Monday, November 15, 2010
Okay ill admit it, i've taken a bit of a hiatus from cooking lately. I've just been so busy! I haven't had much time to get creative in the kitchen.
This weekend I found myself in need of some deep nutrition. Maybe it was the San Francisco trip, maybe it was the time change - whatever it was- I was in bed by 9 most of the week, and even though I was getting some SERIOUS amounts of sleep, I had trouble getting out of bed and throughout the day I felt like I was in a fog.
I started taking some new vitamins - Isotonix- and they seem to be giving me a little more pep in my step. But I thought back to a meal that left me feeling completely nourished, not just full- and the first thing that came to mind was Life Alive. Since I was tired on Friday, and didnt feel like making the 20 minute drive, I decided to try and re-create a dish at home.
It was a success!!
Life Alive Creation
1 head broccoli - cut into tiny florets
1/2 head of kale- stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 block of smoked tofu- cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice ( you can use your fav. rice here)
2 cups water
Your favorite gingery dressing ( I like Makoto)
Bring water to a boil, add rice and reduce to simmer. Simmer until all water is absorbed. The vegetables are all steamed -(kale takes the longest so add it in first) Steam Kale for about 15 minutes, then add broccoli and carrots until finished (about 10 more minutes)
Put rice in large shallow bowl, top with steamed veggie mixture, add tofu, and cover all in the ginger dressing. Serve piping hot! Serves 2
Get ready for your body to thank you.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I'm freshly back from a quick trip to San Francisco. What a fun city! I couldn't get over the hills in the middle of the city, and the Victorian architecture was amazing.
First day -we headed to wine country, where I thoroughly believed I had died and gone to heaven.
We also went on an amazing bay cruise under the golden gate and around Alcatraz, and to make it even more perfect we went at sunset. Gorgeous doesn't even do it justice.
Had so much fun - can't wait to go back!
Monday, October 18, 2010
This weekend I found my new favorite place to eat! Life Alive in Lowell, MA!
Ive been meaning to try it for awhile, and yes Lowell isn't that far from Nashua, but for whatever reason it took me a year or so of saying I wanted to try it, to actually get down there. And of course I'm kicking myself now, wondering what the hell took me so long.
The food is unbelievably amazing, fresh, organic, and wholesome - All of my favorite things in food! The best thing is that when you leave, you are full and satisfied but also deeply nourished.
Their menu is unreal, and the whole vibe of the cafe is very warming and relaxing. In addition to the great food they have their own teas and snacks that they sell at the shop - they even make their own kombucha- which I have yet to try, but since I know how close it is now, and how delicious everything is, something tells me Ill be trying it in short order.
When I went I tried the Swami - everything on the menu was making me drool- it literally took me about a half hour to decide what I wanted. I wasn't disappointed. "Matty's Miso Curried Sauce sweetening a masterfully-tasty mix of tamari roasted almonds, flame raisins, pearl onions, dark greens, broccoli flowers, and shredded carrots, served over brown rice with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast." Amazing! Annnd- I had plenty for a little leftover the lunch the next day. I also tried the carrot cake smoothie- again after much deliberation :)
Couldn't speak more highly of this place, portions are great, atmosphere is uplifting and the food is a perfect marriage between tasty and healthy.
Check them out!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Acorn squashes are so versatile and soooo very cheap this time of year! I threw this together last night. Perfect meal for a cool fall night.
Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 Acorn Squashes halved ( and scooped clean of strings and seeds)
1/2 cup of Cooked Quinoa
2 large shallots chopped
1/4 cup walnuts
1 Can Vegetable broth
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
canola oil for sauteing the shallots
Vegan Sour cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place acorn squash face down in large baking dish. Pour veggie broth into dish until it comes 1/2 way up the sides of the acorn. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
While squash is cooking saute the shallots and walnuts in canola oil until shallots become translucent. When finished remove from heat and add to the cooked quinoa. Also add rosemary, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
One finished pre-baking, remove the squash from the oven and dump out remaining veggie broth. Place squash back in baking dish face up. Fill the squash halves with the quinoa mixture and drizzle with olive oil to prevent the quinoa from drying out. Cover dish with foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
Let cook for a few minutes, then top with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. And Enjoy.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Just coming off of one of the BEST quintessential Fall weekends ever! Spent the weekend with family, celebrating the beauty of fall and of course my Mom's Birthday!!
