Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a barley spin on the Waldorf Salad

this dish was inspired by a wheatberry Waldorf Salad i saw at Whole Foods today, but i'm sure any grain would taste great. eating different types of whole grains besides rice and pasta adds such a variety of flavor, texture, and nutrients to any diet. to learn more about the whole grains available to us, check out this site - Whole Grains A to Z.

this was my first time trying barley and i loved it. to me it's like a puffier, crunchier rice. i chose the hulled over the pearl barley because the hulled still has the bran layer intact, which is high in fiber. the pearl is whiter because it has been more processed and the outer shells, where many of the nutrients are, have been removed.

be sure to rinse well. to reduce cooking time, soak barley in water overnight.

here is my healthy, animal-friendly version of the Waldorf Salad:

1 C. barley, uncooked
few Tbsp olive oil to taste
1/2 to 1 C. walnuts
2 medium apples
1/2 to 1 C. dried cranberries
few handfuls of green grapes
1/8 C. apple cider vinegar
1/8 C. rice wine vinegar
1/2 C. orange juice (i used orange-tangerine Juicy Juice that i had bought for my niece)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice

bring 2 1/2 C. water to a boil. add barley, stir, and bring back to boil. cover and reduce to low. cook 40-60 minutes.

while barley is cooking, cut apples and grapes. measure out cranberries and walnuts. mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. allow barley to cool before adding fruit and liquid mixture. serve immediately or refrigerate.

this salad serves about 4.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

my square foot garden

i finally have a garden =)

the small box is my lettuce box. the plants in the big box are flowers. today i sowed baby carrot seeds in the square with the orange marker, radish seeds in the purple, and beet seeds in the red.

i will be adding more throughout the growing season. i'm so excited!

i followed a fairly easy method called square foot gardening. i highly recommend buying this book if you're interested in starting one.

my sweetie pie john not only woke me up one morning because he knew i'd love this video, he also built the boxes AND the cages for me. awww!

i'm also really excited about these babies.

the plant on the left produces small, sweet strawberries and the one on the right produces your standard strawberry. i got them both at a local garden store called Bloomers. i CAN'T WAIT to see the first berry!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a nice email i received today

Blessings Friend,

“I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Shop at your farmer’s market.
Supporting local growers is more humane for animals and more environmentally healthy!

Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
You can walk dogs, make toys, bring blankets, or just spend time with the animals.

Take a Hike
Walk or ride bikes instead of driving to local spots. You’ll save gas and get a workout.

Make Your Trash Disappear
Teach kids about composting. Bury fruit or veggie scraps in a hole in the ground -- roughly six inches deep. In a few weeks you'll see the food has returned to the earth.

Use Freecycle: it's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Enrich the Earth
Plant a garden or flowers around your home. Encourage kids to water the plants and to track their growth. Support Community Garden efforts in your neighborhood.

Be of Goodwill
If those old clothes, books and other unused household items are just taking up space, why not donate them to a shelter or Goodwill?

Spread seeds of Compassion
Make a commitment to treat all the Living Beings of Mother Earth with Respect and Compassion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

brew your own homemade tea

save money, reduce waste, and create a healthy beverage full of anti-oxidants. read the '10 health benefits of drinking tea'.

though bottled teas are tasty, most contain little brewed tea and a lot of water and sugar. this means they contain lower amounts of anti-oxidants than brewed tea. (however, bottled teas are a healthier alternative to soda or diet drinks that contain aspartame or other harmful artificial sweeteners) so drink them when you're out, but at home, brew it yourself.

simply bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. remove from heat and add 4 tea bags (tonight i tried black currants with ginger and tahitian vanilla). sweeten if you'd like with a natural sweetener, like agave nectar. pour into pitcher and refrigerate.

be sure to try different types of teas to experience a wide array of health benefits!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"end of the shopping week" 30-minute pasta

time to go food shopping? got some random veggies left in the fridge? get creative and give that produce a second chance!

this whole wheat angel hair dish with black olives, canned artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and kale with fresh basil took me less than 30 minutes to make.

i also used up the bread loaf endies and get this - i opened a can of artichoke hearts and black olives at the beginning of the week and used them in FOUR different dinners! hey, i should start an "animal-friendly eating on a budget" blog!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

asparagus quinoa

this is one of my favorites!

