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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015

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winter 2015 issue 18 design & content Cara Livermore sewindie.com sales & shipping Bob Lawton hooah.tumblr.com production assistant Rachel Graham

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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


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Alex Bachert is a 26-year-old vegan with a passion for food and fun. She currently resides in Brooklyn and can be found sipping on iced coffee, making lists in her notebook, and experimenting with new recipes.

blairfoodproject.com Becky is an undergrad at NYU concentrating in food studies, studio art and marketing. When she’s not sniffing out freelance work, she’s probably overcaffeinating and being a ferocious food-pusher.

twitter.com/dakotakim1 eatveganfood.com Ali Metzger is classically trained in french cuisine, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Restaurant Management, and is a 2nd-level certified sommelier through the international wine guild. In the past five years, Ali created her website, a vegan catering business, and Arizona’s first vegan food truck. Ali spends her spare time practicing yoga, hiking mountains, and advocating to end animal cruelty.

Dakota Kim is a food-obsessed writer working on a burlesque cookbook called Bombshell Bakers. Her features and reviews have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, The Huffington Post, Bedford + Bowery, Hyphen, Spooning, Venus Zine, Vassar and many other publications. She divides her time roasting CSA kohlrabe in her tiny Brooklyn kitchen, hunting reishi mushrooms with the New York Mycological Society, and foraging for black raspberries on her best friend’s farm upstate.

la-pirata.com

plantsontheplate.com

Alicia is a writer, editor, and baker who currently works on the digital side at Food & Wine. She also DJs and hosts events in Brooklyn.

Dorota is an inquisitive Polish girl biking around Milan, Italy. She has a natural inclination for exploring anything that is new and unknown to most. In her free time, she is working on getting her bachelors in economics.


heartofatraveller.wordpress.com Eline is a 21-year-old freelance journalist and avid vegan foodie. Born in The Netherlands and raised in Southeast Asia, she is in constant wanderlust mode and is thus never in one place for long.

Megan is a 29-year-old freelance journalist and passionate foodie. When she isn’t busy writing, she’s trying to recreate her grandmother’s recipes, cook for picky step-children and experiment with new ingredients.

katerweiner.com

kitchenbeet.com

Kate Weiner is the Founder and Co-Editor of environmental arts mag Loam. She’s a farm-totable event planner and freelance writer with a passion for vertical gardens and hot cinnamon tea.

Penelope loves the outdoors, cooking and her family. She is happiest when exploring new trails, using local food to create recipes for her blog and laughing so hard she cries. She thinks every day should end with a perfect glass of cabernet and dark chocolate.

instagram.com/kristenkamp Kristen lives in Pittsburgh and makes pastries, usually between 8PM and 1AM. During daylight hours she writes, researchers, and tinkers for projects relevant to food and women.

Rachael Peskanov is a creative writer and lover of 80’s music. Having lived with a dairy allergy since birth, she is grateful for vegan alternatives as they provide her with the opportunity to experience the joy of good food, mmm cashew cheese!

kitchencoop.ca Krysten Cooper is a food enthusiast, cook, recipe tinkerer, dinner party hostess, lover of vegetables, and occasional writer. That you leave my kitchen content, full, and hoping for another invitation to break bread together is my greatest wish.

sarahwitman.com Sarah Witman is a journalist living in Madison, Wisconsin. She spends most of her free time drinking tea, making crafts, and pretending to be an extrovert.


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words & photos by Krysten Cooper Toronto is a big city. Expansive in geography and growing in population, it is Canada’s largest urban centre. But, start to explore the 6ix, and what you’ll soon discover is that this big city is full of small neighbourhoods. Leslieville. Rosedale. The Annex. The Beaches. Little Italy. Kensington. Each has its own vibe and unique sense of place. It’s no wonder - over 50% of those who call Toronto home come from outside Canada. These varied residents bring together their diverse cultural traditions to give each community its personality. This winter, bring a curious mind and an empty belly, and hit the streets of the T-dot to explore and taste your way across the ‘hoods.

