4/7/2015: Week in Review

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Caryn talks about the book release party for Gene Baur’s Living the Farm Sanctuary Life; Passover and Easter holidays and recipes; Cows milk found in Breast Milk sold online.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello everybody! It’s time for the second part of It’s All About Food. And here you are with me, thank you so much for joining me and listening and caring about my favorite subject: food! Because it is all about food and every time I turn and look and think about something and try and see how it’s not connected to food, I always find a connection to food; because it’s all about food.

I want to bring up some things that are going on, some events, and some things you might be interested in. So, every year, Responsible Eating and Living, my non-profit, has been supporting the Compassion Over Killing US Veg Week. And that goes on during the week of Earth Day, which is coming up later this month. So if you go to www.usvegweek.com you can find out more about what goes on during US Veg Week. It’s a great opportunity for people who are not vegetarian to choose vegetarian food just during this week, the week of Earth Day. And they have a nice program if you register and you take their seven-day Veg-Pledge and you get to be part of a bigger community of lawmakers and celebrities that agreed to sign up and you get a bunch of nice resources: coupons, recipes, opportunities to win some prizes. It’s a nice little kick in the butt for you if you’ve been thinking of improving your diet and just needed one more little reason to do it, you might join the US Veg Week kick off for the Earth Day Week Veg-Pledge. Right? Very good, there’s that.

And another thing I wanted to mention, I think that this is the fourth year, Are you familiar with the Food Revolution? That’s an organization that was created John Robins and Ocean Robins. They have a Food Revolution Summit every year and it’s coming up later this month. It’s around the 25th of April and it’s an opportunity to hear John Robins interview some really great people in the food movement. And, you can listen to all of it free during April 25th-May 3rd. Afterwards you have an opportunity if you want to keep all of these interviews you can make a purchase. If you want to know more about it, just go to my website www.responsibleeatingandliving.com, you can scroll down on the right side until you see Food Revolution Summit. The one special thing about this is John Robins. He is just amazing to listen to and sometimes I think he is linked somehow to the greater universe because of the way he channels things when he speaks. I am actually very fortunate in that after the Food Revolution Summit, later in May, I will be joining John and Ocean and we will be doing a six-week online course helping people along to make better food choices and give you all kinds of wonderful empowering tips to prepare food and choose different foods during your journey through everyday life etc. We did this back in October and we are doing it again in May and June and I’ll let you know more about it later in the month. It was such a great experience. It was a great experience for me. I wasn’t part of the course, but just to participate and hear what these two wonderful people had to offer and share was invaluable. So, you might want to check out the Food Revolution Summit. And again, go to www.responsibleeatingandliving.com and scroll down on the right side, and you will find a little picture of the Food Revolution Summit and that will take you there.

What else do I have to tell you? We are having an event as well; it’s my birthday party on April 22nd. What are you doing on Earth Day? How are you celebrating the Earth? Of course, I think everyday should be Earth Day, its our home and we should be taking care of it. One day really quite isn’t enough, but at least on that one day we can make a big splash and think about how we can do better in the following year. Well, Responsible Eating and Living is having a fundraising event. It’s my birthday party and I really would hope that you check it out if you are in the New York Metro area. I would love to meet you and see you. It’s going to be a lot of fun! Go to www.responsibleeatingandliving.com and it’s pretty much at the top. It’s a turquoise little picture called the “Happy Earth Day Review”. You will get to meet the Swinging Gourmets because they are going to be singing at that event.

Another thing I wanted to talk about is an event that I just went to last night, which was amazing. My partner Gary and I contributed three recipes to the New Farm Sanctuary Book called Living the Farm Sanctuary Life. It is written by Jean Bar, the co-founder of New Farm Sanctuary along with Jean Stone, you may recognize those names. I’ve had them both on the show and Jean Bar will be back in May to talk about this book as well. He was also on John Stewart last night, I don’t know if you caught that. So we were at this event for the book launch because it was released yesterday, and the one thing that really stood out for me for somebody who has been vegan now for over 26 years: it was so inspiring to see how far we’ve come. It was a lovely event at ABC Home. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to this store in Manhattan, there is nothing in there that I could possibly afford, but it’s a beautiful store. There are all kinds of creative, crafty lovely different things. They are very generous with their space, for good causes and this event was there. I thought I would name some of the people that were there, and I will be bringing them on the program soon if they haven’t been on the program. So Joshua Catcher, are you familiar with him? He is the Discerning Brute. One of the things he is working on is compassionate, cruelty-free fashion wear for men. That is something that there isn’t a lot of. Most men when they choose a suit, it will often be made of wool or silk, and there aren’t many fashionable items that are made of cruelty-free textiles. And, if they are, they are vey expensive. So, that’s an area that needs development. And, we spent some time with Jane Velez-Mitchell. Are you familiar with her? She is a huge animal rights activist. She had a show for a while on CNN, and now she is working on a new project that will be on the World Wide Web, Jane Unchained. I’ll be speaking with her next week. It’s very exciting. Do you remember M*A*S*H? So Loretta Swit used to play “Hot Lips” Houlihan. She was there and she shared some of her experiences as an animal rights activist. It was really exciting to see her there. Some other people were there, Sharon Gannon of Jivamukti. I spoke to her a while ago; she has a lovely, joyful cookbook out. And it was really just great to be a part of that.