(recipe from an article on Susan Voison, the creator of

Asparagus Quinoa
makes 6 servings

1 C quinoa - RINSED
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. veggie broth
4 sundried tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (McCormick makes it and they sell it at Wegman's. It has a great flavor!)
2 C. sliced portobello mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp red bell pepper, chopped (optional)

Rinse quinoa using a fine mesh strainer. Toast quinoa in saucepan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add remaining ingredients except asparagus, chick peas, lemon juice, and red pepper. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat. Cook 10 minutes. Add chick peas and asparagus. Cover and cook 8 more minutes. Stir in lemon juice and red pepper.

quinoa pita with greens

this was so so good! i used leftover asparagus quinoa to fill a toasted whole wheat pita. the greens are a field mix topped with artichoke hearts, olives, and pine nuts, with sliced avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.

quick, easy, healthy, and DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

because all life is precious...especially yours!

this is the beginning of a movie that helped changed my perception of food.

"Eating is the biggest cause of disease, disabilities, and death in the U.S. today. "

believe it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

peanut butter cups

makes 12 mini cups

(i found this recipe here)

1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter + 2 Tbsp to add to chocolate (i like 365 brand but any natural brand will work)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

line mini muffin pan with 12 mini cupcake holders.

mix PB, vanilla, salt (i like 2 pinches, the saltier it is the more it tastes like Reese's to me), then add powdered sugar. roll mixture into 12 balls (i weigh mine out to 15 grams on a scale), place on waxed paper, and set aside.

melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring often. add 2 Tbsp PB and mix well.

pour 1 tsp chocolate mixture into liners and spread to the top of the liners, coating entire inside (i use a new cheap paint brush but you can use the back of a spoon). place in fridge to harden.

when chocolate has hardened, re-roll pb balls and place in cups. re-rolling warms the ball and allows it to spread nicely into the cup.

spoon about one tablespoon chocolate on top to cover (more or less, depending on your muffin cups). refrigerate or place in freezer. ready to serve when top hardens. (it's best to eat them straight out of the freezer or fridge since the chocolate tends to stick to the paper at room temp.)

vegan sugar cookies

makes about 22 cookies

3/4 cup earth balance vegan buttery sticks
1 cup organic sugar
2 egg replacers*
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

make 2 egg replacers by whisking the following together until foamy:
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 T flour
6 T water

take butter out of fridge a few hours before to soften. in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer 5-6 minutes. add vanilla, then slowly add egg replacers.

add salt, baking powder, and slowly add flour. don't mix too much, just enough so you don't see any more white powder. combine to form a dough. cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

bake cookies at 350 for 9-10 minutes or until golden.


1 T melted earth balance
1 T non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
coconut or any non-dairy milk

combine ingredients. add coconut milk to reach desired consistency (thin enough to spread on cookie with a spoon).


Saturday, April 11, 2009

thin crust vegan pizza

tomato sauce:
(enough for 2 pizzas)

saute 1 Tbsp olive oil in pan over med hight heat. add 3 cloves garlic.

1 28 oz can La Fede Italian Style Jersey Grown crushed tomatoes (or whichever brand you prefer)
1 6 oz can tomato paste (i used Cento and found it to be tasty)
pinch salt
herbs (fresh basil, dried rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage)
2 cloves garlic

makes one medium, thin crust pie

2 tsp (half packet) active dry yeast with 3/4 cup warm water

let stand 10 minutes. then add 1 Tbsp sugar.

2 C. flour (i use 1 C. whole grain flour, 1 C. unbleached all purpose)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

add yeast mixture and oil to dry ingredients. combine using a wooden spoon. lightly flour counter top and hands and knead dough about 10 minutes. dough is ready when it is smooth and elastic. (i learned how to knead by watching this video). form a ball. turn oven on 400. place ball in oven on baking sheet and allow to sit until oven reaches 250. remove dough ball and roll out to fit oiled baking sheet or pizza pan.

heat 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. remove and allow to cool. brush olive oil on the edges (optional), add toppings (sauce and veggies) and bake another 10 minutes on 450. (my pizza is topped with canned artichoke hearts and black olives)
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