Special Guest Blogger Reviews a Potato

Super Awesome Best Reviews
potato

by Special Guest Blogger, a Potato

We potatoes and humans really aren’t that different.

Think about it. We both start off safe and cozy in a dark place, without a care in the world, before we’re torn kicking and screaming into the real world by some big ugly jerk. In your case, it was a doctor or nurse. In my case, it was a farmer. A huge, fat farmer who smells like manure. To be honest, I smelled like manure, because he kept pouring it on me. All you humans smell bad, I’m afraid. In fact, you have many flaws I won’t go into, because I don’t want to intimidate you. I have been told that I can intimidate people, but I’ll just resign myself to saying that I smell great. But in order to do that, you’ll have to scrub me and wash me until I’m squeaky clean. Then you can put me in Bubble n’ Squeak.

That’s not my only use, though. I’m like one of those job applicant in the welfare office saying they’ll ‘do anything’. I literally will do anything for you. I’ll be your potato salad. I’ll even be your French fry.

In conclusion, I give the Potato a total score of 45 thumbs up.

But since I’m reviewing myself, I guess there’s a bit of conflict of interest. So I guess I should bring in an outside voice into the equation.

So in regards to potatoes, I guess Marge Simpson really says it all:

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Auckland Lantern Festival, Feb 2017 (and lots of rambling about WordPress)

Doug's World, Joe's Bloody Good Opinion

OMGOMGOMG this post took so long to produce. Like, over a week! I went to the festival on the 11th, and I’m only posting it now. Partially because I’m lazy and procrastinating, but largely because of what a nightmare it is trying to upload a simple two minute video whilst still being a cheapskate and not paying for a premium service. I don’t think uploading videos should be classified as premium, because like, i’m only given 15 gigs or something. If I wanna use it all up on videos, that’s my choice. Anyway, most people don’t upload videos directly to wordpress anyway. They upload to Youtube (for free) and just embed it onto wordpress. No money paid and no data used. Well, it’s not really embedding. It’s so easy, you just paste your Youtube link onto wordpress and the whole video appears, perfectly formatted. Which begs two very interesting questions:

  1. Why is it easier to share Youtube videos to WordPress than it is to share videos to Blogger, which is also a Google service? You’d think they’d work better together, wouldn’t they?
  2.  If WordPress wants people paying to upload videos, why are they making it so damn easy to circumvent WordPress and go straight to Youtube?

Well they don’t tell me how to run my business so I won’t tell them how to run theirs. In fact, maybe they should tell me how to run my business. WordPress team, if you’re reading, please leave some comments. I like comments.

So what happened is I tried converting the video file to something that would be recognised as an image, but that didn’t work out. So I then decided to upload the video to Youtube. However, I thought I’d create my own Kale Oil account, which I did, except somebody had taken the kaleoil@gmail.com address. Seriously? I thought I was the only one. Maybe my fiendish competitors are plotting tricks again. So I decided to create an Outlook account and use THAT on my new Google account. So two accounts created. But when I went to upload a video, it told me I needed to verify my account. Fine, so I checked my outlook, but no message was there. It was definitely the right address. So I clicked ‘didn’t receive notification’, which just takes you to a list of knowledge articles, none of which actually relate to confirmation e-mails. So basically, I’m f***ed. In the end, I just uploaded it to my regular Youtube account and pray (to all of the Gods, just to be safe), that I’ll receive my e-mail and can start using my Kale Oil Youtube account! Woohoo! That’s something to look forward to!

But anyway, let’s change the subject. We’re here to talk about the Lantern Festival, not my complaints about WordPress and Google. I’m pretty sure that most people who come to this blog do not come to read about the perils of social media. But if you do, thanks. I’ll include it more often.

