Guest product review: SooFoo grains blend!  »

Funny name, yummy blend. SooFoo, a San Francisco-based, U.S.-grown blend of grains and pulses, is the perfect mix of new-and-exciting with simple-and-nutritious. It’s a great substitute for bland white rice or, in my household, basic, tasteless brown rice. SooFoo is completely organic and it has nine ingredients. Seems like a lot for “rice” type of food until you read them: long grain brown rice, brown lentils, wheat berries, oats, barley, black lentils, rye berries, green lentils, and buckwheat. The folks at SooFoo must’ve been big proponents of Raffi’s “Oats and Beans and Barely.”

Certified organic, Kosher, and vegan, SooFoo is one of the most guiltless products on the market. Their packaging gives some super basic, alliteration-filled suggestions on what to do with the food, such as “sprinkle in a salad,” “stir into soups,” “chuck in chili,” and “toss with tofu” among others. My personal fave is “shower the bride and groom.” I’m totally going to do that next summer. “The vegan from California brought his own hippie rice”—I can hear the in-laws already.

I threw 3/4 cup of SooFoo, 2 cups of water, and 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil into my rice-cooker. Forty-five aromatic minutes later, I had four to six servings of SooFoo, piping hot. My ladyfriend and I decided to serve it with a stir-fry of red onion, purple bell pepper, green beans, and chickpeas with a gluttony of spices. In my attempt to rid the world of all gluten products by digesting them myself, I threw my portions in a whole wheat tortilla.

I gotta say, as a faux-meat and potatoes guy, I didn’t have the highest hopes for SooFoo. But I was blown away. Seriously. Add that to the fact it also has 6 grams of protein per serving (BUT WHERE DO VEGANS GET THEIR PROTEIN?!) and 3 grams of fiber per serving, you can easily justify the chocolate-covered pretzels you also bought. 

All in all, SooFoo is pretty freaking awesome. Before I throw the rest of the bag during friends and family nuptials, I think I’ll and “toss it with tofu" next. But I’m open to suggestions!

Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to Rhode Island-based hip-hop website The Echo Chamber Blog under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.


Mushroom and asparagus paella. You know what would make this even better? You know what I’m gonna say: Form the paella into big balls and deep fry those fuckers. HOLY SHIT DEEP FRIED RICE. 
This is from the Perfect Pantry, a blog that has lots of delicious vegan recipes and makes you very hungry.

Mushroom and asparagus paella. You know what would make this even better? You know what I’m gonna say: Form the paella into big balls and deep fry those fuckers. HOLY SHIT DEEP FRIED RICE. 

This is from the Perfect Pantry, a blog that has lots of delicious vegan recipes and makes you very hungry.


Recipe: Summertime Corn Pilaf!  »

If you are anything like me, people are always inviting you to parties. Oy! But in the summer, getting invited to a party suddenly means you’re supposed to cook something. What the hey?! Outside of Thanksgiving, you don’t have to cook jackshit for parties in the other seasons! Bring some booze and you’re golden. Then summer comes along and POW! Everyone’s a commie! Ever heard of a “summer share?” Exactly.

That’s what the modern barbecue is: watermelon-coated communism. Like the potlatches of the Pacific Northwest, your neighborhood cookout is a redistribution of wealth. I guess they’re also a redistribution of time, or time in the kitchen, that is. Now instead of one miserable person sweating it up over the stove in 90-degree weather, we all have to. Fucking super.

Well have no fear! Megan Rascal is here to show you how to bring down the system from within: Corn and rice pilaf! Cheap, yummy and easy to make, it’s the perfect summer side-dish for any party.

(serves 4ish)
1 cup rice
1 onion
2 cups corn
1 teaspoon sugar
A shit-ton of salt and pepper… to taste.

Now, loosely defined, pilaf is just rice with something else (I hear there’s also something called “chicken pilaf”—what’s next?! Submarine pilaf?! Ick! Stick with the rice, kids). So make some rice, genius. I can’t help you with this as I’m incompetent when it comes to making rice. It’s my only flaw. I’d say make brown rice but if you’re hanging out with squares (and knowing you, you probably are), maybe you should make white rice.

