A Fresh Dille

a mochi morning.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on April 30, 2010

After reading The Kind Life book by Alicia Silverstone, I was fascinated by the japanese rice cakes named Mochi. After searching for the last month, I finally found them at a local health store and knew the first recipe I would make would be Mochi Waffles. Without brown rice syrup on hand, I decided to make a usual waffle topper, a mixture of maple syrup, coconut oil, and frozen berries.

First, I took out 3 pieces of Mochi (I used the Sweet Brown Rice) and sliced them into thin slices.

I took all pieces and spread them evenly across an already warmed waffle iron (mine makes four squares). While cooking, I heated up one tablespoon of maple syrup, one teaspoon of coconut oil, and a half cup of frozen blueberries and frozen cherries. After three minutes, the mochi waffles had fluffed up and were ready to eat.

In Alicia’s book, she emphasizes eating them up quickly so that they are still warm and sticky. I drizzled them with the maple-coconut oil-berry sauce and enjoyed. They were not like I expected, but crispy and chewy at the same time. The flavor is really mild and benefited from a delicious sauce. Next time I will make her lemon-walnut-rice syrup.

With the three small blocks of Mochi, I made two servings of two waffle squares each. The recipe from Alicia’s book can be found here.

Yesterday, I wrote about a recipe mishap. One of my favorite things to get when out for middle eastern food is falafel. When studying abroad in Amsterdam, I often frequented Maoz Falafel for a fast fix. A little while back, Mama Pea posted a recipe for a protein packed version that I knew I just had to try. Apparently I didn’t read her recipe for Protein Packed Falafels Falawesomes with Vegan Tzatziki close enough, because I ended up using a whole block of tofu instead of just 4 oz. Yes, I used 4 times the amount for extra protein (oops…). Then I continued to use an entire can full of chickpeas instead of just one cup worth. It must have not been my day. Realizing my mistake as I mixed the wet and dry mixtures, I knew the only way to make the recipe work would be to add another dry ingredient. Panko bread crumps were thrown into the bowl and I baked them for twenty five minutes, just five more than the original recipe. Although I had made a few significant errors, they were scrumptious with her amazing vegan tzatziki recipe.

For lunch today, I packed a few on romaine leaves, sprouts, cucumber, celery, cherry tomatoes and the tzatziki. I had only added the amount of seasoning that the original recipe called for, but they were great. Soon, I will re-attempt the recipe with the correct measurements.

Some questions:

Are you a falafel fan?

Do you tend to scrap a recipe when making a mistake or try to work with it?

Hope everyone is having a wonderful FRIDAY!

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morning routines & sprouts.

Posted in FOOD, Uncategorized, VEGAN by clairedille on April 29, 2010

This morning I started things off in the typical manner. First, I sliced a lemon to squeeze into my already boiled water, flipped the switch on the coffee maker, and fed Bessie a combo of rice and her doggie food. As I sipped my warm water, I opened the pantry looking for my usual container of oats, only to find an empty jar. I remembered I still had a small stash of the Bob’s Red Mill cereals that I had won via Teri’s giveaway. The 10 grain cereal was my favorite of the kinds I had already tasted, but I knew it was time to finally try the last of the samples, the Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. I cooked the cereal mixed with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk and thinly sliced banana pieces (Kath style) for ten minutes before topping with more banana, dried Michigan cherries, the delicious Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter, and a half teaspoon of palm sugar.

The return of a sunny spring morning made me so happy.

The boy exclaimed, “they taste just like cream of wheat!”

I said, “Is that a bad thing?”

“No, I love cream of wheat!”

They weren’t my favorite of the Bob’s Red Mill hot cereals but I must admit they were still an incredibly delicious way to start my day.

Other excitement was the abundance of sprouts in my new sprouting jar I bought at Whole Foods (for only $5.99 but cheaper at iHerb). I got a pound of organic mung beans for $1.99 during the same shop and filled my mason jar.

I measured one half cup of mung beans and soaked them in the sprouting jar overnight with one cup water.

The next morning, I rinsed and drained them and tilted the jar to let sprout for 3 days. Each day I rinsed and drained the seeds delicately (2 times but recommended 3-4) and kept the jar in a dark corner of my kitchen.

