About My Blog.

Welcome! This is "Catatonic Digressions."
Most, if not all readers don't understand my blog's title. It's an old inside joke from a forum long gone. I was going to change it, but since it's been "confusing" for so long, I decided to leave it. Don't worry about what it means, the content of the blog is what is important.

Unfortunately, my blog isn't what I set out for it to be. A disturbed and manic online stalker and cyberbully has made it impossible for me to post about family, my son, life in my part of New York...so I stopped (for the most part), and I mostly reblog and repost what I feel is important, necessary or close to my heart. As for the stalking sociopath, she can go to hell for harassing me and my family since mid-2008. You can't scare me offline with a few lame threats and dozens of pages of defamation, abuse, depravity and libel. I'm bitchy like that. ;)
(Anyone who knows me knows I'm not actually a bitch, but let's allow this psychopath to think I'm a bitch to her blackened heart's content—it seems to make her feel she has some sort of control over me…and it does not.)

If you read a story and you feel moved in any way, comment. Comments are more than welcome.

Unlike those online who lie and hide behind fake photos and insanely fabricated stories, I'm a real person. I'm real and I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. After years of putting up with online abuse by manipulative, pathological liars, attention whores or narcissists, I've had it. Don't bother me with pathetic drama. I have no time for these types of people and their need to absorb others' time and attention.

Feel free to email me if you have a story or cause you would like shared, especially if it pertains to animal rights, liberation, veganism, animal welfare, health and well-being, geekery, Macs and computer dorkiness, music, lowbrow art, kitchy stuff, skateboards, the beach, swimming, diving, NYC, beading (it's my hobby), recipes (love to cook, especially if I made the recipe up myself!), VEGAN!, ALF, Sea Shepherd, Action for Animals, NIO, 269Life and/or anything you think I might enjoy or others might—you never know. It doesn't always have to be serious. Hilarious stories, local NY, funny videos or photos, photobombs (especially if they contain pets!)...I might be partially censored, but I'm not closed down!

Please, join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and follow them and The Barbi Twins on Twitter and Facebook.

For the Oceans,
Suzanne

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Vegan Soul Kitchen

“bryant terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege. this book is full of easy, tasty, seasonal recipes that also happen to be vegan and affordable!”

—alice waters

Vegan Soul Kitchen (VSK): Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine is the latest book by Oakland-based eco chef, food justice activist, and author Bryant Terry. In this deeply personal and cutting-edge cookbook, Terry revisits his Southern roots and offers innovative, animal-free recipes mostly inspired by African American and Southern cooking. VSK includes a foreword by cookbook author Myra Kornfeld; beautiful full-color photographs; an original song written by singer-songwriter Don Bryant (the author’s uncle); new poetry by Michael Molina; suggested soundtracks for each recipe; and book, art, and film recommendations.

VSK recipes use fresh, whole, best-quality, healthy ingredients and cooking techniques with an eye on local, seasonal, sustainably grown food. Reinterpreting popular dishes from African and Caribbean countries as well as his favorite childhood dishes, Terry reinvents African American and Southern cuisine—capitalizing on the complex flavors of the tradition, without the animal products.

Includes recipes for: Black-Eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Pepper Sauce; Jamaican Veggie Patties; Double Mustard Greens & Roasted Yam Soup; Agave-Sweetened Orange-Orange Pekoe Tea; Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Ginger-Peanut Dipping Sauce; Cajun-Creole-Spiced Tempeh Pieces with Creamy Grits; Citrus and Spice Pickled Watermelon Rind; Caramelized Grapefruit, Avocado, and Watercress Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette; Sweet Cornmeal-Coconut Butter Drop Biscuits; and Molasses-Vanilla Ice Cream with Candied Walnuts.

The best way to summarize this eclectic book: Alice Waters meets Melvin Van Peebles. . .

About VSK:

Order here

What people are saying about VSK

Publication Date: March 2, 2009

Author: Bryant Terry

Foreword: Myra Kornfeld

Food Photographer: Sara Remington

Lifestyle Photographers: Keba Konte and Brittany Powell

Songwriter: Don Bryant

Poet: Mike Molina

Order Vegan Soul Kitchen

Click here to read about Bryant’s first book: Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (Tarcher/Penguin 2006)


Vegan recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Pepper Sauce
4 to 6 servings
1 cup dried black-eyed peas sorted, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1 teaspoon minced thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon cornmeal
5 cups coconut oil

Remove the skins from the beans by adding them to a large bowl, filling the bowl with water, agitating the beans, and fishing out the skins that float to the top with a fine mesh strainer. Rinse beans well.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the beans, onion, peanuts, thyme, cayenne, vinegar, water, and salt and pulse until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°F.

Remove the batter from the refrigerator, add the bell pepper and cornmeal to the batter, and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, warm the oil until hot but not smoking, about 5 minutes.

Lower the oil to medium high, and in batches of 5, spoon the batter into the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. Fry, stirring around, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. If necessary, adjust the temperature to ensure that the fritters do not cook to quickly.

Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate and allow them to drain. Transfer the drained fritters to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

Serve hot with Hot Pepper Sauce.

Vegan recipe: Hot Pepper Sauce
1 cup

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse sea salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 habanero chile, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

In a saucepan over low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until the onions start to caramelize, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and chiles and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, vinegar, and water. Mix well, and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer all the ingredients to an upright blender, and purée until smooth. Store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.

Vegan recipe: Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Ginger-Peanut Dipping Sauce
Serves 4

Fries
4 uniformly shaped medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled
1 tsp. course sea salt
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Dipping Sauce
1 heaping tablespoon minced ginger
½ cup toasted peanuts
½ cup apple juice
1 tsp. agave nectar
⅛ tsp. cayenne
¼ tsp. coarse sea salt

For the fries
Cut the potatoes into slices about ½-inch thick and then cut them ½-inch lengthwise into the shape of fries.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the sweet potatoes, 3 quarts cold water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot over high heat. Parboil, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and pat well with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels until completely dry. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil.

Arrange fries on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, gently stirring every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon to ensure even browning, until tender and caramelized.

For the dipping sauce In an upright blender, combine the ginger, peanuts, apple juice, agave nectar, cayenne, and salt and blend until creamy. Transfer to a small bowl.

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