Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
I finally found a fantastic set of recipes for a vegetarian enchiladas. I say set because there is one recipe for the enchilada sauce, one for refried beans and then one for some sauted veggies and the assembly of the actual enchiladas.
I had previously attempted to make enchiladas with sauce and refried beans purchased at the grocery store. The sauce had such a high concentration of sodium it just wasn't something I could stomach and the refried beans were like trying to eat a can of cat food. So so gross! Just when I thought my days of enjoying enchiladas were over I came across these recipes in one of my vegan cookbooks - and they were perfect as written.
Last week I went ahead and made all three recipes in one evening. This proved to be a huge mistake as it took 2 1/2 hours. By the time I was actually enjoying the enchiladas my body was fighting back. My neck was in all kinds of pain and beginning to spasm as a result of standing and looking down at the counter for so long. The nerves in my hands and arms were throbbing from all the chopping and stirring and washing. And, of course, my posture wasn't great during this time so my back hurt as well. Next time I make this I'll have to make the sauce and beans one day and the actual enchiladas the next.
I wanted to share these great recipes with you all.
1/4 t Chipotle Powder or Chipotle sauce (which is much much cheaper)
3 T Canola or other veg oil
2 T Flour
1 Can tomato Sauce (15 oz)
1 1/2 C Veggie broth
Combine chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, espresso powder and chipotle sauce - and set aside.
Heat oil over med/high heat. Add flour and stir until smooth, bubbly and beginning to brown.
Stir in spices, tomato sauce and broth - stir
Heat until it starts to get bubbly then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 min.
2 T Butter
1 T minced garlic
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t dried oregano
2 cans pinto or black beans with liquid
Chop the shallots, mince the garlic and measure out the spices. Melt butter in large frying pan or cast iron and add the shallots and garlic and saute them until brown (3-5 min).
Stir in spices and cook for 1 min. Add beans with their liquid from the cans and heat until bubbly. Reduce heat to med/low and simmer uncovered for 15 min - stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and beat until desire chunkiness. You can mash them by hand if you wish but using a hand mixer makes much lighter work.
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 Red bell pepper - diced
2 Shallots - chopped
1T garlic - minced
1/4 t ground cumin1/4 t dried oregano
1/4 t black pepper
12 corn tortillas
12 oz Mexican mix shredded cheese
20 slices of jarred nacho style jalapenos (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, coat a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. Slice the mushrooms, red bell pepper and shallots. Mince the garlic and measure out the spices. Heat oil in a frying pan over med/high heat. Add the mushrooms, bell peppers, shallots and garlic and saute for 10-12 min.
Stir in cumin, oregano & black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Add desired amount of beans, cheese and veggie mixture of the center of the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place them seam down in the baking dish. Spread enchilada sauce evenly on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese on top and jalapenos if you want.
Bake for 30 min.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
For example, soft water has many benefits to pipes, soap usage and such but it is made soft by treating the water with salt and that means it doesn't taste good. I really can't handle the taste of salt and unfortunately a glass of room temperature soft water has enough salt to make it hard for me to drink. It's easy to hide this kind of fairly subtle flavors by simply drinking it very cold. Unfortunately, a cold glass of water tempers quickly and as soon as that process has begun the flavor begins to return. I'm the kind of person who has a glass of water by my side so I need water that has no flavor no matter how warm the room gets.
Tap water is alright but it does have a small hint of flavor, which is why I filter the tap water through a Pur water filter. I keep a pitcher full of it in the refrigerator for my husband or anyone else who might visit but I drink the water from the filtered pitcher that sits on the counter. Perfect, tasteless, room-temperature water. Just the way I like it.
Water is so vitally important to all aspects of life. Living in USA during modern times it is easy to take it for granted. There has never been a time when I haven't been able to shower, or flush a toilet, or wash my clothes, or pour a drink of water whenever I wanted. Water is easy to access in the corner of the world that I've grown up in. It is always clean and safe and seemingly infinite in supply. In my adult years I've become aware that water is not as infinite as it appears from where I sit. So many people around the world struggle daily to obtain safe drinking water. Not to mention the lack of water for crops and livestock. It's so hard to wrap my mind around these struggles because it is so very different from what I'm experiencing. I'm trying to do what I can to cut down on my water usage but it feels like it is no use for me to do so. I don't have to go far to see water being wasted on a massive scale. Is what I'm doing to conserve going to amount to anything more than a drop in the bucket when our culture is hell bent on excess in all it's forms?
As important as water is I feel strongly that the bottled water industry is a mostly a giant fraud. These huge corporations are mining water for free and selling it to people at ridiculous prices. The bottle themselves not only bleed toxins into the water they contain but once thrown away most of them end up in landfills or in bodies of water. A plastic bottle will never decompose - never. That's crazy. Think of all the bottles of water, heck even sodas and whatnot that are consumed every day. We will never be able to get rid of them. I'm not comfortable with this kind of price for convenience. Additionally many of these waters that are bottled come from a public water source, which is code for tap water. That right, instead of turning on the faucet and trapping some safe, clean, tested water is a reusable container to take with you when you go someplace we would rather buy a bottle of the same water at an incredibly high mark-up and throw it away when finished.
