Saturday, February 18, 2012

Astrology Dining

Pinto bean ketchup curry
Food Diary (February 17, 2012)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with raisins, coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds and flax seeds
Lunch: Pinto bean ketchup curry with rice
Dinner: Sandwiches, salad

When I saw a recipe for chickpea ketchup curry, it got my attention. In addition to perhaps my eccentric taste, I was already familiar with curried baked beans. This culinary delight was introduced to me by a roommate at university. Curried baked beans is quick, cheap, delicious and nutritious. But not everyone may feel that way. I won’t be surprised if you don’t start jumping up and down with excitement at the prospect of eating pinto bean ketchup curry.  If you are feeling brave, creative or simply want to get rid of some friends, perhaps this will do the trick.

I am being unfair. Pinto bean ketchup curry is a delicious combination of sweetness, tanginess and spiciness. It is really simple to make, using basic ingredients. The original recipe uses chickpeas but pinto beans worked well as an alternative. I think just about any bean will work, except human being. What kind of beans does a cannibal like? Human beings.  Bad joke.

Back to the curry. Other than being simple, delicious and nutritious there is nothing more to say. The recipe is available here.

Today's Favourite Photo
Cappuccino-Fudge Cheesecake (Torta di Formaggio al Cappuccino)

Today’s Favourite Blog
Using astrology to pick a restaurant may sound unusual but the concept does exist. The natal chart astrology which predicts personalities, can be extended to identify a persons restaurant preferences by taking into consideration factors such as food, interior decorating, location and service style. Here is what Susan Miller, the famous astrologer behind AstrologyZone and the horoscopes in Elle magazine came up with.

Aries: This sign likes restaurants that... Are adventurous and energetic -- even a little loud. If possible, many Arians love to have a little meat as part of their meal. "Aries rules iron, which makes them love bloody meat," Miller explains. "And it also rules fire -- so Aries loves barbecue." When an Aries is hosting a party, which they like to do often, they love being the center of attention, possibly, Miller suggests, manning the grill at an al fresco summertime party.

Taurus: This sign likes restaurants that... Are expensive and have good wine lists. Though Miller notes that Taurus is "the most sensuous of signs," which means that they taste everything with a lot of intensity. Not too many crazy flavors, then. The one area where they can be counted on to go wild? Dessert -- especially if it involves chocolate. "Taurus is the most closely associated with chocolate of any sign," Miller says.

Gemini: This sign likes restaurants that... Won't bore them or stuff them with heavy foods. Gemini are known for their flightiness, so tapas -- really anything that emphasizes small plates -- is often a good bet. No heavy sauces or overwrought preparations, though: keep it simple and light to please a late spring baby.

Cancer: This sign likes restaurants that... Remind them of home. Cancerians really feel most comfortable eating food that tastes like what their mother's made. Keep in mind, though, that for some, that means mac n' cheese and pudding, while for others, it means sushi and kumquat sorbet. One rule of thumb, though, is that the decor shouldn't be too sleek or modern. "Don't take them to glass and steel," Miller advises. Also, Cancers often don't feel confident choosing restaurants themselves; they'll defer to more on-the-pulse signs. And if they do pick, they'll need a lot of reassurance that they've made a good choice.

Leo: This sign likes restaurants that... Make them feel like movie stars, ideally in the company of other movie stars. In many cases, that means an expensive meal. But not just expensive in the staid way that Taurus or Capricorn would enjoy: Leo is looking to create memories. The food can be rich or light, though anything imported or extravagant will help set the mood. "Leo is looking for the feeling that the dinner is a special event, not just a night out," Miller says.

Virgo: This sign likes restaurants that... Won't kill their diets. "Half of Virgos are vegetarians," Miller jokes, "And the other half only eat sushi." Stick to restaurants that offer a lot of vegetables, as many of them organic and local as possible, to please picky Virgos. And don't think that you'll get off easy if you let Virgo order light while you chow down; Virgo is the sign most likely to scold you for going overboard.

