Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Brunch: Simple Spicy Sweet Potato Hash

INGREDIENTS:
1 Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
1/2 Medium Onion, diced
1 Chili, crushed
1 tsp Flaked Sea Salt

Parboil sweet potatoes for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the onions and begin sauteing. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan. Stir in the crushed chili and salt and fry until browned on most sides. Serve with Thai Chili sauce, ketchup or chili sauce. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Record a Week: Paul McCartney & Wings - Band on the Run

SIDE 1.
BAND ON THE RUN
JET
BLUEBIRD
MRS VANDERBILT
LET ME ROLL IT

SIDE 2.
MAMUNIA
NO WORDS
HELEN WHEELS
PICASSO'S LAST WORDS (Drink To Me)
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE




I am almost entirely unfamiliar with McCartney's post-Beatles work, except for the title track on this album. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The album kicks off with that wonderfully memorable synth-filled intro to Band on the Run, before it kicks into the main part of the song. Then it follows up with Jet, which is more rocky than I had expected the album to keep pace at. It's not until some songs later on the A-Side that you begin to notice the slower parts of McCartney's writing that Lennon apparently loathed so much. However, it doesn't stay like that. The second side picks back up and has a fabulous ending in the final two songs, including some wonderful reprised lines from earlier songs thrown in.

I took so long getting to this record because it represented a piece of post-Beatles music that I wasn't familiar with and I was afraid a lackluster showing might sour me somehow. I purposely steered far clear of anything between Abbey Road and McCartney's recent fronting of the surprisingly hard-rocking Nirvana/Beatles mash. Though it had some of the cheesy McCartney bits, there was definitely some good rock in there. Pleasant surprise!

Sunday Brunch: Tropical Date-Cinnamon Oats

Adapted from a post by: tunsbuns.wordpress.com

 INGREDIENTS:
1 cup Almond Milk (I use unsweetened to make it refined sugar-free)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 cup Oats
2 Dates, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp Chia
1/2 tbsp Hemp Hearts
1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Coconut
1/2 Mango, chopped (other half served on side)
1 Banana, chopped

Bring the almond milk and vanilla to a low boil. Add the oats, chia, coconut, hemp, dates and cinnamon. When nearly cooked (should be fairly thick), add chopped fruit and cook, stirring constantly, for another few minutes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Brunch: Spicy Tofu & Plum Scramble

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 brick X-Firm Tofu, large crumbles
1/2 small Onion, diced
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Dried Chili, crushed
Salt + Pepper to taste
1 Plum, chopped + pit removed

In a pan, saute the onions in a bit of water over high heat. Add the tofu and stir, splash in a little more water if it dries up. Stir in the spices until everything is evenly coated. Add the chopped plums and stir until the plums soften. Serve with oatmeal for a complete gluten-free breakfast.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Brunch: Fruity Overnight Oats

INGREDIENTS:
2/3 cup Large Flake Oats
2/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 tsp Chia Seeds
1/2 cup Mixed chopped fruits (I used Mango, Melon, Banana and Strawberry)

In a blender or food processor, purée the fruits. In a jar or lidded shake cup (pictured), combine purée with oats, milk and chia. Give it a good shake until mixed and then throw the lid on, put in the fridge and let sit overnight. In the morning, top with fresh berries/sliced fruit and eat it up. The result is a creamy, yummy raw treat.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Brunch: Spiced Chickpea Casserole

*Adapted from a recipe at fatfreevegan.com

















INGREDIENTS:
2 cups Water + more for cooking
1 tbsp Soy Milk Powder
3 tbsp Corn Starch
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Tahini
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne (or more if you like spicy)
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
2 cups Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups Chick Peas (drained and rinsed, I cooked dried ones and used the water as one of the cups of water for the sauce)
1 cup Cauliflower, chopped
1 Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a food processor, add the first 12 ingredients (up to Dry Mustard) and combine.

Add 2 tbsp water to a large pan and brown the onions (add more water as needed to prevent sticking). Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, potatoes, chick peas and sauce and stir until it thickens. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes.


A Record a Week: Johnny Mathis - Give Me Your Love For Christmas




















SIDE 1.
JINGLE BELL ROCK
HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
MY FAVORITE THINGS
GIVE ME YOUR LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEAR'S EVE?

SIDE 2.
DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
CALYPSO NOEL
THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
CHRISTMAS DAY
THE LORD'S PRAYER

Well, Christmas in March, who knew? More accurately, I didn't think I could possibly have owned any Christmas albums that weren't Bing Crosby (except for possibly Jim Reeves, but R is a long way away and I wasn't concerned about that yet). Lo and Behold, here's Johnny Mathis, who Bette Midler (via Wikipedia) has dubbed 'the king of Christmas'. My lack of knowledge of Christmas music besides Bing, and the general association with Tin Pan Alley, is clear to me after reading about this man. This was his third out of now six Christmas-themed albums. Who knew?

The style itself is a bit more up-tempo than most Christmas stuff I've heard, while not being super schmooze-y.  In fact, Mathis presents a mostly palatable version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a song my wife has accurately described as a 'funeral dirge'. When next Christmas comes around, I am going to keep an ear out for him and if I don't hear him, I'm going to call and request him from stations that insist on Michael Bublé or any soft pop garbage.