Friday, March 23, 2007

A little less talk...

I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking in this post.

Calzones--marinara, mushrooms, green peppers, spinach, olives, basil-tofu ricotta. Funny story: After we made these and sealed them up tight, we realized we forgot to put the ricotta in! So we slit the top and started stuffing the ricotta in through the slits! That's why the slits look a bit stretched... End result was terrific, though.

A shot with the filling oozing out.

Our Korean dinner with Sean included:

More kamja bokum, this time with actual red peppers.

Baechu Kuksu Muchim, cabbage noodle salad. It used napa cabbage, onions, rice vermicelli, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and a tasty dressing of simply oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Quite yum.

Yesterday I made Cure What Ails Ya Garlic Soup, from La Dolce Vegan. This is my first recipe out of this book, and I made it quick because poor Bob was ailing with a sore throat and couldn't swallow any food. I swear, this perked him right up! A whole bulb of garlic ought to have some immediate effect on you--that's potent stuff.

I attended a Speak Out for Species meeting this week, where Lorena Mucke of the Christian Vegetarian Association spoke on sharing veganism with Christians. It was an awesome talk. Sadly, as a Christian and a vegan, I have found more animosity against the vegan lifestyle within the church than from any other group of people. Why should it be that way? The very ideals Jesus embodied were love, compassion, and mercy. Veganism extends that to all the animal kingdom, not just us humans. Every created thing is a reflection of God's love in some way, and He explicity charged mankind with the responsibility to care for it as He would--we are stewards of creation, not owners of it. No Christian can deny that. So I cannot understand why it is perceived as okay within the church to allow the horrifying treatment of animals that we all know goes on. Why do they shut their minds to it? It makes Bob and me feel so isolated sometimes. Anyway, it was refreshing and encouraging to hear Lorena talk.

You will get a longer, more cheerful post from me soon, I promise!


theONLYtania said...

Oooh the calzones look yummy.. I like the slits in the top! Decorative. I have no idea what kamja bokum is, but it looks delicious! And I'm glad the soup helped Bob out.. I hope only gets better and it doesn't turn into a cold or something!

KleoPatra said...

Grrrrrr... i totally understand what you mean! As a Jew, there is plenty of material in the Torah (Old Testament) pointing to vegetarianism, yet my religion thinks that if an animal is killed in a "Kosher" way (i.e. supposedly doesn't feel pain, and then other things that follow in the way the "meat" is handled) then all's well.

I have problems with the "sacrifices" of the animals back in the day of the old temple(s) and also on Rosh Hashana when the ram's horn (shofar) is used to blow the notes ushering in the new year... and at Pesach (or Passover), which is coming up soon ("The Last Supper," as you may know, was a Pesach meal), there is a plate that shows different items at the meal and each item stands for something... and one of the items is a "shank bone." It's utterly depressing.

Religion and old-time traditions sometimes are very difficult for me to deal with as a veg*n...

Sorry to go on and on, but i think you know what i mean, Laura!

ANYway, the food looks great! Sean must have loved that meal, what a great hostess and host you and Bob are. Sean's a lucky pal.

I must tell you that the greatest thing on earth for my taste buds... is a calzone. I love these guys! I wouldn't mind the stretched parts of 'em, not at all!

Great bowl for that amazing garlic soup. Bob's bound to get better with Eden in the Kitchen...


springsandwells said...

Hi Laura!!
The food looks great. I'm a big calzone fan! Also, the food you made for Sean is so awesome looking. How fun to explore a whole new cuisine. I've never made (or even eaten?!) Korean food. I don't think we have a Korean restaurant in Santa Cruz, but I'm sure there are many over the hill in San Jose!

Also, I'm interested in your thoughts on Christianity & vegetarianism. A lot of Musty's family are very active Christians, and many of them are very weirdly sceptical of my veggieness. And yet they are - naturally - very pro-life in their views on abortion. I actually find it routinely fascinating how the two-party political system has led to an overall atmosphere in which each party "claims" one side of an issue... For example, isn't it weird that liberal democrats are more likely to be vegan AND pro-choice/abortion. Whereas conservative republicans are more likely to be religious, pro-life, meat-eating, and pro-gun-rights. I don't mean to criticize either side excessively - and in fact I find these same weird hypocrisies and tendencies in my own "herd-following" beliefs. It's a bit humbling. I once had a very interesting conversation with Musty's very very politically conservative and born-again Christian uncle. He catagorically "doesn't eat vegetables" and yet in just 5 minutes of talking, he could see that the animals were innocent and voiceless and needing of protection and a loving, Christian voice... Yet, he still decided not to sample the vegan meal I had prepared for everyone. sigh!

Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

Urban Vegan said...

gorgeous calzone....que bellisima! you have a way with dough ;)

bazu said...

Your food looks awesome, as always. I actually don't know what I'd pick first- the calzone, the korean feast, or the garlic soup. Knowing me, it would be all three- you don't want to have me over for dinner- I'd eat you out of house and home!

As for the religion vs. vegan issue, it's my impression that it's a cultural divide. A lot of religious people come to see themselves as conservative and veganism is seen as radically left-wing, so they are suspicious of each other. But of course, you can be a liberal Christian, or a conservative vegan, and all the points you make are so logical, so... we have to find a way to bridge that divide! I admire you for what you do, because I am not very religious and these debates often get to me.

Sorry to blabbber!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Calzones are the best. I don't think I would have thought to stuff the ricotta through the slits. Knowing me I would tear them open and start again.

