This is a convenient, modern adaptation of a sort of ‘Chinese sandwich’ that is traditionally made with flat wholemeal bread which requires special ovens and a lot of experience to prepare properly. Instead, we substitute any heavy, high quality wholegrain bakery bread, thinly sliced and toasted, and this provides equally good, if not better, results. The key to any good sandwich, besides fresh ingredients, is the spread, and in Chinese sandwiches sesame paste is the key to the spread.
- 3 thin slices of heavy wholegrain bread, toasted
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 12-15 fresh celery leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 leaves fresh iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 35 g. (1/4 cup) raw sunflower seeds, presoaked at least 3 hours (or overnight) in cool water and drained
- 2 tablespoons dark Chinese sesame paste (or tahini) blended with 3 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- To prepare the spread, place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend to a smooth paste. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
- To assemble the sandwich, slice and toast the bread. Place a slice of toast on a plate and cover with one-quarter of the spread. Arrange half the tomato, chopped celery leaves, lettuce and onions on top of the spread. Top with a second slice of toast spread–side down, then cover the top of that slice with spread and arrange remaining vegetables on it. Complete the sandwich with the third slice of toast placed spread–side down.
- Cut in half with sharp knife, or serve whole.
As with all sandwiches, you may improvise and experiment with a variety of different fillings, as well as different types of wholemeal toast (sourdough rye is especially good with the Chinese sesame spread). As long as you use the basic sesame sauce, or some version of it, as your spread, the sandwich will taste ‘Chinese.’ It will also have the unique health virtues of Chinese food, for sesame paste is a very potent source of nutritional elements.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Assembling time: 5 minutes
- It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
- It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
- It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
- It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. + more]
Be healthy — and Enjoy.
From: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking, Daniel Reid, Periplus Mini Cookbooks, p. 8.
“This variation of traditional pesto adds another taste dimension. It’s easy to prepare and full of those kale nutrients. Besides having it with pasta, you can spoon it into soups, spread over a layer of fresh ricotta, toss it with steamed potatoes, over eggs or use it in salad dressings. Sometimes we add chopped roasted walnuts and finely grated Parmesan cheese. We spoon any leftovers into an ice cube tray and when frozen hard, we pop them into a zip lock bag for later use,” says Ayu Spicy in “Food Glorious Food” (from The Bali Advertiser, Nov. 2017 p. 16).
Basic Kale and Basil Pesto (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 cups kale leaves, washed and stems discarded
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest finely grated
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 shakes of Tabasco or 1/16 tsp. powdered cayenne
With the blender or food processor running, throw in the garlic clove until minced. Stop the blender and add the rest of the ingredients and run the blender until all is chopped. Stop the blender and scrape the sides down. Turn it back on and run until you have a smooth sauce. If it seems too dry, add more olive oil.
Taste the bright green silky sauce and adjust lemon, salt, pepper, and Tabasco to your liking. Note: Add 2 Tbl. chopped roasted walnuts and or 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese to all or part of the recipe for variation.
Banner from http://ifoodreal.com/vegan-kale-pesto/
“This easy dish has mega flavor. It keeps for several days, making the mushrooms even tastier. You can also use a variety of mushrooms or just your everyday white ones. But I prefer the shiitaki with their strong flavor and chewy texture,” says Ayu Spicy in her column, “Food Glorious Food.”
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of such books as Eat to Live and Super Immunity, advocates what he calls a micro-nutrient-rich diet. To have optimum health, Dr. Fuhrman says we need to eat GMOSBB (more greens, cooked mushrooms, onions, beans, and berries).
This Shiitaki Mushroom with Soy Sauce, Garlic, and Balsamic Vinegar dish is a tasty and easy way to get your recommended cooked mushrooms. Serves 2-3.
- 1/2 kg. fresh shiitaki mushrooms or other mushrooms
- 1 Tbl. virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbl. soy sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbl. chopped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
Clean the mushrooms getting all the grit off of them. Drain and then dry them on paper towels. Remove the stems and discard if they’re tough. If not, cut them in half crosswise. If the mushroom caps are large, halve or quarter them. You want big pieces of mushroom for this dish.
