Archive for February, 2016

I eat at restaurants rather regularly(try saying that five times fast).

So does the majority of the population anymore.  We’re just busier.  We work a lot, there are side projects that we work with, there’s a ton of stuff we do when we aren’t working.

And that can just altogether suck when it comes to healthy eating sometimes.

Think about it–years ago, we’d brown bag lunches to work with an apple and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich instead of taking a quick drive to the fast food restaurant down the street.  We’d eat a good breakfast in the morning & be home for a good dinner more often than not.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to admit that the wool has been pulled over our eyes when it comes to the food industry and the ever-growing restaurant business convincing us that they can do better than us in the kitchen.  Which, with every meal we don’t prepare in the kitchen, we start to lose our connection to the food that we eat & we put our health in the hands of people who could care less where their products come from.

If this was my office, I'd be perfectly happy. It IS my pb & j, so there was a moment of happiness.

If this was my office, I’d be perfectly happy. It IS my pb & j, so there was a moment of happiness.

Disclaimer:  there are a LOT of great places that are popping up now that utilize ethical farms & local products.  They know that health is a direct result of what we ingest.  I’m really happy that specific movement has started and that we can rely on these places as a good source for nutritious food & making a connection with the local community, as well as making friends.  I’m more referring to the box restaurants that import everything from a crazy factory halfway across the country because it costs less and they look at the bottom line while they pay no attention to their consumer’s EKG line as it spikes with high blood pressure, obesity, and far too many food-related diseases to mention.

So we go out to eat.  There’s a great amount of ethnic restaurants that have great veg options.  Thai, Indian, Rastafarian, the list goes on & on.  Usually the worse a Thai place looks on the outside, the better it is on the food yumminess & potential to make a good vegan curry in my experience.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.

Unless you’re judging by how bad it looks on the outside & guessing that the food is great, which I just told you was a good rule of thumb.  So judge away in that regard.

Before cooking, eat some sauerkraut. It's good for you & delicious. Photo credit: Katie Delaney

Before cooking, eat some sauerkraut. It’s good for you & delicious. Photo credit: Katie D

Ethiopian food is another great choice for plant-based food & it usually has easy ingredients.  That’s what makes it a great food to research & make in a short amount of time.

Here’s the cabbage dish we made for the class last week.

Take 3 rough chopped carrots, 1 chopped onion & 1/8C of oil and saute that, covered, over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until the onions are close to translucent.  I used a red onion for the pretty factor, but you can use any kind.

Oooooh.....pretty. Photo credit: Katie Delaney

Oooooh…..pretty. Photo credit: Katie D

After that, add 1/4t turmeric, 1/2t pepper, 1t salt, & half of a cabbage, chopped up.  Mix that & cover, continuing to saute for another 15 minutes.

Once that’s done, take two potatoes, cut them into small cubes & add them to the mix, covering & lowering the heat to low/medium & letting that cook for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes have gotten fork-tender.  What you should have is this:

This is what you should have. Photo credit: Katie Delaney

This is what you should have. Photo credit: Katie D

Samples are served! Photo credit: Katie Delaney

Samples are served, I might have missed the plate on one or two potatoes.  Photo credit: Katie D

So that was easy, right?  Only a few ingredients that you should have already in the kitchen.  Enjoy that while looking at these pictures of pups:

Katie's pup Abe, about to enjoy a carrot(hint: pups like carrots). Photo credit: Katie D

Katie’s pup Abe, about to enjoy a carrot(hint: pups like carrots). Photo credit: Katie D

Abe, devouring said carrot(who would've thought, considering the look he was giving it in the previous picture?). Photo credit: Katie D

Abe, devouring said carrot(who would’ve thought, considering the look he was giving it in the previous picture?). Photo credit: Katie D

Lil B & Cinder's rap album coming soon.

Lil B & Cinder’s rap album coming soon.

Remind me to never, ever, EVER take these two on a guerrilla cleanup again. Those faces may look innocent, but....

Remind me to never, ever, EVER take these two on a guerrilla cleanup again. Those faces may look innocent, but….

I said the w-a-l-k-i-e word.

I said the w-a-l-k-i-e word.

Just what I see whenever I cook. I need to do this professionally.

Just what I see whenever I cook. I need to do this professionally.

Sure, just lay by the compost bin. On the dirt. Because that's what you do. & you're still really cute at doing that.

Sure, just lay by the compost bin. On the dirt. Because that’s what you do. & you’re still really cute at doing that.

That’s it for this week.  Next week: carrot dogs, though that might be in the archives somewhere here too.  We’ll still play with it & there shall be more pup pics.

Have a groovy day!

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I didn’t really care about the Super Bowl.  I usually care because of the commercials, but even then, this year apparently the commercials were pretty tame.  I did see some of the game & that was okay, but we’re not here to talk about the sportsball stuff.

We talk about food here.

And pups.

And various other fun things.

Not sportsball.

