12.30.2010

Factory Farms in the US

Here's a great website I just stumbled upon today called Factory Farm Map and, as you can well guess, it maps the factory farms in the United States. When you visit the site you are able to change the filters so as to see the difference for different types of animal operations, as well as the changes over time (1997-2007). It's a very useful educational tool since it also has information on how factory farms affect every single one of us in multiple ways.


I've also added a widget to the blog where you can see the map without leaving the page (check the lower right hand side of the screen). Seeing the information laid out like this is sure to make you want to analyze your relationship to this inadequate food system.

Make the last days of the year count and make 2011 a better year for your health, your karma and your planet: go veg!

12.27.2010

Meatless Monday Recipes--make 2011 better than 2010!

Hi all,
I hope this chilly December has been treating you well and that your stomach has been enjoying the bounty and utter deliciousness of root vegetables as mine has. (Nothing like a big bowl of mashed potatoes to cheer me up!)

Being that it's the last Meatless Monday of 2010 I would like to challenge you to make a new year's resolution of sorts by making all your 2011 Mondays a day where you go veg and treat yourself to a scrumptious and nutritious vegetarian meal (vegan, if you dare).

What's more--you have tons of people on your side, ready to help you find great recipes that flatter the herbivore in all of us. Meatless Monday has a myriad of recipes to choose from, and you can even access them from our Virtually Vegan Sisters blog (thanks to blogger widget technology).

<----------Look! Recipes!

Just look to the left of this post for ever-changing veg recipes to keep you inspired every Monday of 2011!

Cheers to a bright and more compassionate new year!

12.22.2010

Crostini

This is my new favorite thing! I made a bunch of different kinds ahead of time for my holiday party this past weekend and they were a major hit. You do all the prep work ahead of time, and then warm them up just before serving. You pick the topping of your choice (I had: mushroom walnut pate drizzled with truffle oil, garlic hummus and a sundried tomato on top, and chipotle olive tapendae). You just cut a loaf of french bread into small rounds.......warm a skillet with some EVOO and warm the crostini for about 2-3 minutes on the stove. The bottom gets warm and crispy and the topping will get warm as well. Yummy!

12.21.2010

Nori Wraps with Orange Cashew Cream

I believe I got this recipe from Dr. Weil's website, but I can't say for sure....sounds delicious regardless....

Light but filling, flavorful but simple, these wraps are my favorite summertime dish. The color of the nori sheets is a dark, shiny, green – almost black – and adds a striking contrast to the colorful filling.

Ingredients for Orange Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

Ingredients for Wraps

  • 4 nori sheets (the kind used for sushi; found in the Asian section of a grocery store)2 carrots, grated or shredded

  • 1 medium beet, grated

  • 1/4 head red cabbage or green cabbage, shredded

  • 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts

  • 2 avocados, sliced or mashed

  • Salt for sprinkling

  • Black sesame seeds, for garnish

Add the cashews, 1/2 cup of orange juice, and tamari to a blender, and blend until you have a creamy consistency. Taste, tweak if necessary, thin out with more juice, if needed, then transfer to a bowl.

Set out all your grated veggies in separate bowls, so you can grab them as needed to make your wraps.

Place a nori sheet on the counter or cutting board. Leaving a 1-inch border at each edge of the nori sheet, place a thin layer of grated carrots, grated beets, shredded cabbage, and alfalfa sprouts on top of the nori sheet. Place the avocado in a horizontal line across the middle of the shredded veggies, and do the same with the cashew sauce. Sprinkle on a little salt. DO NOT OVERFILL!

Working from the bottom, roll up the nori like a fat cigar, tucking in the veggies as you roll upwards. You should have a neatly packed cylinder at the end. Use a little water to “seal” the seam.

Serve as a wrap, as is, or using a sharp serrated knife, cut into 1-1/2-inch rounds.

Repeat. You should have enough veggies to make 4 wraps. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds for a pretty presentation.