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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


balzacs.com Annex: 789 Yonge St., in the Toronto Reference Library Distillery District: 1 Trinity St. Originally from Stratford, Ontario, Balzac’s now has 6 Toronto locations. Vegan-friendly milk options are available, as well as a selection of vegan brownies, blondies and cookies. If you are visiting the location in the Distillery District, allow some time to walk the cobblestone streets around the former distilleries that have been converted into art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Consider a stop at Mill Street Brew Pub to try their 100th Meridian Organic Amber Lager.

boxcarsocial.ca Rosedale: 1208 Yonge St. Riverside-Leslieville: 4 Boulton Ave. Coffee shop by day, bar by night, Boxcar is a great spot for a truly delicious cup of coffee. They offer a range of espressobased drinks, pour-overs or traditional drip made with beans from small-batch roasters. Soy and almond milk available. These guys are truly passionate about coffee and work very hard to make each cup remarkable. In the evening, choose from their selection of wines, local beers, scotches and bourbons.

feelgoodguru.com Trinity-Bellwoods: 917 Queen St. W. A small café serving organic, housemade dishes. Open for breakfast and lunch, with takeout also available. A friend once said to me, “Their avocado and ‘cheese’ sandwich is the best thing ever!” What more do you need to know?

Four locations. Visit freshrestaurants.ca After 20+ years, Fresh has established itself as one of the most popular spots for whole grain, vegetarian and vegan dishes. The menu includes fresh juices, super salads, burgers, bowls, and tasty baked goods. I recommend starting with an order of sweet potato fries to share, followed by a Beach Bowl, and finish with a slice of carrot cake if you still have room!

Multiple locations. Visit freshii.com While Freshii has locations in over 15 countries, their roots are in Toronto. Opening their first store in Toronto’s financial district 10 years ago was the beginning of their “Eat. Energize.” movement to offer fresh, nutritious meals to people on the go. The menu includes custom salads, wraps and bowls, with many ways to craft a wholesome vegan meal. Check out the Freshii Rosedale location at 1055 Yonge St. which also acts as the corporate head office, test kitchen, and training facility for new franchisees.

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livefoodbar.com Annex: 264 Dupont St.

torisbakeshop.ca The Beaches: 2188 Queen St. E.

Live has been serving up its plant-based, organic, gluten and refined sugar-free fare for over 10 years. The menu features raw and cooked vegan dishes. A good spot for brunch.

People can’t seem to stop talking about Tori’s Bakeshop. Ask a vegan for a bakery recommendation? Tori’s Bakeshop. Ask a café owner whose vegan baked goods they carry? Tori’s Bakeshop. It’s no wonder. The menu is made with eco-friendly, organic, dairy-free, egg-free, casein-free and refined sugar-free ingredients. Beyond sweets, they run an After Hours organic and vegan-friendly wine bar, including a full-service dinner menu, Thursday-Sunday evenings starting at 6pm.

facebook.com/HeyMeatball Little Italy: 719 College St. Riverside-Leslieville: 912 Queen St. E. With a name like Hey Meatball, you may have guessed that balls are the main feature. While the menu features many meatcentric options, the vegan meatballs are a hit with carnivores and herbivores alike. Vegan pastas also available.

terroni.com Rosedale: 1095 Yonge St., at Price St. Church-Yonge Corridor: 57a Adelaide St. East Trinity-Bellwoods: 720 Queen St. W. Ask for the ‘secret’ vegan menu, which offers egg-free pasta and cheese-free pizza variations of Terroni’s authentic Southern Italian cuisine. Make sure to grab the latest copy of T Magazine, Terroni’s in house publication created entirely by its staff.

wandaspieinthesky.com Kensington: 287 Augusta Ave. As the name suggests, Wanda’s in known for their baked goods, especially pies. Vegan and glutenfree pie options available.

thebigcarrot.ca Danforth: 348 Danforth Ave. The Big Carrot is a grocery store, apothecary, and take-away restaurant all in one. Located in the Carrot Commons, The Big Carrot is one of the city’s go-to spots for fresh organic produce. Enjoy lunch at the in-store organic, veggie-focused café. Stop into the Body Care section to peruse the wide selection of paraben-free personal care products. Feeling thirsty? The juice bar next door serves up organic juices made to order. And across the way is the Wholistic Dispensary in case you are in need of a little healing while visiting T.O.

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yamchops.com Little Italy: 705 College St. Located just a few doors down from Hey Meatball, YamChops is a vegetarian butcher shop. Yes, butcher shop. The store is set up like a traditional butcher, but behind the counter you’ll find only plant-based proteins. Ready to go meals, along with ingredients to take home, are on offer.

