I have been reading a great blog called My Year Without Sugar. Although going without sugar intially sounded like my worst nightmare (oooh I love you, cupcakes and fancy coffee!), it seems that many of the side effects of refined sugar consumption can be quite their own nightmare.
I am reading some books and cookbooks about sugar, and hope to really narrow my use down to natural sugars. I like agave nectar, fruit juice, etc. It can be really confusing, as I've found, to sort out sugar stuff. Some people recommend the natural sugars (beet sugar, date sugar, maple syrup, etc.) and some sources even ban things like fruit juice and agave nectar. I don't have health problems related to sugar, just a desire to eat better, so I would be really happy learning to narrow my use to only natural sugars.
I am pretty happy so far with fruit for sweet snacks. Oddly, once I read that "sugar depresses the immune system," Halloween candy hasn't looked nearly as tempting. I found a great vegan vanilla chai drink that is sweetened only with apple juice, and savory snacks are as satisfying as sweet ones to me. Being committed to a vegan lifestyle also helps me sort out any cravings I get for sugared-up storebought sweets. A big challenge is sauces/dressings and restaurant meals. Foods that I could easliy make from scratch with no sugar seem to always inlcude it if they are store-bought. Argh! I read yesterday that about 30 grams of sugar should be the daily limit for a female, but of course, there is no amount of sugar that is really terrific for a person.
These rolls are really easy to make, save well to take with you, and taste great! These are perfect for healthy snacks on the go. I used raw nori and sun dried tomatoes in oil. The only change I made to the recipe was to use gomashio in place of the sesame seeds. I just omitted the extra salt to balance it out.
Today is the last day to get in on the giveaway! Winner announced tomorrow :)
And finally...cuz I love my sweetie soooo much, I made the labor intensive, yet so worth it, infamous Smlove Pie! This thing is layer after layer of vegan goodness! I used whole wheat grahams and organic baking chocolate (both magically on sale!).
At the end of Singles, Matt Dillon says, "Janet, you rock my world."
I checked out Vegan Soul Kitchen from my local library and copied down several recipes that looked good. I am definitely checking it out again for another round. This guy is awesome!!! I posted previously about the sweet potato puree, and these next two dishes were equally impressive.
These are brussels sprouts in garlic broth. The cookbook has a recipe to make a bunch of garlic broth, then this recipe uses a portion of it. I made a few changes just due to not having some stuff. I used fresh organic brussels sprouts. I replaced the white wine with veg. broth because that's what I had, and it still turned out deeeelicious!!
Messenger bags from Queen Bee Creations! I love these, and they have been the main bag I've carried for the last decade or so! Their customer service is great. I had a strap coming loose after ten years of heavy duty carrying and they fixed it right up.
How do I love thee, sweet potato! Every which way!
This recipe is from Vegan Soul Kitchen (a great book!) by Bryant Terry. It's the 2nd time I made it, and I changed it up. First time around, my husband, a self-declared sweet potato hater, walked through and grabbed a big bite of these potatoes after phase 1 of the recipe. He liked them! I went ahead and blended the cooked potatoes with coconut milk as the recipe called for, and they were deeelicious!
This time around, I stopped at phase1 of the recipe so that we could enjoy the sweet potatoes this way! They look good, right? The first part of the recipe is to peel, cube, and bake in agave nectar and coconut oil. They are so good when done, like little nuggets of sweet creamy goodness! I might even prefer them this way over the blended finished recipe. I'm thinking a perfect compromise would be the cubed cooked potatoes with some kind of coconut milk cream or whipped topping. Yummmmy!
Orangetastic up close!!
Here is a bonus shot of my trusty recipe box!! It was my purse back when I was a fresh-n-funky high school student :P
The 4th annual WORLD GO VEGAN WEEK is coming up October 25 - 31, 2009. This week is a celebration of compassion and a time to take action for animals, the environment, and everyone's well-being.
In Defense of Animals is encouraging organizations and individuals to use this time to educate their communities about the vegan lifestyle as a compassionate, sustainable, and healthy way of eating and living. Check here for links and info!
•Plan an event or activity to get people interested in veganism, such as a public lecture, cooking demonstration, feed-in with vegan food samples, leafleting, tabling, library exhibit, or street theater performance. If you serve vegan food at your event, you can get refunded for the cost through the VegFund.
•Contact your local paper and encourage them to publish vegan recipes or a vegan article. There is an“editor’s pack” that you can send to your local newspaper with information and vegan recipes. Contact Hope Bohanec, firstname.lastname@example.org, to have it sent to you.
•Host a vegan potluck dinner or restaurant outing to show your family and friends that they don't have to sacrifice taste to save animals' lives. Sharing delicious vegan food with others is a fun and easy way to make a difference in the lives of animals and the people you care about.
•Ask your local natural foods store to offer vegan samples for the week. Ask your favorite local food store to offer vegan samples or specials for the last week of October. Let them know that we can send information, posters and materials to help them celebrate World Go Vegan Week.
