The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.
-Mahatma Gandhi

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Raw Vegan Cornbread from Mimi Kirk's "Live Raw"

Raw Vegan CornBread from Mimi Kirk's 
Live Raw: Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty

Live Raw: Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty
Mimi Kirk is amazing & has led a fairly interesting life.  From Gurus to working on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  In her seventies, she sports an uber natural beauty, sin botox. She says a little peroxide in a bottle is the "extent" of her manipulating her looks.  Passionate about fresh foods, but not OCD about it & not into one particular style of raw (like no fat, all fat, low glycemic, all fruit, no fruit).  She offers a bit of everything.

Just have to love the colors!! It's so obvious what we should be eating.  This food needs no dye.  Actually, if you aren't careful, the Turmeric will revolt & "dye" without permission!  A girl put a bit too much in a facial mask & had to go kind of "orange" for a few days.  At least her face won't have a lot of fat plaque on it!! (Turmeric is thought to help reduce inflammation & plaques-so being studied for it's effects on Alzheimers).  People also use it to put in their hot drinks, to ease joint pains.

I used frozen corn.  Organic (corn is one of those "dirty" GMO crops-as most is fed to cows).

Happy Fats.  Sunflower seeds have lots of Vitamin E.  Well, everyone knows about "Flax", the "Old school" wonder seed.  Now it has gotten a bit ousted by Hemp & Chia.  

Food Processor.  My idea of "cooking".

Spread on dehydrator.  Square models work best.  If you are seriously thinking about making raw treats, get a square model!  The air flow is better and it's also more conducive to crackers.

After a few hours.

This was a little different than "crackers" as you want cornbread to be more pliable.  You could fully dehydrate to make crackers, but then you would want to spread it out a bit thinner.  The benefit of fully dehydrated goods is that they travel well and last a fair amount of time either in transit or in a jar on your shelf.

The Cornbread was a hit......And it's so pretty!!  

And the dogs.......

Fallon & Shiloh have been rescued from East St. Louis streets and need a forever home.  Horton, poor guy, is STILL waiting.  His girl, Savvy, was rescued by an Angel & Savvy gave birth to 10 puppies.  Oh, GPG needs fosters so badly.  Horton gets along with everyone and seems to get along with all the dogs on the street.  No food aggression.  Just a doll.

Shiloh (son of Fallon) bites Pj's butt.  A love nip!

This kind of things makes these mornings suck.  It's too hard to watch some stuff sometimes (the dogs are fine, well, we didn't see them again, but nothing bad happens in the video!).  You just have to totally detach yourself from the situation.  It's a "situation" and you don't have much influence in it.  Even if they cross okay this time, lots of these dogs are always by busy roads or highways, and you just  have to accept that you have no control over it.  We don't have fosters for all of them.  In addition, most of them need a lot of coaxing and need to get "trapped" to be rescued.  We can't just "pick" most of these dogs up.  Sometimes it takes multiple attempts to even "trap" a dog.  When dogs are "social", they tend to get pulled much more quickly, just because they hop in the car, or it requires no planning.  There are no "animal services" that truly serve these communities, excluding the pound.  The pound is not a hippy, happy, new style place.  I think it is more a enter & die place.  These are truly forgotten cities in Illinois, and in the country.  And industries in this area are located in a nearby city, Sauget, and evade the tax base.  Not only do they skip out on taxes, they are so kind to pollute the environment.   An Indian man, Safir Ahmed, wrote a bit about East St. Louis, and it sounded like even he was in a bit of awe, as this wasn't happening in India (where US companies can routinely do this sort of activity), but right here in the States, our awesome, God fearing country.  Excerpt from "Third World Traveller".

"I'm from India. In Calcutta this would be explicable, perhaps. I keep thinking to myself, 'My God! This is the United States!' "

                                                                               -Safir Ahmed

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dining with the Deities. Gokul's on Page. Vegan Indian Eats in St. Louis.

