Monday, March 23, 2015

Soft Food for Sore Mouths: Four Delicious Hearty Soups

After gum surgery, I had to eat nothing but super soft foods for about a week, and was pretty bummed about it. But Sarah managed to think of five delicious and creamy soups in a row for us to eat! Anyone who has to avoid hard and crunchy foods and stick to the soft (for whatever reason), rejoice! Your recovery can be delicious. Sadly I forgot to take any pictures until the end of the week when only the last two were left, but hopefully you can visualize the rest (they are all pureed so look similar except for color). An immersion blender is a great way to make soups creamy without having to wash a real blender.


Chili and split pea soup

1. Butternut Squash w/ Apple
This recipe came from Appetite for Reduction. Fortunately I had a half-bushel of gold rush apples that added some wonderful tartness and flavor to the soup. It didn't have that many calories, so we added 3/4 cup of cashews (which also added a nice creaminess as well). I've had many butternut squash soups, and a few with apples, but I think this is my favorite.

2. Black Bean w/ Avocado
This recipe from the Bold Vegetarian Chef is kind of like the best things about black bean soup, guacamole, and salsa, all rolled together. I mean, sure it would be nice to eat it with corn bread or tortilla chips or something, but it does the trick by its lonesome too when you're sticking to soft foods.


3. Creamy lentil

This one (from Garlic Garlic Garlic) comes out pretty thick, so you may want some extra water if you want it more like soup instead of stew. It seems like it should be boring, but the sherry somehow makes it different, and the chives are great too if you have them.

4. Split pea soup
This recipe from the Bold Vegetarian Chef works best when not pureed (it has some nice potatoes, and pieces of tempeh bacon), but it still has a nice combo of the split peas, smoky tempeh, and other veggies. This soup is nice and filling, and if you get sick of it, swirl in some Sriracha which adds a pleasant twist.


5. Chili
There was a chili cookoff competition for our neighborhood, and Sarah decided we should make a vegetarian chili to show people that you can have a great chili without meat. Sadly, I put beyond meat beefless crumbles in it, which only add a dry, rubbery, flavorless series of chunks to get in the way of an otherwise delicious chili. But otherwise it was pretty good.

Recipes for all but the first one are at http://fish.freeshell.org/recipes.html

Need something pleasant to drink, but can't have alcohol (b/c of medication, or inflammation, or whatever)? I relied heavily on homemade fake beer.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Vegan options at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (aka DCA)

Photo from The Veracious Vegan

DCA has always had a couple of acceptable vegan options, but it's been getting a lot better over the last year and I just had to write something to list it all. Note that I'm not counting stuff like getting snacks at newsstands.

Here's an interactive map showing the exact location of each option within the airport including links to menus etc where available:
http://vegdc.com/search-results/?search_query&address=dca&radius=.5

Before Security (you CANNOT take chili or noodle soup bowls through security, but you CAN take the vegan burger with chili, a burrito, or sushi):
  1. Ben's Chili Bowl: vegan chili, vegan burgers , vegan chili fries
  2. Matsutake Sushi: veggie sushi, noodle bowls, etc.
  3. Qdoba : decent burritos and tacos
After Security:
  1. Terminal C: &pizza for pizza with vegan cheese, vegan beef crumbles, and tons of other fancy vegan toppings.
  2. Terminal BC: Taylor Gourmet whose Lehigh sandwich is a beautiful thing combining roasted cauliflower, white bean hummus, spicy red pepper sauce, and arugula.
  3. Terminal B: Einstein Bros Bagels: the Veg Out is basically a hummus sandwich on a bagel.
Note that in Terminal A you're pretty out of luck. I recently got them to make something vegan with hummus (I think it was District Bar which is currently closed) but it ended up being tiny, expensive, and not that great. If you're flying