But yes, the lantern festival: Auckland’s 4-day Bonzai Bonanza featuring all the tropes of East-Asian culture: yummy food, ethnic music, delicious food, dancing, tasty food, martial arts, om-nom-nommy food, traditional costumes and om nom nom nom. It’s the East-Asian equivalent to the Diwali festival which happened sometime last year – but this is a bit more ambitious in scale and size and dimensions. On the first day of the lantern festival, there is no food or performances, only the lanterns and other lights. So people kinda showed up and were a bit disappointed. But after that the festival went full swing and it was a rockin’ good time.

I took all these photos but they’re not the best quality. Either I need to get a new phone or I need to start bringing my DSLR to these events and risk some asshole colliding headfirst into my lenses. I decided to pretty everything up by putting it in these cool thumbnail tile thingies. So cool! Blogger doesn’t have this. I’ve even put little captions in, only if you’re brave enough to put your cursor over them.

I wish I could’ve taken more snaps of food. But unfortunately I ate before going to the event. I got off the bus at Britomart, walked up Quay St, see Z Petrol Station, think ‘mmm… Vegan Mexican Pie’, eat Vegan Mexican pie, go up beach read, see another Z petrol station, think ‘mmm.. Vegan mexican pie’, eat Vegan mexican pie, then go the festival. Anyway, here are yer damn photos.

Foody Foody Food Food

Lanterns and Stuff

Oh, and here’s my video of some wicked martial arts that I took so long to upload. Enjoy, and haw-haw WordPress! Another day goes by where I evade the temptation to upgrade to a premium account! I live to fight another day!

Speaking of fighting, watch the video

Which Vegan Bean Dip is The Best?

..., Doug's Kitchen

Which Vegan dip is the best?

Well, it depends on who you ask. But since you’re on my blog, you’re asking me. You may have intentionally asked me, or you may have just clicked into this link hoping to get somebody, anybody’s opinion, and you get mine. Bad luck. We don’t always get dealt the best hands. We can start out in life in the rose gardens and end up in the ditch. Life is a bitch, and you’re a snitch. I don’t know what that means but it rhymes. Thanks, Bob Dylan.

But we’re here to discuss vegan dips. In New Zealand. And specifically, which one is The Best, and why. What makes a bloody good kiwi dip? Creamy? Hearty? Dipping Ability? After all, you don’t want a dip so viscous that you slip your chip into the dip, and break that chip on its way out. A good dip should be accommodating, not thick and clingy: you’re the one eating the chip, not the dip. And you don’t want your relationship with the tip and chip to be like a tense three way love triangle with you assuming the girl, the chip is your boyfriend and the dip is his jealous ex. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I guess I’m really saying you shouldn’t have sex with your dip. Dip is good for many things – eating, for example. You could probably paint your walls with dip. Heck, you could use it as a lubricant. But there’s a big difference between having sex ‘with’ (alongside) the dip, and having sex with the dip. The difference is yours to make.

Going on a bit of a tangent, here, so let me get back on subject. So the three dips we have here are the from The Good Taste Company, who released the ‘Good From Scratch’ vegan dips in a marketing campaign with celebrity kiwi chef Michael Van De Elzen, famous for his ‘hit and miss’ approach of either making incredibly delicious food, or incredibly hated food. (Okay, I wanted to include a link. I can’t find that one scene from ‘The Food Truck’ where everyone is spitting out his food. But it exists, damn it!)

He’s a nice guy though, and he’s passionate about healthy food, so he gets points.

The range of dips is hit and miss too! So let’s go through each one of them and see what they have to say for themselves.

DIP 1: BLACK BEAN AND BEETROOT DIP

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You’ll either love this dip or hate it. I didn’t like it the first time, but quickly grew to love it. It’s an acquired taste, I guess. I like it because it really does have that hearty black bean and beetroot flavour. It tastes genuine, like a homemade hummus. It’s really thick however so it goes great with thick cut potato chips and a beer. Or five.

