Tag Archives: food

Spotlight: EARTHCANDY

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JAMILA CRAWFORD- owner of EARTHCANDY* food.fashion.flyness

Well, what do you know; Creative Loafing Magazine got ‘hip’ to my movement and requested an interview with me!

Needless to say, I was totally excited and very honored. The publication sent food photographer James Camp to my home to get a few pictures for the feature story and we knocked it out in NO time!

‘Twas fun!

I enjoyed going to the garden, whipping up an herbal bouquet (the one you see in the pic) and I even made a kelp noodle pasta w/basil pesto medley for the shoot. It didn’t make the cut (womp womp), but the fact that I was getting a story was enough for me 🙂

Watch out world; I’m building my empire- one VEGGIE at a time!

Click here to read the full article…

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It’s earthcandaaaaaaay!

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It’s earthcandaaaaaaay!

I know, I know; long time no see, right? It’s all for a greater good though!

While I was ‘away’,  I was focused on manifesting a dream. The stars finally aligned and I set in motion the beginnings of something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m elated, anxious, and eagerly anticipating what’s to come from this. I KNOW it will be big. Shoot, I’m like a smoker at a gas station: I’m about to BLOW UP! 🙂

Arrogance? Naw. Call it confidence. It’s been a long time coming, yet I’m contained enough to take baby steps. Today  I am pleased to launch the first episode of my web-based show called… you guessed it; “earthcandy* food.fashion.flyness.” It’s a show that features everything I love. From preparing some of my favorite recipes to some of the city’s best cultural events and exclusive interviews to my all time favorite activity: SHOPPING! Think of it as my blog in motion.

I hope you will enjoy  taking this journey with me. Soon we will venture to other cities around the country and around the world, eating, engaging and experiencing new adventures and ideas in true earthcandy style!

Well my friends, without further adieu, I present to you, earthcandy’s FIRST webisode! Enjoy 🙂

Debbie Does Salad

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Thank goodness for those who take pictures of food. Especially vegan food. “That’s vegan?” I’ve been asked while selecting pictures of dishes from my upcoming cookbook, “CULTURE CLASH: globally-inspired recipes by EARTHCANDY GOURMET VEGAN CUISINE”©. “Yes, silly! What else would it be?” is my reply.

I get it though; the vibrant colors, the appetizing presentation, the savory, sweet, spicy, and deliciousness of the dishes seem to transmit through the photographs.  A good food picture makes any  dish seem ‘too good to be veganly true’.

I, personally, am not necessarily a die-hard food voyeur, but I do enjoy pictures and pictures-and pictures- of some good-looking food. There’s a fine science to capturing every gooey drizzle of chocolate, juicy-laden burgers, and gobs of melted, oozing cheese, and….aND…AND….whoops! Wooh, I was getting a little excited there! *sigh*I digress 🙂

Alas, gone are the days where I would spend 8 hours of my day staring at Food Network, mentally ‘veganizing’ the dishes that weren’t (hey; SUE ME!). I realized I had a problem and I worked on it. Now I only do it for 7 hours! Ha!

Let these photos get your (salivary gland) juices flowing…

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marketing 101

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A farmer’s market consists of local vendors, mostly farmers, who setup outdoors or indoors to sell their locally grown, fresh produce, fruits and sometimes prepared foods. Personally, it’s my ideal way of shopping. It feels like an adventure whenever I shop at a market, as opposed to simply a checking off a list in a standard supermarket…*yawn*. You get a sense that the farmers who grow it, do it with love.

Food marketplaces in various parts of the world tend to reflect the indigenous culture. A good way for a traveler to learn about local foods and culture is to go to the town’s marketplace.

In my upcoming travels, I plan on visiting every marketplace possible. I can see it now: me, donning sunglasses and a tunic with flowy linen pants and khussas (yes, I got the ‘fit in mind), woven elephant grass Bolgatanga basket(s) in hand… I arrive at the market at the crack of dawn to claim the  freshest, most beautiful produce before the crowd picks it over (hey; that’s what chefs do :-)).