•Ask veg-friendly restaurants to offer discounts or specials on their vegan food. Encourage restaurants to have vegan specials for the week or to offer a discount for bringing in a veg-curious customer.
•Host a vegan pie-baking contest. You can do this in your own home in a public place. Offer prizes like gift certificates to veggie restaurants or IDA T-shirts. Don't you want to be a judge? Yum!
•Host a Vegan Halloween Party. Have a costume party and have prizes for the best animal costume, most compassionate, and the most vegan creative! Have vegan Halloween candy and treats on hand and go trick-or-treating, offering folks at the door vegan candy and brochures.
•Send a friend or family member who lives far away a gift certificate to a restaurant in their own town. Visit Happy Cow for reviews of vegetarian restaurants around the country.
•Encourage meat-eating family and friends to try Meat Out Monday and give meatless meals a try for one day a week. If they sign up for the newsletter, they get reminders, recipes and inspriation in a weekly newsletter. Go to: http://www.meatoutmonday.org/.
•Write a letter to the editor about the benefits of a vegan diet or the cruelties of factory farming, or ask your local newspaper to write a story on the subject.
•Enter cooking competitions and bake sales using vegan recipes. Emphasize the fact that you didn't use any animal ingredients to make your delicious dishes. Attend cooking competitions and support the vegan entries.
•Visit a farmed animal sanctuary and take a friend who still eats meat. There are a number of farmed animal sanctuaries where you can visit rescued cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, ducks, goats, sheep and rabbits live naturally in peace and harmony without fear of abuse or slaughter. Check out Animal Acres, Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary, or IDA's Project Hope.
•Join or start a vegan dinner club. Find veg-friendly restaurants and invite the community for dinner. Try a different restaurant every month.
•Encourage a Compassionate Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks, talk to your community food banks about providing vegan options such as Tofurkys. Consider buying a few Tofurkys, preparing them, and bringing them to your food bank or other similar community dinner. Be sure to check out Gentle Thanksgiving which offers a lot of information and guidance on this special observance.
•Share the ideals of veganism with your community of friends and colleagues by adding this quote to your email signature:
"Veganism gives us all the opportunity to say what we 'stand for' iin life -- the ideal of healthy, humane living. Add decades of health to your life, with a clear conscience as a bonus." - Donald Watson
•Create a plan to promote veganism all year.
*Fine Print: Please leave a valid email address in your comment so I can contact you. Giveaway will end at midnight 10/29 and winner will be announced 10/30. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Good luck!
This post was written for and is posted at my honey's blog, Who Asked Ya?
Hello br00tal readers! This is a cross-post from the unmetalest place ever, Pixiepine vegan blog. I've put on a hold on sunshine, daisies, and the like today to bring you so super evil sweets and treats.
Hail Seitan! Many dark and defiant vegans enjoy the subversive meat substitute that is seitan. Seitan is actually a very delicious food sometimes caled "wheat meat." It can be made like chicken, beef, etc. to bring a forceful presence to all your hard-hitting recipes. Vegans also wear their love like metal fans do:
Good morning, everyone! Today is a happy day! Picured in this old, antique (ok just a few years ago) picture, is my VEGAN hoodie. I love this thing hard, and today was the first day in subtropical Louisiana that I could wear a big thick hoodie. Yay! The story goes: Back in my wee vegetarian youngster days, I used to send LOTS of letters to the editor of the local paper. I was a PETA2 Street Team superstar! I hit the big one when a letter got published on cutting out dissection in schools. My prize from PETA was any item in the Street Team prize assortment. I chose this hoodie, worth 50 gazillion activism points. Anyway, that was a bunch of years ago and I love breaking this hoodie out every year when it gets cold. Cheers! (Dunno why I look crazy-eyed in that picture...prolly still trying to catch up on sleep lost during graduate school).
And now...onto the food.
Today's dish is sort of a Frankensteiny project. Like many MoFo-ers, bloggers, and, uh, eaters in general, Fall has me all about pumpkin everything! I happened upon pumpkin lasagne when I was flipping through the Frugal Vegan's Harvest & Holiday Survival Guide. I ended up making several adjustments and creating sort of a new recipe. The basic dish was lasagne with a base of pumpkin puree seasoned with onions, spices, etc. I added in some nutrional yeast and vegan sausage crumbles to spice it up! It also called for 1.5 cups of spaghetti sauce. In an rare and unusual move, I decided to make my own! Here's the sauce I made from an easy Sarak Kramer recipe.
(The picture looks like some kind of crazy spaghetti sauce /moon phase presentation!)
The finished product was tasty! Here it is without extra sauce, but we poured a little more spaghetti sauce on the top before we ate it. Pumpkn puree is a great soy-alternative and healthy way to fill a lasagne, I must say! This would have been great with a bunch of soy cheese on top but I was all out!
Yay! Our trip to New Orleans was great...the Saints winning again didn't hurt one bit either! I went shopping, well looking actually, as I wasn't in too much of a buying mood. Maybe Buy Nothing Day is working it's way back into my Fall attitude again! I did find a great Matt & Nat red messenger bag at Buffalo Exchange for mere dollars. Way better than the actual price!
