Rice salad-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

4.13.14 Vegetative State

I know a true vegetative state is no joke, but I couldn't resist this as the title for my current vegan existence. On day 12 of the Spring Detox/Cleanse, I am more than halfway through and I can officially say that this has not been about feeling limited or deprived. If anything, I have noticed how comparatively little food I need to feel nourished and full, and that is without consciously trying to reduce my intake. Although the cleanse calls for three meals a day—with the last one being a simple bowl of soup—G and I have mostly been satisfied with just two. I think this is because we eat our biggest meal of the day somewhere between 3pm and 5pm, something I doubt we'll sustain as it's just not that practical given our work schedule and our desire to socialize with others. Come Friday, I tend to like a cocktail, but have been content with my latest obsession of coconut vinegar with seltzer. Cinnamon tea and the occasional medjool date have been enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. As for some of the vegan dishes I've been enjoying (already previewed on Instagram @LauraSilverman), please read on...
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Tagged — seaweed
Vegetables-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.16.12 Eastern Promises

My sister-in-law, who lives in the 'burbs, mentioned to me the other week that she had ventured into a local Middle Eastern market and been thrilled with what she discovered. Most towns have at least one ethnic market—Korean, Mexican, Greek—serving not only its immigrant community but anyone smart enough to take advantage of its wares. They present a fantastic opportunity to do a little armchair traveling, and to expand your cooking repertoire in the process. When I lived in L.A., I found the most amazing Thai market and, with the help of this extraordinary book, entered a whole new world of fish sauce, palm sugar, wild lime, sticky rice and green papaya. Of course New York City is like one big ethnic market, but when I want Japanese ingredients, I love to take a trip to Mitsuwa. I've mentioned this enormous Japanese superstore before—its aisles of rice, sake and bonito flakes, ramen stalls and red bean confections—but thought I would show you some of my bounty from a recent visit. The store is located in Edgewater, New Jersey, and well worth your time even if all you come away with is an automated rice cooker.
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Tagged — seaweed
Nori-chips-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.9.10 The Nori Story

Although nori was originally a more generic word in Japanese, referring to a variety of seaweed types, it now refers only to the red alga Porphyra, sometimes known as laver. Nori is produced through a highly advanced form of agriculture, grown attached to nets suspended at the sea surface. It is processed in a method very similar to what was used for making paper in Japan, and the final product is a translucent, greenish-black dried sheet that's about 7"x8". As with most things Japanese, nori is available in several grades. At the high end is delicate shin-nori from the first of the year's several harvests, which can cost up to $50 per sheet. I buy the roasted yakishushi nori, which would be familiar to you from its use as a sushi wrap. It can also be toasted and flavored for use in other dishes or finely shredded and scattered on rice or stir fries. It is faintly saline with a distinctive marine flavor that is rich in umami. It toasts up quickly in the oven and, when brushed with a little sesame oil and sprinkled with sea salt and sesame seeds, it's crunchy and positively addictive. Oh, and virtually calorie-free.
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Tagged — seaweed
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