Storytelling, A Dog’s Tale and More...

So there I was, knees in the breeze again.  Just me and the bike recharging our respective batteries.  Being a two wheeler one must point the thing and move, to keep from falling off, so I was pointed in the general direction of Chiang Kong.  When suddenly, or actually not so suddenly, there was a subtile drop in temperature, rise in humidity, that telltale aroma and the day’s haze turned into something a bit more wet.  Not being one for riding in the wet or on slick oily roads after a light rain, I turned tail and headed back toward dry surfaces and whence I came. 

After a quick mental sort through of the options, I settled on a new direction to point my phantom.  The mountain-front road that I headed down, takes one past a few farang looking houses.  One rather large one is easily visible from the roadside and I will stop and take a look at the progress on the infrequent occasions of my passing by.  On this day a worker notices my presence across the highway, waved and pointed at a shape on a large bench between the front pillars.  It turnout to be the farang owner, who in a big welcoming tone of voice, bid me come forth and introduce myself. 

We have been in our house, for a year and a half by now, but there remains a bond of empathy for those still in the process.  I got the tour and the backstory before being interrupted by my wife calling on the cellphone.  Seems some friends had turned up and it might be nice if I could get home in time to say hello.  I bade my host and new acquaintance fair well as I mounted my beast and headed home with an excuse to move a little faster than usual. 

So after a few unscripted plot changes, the story finds me back where I started and relating recent events to our guests.  The story that most caught the interest on my friend was about our dogs and he insisted that I relate the story to you.  Two of them have on occasion been known to sample the village chickens.  Certain things will kick their predatory urges into hyperdrive.  Namely anything that tries to flee and our walks to the dam, which for them takes on the duty and urgency of a hunt.  They checkout every small herd of cows just to see if they can get a rise.  They bolt down a small lane after a pack of seven noisy little dogs, pulling up just short of confrontation.  They brashly scent-mark the other’s turf, paw the ground and swagger off with a condescending, over the shoulder glance, as the squeaky little dogs express their disapproval.

Because of their boisterous nature and concern for our neighbors feelings, we have taken to muzzling King and Momo on these hikes.  Even with the muzzle they couldn’t resist the chase and lit out after a flock of chickens, free ranging up in the hills.  Being further up the trail I heard the commotion but was too far away to see with any clarity what occurred.  I heard the owner shouting obscenities and laying chase with something in his hand that I thought might be a slingshot, which he later denied.  I can only assume he thought my dogs were going to kick his chickens to death as they most certainly could not bite.  Upon returning home and removing the muzzle I noticed a large round hole in the middle of Momo’s forehead.  As the wound has begun to heal my wife says it looks ever so much like a third eye between the other two.  He is a tough old dog, however, and has previously survived poisoning, snakebite and days without food as he fought for his place line with the local vixen in heat.  As with all other misfortunes he seemed to take this new addition to his face in stride. 

The chicken man showed up later at the mother in law’s house yelling and shouting about our savage dogs.  When asked if they had injured his chickens he admitted they had not but reiterated that he would have shot them if he had a gun nearby.  Our closest neighbors get upset but while some refuse payment others will weigh the dead bird and we pay by the kilo.  I guess we were wrong in thinking the muzzles would appease everyone.  

No doubt one day King and Momo will end up on some hungry villager’s plate, but for now I can’t take Cookie to the dam unless the other dogs are off at the other house.  While Cookie cannot resist any puddle, ditch, pond, stream or reservoir she is in every other way a lady.  Still filled with youthful exuberance yet even tempered and loving.  Her only encounter of note with a chicken was a stroll from the maid’s house up our driveway.  Upon reaching the front yard there appeared from her mouth a soaking wet baby chick that quickly scampered off no worse for ware.  Sensing our displeasure at using the little bird to suck on, she has never done that again.

Elvis the Cupcake, Mac & Teese, and More

Elvis is Memphis. So it just wouldn't be right to right for a Memphian to write a vegan Southern cookbook without at least one recipe homage to the King. Meet the Elvis Cupcake:

It's peanut butter and banana, of course! The interior is flecked with peanuts and creamy banana bits, and it's topped with a rich peanut buttercream. The cupcake part is almost fat-free (except for the peanuts) so I like to think of it as "skinny Elvis." The frosting, however, is "fat Elvis" in all his chubby-cheeked glory. It's made with peanut butter, shortening, and loads of confectioner's sugar. That creates a balance that makes this Libra happy.

