Food

23
Mar
2015

Eat Local: Why & How??

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“The average item of food in America has traveled 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate.” 

-Michael Pollan

This is a fact that we oftentimes avoid recognizing.  Nonetheless, it is safe to say that “eating local” makes sense for people who seek more control over what they put in their bodies, want to support their local economy, and want to reduce their carbon footprint.  Lets get down to brass tacks:

Eating Local: Why should I give a damn?

(There are many reasons, but in my opinion these are most important):

1) It tastes better and is more fresh. This food lasts longer. It also means that you are eating seasonally, which is the way Mother Nature intended, and which leads to greater appreciation of the food.

2) It is better for the environment.  Given the travel involved with bringing most food to you, buying locally produced food significantly decreases the amount of fuel used in transportation and energy used in storage.

3) It is safer eat locally grown food. Even when the food is not organic, small farms are less prone to aggressively treating their produce with chemicals. The fewer steps between your food’s source and your plate, the smaller the chance of contamination.

4) It supports your local economy AND your beliefs. This is opposed to your dollar going to an anonymous corporation in another city/state/country, where God-knows-what is going down.  Keeping in mind that you essentially cast a vote/affect demand every time you spend your hard-earned moola: when you know about where your food comes from, you can more effectively support your values. I, for instance, adhere to a vegan diet for reasons pertaining to health, the environment, and animal rights.  Therefore, I choose to eat at my favorite vegan restaurant (where I know that they source their veggies from a local, organic, vegan farm) as opposed to merely choosing a vegan option at a chain restaurant who does not source their food locally, and whose sources’ practices are likely not sustainable or cruelty-free.

Eating Local: How do I do it?

1) Shop at local markets.

2) Try an organic delivery service.  Organic produce and other groceries can be delivered to your door on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.

3) Frequent your local farmers’ market.

4) Research from where your favorite restaurants source their food.

 IMG_0071-2*This vintage-look, super-soft “Eat Local” Tee is made in the USA!

Boyfriend jeans from Zara.

Worn with a floral kimono…because, why not? 🙂

XOX

M

20
Jan
2015

What’s for dinner? Crispy Seitan Stir-Fry!

As I have mentioned before: Rachael Ray I am not.  It is necessary for my self-esteem that all attempted recipes are idiot-proof. Seitan stir-fry fits the bill, as I only burnt myself with hot oil once and it barely hurt. My favorite thing about this meal: the minimal prep/maximum taste combo.  Bonus: it is invariably a hit.

prep time: 30 minutes max

ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of sherry (tip: don’t use “cooking sherry,” which contains tons of sodium; be sure to use dry sherry, which you can find sold with other fortified wines.)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1/8  of teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoon of canola oil (divided)
  • 8 ounces of water-packed seitan (preferably chicken-style, drained and patted dry)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts
  • 1 teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 carrots (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1 bell pepper (thinly sliced)

stir

Directions:

  1. Whisk sherry, water, hoisin, cornstarch, brown sugar, lime, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add seitan and cook–stirring occasionally– until crispy (4 to 7 minutes).
  3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, peanuts, and ginger and cook, stirring, for about a minute.
  4. Add carrots and red pepper and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
  5. Whisk the sauce again; add it to the pan and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender/crisp, and the sauce is thickened (typically for about 3 minutes).

…. anddd done!  Now, eat until uncomfortably full.

stirf

21
Dec
2014

Drink Responsibly!

 

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I know there are no “winners” in a White Elephant holiday gift exchange; but somehow I managed to win last night!  I strategized carefully, ignoring the social pressure not to “steal” a gift from seemingly nice strangers in order to come home with this vegan holiday beer and polyester Santa “snuggie” in hand.

Beer drinking (and even cocktail drinking) around the holidays can be tricky; for flavoring purposes, certain beer may contain dairy, gelatin, or even shellfish!  And typically, eggnog and hot chocolate is dairy-and-calorie-laden.  Thus, I am providing you with a holiday guide to conscientious imbibing. Cheers.

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This is a sweet-tasting option, brewed with peaches and pecans.  Australian International Beer bronze award winner in 2013.

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Brewed with locally harvested spruce tips in Juneau, Alaska, this is a malty, warming, seasonal beer.

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Brewed in Seattle, Washington, this is referred to as a “winter warmer” due to having higher alcohol content and a bold (in this case, chocolate and nutty) flavor.

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This dairy-free option seriously tastes JUST like the real thing. Really. REALLY, really.

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At only 70 calories per serving (woohoo!) this vegan cocoa option packs a slight kick with the addition of cinnamon and cayenne.

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** note: polyester snuggies (ie- fleece-free!) are hard to find this year for some reason, but THEY ARE OUT THERE!  I lucked out, since I came home with an unopened, re-gifted snuggie from last year’s party.  Based on my research, your best bet seems to be to peruse ebay for options like this one.  

XOXO HO HO HO

-M

5
Nov
2014

Oh, You Smoothie

Amazing (if I do say so myself!) smoothie, made this morning using my Omega 8006 juicer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 5 strawberries
  • 5 chunks of pineapple
  • About 10 grapes
  • 2 big handfuls of lettuce
  • an apple
  • half a carrot
  • half a cup of organic dairy free vanilla-flavored coconut milk
  • chia seeds

22
Oct
2014

Operation: Coexisting with an Omnivore BF

My boyfriend of 9 months, Matt,  is supportive of my vegan lifestyle… Which I appreciate for many reasons.  Living in Texas,  it isn’t very easy to find a man who will embrace your tofu, your hemp-filled pillows, and you so lovingly.   THE plan is for him to move in with me next month; MY plan is to make vegan eating at home as enjoyable and tasty as possible, so that he will eventually come over to the vegan dark side…. MUAHAHA.   Anyway- the new tradition is that once per week he comes over for a homemade, yummy, meat-free meal  made by your’s truly. Anyone who knows me well knows that a domestic goddess I am not, so we need fool-proof recipes to start.

This week, I made SPICY CHICKPEA VEGGIE BURGERS.  I love love LOVE this recipe!  And the smoke alarm only went off once!

Directions/Ingredients:

  1. Mash up a can of chickpeas (drained and washed) into a bowl.
  2. Add half of a red onion (diced), 1 small zucchini (finely grated), 3 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Sirracha sauce, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, and 1 cup of quick oats.
  3. Mix it all together well with your hands, then form about 6 patties.
  4. Fry with a little oil (about 3 minutes/side).

I served mine up on whole wheat buns with vegan mayo, lettuce, and avocado… But that part is up to you.  Not to ring my own bell, but this is the best veggie burger I’ve tasted to date!  Matt loved them too, and had another one for lunch the next day.  Thus, my evil plan to veganize my boyfriend is put  into motion… Stay tuned!

21
Oct
2014

My lazy afternoon snack…

Sometimes you need to call in sick.  For me, today was one of those days.  My lazy afternoon snack proved simple and delicious:

1 sliced avocado,
sea salt,
roasted pepper hemp seeds,
and pine nuts. 

Wellness on a plate, ladies and gents. Wellness on a plate.

17
Oct
2014

Box o’ yum

I came home from a long day of slaving away for The Man, but it’s OK because when I finally got home my Vegan Cuts box waiting for me on the front porch!  Inside the package: coconut chips, gelatin-free fruit snacks, organic vegan chocolate, protein bar, gourmet popcorn, and more.  It kind of serves as a “vegan starter kit” for snack-happy people like me who cried when they had to toss their beloved Cheez-its.