Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

by Danielle Bussone

 

 

Watch this video to learn how to make Coconut Curry with Indian Spices! This recipe is from my new book, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!” It is a perfect food for transitioning to a plant-based diet. It is deliciously decadent and filled with health-promoting antioxidants and phytonutrients.  YUM!


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Hi, Y’all!

What? You expect perfection?

What? You expect perfection?

There seems to be a learning curve to this business of making cooking videos. I made lots of mistakes in the production of this one, but the ladies from ElderSpirit were very forgiving and a lot of fun. Rather than cut out the mistakes or redo the video, I’m sharing it with you blunders and all hoping you will be equally forgiving. We did cut out a lot in the interest of time and clarity.

I started to explain about how healthy garlic is and I managed to botch that section of the video. Here is the lowdown as explained by Dr. Michael Gregor of NutritionFacts.org. Garlic is the number one cancer fighting food. However, the protective effect of garlic may be destroyed in the cooking process so it is better to eat it raw or to crush it ten minutes before cooking. Crushing the garlic allows the compound alliin and the enzyme alliinase, which are located in different parts of the garlic’s cells, to combine and form the powerful enzyme allicin. This enzyme, once created, is resistant to heat. It takes ten minutes for that enzymatic process to take place.

 

Hmmm... How do I  fix this?

Hmmm… How do I fix this?

Another gaffe I made is I forgot to put the spices in towards the end of sautéing the onions. This allows the flavor of the spices to develop and adding them at the end of the sautéing process prevents scorching. Usually, spices are tempered in a little oil when cooking Indian and Thai dishes. Since we want to avoid using oil, which damages our endothelial cells and restricts blood flow, we add the spices at this point.

Adding the spices later didn’t noticeably affect the flavor at all, however, try to remember to add them earlier. Just the fragrance of the dish while cooking will make everyone scramble to find a seat at your table.

 

And there you have it!

And there you have it!

Also, because I was cooking for a crowd who did not care for spicy foods, I eliminated the chili pepper from this recipe. I really love it with the ground chili pepper but it’s fine to eliminate it if you wish. For simplicity I used a five-ounce package of organic spinach for this recipe, however you can add as much as eight ounces if you want to add more of this delicious phytonutrient. The original recipe calls for six ounces.

 

Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

 

This dish smells as good as it tastes. The aromas will drive your family and dinner guests wild while they are awaiting this treat. Again, don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients needed. You’ll use these spices over and over. Measuring them out in advance into small bowls will prevent mistakes. It is easy to forget a spice if it isn’t handy. If you prepare the rice in advance, it will save you some time when you are scrambling to get food on the table. It is also very good served with French whole wheat couscous, which only takes 10 minutes to prepare. It is also excellent served over linguini.

Note that the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cardamom pods are for flavor and should not be eaten. Pick the cinnamon and bay leaf out before serving; the cardamom pods will be harder to find so just warn your guests that they are not to be eaten. They won’t hurt them, but the seeds are very fibrous and have a woody texture. Plus, biting into them may give your guests a jolt of cardamom flavor that could be overpowering.

 

Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

Coconut Curry With Indian Spices

Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Yield: 7 cups, plus rice

 

Ingredients:

Prepare in advance:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat French Couscous
2 1/4 cups mirepoix vegetable stock or filtered water
2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained

 

Spice Blend:

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground hot chili powder (You can substitute cayenne.)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

 

Main Ingredients:

2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
2 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 can organic coconut milk
6 ounces baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (1 3/4 cups or about 40)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Preparation: about 20 minutes

Prepare vegetables.

Transfer drained, cooked chickpeas to a bowl. Set aside.

Set aside cinnamon stick and cardamon pods. Measure remaining spices into a small bowl. Set aside.

Method: 15 to 20 minutes

In a dry skillet, sauté onion with bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon until soft and translucent, stirring frequently (about 10 minutes).

Stir in ginger and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes, adding a little water a tablespoon or two at a time if necessary to prevent scorching.

Add turmeric, garam masala, ground chili powder, and black pepper. Stir until spices are fully incorporated with the onion mixture.

Stir in coconut milk, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes or so on medium heat until sauce is bubbling and tomatoes have wilted. Adjust spices to taste.

Just prior to serving, remove saucepan from heat and fold spinach** into mixture until wilted.

Stir in lemon juice and serve immediately over rice, couscous, pasta or grain of choice.

*You can cook chickpeas on your stovetop if you don’t have a pressure cooker, though it will take longer. Or you can substitute canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

**Don’t over-cook the spinach. It should be added no more than 5 minutes before serving. Spinach becomes a little slimy if allowed to cook for too long. Heat it only until it is wilted.