Now, I want to get to the fun part, and that is talking about food. Good food, delicious food. Now, this week, there were two holidays that I know of. There was the Jewish holiday of Passover and the Christian holiday of Easter. I think its really, really considerate that these big holidays fall on the same week. I’m not really into following the religious part of the holidays, the protocol. All I am interested in is the food, and making the favorite foods vegan and delicious. We had so much fun and it was something that really just came together and we didn’t plan. I may have mentioned it last week, but I’ve been working on, and fine-tuning, my gefilte fish recipe. I got to east it all this week. It’s an almond based recipe; really simple. What was really fun this time is that I made a jelly that went with the gefilte fish. If you are familiar with this Jewish fish dish, very often if you don’t make it yourself, you buy it in a jar in a store. It’s in this kind of, its not really attractive, but its kind of this slimy jelly thing and it forms from the fat on the animal that you prepared the dish from. So, I use a sea vegetable, agar, to make the gel. It was tricky to get the right consistency, not too hard, not too soft, and I finally made it and jarred my fish, which was the seasoned almond based pieces made to look like the gefilte fish which is a combination of white fishes or carp. I’m not even familiar with the fishes that used any more because I haven’t eaten it in forever. But, it was so good. Taking it out of the jar with the jelly, the flavor really got enhanced over time. I’m so excited about that recipe! And we had just a wonderful Passover. Now, one of the famous dishes within the Jewish tradition is something called brisket, which is a beef that is marinated and it becomes really soft and tender. People just go nuts over it. Well, I haven’t had that in a really long time and I’m not really interested in it. But, Gary made two wonderful brisket-like dishes. One was with mushrooms and one was with tempeh and, genius! They were so good, with really flavorful sauces. And you know, it’s all about the sauce. I am more and more convinced about food and how to make things tasty. When you have a wonderful sauce, and you can have a wonderful saucy that entirely plant-based, it can bring so much elegance. Not only flavor, but elegance if it’s plated in a certain way. Or, it can bring a certain degree of comfort. A lot of comfort food has rich sauces and gravies. And that’s why we started with our The Transition Kitchen Program. We’ve done three of them now. We’ve done three out of the five French Mother Sauces. These are the base kind of sauces in the French culinary cannon and you can build upon them to make so many others. They are not hard to make. Hollandaise, velouté, espanole, béchamel and tomato. And you can start with these and season them up and make so many different wonderful, flavorful dishes from plants. You don’t need the meat you just need the sauce. So, we had some wonderful espanole sauce and variations on it to make this brisket-ey kind of dish. Wonderful! Well then, it was time to, oh no, one more thing! I made a chocolate flourless cake. So, I’m not really that concerned with the traditions of Passover, but one of the things you’re not supposed to do is eat leavened bread, wheat, there is a whole long list of foods that you’re not supposed to eat so I was trying to think “what can I make for desert that kind of fits the Passover rules, and vegan, and gluten free?” And I found this wonderful recipe in the Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Café, a chocolate flourless cake. And I made it, and it was so good, and now I can’t wait to make all kind of variations on it, because it was really very easy and lovely. So, I’m very excited about this chocolate flourless cake. I’m going to post my recipe on that pretty soon. I haven’t gotten to that yet, but look for it.

And then, Easter came along, just a couple days later. And, I have to say that I was blown away with the dishes that my partner Gary created for Easter. I had no idea what he was doing. He was working in the kitchen for hours. I asked if I could help and one of the things he asked me to do was to make a cannoli shell, because I tend to make all of the deserts in the family. The funny thing is that I had never made a cannoli before. So, ok, I’m going to make a cannoli shell and not only that, I’m going to make it vegan and I’m going to make it gluten free. It was fun just downloading different recipes and seeing how people made them. And I also, if you’ve ever had a cannoli, which is a pastry tube, filled with a rich sweetened ricotta cream. I grew up on these and they were just so incredibly delicious. Sometimes you can get little pieces of chocolate chips and cherries in them. A wonderful desert that I haven’t had in a million years. Well, I came up with a recipe that isn’t deep-fried, because I don’t like deep frying things. So, I made a baked cannoli shell and it’s vegan and gluten free and it was wonderful! It was so much fun making it and it really wasn’t difficult. And then Gary made this beautiful filling. So we ended up having this incredible Easter dinner and its just amazing what you can do with plant foods. So that’s just one of the thing that we want to put out there to the universe that this kind of eating is not only good for you, but it can be, if you put in the time and effort, it can be elegant, it can be beautiful, stunning, satisfying. The first dish he made is something we are calling a musagna, we made it up. It’s a combination of musaka and lasagna. The tomato sauce was seasoned with middle-eastern kind of spices. It kind of had a nice kick; really flavorful. It was incredible. And then, I thought, “Okay, we’re done.” But then he came out with this beautiful dish. It was circles of marinated tempeh, marinated just to perfection. And inside, smashed potatoes sitting on a bed of espanole sauce, which is a dark sauce. So flavorful, so light, so lovely. And, it came with roasted vegetables and a Indian eggplant. Just incredible! And then we finished up with the cannoli. And I just couldn’t believe how it just all happened. Now, there are many people who either aren’t interested in cooking or don’t know how to cook. And, like anything else, like learning to crawl or walk or run, it takes energy, it takes time. But anybody can learn. And, that’s one of our motives at Responsible Eating and Living is to give you lots of ideas, lots of encouragement. Because we all need to eat! It is not like you can say, “Okay, yeah I’m not interested in this because I don’t eat.” We all eat! Right? I know there are some people that are so busy that they don’t care what they eat and they just want it to be efficient, but I believe that most of what we do in life should be enjoyable. And if we are going to eat, shouldn’t it be food that delicious and nutritious? That’s what we are offering you. So, that was our Passover and Easter.

