Category Archives: Vegan

Better late than never! Happy Birthday FSTS & Happy 8th Veganniversary to me

So I am a little late for my annual birthday/veganniversary post. February was a busy month and the last year has been full of trials and tribulations, but in the end, things just work out OK…

ID-100213668

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The plan for 2018 is to keep on truckin’ and keep on with the whole food plant-based health info. Go back to basics, and ask yourself the following questions before you put it into your body:

Is this the closest to nature that I can get this product?
Does it have an ingredient list?
Does it have less than 5 ingredients?
Is it free of sweeteners in the first 5 ingredients, including “natural” sweeteners?
Will this help me hit my 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Will this increase my intake of fiber?
Is this a fat with fiber?
Can I challenge myself to try something different every week?

If the answer is no then put the item back on the shelf, it’s not worth the money. I’ve decided this is going to be the year of the antioxidant, in celebration of that here is my recipe for a super antioxidant smoothie – I have personally been having this for breakfast and it really is a great way to start your day.

IMG_20180209_094048069.jpg

Super Antioxidant Smoothie

1 cup plant-based milk
1 cup frozen mixed berries
3 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp whole flax seeds ground in a grinder
1 tbsp cacao powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp clove (or less if too strong)
Fill rest of blender with watercress and mixed greens

Blend until smooth, the beauty of smoothies is that you can switch out the ingredients, I love dandelion greens in addition to kale and spinach.

 

It’s Garden Lust Time!!

Hello Friends,

Today I am feeling giddy thinking about the seeds I purchased on Sunday. I also picked up seed starter soil, cell flats and some vermiculite. I decided I wanted to buy seeds this year to diversify my garden. I still have plenty of seeds that I have saved that I will use this spring, however I could not resist the seed catalog!

ID-100198277

Image Courtesy of Amenic181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A list of the newbies:
Blue Hubbard Winter Squash
Andover OG Parsnips
DeLuxe Lettuce Mix OG
Watercress Cresses
Roodnerf Brussels Sprouts
Kale Mix
Cosmonaut Volkov OG Tomatoes
Black Prince OG Tomatoes
Gardeners Sweetheart OG Cherry Tomatoes
Elecampane OG Elecampane
Winter Savory Winter Savory
White Yarrow Achillea
Love-Lies-Bleeding Amaranth
Butterfly Weed
Autumn Beauty Mix OG Sunflowers
Mammoth Grey Stripe Sunflowers
State Fair Mix Zinnias
Beneficials Flower Mix
Cutflower Mix

And of course I have the usual standbys:
Kabocha Squash
Calabasa
Peas
Acorn Squash
Butternut Squash
Borage
Calendula
Peppers
Swiss Chard
Collard Greens

Looks like I will need to fill my calendar with seed starting dates. I also plan to start expanding the beds into the back of yard as I would like to have more of a botanical garden in the yard than just a lot of grass. That’s where a lot of those herbs and flowers will go.

What seeds are you lusting after this season?

New Year, New You

Yeah Yeah Yeah… Who hasn’t heard that before? This New Year I decided to take a different approach to “New Year, New You.”

ID-100178788

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This time of year you get so many tips on how to make your life better, maybe instead you can make someone else’s life better, stand up for what you believe in or look into a cause that resonates with you.

The last few weeks of 2014 saw a lot of heartache (Ferguson & Staten Island), a bit of “it’s about time!” (Cuba) and some backing down only to give in (The Interview). If you put all of these stories together you get the central theme of doing the right thing.

The protests over injustices in Ferguson and Staten Island, recognizing the plight of the Cuban people and Sony deciding to stand up to bullies and show The Interview all exemplify the beauty of standing up for values.

So in this year’s version of New Year, New You go out and do something you believe in, no matter how big or how small. Your heart will smile, I promise.

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.

ID-100281883

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:

ID-100101597

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?

ID-10084288

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.

photo (6)

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!!

photo (5)

Unknown Squash

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