Thursday, June 30, 2011

14,800 animals saved...but Paula Deen goes on kicking

200 animals a year. We save an average of 200 animal lives per year by going vegan. So, if I live a long and healthy life and make it to 100 years of age, I will have saved 14,800 animals. This fact is beautifully satisfying.

I thought about this statistic last night as Justin and I watched a DVR'd episode of Next Food Network Star. Three things really irked me about this week's episode - well, three major things, I'm sure I was disgruntled by other things too: 1) Paula Dean 2) Tofu bashing 3) Standard vegetarian meals.

Let's go backwards -

The contestants were asked to prepare meals for cast, crew, writers, etc. of the show Cougar Town starring Courtney Cox. They were put into pairs and asked to cook a certain style of food depending on the group they were cooking for. One group was assigned the stylists/hairdressers/make-up artists, etc and they were told that normally these people are vegetarian. First of all, anyone can be vegetarian and by restricting this dietary assignment to this group, the show was perpetuating a stupid stereotype (I'm not saying I don't think they should cook vegetarian meals; I'm just offended that it was assumed that only the stylists would require this type of meal). So the two contestants, of course, felt a bit lost. The male in the team says, "I'm going to think outside the box and make them something really good because they're always getting jipped." What does he make? PASTA with veggies and cheese. Yes, a pat on the back, very creative. The female contestant makes a salad with roasted pumpkin seeds and other various accouterments. Nice, but pretty boring.

Next, this team of two men is asked to prepare food for the writers. It needs to be classy and organized, because apparently this is what writers want....I'll leave that one alone. One of the contestants can't find ground chicken or beef at the store, so he buys tofu. And then he proceeds to BITCH the entire time about how hard tofu is to cook, how no one likes it, how he's crazy for using it. Paula Deen, a guest judge, and Bobby Flay approached his table as he was cooking and both turned their noses up at the dish (lettuce leaves stuffed with a tofu mixture), saying that he made a bad choice by choosing to tofu as a main ingredient. Here comes a rant - brace yourselves - tofu is one of the easiest ingredients to cook. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! It takes on the flavor of anything you pair it with; you can serve it with multiple textures and consistencies, and it's incredibly healthy for you (lower in cholesterol and fat than meat products). This guy is supposed to be a good chef, yet he had no clue how to work with tofu. And I feel like this is standard. Justin and I make some amazing tofu dishes and we are not professionals. I was originally rooting for this contestant - now he's at the bottom of my list.

And finally, Paula Deen. Is there anyone in the world more anti-veg than she? As she paraded around the various food tables she made comments about vegetable dishes saying, "You need to throw a stick of butter on there" and scoffing at the tofu, "If I made tofu for my husband, he would say get the tofu-outta-here." The comical part is that, when she tasted the tofu dish, she acutally liked it! Go figure...apparently tofu can taste good. In summary, that woman is an abomination.

Okay. I'm done.

On a lighter note, before becoming absolutely disgusted by the show, I made a delicious dinner for Justin and I and surprised him by having it all set up in our back yard when he got home. It was composed of Farmers Market goodies and some awesome finds at the Portland Public Market House. Sometimes we're so cute it hurts.

Kale, strawberries, black bean tempeh, portebello cap, tomatoes, avocado, and our favorite CabSav, Pine & Post

Dinner waiting for Justin in our backyard: Pasta with portebello, tomato, kale, garlic, and herbs and an herb salad with cucumber, carrot and strawberries. And of course, some Pine & Post. And yes, I made the easy vegan pasta dish - but in my defense, we don't make pasta often and our cubbards are going bare so there weren't many other choices!


  1. Dinner was amazing baby! It was so cute to drive up and see you waiting in the backyard for me. I love you!

  2. Could not agree more. As I said to you about 10 minutes ago, Food TV should be about expanding people's cooking horizons, not narrowing them. Just because chefs can find gourmet flavor in fish heads doesn't mean they should disparage those whose food choices actually do good because they've never tried tofu. And I have to think they've just never tried, because how much easier could cooking get??

    Also, Paula Dean will probably have 3 heart attacks in a row some day soon. I'm not saying I wish that on her, I'm just saying, it's going to happen. 3 buttery, bacony heart attacks. Here's to healthy lifestyles!