Thursday, March 10, 2016

Joe Kruse Food Manifesto and Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos

Joe Kruse, bassist for progressive rock band Gone Quite Mad, has been living the vegetarian lifestyle since the age of ten. Previously his family had raised chickens and Joe, along with his brother, decided that animals should be treated with respect. So they both transitioned to a meat free diet.

Now-a-days Joe has a passion for cooking. In fact, each Sunday he invites friends and family to come over for an epic vegetarian brunch. Since I've become a bit of a bruncher in recent weeks, I decided to surprise Joe by inviting myself over for one of his gatherings. Unfortunately, before I was able to get to the door, I was headed off by a couple of mean old bouncers. I must say, I was utterly shocked. Who the hell hires bouncers for a brunch? Anyway, as those bouncers drug me away, I noticed some torn up pages on Joe's lawn. I grabbed the papers (I'm such a fanboy) and brought them home. After hours and hours of painstaking work, I was able to scotch tape those papers back together. What I held in my hand was like solid gold. It was Joe Kruse's manifesto, typed out on a creepy old typewriter and everything. Risking my freedom (there's a big ol' jail cell staring me in the face), I've decided to go ahead and publish this manifesto. Here it is in all its unauthorized (just kidding!) glory.

Joe Kruse's Food Manifesto
Most people are surprised to find out I’m a vegetarian. I don’t necessarily fit the description, though I’ve been one since I was eight or nine. It’s never been an issue of health but rather trying to preserve something I find special in my own way. Life, especially conscious life, is so crazy rare in this universe that I don’t want to flippantly end a life just so I can have some tasty nachos.  That said, and this might seem like a total 180, I’m not opposed to people eating meat. I just think many people have forgotten to respect the life they take to feed themselves.  This wasn’t always my train of thought. When I first started I was a kid and super idealistic.   I raised chickens and was horrified at the idea of killing something to eat it. If the world’s chickens were anything like my pets, then they all deserved to live.  But that’s just not the reality of what we are. So in my corner of the world I chose to avoid meat for now.  I can see myself eating meat one day, but I think I’d have to do the dirty work and kill the animal myself.  That seems kinda fucked up to write as a vegetarian, but I think the weight of that action is the appropriate price. 
I think we’ve forgotten to enjoy the experience and processes of life, and rather look to immediate solutions.  Hard work and creativity are overlooked for quick sufficient results. We lose something when we buy instead of create. We lose touch of what we’re capable of.  I love my kitchen and cooking for other people.  Experimenting with new ideas and recipes and serving them to a group of friends is my solo project away from the band.  When we’re out of town I don’t miss my bed so much as I miss my knives and my stove.  Putting in the work to make a good breakfast in the morning points me in the right direction for the day.  The next step is spending the afternoon in the shop building my guitars. I'll stop home to make a nice dinner for my girlfriend and I, maybe sit down for a second if I can and then it’s off to rehearsal for the night.
My 3 brothers and I took a vacation to Sayulita, Mexico last Easter. Every morning my Brother Dan (who is a hell of a cook) and I would make breakfast. I’ve always been obsessed with eggs for breakfast, so I would handle that while he cooked up some veggies. We’d sit down and feast to get ourselves fueled for a day of hiking through the woods to the next surf spot, or just to recover from a night of drinking tequila. The vegetables were honestly one of the most memorable things from that trip. They just tasted like nothing I’ve ever had even though it was something as simple as a bell pepper. I guess when it’s grown right down the street, it doesn’t have time to loose all its flavor or something. 
These tacos are my attempt to remember that amazing weekend away with my brothers. It’s best served to a group of awesome and inspiring people, or total lunatics…which ever you happen to have around! The ingredient list is really more of a list of suggestions. Any nice fresh vegetables will do (zucchini and mushrooms are particularly good in here as well), and the proportions are really up to your taste.  I also rarely cook with salt, or use it sparingly. It seems like a bandaid to me. If I want something that just tastes like salt, I’ll eat a cheap bag of chips. 
This whole recipe can be made in one pan if you’re just doing one serving, so use a big one to make some space.
Gone Quite Mad's newest single is "Neptune." According to sing Chris Gesualdi, "Neptune" tells the story of a future courtship. The protagonist of the track wants to take a partner to the Neptune Chariot Races, a futuristic take on auto-racing. The track is best served with a pile of breakfast tacos and a few placemats decorated with Joe's manifesto.