what the heck happened?

December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

alright alright alright. in the past couple days, this blog from a lifetime ago (…i was still eating CHEESE?!…uhf…) has resurfaced in conversations and thoughts. rah-haaaahnd-ooooom. but interesting. you see, I went vegan this past august. the decision was made with the same cruelty-free foundation of my previous vegetarian ideals but infused with the deepening of my yoga practice and changing circumstances in my personal and emotional life.

the response our culture has to emotional disturbance is to seek comfort from food. the indulgence will make us happy, we deserve it because we’re sad, we simply don’t care.
this type of logic did not exist on the same equilibrium as the thoughts consuming my brainwaves. they couldn’t. a quote i saw from one of the Upanishads kept ringing in my mind “when food is pure, the mind is pure, when the mind is pure, concentration is steady, when concentration is achieved one can loosen all the knots of the heart that bind us.” for me, that seemed more comforting than plate of nachos (f-ing crazy). i thought, no better time than the now to go vegan. It helped. my body and attitude started to change, i was proud of the lifestyle of compassion i had chosen. the light of my yogic path started to peek through leaves as i looked up from my mat thinking “i am happy”.

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so there’s my explanation. and my explanation to why i stopped posting to the blog is simply, that i am not the best cook. in fact, i’m pretty horrible.

so now. NOW!? ahhhh, the now. it is a challenge, for sure, but i have realized i am a part of a chosen few who can survive solely on nut butter, oats, and bags of carrots. fancy that!

the REAL reason for the post, in addition to responding to all these questions on a public forum, is becauuuuuussssse… i have a recipe i want to share. it’s wildly easy and makes a wonderful meal, any time of the day.

it’s apple almond farro jars of love….

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  • one cup farro
  • 2 fuji or honey crisp apples
  • sliced almonds
  • coconut oil
  • honey
  • vanilla
  • handful of dried cranberries

cook the farro based on the instructions on the back of the bag (don’t trust me with that).

while the farro is cooking, heat the coconut oil, add apples and let cook until just a little bit tender and browning, then add the cranberries and almonds with a healthy amount of cinnamon and let cook for about 5 more minutes.

when the farro is done, drain the water, add a teaspoon of vanilla, mix around and divide it into two or three  jars (depending on the portion size you like). add the apple concoction and drizzle honey on top.

now, i eat this two ways. either immediately, adding some cold almond milk, or storing it for later- adding warm or steamed almond milk. either way is muy..muy…uhhh…lovely!

all right folks, that may be all…it may not. perhaps i should rename the blog “try if you dare: vegan ramblings”…

until next time or the time after that

M

Valenshmine’s Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 21, 2012 § 1 Comment

Valentine’s day. Single Appreciation Day. Whatever.

whether it’s a religious holiday, a romantic holiday, or a day dreaded in spite, you’re likely to be eating a lot of chocolate…and i mean a LOT. even after the holiday! as an act to control the chocolate consumption, i have ordered G to surrender her dark chocolates. i know what you’re thinking…candy nazi…but it was for a good reason: i wanted to make a small batch of COOKIES! and oh man, these are so good.

valenshmine’s day chocolate chip cookies!

  • 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup valentines day candy, chopped (I used dove dark chocolates)

they’re definitely “lady cookies” by the way they’re sized. think a ball the size of HALF a golf ball. also, the cooking time is a little up to the baker: they’re going to feel like they’re not done when in fact, they are. if you touch the top and the cookie doesn’t feel cooked through- that’s ok! take them out! also, the base of this cookie mix is divine; if you want to use a different candy- by all means go ahead. i won’t be offended. preheat the oven to 325 degrees. line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease.

  1.  in one bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda. in another, cream the butter, brown and white sugars together.
  2. mix the egg and vanilla into the sugar concoction before blending it with the dry ingredients. fold in the chocolate until consistent throughout.
  3. spoon half a tablespoon into a ball and place on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. bake for 15 minutes.

