16 May 2013


I went to the Library at Alexandria yesterday and borrowed a few books. I get such a kick out of saying I went to the Alexandria Library when in truth I patronised the Public Library System of the City of Alexandria, Virginia. While I was on the search for fiction, I checked out the cookery books as well. The few vegan or gluten-free titles they had were classed with the “health food” and “reducing diet” cookbooks.


Whoever decided that veg*n and/or gluten-free cookery was 100% healthy by virtue of its restriction—I’m insulting your intelligence and/or making fun of your lack of experience!

It is possible to live these so-called diets unhealthily. I certainly have, by not sleeping, exercising, or eating three squares, done vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free “wrong.” I believe their health virtues as systems of eating alone are largely due to a high correlation of practitioners who happen to care about the other aspects of health in addition to the foods one does or does not eat.

In plainer speech, you are what you eat. You are also what you think and what you do. As the Buddha said, you are your deeds. Deeds are your mother, deeds are your children, you are the sum of your deeds. Also known as your karma. What you put in your mouth is one aspect of what you do.

In sum, it is infeasible to credit food alone with the overall picture of one’s health. It is but a colour in the palette, so to speak. While the colour for food can be quite bright, if we equate brightness with importance in one’s life, contrasting tones gives a picture depth.

Enter some high contrast foodage.

Two wishes I had recently: one, to find a Celtic cookery book because I am a Druid in SCA and working towards it in real life. Two, to find a dish with large yield to have for supper this week and to freeze.

While I was at the Abbey this week, I was cleaning and walked down the hall towards the bedrooms. I had been in the bedroom-converted-into-library recently, and this week, I noticed the closet door was open. As Laird Seanne says, “Nothing falls in this house without a reason.” Lady Neona’s still with us, would be the subtext to that.

I entered the room and closed the closet. Looking down at the shelves next to the closet, I spied cookery books. Particularly, I spied a Llewellyn publication, Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala. Flipping through it, I found a seaweed stew recipe, and I had ‘inherited’ a passel of dried seaweed from Lady Neona.

Done and done.

Now, haters, you’re gonna say, of course you would find such a book in the library of the famille Alansyn. Coincidence.

Nay, dear haters, ’twas synchronicity. And I left feeling comforted that a being with an ultimate perspective helped me in conventional reality.

Seaweed Stew
Modified from “Stewed Dulse” in Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala and from the back of the bag of carrageenan

1 2-ounce bag carrageenan (Irish Moss)
1 2-ounce bag dulse (leaves, not flakes)
6 cups water for soaking
16 ounces Mimicreme (I used unsweetened almond and cashew variety; use a can of coconut milk or whatever thick, unsweetened non-dairy milk you can find)
1 onion, roasted
2 cloves garlic
another cup of water
black pepper and lemon juice to taste

Rinse seaweed and pick out any stones or shells. Place seaweed in a large pot with the water, cover, and let soak for an hour.

Drain seaweed.  In a blender or food processor, blend Mimicreme, onion, and garlic until smooth. Add blended mixture to seaweed in pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Rinse out blender with additional one cup of water and add to pot. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until somewhat reduced.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.

I served mine over dino kale and with biscuits.

Parting shots.

After hanging onto a 4-ounce container of cacao butter for a year, I finally made vegan white chocolate. Stevia is the nastiest sweetener I have ever used and this white chocolate would've been fine unsweetened as it contains a good bit of roasted almond butter (hence the colour). Chocolate Covered Katie, while I enjoy your recipes, I'm using agave, maple syrup, or dates to sweeten my food, kthx.

I made a variation of sweet potato beer chilli a few weeks ago and had some for supper tonight with the last of my steamed mustard greens. The purple is from the mustard greens. I haven't eaten this type of greens in a while because it doesn't play well with others in juice. Steamed greens also become more, ah, potent with age. Talk about a sinus-cleanser since I already like my chilli spicy!

This is upside-down Marilyn, the female of my aunt and uncle's pair of cats. It seems like Maximus gets all the love on this blog. Cat in a box!

I challenged myself to healthy.happy.fit's Squat Crunch Plank Craziness challenge for the month of May (repeating day 30 for day 31). Breaking 100 on any of these is where the sweat begins, and I'm surviving! The planks are challenging me, which is good because I needed a workout shakeup.
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