Monday, June 29, 2009

plant progress

i'm not sure if i let my lettuce go too long or if they bolted because of the warmer weather, but my lettuce box looked a mess today! i was a bad gardener and neglected them the past few days. they looked so bad that i was ashamed to take a pic. =/

on a happy note, i harvested a large amount of lettuce and was able to share with the neighbors. (i need to get one of those scales that granny has to track the weight of my produce!) i know the lettuce will probably be on the bitter side but i read online that keeping it in the fridge a day or two will help that.

red sails, romaine, and gourmet bibb

i have a few of these peppers on the plant and some more blooms.


one of my cucumber plants striking a pose


and one of its flowers


this tomato plant had a broken stem. i repotted it and after a few days it was well again. i liked admiring it in the window as i did the dishes, but i said to myself that i'll start hardening it off once it touches the top of the window. i was like a sad mom watching her child frolic off to school for the first time. this was it's last day inside.


it did fine once i put it outside, and even started to bloom!


the Milky Way morning glory reached the top of the vine. i wonder if it will climb to the opposite end of the trellis.



here is one of the milk way blossoms all snuggled up for the night.
see the heart? i'll take this as a sign that my garden loves me =)





the Pearly Gate morning glories tucked in for bed



the new marigolds


a pretty flower shot


i wonder if any of these 4th of july's will hold true to its name and ripen by saturday!


sugar snap peas


the carrots are ready to come out, but i'm going to pick them thursday to make carrot cupcakes for the 4th.


we got a new composter from the city for only $30.


our other one is almost filled to the top.


one of my volunteer workers


********

salad made from lettuce harvest




Sunday, June 28, 2009

lily cookie bouquet

our friends mike and pam are expecting a baby girl, lilianna grace, in august. in honor of blooming baby lily, i made this cookie bouquet for pam's shower.




i also created a slideshow of the process. hope you enjoy it! =)








did i mention the cookies are ANIMAL-FRIENDLY?!?!?
(yup! no eggs, dairy or cholesterol in these babies!)
i'm taking orders if anyone in the area is interested.

********

to make the bouquets i followed the very helpful tutorials at Karen's Cookies.
this image was the inspiration for the lily cookies,
and i bought the cookie cutter from TinCrafts.
click for vegan sugar cookie recipe.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

ripe for the picking







smoothie:
1 sliced apple
1 sliced frozen banana
2 handfuls frozen strawberries
coconut/almond/hemp/rice milk
juice of 1/2 a lemon
fresh mint

blend, adding milk or purified water to desired consistency.
enjoy!
=)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

here comes the sun...

after many rainy days, today we enjoyed some sunshine.
the flower gina (aka mommy) gave me finally bloomed.
my plants were very happy.
this was them earlier.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

sprouts a-mung us

*how to sprout your own mung beans*

you will need:
1/2- 2/3 C. mung beans
cheese cloth, nylon, or tulle
large open-mouthed jar
a rubber band


rinse and soak mung beans in cool water for at least 12 hours.


pour beans in jar and cover with cheese cloth (or a piece of unused nylon or tulle) and a rubber band.


drain, rinse, repeat.


place your jar upside down in a cool (70° -ish) low-lit area.
rinse and drain your beans every 8-12 hours.


they should begin to sprout in about 2 days. the sproutage you see pictured is after 4 days.


store sprouts in fridge.
add to salads, soups, sandwiches, or veggie rolls.
(click here for more ideas)

***

here's a yummy creation i came up with myself =)


so easy to make!
simply combine 1 C. each chickpeas, black beans, and mung sprouts with fresh mint, cilantro, olive oil, and sea salt.


serve warm, chilled, or over some grains, like red quinoa.

♫ beans, beans, they're good for your heart...♫

=)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

c.a.t.e. pasta


c.hickpeas
a.sparagus
t.omatoes
e.ggplant

over brown rice spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and basil.
yummmyy.
=)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

kale-llelujah!

an animal-friendly source of calcium and protein


numerous sources cite kale as an excellent source of calcium. according to an article over at ellen's kitchen, when comparing the absorption of calcium from kale and milk, kale scored higher at 40.9% to milk at 32.1.%. so while dairy does contain large amounts of calcium, the calcium is not absorbed as well as that found in leafy green vegetables.

i've also read that kale is a great source of antioxidants, fiber, iron, and vitamins A, C, E, and K and that kale also contains cancer-fighting phytonutrients.

cashews and other nuts are said to be a good source of protein and lots of minerals. a quarter-cup of cashews supplies:
  • 38.0% of the daily recommended value for copper
  • 37.4% of the daily recommended value of monounsaturated fat (aka "good fat")
  • 22.3% of the daily recommended value for magnesium (which is said to help headaches)
i do not know the nutritional value of dried cranberries, but i do know they are 100% delicious. =)

