Although they are not my all-time favourite cult/sect (check out this for my favourite), the Essenes did some pretty cool stuff when it came to food and that was making bread from sprouted grains and baking it on stones in the hot desert sun.
I occassionally bought some of the Essene bread from health food shops, which is pricey, but discontinued after finding out about biodynamic farming methods, which produces the main ingredients of these loaves. This is a shame as sprouted breads are really a nutritional powerhouse compared to regular bread. For a long time I always intended to make some for myself but was put off by my failed attempts at sprouting various grains and pulses. However, over the last month or so, I've gotten the hang of this sprouting thing. I've been using an old 2.5 litre pickle jar and a muslin cloth secured with a rubber band successfully with chickpeas, quinoa, wheat and lentils. I knew I was now ready to have a crack at making essene bread. Here's my "recipe":
- Sprouted wheat (as many cups as required)
- Mince the sprouts with a food processor.
- Knead for about 8 minutes until it starts to kind of resemble normal bread dough. Cover and leave for an hour.
- with wet hands shape into loaves
- bake in 160 degree oven for about 80 minutes
This is quite sweet and sticky stuff and it came out with an almost freshly baked cookie texture which was quite similar to the stuff I used to buy. It also stuck to the bottom of my baking tray so I had to do a bit of scraping to get it off. I will probably make this again and play around with a few different grains.
Yong's X 2 + Vegie bar
Yesterday afternoon I met up at Yong Green food with my lawyer friend, Dan, and we loaded up on some tasty vegan food. I had a vanana (vanilla, banana, almond milk) smoothie, gyoza and chickpea wrap. Dan had the pumpkin soup and gyoza.
The gyoza were great but the pita bread on the chickpea wrap was a little over toasted. My smoothie was also grainy with bits of almond still floating around in it. I think last time I was there the almond milk was strained. It still tasted good, but not as good as their cacao smoothie.
After that we headed over to the Nova to watch Food inc. I had heard this was kind of lame and I was not disappointed. This was mostly due to the prominence of the hero of the happy meat movement, Michael Pollan, author of "The omnivore's dilemma" (turns out there is no dilemma. Here's a good review of his book). There was so much crap spouted out by him, the crazy pig and chicken murderer and the organic yoghurt billionaire. There is no nice way to kill an animal, as could be seen by the audience's reactions to all of the murder scenes, even the happy meat one. They are right in saying factory farming is unsustainable but are wrong in claiming that peddling organic body parts and secretions is the answer. This requires a massive reduction in the human population yet none of them advocate humane cannibalism, where we would only eat people who have lived nice, stress-free, lives.
After the film we decided to go to Yong's again. I ordered the "chicken" skewers and daikon salad. Dan had the miso soup and nut burger.
The daikon salad is a favourite of mine with its chilli and sesame oil dressing, but it was my first time with the skewer. It was probably one of the tastier vegan meats I have had. I wonder where they get it from?
I was in the mood for cake so we headed over to the vegie bar for some of their chocolate cake. Dan decided to grab a vegan supreme pizza as well. This is a really good pizza and a step up from the last time I've had a pizza from there. Who would have thought walnuts could be so tasty on a pizza? Chocolate cake was great, as usual.