Next, chop up the onion. In a frying pan with oil, saute the onion for, like, ever. I don’t mind burnt edges myself but if you aren’t into that, stir often. When the onion is soft and cooked, add the corn! This can be canned corn, frozen corn, fresh off the cob, I don’t care. Add the sugar and let the corn and onions cook together for a while. Don’t forget to stir but again, I prefer a little brown on my corn.

Finally, add a bunch of salt and a TON of pepper. That’s what this dish is all about: the sweetness of the corn and onion coupled with the bite of the pepper. And while I don’t care what kind of corn you use, I am a pepper snob. It’s got to be fresh-ground black pepper. Fresh ground, I say! It’s not that much to ask.

Other bonus: this is good warm or cold.

Other things to try:
Add wilted spinach and stewed tomatoes. You can add tomatoes regardless, but the spinach doesn’t work that great without tomatoes.

Use shallots instead of onions. Ballin’!

Add beans, black or kidneys. You know what I always say: no fiber, no party!

Imagine this pilaf alongside some bbq tofu! Too delicious! I know, I’m the man. OK, go forth, make pilaf and be merry.


Urban farming gets WACKY with Triumph’s rice-growing bra  »

I think we’re all supposed to say “oh those WACKY JAPANESE” because nothing says “I’m not actually racist” better than writing about an entire population as a singular entity perpetually obsessed with family honor and tentacle/schoolgirl fantasies. But really, what else will CRAZY JAPAN think up next? Triumph’s rice-growing bra is the perfect gift for the femivore on your list who’s too busy at the club to tend to her backyard rice patties.

No word on if the bra is lined (or removable) because that shit’s going to get nasty at some point during your rice’s 110-day growing cycle. But don’t worry, if you lose patience with your miracle of edible life, rice-patty bra can double as an iPad stand for your/my instant Netflix addiction. Which reminds me, it’s probably time to queue up Idiocracy again, because if we’ve found a way to sexualize urban homesteading, “Adult Tax Returns” and “Extra Big-Ass Fries” can’t be too far off.


Vegansaurus NYC: Rice!  »

Rice! Generic name, yummy food! I’m obsessed! It’s not all vegan but there are many vegan options. There are three locations, one in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn. One of the Brooklyn locations happens to be in DUMBO, four blocks from my school. I moved here a little over a month ago and I’ve been to Rice like 80 times already. That’s how I roll! I find something I like and I stick with it! Until I overdo it and get completely tired of it. It’s a system.

For the most part, it’s all rice bowls (there’s a few salads but salads are for nancies!). They have different options like lentil stew or ratatouille and then you get to pick what kind of rice you want! Hence the name. They have like 8 kinds of rice. I always get the brown rice but one day I will get the crazy purple rice, mark my words! It’s a dollar or so more but it’s purple! The color of royalty! It’s the king’s rice! I think it’s actually called black rice but I promise it’s purple.

UPDATE: The tofu satay is NOT vegan! It’s got fish in it! GROSS! I’ve tried a number of things there but I’ve finally settled on the tofu satay. It’s super! That’s a picture of it above—I took it myself! BEFORE I started eating! Because I’m a pro. I’ve also tried the lentil stew but it was a little bland. The Thai coconut curry is good but I’m obsessed with peanuts and that’s what the satay sauce tastes like. Now the other thing you HAVE to get is an order of the edamame* hummus. OMG IT’S AMAZING. Like, I could eat bowls of it. I wasn’t sure if it was vegan but they assured me it was, bread and all. It’s not that hummus-y; I can’t quite put my finger on what it tastes like but it’s super-delicious.

So if you get a chance, I say definitely try rice. And if you go to the DUMBO one, I’ll probably be there so you should say, “Hey Megan Rascal!” and maybe, “You look lovely today!” because that’s a nice thing to say and completely true.

*Once again spellcheck, I say screw you! Edamame is a word.

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