Yield (Wraps): 4 servings
Yield (Dressing): 3/4 cup

12.17.2010

Democracy Now!

Whether we are talking about veganism or not, it's important to get your information from credible and independent sources that aren't paid by industry to tell us what they want us to hear... (Take the "Got Milk" and "happy cow" commercials for example...!) Therefore, today I'd like to share a wonderful international news source for those of you that don't know about it. 

Below is more information about Democracy Now, but first I'm embedding an updated video of today's report (it'll update daily so you can watch it here or directly on their website).




ABOUT: "Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other."

12.16.2010

Inide Insides: Pumpkins!

It's time I share another cool blog, this one simply presents awesome scans of fruits and vegetables: Inside Insides.
 I thought the pumpkin scans were appropriate given the holiday season, so here is a look inside and out of the great cucurbita!  Enjoy...

12.15.2010

Wine + Apologies

Greetings all you Virtually Vegan Sisters followers! What a month it has been. I hate to sound so "cliche" but the Holidays really are a busy time! A couple years ago I took a vow of "No Presents" (I try my best not to give or receive any gifts) for any holiday. I rarely "get" anything from giving or getting gifts......so I wanted to hold that true and not participate in them. I make exceptions with "experiences" and booze! I lieu of a physical present I have no problem taking/or receiving someone for dinner, going to the theater, going to a concert, etc. I also never turn down a good bottle of wine!

Even with my No Present philosophy, the Holidays are still pretty hectic....but in a good way. This time of year I find myself spending more time with friends, family, and cooking in general. Those are all things I love! So I have (as I mentioned last week) lagged a bit on my VVS posts. That is where the "apologies" of my post title comes from.

And now for the WINE part. I was just offered a position as a Pourer at a new tasting room in Santa Monica. It is called Wine Expo and has been an existing wine shop on the Westside for years now......and 2 months ago they opened an adjacent tasting room. So I will be working there......starting tonight! The specialize in small producers, specifically Italian reds and sparkling. More details to come....but please feel free to come by and have a flight!

Wine Expo
2933 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310-828-4428

12.13.2010

Meatless Monday: C'est la Vegan

I want to take the opportunity to introduce you to Kim from C'est la Vegan today.  This woman is not only an amazing baker in her professional life, but she is also a very inventive cook with mouth-watering recipes and one of the best blogs around!

Pumpkin Butterscotch Trifle


You should check it out and get inspired!
Last month she participated in "Vegan Month of Food (MOFO)" and presented really unique recipes all month long. Don't miss it!

12.09.2010

All around the world - 2011

woo! My calendar got a feature on ApartmentTherapy.com today. Click here to read their post about calendars with international flair.



Are you ready for 2011???
I am!

peas,
Eco-Vegan, aka Ana Belen


P.S.
Best thing I've heard today: ELT aka eggplant lettuce tomato sammich (as well as one of my many favorite songs). Can't wait to make my own version as well as tempeh barbecued ribs! I'm ready for the summer :)

12.08.2010

Virtually Vegan Hanukkah

So last night we celebrated something different for a change...Hanukkah!!

We made latkes which are similar to hash browns.....yummy!!! Potato anything is comfort food in my book, so I was all for it.....

I will share the recipes soon......

A bit of "latke" trivia from Wikipedia:

Latkes are traditionally eaten by Jews during the Jewish Hanukkah festival. The oil for cooking the latkes is reminiscent of the oil from the Hanukkah story that kept the Second Temple of ancient Israel lit with a long-lasting flame that is celebrated as a miracle. Despite the popularity of latkes and tradition of eating them during Hanukkah, they are hard to come by in stores or restaurants in Israel.The word leviva, the Hebrew name for latke, has its origins in the Book of Samuel's description of the story of Amnon and Tamar. Some interpreters have noted that the homonym levav means "heart," and the verbal form of l-v-v occurs in the Song of Songs as well.Levivot need not necessarily be made from potatoes. Prior to the introduction of the potato to the Old World, levivot were and in some places still are made from a variety of other vegetables, cheeses, legumes, or starches, depending on the available local ingredients and food ways of the various places where Jews lived.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato_pancake

12.03.2010

busy beegan

I'm truly sorry for this delayed post but it's been such a busy week/month/season that my mind is out of the screen and into the world!
And, my world has involved lots of honey, actually...
which brings me to the topic of BEEgans. That's right--vegans that are A-OK with eating honey (from sustainable, responsible and small sources, of course). 