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Rosedale: 550 Bayview Ave. evergreen.ca Nestled within the Don Valley, the Evergreen Brick Works is a learning space connecting the city’s urban dwellers with nature. The Saturday and Sunday farmers’ markets buzz with families stocking up for the week. Watch out for the stand serving up Jamie Kennedy’s fries. The line may be long but the fries are worth it.

Wychwood: 601 Christie St. thestop.org Housed in a former street car repair facility, the Artscape Wychwood Barns are now home to live/work studios for artists, an event space, a theatre company, and the Stop Community Food Centre’s Green Barn. After shopping the Saturday market, wander over to Barn #4 to see what The Stop has growing the green house, and what’s being served up at the Stop’s Market Café.

Church-Yonge Corridor: 92-95 Front St. stlawrencemarket.com The South Market houses over 100 permanent vendors operating year round. Head to the basement level for a broad array of spices and dried goods. The North Market has been hosting a Saturday farmers market since the early 1800s. On Sundays, the North Market is home to an antique market.

CHICKPEA CHICKPEA MAGAZINE MAGAZINE winter winter 2015 2015

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See the rest of this article in our full issue! You can get the full issue in

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extended digital issue with exclusive content, not found anywhere else!

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Subscribe in print or digital for four issues per year of quality, beautiful articles, photography, stories, illustration and more.

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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


words & photos by Dorota Krysinska

CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015

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Around the time I had finished elementary school I already understood, through watching my mom, that cooking is a chore and feeding a family is a drudgery. Peeling and chopping, having to watch food so it wouldn’t burn, frantically going through drawers in search of pepper, dishes piling up by the sink even before anything was plated – none of that looked like a good use of time, let alone a pleasure. To my mom, everyday cooking just wasn’t either of the two, yet her homemade food was most of what we ate. I couldn’t understand why mom would never resort to canned soups and ready-made meals. Weren’t they made to free us from the burden? But then Nigella Lawson’s book about baking, ’How to be a Domestic Goddess’ found its way into my hands and infected my head with ideas such as making cookies on a rainy day to cheer up the family, marking a moderately festive day with clumsylooking fudge cake, calling it a day by popping a loaf of banana bread into the oven so its sweet fragrance lingers around as it bakes. In short, it exposed the celebratory power of making food, the pleasurable, exciting side of bringing it to the table; something that at home was usually covered by the stress and hassle of everyday life. It wasn’t long until I made and ate my first brownies and unexpectedly saw another wonderful side of cooking: it makes you feel capable. It is undeniable that preparing meals from scratch takes time and has plenty of down sides, some of them listed above. Yet with an enthusiastic approach, it can transform into a very positive activity. There is something about the process of preparing food that demonstrates the ability to take care of others and yourself, and in the case of whipping up cakes, a sense of performing magic acts (even more so

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when you turn to vegan baking). To watch flour, a product as insipid as it gets, or bananas on the verge of rotting, transform into a dessert that brings the glow of gratitude to faces of those who are asked to have a piece, is, to me, an addictive experience, one worthy of bothering with pulling out the tins, getting the groceries and doing the cleanup. There's nothing better than the bilateral joy of gifting your friend, up to their ears in work, a filled casserole dish made to suit their peculiar preferences. Allow me to go back to those previously mentioned bananas. They make for an excellent illustration of another point that has to be made for the case of cooking at home. From my experience, it contributes to less waste on domestic level, especially if done regularly. The contents of the fridge, opened every day, are unlikely to be a mystery, much like the question of what to do with half of this and a quarter of that. The habit of cooking results with an ease in combining or handling ingredients, also on the level of whether they are still edible. Too many times have I seen a kitchen sceptic trash immortal food like pumpkins or potatoes ‘because they’ve been around for a month’. Achieving some level of experience in cooking also leads to discovering such surprises as that overripe bananas are impossible to beat when it comes to making breads, or that a bag half-wilted spinach can make for a pot of really tasty, not to mention easy, soup. Additionally, by skipping prepackaged products, you limit the amount of trashed plastic, as produce and dry foods can be packed into reusable linen bags. Just pay attention to not using a sea of water to do the dishes and look out for planet-friendly detergents and you’ll contribute to making our world a little bit greener.