G’s final thoughts on giving up her dark chocolates: “……” ( i couldn’t get her to say anything…she had too many cookies in her mouth.)

M

OMGzzz CARROT PASTA!?

December 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

i haven’t posted in a while, i know. it’s not a lack of fantastic food in my life, it’s the lack of spark involved. i just halted a two week long cookie binge, making three cookies at a time, only three, all with all yummy ingredients but nevertheless disappointing my audience: the outcome tasting “too healthy”. (i really liked them, and am still deciding whether to post or not). well, let me tell you, tonight… something magical happened. it was an ordinary night. late gym session…hungry at 10:30. while spice noodle (my go to delivery curry spot), is on speed dial… funds are minimal, and i still had food in my fridge i needed to eat before leaving for the holidays. my expectations were low…i figured i’d pop a veggie burger in the microwave and cook up some egg whites and mash em up with some sour cream, (trust me, so good) and then i remembered i still had one huge carrot at my disposal. generally i would dismiss the carrot, but tonight i had a thought: carrot angel hair PASTA.

this little snack takes 15 minutes MAXIMUM to cook, including prep, and will not disappoint you. it’s super healthy but also super fulfilling. (granted, this is coming from the girl who actually turned orange in her early years due to an abundance of carrots in her diet.)


one large carrot
olive oil
balsalmic vinegar
soy sauce
minced onion
dill
powdered ginger
salt and pepper
feta cheese (optional!)

1. using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off the carrot and discard. continue to peel the whole carrot (without cutting yourself) until the whole carrot is peeled down. these peels make the pasta.
2. heat a drop of olive oil in a nonstick pan and drop the carrot noodles in. let them cook for about two minutes and then add a tablespoon of soy sauce and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and let cook for another minute.
3. sprinkle the minced onion, dill, salt and pepper and ginger to the noodles and mix around. let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
4. when the carrots look cooked (some may have browned slightly from the pan) plate them and sprinkle with feta cheese.

if you try any of my concoctions- try this one. five stars. into the recipe book you go.

m

what happens when you don’t fold a quesadilla? pizza!

December 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

mexican food. the mecca for my taste buds. tacos. guacamole. fajitas. and the ultimate…quesadillas. i have a dream of one day owning hole in the wall, vegetarian, quesadilla and tequila- only restaurant. imagine the possibilities! imagine the cheese. quesadillas are a major food group for me: easy, healthy (if you’re in the know), and  they take less than 20 minutes to make. on the way to make my midday quesadilla, i had a flashback from when i was 11 or 12. my family (also mexican food advocates) dined every sunday at our favorite restaurant: chi-chi’s, a mexi food chain (that would later go under due to a plethora of health violations and the outbreak of salmonella). every sunday i would look forward to a small individual bowl of queso, karaoke, and… a mexican pizza. it’s an open faced quesadilla!

it was an epiphany sent  from the mexican gods, singing: pizza time.

the word pizza in every day life automatically sets food defenses on high alert. “do not eat!” they scream, “you will regret this later!”. in most cases that’s true, but in this case, take advantage of being in control! you can create as healthy (or unhealthy) a meal you’d like. keys to this healthy pizza? it’s loaded low sodium refried black beans, incorporates a whole wheat or multigrain tortilla instead of pizza dough, is light on the cheese- whether you use daiya or part-skim, and is packed with veggies.