You can read more on this topic of veganism and honey consumption on the wonderful Native Foods Blog.
What I have to say about it is simple: bees are insects-not animals. So, the initial argument that honey is an animal biproduct is misleading. If we follow that logic and exclude "insect biproducts" in our diets and lifestyles there goes soil and pollinated vegetables and our entire agricultural experience as human beings. 
That being said, I do understand that what most vegans are opposed to is the fact that many bee operations are abusive, put bees under considerable and unnecessary stress, and have them pollinate pesticide-drenched crops leading to a doped colony and sub-par honey, etc. Therefore, the problem is the industry rather than the mere honey which is why I only buy and consume honey from small, local farms that respect the bees and their OWN need for their glorious gold goodness.  The honey is meant for their own, after all. But it's such a rich food for humans (medicinal! delicious! healthful! BEST sweetener option EVER) that completely doing away with (all forms of) it simply to call myself "vegan" is ridiculous to me.  That's why, I guess, I'm not vegan-- I'm beegan.

12.01.2010

Not Feeling Very Vegan

Greetings all my Virtually Vegan followers! Yes, I echo Crafty Vegan by saying that I too have taken an extended break from VVS. I have been definitely riding the leisure train for the last couple of weeks and really relishing in relaxing, enjoying my family, and getting into the Holiday groove.

On a similar note, I will say that I have been riding the leisure train in regards to veganism. Aside from my cooking, which is "usually" 100% vegan, I have been indulging (if that is the word) in whatever yumminess I see in front of me that others cook or at restaurants. That has included a lot of cheese and a lot of seafood.

I haven't been feeling "bad" about it either. I have really been making the conscious decision to eat these foods. I'm not sure what that means or what I should be feeling, but that is just what's going on. I will say though that I have been making some delish vegan dishes at home lately: Thai coconut soup, pumpkin curry, split pea soup, etc.

So for now, I'm living the life of moderation. Happy Holidays......till next week!

Foodie Vegan

Thanksgiving Past and Holiday Events

Seems like I took an extra long Thanksgiving vacation...my apologies for not blogging until today :(....it must have been that delicious stuffing sadly cooked in chicken broth that made me forget....or was it the pumpkin cheese cake?!! Any how, my mind is back, my heart is in place and I am ready to make it through December healthy and animal product free!!

I wanted to share some info about events I have coming up.....some workshops and some fairs....




Tonight, Dec 1st at Iguana Imports, finger crochet class from 6-8pm. Workshop fee is donation based.

Dec 2, 3 & 4 Coastline Community College Art Gallery in Huntington Beach
Annual Holiday Art Sale

The sale takes place Thursday, December 2, through Friday, December 3, from 1 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to blown glass objects, shoppers will also find one-of-kind of art objects and unique gifts from local artists including jewelry and ceramics. Parking and entrance to the Coastline Art Gallery is free.


2nd Saturday Artwalk in downtown LB, Dec 11th from 4-10pm and at Lyon'shttp://lyonartsupply.com/

Dec 12th at The Infinite, finger crochet class from 2-4pm, suggested donation $11

11.25.2010

thankful

‎"Be grateful of the Divine plan that will expedite the karmas of all the sacrificed turkeys, and be grateful that you are not one of the turkeys on the table." - Yogananda

11.23.2010

The Infinite Yoga Studio

I have been volunteering at The Infinite yoga studio since Sep 2010 and taking Kundalini classes with Dana and I am so happy about the way I feel after class, when I step outside into the world...I have yet to experience all the other wonderful classes they offer....check out their info below....


The Infinite is a unique yoga and movement center in Downtown Long Beach, CA that helps people prepare their bodies, minds and spirits for living a conscious, healthy lifestyle in these times.

We are a "give what you can, take what you need" center, providing a variety of classes and workshops by donation in yoga, movement, and whole life care.

The Infinite is dedicated to providing our entire community with a warm, open environment so they can develop a meaningful yoga practice and be happy, healthy and whole.

~ Experience Your Highest Self ~

~ Realize The Infinite Within You ~


http://theinfinite.us/

11.22.2010

Meatless Monday: Thanksgiving Traditions...

Today I simply want to forward you all to a great post from The Veg Blog on the topic of Thanksgiving Traditions, and following traditions in general.
Hopefully it'll get you thinking about our upcoming American "Thanks-giving" holiday and how you'll spend it this Thursday.


Blog post below from 11/18/2010 via The Veg Blog

Just a quick post today about Thanksgiving and the “tradition” of eating turkey…

I used to be all about tradition, especially with regards to Thanksgiving. I loved the food, the family, the football, everything. These days, the family/friends portion of it more than suffices. After becoming vegan, it eventually became clear: tradition doesn’t always equal “good” or “right” and thus shouldn’t be some sort of magical excuse able to be applied to anything that someone wants to do. As has been said many times before, there have been a lot of “traditions” throughout history that have been pretty evil. There is nothing implicitly good about something just because it’s the way it’s always been done.

With that, two things you should read:

To My Friends at Thanksgiving by Mary Martin,

Traditions are decided upon. They are consciously, intentionally repeated. And new ones can be created at any moment. I choose to opt out of traditions that cause harm and are the direct result of the exploitation and commodification of beings just like Charles, but who look a little different. And I want Baby Sky to grow up in a home where there is just as much respect for chickens and calves and fishes as there is for greyhounds and cats and people. Of course, the world outside of our home tells a different story. But we can bring our story to that world.

and my favorite of the Buddhist sutras, the Kalama Sutra (emphasis mine).

Do not go by revelation;
Do not go by tradition;
Do not go by hearsay;
Do not go on the authority of sacred texts;
Do not go on the grounds of pure logic;
Do not go by a view that seems rational;
Do not go by reflecting on mere appearances;
Do not go along with a considered view because you agree with it;
Do not go along on the grounds that the person is competent;
Do not go along because [thinking] ‘the recluse is our teacher’.

Kalamas, when you yourselves know: ‘These things are unwholesome, these things are blameworthy; these things are censured by the wise; and when undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill, abandon them…

Kalamas, when you know for yourselves: These are wholesome; these things are not blameworthy; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness, having undertaken them, abide in them."

11.19.2010

Good 'ol Cloris Leachman

I had no idea she was a vegetarian!

As soon as I realized that I didn't need meat to survive or to be in good health, I began to see how forlorn it all is. If only we had a different mentality about the drama of the cowboy and the range and all the rest of it. It's a very romantic notion, an entrenched part of American culture, but I've seen, for example, pigs waiting to be slaughtered, and their hysteria and panic was something I shall never forget. ~Cloris Leachman


*Also, note that yesyerday I made a post entitled "Simple Shoes", but it for some reason posted back on 11/15/10. So if you are interested in reading about or getting some new eco-friendly, hemp, vegan tennis shoes.....then check out the post!

11.18.2010

A random mix of awesome

I found out about a new website called the Vegan Voice where you can seek tons of information about veg activism and the general lifestyle: food, restaurants, resources, jokes, etc.  The images above and below were taken from there.



Also, I don't want to pass up the opportunity to share this awesome video with you all. It's not related to veganism, but it'll certainly make you hopeful. Plus, the illustration is awesome. Enjoy!

11.15.2010

Split Pea Soup!

