Caryn talks about great recipes for brunch and the foods she brought along on a recent weekend trip to the beach.
Caryn: Hello everybody! Hey I’m Caryn Hartglass! You’re listening to It’s All About Food and guess what we’re going to be talking about today? My favorite subject food and I’ve just been having so much fun with food for the past couple of weeks and I thought for the first part of this program I would just talk about all of the incredible food experiences, plant food experiences I have been going through for the last couple of weeks because what we’re going to be talking about today and later with my guest Lani Muelrath we’re going to be talking about the plant based journey, transitioning to a plant-based diet and all the different levels that are involved along the way and whether your just curious about eating more plant foods or whether you’re new with taking on making plants the center focus of your life style diet or maybe you’re more advanced and you’ve been doing this for awhile, you’ve really got the hang of it or maybe you’re a master at eating plant foods. I think we have something for all of you today and I’m just going to share all of the deliciousness because I was thinking of what to talk about today earlier and there’s so much in the news related to food and I was reading about some of it and it was just getting me down and I don’t want to get you down. I want to get you up, I want to get you excited and I want to change the world with healthy happy plant foods, are you with me? Wooh! Great, now keep in mind you can always contact me at email@example.com just write that down in case you’re new at this and I love hearing from you. And you know if you’re a little bit shy to send me a note don’t be, I don’t bite, at least not people. I bite my plant food. Okay good so I’m feeling good. It’s hot out. It’s still summer. It’s like 90 degrees here in New York and I’m kind of enjoying the purging, the sweating. It’s a cleansing feeling and it’s feeling really good at the moment, sometimes it doesn’t feel too good and you have to jump in the shower or something or turn on the air whatever works for you but I’m rolling with it today. Good so last week I missed the show and I’ll be honest with you I was having some computer challenges so two weeks ago I told you I was having some computer challenges and I was very proud of myself and I’m still proud of myself because I took the thing apart and I cleaned it and it made a tremendous difference. But what really motivated me to do it was there was a problem with the machine that I could not fix and it happened fortunately since I have a MacBook pro early 2011. There are some video issues that are still covered even if you don’t have a warranty anymore or your warranty is expired. So I got it fixed for nothing and now my best friend here, my MacBook pro is up and running and thanks to my little cleansing work last week it’s silent and luscious and lovely. And I’m feeling so grateful for that. Now meanwhile, let’s talk about food shall we because this is all about food and this transitioning to a plant based diet thing is not difficult. It just takes a little shift in your perspective and I guarantee that it is going to be the most delicious thing you’ve ever experienced if you’re not already there experiencing it. So one of the things that I did that was really fun was I was invited to stay at my friend’s beach house not this weekend but the weekend before and I had to bring food because this beach house is on a piece of Fire Island and you take a ferry to get there and there’s a little store there but it’s expensive and you really want to bring your food to this place because that’s what you do so that’s what I did. And what was I going to bring with me? I brought some very simple things and it turned out to just be so satisfying and so perfect. So I brought rolled oats, can’t ever go wrong with rolled oats, you can have them cold, you can have them hot. And I did cook them in water. I brought along some shredded coconut and some pumpkin seeds and dates and that made for perfect morning cereal. I brought one of my favorite teas, kukitcha. Have you tried kukitcha yet? There’s a brown version and then there’s a green tea version. I kind of prefer the brown kukitcha. It’s twig tea and when you buy it, it looks like little sticks. But it’s such a warm, sweet, rich flavor. I really recommend trying it and I brought with me a bunch of things you’ve already heard about that I had made and frozen a while ago. And I just carefully packed them up in my luggage and they traveled really nicely and they weren’t even defrosted by the time I got there and my trip was about, I don’t know, about 2, 3, maybe even 4 hours from door to door. But I brought along my creamy carrot soup, have you tried that yet? So good and it’s good cold or warm. And I also brought the stuffed cabbage that I had made a few weeks before that I had stuffed with brown rice and chard and mushrooms and how much fun is it when you make a dish