Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Shake My Head (SMH).

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The controversial pro-GMO vs. no-GMO hysteria has a lot of people talking.  Especially for us here in CornVille (aka Indiana).  Let’s talk food.  Of course it is better to increase fruit and vegetable consumption whether or not it is organic- but think you know what’s on your plate?  Inspired by my Public Health Nutrition Text, pg. 58: “Food is not a constant thing.  Vitamin content can vary… Farming techniques also change our food supply on the most basic level.  A cow fed a corn-based diet is not nutritionally the same as a cow that grazes on grass.  We may think we are comparing the proverbial apples to apples, but in reality often those apples have very different nutrient contents.”  Maybe that’s not the nourishment you think it is… let’s find out!

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What are GMOs? GMO=Genetically Modified Organism.  According to Monsanto’s website, GMOs are plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. In general, genes are taken (copied) from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism.

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Hold up- what is Monsanto? According to the Huffington Post, Monsanto is one of “The Big 6” chemical companies including Dow, Dupoint, Syngenta, BASF, and Bayer.  It was founded as a drug company, and its first product was saccharin for Coca-Cola – a derivative of coal tar that was later linked to bladder cancer.  The Huffington Post describes Monsanto as a company who manufactures the world’s most destructive chemicals, and is a pioneer of biotechnology; their first product being artificial recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and they have sued companies for labeling their products as “rBGH-free”.

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Why care?  A lot of our food is genetically modified to resist bugs and grow bigger, brighter, and sweeter in all kinds of weather.  In Indiana, most farmland is GMO corn and soy.  The “big 6” companies have a lot of power here.  Our Indiana farmers need to do everything they can to maximize their profits- that means with every new chemically altered seed that comes out- they better invest if they want success.  It is brilliant what these companies have come up with, but there are some adverse outcomes worth discussing.

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Disease and allergies- Fact is- researching health outcomes based on food consumption is difficult.  There are so many barriers and variables.  Studies have been done by the FDA and the CDC that did show allergy and inflammatory responses from people who consumed genetically modified corn products, but they concluded, “These findings do not provide any evidence that the reactions that the affected people experienced were associated with hypersensitivity to the Cry9c protein (a protein genetically modified into the corn). The difficulties of this investigation highlight the importance of evaluating the allergic potential of genetically modified foods before they become available for human consumption.”  Funny thing is about this conclusion, we eat GMOs all the time, and nobody evaluates their allergic potential.  All the evaluations I could find end in questionable conclusions like this.  Nobody even lets you know your food was messed with.  And I won’t go into the science- but you are what you eat, and if you mess with the genes of your food, the potential for mutated genes certainly increases.  #cancer.

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Other Countries, Education, and The Environment:  GMOs are required by law to be labeled in lots of countries including Europe, Australia, and Japan.  Why not America?  Is there something they’re not telling us? Why would they not want something labeled GMO if they are so safe?  GMOs are in almost every packaged food- it’s about time us ignorant Americans actually knew what we were eating.  Might I add the disruption to the soil, and the superbug insects that these technologies could be creating?

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How to avoid GMOs?

  1. Buy USDA Organic certified food and food products
  2. Look for Non-GMO seals.
  3. Grow your own food
  4. Avoid risk ingredients that are commonly genetically modified:
  • corn (as in corn oil, cornmeal, cornstarch, and other corn based ingredients
  • soybeans (as in soybean oil, soy protein, soy lecithin, soy milk, tofu, and other soy-based ingredients)
  • canola (canola oil), cottonseed (cottonseed oil), sugar beets (the “sugar” listed on food labels is almost always derived from sugar cane and genetically modified sugar beets)
  • most Hawaiian papaya
  • some zucchini and yellow squash
  • and beware of dairy products, which may come from cows injected with genetically modified bovine growth hormone, and meats from animals (including farmed fish) that have been fed genetically modified foods.  Look for dairy products labeled No rBGH or rBST, artificial hormone-free, or organic; wild-caught fish; and meat labeled organic or 100% grass-fed.

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This was a hard article for me to write, because I know and love a lot of people in the ag business.  They are kind, whole hearted people, and truly do want the best for the world.  I came to Indiana to see their side of the story.  However, as a dietetics student, it is up to me to educate about exposures to various foods, and the possible outcomes.  There is a difference between a farmer, and a global chemical corporation.  Let’s do what we can.  We can talk to our food providers and parents about starting to grow our own food and consume more local, organic food.  We are the promising future.  Not a science experiment.

