20 Sweet Potato Recipes – The First Mess

Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. She just posted a link to 20 of her sweet potato recipes which can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. I have linked to Laura’s earlier collections 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess and 25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes – The First Mess.

A gentle reminder to my readers. I take no credit for these recipes and Laura isn’t compensating me for this post. This is another Giant Sticky Note that serves as a reminder to try these recipes because I love sweet potatoes too.

Here’s the link https://thefirstmess.com/2021/08/11/sweet-potato-recipes/

Have fun! I constantly remind myself I own Laura’s cookbook and need to fix some of her recipes. This post makes three Giant Sticky Note reminders to myself to expand my vegan and vegetarian meals beyond my world famous Wheat Germ Veggie Burgers.

25 Vegan Appetizer Recipes – The First Mess

Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. Her most recent post is 25 Vegan Appetizer Recipes and can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. Y’all might remember my earlier posts 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess and 25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes – The First Mess. To repeat, I take no credit for these recipes and Laura isn’t paying me any royalties for advancing her brand. This is merely another Giant Sticky Note that serves as a reminder to Self to try these recipes. And before I forget…

Here’s the link https://thefirstmess.com/2021/07/14/vegan-appetizer-recipes/

Enjoy! I constantly remind myself I own Laura’s cookbook.

Try more new recipes. Check.

25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes – The First Mess

Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. Her most recent post is 25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes and can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. Y’all might remember my earlier post 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess. Again I take no credit for these recipes and Laura isn’t paying me any royalties for advancing her brand. This is merely another Giant Sticky Note that serves as a reminder to Self to try these recipes. And before I forget…

Here’s the link https://thefirstmess.com/2021/05/19/vegan-chickpea-recipes/

Enjoy! Let me know which recipes are your favorites. Better yet, let Laura know.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

A few weeks ago I cooked too many chickpeas. Some got roasted with this Veggie Burrito Spice Blend. The rest got tossed into this concoction. The problem I have saving a recipe to revise at a later time is I tend to forget to revise and post. Then I can’t remember what stopped me from posting earlier. Like this recipe which I thought needed revisions but actually didn’t. I think.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked chickpea
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 15oz. can no salt diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups MOL vegetable broth and bean cooking liquid (MOL= more or less)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat
  • After a few minutes toss in the curry powder, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Keep sautéing for another few minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and chickpeas to the pot. Pour enough vegetable broth and/or bean cooking liquid to cover the ingredients by an inch.
  • Turn the heat up and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about an hour, lid on partially covered. Stir occasionally. Add more broth/cooking liquid as the stew thickens.
  • After an hour taste and adjust your seasonings. The amounts of seasonings I used results in a very mild stew that allows all of the flavors to shine.
  • Serve over rice (or not).

Veggie Burrito Spice Blend

Spice Blend for Veggie Burritos

2 tsp chili powder – 1 tsp cumin – 1 tsp smoked paprika – 1/2 tsp coriander 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp garlic powder

Chickpea and Broccoli Burrito — https://www.badmanners.com/recipes/roasted-chickpea-and-broccoli-burrito

This blend of spices is literally stolen from the chefs at https://www.badmanners.com/. The last time I took a theme on a spice blend the author tracked me down and threatened something close to legal action if I didn’t give her credit and a link to her website. So this time around I’m giving credit AND three links. I’m also not going to write down any instructions for making a roasted vegetable and chickpea filling for burritos. I suggest you go to the original recipe at https://www.badmanners.com/recipes/roasted-chickpea-and-broccoli-burrito if you need detailed instructions.

My Tips, Hints, and not too Secret Secrets

A really good tortilla makes all the difference. But today I’m going to wrap this filling in a Greek style whole wheat pita for lunch. I tend to roast vegetables for at least 40 minutes with a good stir midway through to prevent sticking. You can also add more olive oil at this point too. I hope I have a lime in the fridge. The last time I made this filling The Boss used it as a topping for a Taco Salad. She liked it. I hope she was telling the truth because when you cook up a pound of dried chickpeas it is a LOT of chickpeas. One cup dried will produce between 6 and 7 cups of beans. I used about 4 cups for today’s mix. The other 3 cups went into a Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew (no link yet, recipe is still in draft form).

I used some metal pie pans as roasting pans because I didn’t want to use the big pan which is a pain in the ass to clean because of its size. Preheat your pan(s) before roasting. I leave the mixing bowl uncleaned and use it again once the veggies are roasted and done. Let the mixture cool for a bit, toss everything back into this bowl, mix well again to capture the spices that have stuck to the bowl and then adjust your seasonings.

