Category: Perspective

The Paleo Diet, Why it is a Fad and Why it’s not Healthy

berriesI have a friend who came over the other night, and it was dinner time. I asked if she wanted to eat with us. I was cooking Mushroom Veggie burgers with all the fixings. The burgers had rice and other grains in them. She exclaimed that she is on the Paleo Diet and that she was only eating proteins and vegetables, but just this time she could eat with us.

The Paleo Diet confuses me. Why would anyone want eat like a caveman? Or revert to a diet of 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. I’m not even going to stand on defense of veganism here, it is just that basic question, “why go backwards?” read more

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Food Challenges to Discover

It is a New Year, and I’ve been dodging writing for quite awhile. I want to write, but life and work get in the way. I’ve been taking care of some family stuff, and working on getting a different position at the Job. It’s an important step in my culinary career.

I want to share this information I just came across. You may already know about it, but I didn’t. Check out this blog about the 100 day Real Food Challenge. Lisa Leake and her family cut out processed foods, and realized how much better they felt. And then they blogged about it and built a Challenge that any of us can take. I think it’s fabulous, and fits right in with Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution. There’s another site out there called Eating Rules, take a look at that as well. read more

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Planning ahead, stress free cooking

Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the PresentI know, I’ve been irresponsible to you, my readers. I haven’t been terribly inspired lately about creating new recipes. I’ve been consuming a book that’s 550 pages of dense reading: Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present. It covers the history of food from late pre-historic to modern times. I really need to finish this book. I’ve also been reading a few other vegan cookbooks published this last year, both for ideas, and reviews. I’ll be writing about those soon. read more

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Struggling with Inspiration

BBQ Seitan BurgerWas it ambitious of me to take on writing five days a week through the month of October? I have so much to write about yet I sit here, looking for a topic, trying to find a subject on food, and the best I can come up with is that I am not as inspired as I want to be about food. Maybe it’s because I am tired, and maybe it’s because I’m not cooking as much. Still, I love to write, and am excited at the prospect of keeping this up through the rest of the month.

If any of you have ideas for topics, or something you would like to learn about food, please let me know. I’ll research the subject and write about it. Hopefully tomorrow I can sit down and block out some topics for the next two weeks. That’s only 12 more posts. I’m sure a seasoned and informed chef like myself can come up with 12 topics that you, the reader, would want to read. read more

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A Little Bit About Eating Vegan

I struggled for years with being full on vegan. I had all sorts of excuses. As the years progressed I would fall back to consuming meat and animal food products like butter, eggs, and cream. I love that stuff. It is my comfort food. The other reason was that I couldn't find any decent vegan food on the grocery store shelves. Frozen dinners and canned food usually had some animal food in it. It was near impossible to get good prepared meals. So I had to cook the food myself, or eat what was on the shelves.

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Coming up on Kitchen Shaman

I’ve taken a little hiatus from writing. Yes, recipes have been posted, but the food knowledge and history and the perspective columns have been suffering. I promise to get back to writing in both these areas later in September.

Recently, I’ve been working on re-developing the website, and that involves taking lots and lots of photographs. Once the photographs are taken they then have to be cataloged with keywords and other such technical fun stuff, and uploaded to the server so that i can eventually share them with you, the reader. It is a phenomenal task, and one that is hard to concentrate on while working a full time job, a part-time job, and writing for this blog. read more

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Check Audio Please

waveformIt’s been over a year since I shot the last round of videos. I borrowed a high quality camera, and scheduled a production date. I proceeded to do the requisite preparations: I wrote video scripts and shot sheets, and trained the Partner on the language of television production, and how to use the video camera. (We both agreed that the day of shooting is not the time to have a pre-production meeting).

A friend was kind enough to open their home to us as a “set.” (I have a very teeny tiny kitchen right now). They got involved and helped us with lights and placement of microphone. The shooting went well. Between setting everything up, including the food, and tear down, it only took three and a half hours. The total amount of video shot was around 40 minutes. Completed videos will equal 5 minutes. Time-wise we did well. read more

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Even Good Chefs Have Bad Days

Dursmall onion sambaring a shopping spree a little over a week ago, I finally found fresh curry leaves, an important ingredient in the cookbook I’m working out of: Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India.

The recipes I chose to make were Beans Poriyal, Colocasia Roast (Small Taro root), Small Onion Sambar, and Curry Powder.  I also boiled potatoes for potato salad, and chopped cabbage for both coleslaw, and Bund Gobi. Much too much for the 12 feet of cooking space in the apartment.

I made the Beans Poriyal, and scorched the spices a bit, it still came out OK, but not great. Not overly fond of the taste. The Colocasia Roast is a labor intensive process. First you boil the taro root, then peel it, then dice it and cook it in the spices, and then roast it for a few minutes in the oven. I failed to turn on a timer when I put it in the oven and burned the Roast. What little I was able to taste was fantastic, and that just made me sad. read more

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The Fear and Passion of Cooking

julie and juliaWe just finished watching the movie Julie/Julia again, and the “Making of” on the DVD. I saw the movie when it came out in 2009, but didn’t think to read the book. I read the book in December, and found it funny, interesting, and a great story about learning how to cook. So I had to watch the movie again.

During the “Making of” part on the DVD, they mentioned how Julia Child was a fearless human being, and that cooking makes you fearless. The discipline demands it from you. read more

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No More Junk Food

rstvegwrap_06I just started an extreme change in diet, and am looking towards weight loss. I’m 165 lbs, and have a 39.5 inch waist. I had started a juice diet back in the beginning of February, but when my cat got really sick, I became stressed, and started eating junk at work again, cheese, pastries, cookies, lots of bread.* When I went to the doctor and stepped on the scale, I had gained everything back that I lost over the few weeks I was juicing.

Don’t be fooled. Juicing is a lot of work. Cutting raw vegetables isn’t. For every meal I have to juice carrots and apples. I have to clean and chop the vegetables I am going to eat. I have to think about the process of putting together the food. I have to plan my juice menu for work, and take it with me, so my hands don’t get stuck in the wrong food. And here’s the best part, I need to keep a food log of what I eat. That includes the junk food. read more

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Books by Chef Johnna

  • Delectable Vegan Soups -------------------------------------------------------
  • Things Vegans Fry: Crunchy Comfort Food for Vegans

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