Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Home

Hey all, I just wanted to let you know that this blog is moving to


Friday, March 5, 2010

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Recall

In recent food-recall news, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, a flavoring agent used in foods ranging from soups to hot dogs, is being recalled after a batch produced by Basic Food Flavors of Las Vegas tested positive for Salmonella.

Though the risk of infection is considered low (cooking is supposedly affective enough to kill the contaminants in this case), Salmonella can still cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Better safe than sorry. The recall includes products manufactured since September 17, 2009.

For some more info, here's an article that was in today's Times.

For a list of recalled foods, visit the FDA's website.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Caravan of Dreams

Last night, I sat down for dinner at Caravan of Dreams, a vegan restaurant in the East Village with a group of other NYC bloggers. Megan of Runners Kitchen organized the outing, and it was so nice to meet Katherine, Lindsey, Liz, Irina, and Jacqui.

It was a treat to spend a night out talking shop with a bunch of ladies with similar interests!
My photos turned out pretty awful, so check out Megan's blog for some quality photo documentation.

As a teaser, here's a pic of the tasty salad that came with my ginger stir-fry entree. This place is a must-try for vegans and non-vegans alike. I can't wait to go back!

National Nutrition Month

As you may or may not know, March is National Nutrition Month. Created by the American Dietetic Association, this annual education and information campaign is designed to shed some light on making informed food choices and developing good eating and physical activity habits as well as recognizing the committed dietitians who work hard to help people lead balanced, healthy lives.

This year's theme is "Nutrition from the Ground Up." Take it as a reminder to start with the basics. Talk with a dietitian, take advantage of fitness and health opportunities in your community, stock the kitchen with healthy staples like whole grains and fresh produce. Little tweaks and shifts in attitude can lead to bigger changes.

This month, I intend to focus on treating my body less like a robot and more like a living, breathing being—mine. That involves saying no to things I don't need to take on and leaving enough time to rest and de-stress so I don't have to rely so much on caffeine (sorry, diet coke) to keep me going.

So whether you decide to take up yoga or running or to start bringing your own lunch to work or cutting back on meat, enjoy the investment you make in yourself this month!

For more info, visit the National Nutrition Month at ADA's website.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Delhi Heights

For some reason, it's hard to get good Indian food in Manhattan, so Chris and I finally got around to heeding the advice of those in the know and headed out to Jackson Heights for lunch today.

We went to Delhi Heights on 74th Street, where we had ourselves a delicious meal of chili paneer, daal tadka, raita, rice, and naan. At the end of the meal, we ordered masala tea, which is brewed right in the milk. We could also have opted for the $9.95 buffet, so perhaps we'll have to go back another time.

Despite eating until we were a little more than satisfied, we still had quite a lot of leftovers to take home. Even better. But man, I'm glad I went to the gym this morning! It's not so much that the food there is "heavy" or the portions are oversized—it's just so good it's hard not to eat more than you need to!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Vitamin deficiencies are something few of us have to deal with. Following a typical western diet allows a healthy person to more than meet their basic nutritional needs, provided they make sure to include enough fruits and vegetables. However, people with certain allergies, intolerances, or other conditions may experience vitamin or mineral deficiencies as a result of their illness.

I spent a little time this evening reading up on vitamin B-12 deficiency after a friend said his doctors suggested it as a potential cause for symptoms that could be related to his recently-diagnosed celiac disease. One of the main deficiencies seen in people with gluten intolerance or sensitivity is B-12, often due to associated malabsorption issues.

B-12 is found mostly in animal products, such as meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk, cheese, and eggs. A lot of cereals are fortified with it, and you often see it added to soy milk and "fake meat" products. So while it's slightly more difficult for a vegetarian to meet their B-12 needs, it's by no means impossible.

Symptoms of B-12 deficiency include:
Nerve Damage

Supplements may be needed for a period of time to correct the problem. It's just another reminder to bring up concerns with your doctor and not to overlook the diet.

I had a professor who once said that the only disease a vitamin can cure is a deficiency of that vitamin, and while most of us don't have to worry about that, some people do. A lot of people pop multivitamins like candy even when they don't need them, but supplements were created for a reason.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Alex's Chili

It would have been nice if my school had cancelled classes before I woke up for lab, but oh well. At least now I can get some backlogged work done and maybe take a nap later. This week has been a little too busy, and I used up all my cooking-as-procrastination points yesterday, so I have no excuse not to cross a few things off the to-do list. Oh well, at least I have some kick-ass chili and cornbread to look forward to.

After receiving an email from my friend Alex about this amazing-sounding chili the other night, I just had to try making some myself. It sounded much livelier than the sweet potato and black bean chili I'd been planning on making. Unfortunately, my beloved sketchy markets were out of a lot of things, so I had to make a few adjustments.

Alex’s recipe:

First I braised a lb of chicken and set that aside and put in 2 3/4 cups of onions with chili powder, garlic and then added a red and yellow pepper, a full jalapeno, and then tomatoes, blackstrap molasses, tyme, basil, cumin, chicken stock, masa harina, and then garbanzo, adzuki, black and kidney beans… it was good with or without the chicken. Very satisfying. I placed it over brown rice and a small amount of jalapeno cheese.

My make-do interpretation:

¼ cup olive oil

1 large onion

4 cloves garlic

2 jalepeno peppers

1 red pepper and 1 orange pepper

1 can each black beans, kidney beans, pink beans (low sodium)

1 32-oz can crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

¾ boullion cube dissolved in ¾ cup boiling water

1 cup leftover tomato sauce

a few sprigs of thyme

cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper to taste


Chop the onion, garlic and peppers (including jalepeno) either by hand or in a food processor. Sautee for a few minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, boullion, crushed tomato, tomato sauce, molasses, and spices. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down and cover.

Simmer for an hour or so.

Chris got in on the act and whipped up some cornbread, which we threw in the bowl and poured the chili over. There was also some cheddar cheese involved. It was the perfect thing on a miserable day...