Thursday, November 26, 2009

How to Make Collards Elegant (It's Easy!)

I love it when my sweetie chops the collards his way.

Remove ribs and chop those separately, then roll collards into a big cigar. Slice into thin roulades (julienne, chiffonade, ribbons, what-have-you). Steam atop a softened-to-caramelized mirepoix-type situation of onions + carrots (I leave out the celery here), salt, pepper, a sprinkle of coriander, all deglazed with a skosh of veggie stock to create the steaming liquid.  Yum!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
photo: TB

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Found it! Organic, Vegan, Un-sweet Coffee Creamer. Yum!

Remember when I was whining about not being able to find an organic, liquid, non-dairy creamer that actually tastes good and isn't sugared up beyond belief?

Found it! (thank you, Nora, my old pal from my college days as a po-mo dance major!)

"So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer" by Turtle Mountain is my new best friend. S'creamy.

It doesn't destroy my coffee with beany, sugary ick (um, mucho-controversial Silk "Original" soy creamer, I am talking to you), and it's completely vegan, lactose free, dairy free, gluten-free, you name it. And it's made with organic coconut!

Like the Silk creamer, there is 1g of organic evaporated cane juice per serving (10 calories), but (unlike the Silk product) the sweetness is undetectable by taste. I hate sweet coffee. I love this creamer!

Lets my coffee do its thing. 


Monday, November 23, 2009

SF! Carolina Pulled Pork BBQ, Delivered to Your Door, Yo.

Hey San Francisco!

You heard about Sneaky's Carolina BBQ delivery service yet?

Totally underground, cottage-industry style; backyard smoker; Carolina mustard-based, pulled pork barbecue; run by nice, cute, hip local musician guys. Delivery area: San Francisco, CA!

Fun fact: I grew up down the street from one of the founders in Columbia, S.C.! His dad was my elementary school principal. Mr. Wachter called us "Sweat-hogs" after that 1970's John Travolta TV show. We were truly entranced by being called, collectively, Sweat-hogs. Dang, what was that show called? Welcome Back Kotter? Woo hoo! BBQ!

Reposted from

Sneaky's BBQ Menu

Sneaky's uses 100% hormone- and antibiotic-free pork. See for more information on our supplier. Our chickens are free-range Rocky Jr. birds.

1 pint of pulled pork - $11
1 rack of baby-back ribs - $22 (1/2 rack - $11.50)
BBQ Chicken - $17 (1/2 - $9)
1 pint of Sneaky's macaroni & cheese - $5
1 pint of cole slaw - $5
1 pint of collard greens - $7
Sneaky's Sauce - $3 (half pint)
Sneaky's SPICY Sauce - $4 (half-pint)

To order Sneaky's BBQ or receive Sneaky's weekly email, please email

PLEASE NOTE: All food is delivered chilled, unless we are specially catering an event and we've arranged to serve the food warm. We recommend popping the food in the microwave for a minute or two (just how long is up to you and the power of your microwave), though any method of heating will work just fine.

Serving the Bay Area since 2008

Sneaky's BBQ
The best BBQ in the Bay Area, delivered to your door. Sneaky's specializes in Carolina-style pulled pork, secret-recipe ribs, and simple, delicious sides. Whether it's for an office lunch, a big game, or a lazy night at home, Sneaky's is the source for authentic, slow-smoked BBQ. No order is too big or too small, and we welcome catering and event orders. 

I love it when my Carolina peeps do good in the big city.
photos reposted from Sneaky's BBQ on Facebook

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hand Off Your Pain to Death Bear

This has absolutely nothing to do with food, unless you live in Brooklyn and need to get rid of your ex's stockpot*.

"We all have someone or something we would rather just forget. Things fall apart. Love hurts. Dreams die. But when you summon Death Bear to your door, you can rest assured that help has come.

At first you may be intimidated by his stature and color (7 feet tall with a hard, black bear head, black jumpsuit, and black boots), but absorbing the memories of others is a dark art, and Death Bear must present himself appropriately for this solemn duty.

Death Bear will take things from you that trigger painful memories and stow them away in his cave where they will remain forever allowing you to move on with your life.

Give him an ex's clothes, old photos, mementos, letters, etc. Death Bear is here to assist you in your time of tragedy, heartbreak, and loss. Let Death Bear help you, and absorb your pain into his cave.

Saturday, November 21st, 2009
and Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
Serving all Brooklyn only
Text 347-742-2293 for an appointment

Death Bear is a member of Club Animals, a pop-performance art group in New York City founded in 2008. We are best known for the Free Bouncy Rides, Candy Crack Delivery Service, and Bunny Butterfly Kisses."

