I tend to end up with either too little flavour, or too much of a given spice. I’m still playing around and will hopefully get to a happy medium. My goal is to incorporate some vegetable meats in my cooking.

I have a bit of a project to make some good Seitan (in its mock chicken form) tikka masala. Getting the Seitan to be tikkaish enough is the first obstacle. I’ve been looking for recipes but can’t seem to find any nice ones. I think it’s going to take a bit of ingenuity on my part to get it done. The masala part is the second obstacle, though a much simpler one to overcome. Replacing the yogurt is the main issue. I’ve tried soy yogurt but it just doesn’t work as well. I’m thinking of using some coconut milk. It might give it a different consistency though.

All in all I’ve been happy to have a new form of cuisine to play with. I’m still very far from getting it right and would love any advice/experiences from any of my readers. I also have to admit that I’m still not very knowledgeable about indian cuisine. I know a few dishes but I’m not sure I can differentiate all the different flavours and recognise the richness of that very interesting and diverse cuisine. Anyway, that was me trying to get back to blogging slightly normally. Hopefully this will continue. Stay tuned. Hope you’re all doing well. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Weird Cheese

Posted in about the blog, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 18/03/2012 by arabrhizome

So today I went to buy some groceries. Unfortunately the only open place was the tesco. I try to avoid going there but I had no food at home so didn’t really have a choice. Anyway, they have a new range of vegan products. I decided to give their vegan cheddar cheese a go. I thought I’d make some nachos with it. They turned out very nice. The cheese is very strange. It’s certainly the best vegan cheese i’ve had. It’s not bad at all but it’s slightly sweet. It’s just an adjustment for me I think. It melted very well, which is a common problem for vegan cheeses. All in all it was a good experience. I will definitely play around with it and see if it can be used for other stuff. It’s a weird taste that I’m not used to, so I’m not sure how it will work with other ingredients. Anyway, that’s it from me. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Day Four In Algeria

Posted in about the blog, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 12/01/2012 by arabrhizome

Day four involved a lot more bureaucracy and a lot more bad food. It’s not that the food is bad, it’s just that it isn’t vegan and it’s starting to take a toll on me. I’m feeling lethargic, bloated, and uncomfortable. I really can’t wait to go back home and eat right. I tried to remain vegan, but it’s simply impossible here. As my dad and I go out for all our meals, I can only order from what’s there. Because meat is a status symbol here, restaurants don’t offer options without some kind of meat, not to look high class. It’s really frustrating. It used to be the thing I looked forward to, all the meat I could eat, now it’s what I resent about coming here. Anyway, must go and eat some more bad food. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Going to Algeria

Posted in about the blog, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 02/01/2012 by arabrhizome

So I’m leaving for Algeria in about a week. I’ve bought my tickets today. It’s going to be an 8 days trip. I usually go for about 2-3 days, because it’s easier. Going for a week is going to be slightly boring. I’m leaving in order to do some paperwork. It’s all really boring. The one thing I’m most bothered about is the fact that I’m going to have trouble staying vegan there. Vegetables are easy enough to buy, it’s just that my dad’s kitchen facilities aren’t exactly great. I don’t know if I’ll be able to cook that much. I might have to resign myself to the fact that I will have to consume animal products while I’m there. Although I’m still going to try to eat properly. Anyway, back to work now. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Christmas/Winter Solstice Celebrations

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 25/12/2011 by arabrhizome

So I had a lovely christmas/winter solstice day. Spent most of it cooking, drinking and eating. I am in fact having some mince pies at the moment. I’m quite inebriated at the moment, drinking through the day does that to you. Even though I’ve had a lot of starchy stuff, the alcohol still managed to get through to my brain. My drunk drunk brain. I watched the Doctor Who christmas special. I’m not going to spoil it but it’s a weird one. It definitely doesn’t go where you think it will. I enjoyed it, but I’m not exactly objective. Anyway, must get back to the drinking now. Happy winter solstice or christmas depending on what you celebrate. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Being Vegan

Posted in Culture, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 22/12/2011 by arabrhizome

So I’ve been vegan for a few months now and I have to admit that I feel great. I have plenty of energy, I feel happy and healthy. I didn’t really write about why exactly I became vegan and what drove me to it. I didn’t really know what to blog about today and so thought I might as well write about why I became a vegan and why I think that it’s an important thing to do. Also, I thought I’d let you all know what it’s actually like being a vegan, especially in a country in which the food revolves around meat, eggs, and dairy.

