Thursday, February 3, 2011

I've been accepted to school!

I didn't really doubt that they wouldn't accept me - everything felt perfect from the first conversation I had with The Natural Epicurean. And our visit to Austin was nothing short of amazing. I'm set to begin school in August of 2011. There's a lot to do between now and then.

-Saving money for the 1,000+ mile move
-Finding scholarship money to pay for school
-Finding funding to supplement scholarship money for school
-Finding a job and apartment in Austin, TX while living in Indianapolis, IN
- Purging ourselves of as many material items as possible to make the move easy

Here are some of my favorite photos from our trip:

We are aiming to leave around May or June. We'll travel back down to Austin during South By Southwest with some friends to vend at Handmade Promenade's Commodore Vonkeepsies Craftacular Music Carnivale and to look for apartments.

I still have things for sale, special orders can still be placed (contact me if there's something you are interested in that you don't see), and I love words of encouragement.

This year is going to be different for me than the last 29, and I can't wait.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


We celebrated early last night with our own vegan Thanksgiving feast!

A friend stopped by to see me at work yesterday looking for Brussels Sprouts. She shared this recipe with me from  Of course, I don't eat pancetta, but I do love brussels sprouts, and balsamic vinegar, and garlic, and, well, everything else in this salad!  Result:

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad
1 lb brussels sprouts
1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oils
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled & minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup veggie broth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Pick all the Brussels sprouts apart so you have one big pile of leaves. 
2. In a large saute pan, toast sunflower seeds for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the olive oil and heat.  
4. Add separated Brussels sprouts leaves, cranberries, onions, and garlic. Toss well to combine all the ingredients. 
5. Add the balsamic vinegar and veggie broth and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts leaves have just wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm. 
Next, I had some butternut squash hanging out in the fridge. Next to it I found zucchini. What's more perfect for Thanksgiving than squash?? I found this recipe on and gave it a shot, with a twist.  It turned out pretty delicious! Could have used a little more crisp - but it worked!

Warming Butternut Squash
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small butternut, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 medium - large zucchini, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup vegetable stock
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 - 2 tsp curry powder
pinch cinnamon

1. Put the oil and garlic in a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When the garlic begins to color, add the squash, zuchinni, and stock and sprinkle with salt, pepper, curry powder, and cinnamon.

2. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally and stirring somewhat less often, until all the liquid is evaporated and the squash has begun to brown, 5-10 minutes.

3. Turn the heat back down to low and cook until the squash is as browned and crisp as you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or other spices as needed.
4. Put squash in small baking dish(es) and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

What would Thanksgiving be without baked potatoes? Baked at 400 degrees, rubbbed with olive oil & salt, baked for 45 minutes. Top with Vegenaise instead of butter & sour cream! 

Today, I will join my family(s) for their Thanksgiving feasts. Luckily, they are considerate enough to make sure I have 2 dishes to eat with them. I see lots of sweet potatoes and salads in my future.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've been busy...

Sorry for the lack of updates. Holiday season is never a good time to expect crafters to be very good at posting updates regularly.

I've been busy with craft fairs & making stuff (most of this can be read about over at my crafting site).

I've been keeping my eye out for cheap plane tickets to Austin so that I can visit my dream school - I'm hoping to make it out sometime in January or February.  I've been getting (& filling) a ton of orders from friends, and am planning on sending out some letters asking for donations/help to a few key people.  If you have any tips on finding free money for school (financial aid won't work) please let me know! 

This past Sunday, Indy Vegans had an AH-mazing vegan Thanksgiving pitch-in! The food was delicious, people were kind, and fun was had. I commend Matt & Gnat for all the amazing work they're doing to bring veganism to the forefront of Indianapolis folks! So often I hear how people think they are the only vegan around, or there is just a small group. Well, with 60 people showing up for a pitch-in, I don't think that constitutes a small group!

It's 2 days before Thanksgiving, so if you'd like to order a knit item for a holiday gift, get your orders in now! Browse the site for designs & colors, and order via the paypal drop down menu, or simple drop me a line.

If you'd rather check out items already done, stop by Homespun:Modern Handmade, Indy Swank, Nom Nom Nom on December 3rd at the Murphy Art Center (studio #216) or check out the Handmade Promenade Last Minute Market on December 18th at Pure Eatery.  Every shop/show will have a different selection of items, and plenty of other neat stuff that make wonderful holiday gifts (hint hint)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

21 Vegetarian Protein Sources

I run in to all kinds of different people in my line of work: old hippies, new hippies, soccer moms, single dads, lonely old dudes, sweet little old ladies, normies, tattooed hardcore kids - you name it, I see it.

