Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Veganning

Good Day my veggie loving folks. Can you believe it's the end of the year? And to think it seems like yesterday when we elected our first president of African descent. But taking a look back, what have you improved in your life? Let's look past what we are eating into what we are thinking. How we are conducting our lives day to day. I feel compelled to talk about this because just the other night I had a dream that I would travel and be able to tell folks about healthy living, vegan/vegetarianism, and great vegetarian hotspots in the south and beyond. My own show! I am thinking WOW! If my subconscious is showing me this then in my waking hours I must manifest this. My thoughts must stay positive as I am guided through what I should do to make my dreams a reality.

Lately, I've been listening and reading information from Anthony Robbins, the well known motivational speaker. One of the nuggets of wisdom that I have heard him mention was that during these times of change we have to continue to train our minds. Train our thinking. For years I have read information from many motivational and spiritual teachers and changing your thoughts, guarding your thoughts, training the mind to focus on the positive is the common link they all have. With those thoughts though, you have to take action. One of my favorite sayings is "faith without works is dead". We have put things into motion. I have had many people say to me, "I want to be a vegetarian, but…". Well, you can think I want to be vegetarian all you want, but until you start taking action, taking steps towards that, it will always come back to wanting and not doing.

So, in 2010, what are we going to do to improve not only ourselves but our surroundings? I recently read an article by Dr. Wayne Dyer that resonated with my spirit. He spoke of filling needs. If there is a need for something in your community then how can you fill it? In thinking about what we want for our lives, how can we help others? If there is no lack in the Universe then when we help others we help ourselves. Personally, I am looking forward to volunteering my time at various community kitchens and working with food banks. I will continue to share my recipes and show others how cook well, eat healthy, and take care of their bodies. I will continue to love my family and be the best mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend I can be. What that said, I need to finish by recipe backlog so that I can get something tasty up for folks to try. Have a great New Year and I look forward to sharing a great year of food and fun with you. Live on, Eat well!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I was up late last night cooking and decided show you guys my great Sweet Potato Crunch dessert, check out the video! The recipe will be up soon. I also have pics of my Christmas dinner which was Vegetarian Jambalaya, Mustard Greens, and Cornbread, all vegan of course. Hope you all enjoy your holiday season and have great Southern Veg Eats!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Home cookin' doesn't need to mean meat- Vegan Jambalaya

 Here is an article that was written about me in my local newspaper.  I have included a recipe for Vegan Jambalaya. Enjoy!

Home cookin' doesn't need to mean meat
Advocate - Baton Rouge, La.
Date: Aug 31, 2006
Start Page: 1
Section: F

Germaine Sibley Gordon is a dancer with a master's degree in creative arts psychotherapy from Columbia College in Chicago. She's also a vegan who eats no animal products. Her diet includes mainly vegetables, fruits, soy products and nuts.

"I'm a dancer, so I started by cutting out beef and pork to help with the weight aspect of it," Gordon said.

"I moved to Chicago, and in my last year of graduate school, I became really ill from the stress of everything and not eating well."

Then she met her future husband, Daniel Gordon.

"He was a vegan," she said. "I told him how I had gotten sick, and he told me I needed to change my diet. He got me into more holistic health and into changing my diet."

Although she felt much better, Germaine Sibley Gordon missed the traditional Creole cuisine on which she had grown up. That's when she began experimenting.

"When I moved back home and had my own kitchen, I had a lot of time to think of ways to do my jambalaya or my greens," she said. "I had the time to create."

Gordon attributes her skill in cooking to her parents.

Her mother, Connie Sibley, is from Port Allen. "She taught me the aspects of flavor that make a dish so south Louisiana," she said. "My dad, Fred Sibley, taught me the creativity of cooking."

By using certain soy products, like Tofurky sausage and Fakin' Bakin, a soy-based bacon substitute, Gordon has been able to create vegan dishes that are both tasty and satisfying.

Overcooking vegetables is a no-no. "My greens are steamed, not boiled or smothered down," s he said. "When you overcook your food, you don't get the nutrients."

Gordon seldom sautes ingredients, but if a recipe requires that ingredients be sauteed, she flavors the oil first and then quickly stirs the ingredients in the oil. "I won't keep them in the pot for very long," she said.

In addition, Gordon always tries to serve some raw vegetables with every meal. "I either have a salad or have my asparagus raw or my broccoli raw," she said. "Asparagus is very pungent, so when you do it raw, it flavors the things around it."

