Vegan Life


Generally I have found that if it doesn’t look good, it won’t taste good. 

I decided not to view this change to a vegan diet as a deprivation of all the yummy foods I used to love, but rather as a new life wherein I am discovering new foods with even more deliciousness. 

It has rekindled my passion for food preparation. This vegan life-style requires thought, innovation, research and creativity. I am challenged to make the most satisfying dishes in the healthiest possible way. It is an adventure and a whole new world. 

For lunch today I made a sandwich that was to die for with a Marsala vegan patty, grilled onion, bell pepper, tomato, lettuce and a bit of my mock cheese sauce, all on toasted, gluten free rye bread. 

I’ve got plans for a Vegan borscht for dinner. Mmmm mmmm! 

Vegan Cheesy Dip

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I don’t know what it is, but I fecking love this stuff!

Whipped up in my high-power blender, it’s a tantalizing, body-loving blend of steamed veggies, turmeric, cashews and nutritional yeast.

Trader Joe’s organic Longboards chips are a perfect match for dipping, but I also love it atop of taco salad or a baked potato with steamed broccoli.

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I can’t say it taste a whole lot like nacho cheese but in my opinion it definitely rivals it.

This recipe is an adaption from:

Lori & Lexie’s Combo Nacho Sauce

First add:

1/3 cup cup raw cashews- place in bottom of blender and pour just enough very hot water over it to cover.

Next steam together 1 cup (overflowing) each: diced cauliflower, carrots and white or red potatoes, until tender-crisp (5-10 min.). Save steaming liquid

Meanwhile, add to blender:

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbs. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp granulated garlic (or a clove of garlic)
1/4 tsp turmeric (or a thumb of turmeric root)

Now add the steamed veggies and blend until smooth. If too thick, add a little of the steam water from the veggies until desired consistency.
Optional: Hot peppers for garnish, sprinkle with a little cumin or smoked paprika

Serve warm or cold with chips, or warm atop of favorite dish in place of cheese sauce.

Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Burgers for Breakfast

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Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burger with authentic Indian spices provided a non-traditional, warm and savory plant-based breakfast for me this morning.

Accompanied with a salad of cucumber, tomatoes and cilantro, some steamed broccoli, crisp apple slices and Mrs. Bubbles fermented sauerkraut tossed together with shredded purple cabbage. Lots of color- lots of nutrition!

 

The Eye of the Universe

I wanted that bean burrito
with warm refried beans
and mounds of sharp cheddar cheese oozing over them
I craved that bean burrito
topped with dollops of creamy white sourcream
and a handful of salty black olives
I stirred a small pot of warm the beans in mounting anticipation
proud of choosing to eat what my body seem to desire
glad that I possessed all the makings at hand

I pushed you away-
Resolutely!
Because I needed that bean burrito…
Or did I?

I pulled out my block of Tillamock cheese,
and sliced off just a small piece to pop in my mouth
So salty and savory, so good!

But you returned-
Resolutely!
Your large, sweet, deep brown eye
the eye that held the soul of the universe
piercing through decades of branding and conditioning
your eye found mine
Spanning oceans of culture and tradition
Soaring above mountains of corporate mind-rape

Slave holders, soldiers, prison guards- anyone that subjects another life knows…
cows eye1AVOID THE EYE- do not make eye contact
But your eyes drew mine-
contact was made
And they were crying
Blazing yet another “Trail of Tears”
left in the wake
of human gluttony and apathy

My soul wrestled within as the skin of my hand held the block of cheese-
This was no longer simple; one by one my arguments were extinguished
in this historical river of tears…
The cheese was no longer a beautifully wrapped, sensual morsel of deliciousness;
but an ensign of participation- to partake of this simple pleasure
Was to remain in the battalion of apathy and gluttony-
Was to partake in inhumane treatment of life!
It was to refuse the eye that bore witness to inconceivable amount of suffering

I had looked into the eye with such helplessness and despair.
Amidst a multitude of people, smiling, laughing, intrigued
People roaming about in freedom
eating, drinking, enjoying entertainment and food to the full
Holding their sacred children near
Mothers nuzzling their babes at their breasts
offering the nourishment perfectly designed for them

All the while you were held in the tight confines of a small barred-in cell
a machine relentlessly tugging on your breasts
that were meant for your babies
The crowds jostled about in their merriment, gawking on, avoiding your eyes…

Were the tears that ran from your eyes and the desperate pleading gaze
effected by a surging pain from the machine?
Or by a broken heart of your lost infant?
Or, perhaps by both?

