Wednesday, April 23, 2008


At the request of HS, I've been taking a teaspoon or two of hempseed oil a day. He pointed out that it helps mitigate PMS symptoms. Now, why would he say a thing like that? I need you to tell me why (wail!).

Anyway. Too soon to tell if I'll enjoy that benefit yet, but it does have a yummy flavor and my skin has been breakout-free since I've started taking it.

HS is going for the fish oil, himself, and the chronically dry skin on his forehead has cleared right up. See, it's all about the Omega 3-s. There's, like, three different kinds. Two kinds are used pretty easily by the body, the other kind is not. Algae supplements and fish oil contain DHA. Fish oil also contains EPA. Flaxseed and walnuts contain ALA, the type that isn't as easily used. Hempseed oil is best for the ratio of Omega 6-s to Omega 3-s, a balance that is out of whack for people in most "developed" countries.

Why should you care? The list of Omega 3 benefits is long and contains short-terms (better skin, better mood) and long-terms (better...chance of staying cancer-free?). Especially pertinent to me is its calming effect on blood sugar wackiness. Anyway, I'll report back on the benefits of the hempseed oil in a month or two!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I'm having a little trouble adjusting to the fact that it has been 80 degrees here more than one day this month. This may be the new normal for our poor fevered planet, but my closet is still stocked with winter clothes and I'm still prone to making winter dishes. Last weekend, when I actually had to use the air conditioning, I made lentil soup. The picture shows my Good Mother Stallard beans from Rancho Gordo, soaking. I was thinking about making a bean and vegetable stew with them, but that doesn't seem seasonally appropriate. So my new plan is to make a taco salad-esque entree.

Today I went out and bought ingredients to make the Pineapple Cashew Quinoa stir-fry in Veganomicon. So now I've got a fresh pineapple sitting on my counter, ready to usher in spring. I also went to the farmer's market this morning (it ends at 10:30 am and you don't want to know what time it starts) and bought heaps of strawberries and two delicious filo dough creations from the Filo Dough Lady. She has at least half a dozen different varieties of little filo squares, and many are vegan. I passed up the mushroom and green lentil/bulghur varieties this week, but I bought black bean/rice/chipotle and apricot/ricotta.

What are your favorite spring dishes?

Oh, and I know I haven't been a very consistent blogger lately, but I hope to improve. The other transition in my life (the change in my tax filing status a few months hence) has been cutting into my blogging time, but that's OK.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Veggie Vacation

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I went to Europe and then got the flu. The two events overlapped by about 2 days. I'm still recovering from the flu (1.5 weeks later) and have much less energy than I'm used to. I took about a week off from push-ups but am back to my regimen now.

We went to Amsterdam and Paris. I'm not going to lie and say I ate vegan all the time, but some of my favorite meals were vegan.

Fresh mint tea on our first day in Amsterdam helped wake me up:

Maoz makes amazing felafel, and they have branches in the US, including a DC branch coming soon! (Finding this out just made my day.) Every component of the felafel is great. The patties are light and crunchy, the bread is super-fresh, and the toppings are tangy and spicy.

Amsterdam's also famous for its fries, which we got topped with satay (peanut) sauce, due to my intense dislike for mayo.

Where does one get great fries? Why, the Chipsy King, of course!

One of the best meals we had on the trip was when we ordered rijsttafel, the Indonesian meal where they pull out all the stops. About half of the places we saw had a vegetarian rijsttafel. Check out this insane spread for just the two of us (not even showing the first course, a tomato vermicelli soup)! I imagine there was some honey involved but I don't think there was any dairy or egg in the meal. There were "shrimp chips," though. My favorite dishes were the coconut cabbage and the corn fritters.

Paris was not a vegan tour de force but I loved our street, Rue Mouffetard (we rented apartments in both cities rather than stay in hotels). Behold the glories of the street market!

One of the temptations in the farmer's market was morels. But at 80 euros for a kilo, I had to pass. I did see them this weekend at a farmer's market in DC, though, for about the same price, in case I change my mind!