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Green Tea Nice Cream

After my first lick of this ice cream I said out loud…

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“I AM A GENIUS.”

Impeccable amount of ginger, sweetness, and green tea.  The absolute palate cleansing dessert or, indulge, like me, in this for a post workout lunch!

I love green tea and have been reading more and more benefits about it.

Green Tea (matcha):

  • is the least oxidized and fermented non-herbal tea, so it contains the most antioxidants
  • contains a nice amount of caffeine (less than coffee or black tea, more than herbal tea)
  • is used traditionally in Chinese medicine to help with immune function, brain cell protection, blood sugar regulation, metabolism, aging, blood pressure, and many other health issues

Ginger is so warm, aromatic, enlightening, and soothing.  The health benefits to ginger are also endless as well.

Ginger:

  • is a powerful digestive aid: In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract), also helps with nausea (hence the ginger ale mom and dad gave you when you had an upset tummy)
  • I sent my sister (who has Ulcerative Colitis) this interesting study with ginger and inflammation of the colon:

    Inflammation of the colon

    A study carried out at the University of Michigan Medical School found that Ginger Root Supplement administered to volunteer participants reduced inflammation markers in the colonwithin a month.

    The study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

    Experts say that inflammation of the colon is a precursor to colon cancer. Co-researcher Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., explained that by reducing inflammation in the colon a person reduces their risk of developing colon cancer.

    Zick said “We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research. Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”

  • helps too sooth migraines
  • warms from the inside out
  • boosts the immune system
  • clears the sinuses (great to make tea out of if you have a stuffy nose!
  • too many benefits- I don’t have all day!!!

Hemp Seeds:

  • incredible vegan source of biologically available and easily digested protein, hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids
  • incredible vegan source of essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
  • rich in plant based phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin E
  • contain an array of minerals like zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron

The Mastermind Mix:

  • 1 heaping Tbs fresh roughly chopped peeled ginger
  • 1-2 Tbs hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 serving packet of matcha green tea powder (like $1.00 each packet at Sunspot)
  • 3 ripe peeled and frozen bananas (freeze for at least 6 hours)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • water as needed to not break your blender or food processor

1. Using a food processor S blade, or high power blender, put in the ginger, hemp seeds, and mango chunks
2. Sprinkle in the green tea powder I like to put this in the middle so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the container, but no biggie
3. Break up bananas into fourths and throw in container
4. Blend until smooth
5. Take a lick and you are a genius!

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No Bake Carob Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

Like soft, sweet, mushy, crunchy, oatmeal raisin cookies??!?

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Me too.  :)… more like cookie dough balls… even better.

These are the easiest, healthiest, fastest raw cookie dough deliciousnesses!!

These oatmeal cookies are an incredible source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, simple and complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and are gluten free, salt free, dairy free, carcinogen free, and after you savor one for a little dessert, you will feel like flying ❤ .

Essential fatty acids??  Our body needs omega-3 and omega-6 to function and we can’t make them on our own- they have to be obtained from our diet. Our body needs two critical Omega-3 fatty acids, (eicosapentaenoic acid, called EPA and docosahexaenoic or DHA) and walnuts, flax seeds, and hemp seeds, contain an abundance of a precursor omega-3, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts to EPA and DHA.  Low omega-3 intake has been linked to depression, inflammation, and decline in cognitive function. Most Americans don’t consume enough omega-3s.  Heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts, flax seeds, and hemp seeds, have been shown to improve memory and cognitive function and play a very important role in reducing inflammation (I think lots of chronic diseases America has a problem with are caused by inflammation).  Algae, like spirulina, algae oil, and leafy green vegetables also contain omega-3s.  In my Lifecycle Nutrition course here at Purdue, we learned that when we are pregnant, we should eat a lot of walnuts- not only do they look like a brain, but babies whose mommies consumed healthy omega-3 fatty acids had children with higher cognitive function!

Ingredients

I used: (approximately, I didn’t measure- literally threw together 20 minutes before teaching Zumba)

Need: any round container (like a bowl) and a fork or spoon

  • 2 cups rolled oats (quick oatmeal oats might have soaked it up better?)
  • 1/3 cup carob powder (tastes like chocolate! with no stimulating theobromine or caffeine)
  • 1/4 cup golden flax meal
  • 2 Tbs almond milk
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 coconut date rolls
  • hemp seeds
  1. Mash bananas and date rolls into almond milk until pretty smooth.
  2. Sprinkle in the flax meal, carob, and rolled oats and mix well
  3. Fold in walnuts and raisins
  4. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls and roll in hemp seeds
  5. refrigerate or maybe freeze, if you would like to bake these go for it- Really nice little chewy oatmeal bites though…  the oats soak up the banana mix and the raisins get superrr squishyyy.  Nom nom!