I could bear it no longer- the farm at the fair.
I could not set you free, and I could not watch you suffer.
So I left…

But you have not left me
Your eye, streaked with tears of sorrow, burn on in my soul.

I wanted that bean burrito…
or did I?

Perhaps all I really crave now, is a bowl of warm beans,
spiced with a little hot-sauce
topped with a few chopped onions
and to cry, for you, for me, for us…

for the eye that held the universe,
and spoke into my soul
of tragedy so monstrous
Born of deadened hearts

The eye has awakened me

Stay awake my soul!

Leaves for Health and Healing

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Beautiful nature offers us all we need to not only survive, but thrive. Fruits give us energy, minerals, vitamins, fiber and hydration. But did you know that their leaves also are packed with healing properties?

Try harvesting some leaves and adding them to a pitcher of water to infuse the water with their healing properties. Or cut them in pieces, place them in a mug and add hot water to make a tea. Dry, crumble and bag some leaves for later use. Label the bags with the names of the tree leaves and what their medicinal properties are.

Whirl dry tea leaves in a coffee grinder for a powder to add to your smoothies.

For those of you who have juicers, try adding a few fruit leaves to your juices.

Leaves are often used as food wraps, though cooking them will destroy much of their benefits so eating raw wraps or adding them to salads is probably best.

When I harvest leaves, I go for branches that need trimming anyhow; the fruit needs the energy and nutrients from the leaves to develop well, so do not over pick.

*Always consume organic, unsprayed vegetation only!

The following is a list of edible leaves and some of their benefits:

Grape leaves- commonly used to make Dolmades, grape leaves are rich in vitamins A, K, C, E, B6, niacin, iron, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese. Grape leaves are mildly anti-inflammatory, and can reduce edema, treat diarrhea, stomach issues, hepatitis and gynecological problems such as excessive bleeding and/or discharge.

Fig leaves- have been acclaimed to reduce the need for insulin in diabetics. They are rich in calcium and can also be used to to lower blood pressure, treat bronchitis, lower triglyceride levels, and relieve ulcers.

Raspberry leaves-  are high in magnesium, potassium, iron and B-vitamins. Known to strengthen the uterine and pelvic muscles, red raspberry has been utilized for centuries to increase fertility, strengthen the uterine during pregnancy, ease labor and delivery, and regulate women’s menstruation.

Mulberry leaves- contain calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin c and beta carotene. This is another leaf that has been shown to help with type 2 diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels. They contain GABA which can reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, and assist in overall health of blood membranes. Some studies predict that drinking mulberry tea regularly can help reduce cholesterol.

Loquat Leaves-  are antiviral, help the body release antioxidants, assists in the bodies detoxification by aiding mucus breakdown, can increase insulin production and supports the liver.

Birch leaves- help heal mouth sores, aid in healing bladder and kidney problems and gout, and is used to heal a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis.

Hawthorne leaves- are well known for their positive affect on the cardiovascular system and have been used in treating congestive heart failure, blood pressure issues, heartbeat irregularity, angina and high cholesterol and more.

Avocado leaves-  can dissolve kidney stones and strengthen kidney function, act as a diuretic to relieve swelling, reduce blood pressure, eliminate thrush, and aid healing from colds, coughs, and asthma.

Olive leaves- may prevent cancer, reduce and/or eliminate tumors, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and slow carbohydrate digestion reducing insulin fluctuation; they are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, a treatment for arthritis and and a natural pain reliever; they can improve brain function and stimulate production of bone-building cells.

This list is just to pique your curiosity and get you started on your own research to the healing nature of leaves. What plant and trees do you have access to that are not sprayed? Do you have some of the ones listed above? Start there and do some more research on it.

Healing can be as simple as going out in your yard, picking a few leaves, rinsing them and making a tea. Mother Earth has provided the means. Use your intuition and the knowledge available to you and begin to apply the age old wisdom of Hippocrates to your life, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

You just might be amazed at how much healing power you have right outside your door.