March 14, 2012

Fabulous, easy (GF) dinner | Animal rights stop sign

On Sunday night our middle son cooked us dinner. It was a simple but amazingly delicious meal that can be served to company with little stress, and much appreciation from the diners. The bowl you see above contained hot, freshly cooked quinoa topped with roasted vegetables, raw arugula, chickpeas and creamy tahini sauce. The vegetables were cauliflower, sliced carrots and onions, which were tossed with olive oil and roasted approximately 30 minutes at 450˚ F. The idea is to let the veggies get brown and tender but not let them burn. The sauce contained several tablespoons of tahini, thinned with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and water to make a thick but spoon-able sauce. My son used a food processor to get a creamy texture.  The tahini sauce was seasoned with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. You might want to add a tiny bit of sweetener to the sauce, depending on your taste and the sweetness of the veggies. The carrots Aaron used were so sweet that I first mistook them for sweet potatoes, and I think the ultra sweet carrots played that role in Aaron's dish. The combination of quinoa, chickpeas, vegetables and tahini sauce made a very pretty and satisfying meal. I might just make it tonight with broccoli.


Animal rights on the corner — it's a sign 
This is the stop sign on my corner. It really is. It was spotted by my friend Bethany the other day when we were coming back from a walk. For those who might not know what shark finning is, it's the despicable practice of cutting off living sharks' fins, usually at sea, and throwing the sharks back into the ocean.  The mutilated sharks, who can no longer swim correctly, either slowly starve to death or are eaten by other fish. You can read more about shark finning here or here. Shark finning is a cruel but lucrative practice, and fins sell for shocking amounts of money.

The fins are a delicacy used for making shark fin soup, which is very popular in Asian countries, where it's believed to be health-enhancing. Its great cost also makes it a status symbol. However, shark fins contain high levels of toxic mercury, and soup made from them is not a healthy food. A new study has also found that shark fins contain a neurotoxin that has been linked with Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease.

If you can stand to watch the video, you'll see Chef Gordon Ramsey learning about the shark fin industry. He starts out eating a bowl of soup, but quickly becomes shocked and disgusted by what he uncovers about the process of obtaining the fins. Ramsey isn't the most compassionate person when it comes to eating animals, but he is appalled and sickened by his experience. He starts out saying he might be willing to accept shark finning if the fins tasted good, but I doubt he still held that opinion by the end of his experience. Watch if you want to learn more about shark finning, and why it should be banned.


  1. Augh, shark finning sounds like horrible nonsense. There are certain practices that take place that I really just can't wrap my head around. So was it you who tagged the stop sign? ;) my mother actually once went out in the middle of the night to cut down a sign across from our house she didn't like!
    I hope you chose to eat the leftovers rather than make a hotpot... The "quinoa and roasted veg dish with sauce" will never get old! Roasted onions sound especially delicious.

  2. I wish I could claim it was me, but it wasn't. I'd sure like to know who it was so I could shake his/her hand.

    Leftovers it was — but really only quinoa and sauce from the broccoli bowl recipe in "Vegan Substitutions" were left over, so I had to cook my own broccoli, mushrooms and carrots. I also added avocado and cashews to round things out.

  3. Shark finners remind me why I'm generally not a people person. I mean, what kind of living being could do such a thing to another living being? This, of course, coming on the heels of seeing the Trump brothers' despicable hunting "safari" pics. There are plenty of people who passively choose to use animals for food and clothing ignorantly and without any direct connection, but there are also way too many who are active participants in the cruel mutilation and extinction of lives. One may not be worse than the other since they both have the same result, but I'm sickened and I've had it up to here! Can you tell I'm suffering from vegan exasperation this week?

  4. I hear you, Abby. It's hard not to be exasperated. If you watched the video, did you notice the part where Ramsey asks the diners if they ever think about the horrible fate of the sharks, and they say, "no. Never." Or the part where Ramsey, disgusted by what he's witnessing, contrasts the evil before him with the "humane" methods of killing animals in U.S. factories. Violence is defined in so many ways.

  5. Mmm I love tahini, this sounds like a great dinner! Thanks for the idea.

    I will admit that I had some of those red stickers that said "eating animals" and used a few. This was many years ago. I can't believe people still think shark's fins are acceptable to eat. Sick.

  6. I love "bowl" meals like that! So delicious, easy, and satisfying. Yours looks delicious!


  7. That's wonderful of your son to cook you dinner! It sounds (and looks) like it was a great meal, too.

    I love seeing Stop signs like that. Just thinking of finning makes me shudder. :(

  8. Ahhgh, yet another horror of human kind! That's appalling and degraded. Cool about the sign on your street though...we should make all sorts of little stickers to put up on all the stop signs...not only for shark finning, but for meat farming and all other terrible things animals suffer at our hands. We'd have to do it in the middle on night so we wouldn't get caught.

    That dinner has it all; sounds super good!

  9. Bitt,
    I love tahini, too. In fact, we re-created the dinner two nights later so I could have tahini sauce again.

    With all the rain we have here, I can't believe they would even stick. Wish I had some, though.

    I love bowl meals, too. In fact, I believe we bought a set of large bowls with that in mind. And we use them all the time.

    He's a great cook so it's always a treat when he invites us over.

    I love having the sign on the corner. Thinking about finning made me shudder before I watched the video. Now I can't even stand to think about it. I couldn't watch the whole video because it was so disturbing.

    Sad, isn't it, the way some humans behave towards each other and other species. I think PETA might still sell the "eating animals" stickers.

  10. 1) You have an incredibly sweet son! That dinner sounds delicious.

    2) Shark finning is disgusting. What is wrong with humanity?

    3) I effing love Gordon Ramsey.

  11. Ashlae,
    1) Thank you, I agree!

    2) Yes, it is, and I wish I knew what possessed some people to be so heartless.

    3) I like him better than I did before, because he made the video, but still not much. I'm glad I didn't see him eat a beating snake heart on one of his TV shows, or help to slaughter lambs for shepherd's pie. (Apparently seeing the slaughter was a reality check for some viewers, and inspired some to become vegetarian.) Maybe someday he'll make the connection between shark finning and eating animals.

  12. Sounds like a very well-balanced and tasty meal! A love all-in-one bowls like this, and they're often the format I take for everyday meals, too.

  13. Hannah,
    I love one-bowl dinners, too, especially when each item in the bowl tastes great!

  14. Tagging stop sign was a cool idea. i pray more and more people to go vegan and have mercy on poor animals

  15. I love those kinds of all-in-one-bowl meals, and yours looks terrific. How lovely that your son cooked it for you! I'm not sure I'll be up for watching the video, but your description gives me plenty of detail, thank you very much.

  16. Roasted anything is always yummy and extra special when someone else does the cooking. You have such a good son! :-)

  17. Amish recipes,
    Eating a plant-based diet seems more acceptable than it used to be. I visited your blog and didn't notice any vegan recipes there, but I hope that may change in the future. Thanks for your comment.

    Truthfully, I couldn't get through the whole video, but exposing the horrors committed by people against animals needs is something we need to keep doing.

    Chow vegan,
    So, so true!

  18. Shark finning just breaks my heart. It's so cruel and senseless.

  19. Cadry,
    I know what you mean. It just makes me feel sick.


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