Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vegan Donuts

Recently found out that our new local donut shop carries several vegan donuts and muffins. I am not a donut fan but wanted to support the effort!!  I was on my way to my friend Salena's and decided to pick a little treat up for her. They had vegan donut holes, muffins, eclairs and glazed donuts (which you could customize to your liking: different glazes, fillings, flavors, etc).  They also have almond milk on hand...so I couldn't pass up the chance for a cappuccino (though I have seriously reduced my caffeine consumption lately to almost nil). E and I split a glazed donut and they tasted exactly like any other donut I have ever had, couldn't tell that they were vegan.  They were good!! They also make cakes there, which I would assume they could veganize...surely.

Monday, March 29, 2010

In springtime...

"In springtime, the only pretty ring time
Birds sing, hey ding
A-ding, a-ding
Sweet lovers love the spring-"
 
The plum tree
 
 
 
 
Lemon Balm
 
Agnes
 
mint, mint as far as the eye can see!!
 
strawberries
 
radishes
 
 
 
Our wonderful neighbors gave us a bunch of grapefruit and
oranges from their recent vacation in Fla.

Next on the agenda: plant herbs!

great parmesan cheese substitute

just made this and it tastes great. i'm  going to use it on a pasta dish tonight! easy to make and can be stored in an air tight container.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Lunch

What a nice treat! I came home from church today to this:


Caramelized onions, tomatoes and mushrooms on a pizza crust





Phil also made a dressing of balsamic vinegar, tahini and agave to drizzle over it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

garden pate

we have been eating A LOT of this lately...we sub lime for lemon!! and we eat it with nori

cocoa nib, PB and date smoothie

thank you blendtec!! i made a rich and yummy smoothie this afternoon!! it tasted indulgent but it was pretty healthy.
here is the recipe, though i didn't really measure:

approx 16 oz rice milk
2 small frozen bananas
5 dates
2 t peanut butter
1 T cocoa nibs
ground flax seed
black sesame seeds
chia seeds

Blend until smooth and creamy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

sprouts

Whenever the weather warms up I begin adding more raw foods into my diet. More salads, more fruit, snacking on carrot stick or cucumber slices and also...sprouts! Sprouting is easy and a great way to add nutrient packed foods to your meals! I use to buy them at the store but they always seemed to spoil before I finished them, so now I just sprout my own and I can make as little or as much as I want (and it's much much cheaper). Sprouts are a living food, full of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. You can sprout lots of things and there are tiny variations on how to do it, depending on what it is you want to sprout.
This week I took some dried chickpeas and dried mung beans and soaked them in separate bowls for about 24 hrs.

I then drained them and rinsed them.

Then  I rinsed them in a colander three times a day until they sprouted and the tails were the length I wanted. Mung beans:
The chickpeas took longer to begin sprouting about 3 days.


I add them to salads, eat them as a snack, sprinkle them on sandwiches or in hummus! Yum, Yum!

Here is a chart if you are interested in specific soak/sprout times for various foods.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

how to make friends with the "pig people?"

I have recently discovered that the people right outside of my neighborhood with the donkey (formerly known as "the donkey people") also have a very fat, very adorable, spotted pot bellied pig. (makes me think of this book i read) I see him sleeping on the back step, rooting around in the grass or lying on his side in the sun...i am in love and I am sure they are getting suspicious...as i drive by now i always slow down and stare. i am a little obsessed and would really like to be invited over to feed the pig scraps of food and rub his big, sweet belly!

Goal for the summer: make friends with the "pig people"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Coming soon...Book Giveaways!

When (and if) I ever get to 25 followers I am going to do a couple book giveaways, both cookbooks.
So if you are lurking out there and haven't clicked on "follow me," please go ahead...don't be shy.

 AND....





Sunday, March 21, 2010

Samuel Ullman essay "Youth"

This essay was just referred to in one of the books I am currently reading, and I love what it says!!


Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

   Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease.  This often exists in a man of sixty more than a body of twenty.  Nobody grows old merely by a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.

   Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.  Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

   Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what's next, and the joy of the game of living.  In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.


   

PERFECT!

Wake up, Little Susie Muffins!!

My mother gave me the idea for these muffins, so I named them after her!



1 1/4 c spelt flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 c oats, uncooked
1/3 c rice milk
1/2 c applesauce, unsweetened
1/4 c agave nectar
1/4 c date syrup
1 T canola oil
1 heaping T ground flax seed
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/4-1/2 c pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 12 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir in the oats. In a medium bowl, with a fork, mix rice milk, flax seed, applesauce, agave, date syrup and oil. Stir in carrots and pumpkin seeds. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir just until all the flour is moistened (it will be lumpy).

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins (about 1/4 c each). Bake about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

blendtec, baby!

Reward for cleaning out my home and ridding my life of clutter and duplicates: I ordered myself a Blendtec blender today. I have wanted a industrial blender for years and never imagined I would have a few hundred bucks to throw around. But Phil and I have made so much money by selling all our things on craigslist (xylophone, fencing, baby items, juicer, etc)....we could afford it!
I debated for a few weeks on whether to get the Vita mix or the Blendtec and finally decided the Blendtec was perfect for my needs and I found a website that was selling it for about 35% cheaper than  it costs through the other websites and they offered free shipping. I am so excited to use it.
It will be here by Tuesday and I will be able to make nut butters with it, grind grain into flour, and blend up yummy smoothies.

We have been having a great day today. We spent the early part of the morning with my mom who was in town this week and then said goodbye to her as she left for east Tennessee and headed out for a little bit. We drove over to  the International Market and restocked on nori sheets and sushi rice. I also lucked out, they had a kubocha squash (several recipes in The Kind Diet call for it and I had never seen it) and chia seeds. We talked with the owner for awhile about learning to play the guitar (funny conversation that he brought up) and I got so excited when I saw they had (what I thought was fresh ) mung bean balls and was so sad when the owner said they were from yesterday and no good anymore...waaah!!
We drove over the middle eastern market that we discovered last week and picked up fresh cucumbers and tomatoes for really cheap. Phil bought a huge thing of green olives and I found a jar of date syrup which I am excited to experiment with.

Phil then proceeded to talk with a fellow shopper for about 20 minutes about Phil being half lebanese and where his family was from in Lebanon and our trip there 6 years ago. By the end of their conversation, they were exchanging numbers and we were being invited to dinner.
Phil worked in the garden most of the day and I went to the library and got lots of books for E, a couple Japanese DVDs for Phil and John Robbins Healthy at 100 for myself. We all went on a bike ride and played in the yard, read books, lay in the grass and enjoyed the weather. For dinner I  made one of our old favorite dishes from a Marilu Henner cookbook I once had, it follows:


SPICY COLD SOBA NOODLE
Serves 6
1/3 cup Tamari/soy sauce
1 Tablespoon molasses
¼ cup sesame oil
¼ cup Tahini
1 Tablespoon barley malt
2 Tablespoons chili oil (or to taste if you don’t like it spicy)
3 Tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
½ bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
½ pound soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)

1. Place soy sauce in pan over high heat and reduce by half. Turn heat to low, stir in molasses, and warm briefly. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add sesame oil, tahini, barley malt, chili oil, vinegar, and scallions, and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt, if desired.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid bowl. Add noodles, bring back to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to soften, about 3 minutes. (Soba noodles can overcook very quickly, so stay nearby.)
3. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Drain noodles, plunge in ice water, and drain again. Place in a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Combine noodles and sauce, toss well, and chill.


I also made raw sushi. We ate romaine lettuce, sweet peppers, baby cucumbers, carrots, broccoli sprouts, black sesame seeds, regular sesame seeds and tomatoes as the filling 


                                  E's bowl!











Monday, March 15, 2010

a word to the wise

we made these from The Kind Life yesterday and ate them after dinner...and then we pretty much never fell asleep last night (the dark chocolate!!) be warned..but they were fabulous.