Postscript

No lime. I used lemon instead.

I wasn’t kidding about using pie pans.

Five Simple Guidelines for Good Vegan Nutrition

1. Eat at least three servings per day of beans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, veggie meats, peanuts or peanut butter.

2. Consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens and dark orange vegetables plus good sources of vitamin C like peppers, citrus fruit, and strawberries.

3. Get most of your fat from healthy sources, like nuts and nut butters, avocados, seeds, and moderate amounts of oils. Be sure to eat a good source of the essential omega-3 fat ALA found in flaxseed, hempseed, canola oil, and walnuts.

4. Eat three cups of calcium-rich foods every day including fortified plant milks, fortified juices, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and cooked kale, collards, bok choy, or turnip greens (double the amount of greens if you eat raw greens instead of cooked).

5. Don’t shun supplements. All vegans need vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified foods. Most also need a supplement of vitamin D, at least during the winter months. You may wish to consider vegan DHA and EPA supplements. If you don’t regularly use iodized salt, it’s prudent to take an iodine supplement. Vegan.com maintains a supplements page that provides current and helpful information for all these nutrients.

Vegan Nutrition Guide, by Virginia Messina MPH, RD — https://www.vegan.com/nutrition/

These guidelines are very good ones to follow even if you’re not vegan. Here’s the link to Messina’s website https://www.theveganrd.com/.

25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess

The Digital Devil told me I had dipped below 173 and I’m resisting the urge to overthink this. I can’t explain this bizarre behavior. It’s just part of my makeup, a tiny piece of me that tends to repeat over and over and over again. If the number goes up I’ll try to figure out why. If the number goes down my mind does the same thing. Why? Why is my weight going down? Is this merely a random fluctuation or can I pinpoint a reason for my successful weight loss/maintenance? As I wandered the internet I found a website post that had the answer I had been searching for.

Soup. I’ve eating more soup.

Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. Her most recent post is 25 Vegan Soup Recipes and can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. To be clear I haven’t tried any of these recipes yet but I needed a reminder to do so. Thus this post and link.

It’s like a giant Sticky Note that says “Hey, try these recipes. Also don’t forget you already bought her cookbook and it’s sitting on your eCookbook shelf.”

I actually forgot I bought Laura’s cookbook.

HOW MANY BLACKS, LATINOS, AND ASIANS ARE VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN IN THE USA? – Updated 12.26.20

Asian
6% Vegetarians (not including vegans)
6% Vegetarians (including vegans)
<1% Vegans
59% Eats vegetarian meals including vegan sometimes or always when eating out
23% Eats vegans meals sometimes or always when eating out
Most important when making food choices: taste (55%); cost (40%); personal health (36%)


Total
3% Vegetarians (not including vegans)
6% Vegetarians (including vegans)
3% Vegans
54% Eats vegetarian meals including vegan sometimes or always when eating out
24% Eats vegan meals sometimes or always when eating out

HOW MANY BLACKS, LATINOS, AND ASIANS ARE VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN IN THE USA?https://www.vrg.org/blog/2020/12/17/how-many-blacks-latinos-and-asians-are-vegan-and-vegetarian/

The Vegetarian Resource Group national Harris Poll. See: https://www.vrg.org/blog/2020/08/07/how-many-adults-in-the-u-s-are-vegan-how-many-adults-eat-vegetarian-when-eating-out-asks-the-vegetarian-resource-group-in-a-national-poll/

See the full article for survey results on other ethnic groups. Sorry. Asian guy just interested in other Asian’s dietary habits.

Updated 12.26.20 for Political Affiliation

Fifty-six percent of Democrats, 53% of Republicans, and 54% of Independents always or sometimes eat vegetarian meals. With the seeming great divide in the country by political leanings, perhaps we’re really much more alike than different when it comes to food. So maybe here is some common ground. The type of location you live in may have a little more of an impact, with 28% of urban dwellers being more likely to say they sometimes or always consume vegan meals when eating out, compared to only 20% of rural individuals. Yet there is not as much difference as people might expect.

