Category Archives: Food

Quinoa in Peru, and Bolivia

From Ari LeVaux’s January 25th, 2013 Slate article “It’s OK To Eat Quinoa”:

Most of the world’s quinoa is grown on the altiplano, a vast, cold, windswept, and barren 14,000-foot Andean plateau spanning parts of Peru and Bolivia. Quinoa is one of the few things that grow there, and its high price means more economic opportunities for the farmers in one of the poorest parts of South America.

Continue reading Quinoa in Peru, and Bolivia

Split Pea Soup

2 cups green split peas
8 cups water
3 vegetarian bouillon cubes 2 potatoes, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours, or until peas are soft.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

I use two cubes of this Rapunzel Bouillon.

Richard Dawkins and Peter Singer Discuss Animal Suffering

Richard Dawkins (to Peter Singer):

I think you have a very, very strong point when you say that anybody who eats meat has a very, very strong obligation to think seriously about it. And, I don’t find any very good defense. I find myself in exactly the same position as … I might’ve been 200 years ago — or perhaps a bit longer ago than that — talking about slavery….

[T]here was a time when it was simply the norm. Everybody did it — some people did it with gusto and relish; other people, like Jefferson, did it reluctantly. I would’ve probably done it reluctantly — I’d’ve just gone along with what society does…. It was hard to defend then … and that’s the sort of position I find myself in now.



2 cups garbanzos 1/4 cup liquid from chickpeas
3–5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

I usually use 2 lbs of garbanzos and so I have to adjust the recipe.
Here is a spreadsheet I made myself for doing this more easily.
If you don’t have LibreOffice, you can get it here.

I use bulk garbanzos, soak them overnight, and put them in the slow cooker with some garlic. Probably ~8 hours on low is sufficient.

Nutritional Info

RDA B12 (mcg/day)
0 – 6 months: 0.4
7 – 12 months: 0.5
1 – 3 years: 0.9
4 – 8 years: 1.2
9 – 13 years: 1.8
14+ years: 2.4

0 – 6 months: 0.4
7 – 12 months: 0.5
1 – 3 years: 0.9
4 – 8 years: 1.2
9 – 13 years: 1.8
14+ years: 2.4


RDA Calcium (mg/day)
0 – 6 months: 200
7 – 12 months: 260
1 – 3 years: 700
4 – 8 years: 1,000
9 – 13 years: 1,300
14 – 18 years: 1,300
19 – 50 years: 1,000
51 – 70 years: 1,000
71+ years: 1,200

0 – 6 months: 200
7 – 12 months: 260
1 – 3 years: 700
4 – 8 years: 1,000
9 – 13 years: 1,300
14 – 18 years: 1,300
19 – 50 years: 1,000
51 – 70 years: 1,200
71+ years: 1,200

[source] Continue reading Nutritional Info

Whole Wheat Bread Machine Bread

1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1. Place ingredients in bread pan in order listed or according to manufacturer’s directions.
2. When adding the yeast last, make a small well with your finger to place the yeast. This will insure the proper timing of the yeast reaction.
3. Use whole wheat or timed cycle, or according to manufacturer’s directions.

Red Kidney Beans (Rajma)

3 tablespoons canola oil
5 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 whole cardamom pod (optional)
2 onion, chopped
6 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon powdered red pepper or dried Cajun pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups drained kidney beans (this is roughly the same as a drained can of beans)*
salt to taste
6 sprigs cilantro, minced


1 tsp whole cloves = 3/4 tsp ground cloves*
1/4 tsp ground cloves = 3 whole cloves*

1 tsp (5 mL) peppercorns = 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground pepper*
1 tsp whole peppercorns = 100 peppercorns

1″ stick cinnamon = 1 tsp ground*

1 cardamom pod = 1/6 tsp ground cardamom*

1 tbsp ground fresh ginger = 1 tsp ground ginger*

I often use two pounds of dry beans in a recipe to make a large amount of food to be eaten throughout the week. I also don’t really like randomly biting into whole cloves or whole peppercorns. Here is the recipe multiplied for 4 1/2 cups of cooked beans (2 lbs dried beans) and ground spices only:

0.5 cup canola oil (or 9 1/2 tbsp)
1.5 tsp ground clove
0.5 tsp ground black pepper
3.5 tsp cinnamon
3 bay leaves
0.5 tsp cardamom (optional)
6 onions, chopped
19 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped (~57 oz of tomatoes) 13 cloves garlic, minced
6 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp powdered red pepper or dried Cajun pepper (optional)
4 1/2 cups drained kidney beans
salt to taste
3 tsp dried cilantro

Source: my own measurement and hand-counting of 100 peppercorns
1 bunch of cilantro = 93 sprigs of cilantro*
1 bunch fresh cilantro = 1 cup, chopped*
1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, loose = 1 cilantro bunch*
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped = 3g*
19 sprigs cilantro = 0.2 bunches fresh cilantro (using cross-multiplication)
0.2 bunches fresh cilantro = 0.2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped (using cross-multiplication)
0.2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped = 3.2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
3.2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped = 3.2 tsp dried ground cilantro

From Martha Stewart*:

When cooking with fresh and dry herbs, there is a general rule when it comes to the ratio of fresh to dry. Because dried herbs are generally more potent and concentrated than fresh herbs, you’ll need less — typically three times the amount of fresh herbs as dry.

According to various sources on the Internet, a Roma tomato typically weighs ~3 oz. This would mean that one would need about 57 ounces of tomatoes altogether.

The Slow Cooker

In case I haven’t openly encouraged you to get a slow cooker, I would like to do so now. I want to cook for myself generally, but also don’t always want to spend an entire day in the kitchen. The slow cooker allows me to do some short preparation and then go do other things (condom snorting) while the food, in effect, prepares itself. Then, I have several days of meals that need only be reheated to be enjoyed.

Case in point, this soup:

Incidentally, I noticed that this recipe included NO SPINACH, so I opened a can of spinach (no added salt) and put it into the food processor with some tomatoes (I generally don’t like hot hunks of tomato). Well, it turned out just fine. And, aside from tasting great, this soup not only cured my impotence but also made my eyebrows grow back.

Mark  If you want to get the most out of your food, stay away from canned unless it’s the apocalypse.
Clifton  Mark, I’m glad you commented on that part of my post. A few months back, I read an article regarding BPA that I probably took more seriously than I should have. Looking into it again, I now find that scientists are much more divided than I thought.

There are BPA-free cans out there and canned food producers may eventually move to some other material (Eden Brands says they’ve been using a “vegetable resin enamel” since 1999). So, is there any other reason to eat canned stuff? Well, as far as I can tell, many canned vegetables are comparable to fresh and frozen counterparts.

I already do not eat a lot of canned stuff. The spinach is a rarity as, bizarrely enough, I can only find the sodium-free variety at Walmart and I don’t do a lot of shopping at Walmart.

I suppose the wisest thing is probably to grow your own stuff and, if that’s not possible, to buy fresh stuff. Which I generally do. That said, I’m not sure that all canned food is to be avoided. I generally prefer canned over frozen because cans are recyclable where plastic bags aren’t.

Mark  Honestly, I’m going to have to become a cyborg to connect with you. I’ve watched, read, and listened to many people on the subject. Now, a blog you probably didn’t even read that caters to your point of view is right? That’s weird. We can find anything to back up anything.

The sad truth is nobody is going to hold legislation over every discussion or even take the time to read more than five lines. You follow what you believe and I believe the studies that say no.

I just took 45 seconds to read that blog filler. You have to be careful with those — they aren’t always true. Continue reading The Slow Cooker