Almost Gluten-Free Beef Stew (Sadly, Not Gumbo)

2014-07-20 19.44.13I guess this is what I get for trying a “Gumbo Recipe” that came with my new crockpot (really cool by the way, it has 2, 4, and 6 quart sized bowls!).  While it was quite wonderful, I don’t think I can call it Gumbo without offending my neighbors.  The name refers to my mild success with some vegan sausages that contain gluten. They were cheap, had the right texture, and the flavoring was dead on.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the taste of this dish – it was flavorful with a nice kick and the “sausage” allowed me to halve the amount of beef I used – but I was expecting Gumbo.  The texture of the final product was quite thick, much closer to the Jambalaya recipe that I made earlier this year.  Chef John’s recipe seems like it would be much more authentic, but I’ll have to try that one out next time.  Check out the recipe below:

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Surprisingly Delicious Vegan Pepper Steak

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Vegan + Delicious = Blasphemy!  Many dishes which get around dietary restrictions swap key ingredients and leave the dish lacking in taste.  The sign of a successful replacement ingredient is approval by a third party unbound by those restrictions.  I am in no way a vegan and tend to stay away from vegetables and other green things, but my curiosity got the better of me when I saw Gardein Beefless Strips  at the grocery.

This dish was really quite tasty and it wasn’t as heavy a dish as the non-vegan version, so give it a try no matter what your diet (though not gluten-free because the beefless strips are made of wheat gluten, sometimes called Seitan).  The fake beef strips have a meaty texture and flavor, making it a magical substitution.  It was a perfect meal after seeing the wonderful film, Chef, which will make you salivate for 115 minutes.  Check out the recipe below:

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Uber Cool Evaluations

Bill Gurley has a great article on Uber’s valuation – actually a response to Aswath Damodaran’s piece - that raises some of the various markets Uber seeks to enter. He points out:

When I used to travel to Los Angeles and Seattle on business I would use a rental car. Today I only Uber. It is materially better. I do not have to wait in lines, and I avoid the needless bus rides on each end of the trip. I don’t have to map routes. I don’t have to find parking. I don’t have to pay for parking. The rental car market is $27B in the U.S. The global market would obviously be much larger. And you are also eating into the parking market here.

As a beneficiary of Uber’s recently reduced NYC rates, as well as an avid Uber rider while visiting other states, I totally see Uber’s ability to unseat the rental car market, as well as the broader car ownership field. Much like Netflix for movies, Spotify for music or the new Amazon book streaming service, Uber is about access, not ownership. And heck, I’ll take an on-demand ice cream cone any day.

Tomato Tribulations

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Photo by Rachel Andrew

Having just moved down south, far from family and friends, I was faced with a real decision to make.  My choice would change my life forever.  Clearly, the selection of the proper tomato product to purchase at the grocery store would make or break my dinner.  But being a naive and uninformed shopper, I assumed that Tomato Paste was basically unflavored Tomato Sauce.  Boy was I wrong.

No matter how much I simmered, seasoned, or diluted, the “sauce” that I made had an incredibly strong, sickeningly sweet and acidic taste.  What I was really looking for in the store was Tomato Purée.  Unfortunately, my pasta was not great that night, but I learned quite a few Tomato Terms™ (which I will share below): Continue reading

The Prize in Enterpise

Yesterday, the corporate marriage between Apple and IBM made headlines. Basically, IBM will bring its enterprise know-how and analytic engines to Apple’s hardware and customer service party. The partnership is a shot across the bow for most other firms, including Microsoft (the consummate enterprise partner ), Google/Samsung (whose Knox enterprise security feature aims to allay privacy fears in the C-Suite), and, of course Blackberry, for whom Apple’s move is less a warning shot than a nail in the coffin. Continue reading