This is a recipe that I adapted from 2 places: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's "The Vegan Table" and the 101 Cookbooks website. It came out delicious. I also baked a fresh loaf of flaxseed bread to enjoy with the soup.

1 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 large onions, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (this replaces the ham that is usually in this recipe; it gives a smoky flavor)

paprika
EVOO drizzle (since it's a fresh drizzle, use really good olive oil; otherwise leave it out)

Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium, high heat. Add onion and spices and cook for a minute or two until soft. Add the split peas and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the peas are al dente. Add the liquid smoke. Take an immersion blender and insert it in the soup and puree to your liking. Some like it completely pureed and some like it super chunky. You can leave it as is also if you'd like a more brothier, really chunky soup.

Top with a sprinkle of paprika and a drizzle of EVOO. Enjoy!

Simple Shoes-100% sustainable


I have been needing new tennis shoes for a while now. My old ones (non-vegan) officially FELL apart today. And how fitting that my Simple Shoes came in the mail today. They retail for approx $55 per pair, but I was able to find some on Ebay for $25 + $5 shipping. And they were only worn once!

Simple was recommended to my by Eco Vegan and my good friend in Georgia. I went online and checked them out. They have a great website and each of their pairs of shoes has reviews listed, which is super helpful. I wanted to make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for working out and can get wet in the rain.

Here are some of the materials used to make Simple Shoes (as per the top of my shoebox I received today).

Latex-is a natural rubber. It's easy to mold and provides lots of cushioning.

Recycled car tires-We collect used and landfill-bound car tires, cut them up, and use them as outsoles.

Bamboo-is an endless resource because it's so plentiful......it's super soft too!

Organic cotton-Our cotton is 100% organic.....that means no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or additives.

Water based glue-We use all water based glues. Better for the shoe makers and better for you.

Crepe-A natural rubber. It's tapped from the hevea tree.

Recycled inner tubes-We reuse rubber from landfill-bound car tire inner tubes on many of our shoes.

Hemp-Is soft and one of the strongest vegetable fibers available and it grows like a weed.

11.11.2010

Story of Stuff: Promoting Awareness

I'm super excited to share the newest movie from the people at The Story of Stuff: The Story of Electronics which "takes on the electronics industry’s “design for the dump” mentality and champions product take back to spur companies to make less toxic, more easily recyclable and longer lasting products. Produced by Free Range Studios and hosted by Annie Leonard, the eight-minute film explains  ‘planned obsolescence’—products designed to be replaced as quickly as possible—and its often hidden consequences for tech workers, the environment and us. The film concludes with an opportunity for viewers to send a message to electronics companies demanding that they “make ‘em safe, make ‘em last, and take ‘em back.”



It's less than 10 minutes long and will encourage you to watch the other videos produced by Annie Leonard's team which are all equally brilliant.

Speaking of which, I can't wait for the stuff they have lined up for 2011: "Season Two will include explorations of the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy, inspired by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision; the perverse role government subsidies play in undermining environmental sustainability and public health; and the central role consumer debt plays in the overconsumption—and economic instability—of American families. "

AWESOME!!!

11.10.2010

Hi my name is __________ and I am addicted to sugar

Fact: Over a third of the calories we eat is from sugar or white flour

Fact: Sugar give you an initial high, then you crash, then you crave more, then you consume more

Fact: Sugar is a mood altering drug

Fact: Rats when given the choice to drink water tainted with saccharin or intravenous cocaine, 94% preferred the saccharin water. Sweetness is more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.

