Archive for May 31, 2012

It’s a Small World….

While putting together a quick-and-easy list of spices to use for three versions of veg Chicken Breast Burger, Israeli, Asian, and Mexican, I was really surprised to find how many spices are not only common among these cultures, but other cultures’ foods, as well.

Garlic?  In just about everything.  Cumin? In the Israeli version, and the Mexican version.  Hot sauce, in all three.  Cardamom, common in the Israeli version, is common in Scandinavian foods, as well.

Five Spice Powder in the Asian version contains cloves, cinnamon, pepper, star anise, fennel, also often in Middle Eastern foods, and some in Mexican.

Lemon?  In all three cultures.  “Spicy” salads, also in all three.  Salsas, chili sauces, pickled vegetables, spicy vegetables, smoked vegetables.

Techina, the sesame seed paste that tops the Israeli Chicken Breast Burger version, is common in Asian cuisine, not just as a paste or a sauce, but as toasted seeds and oil.  And, it’s also common in Africa, and in India.

Just trying to think of other herbs and spices I have in my closet now (I don’t have my usual compliment of spices at the moment), and others I’ve used in the past.  Off the top of my head-  Ginger, bay leaves, chili powder, mint, curries, oregano, horseradish, turmeric, sour salt, cilantro, mustard, paprika, cinnamon, za’atar, and oh, did I mention garlic?  Yes, I think I did.  One of my favorites!  

Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, India, the Americas…..

Do I hear music?

It’s a Small World After All, It’s a Small World After All, It’s…….   

Try it all, and Enjoy!



The Organic Market

I went to a small organic market last weekend (no, there’s no Whole Foods here, yet), and I walked in the front door and immediately felt at home.

Even though they sell items I’m not interested in, being an organic market and not a vegetarian market, I didn’t know where to look first!  I actually sought out the market because they sell Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss “ice cream,” which I adore.  Sadly, they were out of it.  They said it sells out quickly.  (There was plenty of that “other” brand.  Tells you something, doesn’t it?)  I tried to appease myself by saying I really didn’t need the calories…. but it didn’t work.  I’ll have to go back!

It was a small shop and since I didn’t know where to start, I started on the end of the shop closest to the door, and checked out every nook and cranny.  You should have seen the gorgeous produce!

There were only 6 or 7 aisles, but I scoped out the joint really well, even before I picked up a hand basket.  Throughout my search I spoke with the owners (?) and we got into a conversation about the upcoming veg TV show.  They were really excited.  “Perfect time to get something like that on the air,” and, “We have so many kids coming in here asking about how to be veg, and asking for veg recipes. This would be great for them,” were a couple of comments they made, and they asked for my business cards.  I happily handed over the cards I had on me, and continued my perusal of the premises.

With my hand basket full of odds and ends, from vegan pizza to coconut milk “yogurt,” to organic basil pesto and sesame rice crackers, I chatted for a bit more with the sweet girl at the check-out desk, and got back in my car, thinking “Ok, what should I have bought that I know I’m going to think of as soon as I drive away?” 

What a really nice experience.  Comforting to walk into a place where just about everything there IS something you’d like to take home, and you know most of the people shopping there are of a like mind.

It made me think that I’d like to open a Veg Market down the line.  I’ll add it to the list.  Veg TV show, cookbook(s), restaurant(s), and a market…..  maybe in the restaurant.  My life is planned out! 

All it’s going to take is getting the TV show off the ground.  Keep a good thought!