Friday, January 26, 2007


Dear Friends,

Kleopatra sent this petiton to me, and I forwarded it on to some of you individually, and decided to put this out for everyone else who hasn't seen it yet....

Can you believe that in just two years from now, a new president
will be inaugurated?

As candidates from all parties are throwing their hats in the
ring, NOW is the time to take action. Unless we have a leader
who is committed to solving our global warming crisis, the
consequences could be dire - and irreversible.

The stakes have never been higher, which is why the League of
Conservation Voters is launching their biggest campaign yet.
They need us.

Join me in helping to put 100,000 signatures on a petition
demanding for global warming solutions from U.S. presidential

Sign the Heat is On petition by clicking HERE

Now, I'm off to continue planning my daughter's 4th birthday party. She is crazy about sharks! So, I'm making a "pin the fin on the shark" game, shark puppets, shark cake, shark chopsticks, etc!! Wish you all could join us for a bite!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Coconut, Celeraic, & Cookbook

These are 'Banana-Coconut Muffins' from VegCooking (recipe here). These muffins are fabulous! Art, Abigail, and I gobbled them all up as soon as they cooled. The banana makes them super-moist and I put some tin foil on top towards the end so the coconut wouldn't toast beyond my liking. Art put Earth Balance on his, while Abi and I ate ours plain. Liv refused to try them even though they looked suspiciously like cupcakes --- specifically VwaV's 'Coconut Heaven Cupcakes' (pg. 227). If you're a coconut lover like myself, you gotta try these recipes.

'Vicki's Celeraic Lentil Soup'
1 Celery Root, peeled & cubed
5 Carrots, cleaned & sliced
5 Serrano Peppers, minced
7 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 lb. Green Lentils, washed & I found a rock!
2 tsp. Curry Powder
2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/4 tsp. Cardamom
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
8 C. H2O

In a stockpot, saute the garlic and Serrano in olive oil over medium heat. Add the celeraic, carrots, & spices and saute a bit longer. Add the water, lentil, & parsley and put the lid on. Bring to an almost boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or more. Garnish with some fresh parsley.

Yeaah, the library emailed me saying that 'Healthy At 100' was returned and waiting for me. Since reading the John Robbins interview by Joseph Connelly in VegNews (52), I've been wanting to read this book. Other than the dishes, this is my agenda tonight. Here's the Contents:
1. The World's Healthiest and Longest Lived Peoples
2. Our Food, Our Lives
3. The Body-Mind Connection
4. Why Your Love Matters
5. The Human Spirit

And, look at my new & pretty cookbook! In (yet another article) inside VegNews (51), they review the author's organic farm bed & breakfast near Victoria B.C. In the article, Matthias gives her recipe for 'Sweet Pepper Coconut Corn Chowder' which I tried, and it was so scrumptious that I had to get the cookbook. There are several recipes I'm looking forward to. Has anybody stayed at the Phoenix Organic Farm? I've always wanted to see the Butchart Gardens, which I guess is 10 minutes away.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I saw Al Gore

This year will be marked by two events for my hometown. If you're a football fan, then you might know that BSU recently won the Fiesta Bowl. I'm not a football fan, but I really love Mother Earth, so I was thrilled to learn that former VP Al Gore would deliver the keynote address at the 23rd annual Frank Church Conference on Public Affairs. I was on the edge of my seat (aisle chair of the 6th row with an unobstructed view in a crowd of 10,000) hearing a message very similar to his famous movie only updated with more statistics and findings from the year. It also incorporated issues relevant to the Northwest and facts about specific climate related incidents in Idaho, such as flooding, droughts and forest fires. The impact of this important and crucial subject combined with the excitement of seeing Al Gore was a bit overwhelming for me. He is a powerful and dynamic speaker -- fluctuating between jokes and alarming facts while offering fantastic hope at an opportunity to respond to this call to action and solve the problem before it's too late. Since seeing the movie and reading the book, I've had deep feelings about his issue -- some may call me fanatical, but I wonder if it is possible to care too much about this? Proven science projects catastrophic events within my daughters' lifetimes. This is a completely terrifying & paralyzing thought for me. Where to begin? It's frustrating when most of my friends haven't even been motivated enough to go see the movie. But Gore urges us not to go straight from denial to despair -- skipping the the key middle component of doing something about the problem -- action. Small decisions matter when you multiply them by a thousand, million, 10 million.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Warming Soups & Global Warming

We were hanging out with a most excellent friend when he presents the question. Can you name the beans for 15 Bean Soup? He then pulls out his partial list and checks it as we rattle off bean varieties that come to mind. We never completed the list, but it did prompt Art to buy a bag of 15 Bean Soup. We agreed on all the ingredients, and I prepared the soup as planned. The night before, I soaked the beans. I remember my mom doing that, so the tradition lives on and I also enjoy the anticipation of soup the next day. How many beans can you name?


10 med. carrots
1 bunch kale
1 bunch Italian parsley
4 small leeks
2 medium onions
3 Serrano peppers
5 small garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups water
3 vegan bouillon cubes
1 pound 15 (or more!) varieties of beans

Place beans in a large pot, cover with water, and soak overnight. After soaking, drain water, add 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3 hours. While this is happening, prep your vegetables. Then, heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the garlic, onion, and pepper and saute until almost translucent. Add the leaks and carrots saute more. At this point & in this order, I put the beans, sauteed vegetables, bouillon cubes, kale & parsley in the Slow Cooker on low for 8 hours. I seasoned mine with sea salt, and needed nothing more. Art discovered that for him adding ketchup and mustard was the perfect taste sensation!