Note:

In cooking demonstrations I often substitute couscous for rice, simply because of time limitations. Actually, couscous is very delicious with this dish. Coconut Curry With Indian Spices can also be served over linguini or angel hair pasta.  Please refer to my book, Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!, for instructions on cooking beans, vegetable stock much more.

 

French Couscous

 

French couscous is a tiny crumble-shaped pasta that looks a lot like cracked wheat and its precooked form, bulgar wheat. If you store your grains and pastas in jars, be sure to label them. More than once I’ve had to call the large health-food chain in the next city to ask them to look up the bin number on the items I just purchased because I couldn’t tell the difference between cracked wheat and French couscous. When I buy them in bulk, I’ve learned to write not only the bin number but the name of the item on the package.

French couscous is one of the quickest and least labor-intensive foods you will find. It only needs rehydrating in hot water. Boil the water, stir in the couscous, let it absorb the water and fluff. That’s all there is to it! It is a wonderful quick substitution for rice when you’re in a hurry or have forgotten to put rice on to cook in time for dinner.

Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3 cups

 

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cups homemade vegetable stock or water

Preparation and Method:

In a small saucepan bring 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water to a boil.

Stir in couscous, making sure it all becomes wet.

Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Fluff with a fork and serve. It is important to fluff couscous because otherwise it will become compact as it absorbs the liquid.

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About!, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Always Organic, Always Plant-Based At Christopher’s Kitchen, West Palm Beach, FL

by Michael Wilkins

 

Marjie and I were diving in West Palm Beach over the weekend. On Sunday we decided to look for a restaurant for brunch that catered to vegetarian/vegan diets. We had quite a bit of time, so we sat down on the couch with the laptop and began browsing through the different options available on the internet. Many of the places listed as vegetarian either were not popular or had only one item on the menu that qualified them to be put into the group of restaurants that had vegetarian/vegan offerings. We were patient while looking for a place and our patience paid off.

 

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We struck gold with Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens, just north of West Palm Beach. The restaurant was easy to find as it was a short distance from I-95 going West on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. As it says on their website, the mission of Christopher’s Kitchen is to serve only the finest high-quality organic plant-based food. In this restaurant you will find food that has great nutritional value and outstanding taste. There will be no need to remove items from your plate that you don’t want to ingest because I found nothing on their menu that any of us would exclude from our diet.

 

Christopher's Kitchen

 

Christopher’s Kitchen is located in an area that includes other stores and is built like a town place setting. This seems to be the theme for many of the shopping areas that are springing up in the area. That being said, there were many tables outside and the dining atmosphere was pleasant. The wait staff was knowledgeable and courteous, as well as very gracious when I asked if I could take pictures.

 

Christopher's Kitchen Staff

 

Christopher's Kitchen Exterior

 

The menu is loaded with many different options from starters, such as soups, nachos and nut cheese, to a house classic they call CK tacos which is their most popular dish. The CK tacos are made with handmade vegetable tortillas, sweet and spicy walnut taco mix, lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, and special sauces. I, of course, had to try this when I heard that it was their most popular dish and I was not disappointed. My wife and I actually split the taco because they had the option to order one taco instead of the entire plate which would be two. The reason we did this was so that we could both enjoy entrées of our own but still try the taco.

CK Tacos

CK Tacos

 

Christopher's Kitchen Burrito

CK Burrito

 

Marjie ordered a grain bowl called the Powerbowl. This dish included quinoa, black beans, sautéed vegetables, avocado, chickpeas, bok choy, teriyaki sauce and cashew cheese. She really enjoyed this dish, and in fact took some of it home because there was too much food for her to eat. I sampled her dish as well and was pleasantly surprised. I must say at this point that there wasn’t anything we tried here that left us disappointed.

 

The Power Bowl

The Power Bowl

 

I ordered the zucchini and heirloom tomato lasagna, which is a raw lasagna dish. The taste was outstanding and the lasagna included shaved zucchini and walnut herb pesto which was the best part. It also included macadamia ricotta, red sauce, tomatoes, basil, thyme and oregano.

 

Christopher's Kitchen Raw Lasagne

Christopher’s Kitchen Raw Lasagne (photo from CK Facebook page)

 

The options also include a separate menu for smoothies and juices. A wine list is available, which includes offerings that are selected specifically because they are grown organically. I do not consume alcohol but there seemed to be many people enjoying a glass of wine.

 

Blueberry Bliss

Blueberry Bliss  (photo from CK Facebook page)

 

Christopher's Kitchen Interior

Christopher’s Kitchen Interior (photo from CK Facebook page)

 

We were one of the first customers there when the restaurant opened their doors. The outside area filled up quickly and the restaurant seem to be fairly full when we left. The only thing that may be perceived as negative about this establishment is that the prices were a little high. Our bill came to about $55, but I need to say that we sampled a couple of things that normally we wouldn’t have ordered. The restaurant also has a market next door that sells homemade cold pressed juices and many other items as well as take out which can be ordered off the menu.

