Friday, December 17, 2010

Genetically Modified Foods Scare Me

Why does our food have to be so horror movie like?
I just read this article on GMOs at PlanetGreen. Enviropigs? Are you kidding me? Soon there won't be anything left to eat that is not some kind of science project.
I'll take my apples nicely and naturally browned, thank-you very much.

Here is a page with downloadable guides with tips for avoiding GMOs and lists of brands that are GMO-free.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vegetarian Chili Takes Top Prize in Contest

Now, this is isn't exactly breaking news or anything. The chili contest happened way back in the summer. I had heard some rumours about it, but hadn't actually seen an article or anything until now, and even better, there is a link to the winning recipe in the article! The only non-vegan ingredient is 1/2 cup of cheese. I am going to try it with some Daiya vegan cheese and a little nutritional yeast instead and see how it turns out. It looks like a really yummy recipe - Indian style vegetarian chili.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Website with (Healthy!) Holiday Recipes

The blog is called Keeper of the Home. I am impressed enough with it that I am considering ordering both of her books.

The post that was passed along to me today is titled Real Food Recipe Roundup: 398 Wholesome Recipes. This is not a vegan blogger or post, but there is definitely some vegan recipes involved and some great information on healthy and natural eating. I have only scratched the surface of this blog post. Immediately I found the link to How to Make Your Own (Unrefined) Powdered Sugar and cannot believe how easy it is. Whoo-hoo!

I still need to make non-vegan meals for my non-vegan family, so I am sure I will also find a few things to make for my family that I will not partake in myself.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Update: What I Brought for Thanksgiving Dinner

Do you remember way back in this post, when I told you what I was thinking of making to bring a long to my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner? I ended up making the Pumpkin Pie Brownies.

They were good enough, but I had to substitute some items to make it gluten free as my mil has celiac disease, and I think it could have been much tastier made as it was meant to be made.

I also took along Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Grapefuit (125 Best Vegan Recipes). The first time I made this I wasn't sure I liked the taste combo, but after a couple bites, I was hooked and it is one of my favorites to make now.

In order to make this, you need to start by making a batch of Pickled Pink Onion Relish (125 Best Vegan Recipes). It is super simple to make and I add the leftovers to salads, veggie dogs and wraps for about a week afterwards.

Pickled Pink Onion Relish (125 Best Vegan Recipes)

makes about 1 1/2 cups

6 c water
1 tsp salt
1 red onion, cut in half from stem to root then crosswise and thinly sliced
1/2 c seasoned rice vinegar

1. In a pot over high heat, bring water and salt to a boil. Add onion and return to a boil. Drain and immediately transfer to a nonreactive container. Add vinegar and toss to coat evenly.

Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled and deep pink.

Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Grapefruit (125 Best Vegan Recipes)

Makes 4-6 servings


2 c water
1 tsp salt
1 c quinoa, washed, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp granulated natural cane sugar or other dry sweetener
1/2 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 red grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and each section cut into thirds
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/3 c Pickled Pink Onion Relish (see recipe above)


1. In a pot, bring water and salt to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa, stirring to prevent lumps from forming, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until it reaches room temperature. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together mint, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil. Add grapefruit pieces, avocado and onion relish and toss lightly to coat. Spoon over quinoa, letting dressing drizzle down through the salad. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Old Farm Market outside Duncan, B.C., Canada

I know we've already had Halloween and Thanksgiving, but I don't want to miss sharing these things. I'm sorry I am late.

Back in October, hubby and I attended a conference in Victoria, B.C., Canada. In grade 9, I went to a boarding school in Duncan, B.C., which is about an hour north of Victoria. I had been hoping to get back and see my old stompin' grounds someday and we were so close, so before we headed home, hubby made sure we had time to go up and see my old school. We couldn't get a hold of someone to officially set up a visit, so we just showed up and hoped we could walk around a little. Well, goodness me, we happened to pull in on Sunday afternoon about 10 minutes before they started an open house event! We were the first ones there so we were honored to receive a full tour of the facilities from the current head girl. It was pretty awesome to not only re-visit my past, but also to be able to share a piece of such a memorable part of my life with my husband.

After we left, I was hoping to find a vegetarian style place to eat, but considering almost everything seemed to be closed on a Sunday out there, I think we were lucky to find anything to explore at all. We did end up finding this great market just outside Duncan right off the highway. It was just so quaint and full of country charm. I would love to be a "regular" at a place like this. I hope that those Duncan shoppers don't take The Old Farm Market for granted. We picked up some snacks for the ride back to Victoria to hold us off until we found a restaurant to eat at.

There was an absolutely huge pile of pumpkins outside. I found it funny that there was a sign saying, "No Climbing Pumpkin Pile. Thanks, Management".

I thought, "Who would climb on a pumpkin pile?!?" Well, I guess I must be totally naive, maybe because I am the mother of only girls, but 1 minute later we hopped into our rental car and what did I see as we were pulling out? Two boys climbing up the pumpkin pile!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meeting Brendan Brazier, author of Thrive

Do you remember this summer when I was a part of the Vega Smoothie – Where Will Your Smoothie Take You Photo Contest? I won lots of Vega Smoothie. It was a life saver on some of the trips I have taken this year where not so much vegan food, or not so much healthy food was available.

The creator of this smoothie product is Brendan Brazier, but he is also a vegan, a triathlete (superstahhh!), and author. I was so excited to find out he was going to be visiting my local Planet Organic store to give a talk this past Thanksgiving weekend (Canada’s Thanksgiving is in October by the way). After cancelling Thanksgiving plans to be there, I almost didn’t get in to the talk, because I had thought that there was no reserving seats (but there was). There was a lengthy wait-list, but I got there early, and stubbornly insisted on waiting just outside the door instead of wondering around until the start when they would find out if there were no-shows. I got in, but got standing room at the back of the tiny room. The downer part was that the room was quite hot and crowded and so there was a portion in the middle of the talk where I thought I was pretty close to passing out, but I made it through. There were also a couple people in chairs that were complaining that they were claustrophobic and that the people standing were making them uncomfortable. That got a few people upset on both sides.

However, the important part – the talk from Brendan Brazier, was great and I also got a picture with him and a signed copy of his book. His talk was mostly a summary of his book, which was fine with me, as I hadn’t read the expanded version of the book yet, just the tiny version that was out when he first published the book. The part that was really interesting for me was the question period. People asked about so many different types of things that it was like skimming ten different books in half an hour – more than enough information if you are not so interested in the topic, but just enough to whet the appetite if something is brought up that you didn’t know about before. Someone brought something up about Chinese beliefs and food either heating or cooling your body. There is a desirable “temperature” to be at to keep your body balanced. Don’t know anything about that topic – so forgive me if I massacred the description, but I definitely plan on learning more and sharing about that.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Coming Up...

Wow! Has it really bee almost 2 months since posting?

I can’t imagine having any more crazy stuff happen to me (none of it is food or vegan related), so I should be able to post with some regularity now? I have so many posts saved up. I have material at least until Christmas. (smile) For simplicity sake, I will not post my “events” in chronological order, but just post whatever back-logged post is easiest to do for each particular day. I have been to Victoria, B.C., Canada and to Shanghai and Beijing in China and also San Francisco in the last few months, so I have lots of vegan adventures to share. Stay tuned.