The cupcake is still in development, but I'm getting close to perfecting the recipe. I brought these to work today and my co-workers mostly all agreed that they were better than the first batch of them I brought in last week, which were more muffin-y than cake-y.

After all that cupcake bakin', I wanted an easy dinner tonight. So I whipped up this quick plate of Mac & Teese With Weiners In It:

Yep, it's kiddie food. But kiddie food makes me happy sometimes. I used Creamy Cheddar Teese melted with soymilk for the sauce. The new Teese sauces — creamy cheddar and nacho — are the best things ever made in the whole wide world! The veggie dogs were some I'd frozen back when I tried Melody's (of Melomeals) recipe for homemade steamed hot dogs. Her recipe is way better than the storebought kind!

On the side, I served Dark Leafy Greens with Sesame Miso Dressing from The Vegan Table:

As you can tell by the colored stems, I used fresh, local chard. And let me tell ya, this is the first thing I've made from The Vegan Table and it is most excellent! The greens are steamed and lightly sauteed with a miso-based sesame-flecked sauce. Yummy, nummy!

Zucchini Bread for Breakfast!

For the past few mornings, I've been enjoying this moist loaf of Swell Vegan's Lemon Zucchini Bread:

I'm a sucker for anything with lemon, and with the fresh zucchini finally coming into the farmer's market, I knew I HAD to make this recipe from Swell Vegan's cookzine (appropriately named Swell).

As you can see by the picture, it didn't get much lift in the oven, but I'm used to that since I only use whole wheat pastry flour rather than white. It never gets as fluffy. Swell Vegan actually recommended spelt flour (which I didn't have on hand) or part all-purpose, part whole wheat pastry flour. But I subbed all whole wheat pastry flour.

I did have to cook this about 30 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I think this might have had something to do with my oven. But her recipe calls for a 45 to 50 minute cooking time on 325 degrees. I always bake breads like these on 350 for about an hour, so I ended up jacking up the temp to 350 after 55 minutes in the oven. Then I cooked it for 20 more minutes. When I make it again, I'll start with a 350 degree oven.

And I will be making this again! It was scrumptious schmeared with Tofutti cream cheese:

By the way, after the last tofu fish post, a few people asked when my cookbook will be coming out. Honestly, I don't know. I have about 200 recipes developed, but the dessert section still needs some work. And my testers are hard at work trying things out. I plan to find a publisher (or self-publish) after the recipe development phase ... that way I can do things at my own pace. My goal for finishing recipe development, though, is December.

Un-Fried Un-Fish

In the South, most major celebrations (and just about any Friday night) are marked by fish fries, at which folks batter and deep-fry catfish and hush puppies. But even in my pre-vegetarian childhood days, I wasn't the biggest fan of fish. My family ate a bad batch of catfish once and I was turned off of all seafood forever (even though catfish really isn't seafood).

So I surprised myself when I decided to develop this Baked Tofu Fish Fry recipe for my cookbook:

I knew a good vegan Southern cookbook must include some faux catfish recipe, seeing as how its such a staple down here. But I felt like I already had enough fried recipes in the book. I don't want the whole cookbook to be a big fat fest, so I baked these tofu fish filets for a healthier spin.

The reddish brown stuff you see is dulse flakes, which is what makes the tofu taste like fish. And even though I'm not a huge fan of that fishy taste, these are tasty. The fish taste is mild, and I couldn't help but pat myself on the back for actually eating a healthy dose of sea vegetables.

I served my filets with vinegar and homemade tartar sauce (also in the book) and these Hush Puppy Corn Muffins:

If you've ever had a hush puppy, you know they're typically deep-fried. But if you're baking the faux fish, you can't very well break out the deep fryer for the hush puppies. These little guys have the same ingredients as my mom's fried puppies but without all the fat. The recipe will also be going in the cookbook.

Finally, I also tested out another of my mom's contributions for my cookbook — Fried Cabbage:

Last time I mentioned fried cabbage on the blog, a few commenters thought I meant "deep-fried" cabbage. But not so. It's really sauteed and caramelized with onions and a touch of sugar. But Southerners will label anything "fried" if they can get away with it.

Koh Kaew Yai - Boat trip from Rawai Beach

Just off the south of Phuket there are a number of small islands such as Koh Bon, Koh Lon and Coral Island all of which have beaches and some facilities and accommodation. We intend to visit them all in the future, especially now that we have found a friendly longtail boat captain at Rawai Beach. You can get to all these islands from Rawai and will have to negotiate a price for the boat trip. We have meant to do this for ages, and have vowed not to be so lazy from now on!

