Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Indian-Spiced Yellow Split Pea Soup

Ooh do I have a recipe for you today! It may not look like much but believe me, it is.

So I told you about my audition and booking yesterday (yayy). After the audition and my miraculous escape from a parking ticket, I went to the Meet Market for its last day of business. I had heard really good things, especially about the weekend brunch, but I'd never gone. Then I read on Quarrygirl that it was closing yesterday. I was only five minutes away and I heard that their grocery items were 50% off, so I checked them out. I ended up buying one desserty-thing that I plan on giving as a gift to someone and two of these to live in my car and serve as emergency snacks.

I was only a couple minutes away from Nature Mart Bulk Bin, and I had planned ahead by bringing my empty Dr. Bronner's hand soap dispenser. I've only been to the Bulk Bin one other time and I noticed that they sell bulk Dr. Bronner's soap so I planned to come back when my dispenser was empty. Nature Mart is a cool little natural foods grocery store with lots of vegan and Raw items and its baby Nature Mart Bulk Bin is right next door, filled to the brim with almost everything you could want to buy in bulk - tea, coffee, spices, flours, trail mixes, dry soup mixes, grains, dried beans, dried fruit, hand soap, dish soap, shampoo, conditioner... the list goes on. And they make smoothies. I filled up my soap for about $3, which is $2-3 cheaper than buying a whole new dispenser, plus, you REUSE. I sometimes think we get stuck on the "recyle" part of the three R's. What about reduce and reuse? Actually we were also taught a fourth, "refuse," but that one has caught on even less. And if you're worried about bulk items being dirty or gross? You know what? The world is dirty. And gross. And full of germs. Packaged goods are teeming with germs - just look at the food recalls. Just because your food comes wrapped in plastic doesn't mean it's any cleaner. And if you really stressed about this stuff, you'd definitely have to stop eating out. And don't let your friends cook for you! Maybe they tasted the soup and put the spoon back in! Horrors! OK so sorry to make light of germ phobias, but seriously, bulk items are awesome for your wallet and the environment and they're not any dirtier than everything else in the world so scope out the bulk section of your local grocery store or go to Nature Mart Bulk Bin and discover the joy of buying in bulk.

After the Bulk Bin I went home and made myself a lovely salad composed of lettuce, leftover Salade de Lentilles et Chou Frisé, cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast, roasted beets and turnips, and Maple Grove Farms organic balsamic dressing. It was a great way to use leftovers and tasted so delicious that I had pretty much the same thing again for lunch today.

I spent a couple hours last night doing actor-related work stuff - updating my casting director database with notes on the CD's I've auditioned for, plus updating my Excel spreadsheet of acting-related expenses.

Today was another busy and productive day. In the morning I went to Cardio Barre, then I came home and quickly got ready before going to The Actors Network to learn to decipher TV production charts. Afterwards I went to Ulta to buy some new makeup. It was my first time going to an Ulta store, but I had been wanting to since moving to LA (there aren't any in Indiana). They sell makeup, skin care, and hair supplies and I went because I was in desperate need of new liquid eyeliner. I also bought something a little fun that I'll show you tomorrow when I do a little vegan fashion and beauty post.

After Ulta I drove to the Bookstar - it's really a Barnes and Noble on Ventura Blvd but it's housed in an old movie theater with the front marquee still intact, so it's called the Bookstar. I went there to read some magazines and study up on kids these days - I figured if I'm going to be playing a teenager so often, I need to be staying up on what they're wearing, etc.

For dinner tonight I had some instant colcannon and another serving of my delicious soup, the recipe for which I shall be kind enough to bestow upon you now.

Indian-Spiced Yellow Split Pea Soup

1.5 cups yellow split peas, rinsed
1/2 yellow onion, diced
minced garlic
1/3 cup kale stalks, diced (just use whatever leftover stalks you may have)
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
5 cups water or veggie broth (I used water)
1 tbsp mustard (I used stoneground)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric

Lightly brown onion and garlic in a soup pot. Add lentils, vegetables, and water and simmer with pot loosely covered for 1-2 hours, until the lentils are the desired texture. They should break down and get very mushy. Make sure you have enough water - you may need to add more. Add as much water as necessary to achieve desired viscosity. Season with mustard, garam masala, paprika, and turmeric and adjust seasonings as needed.

You can eat this as is - and you can see that my version is very thick. Add more water and make it thinner or make it dense and serve it over rice for a really hearty meal. You can also sprinkle it with some nutritional yeast. Oh, and the leftovers are kick-ass so maybe you should make extra.

Links You Shall Love:
http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-case-for-an-older-woman/ This is a cool yet creepy blog post - it's cool because it has awesome graphs, and it's creepy because it shows that the older men get, the younger of women they pursue. Apparently the kind of creepy grown men who use dating sites are far more likely to go after a teenager than a woman even one year older than them. But really, it's a cool article.

http://chicvegan.com/a-thrifty-guide-for-college-bound-vegans-part-one/ A little simple advice for college-bound or just thrifty vegans.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/magazine/29language-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4 Does Your Language Shape How You Think? Ahh, my beloved Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, one of the main passions of my college career. It's interesting, check it out.

If Historical Events Had Facebook Statuses

SO. Do you buy bulk items? Have any reduce/reuse/recycle/refuse tips to share?


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