The Gordons are rearing their 3-year-old son, Ra Moshe Gordon, as a vegan, but finding a local school that will assist with his diet has been a problem. This summer, he attended camp at the Baton Rouge International School. "They have been very helpful," Germaine Gordon said.

Vegan Jambalaya

Serves about 6. Recipe is from Germaine Sibley Gordon.

2 large portobello mushrooms, gills and stems removed, chopped
Olive oil
3 links of your favorite vegan sausage substitute (seitan is also a great alternative)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
3 green onions, chopped Salt, to taste
Unsalted Cajun or Creole seasoning, to taste
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbls. chopped parsley
2 cups uncooked white basmati rice, rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth or 4 cups water combined with 4 tbls. vegetable broth powder
Bay leaf, optional

1. Season mushrooms with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir- fry until slightly cooked. Remove mushrooms and add sausage. Cook until brown. 2. In a large pot, sweat (cook covered on low heat) onions, bell pepper and green onions with salt and Cajun or Creole seasoning for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute more. Add mushrooms, sausage and parsley and stir for another minute. 3. Add uncooked rice with salt and Cajun or Creole seasoning. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and rice begins to stick to pan. Add vegetable broth or water seasoned with vegetable broth powder and bay leaf, if desired. Stir. Re-season to taste. 4. Let mixture come to a boil. Then turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, making sure all of the water is gone. Once rice is cooked, stir together the ingredients in the pot and turn off the heat. Let the jambalaya sit and steam for another 5- 10 minutes

Friday, December 18, 2009

On the Road Vegan!

Happy Holidays! This is the time of the year when many folks find themselves on the road traveling home for the Holidays. One of my biggest frustrations while traveling is the lack of decent vegetarian food options on the road. I usually pack a cooler with goodies, but with a growing family, it has become a chore that often ended in soggy or spoiled food.

One day about 10 years ago on one of my many trips from Louisiana to Chicago, I stopped for some gas in Jackson, Mississippi off of I-55. Well to my surprise, across the street from the gas station, was a health food co-op. If you don't know what a co-op is, it's a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. Established in 1980, the Rainbow Co-op is dedicated to quality products at a reasonable price. This Jackson hot spot for all things healthy has a warm and welcoming vibe with a neat and organized layout that would make anyone feel comfortable. Produce, groceries, toiletries, homeopathic remedies, and" to go" deli items are all offered.

If a sit down meal is more of your speed, the High Noon Café is right next door. The scrumptious menu has vegan and vegetarian options all available "to go" if you are running short on time. On my last visit, my husband and I had the High Noon Burger and vegan carrot cake, both excellent choices. For more information on this healthy "veg" stop, (definitely not a pit), that aims to bring awareness to the Jackson, Mississippi community, click on their logo below:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There’s no meat in my Gumbo! Thoughts and tips on soulful vegetarian cooking from a South Louisiana girl.

Cooking is so important to me; it's like my life's blood. When I was pregnant with my second child I cried because she was overdue. Being pregnant interfered with my taste buds and things I usually loved I totally despised when I was pregnant. I go crazy if I can't cook. If I get a recipe idea in my head I have to try it eventually. Everyone says, when are you going to write that cook book. But for me it's not about just putting down a list of ingredients and instructions, it's about what each individual cook brings to his or her concoction.

I grew up in the south. South Louisiana to be exact. Grew up on crawfish boils and awesome barbeques. Jambalaya sales and pecan candy. My Grandmother smothered everything and my Dad could create anything from what he found in the refrigerator. My earliest memories of loving food were when I was little and would try things out with my Dad. I remember telling myself that if I didn't have to go to college I would be a chef. Well when I was little all the female cooks I knew worked at the school cafeteria. There was no Food T.V. and the one chef who did introduce me to different methods of cooking on the tube was Justin Wilson. He was a Cajun chef who cooked from the heart and used the palm of his hand to measure his salt and spices. I knew he had note cards because of the TV. but I knew he probably could cook that food with his eyes closed, no exact measurements needed. My style of cooking is a down home "creolesque" marriage of vegetarian meets great flavors. I once had one of my son's friends at our house for dinner asking for seconds, on my greens. We had a vegetarian dinner and he ate the whole thing. I am talking about a serious cold cut sandwich, candy eating, child. He wanted seconds on greens! My son the other day wanted seconds, just on the broccoli please. Hmm so what am I doing right? I love my food, and I love to cook. I add flavor to my veggies and don't over cook them. It does help that I went to an awesome vegan cooking retreat in Boulder Colorado and learned different techniques that help bring bold new flavors to vegetarian cooking. So I hope you enjoy my blog and the food and features to come.