that’s good. And you freeze some of it and then you forget about it and then you remember it and you take it out and it’s like a gift. And it was a gift because it was so good. And I enjoyed it very much just like heating it up at the beach house. I also brought with me some pink lentils, some people call them orange lentils. I call them pink, they’re kind of, the color sort of peachy. You don’t call them peachy lentils but what’s great about them is they’re probably the fastest, fastest cooking bean on the planet. I would even take them camping with me because they cook up so quickly and they cook up kind of fluffy like mashed potatoes almost. They get very soft. So if you have texture issues, these beans may be a little too soft for you, I don’t know but I love them and I brought them along and made them as well. So the eating was really great. The one thing I regret is I was planning on bringing a couple of heads of kale with me and oops that’s what I forgot but I didn’t forget my frozen green juices which traveled very nicely so I was able to have green juice with me on the beach and then the last thing was that was the sensation for me. Summertime is a time of delicious, sweet fruits right? Especially when they’re ripe and juicy and one of my biggest disappointments probably in the last thirty years maybe even forty years is it’s so hard to find a good peach, a good sweet, juicy, peach where the juice just drips all over the place and it’s so phenomenal. Have you had a good peach like that, recently? Tell me about it and tell me where you got it. Well I haven’t and I don’t even like to buy them because I know I’m always going to be disappointed. Well there was a little farm stand on the beach, they actually ferry the stuff over from a local farm on the other side of Long Island, near Davis Park where I was staying and they had a few organic items, tomatoes things like that but not everything was organic. And I got into a nice conversation with I think it was the father of the farmer, he used to be a farmer but now his daughter was farming. And he was talking how they used to raise cows and dairy. I just bit my tongue because I didn’t want to start proselytizing and I just smiled and then he said “you know we’re now growing fruits and vegetables” and I was listening. And I said “I love fruits and vegetables” and then we were looking at the peaches at the stand and I told him my thing with peaches, how I haven’t had a good peach in a long time and then he just said, “here come here”. And he brought me over around the corner to like a secret stash and just gave me, for free, this fabulous peach and oh my goodness and it was everything I remembered. They exist. It was so good. And peaches, all food should be like that every bite just incredible either in sweetness or in savoriness or in texture, juicy or dry, whatever it is. And that’s one of the things I love about summer and as we come to the end of summer I really want to get my full summery kind of things and that means really delicious, ripe, sweet, thirst-quenching, hydrating, fiber filled fruit. Yeah so I ate well on the beach and got my sun in and the last thing I want to mention while we were there, have you ever watched the moonrise? Silly question. No not a silly question, it’s a really good question. I know that a lot of people take pictures of sunsets because it’s a convenient time. We see them, the sun going from the top of the sky, down to the horizon and we see all these beautiful colors but to be in a place where you can see the moon rise above the horizon and up into the sky. It happened to be a full moon and we were there out on the beach and watched the moon rise. It was really, really spectacular and I highly recommend it, just to take the time and realize where you are. Where you are, your feet planted on planet Earth and we’re spinning around and we’ve got that little moon spinning around us. And we’re spinning around the Sun and all this spinning. You forget about it and taking a moment to just be quiet and watch what’s going around you and taking in all of the awe and feeling the awe is awesome. Now, next thing. I know I’ve mentioned to you many, many times that people ask me, what do you eat as a vegan, what do you eat? And as a result, I’ve created my blog what vegans eat. I’m now on day 210, have you checked any of those posts yet? I hope you have. There are a lot of different ideas there as to what to eat in case you’re getting bored with plant foods and I can’t imagine how that can happen but there are so many different varieties and so many different ways to prepare them and I hope that I give that idea from time to time. Oh, wait I forgot one more thing about the beach but it’s still in my blog What Vegans Eat so I’m sort of still on the same subject. So I’m staying with my friend, she rents this beach house out to people during the summer and there’s a grill outside. And when we got there, she wanted to have one of the dinners while we were there be a barbecue and I had some vegetables