HOW MANY ADULTS IN THE U.S. ARE VEGAN? HOW MANY ADULTS EAT VEGETARIAN WHEN EATING OUT? — https://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2020issue4/2020_issue4_poll_results.php

Meanwhile in Stillwater Oklahoma

Stillwater, OK is home to Oklahoma State University, about 46,000 residents, and exactly one vegan company: the Beet Box food truck. While vegan options can be found all over the country, it’s true that some areas want for plant-based eats more than others. Randon Moore and Gwnyeth Yvonne were two vegan college students who decided to fill this gap in Stillwater, and their efforts resulted in the city’s number one food truck (that just happens to be vegan).

https://vegnews.com/2020/12/this-oklahoma-vegan-food-truck-is-revolutionizing-midwestern-comfort-food — This Oklahoma Vegan Food Truck Is Revolutionizing Midwestern Comfort Food

When the virus slows down a bit it might be time to take a road trip to Stillwater for some Shrimpless Tacos.

Don’t forget the traveling music.

The Pandemic Pantry -Basic Corn and Bean Salad – 04.18.20

The look on my face must have revealed my aching soul. Maybe it was the numerous trips to the pantry or the multiple freezer checks. We had plenty of food to survive on but nothing I really wanted or cared to eat. The truth was I needed to cook. I needed some fresh foods to cook with. Ultimately she relented.

“You can go to the store and shop with the old people. You will wear a mask and keep your distance from everyone else in the store. You will not wander up and down the aisles like you usually do. You will not shower before going. When you come back you will wash your hands for 20 seconds then put the groceries away. Disinfect the items you think need disinfecting. The plastic bags will not be recycled. They will go into the garbage. You will then go into the laundry room where you will strip down and put your clothes into the washing machine. Then and only then you go to our bathroom to decontaminate.”

Senior Time at the grocery store is 7-8:00 AM. There were not many shoppers. The customers were all wearing masks, some had both masks and gloves on. But most of the employees were not wearing any masks or gloves. We know the mask wearing thing is more about not spreading virus if you’re infected and less effective for personal protection (though the latest scientific guidance is that masks do offer some level of personal protection). So is setting a specific time for a high risk group to shop at the same time and NOT have employees wear masks smart? It would take just one infected worker and s(he) could take out a number of the oldies. Just a thought. But everyone in the store respected each other’s space and kept their appropriate physical distance.

We began sheltering in place behavior one week before our state formally declared a shutdown. Minus two days in Owasso, Oklahoma (the trip was taken with the expectation a lock down would be ordered) we have been home for a month. Welcome to The Pandemic Greater Depression. At our home we are fortunate to both have jobs. Many, many others are not as fortunate and the road ahead will be hard. Despite the fact we have a roof over our heads and food on the table the new era Depression mentality has set in. I call the new mindset Forced Frugality.   The grocery store trip was interesting.  Some of the supply chain issues are resolved and the shelves look better.  Still no paper products and some of the shortages (like frozen pizza) are just plain strange.  There were arrows on the floor in an attempt to direct traffic.  I learned that some people don’t know how to follow arrows.  And despite clear instructions not to wander the aisles I pretty much went down every aisle because you never know what you’re going to find (or not find).  I found this:

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$0.59 for organic dark red kidney beans and $0.84 for organic corn!

Today’s lunch side was a simple corn and bean salad.  Here it is.

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 celery rib, tiny dice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, tiny dice
  • garlic powder
  • pinch or two dried basil
  • a splash of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can organic corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and basil in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Adjust your seasonings.  Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add your vegetables and beans.  Stir and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice.
  5. Serve as a side dish or over some fresh greens.  This size recipe makes around four servings.

Tips

Sugar is only needed to counteract the acidity in the dressing.  You might not need nor want any sugar at all.  I wanted to put some red bell pepper into this dish but there were none to be found at the store.

Here’s a list of pantry items.  Hopefully you have many if not all on hand as we shelter in place.

Pandemic Pantry Items – Updated 04.18.20

  • Canned tomatoes in 14.5 and 28 ounce cans.  Diced, crushed, diced with green chilies and stewed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Dried oregano, basil, and parsley
  • Onion and garlic powders
  • Bay leaves
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Dried pastas
  • Dried beans such as brown and green lentils, pinto, black, adzuki, mayocabo, yellow and green split peas, black eye peas and cranberry
  • Canned beans such as garbanzos, black, black eye peas, pinto, great northern, navy
  • Broth, vegetable, beef, chicken
  • Rice – multiple varieties like basmati, brown, Texmati, arborio  and plain long grain white
  • Flour tortillas and corn tortillas

Stay safe, stay well, stay home.

And if you do venture out of the house wear a mask.

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