 

Christopher's Kitchen Fresh Lemon Vanilla Cheesecake

Christopher’s Kitchen Fresh Lemon Vanilla Cheesecake                                           (photo from CK Facebook page)

 

If you have a sweet tooth they have a lot to offer in that regard as well. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that their desserts are sweetened with maple syrup, coconut palm sugar and other organic plant-based substances which are not GMO modified or showered in pesticides. We consider this a great find because we go down to West Palm quite a bit to do diving.

 After one stop, Christopher’s Kitchen has become one of our favorite places and we are planning to go back again as soon as possible. It excites me to find these little gems and know that there are people out there offering alternatives and creating great tasting food from organic plant-based options. Needless to say, I think I have already become an evangelist for this establishment.

Christopher’s Kitchen can be found by exiting I-95 at exit 79, PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens Florida. Head West for about a half a mile and you will see an enclave of the buildings on your right, turn into the drive and take an immediate right and you’ll see Christopher’s kitchen to your left.

 

Michael Wilkins is a respiratory therapist, an avid scuba diver and an accomplished photographer. He has been living with hepatitis C for more than two decades and is a cancer surviver. Michael has kept liver cancer at bay by employing the healing properties of a plant-based diet.

A year later, after a strict plant-based regimine, his tumor markers are normal and his MRIs are clean! This has made Michael more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. He has met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path. Michael’s area is Northeast Florida, particularly the Jacksonville area. Contact Michael to share your restaurant finds, make comments, or just to say hello!

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VOAA Welcomes New Writer Michael Wilkins To Our Team!

 

Veggin’ Out and About! is delighted to introduce a new staff writer to our team. Michael Wilkins has learned the power of plants the hard way. Living for over two decades with Hepatitis C and discovering he now had liver cancer, Michael turned to plant-based nutrition to restore his health. Plant-strong over a year now, the results have been nothing short of miraculous.

Read his story and join us in welcoming Michael to our restaurant review team! — Danielle Bussone, Editor

 

Michel Wilkins2

 

I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania and of course that meant being a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Some of my best memories are of my mother throwing stuff at the television complaining about the Eagles. I was the oldest of 6 which had its own challenges. I went to school at Mansfield University and became a respiratory therapist. I think it is during this point in my life that I contracted hepatitis C. I taught respiratory therapy for many years after practicing and eventually moved into medical sales. I traveled all over the country selling medical equipment, from lasers to anesthesia machines.

 

Michael Wilkins4

 

In 2009 I developed a squamous cell carcinoma in my neck. I went through all the traditional treatment, chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. This left me with a shoulder that didn’t work very well and no saliva glands on my left side, as well as other issues. I decided that I was not going to let this affect my ability to go diving which is one of my passions, but I still wasn’t convinced at this point that I needed to switch my diet. I did have many challenges regarding my diet and was looking for other alternatives. On one of my regular visits to see my gastroenterologist, I was being evaluated for the new hepatitis C medication. I have been dealing with hepatitis for approximately 22 to 23 years. I have gone through one round of chemotherapy for hepatitis C, which was especially grueling. I made up my mind then, I was not going to do it again unless there was a very good chance that I would be cured. This is why I was optimistic about the new medications coming out.

 

My physician was going over routine tests and found evidence of cancer on my liver. This discovery sent me to the Mayo Clinic to be evaluated for a liver transplant. The first question I asked was whether or not I would be able to continue to go diving after a liver transplant. I was told that the cancer was in a place where they could not operate. They decided to treat the cancer through a process called chemo arterial embolization. This process helped quiet the cancer but made other issues worse. It was at this point that I decided to start looking around for ways to help myself.

 

Michael Wilkins3

 

My chiropractor had been trying to get me to go on a plant-based diet for years. I finally went to see him for nutritional counseling and after attending a nutritional weekend, I dove into the deep end of the pool. It has been a little over a year since I did that and I have not looked back. I’ve lost weight, developed more energy and noticed that my body seems to be working better. My tumor marker is normal and the MRIs have not found anything. This has made me more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. I have met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path.

 

Michael Wilkins5

 

When I met Danielle at Veg Fest in Jacksonville, I was taken in by her passion and enthusiasm. I’m at the point in my life where I’m doing the things that I love. I am working as a Diving Instructor and underwater photographer. I have been married to the woman I love for 31 years. She loves to dive, eat vegan food and sometimes gets bored with my photography, probably because she spends so much time waiting for me to take a few pictures. We have two wonderful children and a seven year old granddaughter, who also loves her veggies. We live in Jacksonville, Florida which puts us near the granddaughter, the ocean and a vibrant vegan community. What could be better?