with me and she looked at the grill and it was just a disaster. And you know if you don’t clean your grill on a regular basis it gets all oily, and greasy and sooty and she spent a couple of hours cleaning the grill. Now all the time I was thinking to myself, if people were grilling plants on that grill, it wouldn’t be that hard to clean. It’s all that greasy animal fat on a grill that makes it especially uninspiring to grill because you have to clean the grill. And you really want to clean the grill because if you don’t you could be setting yourself up for some nasty grease fires which are not pretty. Anyways, so I recommend you want to barbecue and there’s still some time even though we just had Labor Day. It’s still warm out in areas around where I am in New York. It’s a great time for grilling and I just grill simple stuff: corn, carrots, onions, and sliced tofu. Phenomenal on the grill. So simple, fabulous. Okay back to the What Vegans Eat blog. What I wanted to say is I am doing this so people have an idea what vegans eat and sometimes people ask me what to make for a party or an event, having people over. And I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and this weekend, this past weekend, the focus was brunch and I’m starting to think that’s probably an ideal thing to make for guests, whether they’re vegan or vegetarian or not. I think the foods that we can make for brunch are how do I want to put this, you can make brunch like foods that don’t seem abnormal or different to people who are eating animals or not eating animals so we made this fabulous brunch. I had a lot of my family out because we were having a big family event, a reunion of sorts on Sunday so I had my parents and my sister’s family up on Saturday we made this terrific brunch spread and I just want to talk about it because I want you to make these recipes. I want you to have people over and I want you to make these recipes but what you have to do, is you have to make the recipes, try them out first, practice. You should never have people over and experiment on them unless you don’t like them because we learn and even though a recipe may be really, really, clear, if you’re not that familiar with it, things can go wrong. It’s always best to make food you’re familiar with for people that are coming over especially if you want to them to get a good impression. Okay so what are the things we made. This was such a phenomenal, phenomenal breakfast, brunch, everything. To start with, we made the French scramble. The French Scramble. It’s at the Responsibleeatingandliving.com website. You’ve had tofu scrambles perhaps. They’re wonderful. This is a particularly rich scramble. It’s for a special event because it has cashew cream in it, a little vegan butter. It’s very rich. What’s nice about it is, everybody loves it and it’s like an easy way in to learning to love tofu, making it rich. And it looks like eggs and tastes like eggs. Incredible. French. The French Scramble. And we made a number of different sauces to go with the French scramble and the home fries that we made. Now our home fries are not fried, they’re baked. You can find a number of different baked potato recipes at responsibleandhealtyliving.com. This particular one that we made is with onions and some light spices. So easy to make and fabulous for breakfast or brunch. Now we made a cashew cheese sauce and then a pesto cream sauce and a spicy salsa. And we had these different sauces available to put on top of the French Scramble and the potatoes. And wait there’s more! I’ve been talking about, I think I talked about this, the fruity waffle. So I make all of the baked foods pretty much in our family. The waffles and the pancakes but Gary came along and he improvised on some of our waffle recipes and he made this amazing fruity waffle recipe. I think it’s our best waffle recipe ever, please try it, it’s just so yummy. What makes it sweet is one pear, one orange, and a few dates and it’s just a delightful waffle recipe. Has a great texture and we make a lot up and freeze them and then we take out a few and toast them. Better than Eggos, no bizarre ingredients, only real food in our fruity waffles. And then I made a fruit compote made with banana, peach-no not peaches, banana, pear, and strawberries. It was lovely to go on top of the waffles. We also had a, we splurged, and got a little maple syrup. Maple syrup can be extremely expensive but occasionally, very nice to have. And then we had some coffees and teas. Gary made a lovely creamer with some cashew cream, very simple with a little agave and a little vanilla. And it was lovely in our coffees and tea. Just a word for a moment on tea, because everybody that loves tea, and I’ve been talking from time to time about tea. I just wanted to bring this up again, tea can be really delicious and really good for you. Plenty of antioxidants in tea and in coffee but I personally think that tea is a better choice. I don’t like tea in a bag. Think about what those tea bags are made of, even