I’m strolling down aisles, listening to the buzzing sound of people, taking in the different sights and smells, visiting different stalls and discovering treasures down narrow corridors filled with aromatic fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, pastas and grains. Each item is neatly laid out in huge mounds -or in its own little basket-with clearly marked names & prices. I’ll sample the goods and ask the local women to share a (vegetarian) recipe using the staple produce. Then, delights in hand, I head home mentally mapping the day’s menu. Ahh…life’s simple pleasures 😉

Nowadays, you don’t have to travel far and wide to find a market near you. Here’s a detailed list of farmers markets across the USA to check out.

Share my visual:

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pop life!

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pop life!

I heart popcorn. Real, homemade popcorn. Seriously, it seems impossible that one tiny kernel can contain so much deliciousness! There is a different flavor to the stuff that gets popped fresh, right in front of your eyes, as opposed to the microwave kind (ugh).  This snack is easy to make, not to mention very healthy. It’s tasty fun the whole family can enjoy. Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories(air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup and oil-popped is only 55 per cup).

So, just how did popcorn ‘pop up’ on the scene?

Popcorn was originally grown in Mexico, but eventually spread globally through India, China and Sumatra years before it arrived in North America. It was an important food for the Aztecs, who also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods.

***FUN FACT*** Grains of popcorn over 1,000 years old were discovered on Peru’s east coast. The preservation method of the Peruvian Indians was so advanced that 1,000 years later, this corn still pops!

Excavation sites in the Americas have unveiled poppers made of soapstone, pottery and metal. Most have tripod legs and are large clay containers with lids. Another ancient way of popping corn was by throwing kernels on sizzling hot stones tended over a roaring campfire, supposedly shooting off in various directions. I guess the most athletic snackers got to eat it :-/

popcorn-on-the-cob

Some native tribes discovered the delicacy of popping oiled popcorn while it was still on the cob. Somehow the corn stayed attached to the cob and it was eaten just like, well..corn on the cob!

Gourmet popcorn is a real treat for anyone who loves snacking on popcorn. You can make your own gourmet-style popcorn in just about any flavor to suit your taste buds. Here’s my recipe for wok popcorn. Yes, a wok. Why? It’s easier to use , you won’t burn your fingers, and the dome-like shape is perfect for accommodating popcorn expansion!

WOK POPCORN © (from the forthcoming cookbook CULTURE CLASHglobally-inspired recipes by EARTHCANDY GOURMET VEGAN CUISINE) (makes about 3-4 servings)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow popcorn kernels
sea salt (to taste)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 – 3/4 cup nutritional yeast (available at most health/natural foods stores)
1/3 cup vegan margarine, melted (optional, but not necessary)
***Heat wok over medium-high heat; add oil.
***Add 2 or 3 kernels popcorn; cover.
***When corn pops, add remaining popcorn to wok.
***Cover and cook over medium-high heat till popping stops; you         need not shake the wok.
***Sprinkle popcorn with salt, cayenne, nutritional yeast and drizzle with melted butter or margarine, if          desired. Toss to coat evenly.

Wanna kick it up with extra flavorful deliciousness? Here’s how:

*for an Ethiopian twist, add: 1 1/2 tbsp berberé

*for a Golden Punjab punch, add: 2 tbsp garam masala & 2 tsp tumeric

*for a Mexican fiesta fix,  in a small bowl combine: 1 tsp ea. cumin, chipotle chili powder, granulated onion powder, granulated garlic powder, dried cilantro flakes.

Let’s get it POPPIN’!!!

sugarFREE

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Yesterday I received a call from a friend who was on her way to the market and asked me, “What can I use as a sweetener without using sugar?” She went on to say that she wants to get on a healthier track and she knew that refined white sugar simply isn’t the way. “Well,”, I suggested, “I’d say start using agave… Nah, go for maple syrup….but then there’s always honey…” By the time I finished  speaking I was baffled by what would be the best alternative!