We took a trip to Rawai a few weeks ago. Weather was a bit grey and some light drizzle fell during the trip, but the sea was pretty calm. We wanted to visit Koh Kaew Yai which is only about 1km south of Phromthep Cape or about 4km by boat from Rawai Beach. The island has a Buddha statue facing towards Phuket watching over the island. Aside from the statue we did not know what to expect on the island. On the way back to Rawai we figured to stop at Koh Bon, which you can see from Rawai beach.

At Rawai we parked the car and called a mobile number written on a "Boat for Hire" sign. There are plenty of them either longtail or speedboat. Mr Chin arrived soon after the call and we agreed to pay 1000 Baht for the return trip. We can recommend Mr Chin - his mobile number is 081 6072427. Friendly guy. His son came along to help him with the boat.

Getting on the longtail at Rawai Beach

Longtail boat man Mr Chin at Rawai Beach

It's not a long ride, took about 20 minutes. There were some longtail boats out fishing between Rawai and Phromthep. As we approached Koh Kaew Yai the Buddha statue became clearer and we could see that we'd be landing at a small beach. You can see the location map at the bottom of the page.

Fishing boat just offshore from Phuket

Approaching Koh Kaew Yai

Despite the calm sea there was a bit of swell at the beach. Getting out of a longtail is not always the easiest of things for everyone when the boat is moving around. The little beach looked lovely, but there was a large and rather smelly pile of garbage waiting to greet us. This can only be garbage from the Monks who live on the island. Needs a clean up for sure.

Koh Kaew Yai beach near Phuket

We climbed some rocks at the north end of the beach where we found a shrine.

Prayers at Koh Kaew Yai

A path headed through the woods towards the big Buddha statue. We passed one of the Monks houses. Looks like the Monks here have quite a simple life... which is how it should be, right? Actually we had not known in advance that Monks lived here or we would have brought a donation of some kind.

Monk at Koh Kaew Yai

The Buddha statue that you can see from Phromthep Cape is about 5 meters high standing on a platform over the rocks facing Phuket. I do like Buddha statues. This one looks very serene. My little boy always says his prayers. My daughter is similarly fascinated by the Buddha images.

Big Buddha at Koh Kaew Yai

Big Buddha's hand, Koh Kaew Yai

Buddha Face at Koh Kaew Yai island, near Phuket

The bodies of 2 Naga (mythical snakes) wind around the platform and raise their heads in front of the Buddha looking out over the sea.

Dragons at Koh Kaew Yai facing Phuket

From the big Buddha, the path heads through the woods (lots of mozzies - take some repellent!) to the north tip of the island where you find a Chedi and another shrine above some steep steps heading down to the rocks. Even though I say the sea was calm, the southwest swell was bashing on the rocks and you would not want to fall in. Some of the rocks looked a bit slippery. Not good for a nervous parent!

Chedi at Koh Kaew Yai

Kids and rough sea at Koh Kaew Yai

If you can reach the last slippery rock (my wife did) there you find the "footprint of the Buddha". Legend says that the Buddha visited Phuket and the island of Koh Kaew Yai was where he first set foot before heading to the mainland at Rawai - the name Rawai derives from Rao Wai, meaning (something like) "we pay homage". It seems this little island is a place for Monks to come for short stays as it's a significant place in terms of Buddhism. We stopped to talk to 2 Monks from Chiang Mai who were just staying a few days. They did not like the mosquitoes either. There was incense burning around their hut and they had a decent looking tent too!

Monks at Koh Kaew Yai near Phuket

There was more here than we expected! I had just imagined the one big statue. The light rain did not stop us enjoying a bit of exploration. Certainly worth the visit. Other nearby islands are on our list starting with Koh Bon, which is less than 2km from Rawai - you pass it when heading to or from Koh Kaew Yai. We had planned to stop there on the way back, but it was not beach weather... so, another time. As we left Koh Kaew Yai, a monk asked to hitch a ride back to Rawai on our longtail...