though the FDA and everybody says they’re healthy, I really don’t want to put any one of this silken tea sacks. It’s like using, putting pantyhose in hot water. Yeah, that’s kind of a gross image, isn’t it and then you don’t need to do that. You can just take a simple tea egg and some of them are metal and some of them are made from silicone. I actually got a silicone looking tea bag that you can put your bowl of tea in or you could just put it loose in the bottom of the pot, boil your tea and then strain the tea as you’re going got have it. But it makes such a better tea especially if you’re buying organic tea and tea ingredient clean water. I really believe in clean water, using your tap water and filtering it and then using some sort of method to purify your water. I’m a huge fan of distillation if you want to know more about that, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll tell you all I can about clean, distilled water. But it makes all the difference when you’re drinking water, fresh, cool water or water for your coffee and tea. And the great thing about this particular brunch event, we made most of the things the day before or two days before and then we’ve had great leftovers for the week. I really encourage you to make brunch now if you can’t make brunch, you can go out and get brunch. And that’s what we did on Sunday, we went to Candle Café west. Now I’m a big fan of the candle company if you have been to any one of the restaurants here in New York City. I hope you had a good time. If you haven’t been to New York or haven’t had a chance to visit Candle Café, Candle 79 or Candle Café west, I highly recommend it. I just always have a good time there and I have to say that these places are literally seeped in love. They’re seeped in love and joy because one of the owners is named Joy, Joy Pierson and, Bart Potenza. So we had this big family gathering at Candle Café west on Sunday and it was spectacular because we had people that weren’t vegetarian and then there were people that were vegan and vegetarian. And everybody loved the event and the food. It was really phenomenal and I want to tell you a little more about it. I mean just imagine these things, everybody can eat these foods. So one of the options we had to choose from was pancakes. Pancakes with fruit, strawberry, butter, and gingered maple syrup. Who doesn’t like pancakes? And everybody who ordered them loved them. Then they had this great dish called a Vegetable Crepe and what was great about it was it was gluten free. So people who cannot consume gluten can eat this and it’s a crepe made from garbanzo bean flour and we’ve got a number of recipes at responsibleeatingandliving.com to make this type of dish. It can be like an omelet or a crepe and a fabulous breakfast food and they were offering that at the restaurant and we had some great desserts. Apple, cranberry pie and an Almond Mousse pie. Are you getting hungry? The last thing I wanted to say about Candle Café was that I love them and I’m happy to plug them but if you are in Manhattan, you really need to check out their grumpy hour. They used to call it their happy hour but they’re calling it grumpy hour now which I think is great. You’re go in grumpy and you definitely leave happy. I think it’s from like 4-6 during the week, you go sit at the bar. They have $4 organic beer, organic vegan beer because everything in this restaurant is vegan. And we were in there a few days ago and had the Wolaver organic beer. They gave us some edamame and olives to munch on and then I ordered a little roasted vegetable sandwich and that’s leading me to the next thing I want to talk about which is roasting vegetables. If you haven’t done it or you haven’t done it recently, this is where vegetables shine, when you roast them and we had a great roasted vegetable sandwich at Candle, Candle Café West. Okay, what else did I want to talk about next? I think, I’m looking at my notes, oh one more place that I wanted to talk about is Beyond Sushi, another great place in Manhattan but I think they’re inspiring me to create some new recipes myself that I will put up at responsibleeatingandliving.com. Beyond Sushi is a restaurant in Manhattan. They only have like a few small tables so it’s kind of very informal. It’s not great for a big sit down dinner unfortunately but they make all kinds of Japanese style hand rolls, rolls like maki, and sushi and some other dishes, soups and salads whatever. But it’s a spin on Japanese sushi and maki only they use all kinds of fabulous ingredients and sauces that will just blow your mind and your palette of flavors will really explode. And we were there in the past week and if you look at responsibleeatingandliving.com, go to the blog you can see that particular blog post, the colors are just incredible. Okay, here’s what I want to do, I want to take a short break and then I’m going to bring on my guest for today and talk about the Plant-Based Journey. Okay? We’ll be right back.
Transcribed by Anna Molotkova 12/14/2015