In a bowl mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Beat this with a fork or whisk to make a smooth sauce and then add the mushrooms and toss to coat well.
Choose a glass or ceramic oven dish big enough to hold the mushrooms in one layer. Spread the mushrooms over the bottom and bake for 10 minutes. Stir the mushrooms and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. If the sauce starts to burn, turn the heat down to 350 F (177 C).
Remove the dish from the oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving these beauties. Allow to come to room temperature before eating.
Enjoy your meal! From “Food Glorious Food at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz
Aloha & sampai jumpa, Renée
Banner : Photo by Christina Holmes https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/soy-glazed-shiitake-mushrooms-51140500
Coconuts are an almost perfect food: highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance as well as vegans says, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-coconut-milk
Given proper care and growing conditions coconuts palms grow rapidly, can produce up to 100 coconuts a year, and live to be 100 years old! So if you are lucky enough to have access to coconuts – and they are grown in more than 90 countries around the world, one delicious way to use them is to make your own coconut milk.
In the May/June 2017 issue of Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi magazine, “Cuckoo for Coconuts,” Ryan Burden shares his knowledge and passion for coconuts, including this recipe for coconut milk:
How to make homemade Coconut Milk:
- One older, shaker coconut [almost fully mature, these coconuts have thick meat and are rich in coconut oil].
- 1 or 2 rubber or spoonmeat coconuts [younger coconuts with jelly consistency meat]
Split the coconut in half by tapping firmly around the circumference. Tip: You can use any hard surface, like the back of a machete, a cleaver, even a stone.
Scrape out the meat using a coconut tool or butter knife; cut into 2-inch pieces.
Fill a high-powered blender halfway with coconut pieces and top with water. Water from a sweet coconut is best, but you can use plain H20. If you do, add a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of salt.
Tip: Make sure the water is at least 73 degrees; otherwise, the oils won’t emerge.
Blend on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Tip: Coconut meat is tough. Gradually increasing the speed avoids overheating the blender.
Strain through a nutmilk bag or fine cheesecloth. Squeeze out every bit, and put into a jar.
Fill to the very top, leaving no air in the jar to spoil the water. Chill immediately.
After the jar is opened, milk will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, but is best enjoyed within two days.
For the complete article including how to open a coconut, go to <https://mauimagazine.net/coconuts/
Have fun making – and drinking your homemade coconut milk.
Pistachio-Crusted Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette
Recipe from Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties (Roost Books).
Every spring, Ashley English, author and homesteader, uses asparagus fresh from her garden in Chandler, North Carolina. She says, “When I notice that those first, tender, thin green spears have poked their sleepy heads from the soil, that’s my cue that spring has arrived.” Here’s her favorite asparagus recipe.
Yield: 4-6 servings
2 pounds large asparagus
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons feta, crumbled (Look below for a vegan “feta” that is tasty – and 100% dairy free)
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup feta, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Several grinds of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the asparagus, and cut about an inch off the stem ends. Pat to dry. Place the asparagus on a dry baking sheet, and cook it for three minutes to dry off any excess moisture. Remove the sheet from the oven and toss the asparagus on the sheet with the olive oil.
Crush the pistachios in a food processor (or under a towel with a kitchen mallet or hammer) for about 1 minute, until finely ground. Transfer the ground nuts to a small mixing bowl. Using a spoon or clean hands, mix the nuts with the salt. Lay the asparagus out evenly across the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with half of the ground pistachio and salt blend. Turn the spears over, then evenly sprinkle them with rest of the ground pistachios.
Cook 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, and carefully plate the spears onto a platter using tongs. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a lidded container or a food processor. Shake or blend until smooth. Drizzle the plated asparagus with the vinaigrette. Top with the chopped parsley and feta. Serve at room temperature.
Seen in Spring 2017 edible ASHEVILLE, p. 42.
** For vegan feta, see this recipe from Nikki at EatingVibrantly.com for instant raw vegan feta: https://www.eatingvibrantly.com/instant-raw-vegan-feta-cheese/
Enjoy. Happy Spring, Renée
“Compassion isn’t weakness. Compassion is strength,” says John Lewis, M.B.A. CEO and founder of Bad Ass Vegan
From: Thrive Vegan Magazine: Plant-Based Culture, Food, Lifestyle, Athletes, Health, Issue 7, p. 46-47.
