Friday, August 21, 2015

Sauteed Zoodles With Black Bean & Corn Sauce For One

Look Ma no pasta!
I finally purchased a Vegetti just to try out the zoodles (zucchini strands like spaghetti to fettuccine noodles) phenomenon. I got it at Burlington Coat Factory for $10. So yes, it's not one of those highly advanced, super sophisticated veggie pasta makers, but it did a fine job for my first attempt. Quite an amazing little gadget- holding onto rinsed zucchini and twisting it in the contraption. I did, however, manage to cut my index finger on a blade (those babies are sharp despite being cheap!). I recommend extreme care with these handheld devices. Hopefully no one else is as clumsy as I am.
Alongside piping hot sauteed zoodles, I threw in "sauce" ingredients instead of simmering it in a separate saucepan. Black beans, diced tomatoes, soy ground, and corn are the components of making a zesty accompaniment with a little lime juice squeezed action going right in. This makes dinner time quick and easy. Nothing like the pleasant sound of crackling sizzle and the beautiful eye palette of magical enticement greeting me. Bright vivid red, green, yellow, and black make for a presentable dish packed with so much flavor that one doesn't even miss the actual pasta. Zucchini has the texture perfect and laps up savory ingredients like a beneficiary soulmate! What's not to adore?
I am eager to start up some raw recipes! Imagine how walnut cream and walnut meatballs will taste on irresistible zoodles or a rich, tangy sweet peanut sauce! My guess? Raw noodles will be superb!

Sauteed Zoodles With Black Bean & Corn Sauce For One Ingredients and Preparation

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cup zoodles
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup black beans, rinsed
1 cup corn (used steamed frozen corn)
1/4 cup Yves Soy Ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings

In a medium heated skillet, toss in olive oil and zoodles. Stir for 3-5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, black beans, corn, and soy ground, and salt. Stir for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Turn off heat. Mix in lemon juice and black pepper, and Italian seasonings. 

This would also be a unique taco or burrito filling.
So much delicious pretty.
Look at all that beautiful color!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Black Rice & Veggies With Raw Walnut Cream

Raw walnut cream can be a super terrific topper for black rice.
Another year of school starts next week-- the last new school year. Well, the last unless I consider a doctorate in painting and drawing. I'm sure that has been done millions of times...
I cannot stop thinking about a dream food truck. The AfroVeganChick food truck would travel throughout the 50 states (Hawaii would be most challenging) and Canada, maybe even Mexico to bring about yummy plant based food goodness. I would like to have a menu mixing cooked and raw, savory cuisine and sweet desserts, water and fruit smoothies quenching offerings in between. How's that for an out of art school adventure?  Yes. It's still a dream. A nice dream.
In other vegantastic news, few weeks ago, one of my co-workers asked me, "what does one do with black rice?"
Black rice?! Now I love black rice! Black rice has a hearty, rustic flavor.   
I had no choice but to gush over the wonders of my grain ardor and making a simple sauce to give dinner time a creamy, nutty fulfillment. Both Lotus Foods and Lundberg make a great black rice-- I picked the latter brand for this recipe. With firm vegetables blended in, my favorite easy peasy walnut concoction gives any rice or pasta dish amazing flavor- no dairy free milk or heat needed!

Black Rice & Walnut Cream Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup Lundberg Pearl Black Rice (cooked according to package directions)
1 cup steamed veggies (used broccoli and carrots here)
1 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked in 1 cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Soak walnuts overnight.
Do not drain the water.
Puree walnuts and walnut water into blender or food processor with olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice, coriander, and black pepper.

After cooking black rice, mix with veggies and walnut cream.
Stir evenly.
Share with your happy, hungry friends.

Friday, August 14, 2015

"The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely" Is Rebirthing The Black Female In Toronto