I learned these intresting tidbits from my Goop newsletter this week (www.goop.com). Read more from Gwyneth Paltrow's interview with Dr. Frank Lipman. He is an integrative medicine doctor based out of New York.

http://www.goop.com/newsletter/103/en/

11.09.2010

11.08.2010

Meatless Monday: Cool Mint and Wild Rice Salad


1 to 2 cups wild rice
1/2 chopped medium red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 big cucumber, or 2 medium chopped
2 to 4 heirloom ripe but firm tomatoes rough-chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cook rice according to the directions on the package. While rice is cooking chop the cucs, tomatoes, garlic and red onions; mix together in large bowl and set aside. Chop mint and squeeze the lemons. When rice is done, rinse well in cold water and drain. Mix rice with the chopped veggies and mint, add in lemon juice and stir all together. Add the olive oil and mix again. Salt and pepper to taste, then put in fridge until ready to serve. Can also be served immediately at room temperature. Finish with a sprig or two of mint.

Recipe from magazine? by Sharon Hall

11.02.2010

A Yoga Pose for the Body and Mind, Dr. Weil's Tip of the Day


"Yoga is an excellent promoter of relaxation as well as a good form of nonaerobic body conditioning."

-- Andrew Weil, M.D.

This active version of Bridge Pose calms the brain and rejuvenates tired legs.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (SET-too BAHN-dah) setu = dam, dike, or bridge,bandha = lock

The Bridge Pose is a powerful tonic for body and mind. It provides an invigorating stretch for the chest, neck and spine. Traditionally, its benefits are said to also include:

Benefits

  • Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
  • Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid
  • Rejuvenates tired legs
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with support
  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache and insomnia
  • Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis

It is also held to be a therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis.

Contraindications/Cautions - Use caution if you are currently or have experienced any of the following:

  • Neck injury: avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Step by Step

  1. Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
  2. Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
  3. Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
  4. Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it's resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
  5. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.

Modifications & Props
If you have difficulty supporting the lift of the pelvis in this pose after taking it away from the floor, slide a block or bolster under your sacrum and rest the pelvis on this support.

Variation
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (pronounced ACHE-ah PAH-dah, eka = one, pada = foot or leg)

On an exhalation, lift the right knee into your torso, then inhale and extend the leg perpendicular to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, then release the foot to the floor again with an exhalation. Secure the foot again and repeat with the left leg for the same length of time.

Beginner's Tip
Once the shoulders are rolled under, be sure not to pull them forcefully away from your ears, which tends to overstretch the neck. Lift the tops of the shoulders slightly toward the ears and push the inner shoulder blades away from the spine.

Deepen the Pose
Once in the pose, lift your heels off the floor and push your tailbone up, a little closer to the pubis. Then from the lift of the tailbone, stretch the heels back to the floor again.

Partnering
A partner can help you learn about the correct action of the top thighs in a backbend. Perform the pose, then have the partner straddle your legs and clasp your top thighs. He/she can brace your outer thighs with his/her inner legs. Next the partner should strongly turn the thighs inward and encourage the inner thighs down toward the floor (as you resist the tailbone toward the pubis). Recreate this action in all backbends.

Please consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program.

Information courtesy of Yoga Journal.

11.01.2010

Meatless Monday: Banana Crumble

I'm a big fan of bananas in my smoothies, PB sandwiches, and as a snack but I'd never made a dessert with them besides the occasional banana bread (which I haven't perfected quite yet).
I sought a fabulous recipe from the fantastic Colleen Patrick Godreau (in The Joy of Vegan Baking) and I was surprised to find she didn't have one! Shock! Horror? Well, kind of, but then I saw she had something called "banana crumble," checked that I had all the ingredients and therefore decided to go for it.
It was AMAZING! Wowowow!


A combination of bananas foster and a pecan-oatmeal cookie, served alongside a generous serving of Tempt vanilla ice cream (made from hemp milk) of course... Seriously good eats.
I highly encourage you to do it next time you find yourself with a couple of overripe bananas. Simply slice them and arrange them in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of brown sugar. Then combine your basic crumble (oats, flour, earth balance, vanilla extract, etc) and bake until crispy on top and bubbling on the bottom. Serve warm or at room temperature. YUM!

10.28.2010

Confessions of a Vegan... a.k.a. Vegans are People too!