********

to make the scrumptious salad pictured above you will need:

1 bunch of kale
1/2 C. cashews
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 C. or less olive oil
few Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (to your liking)

preparation:

remove stems from kale and chop. add ingredients and "massage" with clean hands for a few minutes (which means mush and squeeze all the stuff together). this helps soften the kale and blend all the flavors (kale can be a bit chewy). you can serve right away, but i think this salad tastes better after a few hours in the fridge, after the flavors have had time to "meld" (thanks, A! =)

variations:

use almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts instead of cashews and raisins in place of dried cranberries.

other ideas for serving kale:

(found these here)
  • Sauté kale with fresh garlic and sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil before serving.
  • Braise chopped kale and apples. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.
  • Combine chopped kale, pine nuts and tomato with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.
  • The taste and texture of steamed kale makes it a wonderful topping for homemade pizzas.

Friday, June 19, 2009

goodbye, seasonal allergies!

i think i may have cured my seasonal allergies with organic, plant-based eating.

for as long as i can remember, every spring and fall i'd suffer miserably from sinus pain, itching, headaches, congestion, and eventually end up with a nasty cough. not the case this spring, and i've been spending much more time outdoors (with my face stuck in a garden).


********

i do occasionally get itchy and sneezy from pollen and dust, but my neti pot takes care of that.

you can purchase one of these babies virtually anywhere for around 15 dollars.


if you've never tried a neti pot, i strongly suggest you look into it. it's a wonderful tool to help you rinse the nasty stuff from your nasal passage. yes, it's a little uncomfortable, but it's only a few minutes - much better than feeling crappy for days!

********

so here is my theory (but don't take my word for it - educate yourself on what you are eating!):

a healthy system can fight off allergens more easily. non-organic products contain pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other unnatural substances which are toxic to the system. a system fighting toxins from what you eat and drink will not be prepared to fight off other intruders like bacteria, viruses, dust, or pollen.

consuming milk and other dairy products is not natural after childhood. i'm sure you've heard it before, but humans are the only mammals that drink milk after being weened from our mothers (from another species better yet). in my opinion, it would be more natural for us to drink human breast milk in a glass then milk from a cow.

anyway, our bodies treat cows' milk as an invader. milk is a secretion of fluids from animals' breasts that sometimes includes pus and blood. your body fights off anything that is foreign. a secretion from another breed, filled with chemicals and other substances, is foreign. period.

they say not to drink milk when you are sick - it may cause your body to produce more mucous. the mucous traps allergens in your nasal passage and throat. it's like a sticky trap for the pollen and dust in the air (think of those sticky bug traps). when your body is attacked by foreign substances , it naturally fights off the intruders, producing more mucous. end result - a stuffy, itchy, runny upper-respiratory system trying to purge itself of nasty allergens!

"but what about calcium and vitamin D?"

where do you think the cow gets vitamins and minerals? from plants! i have read from many sources that dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beans, and some nuts and seeds are great sources of calcium. calcium is also found in a wide variety of fruits and veggies.

our bodies are designed to obtain vitamin D through sun exposure. many brands of milk alternatives are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, like organic Rice Dream, which claims to have the same amount of calcium as cows' milk!

"then how will i prevent osteoporosis?"

the highest rates of osteoporosis are said to be in populations that consume a lot of animal products. "The correlation between animal protein [intake] and fracture rates in different societies is as strong as that between lung cancer and smoking," says T. Colin Campbell, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University. yikes! too much phosphorus (found in high amounts in soft drinks) can also cause calcium to be lost from the bones.

many sources say the best way to prevent osteoporosis is engaging in regular exercise and eating a wide variety of mineral-rich foods.

really, it's time we stop TREATING our ailments and start PREVENTING them!

here are some more links you may find useful:

Say So Long to Seasonal Allergies, Naturally

Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

Why Milk Won't Prevent Osteoporosis

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Got Osteoporosis?

Calcium and Milk


A Look At Dairy

and if you haven't seen this video, watch it! it could change your life.



do your own research. make changes to your diet and observe how your body reacts. make your own informed decisions. (beware of information and sites that are backed by the all-powerful dairy and pharmaceutical industries!) it's time we stop relying on the medical industry and their side-effect producing pills and start taking care of ourselves.

ok, i'm off my soapbox now =)

just know i do this for two reasons:

1) i love you and want you to be happy and healthy and feel your best

2) i love animals and want them to live freely without suffering and pain

it's a transition, i know. it took me more than a year and i'm still not there 100%. but this information and the video above really helped me and i hope it helps you. =)
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