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Much like relieving the environment, home cooking is a chance to do the same for your budget. The cost of homemade meal or cake stands at a fraction of that shop-bought by the simple logic of fewer steps of production. Restaurants and food manufacturers employ many more people to feed you, and require many more processes, such as research, advertising, and distribution. Economies of scale can’t be ignored here, but if a highly processed product is significantly cheaper than a raw one, it raises questions about its quality. It has to be said that sometimes the first trip to get supplies can add up to a discouraging number, but remember that most of those expenses will be divided by dozens of plates of food, especially if you buy in bulk, which is always cheaper in the long run, and makes sense especially for non-perishable products such as dried legumes or grains. But what is perhaps the most exciting reason to cook on your own is the almost unlimited freedom that you are granted behind pots and pans. For vegans, who sometimes struggle to find interesting food or a diverse offer of it, or who search for plant-based versions of a craved dish to no avail, this should be of paramount importance. Being the one who decides about all the ingredients and techniques, you control exactly what you end up eating. This, of course, has the health benefits of not consuming additives, unpronouncable processed ingredients, and sometimes unbelievable amounts of sugar, as well as anything you might be allergic or intolerant to. (But that point becomes of lesser importance as markets adjust themselves to demand for products free of all those.)

CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015

However, the most brilliant consequence here is that, with a little practice and adequate expectations, you can end up eating exactly the food that you love. No over- or undercooked carrots, salads made of boring leaves drenched in oil, or dishes simply bland and made to not bother anyone’s palate. If you don’t have many preferences, you can always work them out by experimenting with new ways of chopping and cooking vegetables, trying new grains or spices, mixing and matching flavors as you wish. This is my favorite aspect about cooking at home having the space and permission to try whatever idea I may have, getting to feed my curiosity for flavors and textures ignited by all the food websites and blogs which the Internet brims with. Never did Nigella speak about it, but the feeling of being capable here is even stronger than in the case of my first adventures in baking. I get to take my abstract ideas and serve them to other people, granted they turn out fine – which they don’t always do. Ultimately, these explorations become an aim in themselves, a meditative activity to end a tiresome day. And if you don’t even have the energy for that, you’ll already have some effortless recipes up your sleeve. Cooking is, after all, a skill, one that not everyone has the patience or flair for. But it brings about so many benefits that it’s worth an occasional firing up of the stove, and, who knows, maybe you’ll just get those shivers of excitement as well. You don’t have to be a professional singer to enjoy a night of karaoke, either.

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Ingredients 3 tbsp ground flaxseed 1/2 cup hot water 4 overripe bananas 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour pinch salt 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable) nuts, chocolate, seeds of your choice (optional) Instructions 1. Whisk the flax and water together until frothy and set aside. 2. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and pour in the flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract, brown sugar, oil, and flax mixture. Gently fold together until just combined. Pour in any addins you like at this point and carefully fold them in. 3. Transfer to a greased loaf pan and bake at 350째F (180C) for 6075 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing. The bread will keep for 4 days and is great toasted. (And makes for a great edible gift!) r

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words by Dakota Kim Fellow Chickpea writer Amanda Aldinger and I have, for the past year, run a reading and cooking club that meets monthly. The club originated with a food book group I started at WORD bookstore, which is in the perfect neighborhood for gastronomical studies – intellectually highbrow, restaurant-studded Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I had realized that I enjoyed reading about food almost as much as I did cooking and eating it, obsessing over the writing of Ruth Reichl, Frank Bruni, Elissa Altman, and of course, M.F.K. Fisher, among many others. So I decided to start a book group where we could not only read but discuss and perhaps break bread together too. Amanda was the only attendee at one of the first meetings. I was sitting alone in the bookstore basement on a beautiful summer day and this vivacious, intelligent, equally food-obsessed gal walks in. Thank you, The Internet. Amanda encouraged me to continue meeting despite the initial lack of members. Her gracious hospitality and enthusiasm for food culture, cookbooks and food itself have kept the group going. We now have eight members who are simply lovely people and food devotees who each bring a unique perspective to the table. In New York, you spend a lot of time out. Out at restaurants, out at bars, and many of them are excellent, with innovative cocktails and above-par food. But there’s something about bringing friends into your home. “We spend very little time entertaining in our own homes, or cooking meals from scratch in our laughably small kitchens for large groups of friends,” Amanda said. “A great cookbook club breaks down those barriers. Positive human connection is at a premium in places like New York City. Spending all day in the kitchen, cooking something you’ve never made before for people who you know will receive it without judgment. It’s

