January 15, 2011

Kris Carr video | Fishy ingredient | Recipe testing

I thought this was a wonderfully inspirational video that you might want to watch. Many people embrace a vegan diet for health reasons, and Kris Carr explains her lifestyle choices with grace and beauty.


Fish in WHAT?
Recently, I was shopping for light miso — brown rice or mellow barley — in a large Asian market. I usually buy miso at a natural foods store where there aren't that many choices, and all of them are basically soybeans and salt, or something like that. At the Asian market there were dozens of choices, and I was label reading like crazy. I was kind of surprised to find fish listed as an ingredient in so many brands. It took quite a while to find one that was fish-free. I guess I didn't realize that miso was likely to contain fish. Did you?


Recipe testing for Urban Vegan

This is cecina, which also may be called farinata or socca. It's an Italian flatbread made with chickpea flour, stock and herbs and is so delicious. I found many recipes on the Internet but none were quite like the one I tested, and because it's a test recipe, of course I can't publish it. Look for a recipe that uses about equal amounts of flour to liquid, and be judicious with the olive oil and salt!

Spicy seitan wings


  1. Hi Andrea,
    Thanks for the reminder. I've been wanting to make this flatbread for awhile now!
    Have a great weekend,

  2. i think Rose did a post on fish in miso. it surprised me too.my video player isnt working very well right now, so i will have to watch that video later! very irritating!

  3. found it!


  4. I found out the hard way about the fish in miso.. I bought some and was eating it and thought it tasted weird then looked at the ingredients. Oh the horror!

    The strangest thing I've ever seen fish listen in though had to be microwave popcorn.

  5. Oh Andrea, thanks so much for posting that video. Kris Carr is such a wonderful, inspiring person...true beauty from the inside out. She is such a vibrant woman.

    I've read her blog from time to time, and I'm thinking of buying her Crazy Sexy Diet book...I think the vid just made up my mind for me. :)

    That flatbread looks fantastic! Yum!

  6. Aimee,
    Hope you enjoy the flatbread as much as I did.

    I didn't remember that. Rose is one up on me!

    I think it's so weird to have fish in miso. Sheesh. But, microwave popcorn? You're kidding.

    I agree completely about Kris. Her movie should be terrific.

  7. DD,
    I just went to read Rose's blog post and she's talking about traditional Japanese soup stock, which can contain dried fish. I'm talking about the miso itself, not the soup.

  8. I spied those seitan wings on the Urban Vegan's website and now here; they look so good!

    Also, I find that when shopping at the Asian market I'm apt to find more things that unexpectedly contain non-vegan ingredients. I think a new Herbivore slogan is in order: "Vegan means I'm always reading (labels)".

  9. Did anyone else accidentally buy the Tropicana orange juice with fish juice? They quietly discontinued it, but it was simply packaged as heart-healthy. I thought the boast was because it was, well, orange juice, but they thought the added omega-3s did the trick. They also weren't interested in my complaint so that was the last carton I ever bought.

  10. I've never heard of fish in miso before--gross! I guess I'll be reading labels a lot more carefully from now on. And love the video. "Get goin', folks!" Yeah!

  11. Abby,
    Reading the labels wouldn't be so bad if they were legible, but with some of them you need a magnifying glass. I didn't know Tropicana discontinued the fish juice. I posted about it when it first came out, and have a link in my sidebar. It would be nice if unusual ingredients were listed more obviously on the label.

    I just had to post the video she's so inspiring. I was pretty surprised to see fish on the ingredient list. Makes you wonder what's in the food at restaurants, especially since so many people are allergic to fish.

  12. That was a really lovely video of Kris Carr. I liked what she said about not waiting for permission to live your life and that life is too sweet to be bitter. Beautiful words! Thank you for sharing.

  13. Yeah, I was reading Hannah Kaminsky's Bittersweet blog the other day and was thinking about Asian foods - it seems like a cuisine that would be so easily vegetarian that it's ridiculous how much of it isn't: fish in miso, egg in tempura batter (which she told me however is more of an Americanization), fish even in kimchee, which I love!
    It's also frustrating to read labels and not see anything blatantly non-vegan but only later find out that bonito is fish! Yuck!
    Anyway, I remember eating socco in Provence and loving it! I can't wait to replicate that.

  14. I've never seen fish as an ingredient in miso, but it doesn't surprise me that it might be there. At least they put it on the ingredient list! IMO it's in many of the commercial kimchees, uncredited.

    Re Abby Bean's comment, I was one of the people who bought that "Heart Healthy" Tropicana juice. I never thought to look at the label. How many ingredients should orange juice have after all? But you could taste the fish. I thought at first the juice had somehow gone off. So gross...

  15. Kadry,
    You're welcome. Those words stuck in my head, too.

    Fish products in Asian food has always been a problem for vegetarians — it's hard to find Thai food without fish sauce, for example. But I don't remember seeing it in miso before.

    I didn't realize the OJ tasted fishy. I was assuming they used a deodorized version. No wonder they had to remove it from the market. I also didn't know fish could be added to kimchee (or anything else) without appearing on the label. Do you know it's in there just by the taste?