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Serving It Up Vegan At Lemongrass Cuisine of Thailand, Jacksonville, Florida!

    

by Michael Wilkins

Lemongrass Thai Exterior

 

Lemongrass Cuisine of Thailand is a great place to find something deliciously vegan in Jacksonville, Florida. The restaurant was easy to get to, reasonably quiet and had great options. The wait staff was courteous and friendly while taking care of our needs. The restaurant is located on Old Bay Meadows Road on the south side of Jacksonville. It has been in this area for quite a while and seems to do pretty well. Most of the entrées had tofu choices as a replacement for the carniverous options.

 

Lemongrass Thai Interior

 

I started with a tofu points appetizer and peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was tasty and slightly spicy.

 

Papaya Salad

Papaya Salad

 

For my next course I ordered the papaya salad. This salad contains shredded fresh green papaya, thai chili peppers, whole peanuts, cherry tomatoes, garlic, lime juice and a touch of fish sauce. I ordered the salad without the fish sauce. The taste was great and everyone at the table got a chance to try it.

 

Spicy Drunken Noodles

Spicy Drunken Noodles

 

For the main course I ordered spicy drunken noodles with tofu. This dish included wok tossed rice noodles, garlic, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, fresh mushrooms, cashews, scallions, srriachi and Thai sweet basil. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy Thai food?

 

My dinner companions ordered a dish called The Amazing which can be ordered with shrimp, chicken, beef, pork or tofu. The dish includes their famous peanut curry sauce over spinach and broccoli.

 

The Amazing

The Amazing

 

There are several Curry dishes to choose from as well. Most of the entrees are priced in the $13-$15 range.The experience at this restaurant was pleasant and I definitely would go here again. For those of you traveling through Jacksonville they offer lunch Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 2 PM and dinner nightly starting at 5 PM. The restaurant address is 9846 Old Bay Meadows Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256. It is located in the Deerwood Village shopping center. The phone number is 904–645–9911 and you can visit them online at facebook.

 

Michael Wilkins is a respiratory therapist, an avid scuba diver and an accomplished photographer. He has been living with hepatitis C for more than two decades and is a cancer surviver. Michael has kept liver cancer at bay by employing the healing properties of a plant-based diet.

A year later, after a strict plant-based regimine, his tumor markers are normal and his MRIs are clean! This has made Michael more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. He has met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path. Michael’s area is Northeast Florida, particularly the Jacksonville area. Contact Michael to share your restaurant finds, make comments, or just to say hello!

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Save a Husky and Save Yourself — Siberian Husky Rescue of Florida Will Help You Find A Forever Friend!

    

Contributed by Janet C, SHRF Volunteer Cooridinator, with Debi K, SHRF President. Segments aslo taken directly from SHRF website. 

 I am Janet C., and I am The Volunteer Coordinator for Siberian Husky Rescue of Florida, Inc. I joined the rescue in 2005 when I adopted my own red and white Siberian Husky, Ranger. As Volunteer Coordinator, I process the volunteer applications which we receive, contact the new volunteers, and help them find and understand the areas where their talents will be most useful.

 

Watching u 2008

Ranger

 
The adoption story of my own Siberian Husky, Ranger, began in early 2005 when he was found in NE Florida. He was taken to a kill-shelter where he was evaluated. After evaluation, it was determined that Ranger was food aggressive. It was decided by the shelter staff that Ranger would either be euthanized or could only be saved by a rescue. That is where SHRF came in to save him. Ranger was pulled from the kill shelter in February of 2005 and I adopted him two weeks later with the understanding that he would need and receive training from a certified behavioral specialist.

 

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Some of our incoming dogs, such as Ranger, may have behavioral issues. It is important to find the right behavioral specialist, with a solid history of treating the specific behaviors.In addition to Ranger, we have taken in other Huskies with a variety of medical conditions.

 

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There is Snoshoo who went through three surgeries for his umbilical hernia before coming to SHRF. His fourth surgery where SHRF had Snoshoo taken to a specialist was a success. He quickly recovered and is now living a wonderful life in his adopted home.

 

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Shyanne is another Siberian Husky who was going to be put down if they could ever get her out of her kennel without being bitten. No one could approach her to get her out as she was extremely fearful, feeling cornered, so she became defensive. Our President, Debi K., drove two hours and spent about 30 minutes getting Shyanne to develop trust in her, and she managed to successfully get her out willingly.

 During the process of getting her out, not once did she raise her gums to show her teeth, but as soon as the shelter staff member would make a move to get close to her, she would show her teeth to her. Once she came out of her kennel to our President, she was full of kisses and rolled right on her back for belly rubs.Shyanne is the sweetest girl. Her foster loved her and it wasn’t long before she was adopted into her loving, forever home.