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slowing down, reconnecting, cooking and eating with purpose.” Our member Justin Shu admires the start-to-finish process that goes into cooking for our club. “When you go to a restaurant you talk about what dish you got and how that compares to other places you’ve been, but in cookbook club you’re seeing your dish from start to finish, sourcing the ingredients to plating them,” Justin said. “You have a greater appreciation for what goes into it. I believe your food tastes different because of the work you put into it. You chopped that fresh mint or zested that lemon rind – you replay the recipe in your head and think about adjustments for next time.” We’re kind of all a bunch of food-obsessed weirdos who’ve found one another, huddling over cookbooks the way comic book fans would be over a first-edition vintage Batman comic. “We all shared a similar passion, one that separated us from other friends or partners who perhaps didn’t feel as fanatically and passionately about this very specific thing,” Amanda said. “We were all eager to commune, talk, and share our experiences being food-obsessed in the city.” As a group, we’ve done everything from meeting over beer and wine about wonderfully informative books such as Eat the City by Robin Shulman and Eating Wildly by Ava Chin, to cooking extravagant vegan meals together from a different cookbook we select each time. There’s something about a good food book that can truly warm you when you’re feeling a bit down or lost. For me, a good food book is better therapy than any science fiction paperback, fascinating history tome or graphic novel (despite being obsessed with all those genres).

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One of my and Amanda’s favorite books was Poor Man’s Feast by Elissa Altman. This book just wrecked me. The love story, the food story - you’ve got to read it. “It is a love story in a million different ways, and the poignancy, wit, and passion that’s so deeply layered into her writing is unlike no other,” Amanda said. “She is the type of food writer who makes you realize that you actually know nothing about food writing. I drew the last few pages out over a week, because I couldn’t bear to be finished with the book.”

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well by Amy Chaplin and Johnny Miller.

Now that’s a book! High compliments coming from a woman who herself is an editor, and an incredibly inventive (and I do not say that lightly) vegan cook. Amanda makes sumptuous, just-sweetenough, chocolate-covered “Imitation Rolo” date balls and super rich, savory cashew ricotta cheese crostini. I wonder sometimes if half the reason I can’t stop going to Amanda’s house is because I am simply addicted to her food (the other half, of course, is that she always has a fantastic Malbec on hand).

“A great cookbook or food book club is the most magical space,” Amanda said. “I look forward to dinner with my cookbook club every month, because it’s everything daily cooking is not, and everything cooking should be: exploratory, experimental, delicious, exciting, communal, comforting.”

Each time, we select a different cookbook from which we will all cook one to two recipes. We try to focus on healthy, delicious cookbooks, and there are always vegetarian and vegan dishes at all our meals. Some of the cookbooks we’ve cooked from include Green Kitchen Travels: Healthy Vegetarian Food Inspired by Our Adventures by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl; Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi; Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking by Rawia Bishara; The Messy Baker: More Than 75 Delicious Recipes from a Real Kitchen by Charmian Christie; and

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Being able to cook for and experiment with a group of friends in an informal setting is one of the major perks of our group. I’m not an expert cook, but I’m very experimental and I always want to do something like substitute olives for raisins. With this group, I can put myself out there, fail, and still be appreciated for misshapen, crooked loaves of bread.

I really value our long, wine-filled nights bonding over conversations ranging from food to music and love. The community and personal contact we’ve established with one another is invaluable to me. At our first few meetings, I wanted to knit this group of strangers together into new friends, and though I know it can be sensitive, I guessed that talking about our personal food histories would help with that. “It’s interesting how people bond over food,” member Justin Shu said. “You bond over the horrible post-war era food your mom used to bring out of the kitchen or you meet those who have never baked until last night. People all have stories about food and ultimately they reveal something about themselves