  16. I'm going to sound like an echo, but I also wanted to thank you for sharing that video (I shared it with my husband as well), and we found it very inspiring and moving. I agree with you that Kris' eloquence is imbued with grace and beauty, and with Rose that she is absolutely lovely, inside and out. And Ricki and Cadry's favorite lines from the video were also mine! Beautiful words (and great advice) indeed! (And I love that she served her green juice in wine glasses! I do that with juice/tea/water a lot too! Cheers, Kris!) :-)

    I'd never heard of fishes being put in miso, (never mind in orange juice - yuk, how appalling!), so I checked ours and was happy to see it was all vegan. Well, I knew the Eden Foods miso would be, but I wasn't positive about the other brand, Miso Master (mellow white), since it's been quite a while since I bought it. Thanks for the heads up, though - I wouldn't have known to diligently check miso labels or to to ask specifically about miso in Asian restaurants.

  17. I didn't know that about miso Andrea. Will have to watch, although it isn't something I usually use. The flatbread look lovely :)

  18. Even though I don't buy miso often I will be checking the labels more carefully from now on. I never would have guessed that some miso contains fish. Gross!

    I was just reading through some of your recent posts and I am in awe of the raw pineapple upside-down cake. I need to try more raw desserts. They always look so amazing on everyone's blogs!

  19. Fish can be added to kimchi without it being listed on the label?!

  20. I just found out about Kris Carr a few weeks ago. She is so inspring. I am about to order her book.

    Oh my...that Cecina looks and sounds so good!

  21. Mmm, socca is such a savory treat- Can't wait for that recipe to be published!

  22. Laloofa,
    Thanks for your comments about the video!

    As for miso, I'd be surprised to find anything unusual in either of the brands you mentioned. But it never hurts to read labels.

    I didn't know that about miso, either. But I always read labels, and if the label is too small to read, I don't buy the product unless it's one I'm familiar with.

    I want to try more raw desserts from Cornbleet's book. They seem pretty easy and straightforward, as well as relatively healthy.

    That's a horrible idea, isn't it? Can that really happen?

    This was the first video I've seen of Kris, though I read her blog. She is inspiring.

    I think I'd better make some more cecina/farinata/socca — I keep dreaming about it!

  23. Andrea,
    I just learned something (as yet unconfirmed) about a restaurant I love that is making me question what can and cannot happen. So disappointing and leaves me wondering why it would be so difficult to require truth in labelling?

  24. I know! Isn't it crazy to have to read the label on MISO? I've seen "dashi" stock and others with fish in the ingredients. Ugh.

  25. Abby,
    I learned some things about Thai restaurants that mad me not want to eat in them anymore. Sometimes I adopt an attitude of doing the best I can, and sometimes I just stay away. Depends on how trusting and flexible I'm feeling. When I'm doing my own cooking, I want to be able to choose only ingredients I want to eat — i.e. no surprise fish included.

    I expect there to be bonito in dashi, but I guess I didn't realize fish was in miso, too. Makes you wonder how people with life-threatening allergies survive.

  26. Wow! That woman is something! What a positive way to look at something so horrid. Get goin' folks!

    Ick! Good thing vegans are expert label readers! I almost bought a bag of "salt and vinegar" potato chips from Target a couple of weeks ago, but when I looked at the ingredients I saw that there was milk in them! What the fork? It should only be potatoes, oil, salt, and vinegar!

    You noticed my picture! Aww, thank you so much! Actually, you had never noticed it before because I just put it up a couple of days ago. I feel like I cheated, because all the natural light that was coming in through the window was overexposing everything, including me! At some point I will upload one with more normal lighting. Baby steps! :)

  27. wow...just found your blog!!! i am in love with your recipes!! i am totally not a vegan, but i do have high cholesterol and i'm trying to embrace more vegan cooking in my lifestyle, so thanks for all you have to offer!!
    a new fan.

  28. Oh yes, buying things from the Asian supermarket can be quite tricky at times. I've always gotten miso from Whole Foods and checked the labels the first time I bought it. I never thought it could or would have fish in it, but it doesn't surprise me that it would be in an Asian brand. :-)

  29. River,
    I agree. She has a beautiful attitude.

    Another reason to only buy things with short ingredient lists — they are much easier to read!

    Yes, I noticed. I thought the photo looked great, no need to apologize for anything except taking so long to post it! :D

    Thank you! I'm so happy you were able to find some recipes you might like. Good luck with lowering your cholesterol — food choices can really make a difference.

    Chow vegan,
    I usually buy miso at WF or our co-op so I know what I'm getting, but we were stocking up at the Asian market, and I needed some miso. I didn't expect to find fish in it. There was also a huge variation in the amount of salt among brands.

  30. Ack! I just ran to my fridge and checked the labels on my miso containers (just to be sure)!

    Thank you for posting Kris Carr's video; she is truly inspirational. "Life is terminal" so drink from the good stemware and eat off the good china! I wish that I had access to someone life her when I was in my early thirties and newly diagnosed. My online support group was women twice my age!

  31. What a beautful video. In a way, cancer gave her the gift of love and marriage, for without it, she would not have met her husband. I like how she says at the end, that so many of us wait for permission to live - that is so true!

  32. fish in miso...ew. this is why i get so freaked out by Asian food and miss out on opportunities to enjoy it.

  33. Christina,
    Kris is pretty amazing, and her message inspiring. Thanks for leaving a comment — now I've added your blog to my reading list and am looking forward to your posts.

    She's found a way to embrace life even as she faces her health issues.

    You could make your own Asian food and then you'd know what's in it. But I know what you mean — I have trouble enjoying Thai food knowing that there's a good chance it contains fish sauce.


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