I read a post about Vegan Confessions over on The Girly Girl Army blog and simply have to share it with you.

It's a very honest look at the guilt many people associate with a vegan lifestyle, and it's true that there are moments where we stray and that's perfectly acceptable. If your definition of vegan is limited to a 100% full-time, life-long commitment without the ability to forgive and move-on from a minor lapse in judgement, I'd say your in for a bad time. Instead, accept that mistakes will be made but that it's not the end of the world.

One small setback isn't going to keep me from fighting the good fight!

Some of the confessions I relate with:
“I still wear my wool sweaters. If someone asks, I say they are vegan.  Nobody knows the difference, and I still buy anything new entirely vegan.  Isn’t that greener anyway?” (reuse! reuse!)
“I cheated while I was pregnant.  All I wanted was an egg.  So I ate one.  Then I ate another. It was anti-climactic.  But I listened to my body.  Not planning on doing it again.” (I'm okay with eating eggs from chickens I can meet and greet)
“While in Italy with my Partner, I ate pizza and loved every minute of it.  I felt guilty, but I sat in the moment with it and enjoyed it.” (er...yea, traveling is tough)
“I have no intention of donating or selling my old leather shoes.  I’ll wear them til they have no more wear in them.” (all two pairs of them!)
“I bought sardines for my cat, and found myself eating the whole tin.” (in my case it would be anchovies...)

10.27.2010

Fear of a Vegetarian Diet!

GOD forbid we teach children to eat healthy meat-free food once in a while!

http://www.bnet.com/blog/food-industry/fear-of-a-vegetarian-planet-why-the-beef-industry-is-freaked-out-by-a-kids-8217-contest/1749

I am not at all shocked that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association stood up against this blasphemy! Ha. Having children eat vegetables, whole grains, etc........that is PURE madness!

They must be living under a rock to not at least relate to or comment on how even slightly reducing people's consumption of meat (or even just animal products) can significantly affect their health in a positive direction.

I have an M.B.A. and I understand business, profits, gross margin, etc. But it seems highly negligent of the NCBA to turn a blind eye to research that is now out there. It reminds me of the "Tobacco Trials" and how the heads of Phillip Morris, etc all stood up on trial and took a vow that they were #1 telling the truth and #2 that there is no connection between cigarettes and cancer.

Shameful, I say.

10.26.2010

Four Emergency Rescues

From my email box to all of yours....

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Four emergency rescues. 18 desperate animals...

Your support is needed now to provide urgent care for 18 recently rescued animals.

• An all-white baby calf – just days old! – was found abandoned and left to die.

Donate Now• Fifteen broiler chickens were seized from an urgent cruelty
case at a small farm.
.

• An elderly 21-year-old cow was lying alone and suffering
for days with leg and hip injuries.

• A wounded chicken was dumped by the side of the road.

Farm Sanctuary’s Emergency Rescue Team moved in without hesitation, because when farm animals are suffering, every minute counts. But with four urgent rescues in such a short time, we are in need of donations right now for our Emergency Rescue Fund. We need the resources in place to care for these 18 new animals, along with other abused farm animals we have recently rescued.

Please help these and other needy farm animals by donating to the Emergency Rescue Fund now.

Elliot, a young calf less than one week old, was found alone and suffering in the woods after being abandoned or possibly falling from a transport truck. No matter how Elliot arrived there, this baby was motherless, scared and in urgent need of rescue.

Donate now to help Elliot receive the care and love all newborns need.

Your emergency support will also help Martha, who was used by a farm for breeding for 21 years. Martha arrived with overgrown hooves and injuries sustained from falling in a creek bed, where she suffered for days before rescue. Martha’s age, ailments and injuries will require her to receive special care to ensure she is able to live out the rest of her life in comfort and peace.

Please support our 2010 Emergency Rescue Fund to help care for Martha – and ensure we are ready to respond to the next emergency call.