Dear readers, do treat yourself to a visit to the Club Animals blog, from whence this bit is reposted. Thanks for the tip, Tonya Glanz (whose new 2-min video, Bad A*s Mama, is a better-than-SNL-digital-short weekend treat! She's the one with the blonde bob and the stink eye)!

OK, off to the all-local farmer's market to get at some of Robbie + Eric McClam's awesome new City Roots urban farm produce before it sells out like always!

Your food nerd friend who is also a conceptual art nerd,
*Actually, my cousin O. is looking for a giant stockpot, if anyone is tired of their crab boil pot taking up space in the garage. I'd tell you why, but you'd probably just get grossed out**.

**Wait, it's not my job to spare you the details. You like details. That's why we're here together on the intarwebs today. He's going to boil some deer skulls. He shot them with his bow and arrow on a family friend's forest land, part of deer population control down here in South Carolina. I'm no hunter and yes the tiny little proto-vegan fairy in me cries for Bambi, but I have to say, hunting with a bow + arrow in these gun-crazy modern times is pretty bada*s.

***Like, 2+ weeks on this Roxanne diet (you know, the 120-day macro/sugar-free/dairy-free/gluten-free/organic/lotsa vitamins and teas and stuff detox thing), and all is well.

For breakfast today I had quinoa spaghetti with kale, onions, and a pistachio-basil pesto**** I made from our garden and froze last month. Dang! I have a crush on my breakfast! That quinoa spaghetti is seriously better than regular spaghetti. Ancient Harvest brand quinoa "Pasta" is what to look for at the health nerd store.

Don't get the Ancient Harvest "Spaghetti" though! Because it has wheat in it. I hate whole wheat pasta. Grainy and disgusting. (Also glutinous and therefore verboten.) Why they have that branding problem I don't know. Hey Ancient Harvest! Your branding is weird! But your quinoa-corn "Pasta" is SO GOOD!

****I know! I am cheating! Parmesan cheese is not dairy-free. But it's my first dairy cheat in 2+ weeks since starting this new eating strategy, and I put arame seaweed in it and sprinkled gomasio on top to "make up for it."

So there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why OCA is Calling for a Boycott of Silk Soymilk (Wha???)

Anyone know a great, unsweetened non-dairy coffee creamer (organic, please?) that actually approximates the creamy excellence of half and half? I don't. I want.

I just started using Silk coffee creamer 2 wks ago for my big 120-day detox.

And I kindof hate Silk creamer, actually, b/c it is a tiny bit sweetened with cane juice, and I hate sweet coffee. I'm not even supposed to have sugar! Or coffee for that matter. But I gave up wheat, dairy, all other sugars, and booze, and went fully organic w/a frillion vitamins + Japanese teas. Sue me.

Looking online to see if Silk makes an unsweetened creamer (they don't), I found this post at the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) site. Creepy!

Why OCA is Calling for a Boycott of Silk Soymilk
An excerpt from Cornucopia Institute Co-Director Mark Kastel's June 11, 2009 post:

[Silk/Dean Foods] Company Structure:
  1. Silk used to be owned by White Wave, an independent company and a pioneer in the organic industry.  When it was still independent, White Wave used 100% organic soybeans in their Silk products.
  2. Today, the Silk brand is owned by Dean Foods and the brand is mostly conventional, not organic.  Dean Foods is an $11 billion agribusiness giant and the largest milk processor in the United States.  They own over 50 milk labels around the country, including Horizon Organic, a brand that heavily depends on factory farms each milking thousands of cows.

[Silk/Dean Foods] Commitment to Organics and Sustainability:
  1. Recently, Dean Foods reformulated their Silk product line converting almost all their products to "natural" (conventional) soybeans.  They did this, quietly, without telling retailers or changing the UPC code numbers on the products.  Many retailers have reported to us that they didn't find out about the change until their customers noticed and complained.
  2. To add insult to injury, not only did the price of Silk products not go down when they switched to cheaper conventional soybeans, but they now reintroduced three products with organic soybeans and raised the price on those...

Huh. Dang.

What do y'all think? Here's a link to a November 2009 article on (CBS subsidiary) about the "Silk Soy Milk 'Bait-and-Switch'":

And seriously, any leads on an organic, non-dairy creamer that doesn't s*ck?

