Sunday, February 28, 2010
Yes, I know..this blog is about adventures in the kitchen, but I saw this and felt compelled to share it with you!
In this age of instant messaging, texting and email, we seldom remember the thrill of going to the post box and finding a handwritten letter or postcard. The anticipation of receiving a letter from your loved one or a birthday card from Grandma with those coveted $10 bills was very high at one point in our lives.
So, here it is. The POSTCARDEN the most ingenious and eco-friendly greeting card I have ever come across! So, what's all the ruckus about, you ask?
POSTCARDEN combines gift and greeting card to create a fun and simple pop-out card that transforms into a mini living garden. This is such a perfect way to brighten up any workplace or home. It is enjoyable for all ages all year round - send one to a friend or all of them! Once grown, the garden will keep for 2 to 3 weeks!
You can choose from 3 designs: Allotment, Botanical or City. Watch the amazing video!
Stand out from the crowd and send a PostCarden today!!!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I hope you are having a happy and sunny Monday! It is raining and grey in my neck of this woods, but that won't stop me from spreading the good news about Meatless Monday. I hope you enjoy today's recipes!!
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 1/2 cups kalamata olives,
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
fresh-flat-leaf parsley sprigs, to garnish
pita bread, to serve
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped fresh cliantro
salt and pepper
To make the dressing, put all the ingredients for the dressing into a large bowl and mix well together.
Add the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, and cilantro. Toss all the ingredients together, then divide among individual
serving bowls. Garnish with parsley springs and serve with pita bread.
1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for brushing
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
4 oz. white mushrooms, finely chopped
15 oz. canned pinto or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
all-purpose flour, for dusting
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or
until softened. Add the garlic, coriander, and cumin and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl.
Put the beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Stir into the mushroom mixture with the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the broiler to medium-high. Divide the mixture equally into the 4 portions, dust lightly with flour, and shape into flat, round patties. Brush with oil and cook under the broiler for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve in hamburger buns with salad.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Are you hungry for change? If so, listen up!! I recently watched the movie "Food Inc" this Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary opened my eyes to the great disconnect between industrialized society and the food we eat. This movie exposes the "dirty secrets" behind the American food industry and how a few multinational corporations control what is produced, how it is produced and what ends up in your table.
As a fast-food nation and consumers of such food, there is a high demand for these corporations to produce "super sized" chickens kept in crowded conditions and fed antibiotics, tomatoes and soybeans that are resistant to herbicides and meat that have been the cause of new strains of E.coli, causing 73,000 illness per year.
As a vegan, although I do not consume these foods, I believe it is important to understand these issue which affect our friends, our families and our nation. It is better to be an informed consumer so we can make intelligent choices when it comes to food. So please spread the word to your colleagues, friends, neighbors about this amazing movie!
Click Food Inc. for more information.
If you would like to watch the movie, you can rent it or buy online on demand at Amazon.com, this is what I did. (Disclaimer:
I am not getting paid to advertise for this company!)
Watch the Food Inc. Movie Tralier Below!!
FOOD, INC.: Movie Trailer - Celebrity bloopers here
Keep on learning and sharing the wealth that is knowledge!!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Hello there!! It's Meatless Monday and I am sharing with you this delicious recipe loaded with herbs and vegetables. This recipe serves 4 people and will make you crave summer time with its colorful appearance.
Garlic and Herb Marinated Vegetable Kabobs
4 shallots, halved lengthwise
1 fenel bulb, trimmed, quartered, and separated into 8 pieces
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 8 pieces
2 small yellow squash or zucchini, cut into 8 chunks
8 small white mushrooms
1 cup Garlicky Herb Marinade (The recipe for this can be found below)
Place the shallots, fennel, bell pepper, squash and mushrooms in a medium-size bowl. Pour the marinade over all, turning the vegetable to coat with the marinade. Set aside for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Preheat the grill, broiler or oven. Thread one piece of each vegetable on 8 skewers and cook on an indoor or outdoor grill, or place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cook under the broiler or in a preheated 450 degrees F oven. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, turning once. Serve hot over freshly cooked rice.
Garlicky Herb Marinade
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup tamari or other soy sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh chevril leaves (You can use 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves, if you can't find chevril)
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, tamari, olive oil, vinegar and salt. Whisk until well blended. Stir in the tarragon, basil and chervil or parsley. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Be sure to use this marinade the same day you make it to ensure the fresh taste of the herbs.
Makes about 1 cup.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
It is cold in the North and I was in the mood for something hot today. So today, I will share a Thai recipe with you all (Yum puk grob) in the hopes that it will keep you warm.
This recipe serves 4.