Raw Vegan Biscuits and Gravy! (fat and gluten free!)

Ohh biscuits and gravy!  I thought you said bananas and datey!!

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Sunday mornin’ soul food baby.  Sweet, smooth, juicy, and hearty.  This will fill you up, and you actually will not be in a coma!! Haha, carb up and seize the day!

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The Biscuits:

  • cinnamon
  • bananas (sliced)
  • apples (mandolin thin)
  1. Thinly slice your fruit
  2. Using a straight cylinder coffee mug, get a layer of cinnamon on the bottom so the apple doesn’t stick.  then alternate layers of apples and layers of banana slices.  Once the mug is about 1/3 – 1/2 way full, press layers down firmly.  Run a knife around the outside of your biscuit in the mug and flip the mug forcefully into your hand or a small plate to get the biscuit out.
  3. Repeat and place biscuits on plate as desired.

The Gravy:

  • raisins (a few handfuls)
  • oranges (2-3)
  • dried apricots (like 6)
  • coconut date rolls (or dates – 5)
  1. Using a high speed blender or food processor, blend until smooth.  Add more orange sections to make it thinner, add more dried fruit to make it thicker.
  2. Pour / spoon over biscuits.
  3. Garnish with fruit and whatever else sounds good!
  4. Happy Sunday!!

Red Velvet Rocky Road LoveCakes <3

Happy Valenitnes Day!
Hope to see you at my:

RAW VEGAN DESSERTS DEMONSTRATION

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE – BLACK FOREST CHERRY BROWNIES – COCONUT MACAROONS – ICE CREAM DREAM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 7-8PM COREC DEMO KITCHEN
RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT MEMBER SERVICES OR CALL 765-494-3110 🙂

Now, let’s make some LOVEcakes

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DISPICREDVELV

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Modify this to your liking- I NEVER bake!

Just something I made up with the ingredients I had…

…inspiration and love energy help too 🙂

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A day of spoiling and indulgence

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A day of turning off that ego-

all of our imperfections are perfect

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A day of spreading the love

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Valentine’s Day..  Time to go all out!!  These little loving cupcake bites are healthy, satisfying, decadent, and ooey gooey moist!  Can’t wait to share them ❤ :-* MWAH! 

nakeed3redvelvRed Velvet Rocky Road LoveCakes

Inspired by Ambitious Kitchen and EyeCandyPopper

Makes about 18 mini lovecakes ❤

The Red Velvet:

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  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) or 3/4 to 1 cup cooked chickpeas (If using dried chickpeas: rinse and soak dried chickpeas- saturate them fully in filtered water and cover.  Place in the refrigerator overnight.  Pour soaked chickpeas with soaking water into a pot and bring to a boil.  Once brought to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for at least an hour, add water as necessary.  Rinse and measure 3/4-1 cup.)lovebeets
  • 1/2 C almond butter (or any nut butter- I prefer unsalted)
  • 1/3 C natural sweetener (coconut nectar, agave, maple syrup, raw honey, try dates! 🙂 )
  • 1/3 C gluten free baking flour (try oatmeal, or whatever flour you like!)
  • 3 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/2 tsp humalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking sodagfbakinflour
  • 1/3 C vegan carob or chocolate chips, or cacao nibs- might want to add more sweetener if using bitter nibs!)
  • 2 Tbs chopped walnuts
  • 3 Tbs beet juice 
  • 1 cooked beet
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (vanilla flavor is nice, I like almond milk)
  • 1-2 Tbs golden flax meal (dissolved in beet juice and non-dairy milk

The Rocky Road:

  • 1 T natural sweetener (optional- if using cacao nibs / unsweetened chips maybe)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional- if using sweetened chocolate chips, or to taste)
  • 2 T chopped walnuts
  • 1 T cacao nibs, carob, or chocolate chips

Instructions:

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line mini muffin tray with muffin liners (I really like the brand “If You Care”)
  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients except the chopped walnuts, and chocolate chips until batter is smooth.  Fold in chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Super delicious to nom with a spoon just like this!!!
  3. Spoon about 1 Tbs of batter into each muffin liner.  Combine rocky road ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.  Dollop each lovecake with a touch of rocky road.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  May look underdone- but rather be moist and ooey than dried out! Also- no scary ingredients in here to worry about being undercooked! Can be eaten raw! 😀
  4. Let cool for about 10 minutes before indulging! 