We kicked off the Birthday celebration with some pumpkin carving! Though I got a tad frustrated halfway through -
( Damn me for picking the stencil with 3 difficulty stars) -my pumpkin came out fabulously! And more importantly I had a great time. If anyone smashes this thing I'm going to be livid!
I found this recipe on the wholefoods website and converted it to my liking - vegan style!
Pumpkin Apple Pie
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon divided
1/2 teaspoon salt divided
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons smart balance
3 cups your favorite apples ( I used granny smiths)
egg replacer equivalent to one egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup Vanilla soymilk
1 unbaked pie shell
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put brown sugar, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, water and smart balance into a saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Add sliced apples and cook, tossing to coat in sugar mixture about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg replacer, sugar, pumpkin remaining salt and cinnamon, cloves, ginger and soymilk until well combined.
Pour apple mixture into pie shell and then pour pumpkin slowly and evenly over the top. Bake for 10 mins then reduce temp to 375 degrees and bake until filling is just set in the middle, about 45 minutes more.
Remove from oven, allow to cool and chill before serving.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Last Sunday was my first apple picking excursion of the season with a couple of my closest friends. Ahhh have I mentioned this is one of my favorite favorite times of year?!
The best part about this trip? Not only is the location an apple orchard, its also a vineyard and winery. Talk about perfect day.
Yay fall and better yet, Yay Nashoba Valley in the fall!!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Ahhh.... that cool crisp air reminds me that MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR IS HERE!! Judging from the look on Grady's face after our hike - its his too!
There is nothing more perfect to me than a nice sunny fall day. 65 -70 degrees during the day, cool enough to snuggle into your comforter at night! The leaves are starting to change and before you know it, ill be posting recipes for pumpkin and apple flavored everything! I wish it could always be like this! But, I'm soaking it up while its here!
One of the first things I notice when summer changes to fall is the differences in the foods that I crave. During the warmer months, I usually start my morning with some fruit, or some soy yogurt. This morning I had my first seasonal craving for oatmeal!
If you're like me, and you get weirded out by how much sugar is in one "healthy" packet of instant oatmeal - I have a solution!
Quick and Healthy Oatmeal
1/2 cup of rolled oats
enough water to cover them
1 teaspoon sucanaut
2 tablespoons of your favorite fruit sweetened preserves ( I like blueberry and raspberry)
fresh berries - optional
I throw the oats into a travel bowl with the sucanaut before I leave for work in the morning. And I keep the preserves in my work fridge. Once I get hungry I just pop the oat and sucanaut mixture with the water into the microwave and heat until the oats are done - about 1 - 1.5 mins. Then I add the fruit preserves mix all together and eat!
Its delicious - 10 times better than any packet of oatmeal i've ever made for myself ( and ill admit I LOVE the apple and cinnamon kashi) And its so much more economical than the instant oatmeal you buy at the store - especially if you buy the oats in bulk.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first hike of the season with Grady earlier last week. Can't wait for the upcoming hikes - they are sure only to get more beautiful as the leaves start to change!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
There are so many great animals out there that just need a place to stay until they find their new forever homes! The picture above is of one of my past foster dogs - Vivo.
Now known as Sammy. I had this guy for 6.5 months, which was my longest foster yet. But so amazingly worth it.
I have to say that fostering has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. You take an animal at his most needy- in Vivo's case- EXTREME need, and you can completely change the course of his life. V came to me with a torn ligament in his knee, SEVERELY overweight and had no social skills at all. Still he had a bright and congenial spirit that made him irresistible. I nurtured him through his surgeries, and taught him basic household commands. I got very attached and it was extremely difficult to let go of a dog that had become such a part of my family. But now he has a great family of his own, and I still get to see him periodically when his owners go away on vacation and he needs a spot to crash.
So to anyone who's considering it ... try it. You may be overwhelmed at first. But nothing beats knowing that you made a difference in an animals life. You never know, you could be the difference between life and death.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sometimes I just really don't understand how people can be so cruel. It honestly embarrasses me.
Help Save One is an animal rescue organization that saves animals (mostly dogs) from high kill shelters down south, where over population is a HUGE issue. And as if that weren't heartbreaking enough - a lot of these shelters use gassing as their means of euthanasia. For those of you who aren't familiar with this practice please visit helpsaveone.org to view a video on the subject - Beware its intensely graphic. I couldn't get through it.
These poor guys are suffering from a severe case of mange, and their owner just dumped them in this state. Luckily Help Save One got the word out and raised enough money to have them vetted and pulled before it was too late.
Before you consider buying a pet from a pet store or from a breeder please consider all the wonderful potential pets that get put down EVERY day simply because there is no room for them. Some never even get a chance to be a loving member of a family.
Check out HelpSaveOne for a list of this weeks urgent dogs - these guys are among them!
Friday, August 6, 2010
I was checking out this website today and I decided that I had to blog about it.
Barnivore.com is a great guide for finding vegan wines, beers and alcohols. I know... how can alcohol not be vegan ? It seems so strange right ? Alcohol is made from fermented grains and fruits.... but alas ... its true! A LOT of companies add animal products as finishing touches to fine tune the alcohols taste. Per barnivore's website, in the instance of one company, a whole chicken was dropped in the tank. WOOF!
Anywho, before you make your next purchase check out barnivore.com and see if some of your favorite wineries and distilleries are on the red list!!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Remove veggies from skillet, place into large bowl and put in the fridge until they are chilled. (usually around 20 minutes) Once they are chilled toss cooked pasta with veggie mixture, and add the olives. Next add the lemon juice, oregano and more salt, pepper and basil if desired. Add another splash of olive oil and toss till well mixed.
Serve on top of spinach and top off with a few chopped scallions.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Place cooked spaghetti in a plate and top with the saucy sausage mixture sprinkle with nutritional yeast and serve.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The cocktail I had was made with SquareOne Organic Cucumber vodka. Unfortunately for me, it proved difficult to find. And though I love me a good drink, I couldn't see myself driving 45 mins to the closest retailer.
And then my AH HA moment came!
I'm sure I could make my own! I headed down to the liquor store, picked up a bottle of plain vodka (Tenure is one of my fav bangs for the buck) and then headed to the grocery store and picked up a cucumber. I dumped the vodka into this canister , washed the cucumber, sliced it up and put them into the vodka with two small lemon peels. I let it sit for 3 days, then I put it back into the original bottle and put it in the freezer to chill.
It made the best cocktail!
Cucumber Infused Lemonade
Equal parts Cucumber Vodka and Newman's Own Organic Lemonade.
Serve in a highball glass over ice, with a slice of the marinated cucumber. I'm sure a sprig of fresh basil would be good in there as well!
Now that I know how easy it is to infuse your own vodkas I cant wait to try more variations!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It breaks down the different hazardous and often carcinogenic chemicals and toxins in most household cleaners and their linked effects on the human body, ranging from asthma to infertility. It's TERRIFYING how few chemicals have been tested by the FDA before the allowance of their use in our household products.
This book is associated with "Seventh Generation" and though I LOVE their products, they can get a tad expensive. Soooo... I decided to put together a few recipes for some of the natural household cleaners I make to clean my house.
I know a lot of people use AJAX or some other form of a bleach based cleaner to clean their tubs and sinks, here is a recipe for an alternative that requires a little elbow grease, but your hands and respiratory system will thank you.
Tub and Sink Scrub
1 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of fine sea salt ( coarse may score your tub finish)
couple of squeezes of fresh lemon juice
Equal parts water and white vinegar added to a spray bottle
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Since when did air conditioning become a prerequisite for sleeping in the summertime in NH!?
Needless to say I got no sleep last night, tossed and turned literally ALL night, and finally decided to get up at 3:00. Yes, 3 AM! GRRRRR! I went downstairs, turned on the lights (GOD only knows the last time I needed to do that in the morning) and thumbed through a cook book, figuring this is the PERFECT time to cure my baking fix during this heatwave. My pantry was pretty barren, but I found a recipe requiring what little items I have left. The recipe was from How It All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Bernard. It was their "Anything Goes" muffins. Ha! Perfect I thought- anything does go as long as I have it in my pantry. Still a little bleary eyed from the lack of sleep, I wasn't quite sure how they would turn out, but they ended up being delicious! I added some leftover vegan chocolate chips, and some blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. They were like a whole wheat chocolate jam muffin- in fact that's what I will call them! A nice breakfast treat for the sleep deprivation. Now that Ive tried the basic "anything goes" muffin recipe, ill have to experiment with more variations. ( The next sleepless night/morning I suppose)