 

shyanne_3

Shyanne

 

Siberian Husky Rescue of Florida Inc was established in 1999. Our mission is to rescue stray, abused, surrendered and unwanted Siberian Huskies in Northern and Central Florida. Since that time, our all-volunteer rescue has saved the lives of 1,144 Siberian Huskies. We have a President, plus four other Board Members, and SHRF is an official 501(c)(3).

 

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We list our Siberian Huskies currently available for adoption on our website under the heading Available Dogs. Potential adopters must complete and submit an application to adopt. In addition, on our website we do list other Huskies available for adoption at state and county facilities, but not through SHRF.

 

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We also offer a Referral Service. Referrals are dogs available for adoption directly from their owner. Descriptions of the dogs are provided by the dog’s owner. People interested in adopting one of these referral dogs must contact the owner listed.

 

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We are a not-for-profit organization run solely by volunteers. We have no paid staff. We take in purebred Huskies, primarily from kill shelters. SHRF does not have its own shelter location so all of our dogs are housed in foster homes. We are only able to take in dogs when we have an opening in a foster home, therefore, we can only accept owner surrenders when we have room. The primary mission of SHRF is to help dogs in immediate need of being saved from euthanization before taking in a dog that is being surrendered by its owner. We do offer a referral process for these dogs that will display the dog on our site and refer anyone interested directly to the owner.

 

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We pay to have all our adoptable dogs spayed/neutered; treated for heartworm, sarcoptic mange and other diseases, bathed, groomed and microchipped. SHRF provides loving foster homes and we try to crate train, house train and obedience train the dogs as much as possible. We ensure all our dogs are up to date with their vaccines, flea and tick treatments before adoption.

 

We are frequently in desperate need of Florida foster homes for our incoming Siberian Huskies. Anyone interested in fostering for our rescue should contact our President, Debi K., at: siberrescue@yahoo.com

 

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We try to educate the public about these beautiful, but sometimes challenging, dogs. We have a page on our website dedicated to Husky Education. This page covers most aspects of owning a Siberian Husky and includes segments such as General Characteristics, Athleticism and Huskies, Cats and Small Animals.

 

On our website, our rescue also features a national (and sometimes international) registry on Lost and Found Siberian Huskies. People who have lost or found a Siberian Husky can email us with the information and photos. We will post everything free of charge. People can contact our rescue at: siberrescue@yahoo.com.

 

My gorgeous Ranger

My Gorgeous Ranger

 

Our rescue holds events, primarily across Central Florida, which allows people to meet Huskies available for adoption. We have a month-by-month calendar on our website which lists all events for the year.

 

In the past two years, our rescue has been using social media sites from which to promote our Siberian Huskies and animal rescue and adoption in general. We use a variety of sites such as the following which I personally manage in my role as Volunteer Coordinator:

 

Facebook    Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram   Google A   Google B

If any Florida residents would like to foster, volunteer or adopt from our rescue, we would ask that they please visit our website to complete an application form.

 

Ranger greet every day with gusto March 2015

Saving one of these wonderful dogs will bring joy and meaning to your life you cannot imagine. Save a Husky and Save Yourself!

 
As a final note, please go to our website and click on the Happy Endings link on the left side of the page. These beautiful Siberian Huskies are our dogs that have just been adopted, and have now gone into loving, forever homes!

Note: Not every dog on this page is currently available. Check our website for updates!

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Danielle’s Perfect Pita Bread

by Danielle Bussone

 


  

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Danielle’s Perfect Pita Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

1¼ cups (10 oz by WT) filtered warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
(I like Fleishman’s brand. Always check the expiration date before purchasing yeast.)

1 cup (4 1/2 oz by WT) organic whole wheat bread flour

2 cups (9 oz by WT) organic unbleached bread flour, plus more for kneading and rolling

1 teaspoon good quality olive oil (optional)

  

Notes: You can omit the oil. I rarely use oil in cooking but in this case it does help prevent a skin from forming on the dough and makes it a little easier to manipulate. It is such a minute amount per pita I feel it is insignificant, though others may disagree.

It is always better to weigh ingredients rather than to depend on volume measurements. Depending on how densely packed your flour is, you can come up with measurements that are not very reliable. Even measuring cups can vary slightly, so it is best to weigh everything if you can, even water.

 

 

Directions:

1. Add warm water to a clean bowl. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

 

2. Sprinkle yeast over the top of the sugar water and lightly stir so that all the particles are wet. Don’t over-stir. It should become frothy within 3-10 minutes. If it doesn’t, the yeast is bad. Throw out your mixture and begin anew with fresh yeast.