So let’s start at the beginning. Why did I become a vegan? Well to be honest, I always knew that when I ate meat I was doing something that was morally wrong, but I rationalised it. I tried to say to myself, and to others, that we evolved to eat meat. That as a species we had a biological imperative to consume animal meat. Of course that’s total crap. I also tried to put all the information about slaughter houses and the disgusting practices there in the back of my mind. I tried to not think about it. And to be honest with you, it worked. It worked very well. I continued to consume animal products without ever thinking about it. Meat was in every meal I ate.

However, I was then exposed to this information, as well as new information, in a way that I simply couldn’t ignore anymore. In fact, it happened through listening to Citizen’s Radio and particularly Erin Red’s appearances on there. I Learned things, and relearned things, that made it impossible for me to consume animal products and not feel like a hypocrite for several reasons. As you know I think of myself as a good person and someone who tries to stad up to injustice where ever it is. However, I had somehow managed to convince myself that the violence done to animals, both in the meat and dairy industries, wasn’t an injustice.

I also discovered just how unhealthy it is to consume those products. I mean the amount of antibiotics pumped into animals who are then used to produce milk or slaughtered for meat is reason enough to stop consuming those products. But it’s also so much more than that. Something that’s quite common sensical for example, but that I somehow missed, is that in order for cows to produce milk they must be nursing. I mean it’s common sense. So in order for cows to keep producing milk we keep them in a constant state of pregnancy and nursing but we actually take the milk for ourselves. Now that’s inexcusable.

Anyway, once I was exposed to this and much more information I realised that I just couldn’t keep being part of these horrible practices and that I needed to do what I can, which is stop consuming those products. Most of my friends were very surprised, as they all knew me for being very much a carnivore. I also consumed incredible amounts of cheese. So I got off meat and dairy for a few months now, and I have to admit that I never felt this good in my life. My body feels clean and healthy, my sinus problem has all but disappeared, my intestinal issues are basically gone. I feel healthy. I also feel happy, and if I’m honest quite self righteous.

So how has it been. Well if I’m honest I was very surprised at how easy the whole process has been. I was always someone who cooks a lot, so all it took is for me to adapt my cooking to my new life style. I have to admit that the internet has been an incredible resource here. Because the vegan diet is usually represented as bland and unattractive, vegan cooks have been pressured into making interesting food. ┬áhave to admit that I have never eaten so much interesting and cool food since I became vegan. I have also started baking, which is something I have never really done before. Vegan baking is really good.

I also was very surprised by how vegan friendly Nottingham is as a city. Pretty much every restaurant in this city has at least one good vegan option. I was expecting it to be difficult here in the UK, which is known for it’s reliance on dairy and animal flesh in its food. However, it hasn’t been hard to find most of what I need. Apart from some knee jerk reactions to me saying I’m vegan, which I have to admit has made some people hate me more than anything I’ve ever said or done, it has been good. All in all I feel that I made the right decision and I haven’t looked back since. Anyway, that’s my story. I hope it didn’t make you hate me. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Work In Progress and Christmas Dinner

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Food, Friends, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , on 14/12/2011 by arabrhizome

So I had my work in progress today. I spent most of today finishing the paper I was going to present. In fact I woke up at 3 in the morning and basically worked through the day until my presentation at four. I believe that it went well. There was a nice fun conversation afterwards, at least for me. People also told me that they did enjoy the work and felt that I made some complex concepts and arguments accessible, which is the greatest compliment anyone can give me. It was fun to present, since I haven’t been teaching this year it was good to be able to speak in public. I forgot how much I enjoyed presenting my work.

After the Work in Progress we all went to this Lebanese/Moroccan restaurant for our department christmas dinner, which was really nice. I got to hang out with staff members I really like that I haven’t really got the chance to hang out with this year. It was good food and good company. The bill was very high but then it turned out that they had made a mistake in calculating it. So after a lot of drama we ended up paying and leaving. I’m glad I got out of my shell a bit. I’m going to try to do more of that after the christmas break. Anyway, I’m very tired and very sleepy. So stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.