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Confessions of a Vegan Girly Girl

As a sorority sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a 3 year Jergans tanning lotion junkie, bashful bra stuffer, and $$$ spender of all things high heels, chiffon, and trendy, I have had a pretty crazy change of priorities.

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No matter how many products you use or what your skin feels like right now, I hope you know how beautiful and incredible you truly are.  We don’t give ourselves enough credit.  May your opinion of yourself be the highest of all your opinions.  Your truest, best version of yourself is always better than a sub-par replica of someone else.

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You bring something unique that this planet needs.  Embrace everyday to it’s fullest potential, and show the world what you’re made of.  Perceptions from others will always change, but your perception of yourself won’t- and you will be living with yourself for a very long time.

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   You are not discount material, so treat yourself right, you expensive piece of heaven you!! Let your hair down ladies, let’s see you shine ❤

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1. Shower Minimally

In trying to meet my vitamin D needs in the dead of winter, it is essential that I keep as many oils on my skin as possible.  When I do shower- it’s always under 10 minutes and never too hot.  Hot water really dries out my skin and strips my oils.  It’s funny- I never shower, but I really don’t smell.  Working out at the gym, sweaty people walk by and you either smell this intense urea / ammonia BO (caused from excess amino acids leaching out through the skin, causing intense body odor- sounds bogus but so true- study ammonia pathways and how it is excreted!) or you smell the strong deodorants, which have been shown in many studies and articles to contain that ammonium stuff that may be a very preventable cause of breast cancer.  In staying hydrated and eating a mindful, delicious, high carbohydrate diet, my skin naturally seems softer and I find myself sweating out the grapefruits and oranges I ate for breakfast 😀 yumm.. citrus!

2. Toss The Deodorant

Haha, hippie freak much?  Yes, and proud of it.  Like I said, deodorant = disease.  I am happy to admit I do use a natural deodorant that the compassionateclimber made.  I just put it in an old BAN deodorant container and use it just the same.  I’m not sure of the recipe he used, but this recipe from wellnessmama looks good:

1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted. UPDATE: Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out…

2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot (If you don’t have arrowroot, use more baking soda)

3. Mix well

4. Add essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage. 5. It does not need to be stored in the fridge.

6. If you prefer, you can let it cool completely and put into an old deodorant stick for easier use, though it may melt in the summer!

This recipe from crunchybetty also looks good, and easier too.

 3. Cut Back On The Hair Care

I used to have an itchy dry scalp.  Washing my hair less (I wash my hair 2-3 times a week), keeping the natural oils, helps a lot.  Of course I still workout and get sweaty- can’t tell.  In fact, my bestie Caroline curled my hair on Friday, it’s Monday night, and I got compliments on my beautiful curly hair all day long!  WTF hahaha.  Gotta love minimal living.  Caroline’s like you’re hair’s still curled?!  My friend Elizabeth is like, “It looks so good!!”  Yup. Not washing it.  Not to mention the more I wash and straighten/ curl my hair the more dead and drab it becomes with more and more dead ends, which means more frequent trims, which means more $$$ flying out of my poor college student pocket!  Kale no!

4. Makeup is Unnecessary

Sigh I’ll admit.  I still like to wear make-up.  It’s a practice I’m working on though.  I only wear it a few days a week, like definitely on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s when I teach (because my classes are events and should be treated as such) Or when I need to look super professional.  I have noticed it is kind of unnecessary though.  Like I used to rely heavily on the foundation to cover up redness or bumpiness.  My skin is really pretty smooth and uniform these days, seriously can’t complain.  I recently bought some natural vegan mascara from Sunspot that I feel better about using occasionally, and am looking for more natural products to help ease my transition.  I know Karyn’s Raw has an amazing line in Chicago that I would like to look further into.

5. Coconut Oil Is The Wonder Product

Face, hair, lips, and legs, I put this stuff everywhere!  Chea on these frigid days I will definitely put a little on my face after I shower.  Coconut oil is perfect on my ends when I straighten my hair too- or if you’re looking for an all over deep conditioning treatment!  Lost your lip gloss- again?!  Slather on some coconut oil! Leaves a beautiful non-sticky shine and moisturizes like heaven!  Post-shaving, this stuff brings incredible smooth moisture and soft skin.  Not to mention- coconut oil is the perfect massage oil and naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial yummy smelling lubricant.  Have fun ladies!  Keep that coconut oil close by!