Here's my meal in homage to the trip. I made these a couple of weeks ago when my honey brought me a specially delivery of French bread right from New Orleans on his way home.
Vegan Roast Beef Po'Boys A La Kittee sounded perfect for the bread, but I was lazy and wanted something NOW. I googled up a vegan meatball recipe and got to work. I had Morningstar Farm crumbles rather than the Gimme Lean that the recipe called for, so I ended up with "meat" stuff rather than "meat" balls. I took advantage of the change of plan, throwing in all types of seasonings and things. The result was this delicious pizza-y "meat" sauce-y delight!
Hope ya'll had a great weekend! Back to MoFo-ing!!
Sounds kind of like a funny dance, huh? Let's all do the Salsa Scramble!
I have rarely met a tofu scramble I didn't like. This one, I loved! It started out with purple onions and ended with big chunks of avocado. We enjoyed it, as the recipe suggests, in tortillas. Bliss!
Behold, the salsa scramble from La Dolce Vegan!
Vegan MoFo 2009 is so great! I am having so much fun reading blogs every day. I totally can't keep up, but I am seeing a bunch with the help of Vegan Dojo.
In other news, I am so excited! I won a Swami Baby yoga hoodie from a giveaway on Tout-est-des-Roses blog. Sara Sophia writes this blog and has such a way with finding the beauty in daily life. Check it out! I am excited to host another giveaway soon too.
We are headed to New Orleans for the weekend. The mister and my mom are going to the as-of-yet undefeated Saints game, and I am wandering the streets! I have lots of thrift stores, coffee shops, and a ridiculous trip to the Lush store in mind. I hope to look at bikes, maybe at Bicycle Michael's, as my sad little Huffy cruiser is closing in on itself...kickstand getting stuck in pedals and such. She's rusty and covered in stickers and she's been a good bike, but it might be time for a new 2-wheeled love in my life. Looking forward to a fun trip! Hope everyone has a great weekend & see ya'll Monday!
I don't know what "dog days" means but it sounded good! This is my dog Tyler. The plaintive look on his face was due to BEGGING for raw carrots. I had no idea dogs liked that type of food. He usually hates cold vegetables but he has been nuts about carrots lately, along with cold apples. It's wild! I am looking more into making him some food, but I've been paying attention to the doggy no-no's too.
Here's the source of the carrots: a delicious and crisp salad filled with all types of things!
Finally, we have BBQ tofu. This is just firm tofu sauteed with BBQ sauce. Easy and tasty!
Anybody make good homemade pet foods that you'd recommend?
Wow! I've never roasted garlic before now, and I have been missing out.
I made a roasted garlic dijon dressing from Sarah Kramer, and it turned out beautifully. I used a mixture of olive, walnut, and flax seed oils for the base. I loaded up a cookie sheet and roasted 13 cloves of garlic. Yes!! They smelled great and were really fun to pop out of the skin when they were done. The dressing is creamy and deeeelicious!
Lately I have noticed a lot more coughing, sniffling, and such around me. I am not one to get on board with the disease hysteria, but I do like to take reasonable precautions. I have been washing my hands (Happy Birthday twice through is how long I scrub) more and taking my vitamins.
I decided to research some natural ways to make my office and home less germy. I hate the chemical yuckiness of Lysol and such. I found lots of info about Thieves Oil and decided to give it a try. You can buy lots of neat preparations, but I decided to get crafty and mix up my own batch.
The oils included are clove, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary, and eucalyptus. The story goes that thieves in the 15th century doused themselves with this mixture and were able to rob plague victims without ever getting sick themselves. Strange origins...but worth a try. I made a spray (Thieves oil mixture plus water and vinegar) for the air and surfaces, and a mixture of the oils in a carrier (almond oil) to rub on my hands. It smells nice and is hopefully effective. We shall see! Stay well everyone!!
Google "Thieves Oil" for lots of oils for sale, as well as many recipes to make your own versions.
Today's feature is on an easy and yummy recipe from Fat Free Vegan: Tofu Jambalaya. This was a low maintenance recipe that tasted good. It would freeze great for little happy winter days where defrosting is all you wanna do for a hot meal.
I am in love with frozen and thawed tofu...it's so spongy and porous! Below is the finished dish in my lovely "new" Pyrex snowflake dish!
I am perusing old magazines lately and have come across so many cute Pyrex ads from the 1950's, like this one.
On a quite fortunate antique hunt recently, I found such a treasure! A Pyrex Cinderella serving dish with the warmer...in the original box. I was one happy camper. At the same store, I found a blue snowflake pattern dish with a lid just like the one in the ad above. Joy!!! I can't wait to use these at holiday functions.
I love my Pyrex, and I love not using plastic, as I am beginning to think it might be funky in that bad way. I may be turning into a freakout...
I used baby greens, Ezekiel bread pitas, a pickle, and some peas! My pitas were in the freezer, so they were a little unmanageable in terms of defrosting and stuffing full of dense faux egg salad, but they tasted great.