Middle Eastern Foods

We were picking up Phil's rental car today for his trip to Atlanta and were so surprised to see a Middle Eastern market right next door to Enterprise. We didn't even know it existed. Usually when we want really good pita or if we are needing a particular middle eastern ingredient we would have driven to Nashville to K&S or to Baraka Bakery. Yeah!! They weren't open yet, so we drove the rental home and then headed back after a little bit.

Though it's a small store, they had fresh (still warm) white or whole wheat pita for $1 each. We also bought pickled cucumbers and pickled turnips, both of which were cheap and sooo good. We bought a big jar of tahini for $6 or $7 when it would have cost us more than double that at the grocery store. They had fresh lemons (4 for a $1 compared to 3 for $1.99 at Publix). They also had a wide array of bulk, including red lentils, nuts, cracked wheat and spices)!

It is always so much cheaper to buy international foods at a store like this than at the supermarket. It's a great way to stay on a budget while eating healthy and interesting foods.



Friday, March 12, 2010

here's hoping for a better day

today is a do-over for yesterday. yesterday was just a bad day and therefore i ate horribly (admission: i had a poptart for breakfast -unfrosted are vegan) and felt like poo all day. even though it's storming outside, i am consciously trying to have a better day. I have a better attitude, I slept well last night (which was part of the issue the previous night) and i am steering clear of the poptarts!!

I made a version of Alicia Silverstone's Crocodile Crunch
I changed it in part because I am lazy and because I didn't want have a few of the ingredients:

1 apple, diced
1/2 banana, cut up
handful of raisins
chopped walnuts
mixed together in a bowl: rice milk, agave nectar, spirulina and ground flax seed -pour over fruit/ nuts



Nothing special but I feel better starting the day with something fresh and healthy than a super processed, corn-syruped pop tart (but mmmm they have their place, too!!!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Success!

I finished the spring top that I have been working on. I first saw the link for the pattern here ( i love this blog, she also makes and sells cloth diapers, baby clothes, etc) and then went to the Sew Mama, Sew site and found several other sewing projects that  i am going to try!!


I really enjoyed making it!

I have also, finally, figured out how to make southern vegan cornbread that was worth eating. 

Cancer

I have begun working with a family that is going through cancer for a second time. After breast cancer, a  double mastectomy and chemo, the wife has been told that her cancer is back.  I am really sad for them. Sad that they are having to live though this, sad because they have a young daughter to think about, sad because in a way I am reliving some of the emotions and experiences I felt watching my father battle this awful disease. The doctors have said surgery  is not an option for her this time and basically there isn't much that they can do. With that news, she and her husband are desperately trying to, not only absorb this terrifying information, but also begin looking into what other "non-traditional" routes they may be able to take.

From my own personal experience to losing my father to cancer, I can truly say hope is everything. To be told, "I'm sorry, there's nothing else we can do," has to be the worst words that can be spoken or at least the worst to hear. Whether it appears true to the doctor or not, I don't believe it's always the case. I believe that there is always hope, if you choose to look for it. Not necessarily a cure...but hope. Sometimes that hope leads to remission and sadly sometimes it does not. But how awful to send someone home to die. If it's in the person to try, then try. And there are a lot of success stories out there, people do beat the odds. A lot of individuals have had success with extensive detoxing, raw foods, juicing, herbs and other supplements, even leaving the U.S. for clinics in other countries that are offering services that cannot be found here.

This is not a post against doctors or against traditional medicine. I thank God every day for both. Without them I would be a walking zombie, maybe worse. And each individual has to make their own best choice. I am just very hopeful for this family. I pray that God will use me in whatever way He wants and that I can be helpful them in whatever way they need, even if it's just a listening ear.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A little bit of this, little bit of that