Monk on longtail boat near Rawai Beach, Phuket

Nearby Places to Visit

Rawai Beach
Phromthep Cape
Ya Nui Beach
Phuket Seashell Museum


Koh Kaew Yai - Location Map


View Koh Kaew Yai Island in a larger map

World Music Picnic

My neighborhood park — Overton Park in Midtown — boasts an adorable outdoor concert venue that hosts free live shows four nights a week in the spring and fall. The Shell stage has a long Memphis history (it's actually the first stage Elvis ever played on!), and it was recently re-vamped and re-named the Levitt Shell:

Tonight, a cute world music group called Chic Gamine performed, and though we didn't know anything about the band, Stephanie (of the Poopie Bitch blog) and I saw the event as the perfect opportunity to pack a picnic. Steph brought some homemade apple-sage steamed vegan sausages with homemade buns and some tasty macaroni slaw. I provided boozy beer beans and some marinated summer tomato salad:

And of course, Steph brought one of her uber-delicious vegan cakes (this lady can bake the hell out of some cakes). Tonight's selection was a summer-y Raspberry Lime Cake with a Lime Glaze:

Here's a blogger behind-the-scenes shot of Steph taking a picture for her blog:

And here we are — me, Barbara, Vaughan, and Steph's husband Richard (a.k.a. The Brit) — before stuffing ourselves silly:

The band — Chic Gamine — turned out to be pretty awesome. It's made of up four girls and one dude from Canada, and they play a mix of American soul and gospel blended with Brazilian forro and even 1950s doo-wop. Kinda crazy, but lots of fun. Here's the band in action (check out that one chick wearing the washboard instrument!):

Anyway, there's a free concert every Thursday through Sunday at the Levitt Shell through June, so I'm sure we'll be picnicking there again very soon.

Anniversary Thoughts...

I often speak of control and being responsible for our choices in life.  While the choices we make have a major bearing on outcomes, on a macro or purely statistical level relationships are a coin toss with fifty-fifty odds.  There are just too many, ever changing variables, for any checklist or formula to work for everyone.  So as we celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary this month, I am at a loss for advice and words of wisdom for others.  What works for us, most likely would not work for you.  We all have to find our own way.

Inevitably that will mean mistakes are made along the way.  Perhaps the question is not so much how to avoid them, but what we do after.  Do we bear our scars like badges of honor or do we absorb, assimilate and advance down the road wiser yet unburdened?  Dragging our past along with us, like a ball and chain, impedes our growth and forward progress.  Common also, is a desire to blame others for our misfortunes.  By refusing to look in the mirror and accept some tacit culpability, at least as an enabler, we are risking a repeat performance.

I have known those who don the cloak of “victim” and tailor it into a suit of honor.  Displaying weakness and vulnerability is far from attractive in my eyes, especially in a man, and seldom evokes the sympathy that one desires.  Decisions made in the throws of emotional turmoil are seldom wise and well considered.

From my single days, I recall many a past relationship that was fraught with emotional blackmail and threats of breakup, only to be followed by passionate makeup.  Up to a point I was tolerant of those outbursts but always made myself clear.  If those words ever came from my mouth, they would only be heard once.  It is my belief that one should never threaten anything you’re not prepared to follow through on.  To that end when I said, “if you walk out that door, I won’t be here when you get back” it should not have come as a shock, that upon return, I was indeed gone and unreachable.  My new lair having been prepared in advance.

I am sympathetic with the trials and tribulations of my single friends but when situations that should be short lived drag on for years my patience runs thin.  Vilifying and demonizing someone you used to love, often evokes the opposite response one seeks.  It used to be that we admired a good looser who did not whine and whimper about the injustice of it all.  For me the best revenge is simply to live a good life, unaffected by those we perceive to have wronged us.  Man-up, mellow-out and move on, as it were.

I was happy as single lad and now I am happy as a married man.  Maybe it is that simple.  If your life is incomplete and unhappy, then simply changing your marital status is unlikely to change things much.  It is an unfair burden to place upon another person, to be responsible for your happiness.  Live a life filled with joy and happiness and then share that with the one you love.  Nurture them and let them bath in the warm radiance of your glow.  Demand more of yourself than you demand of others.

If you flip the coin and it comes up tails, smile at the chance to grow and learn.  Besides, the odds are the next toss will come up heads.

Black Salt Is My New Best Friend

Lemme just say this on the record: Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a genius! Thanks to her new Vegan Brunch book, I have discovered my latest love — black salt. I enjoyed some mixed in and sprinkled over this Vegan Brunch Tofu Omelet:

Black salt, which Isa highly recommends for this recipe, smells and tastes EXACTLY like eggs. Seriously. I hunted down a pack at a local Indian market, and I was blown away by the smell of eggs when I tore open the pack. I sampled a little on my finger, and I was swept back to my childhood Thanksgivings, when I ate way too many of mom's deviled eggs. It is that good.

