Thursday, February 26, 2009



"Try Lentils for Lent"

For Lent, replace your meat hamburgers with tasty versions of veggie burgers. Yes, you can buy the frozen Boca and GardenBurger patties. They're fine for a quick meal. But kick up the flavor and quality a notch with homemade or fresh-made veggie burgers.

If you're in the northern Virginia / DC metro area, I urge you to try the lentil burger at Kennedy's Health Foods / Kasha's Kitchen in Falls Church. (Kasha's Kitchen is the little cafe in the back.) It may be the best veggie burger I've ever had, including ones I make myself from scratch. I've witnessed hard-core meat addicts chomp down on it and rave about it. One non-vegetarian, who regularly orders the lentil burger, told me that nothing made with lentils comes close to Kasha's lentil burger. I like lentils a lot, but I have to admit, he may be right.

Lentils are one of the more common bases for homemade veggie burgers. Try making homemade veggie burgers—they're not that hard to make. Basically, you mix a bunch of stuff in a bowl, form it into patties, and fry, broil, or bake the patties. You may have to chop an onion, maybe a couple cloves of garlic, but for the most part there's very little chopping involved. Besides, you can always buy frozen cut-up onions and a jar of minced garlic.

There's amazing diversity in veggie burgers. You change some of the core ingredients and you get a whole different taste. The idea is not to try to replicate a meat burger, but to create interesting, tasty, filling, and satisfying patties that go great in a bun and with appropriate toppings and "fixins."

Lentils also shine in Indian dishes. If you haven't tried Indian cuisine, or you haven't tried it in years, or think it's nothing but curry (nothing wrong with curry in my book, though), it's time to treat yourself to a nice Indian dinner—or years of them. Seek out recommended Indian restaurants in your area, and search online for easy Indian recipes. Look for dal dishes and recipes to get that rich blend of lentils and Indian spices. You can also buy some halfway decent instant Indian meals that feature lentils. You nuke them for a minute or two and you're ready to go. Although I highly recommend serving them over some Basmati rice.

For a super-easy, super-cheap, fulfilling made-from-scratch meal, cook up some lentils in one pot, and an approximately equal amount of rice in another pot. They're both be done in about 20 minutes. Mix the two together, squirt a little soy sauce on top, and top with some Earth Balance vegan butter. Voila! And bon appetit!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009



It would seem to me that just watching sheep, without trying to keep a tally of them, would be more relaxing.

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Monday, December 08, 2008



There may be nothing here at all...but I'm starting to sense a pattern... In general, it seems like night owls are more liberal, and more skeptical of the status quo. If there is any truth to this, I wonder...

- Is there some biological correlation between waking/sleeping schedule and political views?

- Any chance that the cause and effect (if it exists) is the other way around? Perhaps people with conservative views, who identify with authority and order, are more motivated to rise and shine, and fit in with the bulk of the working world.

- Perhaps if some people are predisposed to fall asleep at 3am and wake up at 11am, the fact that they are out of sync with the mainstream pushes them in the direction of being more circumspect about the status quo.

Note: I'm not postulating that biology is the sole, or even main determinant of political views, or that all conservatives are early risers. I'm just wondering if there may be some interplay between natural sleep/wake rhythms—at least relative to the majority—and one's attitudes about society. Just a thought. Calling all grad students interested in the intersection of biology and sociology!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008



The Lies and Lies and Lies of Sarah Palin

As the article notes, her pattern of outright lies is not just the usual spin, hyperbole, and selective fact-repeating that's unfortunately so common in political campaigns. Her lies "are factual, checkable, indisputable untruths." She's pathological. We cannot have someone who is so unbalanced and/or has such contempt for the American people in the White House.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008



John McCain had an affair with a woman much younger than him while his wife had cancer. Why aren't the family values groups raising a stink about that?

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008



Polar bears resort to cannibalism as Arctic ice shrinks

This is so sad. We're destroying the planet and taking perhaps millions of species down with us. What a shameful legacy.

One of the best and easiest steps that individuals can take to reduce their contribution to global warming is to eat lower on the food chain. In nearly all cases, at present, in the developed world, a vegan diet—even a mostly vegan diet—destroys far less habitat and burns far less oil than a typical meat- and dairy-centered diet. Changing your diet will likely cut your greenhouse gas contribution by a greater amount than if you switch from a gas-guzzler to a hybrid. Plus you can go vegan today and it costs approximately nothing.,, and can get you on your way.

To those who disbelieve the majority of the world's scientists and don't think that human activity has anything to do with global warming, let me make these two pleas:

- Transitioning to a vegan diet saves energy, conserves resources, and reduces animal cruelty that is often severe and sometimes shocking.

- On the chance that cutting down rainforests and spewing CO2 and methane into the air do have an effect on climate, doesn't it make sense to be prudent when the fate of untold numbers of species is potentially at stake?

I hope we'll take this issue into consideration when we vote, too.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008



A spider has been living in a cardboard box in the shed for a month. I found out when I was going to take the box out and rip it up to put in the recycling. But I'll wait—it's the spider's home and I'm not going to evict him.




This is rich: McCain on banking and health

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