The jar was almost filled to the brim with theses beauties this morning. I couldn’t believe how many sprouts just one half cup yielded. I will be eating them in salads and in wraps for days. Emily also wrote a great post about sprouting with a yummy recipe for sprouted chickpea hummus.

Later, I will write about a recipe mishap that still turned out pretty tasty.

Do you ever find that your morning routine goes not exactly as planned but surprises you in a good way?

cherries and chocolate.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on April 28, 2010

Growing up, I always had a fondness for the jarred maraschino cherries that my father would bring out when making cocktails. Around holiday time I would have the same syrupy cherries, but covered with chocolate. My grandmother would receive boxes of dark chocolate covered cherries every Christmas and she knew she could count on me to help her devour them. You see, I am not sure that I would care for them much now. As my taste buds have evolved over the years, I think that the sweetness would be a bit overwhelming (and well, fake). I do know one thing for sure, I still love cherries and chocolate.

Last night I prepared some overnight oats with almond milk, chia seeds, and chocolate amazing grass superfood (Teri wrote a great review here) based off of this recipe created by Angela. I chose to fill my bowl with a deconstructed version of a banana split. In the morning, I sliced the banana in half but when I saw it starting to break in half, I went with it and rimmed my bowl with the banana and filled the middle with the oat mixture. Channeling a banana split sundae with a cherry on top, I chopped up some frozen organic cherries and tossed them in a bowl with a small spoonful of Cacao Bliss. After melting the cherries and cacao bliss, I poured them over my bowl and made my way through the satisfying breakfast.

Although they might not look the most appetizing, the oats were so filling that it took me a bit longer to finish my breakfast this morning. With the warm weather approaching (hopefully!), I know that the warmer oats won’t be practical in the next few months and I am happy to find that I am just as satisfied with these.

Moving along…I have to share a cookie I made in the last few days that are out of this world, delicious. Isa‘s recipe for the Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies is a definite crowd pleaser. They have the perfect texture of cookies that I love most, not fluffy but chewy and even a tad crisp after sitting a few hours. The addition of dried cherries would also make this recipe even more tasty (if possible) but unfortunately I was out of my usual stash of Michigan dried cherries.

After snapping these photos in the sunlight, I nibbled on one and the melty chips and rich cocoa flavor made me think that I might not be able to find another cookie recipe I like more.

Are you a chocolate and cherry fan? I would love to hear about some more recipes that you enjoy with these flavors.

savory days

Posted in FOOD, Uncategorized, VEGAN by clairedille on April 27, 2010

Sometimes I go through phases where I just feel like making main courses or side dishes of the savory variety. Truthfully, most days I tend to favor baking or playing around with the more sweet ingredients to make tasty treats. Over the weekend I knew that I would have to prepare some meals for work to try and ward off the crankiness that comes with my hunger (wrote about last week). Keeping myself well fed is a top priority of mine and when looking in my purse, you will always find a snack in case I crash. Interestingly, I’ve never tested to see if I am anemic, etc. but have always been interested in getting my blood tested to see how my diet affects it.

When eyeing an extremely affordable box of organic red quinoa at Trader Joe’s last week, I knew it would be incorporated into a salad of sorts. First I roasted up some broccoli sprayed with my favorite Coconut Oil at 375 degrees for a good 20 minutes.

A Kabocha squash that has been sitting in my pantry for probably too long was cut up and roasted in a similar fashion, for a little bit longer. Too bad the season for them has come to a close, isn’t it a beauty?

Searching for a more thrilling way to prepare the Quinoa, I selected some organic light coconut milk and thai red chili paste. For one cup of quinoa, I combined one cup of coconut milk, one cup of water, one tablespoon thai red chili paste (could use more) and a few spices (salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon) and brought to a boil. Simmering at a low heat for twenty minutes, the Quinoa was light and fluffy.

Lastly, I roasted a quarter cup of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) with a teaspoon of tamari (wheat free soy sauce-either works) for 5 minutes. I mixed it all up and drizzled with a mixture of sesame oil, umeboshi vinegar, grated ginger, and tamari. After one night in the fridge, all the flavors had melded together and it was the perfect lunch over a bed of baby spinach.

The other recipe I had bookmarked for weeks was Averie’s raw Kale Chips. Due to the fact that I do not yet own a dehydrator of my own, I decided to divide up my bunch into two batches. First, I washed and tore the Kale into a little larger than bite size pieces.