Ganesh overlooks the buffet.
Gokul's on Page is our favorite Indian joint in town.  And both locations have "Vegan Night" every single Monday Now!!!!  Guess the "every other Monday" was so popular that they expanded it! Vegans Rule!! Gokul's Website.

6101 Delmar Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63112

Page Avenue (this post is about the PAGE location!)

10633/B Page Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63132


They have buffet all the time.......which is a major turn-off to some, but heaven to others.  Since they generally have a lot of vegan choices any day of the week, we always choose buffet.  But there are lots that go & order off the menu because Gokul's offers up some mean "chaat" (savory Indian Snacks) items & other great Indian eats.  


On Vegan night, everything is vegan.  Meaning all the "milk" dishes are made with either coconut or soymilk.  The Korma is wonderful & love it when there are huge pieces of sweet potato.  This is part of the "Snacky Snack" bar, which I don't frequent.  Lots of Papadums (my fave, but usually has some wheat & not free from a fair amount of oil), fruit salad (which can be hit or miss depending on if the fruit is ripe), onions (which I have learned to adore raw, on almost any Indian dish), Rice Puddings, and more.  Lots of "Crunchy Crunch" stuff.  Fried flour.  Delicious I am sure, but think, Indian Potato Chips or Indian Chex Mix, kind of.  I think it's addictive because it seems like a fair amount of people spend more time at the "Snacky Chaat" bar than the actual "Bean" bar.  

Chutneys (mint & tamarind) and more snacky snacks-fried flour!

Potato Palace.  My hubby loves all things potatoes and Indian Cuisine does it right.  And Cauliflower (Gobi).  

This night they had a "Veg Manchurian".  Sometimes they infuse a bit of Indo-China in their food.  And the dishes vary.  They usually have a Sambar, potato dish, Chana Masala,  two types of "dals", the naan, etc...but often the 2 dishes on the left (mains) will change.  Sometimes all zucchini based, or sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, basically whatever was in season or on sale. Oh, and often Saturdays have Dosas.  The most delightful Rice & Lentil Crepe, nice and thin, with a spicy potato filling.  I fight for these.  If the Dosa spot is empty, we simply have to wait until a few more arrive, and then it's a mad rush between the true Dosa Lovers, and this Dosa Dame usually gets at least part of her fix.......Anupy's New "Vegan Indian" book had better include a few dosas, because I truly go through withdrawl.  They are "my chaat". Also Love the eggplant dishes, but eggplant kind of absorbs the oil bigtime and I personally am just not that big of a fan of oil.

I am a big fan of the deities however.

This is where my hubby and dad are just bad.  They get those pakoras (breaded & fried veggies that are amazingly spiced) and then they go and get more pakoras.  And Fried Rice instead no rice or just the plain rice.  Very bad.......

More fried yumminess.  I never know what is inside any of the fried stuff, plus that varies as well.  Hubby usually has some of all of it.  Since we never have fried or breaded anything, he just can't resist any crispy type of Indian spiced type of anything. I think the legume in the front is a pigeon pea, but not sure. It's another "staple". 

Love how they have "Farina".  And Naan.  Usually Naan at Indian joints is NOT vegan.  And same with this one.  Unless you go on "Vegan Night", their Naan is only vegetarian.  However, no matter when you go, they will offer you (if they know you are vegan) some Vegan Naan.  Just let them know!

Their Channa Masala tends to be pretty good.  Always different, but generally quite yummy.  Sometimes very rich in ginger, other times high in the chili department.  A big fan.  Channa Masala is kind the of the "steak & potatoes" of an Indian place to me.  It's the standard thing they have (in addition to dal) in pretty  much every Indian restaurant in the States.  Rajma on the other hand, not so much.  I adore Rajma.  Rajma is "kidney bean".  And the dish Rajma is an incredible, and for lack of a better way to describe it, "Indian Chili".  I guess "Chili" because American Chili uses Kidney beans and can be heavily spiced.  Anupy's book (The Indian Slow Cooker) has 2 great Rajma recipes and my fave of all time is "Dad's Rajma".  Gokul Rajma is plenty good too.  And also not always the typical buffet dish everywhere.  Gokul's also frequently has Dal Makhani-the black lentil dish, which is divine.

