Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pangea Vegan Store in Rockville, Maryland

2381 Lewis Ave.
Rockville MD 20851

You may have heard of Pangea - their adverts are commonly seen in Veg News. They're a popular mail order source of vegan food and footwear. They also sell belts, suits, pleather jackets, wallets, and even vegan pet food.

One thing that always comforts me about anything I purchase at Pangea is that I know that they also take into consideration the human element of the products they sell. Not only are all their products vegan, they're also all either fair trade, union made, or from a country known to have fair labor practices. That's important to me when I'm buying a pair of shoes.

Pangea opens their doors only two days a week: Saturday and Sunday from 11:00AM through 6:00FM. If you're going to visit them, they're only a hop, a skip, a jump, a stone-through, and perhaps another skip from the Twinbrook Metro Station on the Red Line.

They've got a nice selection of shoes:

And a great selection of food:

They also have a lot of things refrigerated, including (my favorites) Field Roast products and 8 different makes of Cheezly vegan cheese. They also sell Daiya Cheese by the 5 lb. bag.

And many supplements and other health products (such as vegan condoms):

The nice lady operating the register that day allowed me to photograph her tattoo, with the agreement that I wouldn't capture her visage:

As with other fully vegan places, I often catch myself spending extra time there just savoring the fact that I'm in a business that stands for everything I do.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yet More Fun Home Stuff: Sprouting and the Spiral Slicer

In this issue: Growing bean sprouts at home, plus making zucchini noodles and cucumber lace with a spiral slicer.
(please click on the picture to view it full-sized)

Mung bean sprouts are so easy to do at home. You'll need a Mason jar and sprouter top, dry mung beans, and some water. The mung beans just came from the bulk food section of our local coop. No need to order fancy sprouting beans.
Here's how to do it:
  • Put a tablespoon of mung beans in the jar, then cover them with water
  • 6 hours later, empty the water
  • From then on, twice a day rinse and drain them with fresh water
  • When they've grown, stop rinsing them and put them in the fridge until they're ready to use
Here's a picture of the dry mung beans before adding water:
Here's a picture of them 3 days later:

As you can see, the process doesn't take long. By the 4th day they were poking out of the top of the sprouter.

Soon after sprouting, they went into my latest batch of pho:

We got a used spiral slicer on eBay. Finally the mystery to how chefs make long threads of pasta with squash and zucchini is solved for us.

The spiral slicer made one long continuous "noodle":

With a different blade, I made this lovely cucumber garland for the salad:

Marya steamed the squash noodles, then dished them out and topped it with home-made pesto. We nearly had a "Lady and the Tramp" moment: