Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seven Things About ME!

Just over a week ago, the wonderful Lenna at Czech Vegan nominated me for the Seven Things About Me award. If we look at my blogging record, I don't think I deserve any awards, but we'll get on with it anyway :)

1. I live on Hugh Jass salads... and whole grains and beans, but mostly Hugh Jass salads like this one:

Baby spinach, arugula, baby bok choy, broccoli stalk, locally grown carrots, local-ish marinated tofu (I grilled it two days ago, and then today I warmed it up in the toaster oven so the outside got nice and crispy. Oh my peas, is it ever good!), lacinato kale, dulse flakes, sunflower seeds, raisins, and balsamic vinegar.

2. Most of the food I eat is either green or orange. Seriously. Leafy greens, broccoli, squash (especially kabocha. Oh, how I love kabocha squash), sweet potatoes and carrots are pretty much all I eat. Btw, did you know you can eat the broccoli stalk? I always threw it away until Mama Pea let me in on this. Now it's one of my fave foods ever.

3. I'm totally addicted to the computer, especially YouTube. Facebook is pretty empty to me, but YouTube? YouTube is my love <3 My fave YouTubers are the vlogbrothers, wheezywaiter, crabstickz, dailygrace, tyleroakley, disneykid1, communitychannel... nevermind, I could go on forever. If anyone wants to get totally addicted to YouTube, just lemme know and I'll give you a nice list of YouTubers to start watching.

4. I used to love steak. Like, I LOVED it. And chicken. And bacon. And veal. And cheese. And salami. And some fish. And I drank milk like no other. I've always hated eggs, though. So why am I telling you this? Because despite all that, I went vegan. When I learn things, I can't unlearn them. When I learnt of the horrors of factory farmed meat (btw, almost all of the meat in your supermarket is factory farmed. Even if it's not, it's still killing and exploiting animals, and no matter how "humane" they say it is, killing isn't humane, or at least it isn't to me), I couldn't eat meat anymore. I became a lacto-vegetarian. Tbh, though, it had a bit to do with the fact that I was really getting into yoga and wanted to follow a "yoga diet." When I found out that dairy was linked to the meat industry, specifically veal (aka baby cows fed an iron deficient diet so that they become anemic, who are kept in tiny cages so they can't move and develop their muscles properly, and who are killed within days of being taken away from their mothers at birth, all so you can have tender meat. Sick, isn't it?), I couldn't consume dairy anymore. This was a huge deal for me. I seriously had milk all the time and bought into the whole milk-does-a-body-good BS, and I was a cheese fiend. I could go through a wedge of brie in two days, tops. Guys, you have no excuses. If I could give all that up and still be happy with what I'm eating (and trust me, what I'm eating tastes SO much better than all the cheese in the world), not to mention how much better I feel, then you can go veg too. :)

5. I hate the word diet. Not for what it actually means, but because of what society has shaped it to mean. I always feel self conscious whenever I go buy "diet books" like The Kind Diet or Crazy Sexy Diet, which aren't typical diet books but rather foodie inspiration and information books.

6. I'm an environmentalist and I want to go into earth sciences. You know how I said when I learn something, I can't unlearn it? In my geographical biogeosciences class (omg long name, but I loved it SO much) last semester, one of the guest lecturers at the end of the semester was talking about how somewhere in the USSR there was this lake, and by this lake were some cotton fields. The lake provided water for surrounding residents to use, and the cotton fields were sprayed with copious amounts of pesticides, herbicides, and all that junk. Is it a surprise that cancer and birth defect rates went up in those residents? Of course not. Spraying crap on crops is gonna make you feel like crap. You reap what you sow. Now I don't feel good buying non-organic cotton, and I'm sure that as I learn more, more things are going to be added to this list. People are probably going to think I'm crazy, and that I'm just making my life that much harder, but if convenience is all that is driving your decisions, then we have a problem.

7. Don't think I'm crazy enough? Well, get ready: my dream job is to be an ecoterrorist alongside Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd. Seriously, if I could do that for the rest of my life, I so would. I'm so passionate about this shit that I'd be willing to put my life in, ahem, dangerous situations for it. This doesn't mean I'm a violent person. I'm quite the opposite, actually. I'm a really positive person, but when people go fishing the oceans dry and killing stuff without any regard for uh, anything other than their pocketbook, things get serious change.