in the process. Laughter usually ensues.” We’ve also shared a lot of knowledge with one another, from cooking tips to restaurant recommendations and neighborhood knowledge. We’ve shared favorite recipes, cooking tricks, and, of course, it being New York, real estate advice. “I think it’s about exploring and sharing our food values with one another,” member Amee Bhavasar said. “We’re building community as we learn about new cuisines, techniques, flavors and culture. For example, I never thought about taking a knife skills class until Amanda mentioned how helpful it was for her.” For one of our meetings, we met in a public park and author Ava Chin, who is an expert New York City forager, showed us the edibles and herbal remedies all around us. This was before I joined the New York Mycological Society or took any foraging classes, and I was so surprised to learn about the healing effects of plantain leaf and the edibility of poor man’s pepper and serviceberries all around me in a public park. With the skills we’ve learned, we attempt to innovate from time to time. Amanda made me gluten-free banh mi rolls from scratch, and I’ve tried my hand at baking, which admittedly is not my strong suit, despite my love for vegan baked goods. “Food Book Club is a safe space for trying new techniques, for diving into unchartered cuisines,and introducing yourself to new chefs and culinary styles,” Amanda said.

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“I always make it a goal to stretch myself and cook something I’ve never attempted before, with ingredients that aren’t usually hanging out in my pantry.” Throwing a dinner party on your own can be extremely intimidating. Our club takes some of the pressure off the host. “It’s not as casual as a potluck but not as formal as a dinner party and I enjoy the balance of structure and freedom that this format allows,” Justin said. A favorite book for many members was Olives, Lemons and Za’atar by chef Rawia Bishara. “We cooked a sumptuous Middle Eastern feast from Olives, Lemons and Za’atar,” Amanda said. “It was the first time I’d made bread of any sort, and everything was so fresh, so delicious. Everyone nailed their dish. It felt like such a celebration. If you don’t have that cookbook, I really recommend it. It will forever change your relationship to hummus and tahini, and make you want to drown everything you cook in lemon juice.” Indeed, Justin mentioned to me that tahini is one of his newfound kitchen staples because of Olives, Lemons and Za’atar. We have been trying to plan a trip to the author’s restaurant. “Years ago, Rawia Bishara’s restaurant, Tanoreen, in Bay Ridge was described as the place to eat Middle Eastern food in the city,” Justin said. “I was excited when I discovered that this was her book. For that night, I remember making baba ganoush for the first time. It was surprisingly easy and I couldn’t stop eating it. Everyone else’s dishes

were insanely good and surprisingly healthy. I now stock tahini in my fridge because of that night. We all laughed about the mishaps in the kitchen earlier that day prepping for this meal and it was such a great mix of people and food.” As a group, we bring so many different cultures to the table. I’m KoreanAmerican, Justin is Chinese-American, and Amee is Indian-American. Our members are from all over the country. Amanda is from the Midwest and so am I. Together, we are a prototypical melting pot of an America where latkes and lavash are as American as apple pie. We incorporate a wheelhouse of different inspirations, and we all seem to be wowed by the cooking of our moms. When cooking for our club, we are, like most cooks, inspired by Mama, Omma, Mata. Amee’s mom, like mine, is a fast cook and experimental. “I grew up watching my mom cook in our kitchen and she inspires me daily,” Amee said. “She’s been cooking for over 40 years and can whip up a whole Indian meal of parathas, multiple vegetable dishes, and rice in 30 minutes. The same meal would take me two days to put together. She’s always challenging herself with new recipes; for my birthday, she made dosas from a batter of rolled oats, yellow lentils and quinoa.” Justin’s parents were also from-scratch folks. He comes from a world in which mac and cheese from a box wasn’t even an option on busy weeknights. “Being first generation Chinese, all of our meals were cooked from scratch—

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everything was fresh, not canned or boxed,” Justin said. “I think that helped create a good basis and appreciation for cooking and food.” My mother, meanwhile, taught me the improvisational skills that every good cook needs. She was ruthless and fearless in the battle against time, money and lack of ingredients. I admired her tremendously as a resourceful improvisational cook. Together, these mothers are a warm, ancestral presence at our Cook Book Club that inspires us to keep cooking for a community, not just for ourselves in our lonely New York City apartments. Sometimes you’re afraid to start something. I was afraid to start our club. What if no one came? What if no one enjoyed it? What if people laughed at my sad casserole? This kind of fear and doubt can prevent you from ever doing anything in your life. “I’m so happy that I decided to go to that first meeting at WORD,” Amee said. “I know so much more about food and New York. Everyone is genuinely interested in cooking, learning more about it and about each other. There’s so much positive energy, it’s infectious.” What’s next? Well, Justin suggested two weeks of cooking classes in Tuscany. I concur. But really though, we all hope to keep visiting the most private, exclusive speakeasies in New York City: one another’s apartments. There, we find something that’s not on the menu at any restaurant or bar. r