During a podcast with Rich Roll, John Lewis also said,
“No one is responsible for your well being . . . take control of your own health,” says John Lewis.
Rich Roll notes,
“John Lewis wasn’t always the exemplary model of health and advocacy he is today. Tipping the scales at 315 pounds by his freshman year in high school, things could have easily gone sideways for this young man growing up in Ferguson, Missouri.
But instead of drugs and gangs, he turned to sports, finding solace and refuge in basketball and football. Honing his skills in both high school and college helped him ditch his fat kid image and triggered his life-long love for healthy living.
Nonetheless, John began experiencing some serious, negative health issues despite maintaining an athletic nature post-college. He sought medical advice and was informed that excessive animal protein consumption just might be the culprit. That advice, combined with his mother’s colon cancer diagnosis, catalyzed an experiment with vegetarianism. Little did he know, that experiment would change his life.
In short shrift, ditching meat resolved his health issues. More importantly, the lifestyle aligned with his values. So it wasn’t long before John jettisoned all animal products from his plate and went entirely vegan.
Needless to say, this was an unlikely move for a football loving gym rat. His friends were not amused.
But John never felt better. The lights went on, opening him to an entirely new way of living and being that brought his life path into focus.”
Be compassionate. Be healthy. Aloha, Renée
We’ve just celebrated our annual Thanksgiving feast in the U.S.; the Christmas and New Year season with many gatherings and parties is ahead. So we don’t balloon up in size, it’s a time to be particularly conscious of our eating choices. But making conscious choices can be more than just looking at the calories we consume.
At the Bali Vegan Festival in October, in the presentation, “Why Veganism is the Best Choice,” Judit Németh-Pach, the Hungarian Ambassador to Indonesia, provided many compelling facts and reasons to become vegan.
One source she sited was EatingOurFuture.com with its compilation of many convincing articles and scientific studies.
Given our anatomy, what foods are best for humans?
“As a group, vegetarians/vegans live longer than meat-eaters. Furthermore, vegetarians/vegans generally enjoy better health:
- having less of the serious chronic diseases than the meat-eaters suffer;
- with less of the associated disability and pain than the meat-eaters suffer; and
- being less of a financial & social burden on their family and friends than are the meat-eaters with their higher rates of chronic degenerative disease.
Being healthier overall, vegetarians have more potential for the freedom & ability to live life to the full and independently for a longer time.”
What food choices are sustainable?Go to: https://eatingourfuture.wordpress.com/
How do food choices affect greenhouse gas emissions?
Yikes! Nooooooo. Low fat, organic cheese is worse than pork in creating greenhouse gases!! (I love good cheeses)!
What about eating fish and seafood? Aren’t they good protein options?
“1/. The United Nations reports: “According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate, over 70% of the world’s fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. The dramatic increase of destructive fishing techniques worldwide destroys marine mammals and entire ecosystems… oceans are cleared at twice the rate of forests…”
2/. “Global marine populations slashed by half since 1970: WWF… Populations of marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have dropped by about half in the past four decades, with fish critical to human food suffering some of the greatest declines… “Overfishing, destruction of marine habitats and climate change have dire consequences for the entire human population… The pace of change in the ocean tells us there’s no time to waste,” Lambertini [head of WWF International] said. “These changes are happening in our lifetime. We can and we must correct course now.”…”
3/. “Seafood hit by climate change, Australian study finds… “There will be a species collapse from the top of the food chain down.”… Around 61 per cent of wild fish stocks are “fully fished” and 29 per cent “over-fished”, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Just 10 per cent are under-fished, the organization’s 2014 World Fisheries report said…”
4/. “Rich countries pay zombie fishing boats $5 billion a year to plunder the seas…” – http://qz.com/225432/rich-countries-pay-zombie-fishing-boats-5-billion-a-year-to-plunder-the-seas/
And there is more –
The United Nations “urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet.”
So, what can we eat to be healthy — and have sustainable food sources?
