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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When I started the plant-based diet nearly ten months ago, I went all in from the first. Of course, I was on a 28-day trial, so I wanted to give it everything it asked of me. If you donít take these things seriously, you donít get to know the full effect. You might not get all the benefits or discover any drawbacks, and I wanted to know what I was getting into. This is a case where cheating is only cheating yourself, so I didnít cheat.

The book has a full diet plan, with daily recipes for three meals and dessert, and I tried everything. Some of these recipes were disasters (worst pad thai ever!), but some were both easy and delicious. Those were the ones I kept using, after the trial period was over. In fact, I pretty much made the same handful of dishes over and over again. I got all the nutritional elements I needed, but Iím not such a gourmet that I require new and interesting things to eat day after day and night after night.

So I fell into a kind of rut. Every so often, though, Iíd come across a new recipe and give it a try. Sometimes Iíd even add it to the rotation, expanding my culinary horizon a bit.

Tonight I tried something completely different. Iíd been buying a frozen entrťe called Channa Masala, and it occurred to me that I should be able to make it myself, so I found a recipe on line and gradually gathered up the ingredients. The fresh ingredients, chickpeas and tomatoes and onions, were no trouble, but I had some difficulty with some of the exotic spices. I even had to send away for one (Amchoor Powder).

Tonight, at the end of a long, rainy (but colorful) day (filled with lightning, thunder and the threat of more trees toppling in the wind), I tried the recipe. And I have to say, it was tasty, but oh man was it ever spicy hot on the tongue (and any other body part it touched). Maybe it didnít need all of the different kinds of peppers and spices (including a whole minced green chili pepper and more ground cayenne than Iíve ever used in anything). It woke me up. It cleared out my sinuses. My eyes and nose were still running an hour later.

19 January 2010

Itís still up in the air whether Iíll make it again or not. As good as it was, Iím not a big fan of burning taste buds, so I might modify the recipe a bit. But it has one thing going for it — it was easy. I mean, there was plenty of prep work, but most of it was gathering spices and making sure everything went into the pan in the right order. The whole process took only about half an hour, which compares favorably to some of the other recipes I use. Iím probably going to go with a little less heat next time, though.

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