Luckily, a lot of people can wrap their head around what a vegetarian is these days. Some even get vegan-ism!  But, there are an ENORMOUS amount of folks out there that just don't understand what it means when you tell them you're a vegetarian: "So, you only eat chicken & turkey?" or "You mean you don't eat MEAT?!?!" and "Where in the hell do you get your protein?"  Well, thanks to this awesome article over at, here are 21 great sources for vegetarians to get protein from.  Think you need to eat meat at every meal?  Try one of these instead!

Protein Sources and How Much You Are Actually Getting By the Numbers

Beans, Nuts, Seeds
1 cup garbanzo beans = 14.5 grams
1 cup pinto beans = 12 grams
1 cup refried beans = 15.5 grams
1 cup soybeans = 28 grams
1 oz. cashews = 4.4 grams
1 oz. peanuts = 6.5 grams
1 oz. sesame seeds = 6.5 grams
1 oz. pistachios = 5.8 grams
1 cup tofu = 22 grams
1 cup lentils = 18 grams

1 cup yogurt = 13 grams
1 oz cheddar cheese = 7.1 grams
1 egg = 6 grams
1 cup cottage cheese = 10 grams

Fruits and Vegetables
1 avocado = 10 grams
1 cup broccoli = 5 grams
1 cup spinach = 5 grams
1 cup peas = 9 grams
1 medium artichoke = 4 grams
1 cup asparagus = 5 grams
1 cup beet greens = 3 grams

Do you know how much protein you need a day?  Here is a super simple equation from Pamela Reilly, Naturopath, to figure out what you need!

Body Weight X .35 (or .40 if healing or workout heavily)
  = grams of protein need per day.

Are you getting enough protein?  What's your favorite protein source that didn't make the list?  Mine has to be quinoa - packing 9 grams of protein per cup. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pomegranate Pie

I know, it's like pomegranate heaven over here.  I suppose I feel that I've cheated myself all these years, out of all kinds of pomegranates, and I have to make up for it.  So tonight, I tried my hand at pomegranate pie! 

I'm not going to bother giving you the crust recipe, because this crust I was not at all pleased with.  (If you're really interested this is what I used.)  What I will do, is give you the filling recipe...because it turned out really super good!

1.  Start with seeds from one pomegranate.

2.  Take 2 cups of pomegranate juice and put in saucepan.  Reduce by half (that's 1 cup!) 

I got a sample of this R.W. Knudsen Brand light juice at work - perfect timing!  I would suggest probably getting one not sweetened with stevia though, if you have a choice.
3.  When juice is reduced, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, follow by adding 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Xanthan gum and be sure to stir with a whisk!  If you don't have a whisk, at least use a fork.  Please.

4.  When you've got a pretty nice consistency, close to that of a jam, pour in your pomegranate seeds.  Stir well, and taste.  If you want it a little sweeter, add some agave or honey or whatever you'd like!

5.  Fill up your pie crust!  I chose to use mini pie tins because pomegranate seeds are so tiny.  It only makes sense.

6.  I chose to top the pies with a crumble sort of topping. (This is how crumble-y the above crust recipe was)  I sprinkled a little extra sucanat on top for added sweetness.  
7.  Bake for 12 - 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  (Or whatever your pie crust recipe calls for.  The filling is already cooked! You could, in all honesty, bypass the crust and just eat the pom-jam on toast)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pomegrante Surprise

I received an email from a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while about a week ago.  She wanted to know when we could meet & we quickly decided on Wednesday morning.  A park near my apartment was the decided location, and I was told "dress to be outside and be able to use your fingers."  Boy, was I intrigued.

I noticed when she go out of her car that she was carrying a fairly large bag. We found a picnic table to sit at under the shade of a tree (luckily, it was not too cold yet). She started to take a towel out of the bag and said "I'm going to teach you something."  I was totally confused.

Remember the pomegranate post a couple of weeks back?  Well, this amazing lady had read it.  She told me she was sad to know that someone who loves pomegrantes so much & knows the health benefits of them didn't know how to shuck them.  And that was why she brought me there.

Best morning ever! I'm already working on making mini-pom-pies.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kick Ass Onion Soup

This is the ultimate onion soup. It's not only warm & comforting, I've known it to kick a cold when you feel like you're coming down with something.  If you're a fan of traditional french onion soup made with beef broth, this is a great substitute. 

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 c leeks, well-cleaned and chopped
  • ¾ c shallots, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium scallions, chopped
  • 6 c strong vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • pepper
  • croutons
  • fresh chives, chopped

1.  Heat the oil over low heat, add onions and leeks, and sauté until soft, about 10

2.  Add shallots, garlic, and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 min-
utes. Increase to medium heat and continue cooking for 10 minutes, until on-
ions are brown. Use a spatula to release any onions that stick to the bottom of
the pan.

3.  Stir in stock, soy sauce, cover, and bring to boil. Add salt, partially cover, lower
heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in pepper, and adjust seasonings to your
taste. (You can also add more stock if you prefer a thinner soup.)  Serve hot, topped with croutons and chives.