I followed Averie’s recipe exactly, and mixed the “cheesy” sauce with the kale with my fingers until evenly incorporated.

I spread the massaged Kale on a few parchment lined baking sheets.

One sheet was placed into an oven ranging from 125 to 175 degrees (for a few hours) and the other in the 350 degree oven (15 mins). As I knew someone quite hungry would be arriving, I wanted to make sure that one bunch was ready to eat ASAP. When my boyfriend entered, he said he smelled something “cheesy.” Of course this surprised him and he was happy to find that the taste of the Kale Chips were just as cheesy as they smelled.

Here are the remaining Kale chips from the previous night. We gobbled them up incredibly fast with tempeh bacon, vegenaise, spinach, and sprout wraps and baked sweet potato chips (yes, two chips in a night!). Because of poor lighting and increasing hunger, I was unable to snap a photo until today. I can’t wait to make these again for more people. I know my father will be a fan.

I give major props to Averie for this recipe, it really is a must-try! She also has some great words of wisdom on raising a child and making unconventional choices.

some natural goodies.

Posted in BEAUTY, Uncategorized by clairedille on April 27, 2010

This post isn’t about the kind of vegan goodies that I usually write about, but the ones I use (almost) every day in the privacy of my bathroom. Striving to find all natural, vegan friendly toiletries can be challenging, but I thank Whole Foods and other natural health food stores for making some of these much easier to find.

I am loving the accessibility of the Giovanni Organic Hair Care products. Not only do I find that they work wonderfully, but I found them at Target (on sale!) last week. Before I was using the Balancing shampoo and conditioner but I switched over to the Colorflage line and am finding they work wonderfully. The Brazenly Brunette uses goji berry and coffee berry to bring out natural highlights. The best part is that Giovanni:

uses formulas that incorporate vitamins, herbs, minerals, proteins, nutrients and the purest of essential oils. The patented Giovanni PureOrganic Technology™ represents an exquisite blend of exotic organic oils, ripe-harvested from renewable plants at the peak of their freshness. The oils are cold pressed and refrigerated immediately to ensure maximum purity.”

giovannicosmetics.com

In terms of eco friendly toothbrush companies, Preserve, is the best I have found. These babies can be seen any where from Trader Joes and Whole Foods to tiny whole in the wall health stores. They have a great program if you buy them online in a mail pack, where they can be sent right back to be recycled when finished. I usually drop mine off along with my brita water filters at a Whole Foods in the designated recycling bins.

I don’t know if you have tried the Tom’s natural toothpaste, but when I first ventured into natural toothpastes, it was the only one I could find. I was not a fan and was very turned off of natural toothpaste for a while. Recently, I found this Jason’s Sea Fresh one that is not chalky and has a great minty taste. Make sure not to get the Sea Fresh with CoQ10 because that is a compound usually derived from meat sources.

Aromatherapy has never been my thing but the occasional bath is great with a few drops of Lavender essential oil. Sometimes we need to treat ourselves to a nice calming bath after a rough week and Lavender is said to be the ultimate oil for tranquility and cleansing. Reading up on Aura Cacia is also truly refreshing. They have a great philosophy and sustainability program.

Masks are another thing I don’t treat myself to that often, like the occasional bath. When I do, I reach for my Zia french clay mask. This Colorado company uses great ingredients like Seaweed and essential oils, which you can read about here. They are also animal friendly and are making a great effort to be as green as they can.

The last is a local soap, specifically flavored Almond Cocoa. I don’t always get this brand but since I saw it at the Earth Day Fest yesterday, I scooped it up after smelling every single soap. This one contains olive, coconut, palm, jojoba, rice bran, sunflower, avocado, cocoa powder, and essential oils of bitter almond. Each time I need a new soap, I head over to one of the smaller local health stores (instead of Whole Foods) to find a company that produces them in state. This is just because I want to support a local company to the best of my ability, even if it is just one soap a month, at least it is an effort!

I hope you enjoyed this post and don’t feel too overwhelmed by product galore. These companies had no clue that I was reviewing their products, I am just telling it like it is. I hope you try them!

Tomorrow I will be posting about some yummy food I have been enjoying.

a belated earth week post.

