December 6, 2012 |
Growing up in West Chester, in a family of Italian cooks, Christine Sheller appreciated the love that went into the meals she and her siblings ate, even if she sometimes rolled her eyes at the endless foodfest in the kitchen. "Saturday at 5 a.m., you'd be lying in bed and the smell of garlic would be wafting upstairs. It did not appeal," she recalls with a smile. These days, Sheller, 39, a graphic designer living in Philadelphia's Blue Bell Hill neighborhood, has embraced her family's culinary legacy - with one significant change.
November 30, 2012
IF YOU STARTED November as a junk-food junkie, it was kind of a rough month. Papa John's threatened a 14-cent-per-pizza hike. A Denny's franchise (soon contradicted by the parent company) promised a similar 5 percent surcharge. And Hostess, in a fight over union benefits, pulled the plug entirely. All just after President Obama's re-election. Geez, does first lady Michelle Obama's healthier-foods crusade really wield so much clout? If only. Whether economic outcry or postelection posturing, these blips won't budge the monolith of U.S. junk food.
October 18, 2012
OCTOBER IS stuffed with autumnal sights, smells, tastes and traditions. Pumpkins loom large in kitchens and on front stoops, icons of the ongoing harvest and upcoming Halloween festivities. As I noted last time, October is also Vegetarian Awareness Month. This year, it's also the Vegan Month of Food, when food bloggers unleash a daily torrent of plant-based how-to's, affirmations and creativity. Founded in 2007 as a takeoff on NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month, which participants spend attempting to write a novel)
October 4, 2012
WERE YOU AWARE that October is Vegetarian Awareness Month? No? OK, we just have to try harder in the 27 days we have left. Fortunately, there's a campaign now picking up steam that makes the job easier. Volunteers with the Humane League of Philadelphia are connecting with veg-friendly eateries to tout their plant-based and cruelty-free offerings. They've come up with a small but eye-catching sticker the businesses can affix to an outside door or window that says "Vegan Options Inside.
October 4, 2012 |
Brave! Nicole Marquis is so brave. Visionary, too. In April, she opened HipCityVeg, an organic apple's toss from verdant Rittenhouse Square. Let us pause for a moment and parse her restaurant's name. Hip. City. Veg. For an eternity in Philadelphia, only one of those adjectives ever held true. You know, the city part. Philadelphia was so many things, but hip and healthy were not two of them. The first time I saw Marquis' place, I did a double take. The line was snaking down South 18th, coiling around Sansom, the young and not-so-young, including swells who were clearly not vegan, a Birkin-packing woman with her companion sockless in Guccis.
September 21, 2012
AH, THE CORNUCOPIA: symbol of food abundance. A "horn of plenty" overflowing with food. And all of it 100 percent vegan. Wait, how can that be? Where's the deprivation, the scarcity, the righteous self-denial? Who came up with such a crazy symbol? It's actually logical, of course, because the cornucopia is a "harvest" icon, which means plant produce - and nowadays plant foods are being shared in more abundant variety and diversity than ever, if you know where to look. After I covered Bethlehem's VegFest, I reaped a bumper crop of comments pointing out veggie celebrations, although smaller-scale, much closer to home.
August 10, 2012 |
IT WASN'T that long ago that sidling up to the bar for a beer and a veggie burger was a comical incongruity. But as vegan food goes mainstream, pubs around Philly are now stepping up to serve us not just burgers but creative sandwiches and snack concoctions that often rival their meat-based mainstays. Some intrepid pioneer had to map this territory by drinking all over town. I couldn't pull it off alone, so I teamed up with the man who knows the ropes: Joe Sixpack. Through word-of-mouth and help from vegpa.net , I had found about a dozen spots around the city with standout items (see philly.com/veganpub for a list)
July 27, 2012 |
SINCE SUSHI, by its very name, is all about the rice, that's the bulk of this recipe. Once you have "sushi rice" ready, you can make many varieties, though we'll focus on nori rolls, the most well-known format in this country. Optimally you should use Japanese rice, found at specialty stores, but short-grain rice works, too. Avoid long-grain varieties; they aren't sticky enough. Here's a basic, but versatile, recipe. The vinegar mixture can be adjusted to taste. VEGAN SUSHI 3 cups rice 6 cups water 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt Several sheets of nori (seaweed paper)
July 27, 2012 |
HERE are some well-loved sources for fish-free sushi, the "Top Five," though there are many places around town. Vegans and vegetarians should confirm the absence of fish-based "dashi" broth. Fat Salmon (719 Walnut St., 215-928-8881, fatsalmonsushi.com ). Despite the name, this is one of the vegan-friendlier sushi places around, with three signature "veggie" rolls — the "Old School," the "Tofuholic" and "Lipstick Trace. " Terryin (358 Snyder Ave., 215-218-2888)
July 18, 2012 |
Anne Hathaway , 29, who plays feline playa Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises , dispels rumors she's with child, but admits she wants some. "I hope so. God willing. I'd love to," she tells USA Today. AH, betrothed to lesser-known thesp Adam Shulman , says she's not sure her beloved New York is the best place to raise her "hypothetical, theoretical, much-wished-for children," given her dread curse, fame . "I can't imagine raising my kids where [the paparazzi] has to become a part of their life," she says.