If you give up meat, seafood, and dairy to eat french fries, you will not be healthy. Vegans need to be conscious of their choices too.
So what about me? Have I become a vegan? I’ve been vegetarian since 2003 and that isn’t hard. In fact, it is getting easier all the time with almost all restaurants and even gatherings in homes offering tasty vegetarian options. However, giving up eggs and really good cheeses is a challenge for me. Right now, I’m an aspiring vegan – for my own health and for that of our planet.
What about you? What conscious choices about your food are you or could you be making?
Banner image is of a healthy vegan choice at Paradiso – The World’s First Organic Vegan Cinema – and major sponsor of the Bali Vegan Festival. When you go to Ubud, Bali, be sure to go to Paradiso for daily movie screenings, family afternoons, workshops, thematic festivals, live music shows, art exhibitions, private events, and excellent food. http://www.paradisoubud.com/
“All systems of oppression need to be challenged,” said a speaker at the Bali Vegan Festival in Ubud, Bali last month. Doing just that since 1977, Sea Shepherd, a non-governmental, non-profit environmental organization, has been using direct action tactics [along with lots of media attention] to protect marine life [and to educate consumers].
If you want to volunteer on a Sea Shepherd crew, you will be asked that question, “Are you willing to die for a whale?” The boats carry no guns but use film and public education to achieve incredible change. Their important work continues.
Sea Shepherd claims responsibility for damaging or sinking multiple whaling ships, through sabotage or ramming. The group has attempted to intervene against Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Makah, Faroese, and Japanese whalers in multiple campaigns around the globe. Those actions have included scuttling and disabling commercial whaling vessels at harbor, using limpet mines (a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets) to blow holes in ship hulls, ramming other vessels, throwing glass bottles of butyric acid (stinky rancid butter) on the decks of vessels at sea, boarding of whaling vessels while at sea, and seizing and destroying drift nets at sea. Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson has said that the organization has destroyed millions of dollars worth of equipment. The Sea Shepherd media extravaganzas have highlighted whaling, long-line fishing nets, and shark fining to get people everywhere informed and conscious of the destruction of life in our oceans.
Some shark populations have decreased by 60-70% due to shark fisheries.
Gary Stokes, Asia Director for Sea Shepherd, has spent the past 10 years on documenting, investigating, and exposing the shark fin trade. He was a guest speaker at the Bali Vegan Festival in Ubud last month. Indonesia is the #1 exporter of shark fins; Spain #2.
There is much economic pressure to ignore the international bans on shark finning.
Fishermen often choose to keep just the shark fins—only one to five percent of a shark’s weight—and throw the rest of the shark away rather than have the less valuable parts take up space on the boat. The finned sharks are often thrown back alive into the ocean, where unable to swim properly and bleeding profusely, they suffocate or die of blood loss. Shark meat sold to restaurants and markets is often used in seafood curries and stews.
Gary says that now 60% of the fish and seafood in our oceans are in terrible condition. Global fishing fleets are now at 2.5 times the sustainable level. Just one poaching boat, the “Lafayette” which works the waters off Chili and Peru around the Faroe Islands processes 1,500 tons of fish a day!! Much of that is Chilean tooth fish; in restaurants, it’s called “Chilean Sea Bass.” 😦 Much of caught sea food goes to animal feed.
A result of Sea Shepherd and other activists groups like Greenpeace and loud voices, many people now know to make conscious choices.
According to a National Geographic article, we now know to “look for the blue eco-label of the Marine Stewardship Council, or ask where in the world the fish comes from. . .[to] help you find the best and avoid the rest”
Stokes reports that forty percent of the tuna that comes into the U.S. is from illegal, unreported fisheries in Thailand. And forty percent of all fish caught is used for animal feed. 😦 If the world continues to consume and destroy marine life at the current rates, Stokes says that by 1948 there will be no fish!