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 bunch of scallions, coarsely chopped
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, halved
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks
1-small head broccoli, cut into florets
2 oz. baby corn, halved lengthwise
2 oz. canned water chestnuts, drained
1 tbsp red curry paste
8 oz. rice flat rice stick noodles, (linguine can also be used)
4 tbsp sesame seeds
Directions: Heat the oil in a preheated wok. Add the scallions, ginger, and lemongrass and stir-fry over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add the carrots, broccoli, and baby corn and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften. Add the water chestnuts and curry paste and stir well, then stir-fry for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Discard the lemongrass.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes until just tender, or according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pan. Add the sesame seeds and toss to coat.
Add the noodles to the stir-fry vegetables and serve immediately.
Happy Adventures in the Kitchen!
Monday, February 8, 2010
In honor of Meatless Monday, I am posting this Vegetarian Paella recipe. Check out Meatless Monday to learn more about their initiative and to find delicious recipes.
Preparation time: 1 hour
The green, red, and yellow bell peppers add a vibrant splash of color to the pale rice, while the tangy artichoke hearts, delicate peas, and juicy tomatoes add flavor and nutrients.
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz) olive oil
5 cloves minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cups (32 fl. oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (16 oz) rice
4 medium tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 cup (4 oz) green peas
2 cups (14 oz) artichoke hearts, tough outer leaves removed and quartered
Lemon wedges, to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a paella pan and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is tender and translucent. At the same time, heat the broth in a separate saucepan until simmering.
Pour the rice into the paella pan and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the simmering vegetable broth and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until almost tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the peas.
Sprinkle the artichoke hearts with a few drops of lemon juice and arrange over the rice in an attractive pattern. Continue cooking until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I get a lot of questions as to why I decided to go down the vegetarian/vegan path. I can recall in my mid-teens wondering where the food I ate came from? Neither of my parents had explained any of this to me and in my idealist mind, I wasn't sure what bologna, ham, salami, beef, and everything else that was in my refrigerator truly originated.
So, when I came to find out the ugly truth about animals being slaughtered, I decided that was the beginning of the end. I immediately stopped consuming pork and beef (which I had never been a fan of to begin with), then during my 20's started phasing out chicken, turkey and lastly in my now 30's have developed an allergy to fish and shellfish, so they have phased out for 3 years now.
This was no easy task coming from a Hispanic background where meat dominates the food plate and I would get into arguments with my father who wanted to shove the meats down my throat because at the time I was only 15 and I needed to get proper nutrition.
To this day, my parents do not understand the impact the consumption of meat has on our bodies, but also the global economic, social and environmental consequences which are much greater than anyone can assess.
I stumbled upon the "Meatless Monday" initiative today and decided I would take this opportunity to share and educate about the impact of giving up meat, one day a week.
Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
Read about these benefits below. But keep in mind that just going meatless is not enough. That’s why we give you the information you need to add healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives to your diet each week.
1. REDUCE RISK OF HEART DISEASE. Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. Reducing your intake of saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low and reduce your risk of heart disease.
2. MAINTAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT. A plant-based diet is a great source of fiber, which is absent in animal products. On average, Americans get less than half the recommended daily quantity of fiber.
3. IMPROVE OVERALL QUALITY OF DIET. Consuming dry beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
4. REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
5. MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated
1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
6. HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
Click to learn more about the Meatless Monday Movement
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sorry I haven't posted lately but I have been snowed in for the last few days and my attention needed to be redirected toward my paintings and handmade toys.
Since i last posted I have tried 4 new recipes, two of which I will share with you in this post. Sadly, i have no photographs of my own to show you, since the cookies and the brownies were such a hit, they disappeared in two days! The customers really liked their treats!
I really enjoy making these treats for the people I love! I will be trying some truffle recipes soon!
PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine, softened (I used Earth Balance Vegan Butter sticks)
1/2 cup sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, cream sugar, brown sugar and margarine with an electric hand mixer on low speed. (I used a whisk due to lack of owning a mixer). Add pumpkin, vanilla and mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, then stir in chocolate chips.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough on baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned on the edges. If you are baking more than one sheet at a time, rotate the sheets halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store cooled cookies in a container with a loose fitting lid, as they are very moist, at room temperature.
Yield: 3 DOZEN COOKIES
Prep time: 25 minutes
YUMMY CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt
(equal to 1 6-ounce container)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease as 8 x 8-inch pan with margarine or oil, or line it with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk sugar, flour, baking cocoa, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, stir together margarine and yogurt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in batches and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until edges are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in a pan on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Store brownies covered at room temperature.
Yield: 9 brownies
Prep Time: 25 minutes