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.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Item!

There is a new item over in the knit bits section. This cap was created at the request of my friend Jessi - and I think it turned out super cute! I couldn't pass up adding it to the list of available items.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative with a goal to reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.  They encourage folks to "go meatless" just one day out of the week to help them reach this goal.

According to their website, they chose Monday because "on Monday we move from the freedom of the weekend back to the structure of work or school. We set our intentions for the next six days. We plan ahead and evaluate progress. From an early age we internalize this rhythm. And studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet."

(the following is taken from the Meatless Monday website)
"During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. “Food Will Win the War,” the government proclaimed, and “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” were introduced to encourage Americans to do their part.

The effect was overwhelming. Some 10 million families, 7,000 hotels and nearly 425,000 food dealers pledged to observe national meatless days. In November 1917, New York City hotels saved some 116 tons of meat over the course of just one week. According to a 1929 Saturday Evening Post article, “Americans began to look seriously into the question of what and how much they were eating. Lots of people discovered for the first time that they could eat less and feel no worse – frequently for the better”. The campaign returned during World War II and beyond, when Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman used rationing to help feed war-ravaged Europe.

In 2003 Meatless Monday was recreated as public health awareness program in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. The campaign was endorsed by over 20 schools of public health. Its goal was to help Americans reduce their risk of preventable disease by cutting back saturated fat."

For me, going meatless on Mondays is easy - I'm a vegetarian 7 days out of the week!  And on top of that, I choose to stay away from eggs, cheese, and milk products more often than not.  When I went veg over 6 years ago, I was completely stunned with the increased amount of energy I felt & the ability to think more clearly.

So, will you join the movement?

From this week forward, check back on Mondays for a meatless recipe courtesy of yours truly!  Although I already post a vegan recipe weekly on, expect this one to be unique (and not always vegan).

Thursday, October 7, 2010


It's pomegranate season!  I know because when I went in to Trader Joe's today they had pomegranate seed packages.  This is sooo much easier than having to get to the seeds yourself, but, I expect, much more expensive.  This is the year that I WILL stop being afraid of "eating" a pomegranate whole and will get to the seeds myself, just not quite yet.

Do you know what's so great about pomegranates?  They're packed full of antioxidants (those little things that run around in your body scavenging free radicals), even more antioxidants that green tea & red wine.  They're a good source of B Vitamins too.  Pomegranates are also known to deliver some of the best dietary fiber of any fruit. Low in calories (about 100 calories per fruit), pomegranates make a great snack for dieters! Research has also shown that this amazing superfruit has properties that may actually help to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Pomegranate juice has even been shown to work well as a blood thinner.

You can make juice from the fresh fruit to freeze and store for the remainder of the year if you'd like.   100% pomegranate juice is also quite easy to find in stores (just make sure it's not from concentrate, and doesn't have added sugar!)  An 8 oz glass of pomegranate juice provides approximately 50% of an adult's recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins A, C and E, 100% RDA of folic acid, and 13% RDA of potassium.  But be careful, you'll also be getting alot of sugar - sometimes over 30 grams!

So, which would you prefer?  Seeds or Juice?  I'll stick with the seeds, by the handful!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Get Well Wednesday!

Hello, beautiful people!

I've been a bit under the weather the past few days due in part to the drastic temperature changes and a bit of allergies. I've tried a few things here and there, and tonight - I finally decided to pull out the chicken noodle soup.

But, is chicken noodle soup an old wives tale? Certainly, it must be? Or, perhaps the reason it works so well is because when your mom used to make it she would put all her love into it. (This, by the way, I think is part of the reason. Things always taste better when my mom cooks them for me - no matter what.)

Some say the steam from the soup is the real benefit. Sipping hot soup and breathing in the steam helps clear up congestion, keeps the mucous flowing a little bit better and just makes you feel better by eating something warm.

There was a study, however, at the University of Nebraska that found that the soup stops the movement of inflammation-causing white blood cells called neutrophils. Also found was that chicken soup not only helps hydrate us when we have a cold, but also helps clear airways and makes breathing easier. They also found that the chicken noodle soup didn't have to be made by your mom, but could be healing even out of a can!

So, what do you believe? I had to rely on canned Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup - and I felt better for a good couple of hours. Is it all in my head? I hope not!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's Live!


The site is officially a go! The paypal buttons have been created, the colors sorted, the designs posted.

To be brief, I'm essentially trying to raise money to pay for my schooling. But it's not just regular ol' school - it's a school dedicated to teaching their students how to help people live healthier & happier lives through food. For a thorough account of what I'm attempting to do here, please check out the about section where I spill my guts to you about why I've created this page.

So poke around, see what you like, and if you have any questions - at all - please do not hesitate to e-mail me at

good day!

I want to go to school! I need to go to school!

Wanna help?

Stay tuned....