 

3. Once the mixture is frothy, stir in salt. Next stir in the whole wheat flour and the bread flour. With a large wooden spoon or a Danish dough whisk, stir until all ingredients are combined. (A better way may be to premix the dry salt and flours before mixing. I neglected to do that in this video, but that is the preferred method.)

 

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured bread board or countertop and knead for 5 minutes, or until dough is somewhat elastic. It should be tacky but not sticky, nor should it be dry.

 

5. Transfer to a clean bowl with one teaspoon olive oil. Roll the dough in the olive oil so that every surface is lightly coated. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about thirty minutes.

 

6. While the dough is rising, place a large pizza stone or clay baking stone into a cool oven. Preheat to 450º.  A large clay stone is wonderful for making flat breads because your oven behaves more like a hot, clay tandoori oven such as you might find in good Indian restaurants. If you don’t have a baking stone, you can use a cookie sheet in the same way.

 

7. When the oven is preheated, deflate the dough and divide into six pieces. Roll each of them into a ball, dusting with a little flour to prevent sticking.

 

8. Take one of the balls and flatten it out on a floured surface. Roll to create a six-inch to eight-inch disk between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap until ready to use to prevent drying out.

 

9. Transfer one of the disks to your open palm. Open the oven and slap it onto the baking stone or cookie sheet taking care NOT to touch the stone or any hot surface in the oven. Let it sit for a few seconds before moving it toward the rear of the stone with a spatula.

The number you can do at one time will be entirely dependent on how large your baking stone is. I have a large round stone which will allow me to prepare three or four at a time. Since this recipe makes six pitas, it is convenient to prepare three at a time.

The bread will puff up into balloon shapes. (Occasionally one will burst before completing the baking process or will not rise at all. This is normal and to be expected. They will taste just as good as the ones that rise and will perform equally well as sandwich pockets, pita wedges, or for any purpose requiring pita bread.)

 

10. Cook for about 4 minutes, then remove with tongs or with a large spatula. Don’t wait for the pitas to brown because they will become too crisp.

 

11. Cool on a wire rack while you make the remaining pitas. These will make perfect pockets for sandwiches or to use as flatbread for dips and appetizers. Enjoy!

  

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Richmond Vegetarian Festival Celebrates Its Lucky 13th Anniversary, June 20th at Bryan Park!

 

by Danielle Bussone

 

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Celebrating their 13th year, Richmond Vegetarian Festival, one of the most happening vegfests in the country is less than THREE WEEKS away, June 20th, from 12-6pm. Richmond Vegetarian festival boasts thousands of visitors each year at the shaded  grounds of  Bryan Park and the numbers just keep growing. One hundred plus vendors will be nestled among trees in the dappled oasis of the park’s Azalea Gardens where great food and entertainment for the entire family can be leisurely enjoyed at this FREE event! Mike Goldberg (of WTVR-CBS6) will be the ever-popular Master of Ceremonies. Even your pets are welcome!

 

Pet and Kid Friendly Atmosphere!

 

This is your chance to sample some of the best plant-based cuisine anywhere, hailing from remote corners of the globe. Nile Cuisine will be serving up authentic Ethiopian. India K’Raja offers some of the best Indian food we’ve found anywhere, which explains why it has been voted Richmond’s best Indian restaurant time and time again. Phoenix Garden Vegetarian Restaurant offers amazing vegan Vietnamese fare. You’ll find Greek food, African-Caribbean fusion, Thai food, sushi, burgers, pizza and much more as well as delicious gelato and shaved ice. When you discover how delicious and satisfying vegetarian food can be, you may never want to eat meat again! That’s the idea anyway, to introduce newbies to the robust flavors and health-promoting vitality of plant-based cuisine.

 

Vendors at Richmond Vegetarian Festival: India K'Raja

India K’Raja

 

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There will also be many speakers to enlighten, educate and entertain. These include vegan muscle and fitness team Derek Tresize and Marcella Torres, and vegan travel blogger Kristin Lajeunesse. Information-packed cooking demonstrations will be performed by chefs John Maxwell, Patrick Carr and cookbook author, Danielle Bussone (Yes, that would be me!).  Renowned dietician, Jane Wilson, will be available all day to answer any of your questions.

 

Mike Goldberg, Derek Tresize and Marcella Torres. Kristin Lajeunesse, Jane Wilson, & Danielle Bussone

Mike Goldberg, Derek Tresize and Marcella Torres. Kristin Lajeunesse, Jane Wilson, & Danielle Bussone


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Musical performances by  Yes Team, ​S​cott Varney, ​C​ha Cha’s Cadillac​ and T​homas will fill the air as you meander through all the festival has to offer.