In the omelet, the black salt (which is actually more of a pinkish grey) makes the tofu-based mixture taste like an actual egg omelet. I've tried Susan V's omelet before, and I still love that recipe too, but I'll never make enother faux egg dish without black salt. Anyway, enough gushing — go buy some and see for yourself. It's widely available at most Indian markets. And I'm sure it's available on the Internet too.

I stuffed this omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and mozzerella Teese, and scarfed it down for dinner, along with these Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Rosemary, Paprika, and Garlic:

I mixed a couple of Isa's roasted potato seasoning suggestions together. These crispy taters were the perfect complement to the very realistic omelet. Vegan Brunch is totally my new favorite vegan cookbook of all time, partly because of the black salt revelation and also because breakfast is my favorite meal — no matter what time its served.

Hey testers: New recipes are posted over at the tester site (sorry I'm a few days late!).

Kata Palm Resort (Kata Beach)

Been a while since a Phuket hotel recommendation on the blog, so today I was looking at deals available for the low SUMMER season, especially on Agoda. At this time of year you are guaranteed availability, and Agoda is a great place to book a last minute hotel room. The website is very easy to use and you can book even on the day of the stay. The prices in low season are sometime quite crazy!

Agoda late booking deals on Kata Beach Hotels

So I was looking for a hotel to recommend in the Kata Beach area. Since I arrived here in Phuket, some parts of Kata have not changed much but along the road behind Club Med, many hotels have been built and indeed the south end of Kata is now (I would say) a better area to stay that the north end if you want a good variety of restaurants and bars. One of the resorts in that area is Kata Palm Resort (and Spa.. everyone seems to tack "and spa" on the end of their name these days!).

It's quite big with 180+ rooms, but it covers a big area so does not feel crowded. About 5 minutes walk to Kata Beach. There are a couple of big pools plus kids pools. The pools wind interestingly around the gardens. No boring square edges. There's a kids club too - looks like a good family choice rather than a romantic getaway if you ask me.

And in case I forgot to mention... during the Phuket summer season, the rates go waaaay down. Compared to high season rates starting at 5,000 Baht you can book at Kata Palm Resort from 1500 Baht per night. Deal or No Deal?

Kata Palm Resort - Booking & Reviews

Kata Palm Resort - Rates and Reservations / Booking
Kata Palm Resort - Hotel Reviews


Kata Palm Resort - Photos

Kata Palm Resort

Room at Kata Palm Resort

One of the restaurants at Kata Palm Resort

Pool at Kata Palm Resort

Phuket Hotels - More Info & Online Booking

Jamie's Phuket Hotel Recommendations
Top 10 Phuket Hotels 2016
Book Phuket Hotels at Agoda.com

Birthdays ...

It is rapidly approaching that time of year when I must once again acknowledge the advance of time.  Not that I had intended being here talking with you today.  My wants were fixed upon the horizon and yet another adventure on my bike.  As I readied myself, the western sky darkened ominously and I was forced to rethink my plans.  So here I am at the keyboard, safe and dry as mother nature unleashes her fury outside my window.

Following a not too unusual chain of events it is now a day later.  Yesterday my wife offered a foot massage, which I could hardly refuse.  Followed by several games of Ping-Pong and a little “afternoon delight”, while the maid was outside doing who knows what, perhaps visiting with the gardener.  Later my wife suggested tootling around the village on her scooter and we made numerous stops along the way.  Dropping my wife off at her mother’s I continued home to be followed almost immediately by a repairman coming to replace a couple of screens he had installed last year and had been slightly damaged through heavy use.  My wife returned home at my beckoning to deal with the screen repair while I took care of Cookie, fed the fish and enjoyed the sunset.  With me trying to eat less these days, I remained home to look after things, while my wife once again returned to her mother’s to enjoy a large village style meal shared with family and friends.

As the ritual of my late morning Skype call to my father approaches, I once again find myself gathering my thoughts and trying to regain the place where I left off yesterday.  Though I never publish online the exact date of my birth, this is the month of both my birth and our anniversary.  The close proximity of both was no accident, as I attempted to make recalling the date of our anniversary all but foolproof.  Ten years of marriage and twelve years together and things continue down a blissful path.  Approaching fifty-five years of age seems to be more about decline than advance, in my mind. 

