Thursday, December 29, 2011

Smoothie Greatness

After derailing with the rant I posted yesterday, I figured I ought to jump back on the positive train and show some simple, delicious and nutritious food that Jamie and I enjoy  !       The picture above is a smoothie I made for Jamie's breakfast this morning. I should have taken an "after" picture...the smoothie had turned a fabulously deep, rich purple. That mug the stuff is's actually a blender-mug.  A cap with a blade gets screwed onto the top , then I turn it upside down and attach it to the blender base and give a minute or so on high and ta-da !...a fanastic smoothie.   The flavors/variations are truly endless.   This one, from the bottom up is : almonds ( soaked in water overnight to soften ), vanilla soy yogurt, hemp oil ( about a tablespoon ) some ground flaxseed ( can't see it in this picture ), a banana ( this one's not frozen, but frozen chunks are really great ) and frozen blackberries.   No ice.   No need when your fruit is frozen.   I also added some oatmilk to thin it out enough to drink through a straw.   I'll post more on Smoothie Greatness in the coming weeks...such an easy way to start ( or finish ! ) the day.   The nifty blender is a Back to Basics model.   It comes with two blender mugs and two other blender containers and lids, and two blade bases.   The decently powerful motor makes it really useful for lots of small, quick  chopping/blending jobs in our kitchen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to Stay Positive and Move Forward ?

OK, so I havent posted anything in what, 5 months...and that post was just a notice that we've moved !   I should post more.   If nothing else it helps to ground me in this insane time of willful  ignorance of the steep costs of breeding and eating animals.   Costs to the environment, human health and, of course,  the price paid by the billions and billions of animals continually bred to die     This new article by Mark Bittman ( who, knowing what he knows, should have given up eating animals years ago, but that's another, sad, story) about the prevalence of troublesome, antibiotic-resistant  bacteria in meat, dairy and eggs reads like a futuristic look into the history of human stupidity and greed.
How to stay positive and move forward in the face of such concrete evidence that things are not going to improve, in any meaningful way, any time soon ?   I don't know.  One step at a time ?   One day at a time ?   I should be encouraged by the public's dawning awareness of animals' sentience and the medical community's assurance that a vegan diet is not only adequate, but extremely healthful.   And I am.  But damn, it requires such a hefty bitter dose of  willful fantasy to pretend that it's ever going to be enough, I feel it stick in the back of my throat at times.   Many times.   Meeting others involved in the work is very very helpful.  
Give up ?   Never.   Teaching others how to cook seemingly strange vegan ingredients feels like the most positive thing that I can do, at this point in my life.   I will never forget when I finally ( finally !  50 years old ! ) realized the whole story behind our obsession with cow's milk and the needless, endless generations of animal suffering it necessitates.  We are kept in the dark about the truth for a reason.   My hope is that I can help open a few more hearts and minds through offering a gentler way to live on this planet.   And the food...ah, the food is fantastic.  Here's some proof ...thousands of tasty recipes and reviews on one well organized site :
And here's to a New Year filled with positive advocacy for animals and bringing some reality to the table.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Asleep At The Wheel

I was so caught up in our big move to Boulder, CO, back in May and June ( and on into July ...) that I failed to really completely take on board the significance of the latest in animal welfare progress.   It took a listen to Our Hen House's 78th podcast on the way to Denver this morning ( to tour Denver Tofu!...but that's another story !) to jolt me awake. I was aware of the discussion and heard the rumblings, but I guess was not ready to jump back in.   Jeez...I had turned a deaf ear so that I would not have to react/deal with what was probably less than great news. But should this agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers become actual federal law, it would, according to HSUS , " ....represent the first time that any species of animal is provided with federal protection from abuse while on factory farms, the first federal farm animal protection law in more than 30 years, and the first time that chickens used in food production are provided any federal protections at all ".   Great news, actually. I'm awake now.   Time to help keep the momentum going on this very important development for farmed animals, laying hens in particular.   But what we really need, rather than incremental slow change is a wake up call to the everyday people who make food choices several times a day, everyday.   Most do not know the horrible conditions that these animals must endure, just to bring cheap, unnecessary animal products to the market.   How to get people to understand ?   One way is to have people meet chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, cows, sheep and pigs and see just how much more than food they are.   Animal sanctuaries are a great place to meet them, and Peaceful Prairie, just west of Denver , is one of the best.
Go to United Poultry Concerns for many resources ( including recipes ! ) and important updates.
Stay awake.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Continue to March

