04 August 2008

Newly minted vegan?

My friend's brother was over for the past week. He recently went vegetarian, with the interest in going full on vegan. I had to show him some of the survival techniques. We went over food choices, keeping healthy, the whole nine.

First and foremost came the easy bean stuff. I set a pot of rice cooking first. Then, I started off on the beans.

You start off with some oil in a pot. While you get the oil hot, you very quickly rough chop an onion. When the oil is hot, you pitch in the holy trinity of spices: cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds. Once they finish popping, I slipped in the chopped onion. While the onion sautees, I chopped some tomatoes (about one medium, per tin of beans). Then, when the onions are soft, I add the tomatoes to the pot. This is still over very high heat, so that I can get dinner cranked out quickly.

Again, because this was meant to be a quick dinner, I continued to cook the tomatoes over very high heat, and stirred them around a lot, to allow them to break down quickly. Fortunately, this also meant that they got browned very quickly, and lots of little brown bits started sticking to the bottom of the pot. I splashed in a good slurp of vodka, and let it boil while I opened up two 16 oz tins of black beans. I drained out the liquid (as much as possible), and threw the beans into the pot. I washed out the tins with some water to get out the last bit of beans that were stuck to the bottom, and added that to the pot as well.

While the beans were boiling away for the last five minutes, I quickly washed and chopped some cilantro (parsley would work as well). I turned off the stove when my herbs were chopped, and slid them into the pot of beans. The whole process took about fifteen minutes, from start to finish (including clean up along the way).

About five minutes later, the rice was done cooking, and food was ready. Suffice it to say, he was surprised that it could be that easy, or that good! Y'know how it is when you show a someone a new game, and s/he realises that it's more fun than he expected? That's what happened here. He saw how easy it is to cook and eat vegan. Freaking score. This was, of course, above and beyond the masses of fresh fruit and vegetables I have lying around the house that was in easy reach at all times. Success is mine! (And his too of course!)


  1. So you don´t add the spices to the oil while it´s cold, as you mentioned in the second interview with Gary?

    p.s. I´ll try the vodka. I´ve never used that in a chili.

    Sven Cahling

  2. Sven: Whole spices, that you're trying to pop, need to be added to hot oil.

  3. Yes, I thought it had to do with the popping. But thanks, otherwise, for teaching me about putting things in cold, to falour the oil.

  4. Falour, as in flavour, that is :-)

  5. Hey Dino,
    Glad to hear your brother intends on going vegan. There's nothing like the joy of having a family member come over to the dark side. Haha. Loving the podcast and the blog, I missed you on VFR so I was glad to get my Dino-fix with your podcast. Plus you do get time to talk slower, which is always helpful.

    On another note, that picture of you and Steve may have thawed my icy heart just a little...