These industries have done an incredible marketing job. They have managed to convince the masses of people that bottled water is somehow more safe and pure than tap water. Plus it's so very convenient. There is nothing to wash or carry around any longer than you want. Just drink it on the go and toss the bottle after. I hate to admit there was a time when I bought into all this hype. I'll go downtown with my husband and after an hour or so walking around we are both crazy thirsty and end up buying a small 8oz bottle of water for $3. Can you imagine $3 for 8oz of water, that's 1 measured cup of water. But in the moment, we are both so thirsty and we need to drink so we pay. Bottles of water are so available everywhere that I simply stopped planning ahead to have enough water to drink when I'm out and about. But planning ahead and bringing water with is so easy. It doesn't take much time and it isn't difficult. I have a nice BPA free, reusable plastic container that I fill with water when I know I'll be out of the house for a while.
Sure the container costs more than a regular reusable plastic bottle but by making this investment in a safe container, which is paid by not buying just 4 disposable bottles of water, I'm providing myself a light and easy way to stay hydrated that will ultimately save me lots of money. I love to drink water.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
On the one hand, if you are in constant agony and have no quality of life left and there is no chance or improvement it seems humane to allow that person a choice in how they die. Inmates sentenced to death often get a choice in how they die. We find it humane to end the suffering of animals when nothing more can be done. It makes sense on many levels.
On the other hand, something feels wrong about it. Most of our lives we spend fighting for life. We fight against diseases, we try to control the dangers around us, if someone or something threatens our lives we instinctively fight against it. Suicide is so contrary to that. But there is no shortage of serious, seemingly insurmountable mental and physical challenges. I've certainly had deeply dark days, as I'm sure all of you have as well. Still I find it so hard to imagine choosing to end my life before my body or someone else's body imposes it on me. But that doesn't necessarily mean others shouldn't be able to come to a different conclusion and be able to carry out their decision under the safety and supervision of a caring doctor. But then I think about all the shitty doctors I've run into in my life and I can't help but be kind of fearful about what that means for physician assisted suicide. But that could be applied to anything, Shitty doctors can perform surgeries poorly but that doesn't mean none of us should ever have surgery.
I also wonder if allowing this sort of thing could become a slippery slope. One of the arguments against Jack's methods in the film was that it could become a cost cutting measure instead of intended purpose of being a humane and dignified end to life. What if doctors were inclined to identify someone as being terminal and start pushing these sorts of life ending options. It would save a great deal of money if someone were to choose death over life. Those with means and strong family support could easily prevent this from happening to them, but what about all the people with neither. The people who don't have access to preventive care and can't pay the ER bills they incur. It would be naive to believe this wouldn't impact those living in poverty differently than it would impact the wealthy. Plus, doctors simply can't always know for certain who can recover from what.
But shouldn't we be allowed to choose to save that money, just as we are allowed to choose whether or not we want to be resuscitated or put on life support if anything should happen. It seems sort of arbitrary that we are allowed to make that life ending choice but not the other. Abortion is legal, is that really all that different? Just because technology and modern medicine can keep us artificially alive doesn't mean that it is always the right thing to do. Or is it? Should we always do what we can?
It can't be wrong to let people die who are dying, can it?. No matter what we do, we are all going to die eventually. It is just as natural as breathing. These issues are so complicated. The toughest part about choosing a side is that both sides are right and both sides are wrong - so nether side is right and neither side is wrong. How can we ever possibly expect the courts or the legislature to regulate this.
I don't have the answers but the discussion is fascinating. Have you seen the movie? What do you think of all of this?
Monday, February 14, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
This is a vegan recipe that I tried last year when I went vegan for a couple months (before realizing I needed dairy products to get enough calories). I'm always trying to put more weight on. Anyway, I wanted to try this one because it didn't call for an egg substitute. The tahini is pretty sticky so it doesn't even need a separate binding agent. Plus it has a really unique taste.
Tahini Orange Cookies
1 cup tahini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raw sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown rice flower
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl whisk together the tahini, vanilla, syrup, sugar and zest.
In a separate bowl mix together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips
combine wet and dry ingredients and refrigerate for an hour or so. Bake for 6-10 minutes. Every oven is so different.
By using pure maple syrup, raw sugar and brown rice flower you can make this a fairly healthy treat that doesn't cause a big swing in your blood sugar levels; but Mrs. Butterworth, white sugar and bleached all-purpose flour work too. Cheaper too :)
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I never could have imagined how much blogging would mean to me. I have found so many wonderful and inspiring women with great blogs and have received so much encouragement and support from you all. I have so appreciated being part of a community of women who can relate to a life altered by pain.