I'm nominating the following people for this award, as well as everyone in my blogroll, which I am currently updating, so let me know if you want to be on it. Sorry if you've already been tagged, but it just means that you're that much more awesome :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Joys of Dairy

Now obviously I'm being sarcastic when I say the "joys" of it, because it causes a lot of pain to a lot of people. In fact, it's related to MOST of the problems in this world. Health issues (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, e. coli... the list goes on and on!), environmental issues (sludge, contaminated water, and loss of biodiversity, anyone?), hunger issues (for lack of better wording - sorry!) in impoverished areas (though I guess that kind of relates to health), you name it, it can probably be traced back to dairy (and/or meat, including red meat, white meat, seafood, and eggs). All these problems are being perpetuated by the propaganda of the dairy (and meat) industry to consume their products, because according to them their products make us healthier. Sound familiar? In the 50s and 60s, doctors used to recommend consuming tobacco products. Now we realize that it's totally ridiculous and we know how bad it is for us, so most of us tend to shy away from it. I believe that this is what will soon be happening with dairy. Dairy doesn't do a body good. If you don't agree, then you need to see this video. If you do agree, still watch it so you'll have the power (knowledge is power, after all, is it not?) to defend yourself against the, ahem, stupidity and/or ignorance of some stubborn dairy (and meat) consumers who will preach just as the ads tell them to.

What's your stance on milk? I'm quite sure that I've made mine clear, though I haven't even really gotten into it. Should I do a full post on it? Lemme know!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spelt Bread

I'm usually not crazy about bread. That doesn't mean I'm some carb-phobic nut job. I'm not. I love carbs. I love quinoa, brown rice, oats, millet, kamut... the list goes on and on. I just don't care for bread. It doesn't fill me up and it doesn't really taste good enough for it to be worth it.

This bread is different... sort of. It doesn't fill me up as much as oats ever will (I can't eat for four to five hours after I have my morning oats, unless I do overnight oats in which case I'm hungry after an hour. It doesn't make sense, I know, but that's just the way it is) but I'm satisfied after one (rather thick) slice. It, like anything and everything else, tastes reeeeally good topped with raw coconut oil, cinnamon, a baby pinch of sea salt and some coconut flakes, or even just some added-sugar free jam. You could also use this recipe as a starting point for other breads. For a cinnamon raisin loaf, mix in a few teaspoons of cinnamon, some raisins and some maple syrup. For some added nutrition, fold in some shredded carrots and zucchini. You could also probably throw in a few ripe bananas in place of some of the liquid with some chocolate or carob chips. Does that sound good or what?!

Tonight I'm probably going to make some more tempeh bacon for some tempeh BLTs on this bread. Needless to say, I'm stoked.

Spelt Bread
Makes one loaf

3 cups spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour (I used my Magic Bullet)
3 tbsp whole flax seeds, ground into a meal (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cup barley milk (you can sub this with your favourite non-dairy milk or just more water)
1 cup water
1/2 tbsp molasses

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Add in the barley milk, water, and molasses and mix until combined. Transfer dough into loaf pan and top with additional rolled oats if desired.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on cooling rack for as long as you can handle, then cut yourself a piece and enjoy!

Do you like bread? Have you ever made your own? What's your favourite topping?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creamy Dreamy Barley Milk

I love soy milk, but only when it's full of either vanilla or chocolate, which usually means it's pretty processed and full of sugar (evaporated cane sugar is still sugar, people. It's not "healthy," nor is "raw" brown sugar. It's all a lie, yo).

I love almond milk, but for some reason I find it's a pain to make at home (though if you want to have a go at making your own, try Morgan's recipe from Little House of Veggies. Her blog is amazing, btw. All of the recipes I've tried from it have been huuuge hits).

I looove coconut milk, but I like to keep my consumption of food from cans to a minimum, and even if I could find the other stuff in the refrigerated section it would still be pretty processed and would have stuff I don't really want in it, and then buying enough fresh coconuts to make a decent amount of my own coconut milk would get expensive, with regards to both money and fuel.

I love rice milk, but whenever I make it at home it's just not creamy enough, and though some of the stuff in stores is unsweetened it still usually has some kind of oil in it, and I like to keep my consumption of oil to a minimum as well (the only exception to this rule is raw coconut oil. It's the bomb.com and it's easier to digest than olive oil, AND I read somewhere that it's the only oil that isn't stored as fat. Idk if it's true, but it's good either way).