Art's Mom gave me this silicone loaf pan for Christmas, so I tried it out on 'Pumpkin Raisin Loaf' from
TEV (pg. 169). Instead of kamut flour I used white along with vanilla soy milk and golden raisins. Delicious! The pan is refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and oven safe. Has a quick-release, non-stick surface that cooks quickly. It's also dishwasher and metal utensil safe. Love it, thanks Char!

This is 'Chickpea Broccoli Casserole' from
VwaV (pg. 96). It was really good. I ate it all myself over a 3 day period. Nope, I didn't get any help at all eating this one. But, I think my family would enjoy it with a crafty disguise -- like phyllo, samosas, tacos, pita bread, sandwiches, pizza, or something along those lines. Or, I could just continue to keep it to myself!

This soup was inspired and modeled from 'Curried Lentil, Potato, and Cauliflower Soup' from Vegetarian Soups for all Seasons Bountiful Vegan (pg. 73) Though
Nava may not recognize it because there are several changes:
I used red lentils instead of brown/green
I used 2 lg. leeks, leaving out the celery
I used kale, omitting the spinach
I also skipped the tomatoes

I ate many bowls of this soup! Art liked it too.

Here is just one of Dan Piraro's brilliant cartoons concerning the state of our planet. I share his and many of your reactions & sentiments toward Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." So you can imagine my overwhelming emotions holding the ticket below in my hands.....

January 22, I will hear Al Gore speak at 7 pm. "Global Warming --- Beyond The Inconvenient Truth" I CAN NOT wait. After seeing the movie & reading book, I'm anxious for the "Beyond" part. Beyond the facts and shocking truth, and on to solutions and some encouraging words for this fragile planet of ours. It is true, Gore would make his point more effectively if he was a vegetarian, but I can certainly overlook it because he seems to be the only powerful person in the US who gives a damn about this issue. That said, do you think he will mention the "V" word? Will he mention that
possibly the most powerful step we can take as individuals to avert global warming is to stop consuming animal products? We'll see... And regardless, I'd like to say to Al (if he's lurking!) "Welcome to my home town, Former Vice President & World Leader on Global Warming!"

Friday, January 12, 2007

Restaurant Review: Native Foods (Costa Mesa)

I never told you about our latest trek to California. I took Julie Hasson, Vivacious Vegan, and Bazu's advice and ate at Native Foods (Costa Mesa). Thank you so much for that tip! What an awesome restaurant! Its: 100% vegan, organic, waste conscious, animal loving, good cooking restaurant! With our California connections (Art's a CA native, UCI alumni, and I lived there for 13 years) it's hard to believe this was our first time eating here. We have a lot of eating to catch up on at Native Foods, and this is how we begin...

First, here's a weird thing about my husband, If a restaurant has a Veggie Jerk Burger on the menu, Art will always order it the first time he eats there. Native Foods does have a
Jerk Burger ($7.50) on the menu, and this was our first time at Native Foods, so to the left you see The Jerk. If I remember right, he ordered the Thai Coleslaw, but they gave him french fries instead. I shared my salad with him and he celebrated the "mistake" with some Organic Annie's Ketchup. Art liked his meal, though he said he'd probably order something else next time. He always does.

As for me, I'm not just a jerk, I'm full-on Seitan. With that in mind, I ordered the California French Dip ($8.95) Thinly sliced roast seitan, caramelized onions, avocado on an organic French roll with au jus to dip, and I ordered the Thai Cole Slaw (gratefully received!). I was never a fan of French dip sandwiches as a meat eater, and don't miss them, but I really enjoyed this sandwich. The bread was soft and warm and held up to several dips in the au jus pool. The salad was fresh and tasty. I browsed through my newly purchased Native Foods cookbook as we waited for the food whilest sipping a Native Iced Tea (yeaah, that recipe is also in the cookbook!)

This last photo is included for Teresa, who suggested I go to Follow Your Heart Cafe in Canoga Park. Another big thank you for that suggestion. It's one of the last remaining co-ops in LA, and has a Cafe that was voted one of the 8 best restaurants in LA by Vegetarian Resource Group. A special award (& thanks!) goes to Bazu for the longest list of LA vegan restaurant recommendations (I printed it & keep it handy in my purse). The biggest disappointment of the visit was that we ran out of time and couldn't go South to visit Kleo -- next time, it's Kung Food or bust!
Remember, you are what you eat! :o)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Gingerbread Bears

3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 C. brown sugar (packed)
3/4 C. earth balance (cut in small pieces)
1/4 C. unsulfured molasses
1/4 C. rice syrup
Ener-G for 1 egg (prepare as per pkg.)

Stir flour, baking soda, salt, & spices together. In another large bowl, mix Earth Balance & sugar until smooth. Add molasses, rice syrup, and Ener-G and mix well and combine with the dry mixture. Take the dough out of bowl & shape it into a large disk. Wrap in plastic wrap.

Chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350* Lightly grease cookie sheet. Roll out dough to 1/8" thickness & cut out shapes. Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool before transferring.

Clean up the kitchen...

...and enjoy!

We pressed some currant eyes in our bears before cooking and really didn't feel the need to frost them. They were crunchy-good and not sugary-sweet. Just right.