Recently, Sea Shepherd Asia had a hiatus, a year off, when Japan temporarily halted whale hunting. Gary and his team got to go after other notorious pirate fishing vessels. For 110 days, a Sea Shepherd ship chased the “Thunder” – #1 on the Interpol list of pirate fishing vessels. Finally, the captain of the “Thunder” sunk his own ship rather than be caught with the incriminating evidence of illegal fishing!! But while part of the Sea Shepherd crew was saving the “Thunder” crew, other Sea Shepherd volunteers entered the sinking ship in time to collect computers and other evidence that has the captain and crew serving time in a Nigerian jail. [It would seem the owners of the pirate ships should be in jail too]. The photo above shows what has happened to other illegal fishing boats that Sea Shepherd has targeted.
Gary says of the ocean marine life, “We are losing everything.” We must all learn and act.
So why was Gary invited to speak at the Vegan Fest? The people who volunteer for the Sea Shepherd crews are ardent animal activists. Many are vegans. Since 2002, all Sea Shepherd vessels serve only vegan meals. It would be hypocritical, says Gary, to eat meat while chasing people who are killing marine life. Gary has been a vegetarian since 1980. When he first started going out on Sea Shepherd missions, Gary was more worried about what he would get to eat than about the possible confrontations the crew would meet. But, he has learned that the vegan meals are delicious, healthy, and accommodate everyone on board, and all religions.
The Sea Shepherd logo – a pirate to protect marine life:
Watch the following documentaries; you will likely cry, cheer, and laugh.
Paul Watson: The Whale Warrior: A Pirate for the Sea
Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist – a full documentary film
Seafood Watch has a free app for iPhone and Android that’s updated as recommendations change.
Please be ocean-friendly when you shop for seafood. Even better, eat vegetarian/vegan. Think about it. And tell your friends. Do what you can do.
Remember that ardent animal rights Sea Shepherd crews don’t have guns. Gary Stokes says that even one pissed off vegan is a force to be reckoned with.
Full steam ahead, Sea Shepherd. We need you now more than ever.
Snakeskin fruit or salak is new to me. “A native fruit from Indonesia and Malaysia, the snakeskin fruit grow in clusters at the base of the palm. The taste is usually sweet and acidic, like a cross between a crunchy sweet apple and a pineapple, but its texture can vary from very dry and crumbly to moist and crunchy. . .[Here in Bali, the ones I’ve had are moist and crunchy – and delicious.] This palm grows to 10 feet tall, is very thorny, and produces fruits in large clusters. Plants are self pollinating. Likes filtered sunlight.”
Snakeskin fruit are refreshing and very popular in SE Asia.
Image and information from: <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/391953973799636953/>.
They are delicious on their own, but adding them to a salad gives an added good flavor and crunch.
Raw Vegan Energy Salad:
3 whole Salak [Snakeskin fruit] -Peel, pitted and cut into strips
1 Avocado – Cut into cube
1 tbsp Goji Berries
1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Pineapple cube
3 pcs Medjool Dates – Pitted, cut into strips
3 leaves Iceberg Lettuce [or your favorite lettuce] – Torn
1/2 pcs Lemon-Squeezed for juice
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
pinch of Natural Sea Salt
Dash Black Pepper
Prepare all the ingredients in salad bowl,
Just before serving. Pour dressing over salad and lightly toss.
There you go! The super tasty Raw Delightful Salak Salad !
Look for snakeskin fruit. I think you will love it too.
Salamat Makan, (Enjoy your meal), Renée
Now more aware of the health benefits of coconuts, I’ve been seeing how I can get more of the wonderful power food. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade coconut butter that you might want to try too.
Meagen, the Vegan Food Addict, says, “Coconut butter, sometimes referred to as creamed coconut, is becoming increasingly popular. With its popularity, however, it can be expensive and often difficult to find. The good news though is that you can still enjoy it…just make your own! If you have access to shredded coconut or coconut flakes, you are in luck.
Check out this recipe:
Homemade Coconut Butter
Yields approximately 1 cup
4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
Place coconut in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5-10 minutes*, or until smooth; stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl.
Store coconut butter in an airtight container at room temperature, in the fridge, or freezer. Coconut butter will begin to solidify after resting.
*Processing time may take more or less time depending on food processor”
Meagen has many more tasty recipes including Tikil Gomen, (Ethiopian Cabbage and Potatoes). Check out her blog.
Coconut Butter and more from Meagen: ttps://veganfoodaddict.wordpress.com