DIP 2: SPICED LENTIL AND CARROT DIP

There’s not too much great to say about this dip. It’s far too salty,  basically tastes like an amateur lentil curry at a Hare Krishna restaurant. It might go better with some dosas or idlis rather than my potato chips. Pass.

DIP 3: SMOKEY WHITE BEAN AND GARLIC DIP

This is the more popular of the dips. I guess because it’s the only one of the three that actually tastes like a traditional kiwi dip. It’s got that creamy, sour oniony flavour that I miss so much.

However, it’s just a bit too rich for me, and they went a bit overboard on the artificial smoke flavour. I wish they did what they did with Turkish Kitchen Manuka Smoked Garlic Hummus, and actually smoked that damn thing. It tastes so much more authentic:

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The greatest hummus ever.

So in conclusion, the black bean and beetroot wins! That’s what it’s on the featured image, too. Because it’s the best dip ever!

However, many dips remain out there, some discovered, some undiscovered, some that everyone loves yet I don’t know about. So let’s take a look at some of the dips that you might be interested to try:

The Saucy Vegan does an excellent looking Avocado dip

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Nest and Glow do a Raw Sweet Chili Dip

And Seasons Gourmet do two wicked pestos that apparently make great dips:

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And in homage to my friends in the vegan wordpress community, I suggest the following:

Red Pepper Dip (also gives you a recipe for some chips to go with!)

Smoked Spinach and Artichoke Dip (sounds delicious)

Spicy Moroccan Dip (the best dip ever?)

Sweet Pea Dip (i made a typo of Sweat Pee dip which sound delicious)

Spicy Sweet Potato Dip (eat it)

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Dip (say whaaat)

Well, there you go folks! In this blog post I said the word ‘dip’ exactly 43 times. So well done to you as much as it is to me. Do you have any great vegan dips? If so, I’d love for you to share them! Leave a comment below and follow!

Tasty Tofu Scramble Recipe (+ free poem)

Doug's Kitchen

Take a gamble, and read this preamble,

In which I ramble, ’bout my tofu scramble.


Put down that soup, from a brand called Campbell’s,

Before your put your health in shambles.

I’m not asking you to give me a famble,

Simply to try my tofu scramble.


Cook enough for 10, make your servings ample,

give your friends and family a sample.

And let is be a fine example,

Of how ye don’t need eggs if ye hath tofu scramble.


I hope this preamble has made a fine ensemble,

To this terrific tofu… scremble?


Ye Olde As Recipe:

  • 450 grams of soft or silken tofu
  • 1 /2 sliced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of marmite
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

for seasoning

  • A handful of curly-leaf parsley
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • Dash of black pepper

Directions:

Let the marmite and oil heat in the pan. Add the sliced onion once hot. Press the tofu so it’s reasonably dry, but you don’t have to worry too much. Chuck the tofu in and use your spatula to scramble it up. Add the turmeric while you mash. After it’s fully mashed, add the nutritional yeast and salt. Mash it all up until it looks like scrambled tofu. Add more yeast or turmeric to your desires. Let it sizzle the rest of the liquid away.

Have as you would have scrambled eggs, but add parsley and a bit of lemon juice to the top for a kick.

How to make some MEAN baked beans

Doug's Kitchen
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Trinity = the Man – ie, ‘who needs greens when you got beans?’

O, baked beans. The food of kings. Did I say Kings? I meant cowboys. Cowboys who don’t need guns – they can shoot bullets out of their assholes and breathe fire.