Though I mainly use maple syrup and agave nectar, I too began to question a few products that’s used to sweeten one’s ” ‘ades” on the spot or give baked goods that sweet kick.

HONEY is an item that’s often presented as a healthy alternative to refined sugar, but there is some controversy about that. There is debate among vegans as to whether honey is technically vegan-friendly or not. The reasons are all very technical, but I say it’s really just a personal choice. Nevertheless, some people have similar reactions to honey as they would with processed sugars. This is especially common in children, in whom it can trigger ADD/ADHD-like symptoms. It is high glycemic, and hits the body as a hard sweet.

Raw, unpasteurized honey is rich in elements which can help with wound healing, kill bacteria, soothe sore throats and digestive upset, as well as decrease local allergy symptoms. Honey is sweeter than standard sugar, so you need less in baking or cooking.

MAPLE SYRUP is an excellent substitute for sugar. It is high in trace minerals like zinc and manganese, which can assist in heart health and in balancing cholesterol levels. The downside is that it is pricey. You also want to be conscious of which grade of syrup you’re getting: Though all the grades are safe, Grade C (the darkest amber syrup) is the best, since “Grade A” (the lighter supposed more desirable of the various grades, A, B and C) can contain formaldehyde runoff from the first extraction of the syrup under certain processing conditions.

The Master Cleanse uses maple syrup in their body cleansing recipe. I use it to top off a fluffy stack of blueberry pancakes or savory pecan french toast sticks. YUM 🙂

AGAVE is a sweetener extracted from a South American cactus. Often called “honey water,” agave nectar or agave syrup is light, both in taste and color. It is runnier than honey and tastes much milder, but is in fact sweeter so even less is required in cooking. Agave is extraordinarily low glycemic – it has almost no impact on blood sugar, making it an ideal sweetener for diabetics and those who are sensitive to sugars.

Try putting two open vanilla pods in a glass jar with your agave nectar, let it infuse for 48 hrs., then enjoy it with South African Rooibos tea or drizzle over fresh sliced Bosc pears.

Lastly there’s STEVIA, which is said to be the most perfect sweetener for the human body. It’s sold as a dietary supplement, and can be found in either liquid or powdered form in health food stores. In baking, you substitute only a tiny amount for normal sugar – 1/4 to 1/32 the amount of sugar called for. Stevia has been shown to support the function of the pancreas – increasing enzyme availability and improving your body’s ability to process other sugars. It has also been shown to reduce cavities and has few to no calories.

Hopefully this information will give you the knowledge to experiment a little and tweak your “sweet-o-meter” until it’s just perfect for your liking.


what is EARTHCANDY?

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Since starting this blog, I haven’t PROPERLY introduced the “food” component of  EARTHCANDY’S “FOOD/FASHION/FLYNESS” moniker.  EARTHCANDY features gourmet vegan cuisine that’ll blow your mind. Yes. I am a (self-proclaimed) chef; a “tastemaker”, if you will.

It all came together in 2004 in Brooklyn, NY. I began contributing dishes to small social gatherings and pot-lucks. Mouths, made happy by my gourmet prowess, began spreading the word about my “skills”. Soon after I was invited to cater for different events, gatherings and private clients. So here I am today with a variety of catering experiences under my kitchen “tool belt” 🙂

As a “foodie” myself, I specialize in culinary delights from around the globe…Here are a few sample menus that showcase some of my tasty destinations:


Earthcandy Gourmet Vegan Cuisine can accommodate any catering need; be it a large social gathering, an intimate dinner for two, or private meal preparation for the busy executive. I also provide long and short term meal-planning packages to give you a healthy alternative to picking up drive-thru food on the way home. Perfect for families or bachelor/bachelorettes, the busy, the health-conscious, and even the adventurous!

Feel good knowing that you are nourishing your body, soul (and wallet) with EARTHCANDY GOURMET VEGAN CUISINE

For all inquiries (in the metro ATL area), please send to : eatearthcandy@gmail.com