The church that I’m doing classes at needed a vegan soup for an option for their Super Bowl party, so I accommodated happily.  It’s cool out here in Florida, so soup is really nice this time of year–specifically chili.  I love making chili because you could throw everything including the kitchen sink into it & that would be just fine.  This one I based around sweet potatoes.

Ready?  Good.

I took a chopped red onion, chopped green pepper, & a diced sweet potato(skin still on) & threw them in a large pot with just a little water in it & cooked that on a medium high heat until the onions were starting to get translucent.

Next, chop two tomatoes & throw that into the pot with the veggies.  Add about four cups of water and let that get up to a simmer over medium heat.  Once it’s simmering, add 1T Chili powder, 1t Cumin, 1/2t Cayenne, 1t Cinnamon, 1/4C tomato paste, & 4 minced cloves of garlic.  Let that simmer until the tomatoes start to break down, about 20 minutes.  Add 3C of your choice in beans(I use pinto for the most part) and let that continue to simmer until everything is nice and hot.  Add some salt & pepper to taste, and your chili is done!

If you like your chili to be more smooth, take an inversion blender & mix it around the soup for just a few pulses.  That should chop up the beans just enough to make it a more “meaty” consistency.

Such an easy recipe & I love that there are almost always leftovers that I can eat on for a week or so.

In other news, we went camping again & I made some garbanzo bean flour fries for some easy foil packets.  They were delicious to the extreme.  I found the recipe here.

FYI, don't use plastic spatulas in the super hot oil. RIP spatula.

FYI, don’t use plastic spatulas in the super hot oil. RIP spatula.

That’s pretty much it here, have a great week & next up is an Ethiopian Cabbage dish!

Here’s some pup pics:

Caught mid-yelling at me.

Caught mid-yelling at me.

 

He sits just like people.

He sits just like people.

Yeah, they seem sweet. Pay no attention to the duck toy on the floor.

Yeah, they seem sweet. Pay no attention to the duck toy on the floor.

 

I have no excuse.

I took some time off.  Working.

Well, mostly working.

Predominantly doing a combination of work, cooking, guerrilla cleanups(I’ll detail that term later), podcasting(I hope that I don’t have to detail that term for you), gardening(It’s an easy term), volunteering, outdoorsing, and hanging out with pups & friends.

See??  Podcasting!  (I totally didn't think that it would be that easy to define the term)

See?? Podcasting! (I totally didn’t think that it would be that easy to define the term)

It's not hanging out with pups until you have one four inches in front of your face staring longingly into the crumb of breakfast that's in your beard.

It’s not hanging out with pups until you have one four inches in front of your face on your lap staring longingly into the crumb of breakfast that’s in your beard.

Outdoorsing(Noun):  doing stuff outdoors.

Outdoorsing(Noun): doing stuff outdoors.

Okay, now that we’ve blown through most of the pictures for this post, let’s get to the Mac & Cheese.

Because plant-based comfort food is AWESOME.

You will need:

1 medium potato, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

2 small carrots, chopped

You should put all of that in a pot, adding just enough water to submerge the veggies.  Cover & boil that for about 15 minutes.

While all of that is happening, put this in a blender that you’re close to:

1/2C cashews

1/4C nutritional yeast

2T coconut oil

1 clove of garlic

1/4t mustard seed

1/8t paprika

1/8t pepper

1/8t cayenne(use less if you aren’t the best with heat.  I just like my mac & cheese with a little spice)

By the time you’ve accumulated the ingredients and put the precise amounts into the blender, the veggies should be fork-tender.  Add the veggies & the water it cooked in into the blender.

Then blend.

Blend for a minute or so, that should get the mixture to be pretty smooth.

From there, cook off about half of a box of pasta(around 8oz dry) to an al dente state, drain, & toss in a mixing bowl with the “cheese” mix.

That’s it. Vegan Mac & cheese. Now you can trick all of the kids into eating their veggies. If you want to have extra deliciousness, put the meal in an oven-safe pan, top it with some bread crumbs seasoned with some Italian-style seasoning & bake it until toasty on top.

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This is what it looks like in a bowl.

Now, in keeping up with tradition, here’s some pup pics:

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"That little son-of-a....He's right behind me, isn't he?"

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On their tanning bed.

Oh yeah, I was going to explain guerrilla cleanups.
Basically, it’s a quick one or two bag trash cleanup wherever it needs it(which is more often than not if you live in an urban area). I’ll break out the bike, find a site within a mile from my place(further if in a car), throw some gloves on & pick up debris. It usually takes about a half an hour to clean up an area where it’s taken months for people to trash. It’s become one of my many hobbies & I try to do these at least once a week. It beautifies the area and the trash won’t make it to the waterways, which are also cleanup sites on some days.

Because let’s face it, water is kind of an important thing.

Have a great week & I’ll try to post recipes from the classes I’ve been teaching on here!

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See?? I'm a bona fide teacher!! Also, a flyer designer!