#FoodGoals: 10 Things I Plan to Make This Summer/Year

I am currently getting organized and taking stock of my goals and priorities as I plan out a summer of oceanography research. Let’s do the same for food! There are several dishes that I’ve been wanting to try my hand at, but keep putting on the back burner for one reason or another. Maybe I’ll finally get to them this year if I make a tidy little buzzfeed-style list…

Continue reading “#FoodGoals: 10 Things I Plan to Make This Summer/Year”

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Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Sustainable Farming (Kelp DESSERTS)

For this blogging project I had hoped to obtain fresh, locally-farmed seaweed, but this task proved much more difficult than expected! Dried sea vegetables are already available at most natural foods stores (for a pretty steep price) but fresh sea vegetables (undehydrated) are a rarity. However, the dried products that I worked with for all of these blog posts rehydrated quite nicely and apparently suffer little to no nutritional loss as a result of the drying process. We won’t be finding fresh sea vegetables in the produce section of every grocery store until there is a larger demand from consumers for these products.  Join the cause and become a sea vegetable pioneer in your own kitchen! Continue reading “Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Sustainable Farming (Kelp DESSERTS)”

Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Fighting Eutrophication (Alaria recipe)

The old adage that one can have “too much of a good thing” is supported in spades by a phenomenon that is plaguing many waterways around the world. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous are integral to the healthy functioning of marine ecosystems, but are often raised to unnaturally high levels by human activities such as agriculture, lawn-fertilization, and sewage treatment. This overloading of nutrients into a body of water is called eutrophication. This environmental affliction is unpleasant for both humans and animals alike, and can even have lethal effects. As a result of eutrophication, many waterways suffer from harmful (toxic) algal blooms as well as hypoxia: a low-oxygen state in which few organisms can survive.

How do we combat this menace? Limiting nutrients at the source is one strategy—for example, using less or organic fertilizers would reduce the amount of nutrient runoff associated with agriculture and lawn-care. A second strategy is to clean up the problem downstream by using up these excess nutrients through the cultivation of seaweed! Continue reading “Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Fighting Eutrophication (Alaria recipe)”

Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Just a diet food? (Dulse Recipe)

Seaweed (a.k.a. sea vegetables) is an informal catch-all term used to describe multicellular algae species, that—you guessed it—come from the sea! Seaweeds can be classified as red, brown, or green varieties. Most species attach themselves to the ocean floor, while a few species float freely near the ocean surface. Most seaweed growth occurs along coastlines where water depths are shallow enough for sunlight to reach seaweeds anchored to the seafloor. Seaweed is a vital part of the ecosystem in which it grows, acting as a source of both food and shelter for other organisms. With a little encouragement from chefs (and Oprah?) I hope that seaweed will soon become a vital part of the American diet!

Seaweed offers many health benefits, and some even argue that we should be eating seaweed in every meal! A simple google search on the health benefits of seaweed will yield a multitude of websites and peer-reviewed journals eager to inform the public about this underrated “superfood”. This label appeals to a health-conscious audience, but likely repels all others. If you belong to the latter category but are open to an easy entry point, then I invite you to try Dulse!

Dried-Dulse-Seaweed Continue reading “Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Just a diet food? (Dulse Recipe)”

Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Cooking Beyond Nori (Laver Recipe)

Seaweed has been unnecessarily limited to the realm of east-Asian cuisine, making only rare appearances in the average American’s diet as sushi or miso soup. In this series of posts I am hoping to introduce you—dear reader—to a few varieties of sea vegetables, including some unconventional ways to use them. There are many benefits associated with the culinary use of sea vegetables for both humans and the environment, so let’s get ‘em on our plates! Continue reading “Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Cooking Beyond Nori (Laver Recipe)”

Notes from the Pantry: Tomato-White Bean Soup

I was just thinking about strategies for survival in a zombie apocalypse… no idea why… maybe it was something I saw on TV today? Never hurts to be prepared!

If you’ve ever seen The Walking Dead then you know that bullets and canned goods are as good as gold. Both are critically important, but only one is edible!

FYI, If someone tells you to “eat lead” then I’m pretty sure they’re not inviting you to sit down for a nice bowl of lead shavings…

The following recipe utilizes canned/pantry goods and is tremendous for situations when I not-so-soberly offer to cook dinner for friends or am on the run from yuge hordes of zombies.

Continue reading “Notes from the Pantry: Tomato-White Bean Soup”

Buttermilk Biscuits: The Real Deal

2016 left a bad taste in my mouth. However, the new year is an opportunity to cut loose from negativity and move on to better things. You know what else leaves a bad taste in my mouth? McGriddles.

I love the concept of the McGriddle: a breakfast sandwich enclosed in syrup-y pancakes (made by McDonald’s). The syrup, however, is highly problematic: although the bursts of sugar are momentarily pleasant, the shame of fake maple syrup-consumption lingers for hours afterwards… and physically lingers as a nasty chemical film on my teeth until my next meal or teeth-brushing. Please tell me I’m not the only person who experiences the icky mouth-feeling? The shame part might be specific to my Vermont-roots! Continue reading “Buttermilk Biscuits: The Real Deal”

Maple Soymilk: Blending Taipei and Vermont

We just booked tickets for our (annual?) trip back to Taiwan! Just look at how excited we are!

chiang-kai-shek-jumping-picture
Jumping for joy at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial in Taipei, Taiwan. PC: Hannah Choi Photography

If you are at all familiar with Taiwanese culture, then you know that skipping breakfast is a grave error. For about $2.00 USD you can expect a diverse meal of meat in dough, veggies in dough, and… bread in dough? Continue reading “Maple Soymilk: Blending Taipei and Vermont”

Winter is Coming: The End of the CSA

Where did the last month go? Oh right

“Of course, some of us are happy with the outcome of the presidential election, while others are surviving on cupcakes and bourbon.”

– Stephen Colbert on the Late Show 11/23/2016

If, like me, you find yourself in the latter category then I highly recommend that you go back to my blog post on bourbon-chocolate-pecan cupcakes! I’m sure that this is what Stephen was actually referencing when he made that comment…

On to my actual topic for this blog post: this year’s CSA (Community Shared/Supported Agriculture) season has come to a close. It actually ended a couple of weeks ago but we still have a mountain of winter squash to get through. Somewhere in that last month I was so overwhelmed by a combination of schoolwork and the overflowing abundance of vegetables. I just kind of shut down and stopped using the produce altogether, hoarding winter squash at the weekly pickup because I knew that they could last for months.

Continue reading “Winter is Coming: The End of the CSA”

Pistachio Cake

I had always judged those poor souls with cracked phone screens harshly, but the other week I became one of those people. I was jogging—holding my phone in my hand—when tragedy struck: I dropped my phone on a bit of uneven pavement. My husband went into tech-EMT-mode by stabilizing the situation and rushing my poor baby off to the surgeons at Samsung. I’ve been using an old phone while I await its return- please bear with me on the poor photo quality in the meantime! Just squint your eyes, tilt your head to the right and things will be OK!

Sometimes I like to suppress my knowledge of the unsustainable way that pistachios are produced and enjoy a few of these green nuts (technically seeds). This pistachio loaf from Molly Yeh’s* new book Molly on the Range is the stuff of dreams… and almost worth the desertification of California! Continue reading “Pistachio Cake”