healthy breezy mexican pizza

  • teaspoon olive oil
  • chopped green pepper
  • chopped red pepper
  • chopped red onion
  • corn (i used organic frozen corn and popped it in the microonda)
  • cumin seed or cumin powder
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepp
  • tortilla / whole wheat wrap roll up
  • refried beans (i used amy’s refried black beans because they are muy muy bein)
  • handful of shredded cheese  (i used a montery jack / cheddar combo but mozzarella or taco cheese is also great)
  1. throw the green pepper, red pepper, onion, and corn in a pan with the olive oil. sprinkle the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepp, mix around and then let sit for a minute- this will brown the bottom of the veggies.
  2. while the veggies are in the pan, smooth the black beans onto the tortilla (how ever much your heart desires).
  3. preheat the oven to 400 degrees and pray to god the fire alarm doesn’t go off.
  4. scoop the veggies onto the black beans and sprinkle cheese on top.
  5. pop in the oven for 5 minutes, as soon as the sides of the tortillas are crispy and the cheese is melted.
  6. enjoy the fiesta! it’s not in the pictures but i made half an avocado’s worth of guacamole to complement it. i suggest you do the same.

now go grab a 6 pack of dos equis and come over because i may need help finishing it… not.

m

save the turkey! i mean, pass the mashed potatoes.

November 30, 2011 § 4 Comments

lezbehonest. i’ve been dreading writing about thanksgiving. it’s a holiday that centers around the carcass of a dead bird…right? can i get an amen? anyone?…(cricket cricket)…and THATS what it was like back home.

for some reason i thought i needed a mission statement. my first cruelty-free thanksgiving. i decided it would be “to share the vegetarian lifestyle with my family and influence their consumer habits so that at least whilst they were buying their meat, they would make informed decisions”. whelp, you win some, you lose some, and in the end i learned the best thing to do is keep your big mouth shut.

that being said, there were little battles in the war to this conclusion i won, but most i lost. think the battle of gettysburg, me playing the part of the confederate army. my family had high ground and home field advantage. no way i could survive pickett’s charge, no matter how confident i was crossing the field.

little win: me, my brother (who is a food marketing major )and the two “hippies” at the wegmens convinced my [extremely] reluctant mother to buy the free range, antibiotic free, organic turkey- even though it weighed less than all the other pumped up turkeys and cost twice as much. little loss: my other brother william thought that the freezer was a good place to store the turkey overnight, forcing the mothership to go out and get another turkey…this time the butterball. another small loss was that, while armed with amazing vegan/vegetarian recipes and the will to cook on thanksgiving, i was asked to abstain. butternut squash, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and carrot fries would have no place at the table. ok, ok, i understand, there were a lot of cooks in the kitchen. small win: my mom asked me to make a veggie alternative for our last night home.

here’s the thing (there’s always a thing), it’s easy to get your feelings hurt. it’s easy to fall into the urges of catapulting your brother on top of the not-so-earth-friendly turkey while it’s on the table, it’s easy to walk around like a PETA spokesperson and make the people you care feel bad. what’s hard to do is to go with the flow. it’s hard but it’s also, in my case, the right thing to do because, after all, it’s not all about the food.

instead of the turkey on thanksgiving i’ll remember my dad’s batch of half vegan, half sausage filled stuffing balls.

my brother sean’s monster leftover sandwich.

my mom seeing brussel sprouts on a stalk for the very first time.

and how she actually tried (sampled) the veggie alternative.

and how there was too much wine and too much fun, every night.

even for bailey.

alright, enough rambling. 804ever. i promise next time i post there will be a wonderful recipe attached.

m

pear and vanilla oatmeal; the holy grail

November 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

ahh, the seckel pear. just smaller than a golf ball, this elfin treat has a grainy texture and a subtle sweetness that knocked my floral print socks off. this impulse buy from the farmers market (they look like baby pears!), had to be used rather quickly due to their already softening interior. the first of my trio of seckels i “paired” with manchego cheese for dessert one night and i have to confess, i’m hooked! incorporating the remaining two into a breakfast was a must. i’ve had this oatmeal for two mornings (afternoons) in a row and i’m bumming out that a whole crate of these fellas aren’t at my immediate disposal. nevertheless, this oatmeal recipe is too simple and satisfying not to share.

pears are one of those sneaky little buggers that ripen off the tree as opposed to on, and in addition ripen from the inside out. if you can, always buy your fruit with a stem- without it, oxygen can come in contact with the “meat”, expediting decay. to figure out if your pear is ripe, press gently around the stem area and if it gives slightly- you’re all set! once pears are ripe, eat them within two or three days maximum- don’t let them fall by the wayside by waiting too long.

