Archive for October, 2011

Melanie has been making several soups of a curried nature, and it really has me craving soups and curries. So here’s a little something I threw together inspired by her latest, delicious creations! This recipe makes about 6-8 servings, depending on your serving size and how much liquid you add to thin out the soup.


2-2.5 C dried chickpeas; soaked and cooked [save some of the cooking water to use for the soup]

1 medium butternut squash; roasted (375°F, ~30 min) and roughly chopped

1 medium sweet potato; roasted (375°F, ~30 min) and roughly chopped

1 raw Serrano pepper, roughly chopped

1 small shallot, raw, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp each paprika, ginger, and sage

4.5-5 C bean cooking water or broth (enough to make a smooth, soupilicious consistency)

salt & pepper to taste

green chili sauce, to taste (optional)


  1. Puree together all ingredients and spices until smooth. I used an immersion blender, but you could also use a food processor. Adjust consistency to preference adding 1 C of liquid at a time. I started with 2 C (to get the process going) and added slowly until it became the perfect thickness.

2. Garnish with homemade croutons and sprinkled paprika.

Happy Cooking!

On this day in history: Pizza, Ti voglio bene!

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I had the pleasure of picking a Big Skinny non-leather wallet this weekend at a festival in Harvard Square ($25 for the pictured bifold).  Do you see that picture?  No fooling, my old leather wallet empty is the same size as my new vegan wallet full.  Awesome.  The founder of the shop was there in person and declared himself to be vegan, so three cheers for supporting a vegan company.  And I was able to do away with my pregan leather wallet ($5 from a Manhattan vendor bought me an indestructible wallet and lasting shame).  Happy as I am with my wallet, I wanted to sing praises, but it’s also important to get the rest of the story.

So I’ve got this fat wallet.  You know, Costanza-style.  I suppose it’s not killing me, but nothing is good about having a fat wallet – not an inch, not a half an inch.  It would be great to just do away with it.  I travel a lot too.  I sit a lot (A LOT).  I was always pulling my wallet out because it’s uncomfortable.  It’s not the worst thing in the world.  This is one of those little things, like having a non-stick pan that starts sticking, or using envelopes you have to lick instead of the self-stick kind.  Just spend a few bucks and make life easier.  But it’s not that easy.  I’ve got to find a wallet I like.  It’s got to have the right pockets for my stuff, and the right sizing.  I like a two-fold, not a three-fold.  I don’t like my stuff hanging out in one of those clip-wallets.  Vegan wallets tend to have those irritating zippers around the outside.  I don’t want fake leather…  It’s a trial.

But then, wandering through this festival, I found exactly what I was looking for with Big Skinny.  This is one of those business relationships where customer and product match perfectly.  This is like when you first saw that bag of kale chips at Whole Foods – rejoice!  The material is like nylon, and easily slips in and out jeans.  There are plenty of pockets there.  It’s two-fold like I like.  Big Skinny has lots of other types as well – bi-fold, tri-fold, bi-fold with clip, super-thin sport wallets…  It’s a great selection.  There is also a material that holds credit cards in place so they don’t slip out.  It doesn’t make them stick either, so it’s the best of both worlds.  If you like the window pocket for your driver’s license, it has that too.

But remember how I was talking about kale chips?  Ever wonder why the F&*% there’s fake cheese all over them?  I suppose it’s ok, but why can’t I just get some dried kale with some oil and seasoning?  Nothing is perfect.  The bad news is that Big Skinny’s vegan cred is suspect.  They make leather wallets, so it’s not an exclusively vegan company.  This may be a deal-breaker for many of you, but I hope we can inspire more hard-line from a self-identified vegan.   I’m very understanding, but making leather wallets and singing the praises of Dunkin Donuts is very suspect.

Also, the Big Skinny wallets slaps a logo on the outside of the wallet.   I suppose I understand, but that’s the thickest part of the wallet, so I just cut it off.  There’s got to be a better way…  Overall, the Big Skinny wallet is a great product ($10-$30 depending on the style).  There are vegans running the shop, and I think that’s commendable.  Unfortunately, the company itself isn’t vegan, and that may turn away the most discerning vegan customers.

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