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Favorite Macro Recipe So Far: French Lentil Stew

Dear Lentils,

I never really appreciated you until recently. Sorry for the diss! You guys are excellent. No hard feelings, k? Great. See you soon!

p.s. Somehow I lost 10lbs without even meaning to after 9 days on a gluten-free, booze-free, sugar-free, dairy-free diet, and I haven't felt hungry or deprived. What up?! Hoot hoot!!

Here's how to make an elegant, healthy (and tasty! and easy!) lentil stew that's totally vegan, vegetarian, low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie, and mostly macrobiotic. 

Use organic everything, since pesticide-free is good for you, and your organic grocery dollar is a concrete vote towards sustainable agriculture!

(Note: See that yellowish oil around the edges of the stew? It's delicious, delicious flax oil, packed with omega fatty acids, great for detox and digestion. Don't cook with flaxseed oil over heat, but garnish with it as you will. I am kind of addicted.)

My Favorite Macro Recipe So Far: French Lentil Stew
This is my personalized version of chef/consultant Roxanne Koteles-Smith's even healthier, more macro recipe for lentils. Her butternut squash inclusion is inspired! She includes kombu in bean dishes for digestive happiness. She is smart.

Oh, and unless you are living in a remote mountain hideaway with no access to French green lentils, don't substitute! Regular lentils don't hold a candle to these smooth, less starchy delights. BUT this recipe can be used with pretty much any dry bean (I've done mung beans + adzuki beans this way too). Just lengthen the simmer time according to the type of bean.

Lovely French Lentil Stew
You'll need:
  • 2 cups mirepoix (my version is 3/4c diced carrot, 3/4c diced yellow onion, 1/2c diced celery, incl. celery leaves)
  • 1 cup French green lentils (dried, soaked for a few hours w/the strip of kombu noted below -- see it sticking out there in the photo?)
  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1 quart organic vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 crumbled bay leaf
  • a strip of dried kombu seaweed
  • sea salt + pepper
  • good olive oil
1. Soften your mirepoix in 2 TBSP olive oil on low heat and...sure, why not...take it to a caramelized place. (Mirepoix is the famous flavor-maker for many French dishes. Not trying to sound all pretentious with the French terminology! Promise!)
2. Throw in the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, butternut squash, and lentils, big old strip of kombu included. Add a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Crank the heat up to high for a minute, til you hear sizzling.
3. Cover generously with vegetable stock; heck, throw in the whole quart. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30-50 minutes.

Why such a time variable? Because this is a loosey-goosey recipe. When the lentils are nice and tender, it's done. There should still be some liquid, but if not just add a little water.

Serve with yummy garnishes and congratulate yourself for being so healthy!

Macrobiotic Garnishes:
1-2 TBSP flax oil/umeboshi vinegar vinaigrette (2/5 ume vin, 3/5 flax oil, shaken)
Toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
Fresh chopped Italian parsley
and if you need more oomph, 
Gomasio (toasted sesame seeds + sea salt, pulverized, delicious!)

Crazy, over-the-top non-macro garnishes:
A fried egg over easy with hot sauce or Mexican chile sauce
Grated parmesan, chopped parsley, + really good olive oil

OH SNAP, that dish is delicious!
photos: TB

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hit the Tamale Trail with the Southern Foodways Alliance

I just posted at Slow Food Columbia on this groovy org in Mississippi that traces Tamale Trails, Gumbo Trails, etc. through the South:


"Heard of the Southern Foodways Alliance? They've just won a 2009 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award.

Per T + L:
'An exuberant champion of Southern food culture—from its barbecue pit masters and bourbon distilleries to its butterscotch-pie breakfasts and deviled-eggs competitions—the Southern Foodways Alliance celebrates and records the region’s diverse gastronomic landscape through documentary films, books, and not-for-the-calorie-shy field trips and events.

'The Alliance’s food-trails program, which has mapped a Tamale Trail through the Mississippi Delta, a Barbecue Trail in the Southeast, and Boudin and Gumbo Trails across Louisiana, introduces travelers to the small-scale producers and off-the-beaten path restaurants that are the soul of Southern cuisine."

Click here to read more!

p.s. Hipsters love Argentina because it's cheap, and hip. LGBTQ folks love Argentina because lots of other cultured LGBTQs vacation/relocate there because it's cheap, and it's hip. And as you all now know, the governor of SC likes him some Argentina, too. If you're in Columbia, my good friend John Dawkins and the umbrella group The SC Progressive Network are tapping into the zeitgeist love affair with Argentina this Friday...

• • • • •
Bid on this original oil painting by Alejandro Garcia in our silent auction.