Libra: This sign likes restaurants that... Are the hottest tickets in town. Miller says that Libra is the sign of editors, writer and social networkers, so going somewhere that was trendy a year ago isn't going to cut it. If you're trying to narrow down your options even further than that, Miller says that the safest tack to take is the path of beauty. Librans like immaculately clean spaces and stunningly plated dishes. Though for what it's worth, they aren't all that fussy about formality. They like double-dating and love tasting food off of dining partners' plates.

Scorpio: This sign likes restaurants that... Won't ask too many questions. Privacy is the byword for Scorpios; their greatest fear is being recognized, or, horror of horrors, eavesdropped upon. Not that they want to go someplace frumpy or cheap. A Scorpio loves to dress up. But the restaurant should be dark -- or even better, have private rooms. In terms of food, Scorpio is known for being the sign of steakhouses: lots of red meat and red wine without too much fuss.

Sagittarius: This sign likes restaurants that... Are authentically international. Sagittarians are all about variety, bounty and travel. They don't like to be confined or play it safe. Dining out with a Sagittarius is the perfect occasion for scouring Chowhound for "most authentic Sichuan in Flushing" or "best tacos in Echo Park." Because they're such devout globetrotters, they'll know (and appreciate) the difference. That said, posh environs are not required. Miller says the ideal eating format for a Sagittarius might be "a food festival -- they'd be in heaven."

Capricorn: This sign likes restaurants that... Make them feel like plutocrats. Late December and early January aren't exactly known for their resplendent produce, so Capricorn isn't fixated on eating amazing food. Instead, what he or she craves is social prominence and security. They want to eat in a place that screams, "I've made it." The best example, Capricorn said, would be an upscale country club, with beautiful, traditional architecture and grounds. But barring that, a place with history, like the 21 Club in New York, would do.

Aquarius: This sign likes restaurants that... Are on the cutting edge of technology and gastronomy. Aquarius is the sign of technology, electronics and science, so many Aquarians love food that has a techy side. Miller cited Alinea's Grant Achatz as the patron saint of Aquarian cooking. Innovation doesn't have to stay on the plate though. Aquarius is open to unconventional restaurant settings: food trucks, pop-ups, restaurants where you order on an iPad. But Miller says you also don't need to be crazy. "Aquarius is just going to be happy to be out at all," she said. "They're going to be glad you pulled them away from their iPhones and computers."

Pisces: This sign likes restaurants that... Don't distract too much from good company. Pisces is looking for a night of romance, but the important thing with them is never the restaurant -- it's the connection with their fellow diner. So that means some place quiet and not too crowded, with food that isn't going to get in the way of conversation. They have relatively "delicate digestive systems," Miller explained, so they can't handle much wacky food anyways. But if they have a preference, it's for restaurants that are focused on the water -- that are set on the ocean or that serve good oysters, as befits their sigil, the fish.


  1. Woo! Go Taurus, although I'm not a huge chocolate fan. I like white chocolate though!

  2. Nope, not at all accurate. Bad astrologer. And I'm not just comparing the facts to myself but to everyone I know ... not a single hit :( Just as well. Can't imagine I'd go for the weird stuff that it says I would.

    1. It seems the suggestions were hit and miss, maybe mostly miss:) For me it was partially accurate and also partially accurate for another sign that I am familiar with. At least it was fun to read

  3. hmm... interesting... never thought about linking the stars to food... your articles are always so interesting :D

  4. hi three cookies, mmmm delicious looking torte, have'nt been eating pinto beans for a long time. Leo is always on classy stuff... guess what is written here on leo is quite true..
    have a great weekend

  5. The ketchup curry sounds really amazing and intriguing (in the good sense!). Delicious,nutritious and simple is something I never refuse.
    I already found it difficult to believe people actually believe astrology "specialists", but this sounds even less convincing...

    1. That ketchup curry rocked:)
      The restaurant astrology didn't seem very accurate, and not practical. It could create conflicts if two persons with different star signs want to have a meal together:) E-meals could be handy, or eat at home

  6. The write up for Libra is just a little too 'spot on' for my liking. CREEPY!

    1. Great that is was accurate in your case. It basically told you what you already knew:)

  7. That leo sure looks like me

  8. The pisces one is a 50/50 for me... And I love the ketchup curry! Easy good food.