The last few days I have:
  • made vegan feta cheese from a Vegetarian Time magazine I had (it was sooo good. made from soaked almonds, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, then baked)
  • made a pair of toddler underwear (seriously it was a random thing: I saw a pattern on a blog, found a pair of old sweat pants, cut them up for fabric and BAM my kids wearing homemade undies - they fit and they were adorable...i realize it's a bit bizarre, but i was so proud of myself
  • had out friend Chris over for dinner
  • made over $300 selling stuff on craigslist
  • began sewing a top for summer
  • started and finished Radical Simplicity. The guy sort of reminded me of phil and so now i have these images of phil living in a hole in the ground. It's not a stretch, he would do it and love it. 
  • Made makeup remover pads and reusable facial puffs (i love this blog i have been reading and am really inspired by all the sewing projects!!)
  • went on a short bike ride with E

 I have had a lot of fun getting my sewing machine out again and had forgotten how much I love to sew. Before this, it has been over two years since I had used it and that was when I made E's baby blanket.

This week: my mom is coming in for the weekend, I have an adoption banquet to attend (I encourage you to check out Anna and Chris' blog and consider donating to such a wonderful cause), I have several projects to complete and a den to clean and organize. I have also been asked to volunteer for Children's church for the next quarter and that begins this Sunday ( I am really just crowd control). If the weather is nice, I will probably take E to the greenway and go for a long bike ride. He really wants to wear his new helmet!!

I am excited for spring to get here and am beginning to phase out the heavier foods in my diet, like casseroles and high fat foods I have been eating this winter and adding a lot more fresh foods (including a new smoothie recipe: 1-2 frozen bananas, water, 1/4-1/2 c frozen blueberries, couple teaspoons spirulina, 1 T ground flax seed, and a BIG handful of spinach, probably 2-3 cups and a little agave to sweeten it - i feel like million bucks after drinking this)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hong Kong?

I wondered why there was a delivery truck in my driveway this morning. I couldn't remember ordering anything...especially something I would need to sign for...from Hong Kong...and then it hit me. When Phil was in Indianapolis last month, he called and said he needed my sizes. He found something he wanted to get me for Valentine's day and would I be ok with it being a late present? Ooh so exciting!!
So on V-day he pulled up a picture of what he ordered me and I couldn't wait for it to get her...and then I forgot about it.
It was from a website he found call Yesstyle and it is out of Hong Kong. Cute models, cute stuff, great surprise!!




And I also got this nifty eyebrow tweezer!!

Cloth Napkins

I have been wanting to transition to cloth napkins for a long time now and with the decision to simplify I finally got around to making them today. They are far from perfect but will do the job and I was able to use some scrap fabric I have had for probably 10 years now, I think it was from my grandmother's.


I have always sewn on the floor. It's a strange habit from college. I don't recommend it for the back!

I made four 17 inch squares, turned in the sides about 1/4 inch and ironed them down.

Then I opened them up and at each corner snipped off a small triangle. I fold the corners in (ironed them down) and then refolded the edges. Then sewed them all together and folded them in fourths and ironed them.


Monday, March 1, 2010

High Raw

If anyone is interested in a free ebook, check out this link. It's an  ebook on eating raw and would be good info for anyone interested in health and how to incorporate more raw foods into their diet

Nutritional Yeast

We use nutritional yeast a lot. Most often in our popcorn. It adds a lot of flavor. We use our air popper and then I just add salt and nutritional yeast to mine. Phil melts margarine, pours that over and then adds the yeast and salt. We use it in recipes to add a creaminess or cheese-like, nutty taste. It can be used in soups, on baked potatoes, garlic bread, in place of parmesan cheese in a recipe, added to sauces or scrambled tofu and really in most recipes where you want to add nutrition.

It is deactivated yeast and therefore can typically be used by those suffering from Candida. You can find it in flake or powder form in the bulk or supplement section of you local health food store, or you can find it here. It is a complete protein, which means it contains all 18 amino acids and it is rich in vitamins, specifically b vitamins (which are needed for energy, metabolism, immune and nervous system function), and chromium (which may help toward fluctuating blood sugar and for those with a tendency towards low blood pressure).

It is different than Brewer's yeast, they are not interchangeable!

You can find a variety of recipes on the web or in various cookbooks that use nutritional yeast. I have a handful recipes on here that include it.
I have been using it for over 10 years now and it's never NOT in my fridge!!