 

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The Kids’ Patch has crafts for children to enjoy, as well as many fun activities designed with children in mind, including a yoga demonstration by Project Yoga, an obstacle course by Veggie Warrior, and a scavenger hunt.
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Without exaggeration, I can pronounce that the volunteers and organizers of the Richmond Vegetarian Festival put on one heck of a show. I don’t know how they pull it off, but the throngs that show up year after year to bask for six hours in an environment of camaraderie, well-being and careless joie de vivre clearly show they are doing something right. Mark your calendars, check out the Richmond Vegetarian Festival and see what you’ve been missing!

Rain Date is scheduled for June 28th!

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Danielle Bussone Donates Book Profits To PlantPure Nation Kickstarter Campaign Through May 14!

 

Through May 14th, Danielle Bussone is donating 100% of the profits from the sale of her book, Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health! to T. Colin Campbell’s and his son, Nelson Campbell’s, Kickstarter campaign for their important new documentary  PlantPure Nation.

 

Time For Change Cover for Brochure

 

To date the Kickstarter campaign has received $107,075 towards it’s goal of $150,000.  While that is a healthy start, there are only 16 days left to obtain an additional $42,925 to reach their target of $150,000. The project will only be funded if the entire goal is met by May 14, 11:41 am Eastern Daylight Time.

 

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Please go to Dr. Campbell’s site and help get this documentary in front of the millions who need this information. Rallies and film screenings are being held throughout the country. Go on-line to find a screening near you. Today Dr. Campbell and PlantPure Nation will be in Ithaca, NY, where Dr. Campbell is a Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. His book, The China Study has guided many to recovered health through plant-based nutrition.

 

Why is Danielle donating the proceeds of her book to support this film? 

 

“Reading The China Study was the impetus for restoring my health. It was so compelling and made so much sense that my husband and I decided to give this plant-based lifestyle a try. Within one day of abstinence from animal protein I was free of the gastric pain I had suffered with for months. Within three weeks I no longer needed blood-pressure medication, I no longer have acid reflux, my cholesterol dropped to a healthy low and I’ve lost an impressive amount of weight without trying. I would never have written, Time For Change if my life had not been so dramatically improved by reading The China Study and following Dr. Campbell’s advice. Dr. Campbell’s book changed my life. I hope his film can do the same for others.”

 Order Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health! today!

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Tallahassee Vegetarian Community Hosts First Annual VegFest April 4th!

 

 

by Danielle Bussone
 

Tallahassee Vegetarian Community, aka TalVeg, is hosting the inaugural vegetarian festival in Tallahassee, The North Florida VegFest!

 
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Having visited numerous vegetarian festivals, I am always impressed by the coordination that has to happen to bring one of these events to fruition. It’s a daunting task by any measure. So, naturally, my curiosity led me to speak with Julie Sutton, who is one of the many people who have put their heads together and volunteered their time and intellectual resources to make this event happen. And it is happening, this coming weekend, April 4th, at Cascade Park in downtown Tallahassee, Florida! Beginning at 11am, the event will last until 3pm. The weather promises light rain in the morning, drying off just in time to grace Tallahassee’s inaugural vegetarian festival with perfect 70 degree temperatures. It seems the gods are smiling!

 

Julie Sutton

Julie Sutton

 

Sponsored by Tallahassee Democrat (Platinum), Whole Foods and A Well-Fed World (Gold) and VegFund (Silver), this event will feature a stellar list of speakers who will present different aspects of a plant-based lifestyle from healthy eating to the humane issues of protecting our vulnerable animal friends. Presentations and cooking demonstrations will run throughout the day. Many of the speakers have authored books on their respective subjects and will man a book-signing tent between presentations, where books signed by their authors can be purchased for yourself or as gifts for loved ones. There will be children’s activities as well. You can check out the program schedule at this link.

 

Presenters

Presenters From Left to Right: Danielle Bussone, Cynthia Cowen, Ellen Jaffe Jones, Dr. Freddy Kaye, Lee Sackett, and Jill Welch

 

And what would a vegetarian festival be without good food? Food vendors galore will be present at the festival, serving up healthy plant-based fare that will satisfy the most finicky palate. There is plenty to choose from. Restaurants making an appearance (in alphabetical order) are: Black Dog Café, Decent Pizza, Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine, Reggae Shack Café, Soul Vegetarian, and Sweet Pea Café.

 
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Other vendors include animal rescue organizations, green and sustainable markets, a book publishing company, services including health, nutrition and exercise, energy balance practitioners, farm to table programs, artisan vegan cheeses, essential oils, and even an abstract artist. There will be something for everyone at this eclectic health-centric happening. If you’ve never visited a vegetarian festival, you’re in for a real treat.