That's where barley milk come in. It's my new fave thing. I don't have anything to sweeten it with, but I think barley is kind of naturally sweet (or maybe I'm just crazy) so it doesn't really need it. If I had stevia I would probably use it, but it's not really necessary.

I used the same method as Heather below. I cooked 1/2 cup of barley in 4 cups of water until all the water was absorbed, and then I blended it in the Magic Bullet with equal parts barley to fresh, filtered water and strained it through a mesh strainer into a bowl and transferred it to a glass jar. I ate some over PB&J granola with some organic bloobs. Tomorrow morning I'll either have some blended with equal parts green juice or in my kamut cereal, depending on what I am in the mood for at brekky time. If you try it, tell me what you think. Also I'm thinking about writing a few posts on nutrition and stuff so there might not be as many recipes in the future. Just a heads up :)

What's your favourite non-dairy milk?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kale Chips

Good morning, my wonderful bloggies. I'm sitting here sipping on my green juice wondering how I failed to realize that blogger was down earlier this week. Oh well.

Into the Breville went a whole bunch of dandelion greens, half a bunch of celery, a lemon and three apples. Green juice makes me feel wonderful. I wouldn't recommend trying this particular green juice if it's your first time (maybe try Mama Pea's Green Juice) because the dandelion greens are so bitter, but if you're into green juice and in the mood for a good cleanse, then this might be right up your alley.

As you can see, I like getting my greens in. I eat them at least twice a day, and some days it's at every meal. I like love Hugh Jass salads for lunch and dinner, and steamed greens in the morning with some whole grains (cooked in loooots of water so they're easily digestible) make me feel like I'm flying. Some days, however, I'm just not feeling the greens. That's where kale chips come in.

Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar Kale Chips

1 bunch kale (I used purple kale for this batch)
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I didn't really measure this so it's just an estimate.
celtic sea salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet liner. I just used one baking sheet and did this in two batches but if you can fit more than one baking sheet into your oven then you can do it all at once.
Tear the leaves off the kale stems into chip-sized pieces. Keep in mind that they shrink quite a bit when they bake. Put your pieces of kale into a bowl and gently massage in balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Place your kale chips onto your baking sheet in a single layer and bake for approximately 5 minutes on one side, then take them out, flip them over and bake them on the other side for 2-3 minutes or until crispy. Make sure you don't burn them, because there isn't really anything worse than burnt kale chips. Let cool and enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tempeh Bacon

I had originally planned on sharing a recipe for vegan gluten-free brown rice syrup sweetened cinnamon rolls but to be entirely honest they were gross. I've decided that I'm really not a fan of chickpea flour most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I love chickpeas. I just don't like the flour. In the past I've made amaaaazing spelt cinnamon buns, so I think I'll work on those sometime soon, or maybe I'll try incorporating oat flour so I can keep them gluten-free.

Instead of the xgfx BRSS cinnamon rolls, I have a recipe/idea/video to share on tempeh bacon. I couldn't find liquid smoke anywhere, but maybe I'm just not looking in the right places, so I just used tamari, maple syrup, a tiny bit of cumin and some pepper. It was super delish and I totally ate the whole batch. It was that good. My non-veg (though I feel like he wants to/could go vegan but my mom won't let him/is standing in the way of a compassionate lifestyle) brother luuurved them. It doesn't taste exactly like bacon but that doesn't mean it wasn't tasty!

I had my tempeh bacon with a mochi waffle topped with a sliced banana and some frozen berries warmed up on the stove with a touch of maple syrup until they thickened up a bit, and a side of lightly steamed red kale. (Side note: red kale is quickly becoming my fave vegetable of all time. Papayas are my fave fruit, but they've gotta be super ripe. I had half of one this morning for breakfast filled with VOO and half a banana. SO good, though it would have been delicious even if I didn't have the VOO and banana. Papayas are better than candy.) I kind of forgot I had this breakfast until I looked through my iPhoto pictures again and I find myself really wanting this brekky again. The only way this could have been better would be if I had a green juice/lemon ginger blast a la liferegenerator, which btw I had two of yesterday to make up for the grody cinnamon buns (I hope it's the first and last time I'll ever have to say that), but what isn't better with green juice? Nothing, that's what.

Have you ever tried tempeh bacon? Do you like green juice? If so, what do you like in your green juice?

I like some celery, a lemon, some kale, some dandelion greens and half a cuke in my green juice.