How I Survived the Summer BBQ Season

Summer’s almost over and another BBQ season has gone by. We had our own last week which was a great success. We had lots of people, lots of great food and lots of good talk.

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Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been pretty lucky this summer in terms of events and having food to enjoy. Most, if not all, of the hosts  had some sort of vegetarian/vegan option to eat. It’s also important to be a gracious guest and bring something, and for anyone with any kind of specific dietary requests it’s a bit of a no-brainer to bring a dish you like to eat. It’s also a great way to turn people on to new ways to see how yummy plant-based foods can be.

While I don’t have a photo of what I made for this summer’s BBQ I will share the recipe:

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Image Courtesy of Adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wheatberry Salad

3 Cups Sprouted Wheatberries
4 Cloves Garlic, Pressed
1 Tsp Salt
1 Red Onion, Chopped
1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped
3-4 Stalks Celery, Small Dice
2 Large Carrots, Shredded
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Chopped
3 Ripe Tomatoes, Chopped

Vinaigrette

1 1/2 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Oregano
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste

Soak wheatberries overnight. Rinse the wheatberries and cover in about 2 inches of water, add the garlic and the salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30 min. (If you cook without soaking it will take longer so keep an eye on them.) Drain the water with a sieve to keep the garlic in, let the wheatberries cool and combine with the veggies.

In a blender or large jar (if you are using an immersion blender)  combine vinaigrette ingredients and blend until well homogenized. Pour over salad and let marinade overnight.

You can play around with spices for the dressing, add chickpeas or navy beans and include a diced apple for even more crunch.

What was your favorite recipe for summer BBQs?

Listen to Your Inner Voice

Do you ever get that little voice inside your head telling you to do something? Sure you do, we all do – but do you listen to it? I mean actually pay attention and listen to what it has to say?

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Image courtesy of Mr Lightman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes we find it easy to ignore those inner voices, however, we know that what they have to say can have an impact on our day – heck even on our life. How often do we find ourselves ignoring that little voice to find out later on that if we had listened to it we could have avoided <insert crappy scenario here>?

So the next time you have a nagging little voice telling you what to do, stop and listen for a minute. It might actually make your day a little easier.

The Importance of Vacation

We all need a vacation, period, full-stop and whatever else you use to illustrate a point.

Maybe not all of us need to forget someone, in two weeks… but we certainly need the time to rest, regroup and regenerate.

Vacation is like sleep, when you sleep your body works it’s magic replenishing and doing all those things it can’t focus on while you are awake. Well when you are in vacation mode you (should) have less stress and anxiety, you know, no alarm clocks or crazy commute to deal with. It can also help your body take a break from the germy world of keyboards, airless offices, subways, trains, and in my case, hospitals.

Can’t afford to go anywhere, no biggie, staycations work just as well. Day trips to local parks or historic sites and cozy dinners at home sound pretty awesome too.

Why I Like to Compost

I can’t really take credit for starting our compost heaps, that was all Jared’s doing. Also his doing putting it in one of the garden beds, figure if we rotate that each year to a different bed we will have excellent results in that bed, and maybe a little extra gifts too.

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Main Compost Heap w/ Kabocha Squash

I have come to support it for a few reasons:

  • We have less food waste going into landfills
  • It adds rich nutrients to the soil
  • It recovers lost soil in the garden due to erosion
  • Best of all – seeds get spread around the garden so we have extra veggies growing

My very first year of planting I planted a ton of tomato seeds, very few if any germinated – that’s what I get for buying “survival seeds” on eBay… anyway the compost came to the rescue! We had several rogue tomatoes thanks to the compost. Right now we have a giant kabocha squash growing in our main heap that has about 4 – 5 squashes on it – most we have ever had!

We also have another squash growing in the garden proper, I don’t what variety yet but I have a feeling it’s another kabocha Yippee!!

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Unknown Squash

One cool project would be to spread the compost and see what comes up!

 

Mindfulness

You hear a lot about mindfulness but that can mean anything really.

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From our Hong Kong Honeymoon in 2007

Yes for some it can include a meditation practice, however mindfulness can come from other places as well. I think of mindfulness as an awareness, and having an awareness of what happens around you, what others feel around and what you project to the world.

I prefer to think of mindfulness as a sort of awareness. It makes understanding the basics a bit easier in my opinion. And the beauty of awareness boils down to the fact that we can have an awareness of so many things. Things happening around the world, injustices to people (and animals) and injustices we see right in our own backyards.

But before you have expanded your awareness to the rest of the world, I ask you to focus the awareness on yourself.

Garden Update

I figured it was about time I gave you guys a garden update.

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This spring I didn’t have a chance to get my seeds started early so I pretty much planted as late as I ever have. As I was telling my friend Nelson, who does an awesome job running the Metuchen Farmer’s Market, my gardening philosophy is to take whatever I have and throw it in the ground…

So here’s what has come up

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Kabocha Squash

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Kale and Mystery Squash

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Tomatoes

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Tomatoes

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Borage

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Calendula

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Asparagus

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“Permaculture”

I also have these wild flower looking weeds that have really come in, thanks to my lack of weeding and making it more of a “permaculture” type plot. If anyone knows what these are please let me know!

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Mystery Flowers

What do you have growing in your garden??

LIEBSTER AWARD:

I want to thank my friend Charanya from Yes I’m Vegan :) for nominating me. Below are the rules and questions to answer:

Rules for this award:

  • Thank and link back the person who presented the award to you.
  • Have the award on your post.
  • Answer the questions that has been asked.
  • Award the same to other upcoming blogs.

Charanya’s Questions

  1. What’s your favorite cuisine? Too many! Middle Eastern Maybe
  2. What would be the last meal you will love to eat? Something Indian or Falafel
  3. What is your favorite vege? Changes every day!
  4.  Do you watch Game of Thrones? Yes, though I am behind but have read through book 5
  5.  If you are vegan, why? If not, do you think you could be one for few days? at first it was fr health reasons but as I did more research my reasons became more ethical and environmental
  6.  Is there anything your life wont be the same without? Nope not really
  7.  What’s your favorite movie? Too many to name! I love bad movies!!
  8.  Is there any color you loved as a kid? Green, now my fave is red
  9.  Is there anything you would change in your life if life had a rewind button?
  10.  Do you own an iphone or an android? iPhone
  11. 3 words that could describe you: Passion, Loyal, Independent

My nominees are:

1. Vegan Flavorista
2. Earthpages.org
3. A Lazy Girl Goes Green
4. Veganomics
5. The Novice Gardener
6. Vegan Muffin Woman
7. Epicurean Vegan

My questions are:

1. What is your favorite book?
2. What gets you up in the morning?
3. What color best describes you?
4. What do you do for fun?
5. If you could make one thing in the world right, what would that be?

A simple breakfast too yummy not to share

Here’s a yummy breakfast too quick, easy and yummy not to share.

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Ingredients

2 Kiwis
1/2 Cup Strawberries
1/2 Cup Blueberries
2 Tbsp Walnuts
2 Tbsp Dried Coconut Chips or Flakes

Chop the kiwis, strawberries and the walnuts and combine in a bowl, add coconut. Mix well and enjoy!

Variations: You can use any nuts or seeds and fruit, including frozen fruit.