Monthly Archives: November 2010

New Year’s Resolution

Today is my birthday and I want to thank all the well wishers – all 800 million of them, wow Facebook, rock on… Now as I take inventory of my life I see that a couple of things are not where I would like them to be. While I try to take care of myself I haven’t been doing such a great job of it – so with the purring kitty on my lap as my witness

Yeah, I know I am just looking for excuses to take her photo

I will now take care of me. I did have a wonderful facial today at Eden Organix in Highland Park, NJ. If you are in the area I highly recommend it. They are running a fall harvest special and the pumpkin masks and moisturizers are divine!

Interior from their website: http://www.edenorganix.com/assets/images/interioreden.jpg

That top row has the 100% Pure Organic line that I live and die for. That’s what I really like about Eden Organix, they use natural and organic skincare lines. We expose our bodies to so many chemicals day in and day out. There has to be a better alternative and there is! Do your research and find products that that don’t contain parabens, pthalates, artificial coloring, hydroqinones… you get the picture. Go to the Cosmetics Database to see how your skincare AND haircare products rate.

Getting the skin covered is easy but what about the weight, UGH!!!!! I really really wanted to be about 10lbs lighter today.  I was half way there 2 weeks ago but it’s been a crazy ride at work so I have been eating a lot of comfort food. My weakness is Alternative Baking Company cookies – oh my!! Those of you that are dairy-free and/or vegan and have not discovered these cookies I suggest you stay far far away!! They are sooo gooood but sooo fattening. An entire cookie is about 400 – 500 calories. Granted they are large so it could be a meal, but that’s never the case for me. I’ve had about 5 – 6 of those cookies in the last two weeks. I ALMOST got one today for my birthday but will maybe bake cupcakes instead.

I did have a great lunch, not a cupcake lunch like I was fantasizing about at Papa Ganache but at The Orchid in Metuchen, NJ. They are a Kosher restaruant they are not open Friday evenings or on Saturdays so it was a real treat to be able to sit at a table and have the combo platter with Hummus Spread, Baba Ganoush and Quinoa Salad. Since it was a special occasion I even had a caffeinated chai spice tea, I’m just breaking ALL the rules today!

It can’t be a New Year’s resolution without committing to exercise. I can’t believe I said that… I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus on the workout and it’s obvious – everything is a big mush and I can’t walk up a flight of stairs. No more Ms. Softy. This morning I did one of my Kathy Smith step DVDs on the BOSU and I’ve asked for a new heart rate monitor and the P90X workout system. I’ve contacted my beachbody coaches for a vegan diet plan and will probably buy The Engine 2 Diet book in the near future (unless I get it as a gift – another subtle hint…)

I know what you are thinking, what about work, mental, school – well I can only do so much. I’m a vain creature so let’s work on looking good, because as Fernando used to say “it’s better to look good than to feel good”

Last of the Harvest

Well all of our veggies plants are dead with the exception of the greens, which will hopefully keep going for a while. Here’s a shot of the last of the tomatoes I picked today and the two butternut squashes we got.

Here’s a collection of Lemon Boys, Brandywines, Romas and Yellow Pear tomatoes. Oh and the mystery tomato that was the only seedling to survive was a Black Krim. The yellow ones in the bowl were ripened on the counter so I hope we can get most of these to ripen as well.

We got a dehydrator this weekend AND a copy of Diet for a Small Planet, both are hand me downs and boy am I excited! I have some portobello mushrooms going, this model is apparently a very slowww going dehydrator, it will take about a day to dehydrate the shrooms. Looks dehydrating will be more of a weekend thing since we won’t keep this on while we’re away from the house.

I have the thermometer to see how high the temp goes. It’s at almost 120, raw foodies don’t like their food cooked over 118 or so. I have a feeling this might go a bit higher. It’s been going for about four hours.

I think Lola likes it too…

NYC Veg Fest!

I was lucky enough to attend the Veg Fest at Union Square Park on October 16th. I met up with my girlfriend and we checked out all of the cool booths.

