Milan Kundera: humankind & animals

"Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect humankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it."
Milan Kundera

For more amazing quotes go here.

have a thoughtful weekend, wrapped up in books if possible.


Catalyst Chili Cook Off!!

For all you chili lovers!! Fund Raiser to support The Catalyst Space, a community center in the East Village Arts Distric....

This Saturday, March 26th, 2011 from 6-10pm at Trinity Lutheran Church
759 Linden Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813

Tickets are $10, includes chili samples, one full bowl of chili (your choice), corn bread, chili fixin's bar, dessert, soft drinks and fun music by DJ Frank Foreal aka Frank(e)

Judges will award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes
1st place $100
2nd and 3rd place ribbons

Check out this site for more details:


Iodine: eat that seaweed and keep the radioactive kind at bay!

I came across this post from TheHerbalistSeattle.blogspot.com (which was a reposting of this article by Ryan Drum) and thought it was very appropriate to share especially for us on the Pacific coast fearing the consequences of possible nuclear meltdown across the ocean. Even if you're sitting pretty on the East Coast, or half way around the world in Mozambique, this information is useful and valuable in our nuclear age.

"Iodine 131 is hazardous because our bodies will happily take it in if we need iodine. Since prior to the human atomic age there was no iodine 131, we have no defense against it if we need iodine, and no way to selectively excrete it. IF we have sufficient iodine in our bodies, Iodine 127, the only natural iodine isotope, our bodies will not take in the heavier iodine 131... The critical information is: if we continually take in 150 micrograms of iodine 127 daily, we will most likely be protected from iodine-deficiency “iodine aggressive uptake”. We can do this by eating 5-10 grams of seaweeds daily. If we are worried about iodine 131 which reasonably might be expected in the seaweed, we can let the seaweed iodine 131 if any, decay for 8 weeks. How do we know and expect this seaweed iodine to be protective against iodine 131 fallout and decay? The Polish example. Within hours after the onset of the Chernobyl disaster, Polish authorities acted to get iodine solutions, potassium and sodium iodide tablets, even seaweed tablets and capsules into as many of their citizens as possible to protect them from the nearby huge amounts of iodine 131 coming their way. Over the intervening 20 years, the Polish people treated with iodine 127 have almost 1000 time less thyroid disease than neighboring countries even further than Poland from the Chernobyl disaster site."


nori rolls
miso soup with plenty of wakame, arame, nori, kombu
seaweed salad at your local japanese restaurant
delicious crinkly seaweed snacks
eat up!!


Let the muse in!

I absolutely positively love immersing myself in music on a regular basis, so I figured today I'd share that love with VVS readers, and introduce you to a GREAT Argentinian band called ONDA VAGA. These guys are just amazing so please watch the video below and then seek out their album (fuerte y caliente) in order to get a full taste of what they have to offer. so so good :)


Some Recipes from Joseph Nally.....

As it usually happens...when looking for something on the internet...you end up moving from page to page and find more than you were looking for.....that is how I came across this article while looking for cashews and happiness...it is interesting and inspiring and I thought it was worth sharing...if you would like to read it, please check out the link below as well as some of Joseph Nally's recipes....


Watermelon Gazpacho

From Joseph Nally, Spokane

4 cups watermelon, divided use

1 cup tomato

1 cup cucumber

½ cup red bell pepper

½ small jalapeno

1 green onion

1 small handful cilantro

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 tablespoons lime juice

¾ teaspoon salt

Puree 3 cups of watermelon in a food processor or blender and place in a big bowl. Dice the remaining 1 cup of watermelon into small pieces and place in a bowl.

Seed and dice tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper. Seed and mince jalapeno. Mince the green onion using all of the white part and about 1 inch of the green. Chop cilantro, puree ginger and add to bowl with lime juice and salt.

Stir everything together carefully. Ladle into chilled soup bowls or chill in fridge before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Massaged Kale

From Joseph Nally, Spokane

1 large head kale, shredded

2 teaspoons olive oil

½ lemon

¼ teaspoon salt

Debone kale and cut into shreds. Massage oil, juice from lemon and salt into well-shredded kale for about two minutes. If possible, let sit for 10 minutes.

Serve with a light and creamy dressing.

Yield: 6 cups

Mac and Cashew Cheese

From Joseph Nally, Spokane

3 cups whole-wheat macaroni

½ red bell pepper

1 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cups water

¼ cup corn starch

¼ cup yeast flakes

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 ½ teaspoons salt

½ cup raw cashew pieces

1 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni according to directions on package.

Meanwhile, blend the rest of the ingredients except the bread crumbs until very smooth.

Drain macaroni and combine the pasta with the sauce in a casserole dish. Cover with bread crumbs and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the sauce is thick all the way through.

Yield: 6 cups

Jicama Salad

From Joseph Nally, Spokane

4 cups jicama, cut into large peeled pieces

2 roma tomatoes

½ cup green onion

1 cup corn

2 teaspoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoons salt

Peel the whole jicama first then cut into roughly 1-inch cubes. Process in a food processor until they become small shredded pieces. Place into a bowl.

Dice tomato and the green onion and place in the bowl along with the corn. Dress the salad with the lemon juice and salt and fold together.

Yield: 4 cups

Creamy Dill Dressing

From Joseph Nally, Spokane

1 cup cashews

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Fresh dill, to taste

Blend everything except dill together in a blender until perfectly smooth. Fold in dill. Chill before serving.

Dressing can be refrigerated for up to a week. Great as a simple salad dressing, sauce for a pre-dressed salad, and as a spread on baked potatoes and some sandwiches.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups


Tripti Kulai et Sri Chinmoy

Last last weekend we visited the town of Montpellier....beautiful town with historic center, botanical garden, museums and lots of cute streets with stores to explore. We arrived on Saturday, checked into the hotel and walked around town....for lunch we stopped at an Indian restaurant called Restaurant Le Rajasthan ...inside, the setting resembles that of the 17th century, the furniture comes directly from the Rajasthan region which is rich in tradition. We shared the baigan bharta (eggplant) and mixed veggie dishes, along with white rice and garlic naan...oh, and of course veggie samosas....much smaller in size than the ones back in the States....about 1/3 of the size....and they are wrapped in a dough like tortilla and have a similar shape to the Arabic empanadas.

Restaurant Le Rajasthan
3 Rue Vallat
34000 Montpellier, France
04 67 66 29 75

For dinner we stopped at Tripti Kulai...an all organic vegetarian restaurant...we started with a mixed squash soup with parsley, I followed with a smoked tofu and quinoa vegetalienne (vegan) dish and my companion had a potato and veggie sausage dish called Gratinee Savoyarde (minus the reblochon cheese)....he also had a tea called Remede Elfique (elf remedy?) which we think might have caused him to feel a bit unusual after drinking it...and I had the Fontaine de Jouvence (fountain of youth) but I felt the same afterwards, just really full....and with no room for dessert :(
This restaurant is also associated with Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual master who has dedicated his entire life to serving humanity....to find out more about him please visit the following link: http://www.srichinmoy.org/francais/

Tripti Kulai
20, rue Jacques Cœur
34000 Montpellier
Tél :
04 67 66 30 51