Unlike the Delmar location, this place doesn't get too insanely busy.  We went several times to their Loop location, but it just wasn't as low key as the Page location.  And the servers are just lovely!

Real Plates & Silverware.  A decade ago they were all about styrofoam, when they were more "chaat" and less "dinner".  I loathed the styrofoam!  But that era is over and Gokul's has real everything-simple, but it is real!  You can also usually get fresh coconut or vegan mano lassi (just tell them to make it with soy).

This location is also just "more Indian".  Decked out with deities, they have Indian music playing, Indian circulars & they celebrate Indian Holidays.  The Loop location is wonderful, but the last time we went it had CNN & no deities and no Indian music.  Maybe this has changed.  It was also packed (the Loop location), so packed that the buffet was running out of food.  The Page location is so much lower key, and even if it's packed, the vibe is just more relaxed.  They both have great food........the Page location is just much more relaxing, at least to us.  And it's next to SEEMA, an Indian Grocery, which you will need to go to as soon as you have Anupy Singla's book.

The outside doesn't do it justice!!  But the inside gives a different "vibe" than the outside suggests.  This place is so easy to "pass", even if you are looking for it!! It is next to one of those "check cashing" or something like this-places and there are no "big" signs right at the road.  So pay attention when driving!

Gokul 100% Vegetarian on Urbanspoon

And on the front:

Every rescue is different, but this is kind of standard.  They often involve Pj on her belly, crawling under something.  Often the homes are not actually occupied and standing and GPG was lucky enough that the owner of the house was so kind to allow GPG on the property and he even helped with Daiya's rescue.  All rescues are in East St. Louis (or Washington Park, Illinois).  Pj had just heard about Daiya cheeze because she was talking about foods her mum could eat.  Her mum is dealing with some heart issues so was letting her know that lots of peeps like Daiya and that it is cholesterol & dairy free.  She wanted me to spell it so she could look for it.  And a few days later, it was the first thing that popped into her head when Daiya had to have a name upon arrival to the vet!  So a dog named after vegan cheeze.  Daiya is a sweetheart and is still recovering, but will be available for adoption in a couple of months.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wet Vegan Dates in California. "The Date People". Dates & Blood Sugar.

The Date People. 
 PO Box 808 Niland, CA 92257, 760-359-3211
Date People FaceBook

This is a 12 pack, variety style, from "The Date People" of Southern California.  The Date People grow their amazing dates without the use of pesticides, but the red tape of getting "certified" was too much of an ordeal for this very small business.  Small.  Small like they don't have online ordering, gasp!  They don't need to because anyone in "the know" will contact them via phone or email & place their orders.  This arrived in December, when there were still lots of dates.  I think this was 12 pounds!  The variety pack costs a bit more, but it is so fun trying all the different types.  This isn't even all the types of dates they offer!! List of Varieties.  But it depends on when in the season you order and how each type of date did that year.  I believe that some are more rare & you are not able to order 15 pounds of those!    And before people start sending me low glycemic diet links.........Nothing  comes between me & a wet date.

Dates are 80% sugar.  But not all "sugar" is "sugar".  Yes, kind of like when Clinton asked, "what is the definition of is?".  Except this time it's for real.  Some scientists did a "Date Study" (looks like they tested Mejool & Halawi) and stuffed people full of dates for an entire month.  There were no averse affects on their blood sugar or weight.  There were actually improvements in their triglyceride levels & Antioxidant stress levels.  And they might even be a "possible best food", containing a wide variety of nutrients & potential health benefits.  So I don't think Dates are the Devil.  Sugar?? Maybe. Dates? Nope.  