Emergency Rescue TeamRecently, our phone rang with a desperate plea to save 15 young chickens who were neglected and suffering with no shelter at all. As “broilers,” these babies, already extremely large for their age, were slated to be slaughtered when full grown at about 42 days old, which is the industry standard. Now, with your help, these abused youngsters can live out their lives and receive treatment for parasites, leg conditions, broken bones, and more.

Please donate to Farm Sanctuary today to help ensure their full recovery.

We also need your urgent donation to help another special chicken, Viva, who was left for dead on the side of the road. When we found her, she was listless, covered with feces, and had a plum-sized wound under her wing. It will take more than a month of treatment for her painful injury to heal. But with your caring help, we know she can recover.

These animals will be given a second chance at life with your support. Your gift to the Emergency Rescue Fund at this very critical time will aid these and other very special individuals, who are counting on us for their survival.

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Farm Sanctuary, PO Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Farm Sanctuary’s financial report and state registration information.

Veggie Pride Parade!!!

Veggie Pride Parade - LA Saturday, October 30th
11 am to 4 pm Santa Monica, CA

Get your veg on and demonstrate your veggie pride by participating in this year's VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE - LA! First, we'll gather for a VEG RALLY from 11 am to 2 pm with special guests and presentations, dozens of vendor booths featuring LA's top veg restaurants, cruelty-free shopping, and nonprofit organizations to learn more about what you can do to help save the planet, the animals, and yourself! Then, we'll parade through the streets of Santa Monica and Venice on a highly visible parade route. Bring a veg sign and don your veg costume to draw heads and hearts to our cause! The VPP event is sponsored by Animal Acres - for more information, please visit: www.animalacres.org.

10.25.2010

Pumpkin Smoothie

I got this one from my gym newsletter..........yummy!



1/2 cup canned pumpkin (I used roasted fresh pumpkin!)
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (I used almond milk + a splash of vanilla)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tbsp honey (or agave)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

10.22.2010

Quote from Henry David Thoreau

"I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.”

- Henry David Thoreau

10.21.2010

Man and Beast

I listened to an amazing story this week via The Moth and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Go here, the story I'm referring to is almost halfway down the page:

Alan Rabinowitz

Man and Beast
Director of the Science and Exploration Division, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx Zoo, wildlife.

It's a really touching narrative and you may hold back a tear or two, but I promise it's inspiring and puts forth a great message about animals and our relationship to them. 

all the best,
EcoVegan

10.20.2010

Lets go to Nicaragua!!

Hola Virtually Vegan Sister community. I was reading Budget Travel this past weekend and came across an incredible hotel in Nicaragua that I MUST visit. Here is the snippet:

It's one thing to stay in the heart of a Spanish colonial city-and quite another to stay in a Spanish-colonial mansion. Located smack in the middle of Granada's historic district, the sprawling 19th century Hotel Spa Granada has five garden courtyards, a lagoon-like swimming pool in the center and 15 expansive guest rooms (some with ceilings as high as 18 feet) that are decorated with handicrafts from a local artisan. A free spa treatment is included with every night of your stay, but the rates are so shockingly affordable-a 60-minute massage is $20, an aloe facial is $10-that a full day of pampering hardly qualifies as a splurge.

www.hotelspagranada.com

I have this romantic notion that I could go there for like a month and go on a meditative journey......or write a book.......or take an extended pleasure vacation with Virtually Vegan Boyfriend;)

Bon voyage................

10.18.2010

Meatless Monday Dessert: Date Rolls by May

Image link
Ingredients:
Dates
Your choice of nuts: Brazilian nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, etc.
Almond Butter
Coco Shreds

Instructions: You can make as much as you want for this recipe
1. Put all ingredients in separate bowls in front of you like an assembly line.
2. Break apart the dates and take the seeds out
3. Place one nut inside one date and cover the nut on all sides so that it's completely inside the date.
4. Take your date and nut and dip it in the almond butter bowl to evenly cover it.
5. Now dip it in the coco shred bowl and repeat.