Our church is very open when it comes to vegetarians and vegans. We (our church) teach that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost and we are to take care of them. We are taught that the grains, herbs, and such are for us adn to eat meat "sparingly" I have heard some discontentment with "raw" vegans among some Christians, but mostly when it comes to children being raised raw vegans.I have great support among many of our members. It is great! We as Christians are suppose to take on the traits and habits of Christ. Compassion as you stated is a big one. How can you say you have compassion and slaughter God's creatures. Gross! Sad!

Melody said...

The food looks delicious! I soo wish I could eat at your house today.

I think it's great that you attended that talk. I think that vegans are often though of as liberal hippies... which for some reason, seems to go against the current mainstream christian churches..
I think it's wonderful that you are living your beliefs.. we can change the world, one person at a time.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

that calzone looks amazing. i've been craving something just like that as of late. what dough recipe is your fave?

everything else looks delicious, as usual!

Brooke said...

Oh, how I wish I had some of that garlic throat is killing me today. :-(

Liliy said...

I love calzones! ( I love anything that's tomatoey, vegan and italian style.) Your salad and soup look good too. I'm a huge fan of garlic. I find what you said about Christianity and veganism is true. I've had some people tell me veganism goes against the Bible because of a phrase somewhere in there that said animal were put on Earth for humans.

Johanna3 said...

love the calzones! im to scary of try to make them Lol! im not so good with dough :) i cant even make a pretty pizza circle .

Melissa West said...

Those calzones look amazing. Why didn't I make calzones? (I have a pizza in the oven right now!) I have a similar soup recipe that I use for when we are suffering from colds. It is amazing how it does perk you up straight away.
That's really cool about spreading vegetarianism amongst Christians... seems they can be a close minded bunch of people. It is so sad when people act solely from a place of fear.

aTxVegn said...

I'm glad you found a way to stuff the cheese in the calzones! They really do look wonderful. And you are becoming quite the Korean food expert. I hope Bob is feeling better.

I didn't know there was a Christian Veg Association - that's great. I think you are an excellent example of WWJD and your fellow church members should admire you.

Kris said...

Your Korean dinner looks incredible. Yum! And I love the calzones. We eat them all the time. They are so nice and compact.

Jackie said...

There is a great sites for Veggie Christians with lots of info

Also you might find interesting as it discusses many things from the Kabbalah to the Bible.

Yum the Calzones look great.

laura jesser said...

Tania, thanks--and just as an update, Bob's sore throat passed immediately. He was fine the next day. He attributes it to the soup. Hehe.

Kleo, I do know what you mean... And you're right, if you study the Old Testament there is lots of evidence that God always intended a vegetarian diet--and that all creatures will again be vegetarian when the world is completely restored! Oh, I could go on and on, but I won't do that right now! :)

Amey, the polarization that you are talking about between "left and right" blows my mind sometimes. And you're also right that it can be easy to get caught up in it... What a strange occurrence that you described with Musty's uncle, and yet I have had the exact same thing happen to me.

Urban vegan, grazi!

Bazu, I think your assesment is right. It's a difficult divide to bridge--as Lorena pointed out, the church has always been one of the last groups, throughout history, to embrace any social change. But the things that get in the way of embracing change are many of the very qualities which the church, in theory, stands against. Oh well. And yes, I DO want to have you over for dinner! :)

Veg-a-nut, how awesome that your church is open to veganism as a viable way to have compassion and to take care of your own body! I think other churches will get there, slowly.

Melody, well put! I'm a firm believer as well in the "one person" revolution, but it can be a frustrating journey at times.

Brooke, I am so sorry to hear about your throat... sore throats are a sucky way to be sick. I hope that you are feeling better now.

Liliy, I think that passage you're talking about is one of the most misunderstood passages in the whole Bible, but it's so ingrained in the mainstream church that I don't know how it can ever be undone. It will be, though...

Johanna, it just takes some practice to get good with pizza dough! The great thing about it is, though, even if it's not pretty, it's still delicious! And I would probably say that calzones are easier than pizzas, because you can be really sloppy with them. So you should give it a try!

Melissa, Bob was actually advocating pizza but I have been craving calzones for so long now... And yes, I think it really does come down to fear in a lot of cases--fear of going against the norm and questioning what has always been socially acceptable.

Diann, thanks! Bob is feeling much better. Now I'm the one with the icky throat, I think from breathing in all the pollen. :( And thanks for your encouragement as well. If people are really asking themselves the WWJD question, I find it really hard to believe that he would chow down on a hamburger and turn a blind eye on 1) the suffering of the poor animal he was eating, 2) the devastation it wreaks on the environment, and 3) the destruction it wreaks on his own body--holy to God! Hah, thanks for setting me off.

Kris, yes, that's what I love the most about calzones over pizza--small and no fuss. Well, and they're just plain fun to eat!

Jackie, thanks for pointing out those resources. I do visit from time to time, but the other site I have not heard of.

Midwest Vegan said...

Your calzone looks better than any I've seen in restaurants (and probably so much better for you). Most of my friends in church thought I was going vegan for lent and would go back to "normal" after lent was over. They were supportive at first but that turned to irritation pretty quickly. Most of them were "afraid" to eat my food at potlucks and meetings, which is crazy.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I wish you the best with your studying and you will be missed. I tested Melody's spicy tofu and we also loved it. She is a great chef. Talk to you soon!

Kati said...

Ooh calzones! I really need to make some one of these days, especially now that I've gotten the hang of yeasted dough. Your Korean food looks excellent, too. I love your pretty black and red bowl with the flowers - I bet Bob felt better in no time with that soup.

I wish more Christians really took to heart the message of Christ that you spoke of in this post. So many people approach Christianity on such a superficial level, and it is a shame.