Cowboys like Trinity, pictured right: the greatest cowboy in film history. Piss off Clint Eastwood, you whiny bastard, Terrence Hill will always be the the king of cowboy movies. Take a look at the 10 minute introduction to the cinematic masterpiece ‘They Call Me Trinity’:

(And yeah, you don’t have to watch the whole 10 minutes. Just have it playing in the background so you can enjoy the awesome theme music. No that is not the theme music to Django Unchained, it’s the theme music to They Call Me Trinity, which was stolen by a far shittier movie called Django Unchained)

Trinity is a badass. The reason he’s so great is because he spends the whole introduction sleeping on his rickshaw, as if to say, ‘I’m so badass, I don’t need to prove to you how badass I am’, until about nine minutes in when he shows that he’s the greatest gunslinger on God’s Green Earth, mowing down two villains behind him with his revolver in an insanely dexterous manner which defies all logic. In between that you see him eating some very cowboy-like food, possibly baked beans. That could be the reason for his amazing gun skills. He’s not too bad at slapping, too. In fact he really seems to like slapping people. I’d slap anyone who took my beans.

Now that we’re full of beans and campy testosterone, let’s figure out how to cook some mean beans. Because baked beans are a staple breakfast food in the English world, due to their beany goodness. Rich in beans, baked beans use the power of ‘baking’ to bake the

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when yor beans are baked af

beans to perfection, delivering you a final product we call ‘baked beans’. But if you’re like me and always just buy Watties or Oak (don’t buy the Pams or Home Brand, they’re shit), you can kinda get sick of them after a while.

 

So a long time ago (back in the good ol’ days), I started experimenting with adding cumin and chilli powder to baked beans, which spiced things up a little bit. But then I started currying them, by frying up potatoes in a rich blend of spices, then pouring in the beans. Chuck in some flatbreads and the end result is this:

So if you’re keen to do something like this, here’s a little recipe:

DOUGS SUPER AWESOME MEAN LEAN R18 BEANS (adults only)

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 3 – 4 Cayenne Peppers, deseeded
  • 1 can of Watties / Oak Baked beans
  • 1 tablespoon of Kale Oil

Directions:

Crush the shit out of the cumin seeds and chia seeds in a mortar and pestle. Chuck it in the pan when the oil is boiling hot. Get to work chopping up the deseeded peppers and chuck them in. Every 30 seconds pour in a tablespoon of baked beans along with a sprinkle of cumin powder. Keep doing this until all the beans are frying away with the cumin. Serve with fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano and your choice of bread.

DOUG’S SUPER INDIAN CURRIED BAKED BEANS

This is where things get intense. I actually made a little video but got sick of recording as it was an extremely hot day and frankly I just wanted to hurry the fuck up and eat the beans. I don’t know how these food vloggers do it. Anyway, the recipe goes something like this:

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of Cumin Powder
  • 3 -4 cayenne peppers, deseeds
  • 3 small kumaras
  • 1 can of watties / oak baked beans
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of coconut cream
  • 1 can of watties baked beans
  • 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
  • 2 tablespoons of Kale Oil

Directions:

Crush the cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle, and chuck it in the pan with the hot oil. Peel the kumaras and heat them up for two minutes in the microwave. Then dice them up and chuck them in the pan.


After a few minutes, chuck in the cumin powder, turmeric and cinnamon. Let fry for a few minutes. Then chuck in the chilli peppers. Cook until all the oil is dried up and the potatoes and chillies have become caked with spices. Then add the baked beans, and let some of the sauce fry off before chucking in the coconut cream. Finally, add the garam masala and turn off the heat.


Serve with coriander and rotis or other flatbread.

Anyway, here’s some more baked bean meals:

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Baked beans with tahini, parsley, chips, spinach, gluten-free toast and tomato sauce

 

Hash Browns with baked beams, spinach, nutritional yeast and wholegrain toast

 

 

Okay, I didn’t make this. It’s from the awesome cafe Mimosa – check it out! Tofu scramble, kumara bacon, guacamole, mushroom, baked beans and tomatoes

Tofu scramble with baked beans, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, gluten-free toast and ketchup

WELL, IT’S ‘BEAN’ A GOOD BLOG POST! I’LL SEE YOU GUYS NEXT TIME! BYE BYE!

The best burrito ever created?

Doug's Kitchen

Look at the burrito above. LOOK AT IT. Also, look at my leg. Now go back to looking at the burrito. Keep looking at it and ask yourself this one important question:

Is this the greatest burrito ever created?