Posted in BEAUTY, FOOD, Uncategorized by clairedille on April 26, 2010

Yesterday I made my way to Michigan’s Earth Day Fest. It was a cold and rainy day but I knew that I would regret not going if I chose to forgo it. There were certain areas that were out of my league, as I am not a homeowner yet, but it was a very enjoyable experience. My favorite area definitely involved food and I was given a free tofu salad wrap from Whole Foods and purchased a vegan chocolate mousse that I saved for dessert. Katie, from Naturally Nutty, the local nut butter company that has made its way all over the blog world, was there and I knew that it was finally time to buy some. The two vegan varieties I taste tested and bought were the Vanilla Almond Butter and Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter.

Don’t you worry, I made sure to top my oats with a little of each nut butter this morning.

Other booths of interest were Greening Detroit, VegMichigan (will be posting about VegFest soon),  Detroit Green MapAvalon Bread (so many vegan treats), Boh Bon Soap,  Maple Creek Farm (they provide food for my fave veggie restaurant in MI- Inn Season), and a Wellness Center that may help my body during Marathon training this summer.

Another local treat that was so tasty that I had to purchase some were the Live Smart Flax Bars. I chose an original and chocolate variety and the list of ingredients can be found here.

Growing up, I always thought of myself as a true New Yorker (east coaster?) because I spent the majority of my life there, but I think that it is time that I learn to appreciate the area where I spent my high school years and have now returned for work. I know that I will not be living here for the rest of my life, but supporting my current community is important no matter where I am.

Some other things:

Have  you heard about the Film Series that Whole Foods Let’s Retake Our Plates program has organized?

What all natural beauty/toiletry products do you use regularly and suggest? I will be posting about some of my favorite new finds later today but would love to hear about yours.

if you’re causing no harm, then you’re alright with me

Posted in FOOD by clairedille on April 21, 2010

I awoke this morning to a big empty house with my puppies nose perched right up on the edge of the bed and the sun gleaming in the windows. This week I am at my parents house, watching our dog, while they are off in Barcelona (jealous!). It is always such fun to cook in their kitchen where they have an old AGA, that came with the home when purchased, and all the spices I could ever ask for.

Opening the fridge, I saw a bowl and another container full of strawberries. Of course I was ever-so excited to see that fresh berries could top my usual morning oats and grabbed them with extra enthusiasm. After glancing over the container, my heart sank when I couldn’t find a USDA certified organic sign in sight. These also were definitely not farmers market fresh and I have been pretty consistent in buying frozen organic wild blueberries in the winter months. Ideally, I prefer to pick my own during their season and freeze them. I struggled with whether or not I wanted to eat them because I am quite aware that they are on the dirty dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides. I have often thought about not being too rigid on myself when out or at others homes when it comes down to organic eating. It is very unlikely that most restaurants we go to are organic, even vegetarian ones, unless clearly stated. When working, I have to eat catered meals or craft services on set, which usually entails finding the most colorful fruits and veggies I can find and maybe a whole grain or nuts if I am lucky. Last year I read up on Orthorexia, and wanted to steer clear of that world. It can be a tricky one, the obsession with clean and pure food. We all want it, but if it is not easily obtainable, why not let go a little and work with what we’ve got. After all, being healthy is about nourishing ourselves.

Thinking about this, I concluded that when buying things for myself, I will continue to buy most things organic. When it comes to berries, I won’t buy conventional ones but will buy the frozen organic ones if I really crave them and the fresh ones aren’t available. I started singing some wise words from Mr. Ben Harper when stirring my oats on the stovetop…

“My choice is what I choose to do and if I’m causing no harm, it shouldn’t bother you.
Your choice is who you choose to be and if your causin’ no harm, then you’re alright with me”

I cleaned these berries to the best of my ability using my homemade veggie wash. After this tasty breakfast of steel cut oats cooked with coconut milk and chia seeds, I chose to freeze the rest of the berries for my parents. After all, my mother has gotten into the habit of drinking a green smoothie every morning now with spinach, almond milk, and lots of other healthy supplements (chlorella, bee pollen, burdock root) from the encouragement of a friend. She can feast on them when returning.

After a hot yoga session and my first day of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, that has received such great reviews in the blogosphere, I sat down to a tasty lunch of baked beans over a sweet potato à la Caitlin over a bed of fluffy kale.

Spy Bessie’s lovely gams?