alright, the pear is ripe. the pear is cut. the pear looks tasty…munch a bite…another…now stop! preserve the pear!

you need it for this pear and vanilla oatmeal

  • 1 seckel pear
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or agave nectar)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • sprinkle of ginger

you’ve already cut up the pear into tiny cubes and munched a little so put them aside and resist the urge to graze on them. i used the microwave because, well, it’s easy. just watch to make sure your cup doesn’t runneth over!

  1. pour oats into a bowl (preferably one with height), followed by the almond milk and water. stir around and place in microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. take concoction out and add vanilla, maple syrup, brown sugar, and ginger. stir until seamless and reposition in the microwave for another 2 minutes.
  3. by the time those two minutes are up, the oatmeal is piping hot! let it sit for 1 minute and then sprinkle in the pears.
  4. enjoy breakfast! (or lunch) (or whatever)

holy grail of oatmeal

there you have it, the holy grail of oatmeal. you’re welcome.

m

herb filled yummelette and sweet potato homefries

November 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

first off, i need to articulate how grief-stricken i am by the close of the union square farmer’s market. there is one more day left (monday), but having purchased enough produce to feed a third world country…going is not in my future. the farmer’s market supplies a produce buyer with an incomparable shopping experience. crowds sipping warm apple cider face off with forty degree weather to have the opportunity to talk with farm workers about their shrubbery! yeah, so what if the whole foods is on the corner?-i bought an intimidating (even for my veggie loving self) amount of fruits, veggies and (gasp) cheese for an affordable price and feel warm and fuzzy (consumer fellowship?) about supporting local farms and eating produce that was spared chemical pumps.

Union Square Farmers MarketFarmer's Market

and now for what you really want: my herb filled yummelette and sweet potato home fries!

this recipe is VEGETARIAN and contains EGGS and CHEESE.

what better way to start the recipe portion of this blog than with one of my all time favorite omelets? i mean, c’mon…if i’m confident enough to call it a “yummelette” you know it’s going to be pretty criminal. i’m strict about only eating egg whites but you can use any combination for this concoction. this herby delight  is one of my favorite breakfast for dinner options. the feta makes the omelet taste light and the home fries have just the right amount kick! i seriously dig this meal.

THE OMELET (serves 1)

  • olive oil
  • handful of roughly chopped spinach
  • handful of roughly chopped basil
  • 3 shoots of chopped fresh chives
  • 3 egg (whites)
  • one sprig of oregano
  • handful feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

THE HOMEFRIES (serves 1)

based loosely on http://www.food.com/recipe/sweet-potato-home-fries-443145

  • 1 skinny sweet potato
  • 1 blue potato
  • 1 fingerling potato
  • half a minced garlic clove
  • handful of chopped red onion
  • salt and paprika
  1. chop the potato combo into centimeter thick rounds, throw them into a sauce pan and submerge in water. cook for about 10 minutes; once you can slide a fork into the center they’re ok, drain the water and rinse the pan.
  2. restore the potatoes in addition to chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan with a dab of olive oil. cook for about 3 minutes, sprinkle paprika and salt (as much as you think you’ll like), stir, and let sit untouched for another 3 minutes.
  3. in the meantime, saute the spinach, chives and basil mix. rinse the pan, re-oil,  spread out the cooked greens and drop in the egg whites. sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. let the eggs cook almost all the way through, flip and add the feta cheese to one side. fold in half and then let cook until the cheese is melted.
  5. while the cheese is melting, the home fries are about ready for plating. Follow up the home fries with the omelet, and enjoy! i didn’t use any dipping sauce for the home fries, but a good idea for one would be a mixture of a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of dijon mustard.

pair this meal with rachel maddow, soft socks, and an early bedtime.

m