Friday, February 26, 2010

Veggie Bites, Season 2 Episode 2 plus Robert Kenner!

The theme for the second episode was Indian food, so naturally we (myself plus my friend Emily) made curry. There is virtually no such thing as curry served without some goodies on the side so we also made coconut Basmati rice and a pitcher of mango lassi. The episode's normally go up on Thursday nights but we lost and then found the last segment (whew!). Thanks to the amazing editor Jordan Coughenour for finding it! You can locate the entire episode here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Basmati Rice

· 1 cup dry rice

· 1 tablespoon butter

· ¼ cup coconut milk

· 1 1/2 cups water

· Dash of salt

· Dash of sugar

Add liquids and rice to a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let sit for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and sugar and serve. Serves 4.

Vegetable Curry

· 4 ½ cups water

· ½ cup coconut milk

· 1 cup brown lentils

· ¼ teaspoon fresh ground ginger

· ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

· ¼ teaspoon cumin

· ½ tablespoon mustard

· 1 tablespoon tumeric

· 1 tablespoon corriander

· ½ pound cauliflower

· Dash of cardamom

· 1 teaspoon black pepper

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1 large russet potato, peeled

· ½ pound cauliflower

Bring water and coconut milk to a boil and add lentils. Add spices and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fold in potato and cauliflower and let sit for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread, garnish with cilantro. Serves 4.

Mango Lassi

  • 1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1½ cups mango pulp
  • 4 teaspoons turbinado sugar
  • Dash of powdered cardamom

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate or pour over ice and serve immediately. Serves 4.

I hope you enjoy this episode.... I know I enjoyed eating the food we made!

On Thursday night Robert Kenner came to speak at American University through the Kennedy Political Union and Eco-Sense (both are organization's on campus). Robert Kenner produced the now massively-popular "Food, Inc.," a documentary largely about the food industry in America and how it has changed from the small farmer with a straw hat to enormous factories that plop out meats and produce, squirting chemicals about along the way. Now I have to admit something; I've not yet watched the movie. I looked up movie times over the summer but never got in my car to get there. Then my parents bought it for me for Valentine's day and there were several times in the past week or so when I almost popped the DVD into my laptop and then hesitated.

I watched a ton of clips and interviews on the movie but I just couldn't bring myself to actually sit down and watch it. The thing is, I know that once I see it I'm going to go into freak-out mode. I can and do control the things that I eat via the choices I make at the supermarket, but I love (LOVE) dining out. Once you're in the hands of a cook other than yourself, you can't be sure that what you are eating, no matter how delicious, hasn't been processed or hasn't been grown without the help of chemicals. Luckily, there are a ton of restaurants moving toward locally-sourced, organic foods, but they I want to be able to eat this way for all kinds of cuisines! I don't want to watch the movie and be terrified of eating out again. OK, now I am being a bit dramatic, but you see where I'm going here.

While I hadn't seen the movie I could not pass up hearing this man speak. I know how important this film has been (some of my friends and family members who have seen the film have completely changed the ways in which they buy food) and will be (hopefully in terms legislation like decreasing or eliminating farming subsidies for corn and soybeans and creating healthful school lunch programs!) and I knew I would learn so much through the insight he has gained in producing this film.

One of the most important things that he said was "I love to eat, it's really fun." Hmm. If the man who saw factory farms first-hand still loves to eat, there must be hope for me too! He went on to say that he hoped that this film did not "scare" people out of eating and that that was not the intent. From the clips he showed us (in addition to the ones I've seen), I definitely am still a bit "scared" but I think I need to push that fear away and watch the damn movie!

Since my parents bought it for me I want to watch it with them, so in a week and a half or so when I am home for spring break I will watch it (although I might watch it before then!) and give you my review plus some of the commentary he gave us while watching clips. The trailer alone is thought-provoking so definitely check it out if you have not done so yet!

I'm taping the next two episodes of Veggie Bites bright and early in the morning-- I can't wait for you all to see what's up next!

With health,


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