Somet other news:

My boyfriend and I were quite surprised to find out that his loft building didn’t recycle when he first moved in. After both living in cities and towns with an easy recycling program, we decided to do some research ourselves. It was exciting to see so many others recycling everything from bottles and cans to electronics at a place we found around the corner.

Speaking of electronic recycling, Alicia Silverstone wrote a great post about where to find places in your area to bring them.

Aren’t you jealous of San Francisco’s recycling and composting program? Does your city recycle everything? Maybe I should buy my own composting pail like Kath.

P.S. Can you take me here this weekend (more photos)?

earth day & blondies.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on April 20, 2010

Happy Earth Week!

I definitely try my hardest to be more conscious in my day to day routine than I was before becoming a vegan. This evolved as I read more books about the benefits of the vegetarian diet, as well as the detrimental affects of the livestock industry. The books that have meant the most to me so far are The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Both of these have included a great amount of research that make me feel confident in my choice to reduce my impact on this earth by eating a plant based diet. Here are two prime reasons I choose not to eat meat:

“According to a report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent—18 percent—than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.”

“According to a new report from World Watch, animal byproducts are responsible for 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide human caused greenhouse gas.”

planetgreen.discovery.com

Another environmental event I am very excited about is the recent Meat-Free Monday Movement in San Francisco that promotes a plant based diet, encouraged by restaurants, grocery stores, and schools throughout the city. The other city that has put this notion into action is Baltimore, and I hope that this can also be enforced in other cities such as my birthplace, New York City.

Cooking wise, I decided to try a recipe that has been bookmarked for far too long. The famous VeggieGirl blondies were more delicious than I could have imagined. She has baked many different interpretations on her blog I felt that I should stick with the classic chocolate chip blondie (found on the Kitchen of a Runner blog) for my first attempt. I will not even try to describe to you how tasty these were, my family and I were in heaven eating these for dessert with coconut milk ice cream.

My adaption of  Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Ingredients
  • 6 oz (1 single-serving sized container) plain or vanilla vegan “yogurt”
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1.25 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • Nondairy milk of choice, added to the batter as needed
  • 1.5 cups of organic chocolate chips

some of my favorite ingredients that I used in the recipe:

So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt

Navitas Naturals Palm Sugar

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Hodgson Mill Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Trader Joe’s Raw Creamy Almond Butter

Pacific Unsweetned Almond Milk

Whole Foods Vegan Chocolate Chips

Spectrum Organics Coconut Spray Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat an 8″x8″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, add in the “yogurt,” oil, sugar, vanilla extract, almond butter, and molasses. Mix well.

In the same bowl, add in the flour and baking soda. As the mixture starts to thicken up/combine, add as much nondairy milk as you need (but not too much) so that the batter is mixable.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean.

Makes 16 blondies (or one giant blondie).

I encourage you to try this recipe, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. VeggieGirl can do no wrong in my vegan eyes (and stomach).

How are you embracing Earth Day (week) this year?

a significant morning.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD by clairedille on April 19, 2010

A few weeks ago, I read a post Angela wrote about her breakfast story and I took a step back to think about my own “breakfast story.” The importance of breakfast was always emphasized growing up. My mother woke up extra early to prepare carb-a-licious eats for my younger sister and I. In the last year, my mother has let me know that the pediatricians were concerned about my lack of appearance on the growth charts (both height and weight) and she was encouraged to make sure I was well fed before sent off to school each day. This was never really a problem for me considering that I have always loved my morning eats (until college). Growing up, I would eat french toast, croissants, oatmeal, and fruit as early as 6:30 a.m. and feel ready for the day ahead.

When I left for college, and without my mother’s early morning breakfast preparation, I somehow forgot the importance of this meal. Within a few months of forgoing breakfast and sticking to just lunch and dinner, it became quite obvious that I was not treating myself right. I had lost a significant amount of weight for my already petite frame and felt weak throughout the day. The removal of what I now see as one of my key rituals, made me lose a part of myself. It took me years to realize that a morning without breakfast is a morning without fuel and energy for the day ahead.

Talking with my mother about this the last few days has led to some interesting conclusions. She told me how ironic it was waking up early to make our breakfasts growing up, because she has never been one to eat that early in the day herself. This also rings true with my boyfriend, who sometimes can last an entire day without eating if he is forced to. I won’t even tell you how that would make me feel, but cranky is just one of the signs of an undernourished Claire. Obviously we all have different eating patterns and the distinction between the mental and physical aspects of hunger is a really intriguing one. I am my father’s daughter when it comes to early morning eats and I would rather eat a hearty bowl of oats with delicious toppings over nothing any day.