The answer is almost certainly, yes.

Or not. Depends who you ask. If you ask most people, they would probably say no. If you ask Doug Wingate, he might say yes. In fact, he would say yes.

Will you join the ranks of the silent minority who agrees that this is the greatest burrito ever? Well, exactly what makes a burrito great? Great like Alexander the Great, conquering eastern lands and raiding them of their treasures and women? What kind of burrito would do that? Can you even imagine a burrito, jewel encrusted, sitting comfortably on his throne, surrounded by servants and concubines? Would that kind of burrito be monogamous or polygamous?

We’re slightly digressing here, so I’ll get back to the subject of ‘greatness’, which can also be like the kinda greatness you get with a movie, like ‘Rogue One was the greatest movie’, or ‘I will build a wall, it will be a great wall.’ What makes a Great Wall actually ‘Great’? If you went back in time and got in a furious argument with a Chinese overseer, he might tell you it’s a great wall because it’s so big, but then you remind him that the wall is not big, rather, just very long. ‘The Long Wall of China’ doesn’t sound as exciting. I hope Donald Trump builds his wall rediculously high. Just stupidly high, beyond all reasoning. Like 100 meters. That way Mexicans can never export their burritos to the United States ever again.

Oh wait, that sounds awful.

‘Sure, everyone hates Mexicans. Until you want a burrito.’ – Mexican proverb

Okay, that was a bit rough, but not as insulting as illustrator MoreVector on Shutterstock. Just look at the way he basically summarised all Mexican cuisine into three categories:

stock-vector-mexican-traditional-food-set-with-text-message-burrito-tacos-nachos-vector-vintage-engraved-400191028

It’s literally all they eat.

But then I realise I’m not actually suggesting my burrito is great, but rather, the best, which is also open to interpretation. I’m not suggesting my burrito tastes the best, rather that it simply is the best. For example, we can all agree that R2-D2 is better than Jar-Jar Binks, but would he taste better? Probably not. To be fair – and as a vegan it pains me to say this, but Jar-Jar Binks would almost certainly taste better. He’s kind of like a fish, and fish is probably the only meat that I think tastes good.

DISCLAIMER: yes, fish is a meat, and yes, I do not eat fishes, largely because (a) it’s an animal and (b) fish smells like rotten genitalia, but yes, I think fish tastes good.

Robots on the other hand, not so much. To give them credit, eating robots is vegan, but I will respectfully pass. I am pretty sure that when robo-pigs, cowbots and lambots starting taking over their organic counterparts, I will still happily pass on a synth-steak or other mechanical meats.

And if I ate R2 D2 everone would hate me. Whereas if I ate Jar-Jar people would just think I’m gross, but congratulate me at the same time. Here’s a video of a Cockatiel eating a keyboard:

Just slightly digressing here, so I’ll get back to the burrito, which I made this morning as literally second breakfast. My first breakfast was a kiwifruit, chia and cacao smoothie, which was like my ‘omg gonna work hard today on a half empty stomach, powered by the power of powerful plant power’ breakfast, and once it’s done i’m like ‘STILL HUNGRY’, but alas, I haven’t any starch! I need precious, precious starch to quickly fill up my stomach! Oh what is a boy to do?

But DEUS EX MACHINA, I realise to my excitement that I have burrito wraps in my freezer! I instantly begin cooking a fucked-up good burrito, and if I can remember correctly, here is the recipe:

For the ‘juicy meat center’

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Juicy and delicious. The food looks good too.

  • TSP meat (I used 1/2 a packet of Blissful Lamb Tenderloins)
  • 1/4 can of baked beans
  • 2 small ceyenne peppers
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

For the burrito

  • 1 x Farrah’s burrito wrap
  • Smoked Garlic Hummus
  • A handful of spinach
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 6-7 oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini

EAT IT