 

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Organizer Sally Sanders

 

If you are anywhere near the Tallahassee area, it will be worth your while to stop in between 11am and 3pm to check out what’s going on in downtown’s Cascade park. Ink it in on your calendars; it’s an annual event you’ll not want miss!

 
 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She author is of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Cookbook Author, LeAnne Campbell Speaks at Whole Foods in Charlotte, NC!

 

by Danielle Bussone

 

Leanne Campbell

 

Most of us have heard of vegan icon, T. Colin Campbell, author of the controversial book The China Study, which has awakened a nation to the perils of a diet rich in animal protein. In virtually every plant-based venue, be it a vegan pot-luck, a lecture hall or a vegetarian festival, someone (more than likely several someones) will have a story about how reading The China Study was a pivotal point in their decisions to rid themselves of animal dietary products forever, embrace the restorative power of plants, and in the process have turned their flagging health around completely. The story is so commonplace it has become practically banal. We have flocked to his lectures, have attended his seminars and enrolled in his plant-based nutrition program offered by Cornell University. We follow him like star-struck groupies hoping he’ll see our raised hands in the audience and respond to our fevered appeals, “Dr. Campbell, Dr. Campbell…” LeAnne just calls him “Dad,” and commands his undivided attention.

 

Yesterday, in a crowded conference room at Whole Foods, in Charlotte, North Carolina, LeAnne Campbell regaled us with stories of raising her children on a plant-based diet, following her father’s guidelines. LeAnne’s expertise is in education, and it shows. She engaged the room not only by sharing her own travails but by eliciting experiences from attendees of how they were able to overcome the obstacles of raising children on a plant-based diet when the school systems of our country, our medical professionals, and our sports coaches just didn’t get it.

 

LeAnne Campbell

 

Leanne Campbell

 

As is often the case, Campbell found herself preaching to the choir. Most of us were already dedicated vegans, ever thirsting for more information, something to give us a slight edge over our previous understanding of plant-based nutrition. We want validation that the choices we’ve made for ourselves are consistent with the growing body of scientific evidence that a plant-based diet is the optimal choice for humans of all shapes and sizes.
 
LeAnne’s area is food; how to make it so delicious that everyone enjoys it. She talks about how teaching children to cook awakens their imagination and she explains that “Children will always eat what they cook themselves.” She tells how one day she and her children prepared a dish that didn’t turn out so well. Nevertheless, they all ate some of it, evaluated it and came to the consensus together that “… it was just awful!” Campbell goes on to explain, “If I had made it, they wouldn’t have even made the attempt. They would have taken one bite and refused to eat anymore. But since they made it, they tried it, then tried it again and finally agreed that this dish just wasn’t going to work.”

 

LeAnne Campbell: The China Study Cookbook

 

LeAnne Campbell is author of two cookbooks, The China Study Cookbook and The China Study All-Star Collection, based on the exhaustive research of her father, as exemplified in “The China Study.” In her books you’ll discover a wealth of information and scores of hearty, delicious recipes to satisfy the most finicky eater. Plant food is good food, there’s no better way to say it. LeAnne makes a distinction between being vegan and adopting a whole foods plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. “You can have a very unhealthy vegan diet,” she says. “Lots of vegans eat nothing but processed foods and wonder why they are not getting healthier.” Campbell suggests staying away from processed foods and added oils, and limiting sugar and salt. Instead she recommends a diet of whole foods, as close to their natural state as possible, with minimal processing, such as beans, grains, and colorful fruits and vegetables.

 

Leanne Campbell

 

Campbell also shared tips on shopping, how to create a menu and a proper shopping list so we do not purchase more than we will actually use in the coming week. This has been a habit she has passed on to her grown son, who is now in the position of having to prepare his own food on a tight budget. We discussed the cost of food and she fended questions on how one can afford to buy organic produce, eschewing pesticide-laden conventional produce and of course, those that have been genetically modified. One of the members of the audience, vegan fitness coach, Shabaka Amen, addressed this issue. “I tell my clients, if you don’t mind spending money on alcohol, you shouldn’t mind spending money on good food! It’s a lot cheaper than spending money on doctors. Being sick is expensive.” Amen to that Amen!

 

LeAnne Campbell

From left to right: Danielle Bussone, Shabaka Amen and LeAnne Campbell

 

So, what’s next for LeAnne Campbell? She invites us to join her and her father, T. Colin Campbell, for a total health experience in the Dominican Republic, October 15-22. There you will learn from a host of scientists who will discuss why a whole foods plant-based lifestyle is the best diet for the prevention of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and protection of your bones, kidneys and eyes. The event is held in a 4-star all-inclusive resort and will include many perks. For more information visit their website,GlobalRoots, or email Leanne for more information at info@globalroots.net or call (919) 768-2836. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

 
Leanne Campbell: Global Roots 1

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She author is of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

Read more