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words by Kate Weiner

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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


For most of us, winter is a rough go. Long before New Year’s, we’ve grown weary of cold wind chapping our cheeks, of short days that disappear before the close of work. And maybe this is why I’ve fallen in love with the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year marks the reawakening of the sun. The light lingers a little longer after the Solstice; dark mornings give way to pinpricks of bright rays. The Winter Solstice is a reminder that where we are - mired in mush and slush and ashy skies - is a beautiful place to be. We cozy up closer to the ones we love. We cherish the warmth of a cup of tea. We cross-country ski and sled down hills bookended in bare trees and taste the soft snow, still falling, on our tongues. During my last year of college, winter dug deep into our New England town. It stormed in November and snowed through April. My friend (and Loam co-curator) Nicole and I found comfort in gathering with our nearest and dearest girlfriends. Our sprawling potlucks made staying inside with a carafe of wine and a brisk evening biting at the door a delicious to-do. Giggly tarot card readings and good-natured gossip helped us make new friends; chopped kale salads and kohlrabi tarts were an invitation to revel in the season’s root veggie bounty. More than anything, our parties brought love and light to otherwise dreary days. And because we can all use more love and light (and less waste) in our lives, I’d like to share a recipe - with help from my lovely friends - for a sustainable solstice party to celebrate the longest night of the year. Here’s to sipping hot cocoa spiked with cinnamon and dancing in our jammies.

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So much of party planning is about disposability: plastic plates and paper napkins, balloons built to burst. Getting together with friends should be fun and cheap and easy, and that means working with what you have rather than shopping for soon-to-be trash. Mix and match tableware. Repurpose a cutting board as a serving plate. If you don’t have enough cups and cutlery for the crowd, buy biodegradable forks that will mix in with the compost and reuse rinsed almond butter and jam jars to serve drinks in. Cloth napkins are as beautiful as they are sustainable (especially if treated with Adriana’s onion skin dye.) With so much gorgeous food to go around, you won’t need much in the way of centerpieces. I love using celebrations, however, as an excuse to play around. Nicole’s mama layers glass bowls with dried beans. Vibrant cups of red lentils bring warmth to the room—and you can make a hearty stew out of the beans the next day.

We use a lot of electricity during winter—to keep the day burning hours after the sun has set, to warm our wet socks, to heat the house. The Winter Solstice is a ripe opportunity to unplug. Turn off the lights and gather together every blanket you’ve got. Penguin huddles and pillow forts are pretty sweet this time of year. Set candles cradled in glass votives in clusters throughout the room. Keep open flames far from potential triggers: bundled blankets, a tipsy friend. And take the time to relish the beauty bound in this soft-lit space—we’re so often surrounded by blaring artificial light in winter that the opportunity to settle into darkness is a rare gift.

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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


Tackling a creative project can brighten a housebound winter day. Below, Adriana Moreno of PDX textile company Moonshadow Goods shares a recipe for giving well-loved natural fibers fresh life with an onion skin dye. Adriana’s gorgeous plant-based prints are proof positive that working with what you have works wonders.

Ingredients & Supplies plenty of yellow onion skins. the more the better! (every trip to the local market is an opportunity to gather some onion skins).

Instructions 1. Fill your pot with the onion skins before adding enough water to submerge the skins. Leave some room for your fabric. Boil the skins uncovered for 1 hour. Stir a few times throughout the hour. Although it isn’t necessary I like to let the onion skins steep overnight. This produces more vivid colors.

natural fabric or fibers

2. Soak your natural fabric in clean, warm water for at least 45 minutes. (I like to soak my fibers for about 2 hours.) Soaking your fabric allows the fibers to dye evenly. Strain the onion skins from the bath.

large pot. stainless steel is preferred. I would recommend a pot that you don’t use for cooking food. strainer heat source (e.g., stove, hot plate, propane stove) wooden spoon bucket for rinsing gloves (optional)

3. Add wet fabric to the bath. With the fabric in the bath, bring it back to a boil for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the bath and stir to release any air bubbles from within the fabric. Let the fabric steep in the dye bath overnight to yield more saturated colors. Optional step: Make fun patterns by folding, wrapping and tying fabrics in different ways. 4. The next day, remove your fabric from the dye bath and rinse with cold water until the water runs clean. Three to four rinses should do. 5. You can put your used onion skins into compost or mix them into soil. You can also use the dye bath and rinsing water to feed outdoor plants, ensuring nothing goes to waste. 6. Hang your newly dyed fabric to dry and voila!

