Monthly Archives: January 2013

Man

Cartoon version of the evolution of man overtime and the impact on animals and the Earth.

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Genetic Roulette- The Gamble of Our Lives

Genetic Roulette- The Gamble of Our Lives

This is a very good documentary that I watched a few months ago.  It is about genetically modified food (GMOs) and the affect it has on our health.  I think you can also watch it at http://geneticroulettemovie.com 

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Vegan Cooking Workshop

Livestock consume 70% of U.S. grain production.  Twenty million people die each year as a result of malnutrition and starvation.  Americans could feed 100,000,000 people by reducing their intake of meat by just 10%!

Well tonight I went to my first local vegan cooking workshop.  Way back during fall quarter of freshmen year I went to a campus involvement fair and signed up to get more information about vegan cooking.  I have been receiving their weekly e-mails every week since September 2009.  January 2013 was the first time I went. Better late than never, even if it is my last semester of college.  Turns out it was amazing and I really wish I would have started going many, many academic terms ago.

It was held in the basement of a local church that focuses on the university community.  A group of us cooked for about an hour and a half and served it to others that joined us for dinner.  Since we were cooking so much food (about 20 people cooking for 50-60 people) it is hard to get a hands on experience in all aspects of the meal, but at least it provides some ideas of meals to make later.  So the menu included:

  • salad with carrots, corn, & avocado with a olive oil and red wine vinegar based dressing with herbs
  • rosemary Focaccia bread rolls (which went really well with the salad dressing!)
  • greenbell pepper stuffed with quinoa, corn, & black beans
  • chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing

It was absolutely delicious (and 100% vegan)!  Now I am not a big green pepper, bread, or chocolate fan so I really was not biased in favor of this menu.  I was amazed at how delicious these foods with given they omitted some products I haven’t given up in my diet (namely dairy and eggs) and since these were foods I wouldn’t think too much of buying.  

Vegan Lessons:

I have been scared to buy quinoa because I don’t really know that much about it (yet), but tonight gave me a good springboard for adding quinoa to my diet.  I learned that it is really easy to make and it can be very versatile.  White vinegar with baking powder can replace eggs and butter in cakes because the chemical reaction creates the same leavening properties.  Bell peppers that have four “legs” that keep it so it can stand upright means it is a less sweet pepper and better for cooking.  When bell peppers only have three “legs” it will be a sweeter and better for eating raw.  Rosemary focaccia bread is amazing and I want to bake my own to dip in some olive oil 🙂  

I am glad I stepped out on a limb and finally went to this vegan cooking workshop even if it took almost fours.  It was great to learn some new cooking ideas and meet people with similar interests.  Not everyone was vegan or vegetarian (everyone was welcome) but when people consciously replace a few meals as vegetarian or vegan it contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.  So I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and do something that interests you that maybe you have been apprehensive about or would like to learn more about, and to make a conscious effort to have one vegan or vegetarian meal this week.

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Broiled Zucchini Parmesan Knife & Fork Sandwich

So I got this recipe from the Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook by Carole Raymond, but I did modify it slightly.  It takes only about 10-15 minutes for preparation and cook time.  This portion is for one serving, but you could also serve this is an appetizer by splitting this portion between two people.  The recipe in the book calls for multigrain bread (2 pieces), but I did one slice of multigrain and one piece of garlic toast.  Both were delicious so really do whatever you prefer.  I think the garlic toast makes it more of an appetizer than a meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup grated or thinly sliced zucchini (I used 1 zucchini that created more than 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 slices of bread (garlic, whole wheat, multigrain, whatever your preference)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • pepper
  1. To keep the bread from being soggy I cooked the garlic bread so that it almost done cooking before I started step number 2. I also recommend toasting the wheat toast while you saute the food in 2.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for about 3 minutes.  Add the zucchini, basil, and oregano for about 3 minutes.
  3. Layer the tomato slices and the zucchini on the bread and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Broil until the cheese melts (1-2 minutes). Pepper to taste.

zucchini

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Sorry for the hiatus .. BUT I have vegetarian chili!

So I have a few drafts going, and some recipes to post from the past few weeks that I have been a little behind on posting. I will be working on catching my blog up here in this next week or two. Going forward I should be able to update this blog at least once a week, it was just difficult this past month with the holidays and my tonsillectomy. My last semester of college started yesterday so I am back to my wonderful apartment in Athens, Ohio.  For Christmas I received a Rachael Ray cookware set, and some other great cooking utensils that I get to use going forward 🙂 I also received a vegetarian/vegan cookbook that is geared towards college students to be affordable and quick.  So I am looking forward to including those in my blog posts.

Chili is probably my all time favorite food, and I tend to make it frequently.  This was my first time making a vegetarian version of my favorite food.  The recipes I found varied in the vegetables (including red and green peppers yuck!) to fake hamburger meat.  I basically picked foods from the recipes that I preferred, so feel free to add or subtract ingredients when you make your own version. I am also a huge fan of spicy food, so minor tweaks can make it a milder option should you choose.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2-2 bottles of V8 Spicy tomato juice
  • onion, diced
  • zucchini, sliced
  • 1 package baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 2 cans chili beans
  • 2-3 cans of tomatoes (I usually mix stewed with chili style or something with chilies or peppers, or you can use fresh tomatoes)
  • package of celery, sliced
  • 1/2-1can chick peas (drained)
  • 1/2-1 can black beans (drained)
  • generous amount of chili powder
  • 2 diced serrano peppers
  • 1/4-1/2 jar jalapenos and the juice
  • dash of chili flakes, cumin, and onion powder
  • EVOO
  • Minced garlic

Garnish:

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded colby jack cheese
  • avocado
  • tortilla strips/chips

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First, I pour some olive oil and minced garlic into the bottom of the soup pan.  Then, I saute 1/2 of the fresh veggies.  After about 5 minutes or so I add the remaining vegetables and ingredients.  The reason I don’t saute about 1/2 is to keep the crunchy texture.  The amount of beans can vary depending on your preference or use. For example, I only used half of the chick peas because I plan to use some of them to put on my salads.  Top with the garnishments when serving.

One of the reasons I love chili so much is that it doesn’t take long to prepare and I can get a lot of meals out of it.  You can mix it up by using it to make a taco salad too.  Overall I was surprised that I really didn’t miss the ground beef in my chili.  I didn’t do a calorie or nutrition analysis of my new chili compared to my old recipe, but I am sure this new version is a lot more healthy and I didn’t have to sacrifice flavor.  I had never used avocado as part of a garnishment before and I have to say it was really really really really really delicious.  To me it gave it a Mexican flare that I really liked, and I think in the future I may be able to forgo my sour cream and substitute it with avocado exclusively.  Overall, I think the key is having the different textures/flavors (crunchy, soft, spicy, etc), and to have the fiber and protein to make you feel full.

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