Sigh.   So much effort ( research and reports ) on the environmental and human health impacts of eating animals and their "products", but damn little ( by the mainstream press) on the fact that these animals are living, breathing, sentient beings.    However, Mark Bittman had a good article  ( despite dishing about eating lambs with his lentils :/ ) today, referring to The Environmental Working Groups recent report on the environmental impacts of eating meat and dairy, plus a few good links to more discussion on the subjects.   I didnt see any reference to animals as actual living, breathing beings on EWG's website, in fact, on their home page, there's a huge plate of steak ( grassfed, organic and "humanely-raised" no doubt...)  being offered up...sigh.  
Here are a few more links to explore:
The Environmental Working Group.
An essay pointed out by Bittman in a previous article about egg production, by Michele Simon at Food Safety News : Who Really Benefits From The Egg Industry Deal ?
And the indispensable Factory Farm Map.     ,which ought to be on display in every grocery store.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wrap Recipes for the Summer !

Here in Boulder there are lots of fresh tortilla/wrap makers for these great filling ideas from Healthy Happy Life, but really, just about anywhere you can find decent wrappers nowadays.   Enjoy !

More Unhappy Cows in California and the World

Ugh....when will we wake up to what is really behind the diary industries, and especially California's completely ridiculous Happy Cow campaign ?
Besides misery for the cows and calves involved, the environmental degradation, wildlife displacement and human health issues all add up to real reasons to give up dairy products.   In this article, Jonathan Berry, a  former executive at a dairy manufacturer in California recounts some of the common management practices and speaks out against them.
Here's a few new recipes to try, using cashews for body and creaminess, from Healthy Happy Live :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kale Chips !

I heard about and read about Kale Chips for many months before I even tried them.  Jasmin and Mariann at Our Hen House raved about them several times, and recipes abound on the internet.  And  I was curious about trying another way to get more kale in me and others, but frankly, it wasnt until I saw a tiny bag of them for almost 5 bucks at a grocery store that I thought, " Ok, I need to try these and see if they can easily be made at home".   And the answer is : Yes !   Super simple to make, and highly addictive eating !   Here are several recipes, and then the way I do it :)
From Vegweb : Kale Chips 
A raw recipe , and how I ended up making them :

Baked Kale Chips  

1 bunch curly kale
Olive Oil
Seasoning salt, nutritional yeast...herbs maybe
Wash, destem and dry the kale either with  a run through the salad spinner, or rolled up into a clean towel and patted dry; then tear it into bite-sized pieces ( the kale, not the towel ! ) Or, wash, tear, then dry. They'll shrink to about half their original size, so tear accordingly.
Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil ( or mist with olive oil using your Misto like Theresa did at a recent gathering ! )
Sprinkle with a little bit of seasoning salt ( Spike is good ! ) and a little nutritional yeast sprinkled on is good, too.  You could also use a curry seasoning, hot chili pepper flakes...whatever you like :)
Massage it all together to lightly coat the kale pieces with the oil and spices.
Spread the kale pieces out in a single layer on cookie cooling  rack, (preferably the kind made with a small wire grid ) and set that on a baking sheet, so that the leaves are surrounded by air, not laying on the baking sheet.  This will help them cook evenly and get nice and crisp.
Bake at 300 degrees for 10-13 minutes.   Watch very carefully so they don't burn. 
I made some a week ago, and kept them in the fridge, sealed up.   They got kind of limp, so to recrisp them, I tossed them into a baking pan ( no rack) and into the toaster oven at 300 and baked them for, ( I'm not kidding ) ...3 minutes.   Just enough to lift out any moisture that was making them soft, but not enough to cook them anymore.  Perfect !
Next week I'm going to experiment with some herbs rubbed into the kale, along with the oil.  Maybe I'll remember to take pictures !