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Winter is an opportunity to explore all

In so few words: learn your community,

the good things growing in the ground.

know your farmer, and embrace the here

Scouring for fresh, minimally packaged

and now.

food can be difficult during winter. However, several farms do stay open year-

And cook with the stems and skins when

round and local cooperatives are perpetually

you can. Using every part of the plant isn’t

in-season. Bring a reusable cloth bag for

just a smart way of reducing food waste; it

stowing root veggies and a glass canister

helps retain the nutrients that make food

for storing grains. (Make sure to tare your

taste so damn good.

containers before you buy.) Stay open to revising recipes based on what’s available

The recipes below serve a party of 6. The

in bulk and whatever wintertime beauties

most sustainable party makes use of what

(purple turnips, Marian rutabagas) are

is fresh, local, and available in your neck of

popping up. Try a new kind of potato.

the woods. Have fun with it.

Test out a seasonal recipe courtesy of your neighborhood gardening group.

This pure blend of carrots and beets is plain gorgeous. Although this is the rare instance when I choose to peel veggies—it makes the juice much smoother—you can put those peelings straight into the immunity soup on pg. 92.

Ingredients 2 large carrots 1 small beet 2 1/2 cups water Instructions 1. Peel carrots and beets, taking care to reserve discarded carrot skin for immunity soup. 2. Slice veggies into smaller cuts and blend with water until smooth. Serve in shot glasses because it’s more fun (and this kind of drink is best in small doses).

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This chunky kitchen-sink soup makes use of sweet potato, kale, and mushrooms—earthy goodies that are sweetest during the winter season. Ingredients 10 cups water 1 large yellow onion 2 cloves garlic 4 portobello mushrooms 2 small sweet potatoes 6 leaves kale 1-inch cube ginger root olive oil as needed salt to taste carrot peelings to garnish Instructions 1. Coat base of large pot in olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Finely chop onion and garlic and pour into pot. Stir frequently. 2. As onions are caramelizing, turn oven to 400°F. Cut sweet potatoes into chunks—remember to keep the skin!—and slice the mushroom into thin strips. Toss with olive oil and salt on a non-stick baking tray. Roast until the sweet potato is tender to the touch and the mushrooms are golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes. 3. In separate pan, sauté kale. Although most of us toss the ribs, kale leaves’ fibrous bones make for yummy ravioli filling. Keep what you don’t sauté for a veggie-liscious pasta later in the week. 4. Finely mince ginger and mix into soup. 5. Stir in kale, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms as ready. Let cook for at least two hours, stirring often. The longer, the better. Serve warm and garnished with a vibrant tangle of carrot peelings.

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CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


Several years ago, I came home after a long trek through the snow to find that my housemate had baked a parsnip cake. Perfection. A generous dose of olive oil, applesauce, and creamy polenta make this cake super moist. Ingredients 1/2 cup cornmeal 1 cup shredded parsnip 1/2 cup gluten-free flour 1/4 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup applesauce 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Mix cornmeal and 1 1/2 cup water in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and stir frequently until thick, approximately 15 minutes. 2. As polenta cooks, shred parsnip (keep the skin—the grittier texture gives the cake a nice bite). 3. Remove polenta from stovetop and let cool. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in separate bowl. Slowly pour in olive oil, applesauce, and polenta, stirring until smooth. Sprinkle in cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tablespoon of maple syrup. 4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm. Serve with a cuppa tea or a glass of almond milk.

What makes a good party? Creating the space for those you love to feel taken care of. If it’s fun for you to dye your linens with onion skins and craft a table arrangement from dried beans, do it. If it doesn’t feed your soul, don’t worry one bit. What nourishes you will nourish your guests. The Winter Solstice is an opportunity for renewal and revelry. Enjoy savoring a meal with the people you care about. Enjoy curling up close on the couch. Enjoy the glow of candles and this long, long night, rich in opportunities to love what is. r

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photo by Krysten Cooper 38

CHICKPEA MAGAZINE winter 2015


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