The tragic story of Sarah Baartman heart pumps a vital breathing poetry in Ngozi Paul's Summerworks play.
Remember. Black women's lives matter. Remember even when the media deflects this imperative truth. 
Bright bulbs highlight centered figure.
Around some beige framed eight body-length mirrors, to steady beating of deep drum thumps, provocative movement begins, slow and fluid borne from dark ground. Cloaked in brown fabric mystery, the lone, ubiquitous protagonist shifts and exerts kinetics, both scandalous and sensual, risque and titillating. 
The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely starts on a note, a savory piquant flavored note of rhythmic dance. Emphasis on the figure's lower backside takes immediate heed, the lights reflecting on gesticulating the voluptuous curves, the predominant curves that symbolize both beauty and vulgarity. Ritualistic exertion ends. The exposed one woman show opens up its jaw full of clandestine shadows further, letting audience sink uncomfortably on the bitter taste of a boisterous affair between Ms. Lovely and a married man. They are reaping horrible benefits of the empty situationship- which many fall prey to its twisted complications promising nothing more than cataclysmic writhing and emotionless ecstasy. 
"What are you doing?" Ms. Lovely's mournful conscious asks. "What are you doing?"
Past and present shift from historical to contemporary decades. Humor and sincerity merge, American nostalgia mixed with innocent curiosity and churlish giddiness. Ms. Lovely is the wild church girl slowly seduced by seeds of scandalous eroticism, eagerly slipping into becoming potential victim early. In between Ms. Lovely blossoming in stereotypical chains, in between darkened corners dissolving face, Sarah Baartman, the original Venus Hottentot is inserted. Long ago, Baartman was a source of European entertainment, a human display, a human hostage holding colonist eyes of ridicule and fascination. After her death, she is still prisoner, her private organs touring for two hundred years. In a defiant recording, Baartman speaks in both scowling contempt and ferocious dignity to the ethnic beats of African diaspora. The regal figure majestically performs gratifying choreography meant to celebrate and personalize beautiful form.
Ngozi Paul, writer, performer, and creator of Da Kink in My Hair, delivers a mesmerizing soliloquy, riveting monologues, blending together light comedy and thought-provoking drama, rendering forth a poignant narrative that is tough and chewy like stout jerky. She gets to the heart of the matter, candid and honest, brave and tender. Questions are aroused, debating about the oppression of black women's bodies, facial constructions, identities, journeys to womanhood sometimes brutally thrust in the aggressive flare of masculine violence. The colonial gaze has negatively impacted what reflections sistahs see in the bevel glass. Self love is key. Black women need to engage in more self love, more self indulgence. Baartman knows her worth and value, knows that though they take and take, stealing what is not naturally own-- a definitive metaphor of exploitative cultural appropriation, she is queen of her internal throne, something no one else can own. Each time Paul graces stage to the honeyed timbre of Baartman's vocalized spirit, Paul's graceful steps and gestures are confident and celebratory. 
d'bi young anikafrika (director and dramaturgist), Roger C. Jeffrey (choreographer and assistant director), Birgit Schreyer Duarte (dramaturgist), L'Oqenz and Waleed Abdulhamid (music collaboration), Jeannette Linton (costume designer), and of course Paul deserve all the kudos in the world for pulling off this commendable vision!
Just eighty minutes long at Factory Theatre Studios, The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely runs tonight at 7:15 PM, Saturday at 12:15 PM, and Sunday at 5:15 PM. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Smoked Polenta and Black Beans

Black beans and polenta make a pretty plate presentation.
Welcome to August. Just a few weeks away from starting the final year of MFA studies. Wow. I would've never thought life's horizons could stretch this far. It's quite momentous. Each day feels like a great victory.
A great victory should always include good food.
I always keep a good supply of polenta logs (an ingredient that I'll have to buy in bulk soon) and black beans. Of course that inner genius stroked a late night hunger craving, saying combine these two ingredients in the nonstick skillet. Gotta obey that authoritative command. 
Black beans serve as the delicious sidekick to flavorful polenta rounds, golden and lightly crisp with a soft, melt-in-mouth center. Fork and knife slides and slices easily into rather romantic tenderness, all golden and sprinkled in herb, a smoked effervescence fully pleasing taste. There is a reason this recipe portion serves one.   

Smoked Polenta and Black Beans Ingredients and Preparation

Trader Joe's Polenta
1 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoon liquid aminos
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings (optional)

Mix liquid smoke, liquid aminos, cumin, coriander, salt, and black pepper together. Set aside.
Warm up skillet and pour in olive oil.
Cut polenta into pretty logs that can fool people into believing they're golden scalloped potatoes.
Brush each side with marinade mixture.
Toss polenta rounds into the skillet. Flip over after 5 minutes or so.
Add black beans and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and plate polenta first. Top with black beans.
Sprinkle with extra dried herbs.
That perfect luscious side view.
Can either be eaten plain or topped with creamy tahini or baba ganoush.