Now one of the things I want to mention, maybe you noticed when I was talking about the gefilte fish, I said it was made from almonds. Almonds are getting a bad rep these days. You know about the California drought and most media are listing almonds at the top of the bad list for using so much water. Water being a precious commodity, they are pointing the finger at almonds as the bad agricultural food and I haven’t had a moment to dig into the numbers but I do know that almonds are not the evilest of culprits. I don’t want to point fingers at almonds. I want to point fingers at, you know what I’m going to say. I want to point fingers at cattle. And, especially in California. So, they grow a lot of alfalfa and corn to make animal feed. And not all of that animal feed feeds cows in California. Some of it goes to China. It’s crazy. All this water being used to grow plants to feed animals to ultimately feed people. Some of them in California, and some of them across the country. Some of them in other countries, and California are running out of water. The first thing that I would do is say “Stop the cattle.” It’s so inefficient. And to grow plants to feed animals that sucks up all of this water inefficiently. It’s the easiest thing to solve the problem. Nobody is talking about it. At least, nobody in the media world that gets a lot of attention right? We’re talking about it right now. Hum! That’s what I would do. And, it irks me, does it irk you, to know that some of this animal feed isn’t even staying within the United States. It’s like shipping water outside of the United States; shipping all these foods that are grown here as California runs out of water and shipping it somewhere else to feed animals and inefficiently to feed people. Doesn’t make any sense.

Now, here’s a question I have for you. When you visit a website, can you tell me this, do you like when you get to the website and as soon as you get there, a screen pops up that you’re not interested in? That asks you to subscribe or do something or check something out? I just want to know, do you like that? I don’t like it, but I just want o know, do people like that? We don’t have that at responsibleeatingandliving.com, maybe we should I don’t know. It doesn’t work for me. Let me know. Let me know what you think about anything: info@RealMeals.org is my email and I’d love to hear from you about that or about just about anything else.

Another thing, oh, I wanted to talk about two things that I read in the news that I felt were kind of interesting; classic scenarios of humanity. Did you read the recent article, I saw it in the New York Times, I imagine it must be in other places, but people can purchase breast milk online. Hopefully, I believe, to feed babies. And they are finding that ten percent of some of the breast milk that has been randomly tested contains cows milk. This I find so, I’m not shocked because people will do just about anything, but another very sad scenario with humanity and people trying to make a buck. Now, many times people purchase or try and find breast milk for their babies for a number of different reasons. Because the mother cannot provide the milk, and because the baby may be sensitive to cows’ milk formulas and soy mild formulas and they can only consume human breast milk. And then they buy it and it has cows’ milk in it. It’s just insane. I go nuts when I read things like this! And, if you’ve seen my chocolate report, and if you haven’t I encourage you to go to www.responsibleeatingandliving.com and watch it, that’s one of the things we talked about with chocolate. So, you may have heard chocolate has cadmium and lead in it depending on where it comes from at limits at are above allowable limits; limits that can be toxic, especially to children. Cocoa, unfortunately, can be harvested on the Ivory Coast using child slavery, very devastating. And the other thing is that the FDA found dairy in many chocolates that said they didn’t have dairy. And, we learned a few weeks ago that the chocolate machines are heard to clean so when somebody is making a non-dairy chocolate on a machine that has made dairy chocolate, its just really hard to get all of that dairy out of there. And for people that are sensitive to dairy, and have extreme intolerances, and can make them very ill; they have to avoid any amount of dairy in their food and there are many chocolate foods, and now we are learning other food that say they contain no dairy, but they do. And what do we do about that? Well, as I often love to quote my dad, “If you can’t solve a problem you eliminate the problem” and the way to eliminate it for humans to stop exploiting animals and stop making milk from cows. If we didn’t make any cow milk, then nobody would worry about being allergic to it, or getting it in their purchased online human breast milk, or in their chocolate, etc. That’s my solution, who is listening?

Well, thank you for listening, very much, I appreciate it. I would love to hear from you at info@RealMeals.org please send me a note. And please come to my birthday party. Put it on your calendar, April 22nd, Wednesday here in New York in Forest Hills Queens, the number one travel destination for 2015. Come and see why! That’s all now I’m done. Very good, thanks for listening and remember, have a delicious week!

Transcribed by Katy Dalrymple 9/21/2015

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