As one ages, thoughts sometimes drift toward things that could have been but never were.  Dreams of youth supplanted by the harsh realities of life and the consequences of choices made.  Personally I find myself dealing, not with regret, but with the consequence of perhaps too much fulfillment and contentment in my life.  I truly want for nothing these days except perhaps the vigor of my youth.  To lust for more than I already poses would be greedy and gratuitous to the extreme.

Even as I strive to polish the perception of my bountiful gifts and avoid the malaise of complacency, I am painfully aware that I have passed the mountain peak and find myself descending into the valley from whence I came.  One can debate the necessity or merits of facing ones own mortality, over denial or avoidance.  Some might say I peaked too early or set my sights too low.  Hindsight and what ifs are not familiar companions as I prefer to appreciate the moment and gently guide the direction of my future.  It is to that end that birthdays find me taking stock and wondering what else remains to be done.  Of course there are no hard and fast answers.  Just a series of questions and observations and the occasional course correction to accommodate the changing terrain and circumstances.

Raw Food Made Easy

It seems like just yesterday that I was doing my once-a-month raw food cleanse, but that's only because last month's cleanse was pushed back a week from the usual first Tuesday of the month. Last time, I spent TWO HOURS in the kitchen prepping nut cheezes, spreads, and sauces. But this time, I wanted to make things easier on myself. So I started with this lovely and simple Green Smoothie:

I say it was simple, but now that I think about it, this smoothie was a pain in butt. I got the bright idea to add coconut water and fresh coconut meat to my usual fruit and kale smoothie. That meant hammering and prying at a coconut last night (I could only find the kind with the hard shell at my local Asian market, but next time, I'll drive to Whole Foods for a young coconut with the shell already removed). The meat was so hard to cut out that I abandoned the task halfway through. I didn't get much reward from all that work.

But this morning, the smoothie was easy as pie (although is pie really that easy?) to throw together in the blender. I used the coconut water and meat, banana, strawberries, pineapple, mango, kale, and a bit of flax seed.

I was starving by 10 a.m., but luckily I packed some carrot sticks and Rosemary Guacamole from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen:

The recipe calls for fresh rosemary, which is a pretty interesting addition to traditional guac. It complemented the avocado quite well, but I'll probably stick to traditional guac from now on. I omitted the olive oil in Ani's recipe because, um, who puts olive oil in guacamole?

Lunch was this Dolmas Salad from One Week Raw:

It did require a little prep but not too much. Dolmas are those lemony rice-stuffed grape leaves, and this dolmas paté — made with a parsnip and nut base — actually tasted a lot like the real thing. One Week Raw is a free raw cookzine that you can download here.

Since I'm hungry every two hours on raw day, I snacked on more guac and carrots, as well as a ruby red grapefruit and a Key Lime Pie Larabar (great flavor!). The Larabar kept me satisfied throughout my spinning class at the gym.

But afterward, I was famished. So I dove into this Pine Nut Pesto Over Zucchini Fettucine:

I recently saw this over on Breedale's blog Perpetually Changing. She used Ani's Pistachio Pesto recipe as a guideline, but subbed pine nuts for pistachios. So did I, since I couldn't find raw pistachios anywhere. I also added nooch because I think that's the secret ingredient to an awesome vegan pesto.

Here's a bonus picture of my kitty Polaris, about to steal a bite of my raw pasta:

Now it's nearly bedtime and I'm kinda hungry again. I may snack on a fresh peach and drink some herbal tea. But I'm really yearning for tomorrow's breakfast — a big bowl of Barbara's Bakery Cinnamon Crunch Shredded Oats with hemp milk. If nothing else, raw food day makes me appreciate cooked food and grains so much more!

It's Not Pretty, But ...

... it sure tasted good! I bought a lovely head of purple cauliflower and what should I do with it but whip up the ugliest dish ever — Satyamma's Famous Caulifower Curry from the Moosewood Cookbook:

No offense to cookbook author Mollie Katzen, but this dish simply doesn't lend itself to purple cauliflower. It may have been a little sexier with a traditional white cauliflower. Of course, all cauliflower tastes the same, no matter the color. And this dish was deelish!

The curry paste is made from ground roasted peanuts, coconut, cayenne, onion, garlic, ginger, and some other yummies. It's combined with cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, and chickpeas and served over brown rice.

I even had a few Onion Parathas (from this HappyVeganFace recipe by Jessy) that I'd frozen awhile back after making a large batch:

These are spiced onion-stuffed flatbreads, and I thawed one out to really give this dish an Indian flair. In case you were wondering, Jessy's parathas freeze beautifully.