Then I was lucky enough to win some samples of Bob’s Red Mill Cereals from Teri last week! Her blog is so great for motivation and I am going to be doing the push up challenge she posted to up some of my arm strength. Another great series of posts she did were about her journey of becoming a fitness instructor. Fitness is truly important to me as a runner and yogi and reading others passion for staying fit and healthy is refreshing.

Usually I stick with classic rolled oats but the Steel Cut Oats were the first I were really tempted to try. A morning without almond milk is a sad one for me, but I was quickly satisfied with the realization that we had some light coconut milk in the pantry. This batch of oats was cooked for 18 minutes on the stovetop before adding thinly sliced banana, vanilla, and cinnamon for an extra two minutes.

Lastly, I topped the oats with dried cherries and the other half of the banana when they were creamy enough for consumption. These were truly yummy and kept me full for hours. I loved that what seemed like such a tiny serving of oats before cooking, turned into a completely satisfying bowl of fuel. These oats will be reserved for my weekend eats when I have more time for preparation, but I am very excited to try all the rest of the varieties this week.

Other news-

Today I went to VegFest and it was a pretty great experience. Rory Freedman, of Skinny Bitch fame gave a witty no-nonsense speech about veganism. I will be sure to share some information I obtained about vegetarianism (and veganism!) this week.

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always a veggie.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on April 8, 2010

Although I am not one to be too fond of labels, I can always say that I am a vegetarian. Over the last few years, my eats have been primarily fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. The last year of college in Boston, I spent many hours at the farmer’s markets and the ritual continued as I ventured home to New York and Michigan for the spring, summer, and fall. This past winter has proven difficult to eat local, but now as the warm weather progresses, I am yet-again counting down the days until the summer berries come from within my state. Epicurious has a great seasonal produce map but nothing beats a visit to the farmer’s market, and I can’t wait to see what local goods I can find this weekend.

A few documentaries I have seen recently:

No Impact Man

I liked the concept of trying to have as little environmental impact as possible (especially in New York City) but at some points, I felt as though he was picking and choosing his own rules on sustainability. The film doesn’t give any real suggestions on eco changes we can make in our own lives but seems more of a motive to sell his book. The part that I was most intrigued by had to do with how the relationship with his wife evolved as they worked on this goal together. She started as a woman who didn’t ever cook her own meals to someone who wanted to know where each ingredient came from and how to prepare meals to satisfy her family.

FOOD, INC.

This documentary was definitely a must-see. It exposes America to the large factory farms that are dominating the farming industry and the conditions the animals are forced to live in during their short lives. The film is a great piece of investigative journalism. The reality of food-borne illnesses and genetically modified foods is brought to our attention, and we can no longer ignore it.

The Botany of Desire

I have to admit, I am a die-hard Michael Pollan fan. His newest book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, simplifies the way we as humans should be eating for our health and our environment. The most straightforward rule is “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Years ago I read “The Botany of Desire” and loved the way it focused on how four distinct plants may have used their desirable traits to keep the species alive. The history of each plant, the apple, the potato, marijuana, and the tulip is investigated and Michael Pollan keeps us enthralled from start to finish.

Lastly, I want to share some delicious eats I have had of late.

-I have been making vegan pancakes for a while and always come back to Moby’s spelt blueberry pancakes with some banana slices added in the batter and drizzled with organic maple syrup.

-Like many other bloggers, I am loving Angela’s “In a Jiffy Spelt Burgers.”

-I ate one wrapped up with sprouts, cucumber and my favorite organic ketchup alongside a baby romaine, carrot, beet and cabbage salad drizzled in a balsamic dijon vinaigrette.

– The Early Bird Granola is the best granola I have ever tasted…and made. I have sent it to friends and family members with such excitement this past month. (sorry, this is a blackberry photo!)

-I am loving my new spiralizer from One Lucky Duck and many raw treats.

-My best Christmas present this year has inspired me to try as many raw juice combos as possible. Any favorites?

I hope to find the time to take more photos this weekend of excursions and eats. It is so great to be blogging again.