It means to show casual interest in something. If you're flirting with that cute bartender, you have a little mini-romance that lasts a few minutes. You meet, the relationship develops, you break up ... all before he puts that gin and tonic on the counter. But ... there's always the possibility of a longer-term romance.
Alicia Silverstone suggests that you can also flirt with a plant-based diet. My friends Jenn, Amanda and I have started a supper club to have little romances with the wonderful recipes in Alicia's book The Kind Diet. (Click here to visit Alicia's website, The Kind Life -- if you've read this blog for awhile, you know that I'm pretty enamored of Alicia's recipes).
Our hostess, mixing miso.
Why is it kinder to eat a plant-based diet? Well, one reason is that it's better for the earth, and hence for everyone living on it. Jenn, Amanda and I all have long-term commitments to various levels of greener eating (I'm the lightest green, because I eat poultry; Amanda is the greeniest, because she's a vegetarian).
Jenn hosted the first supper club meeting, and she chose "Rice Waffles with Vegetable Melange" for dinner -- except none of us had a waffle maker, so we made pancakes instead.
Jenn and Amanda pore over the cookbook.
All of us took part in the cooking. I was in charge of the vegetable-chopping; Amanda took control of the pancakes; Jenn directed the whole operation.
We were a little nervous about the pancakes. They were made with whole cooked brown rice, and we weren't sure how they would cook up. After a little trial and error, however, we got beautiful, golden-brown pancakes:
The vegetable melange included carrots, onions, broccoli, and seitan, which is an alternative protein made with wheat gluten. Seitan is probably my favorite meat substitute; it has a consistency a lot like chicken. In fact, the concept of this dish reminded me of a Southern classic: chicken and waffles. Only this meal was a lot healthier, for us and for the planet. And who doesn't love using the word melange? Melanges are cool.
The meal turned out to be delicious and innovative. It was wonderful to take a break from work, to cook and share stories with friends. In fact, this was how enjoyable the evening was:
I promised Jenn and Amanda that I would post this silly picture of myself if they were going to be featured on the blog!
We had such a great time that we're planning to do it again in a couple of weeks.