They came with this "cheat sheet" in the event that you didn't go to "Date University". WOW!  This had a mix of "wet" and "dry" dates.  Some types can be either wet or dry, depending on when they were picked.  Some dates are just naturally dry, such as the Zahidi.  I went for the really moist ones where the date meat just falls off of the pit.  Dates & I go way back.  My grandmother considered dates to be sugar.  Well, at least as far as I know, because I don't remember her ever having real sugar treats at her house.  Nope, just dates.  Or the treats you could get at the coop that would use dates to bind something else together.  Like Dates, Carob, and Nuts.  It used to be such a bummer for me.  I would come from my "Ice Cream Bar" grandmother to my carob & date grandmother.  I loved them both, but when I was little I wanted straight crack, straight sugar.  Since at that time we didn't really get it at home, I had to get my fix on Chicago trips.  It's so funny now because I am the one making the carob date treats!  Funny how that happens.

Was careful to always put the cardboard back the "right way" so I could keep track of what they were all called.  I started to learn their names!  

Some varieties are a bit more obscure.  I just received another order, 15 pounds, of Halawi.  March is not the "prime season" so there are fewer from which to choose.  However, the Halawi is an amazing, buttery type of date & was one of my faves from the variety pack.

Bliss.  Softer & yes, bliss.

Barhi.  Buttery.

Halawi.  Soft & Melts in your mouth.  Beautiful! I have 15 pounds of these beauties in the fridge now.  So you can keep the dates (most types!) in the fridge & they should do pretty well.  You can also put them in the freezer.  However, it does depend on if you have "wet" or "dry" dates.......So talk with the Date People on whatever types you are getting to see the storage options for you.  I got this variety pack when I was consuming massive amounts of fruit.  It lasted six weeks, maybe.  I also had blood drawn during this time and my A1C was perfect (estimate of blood sugar within last 3 months).  I asked for that just because I was consuming so much fruit & was just curious to see if my sugars would change.  They were fine before, but I was shocked to see that they were lower during this period.  I wasn't eating much more than 10% fat though either.  And zero "real" sugars except some splurging on some Babycakes gluten free & coconut syrup sweetened baked breads over the holidays.  .  

Zahidi (drier)


Amir Hajj

Black Plum

Black Plum in Middle.  Honey Date Below Black Plum.  

Middle Left is Black Plum.  Then middle Zahidi.  And Right Middle Black Abadda.

Black Abbada

Sun Glow

Honey Date

Persian Queen

Deglet Noor

Sugar Styx

Black Abbada

Dates from The Date People are Amazing.  It's like getting a 15 pound dessert tray in the mail.  You can order all sizes of boxes.  Date Season starts in the fall.  I never thought I would be buying dates in bulk, but they are so delicious and also a "safe" sweetener!  They don't come in BPA infested plastic.  They aren't being accused of secretly containing HFCS.  They are not genetically modified.  These peeps actually are pretty hefty enemies of GMO's, Monsanto, and the other truly terrible ideas out there.    Which I love.  I know it's not all "proper business etiquette" to express your political ideology.  However, I am always grateful when people do.  I am much more likely to consistently shop somewhere that I know will be giving money back into projects in which I believe.  You might think you can pick up "dates" at some of the Asian Markets, but one near us actually had several types with glucose added!! Really?? Sugar added to dates??  Get them from the States, from the Date People, and sip your Guayaki Mate & Nibble on some serious snacky snack food.  I also use them to make "date paste" to use instead of "syrup", agave, and the rest.  I love The Date People & you will too!

And my own non gmo gardening.....Fenugreek Sprouts.  I use for Smoothies.

Broccoli Sprouts.  Great in Smoothies.

Pj & Horton.  East St. Louis

Pj & Daiya (prior to an very bad cut that will require amputation of her leg).
East St. Louis

Pj & Daiya.  Another Day....picking off the ticks.

Pj & Fallon.

Pj & Petey.