An Argentine Affair

a celebration + awards ceremony
to benefit the SC Progressive Network 
Nov. 14  •  7–9pm
The Big Apple
corner of Park and Hampton, Columbia

Enjoy the wines and music of Argentina
and heavy hors d’oeuvres
while helping us honor three outstanding SC activists.

Winners of this year’s Thunder + Lightning Awards:
Tom Clements, Rev. Neal Jones, Ruth Thomas

For details on the honorees, click here. $25 single/$40 couple. Call 803.808.3384 for reservations

Photo reprinted, some rights reserved, from the Southern Foodways Alliance Flickr page.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Getting Twiggy with It: A Toasty Love Affair

Turns out my cat is just as bonkers for twig tea as I am.

As of last week, I am making (and drinking) a pitcher of twig tea each day for a 45-day detox (see below).

It's actually completely delicious! (For reals.)

I drink it unsweetened, hot or cold. It has a toasty, earthy, nutty flavor. YUM.

So, about my cat and the twig tea.

She loves drinking water out of human glasses. You really can't leave a water glass where she can get to it, or you'll have not only cat tongue but cat paw in your water. (Seriously, sometimes she drinks by dipping her paw and then licking it. Never fails to make me laugh.)

The other day, she starts sniffing at my glass of chilled twig tea and then, indicating true interest, almost pops her paw in there!

So I poured her a little monkey dish of twig tea to keep her grubby mitts out of my beverage.

Japanese kukicha twigs are the roasted stems of the green tea plant, camellia senensis. The caffeine is super low, 7mg or so compared to 150-200mg for coffee.

It's full of antioxidants and is a great cleansing agent and digestive aid.

Sure enough, after a good tea sniffing, in went the paw.


Twig tea is easy to make. I used to make it in college but basically forgot about it til now. You ever do that? Just forget about good things?

Skip the tea bags and buy the kukicha twigs in bulk, because the twigs should be simmered (not boiled!) in a pot of water for 20 min, not merely steeped. 2 TBSP for 8 cups of water does the trick.

I love it when she does this. Hilarious.

The twig tea is a small part of this 45-day total body detox I've been tweeting about (which is part of a 120-day reprogramming), led by my new medical nutrition coach, Cancer Cookbook author Roxanne Koteles-Smith of Asheville.

And she reaches in for more.

So yeah, um, as of last week, I've gone macrobiotic, gluten-free (wheat-free), meat-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. Oh, and booze free, too. Yikes!

But strangely, it's actually not so bad, since there are so many great newfangled health food alternatives out there and Roxanne, a former Ritz Carlton SF chef, has set me up with all of these excellent menus and recipes*, customized for my health issues.

Basically, I'm eating a lot of veggies and whole grains and health food elixirs like umeboshi plum vinegar and flaxseed oil -- typical healthy stuff that I've been wanting to get into for years.

I'll let you know how it's going here and there, mainly when I come across something particularly "foodie delicious" beyond the oft compromise-ridden scope of "health food delicious."

Well, a few paws' worth was all she was in for before she looked up at me like, "Hey, um, this is okay, but where are the cat treats, yo?"

So I gave her some cat treats and poured out the dish of cat paw tea.

 Me? I had some more twig tea and a piece of shockingly good, soy-buttered millet-flax toast and went about my business.

Dang, that toast is good. Sami's Bakery makes it; you can order it online but I get it in the fridge at Rosewood Market. I'll bet Rainbow in SF has it, or something like it. Organic millet flour and brown rice flour are two great tastes that go great together!

Surprisingly low calorie at 76 cals per slice, compared to 110-150 for normal bread, and the difference is indistinguishable! Booya.

I have this feeling that after a couple months on this crazypants diet, I'm going to look and feel as healthy as a freakin' yoga teacher.

I guess I should probably get off the computer and do some yoga, in that case.

*Roxanne's coming to Columbia this Thursday, Nov 12 to give a free seminar w/free samples of her yummy, chef-prepared, vegan food (Pasta with Greens; Tempeh Stew; Pressed Salad with Bok Choy, Wakame and Dried Cranberries, and Peanut Butter Mousse). She'll discuss her cooking classes, custom nutrition consultations for people with cancer, lupus, allergies, chronic pain, etc., and fresh prepared foods she makes for NC, SC and AL health food stores.

It's 6:30-8pm out at Sandhill Shopping Center, 487 Town Center, Apt. 208 in Northeast...I'll be there for sure! If you want to come, drop Roxanne a line and RSVP by Monday evening to 828-367-0671 or Roxanne [[at]]
photos: TB