Hungry for the cornmeal crust?
Or is the personal pita pizza more your speed?
We couldn't decide, so we had both!
"Conscious Comfort Food" on North Wells in Chicago
This Thanksgiving holiday, we've been stringing together carbo-comas like Notre Dame losses to U.S. military academies. Our latest flirtation with food-induced flat-lining was at the celebrated Karyn's Cooked, a vegan "comfort food" restaurant in Chicago's North Loop.
Casual "Come-As-You-Are" Ambience
Karyn Calabrese, the owner of this warm and welcoming establishment, is famous in Chicago for her nutritional consultancy, yoga studio, and raw food restaurant, Karyn's Raw Gourmet (click here for a glowing review). Lucky for us, however, her husband is a reluctant health nut, and so she's still in the practice of producing stealthily healthful simulacra of all of his artery-clogging traditional favorites.
Whoever Said "Let Them Eat Cake" Sure Wasn't Kidding
Our table was adjacent to this tantalizing array of vegan desserts, a number of which were 100% raw. Before we had even ordered appetizers, Moles was already contemplating a slice of the chocolate silk pie.
Dessert, however, was an awfully long way off. We started with a trio of appetizers: a basket of tofu, broccoli, and mushrooms lightly dusted in cornmeal and coconut and then fried; grande taco salad with spicy tvp, guacamole and homemade soy cheese; and Thai satay skewers with peanut sauce.
Next came a soup course of cream of broccoli with cornbread.
Steak Sandwiches, Barbecued Ribs, and Flautas! Oh My!
The restaurant promotes this fare as "conscious comfort food," but we all agreed that the "comfort" far outweighs the "conscious." Pictured below are the thinly-sliced tofu/seitan steak sandwich with onions, peppers, romaine lettuce and chipotle sauce on a toasted demi multi-grain baguette, the BBQ ribs with corn on the cob and cole slaw, and a Flauta special featuring tofu-carrot filling, guacamole, and pico de gallo.
We love it when a plan comes together.
Remember that business about the chocolate silk pie? Moles got her wish, and I got mine: a piece of Coconut Cake that measured six inches across. We're already looking forward to our next trip to Chicago!
We had so much fun hanging out and eating on Thanksgiving that I'll start with dessert first. This is the fleeting image of a banana and not-tella crepe with cashew cream being consumed during an intense session of Rummikub. The ladies were victorious! How any of us had room for crepes after the feast just a short while earlier is beyond me, a supernatural force was at work. Before the time of conversation, music, laughs, and several drifts into sleep was a melange of delicious foods of all kinds! Here it goes...
clockwise from top- Southwest Corn Pudding, All-American Pot Pie, Lemon Herb Chickpea Cutlet, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Harvest Bread Stuffing, Orange Ginger Cranberries, Spicy Squash Madness. (not pictured two amazing looking pumpkin pies that, unfortunately, never were eaten.)
Ben got some great action shots!Comments (1)
Tofurkey (Faux-turkey?) Day at The Chicago Diner
For those who wish to enjoy the pomp and circumstance of a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings without going to the hassle of cooking for 7 hours, The Chicago Diner has come up with the perfect solution: a carry-out vegan feast complete with a salad of organic field greens, roasted squash soup with maple pepitas, roasted veggie turkey (oven baked tofu with chestnut filling and veggie gravy), beefy wellington (pastry crust with seitan, mushroom pate, and tofu filling with peppercorn sauce), pumpkin ravioli with creamy hazelnut sauce, cranberry relish, 7-grain stuffing, green beans almondine, wild rice pilaf, maple mashed sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie!
No Turkey. No Hassle.
The only work involved in this unforgettable feast was setting the table, shoveling the food onto the plates, and recycling the cute little lunchboxes. Another great Thanksgiving in the Windy City!
Biscuits and Gravy. Bubble and Squeek.
This dazzling down home brunch is from a couple of weeks back, but as I was preparing today's Thanksgiving post, I stumbled onto the photo and couldn't resist putting it up. Bubble and squeek, for those who may not know, is a traditional Irish dish of potatoes and cabbage mashed together with salt and pepper and skillet fried into a pancake. Pile on the horseradish!
Are Specieism and Animal Liberation Compatible?
This remarkable new book by Tzachi Zamir maintains that, contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to argue to the abolition of many "animal use" industries from "speciesist" premises. Here's a brief description of Zamir's argument from the book's promo page at Princeton University Press:
"Many people think that animal liberation would require a fundamental transformation of basic beliefs. We would have to give up "speciesism" and start viewing animals as our equals, with rights and moral status. And we would have to apply these beliefs in an all-or-nothing way. But in Ethics and the Beast, Tzachi Zamir makes the radical argument that animal liberation doesn't require such radical arguments--and that liberation could be accomplished in a flexible and pragmatic way. By making a case for liberation that is based primarily on common moral intuitions and beliefs, and that therefore could attract wide understanding and support, Zamir attempts to change the terms of the liberation debate.
Without defending it, Ethics and the Beast claims that speciesism is fully compatible with liberation. Even if we believe that we should favor humans when there is a pressing human need at stake, Zamir argues, that does not mean that we should allow marginal human interests to trump the life-or-death interests of animals. As minimalist as it sounds, this position generates a robust liberation program, including commitments not to eat animals, subject them to factory farming, or use them in medical research. Zamir also applies his arguments to some questions that tend to be overlooked in the liberation debate, such as whether using animals can be distinguished from exploiting them, whether liberationists should be moral vegetarians or vegans, and whether using animals for therapeutic purposes is morally blameless."
Uncle Juan in the House, Mexican Style.
They're so good, so easy, and so inexpensive to prepare, I sometimes wonder why I don't eat tostadas seven days a week. The UJ cranked these up last week, bringing the beans, the baked brown rice, and the pork-style seitan to a corn torilla near you (well, okay, nearer to me than to you). Topped with a curried tomato salsa and some red pepper sauce, and served with baked winter squash and hearty greens, these tostadas made for some truly memorable eating. Maybe the UJ will log on and leave us a recipe?
With a few friends and a lack of communication, our curry became incredibly spicy. After tasting it, I think everyone added some crushed red pepper. Regardless, it was delicious, and the mild lentil soup complemented it perfectly.
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