First off we got a goodie bag at the Supreme Master Ching Hai booth, it included a booklet with animal activist literature and recipes – shame they weren’t giving out samples from Loving Hut – YUM I highly recommend their veggie burger with the guac, it’s delightful.

Then we got some hemp seeds from a vegan athlete how cool is that!

We also got to meet THE Pamela Rice, that was the best! She was great and let us know to look out for the 2011 Veggie Pride Parade on May 22nd. I became a fan of Pamela’s listening to the Vegan – Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment podcast.

                                                         Yes that is my @#$%%# thumb…

The next stop was the olsenHaus sample shoe sale – alas my financial future is uncertain so I didn’t buy anything and well let’s face it 50% off of $200 is still $100. But I have to give credit where credit is due, the shoes are gorgeous. So those of you that think you have to sacrifice style to be cruelty free, well it just ain’t so.

The Mercy for Animals table was next. The girls working it were really nice and informative. I look forward to getting their e-newsletters.

AND they were right next to an amazing brownie sample from the Bhakti Cafe. Talk about kismet, discussing saving animals and the environment and eating your cruelty free cake too.

There was also a Sea Shepard and PETA table:

After hitting all of the tables we took a walk through the farmer’s market 

The radishes and the carrots looked so beautiful I couldn’t not stop to take a photo.

Once we were though the farmer’s market we went back to the VegFest to see Latina vegan chef Terry Hope Romero – yippee!! She’s the co-author of Veganomicon, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar  and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. She is also the author of Viva Vegan! a Latin cookbook and one that’s on my Amazon wish list (subtle hint)…

She’s totally cute and tiny and put us all through a veg trivia contest, wow we really sucked. But we did get the pleasure of meeting Rachel from Rachel’s Cakes and her two adorable daughters, they really helped with those tough questions.

Finally, we were able to go to lunch. We ended up going to Purume Organic & Local Kitchen, our dishes were very nice, I had a pea soup and a roasted veggie platter, my girlfriend also had the soup and a stuffed pita that was really good. I will be going back and having drinks and dessert too!

Recipe of the Month: Butternut & Mushroom Risotto

OK let’s face it, I don’t have a recipe every week so it makes no sense to have a “Recipe of the Week”… So now I will post recipes monthly.

This month’s recipe is a butternut squash risotto, unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of but I promise the next time I make it I will take one before I gobble it up as is what usually happens! Here are some photos courtesy of Google Images to give you an idea of what it should look like.

I love risotto, however, it’s a labor of love: pour and stir, pour and stir, repeat for the next 30 min. For me it’s well worth it, the delicate flavors the comforting texture. Yum I’m getting hungry!

 

Ingredients

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 tbsp
Butternut Squash, 1 small
Portobello Mushrooms, 2
Onion Red, 1 cup
Garlic, 1 bulb
Vegetable Broth – Use Low Sodium! 8 cup
Arborio Rice (Risotto Rice), Dry, Uncooked, 2 cup
Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, 1 tbsp
Celery, raw, 2 stalk, large (11″-12″ long)
Shallots, 4 tbsp chopped
Colgin Liquid Smoke, 1 tsp – Use as much or as little as you like
Salt – Iodized Sea Salt, 1 tsp

Directions

Preheat oven to 400
Cut Squash in half
Brush 3 Tbsp of olive oil on backing sheet, squash (place squash cut side down), mushrooms, onions and garlic – do not peel onion or garlic.
Bake for 40 min
While vegetable are roasting heat the broth. You can also add a bullion if you want to give it more flavor.
In a heavy pot add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of Earth Balance
Saute celery and shallots until soft.
Add 1/3 cup broth
Lower heat and take out roasted vegetables
Peel, seed and chop squash, mushrooms, garlic and onions and put aside
Add the rice to celery and shallots
Add 1/3 cup broth and stir until it is absorbed
Repeat until half the broth is used
Add vegetables and Liquid Smoke
Keep adding broth 1/3 cup at at time and stirring until it is absorbed
Add salt and pepper to taste
Add more Liquid Smoke if desired.
Number of Servings: 6