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Each issue the VIP birds endeavor to soar to the highest literary peak to peck out the most unique, informative, and accomplished book that contributes to vegetarian enlightenment. This month we feature a book that shows the relationship between animal protein and diseases of nutritional extravagance. The China Study: the Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications For Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health
Cook kale in a pot of boiling salted water (1 1/2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water), uncovered, until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain kale, then immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. When kale is cool, drain but do not squeeze. While kale cooks, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Simmer in cream with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a heavy medium saucepan, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Purée potato mixture with kale in 2 batches in a food processor until just smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids).
Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.
With sweet, fresh corn, still available at the local farmers market, we just couldn’t resist trying our hands at some fresh corn chowder. The recipe is adapted from one by Mitchell Davis in Kitchen Sense and is full of flavor. The original recipe calls for a strip of bacon, but you can add a little bacon fat instead, if you have some on hand, or just add a little more butter.
If you have access to ham hocks and not shanks, you may want to make up the difference in meat (hocks have much less meat) with sausage. Just take 1/2 pound of Andouille sausage, slice, brown first before adding to the beans with the ham shanks.