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Such a Scrumptious Sunday: Salad, Spaghetti, and Seitan

Gotta love Sunday.  Catch up on you to-do list, and with those who lift you higher!  I made plans with the brilliant Owen Densel- who is going to be the most incredible superhero of a dietitian and inspires the crizzaap out of me- we are both huge food nerds! We were going to go out and order veggie dishes, but instead  I asked Jesse if we could maybe borrow his kitchen with high hopes of some mouthes to feed..

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They didn’t seem to have any complaints about the idea 🙂  Owen made an awesome light, cooling, and hearty avocado, tomato, cilantro, cucumber salad, and I made some zucchinilini with raw marinara and steamed sweet potato, as well as a millet, okra, corn and purple cauliflower casserole.

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Owen (with the baseball cap in the bottom corner there) made:

The Salad:

Ingredients:
  • 3 handfuls of spring mix
  • 3 avocados
  • Package (or 2 cups) of grape tomatoes
  • Bunch of Cilantro
  • 1 cucumber
Steps:
  1. Dice up spring mix, place in mixing bowl
  2. smash up the avocados,( place in mixing bowl )
  3. cut the grape tomatoes in half,( place in mixing bowl )
  4. dice the cucumber into little cubes, (place in mixing bowl)
  5. dice up cilantro, (place in mixing bowl)
  6. mix mix mix !

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The Spaghetti:

Ingredients:
  • 6 zucchini
  • 2 sweet potato
  • any leftover veggies (we had leftover frozen corn and okra)
Steps:
  1. Spiralize the zucchini with a spiralizer or a potato peeler
  2. Slice the sweet potato into small chunks and steam until soft
  3. mix veggies up in a large bowl

The Marinara:

Ingredients
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • about 1/3 cup sun-dried tomato
  • 4-5 soft medjool dates (pitted)
  • about 3 Tbs Italian seasonings
Steps:
  1. Chop tomatoes, onion, garlic, and dates just enough to be easy on your blender or food processor
  2. Blend in blender until desired consistency (until smooth, or chunky.. if you like it chunky)
  3. Pour over bowl of prepared vegetables.  Garnish with diced tomato, chopped kale, and plenty of basil!

The Casserole:

From Alicia Silverstone’s “The Kind Diet” “Polenta Casserole with Seitan”

I had most of these ingredients just sitting in my desk drawer (the tahini, braggs liquid aminos, millet) and I’ve been trying to experiment with more recipes lately.  This recipe was perfect to try, if I can do it- I guarantee you can to!  It was so light and fluffy, with a mild hearty Asian twang. Really great dish 🙂 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup millet or 1 1/2 cups polenta or cornmeal
  • 1 medium-size head cauliflower, cut in large pieces (I could only find purple cauliflower, so our casserole ended up being a pretty purple 😛 )
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen and thawed (I didn’t have peas, but I had frozen okra, so I used that.  I ❤ okra! It was great!)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package seitan, sliced (I couldn’t find seitan so I used organic tempeh, I have never used either before and am still learning about the differences between the two, but the tempeh seemed to be fine)
  • 1 cup of thawed frozen corn
  • 6 asparagus spears cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame tahini
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbs shoyu (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos) plus one more to sprinkle on top
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • fresh basil for garnish
Steps:
  1. Place the millet in a large heavy pot.  Add the cauliflower, peas (if using fresh) and 3 cups of water (add 5 cups if using polenta). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes (30 minutes if using polenta).  Polenta must be stirred frequently as it cooks to prevent it from sticking or becoming lumpy, but you don’t have to stir millet.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8″ x 8″ casserole dish.
  3. While the cauliflower mixture cooks, arrange the sliced seitan in the casserole dish. Layer the corn kernels on top, and then add the asparagus. (I think next time I make it I won’t do these layers and I will just mix in the corn and asparagus pieces into the cauliflower part, up to you!)
  4. Remove the millet mixture from the heat.  Add the tahini, milk, shoyu, and mash with a potato masher or fork until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.  Add the chopped parsley and peas (if using frozen) and mix well.  Spoon the mashed mixture into the casserole dish over the vegetables and smooth the top.  Poke a few small holes in the surface, and sprinkle with a little extra shoyu (this makes the top crispy)
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (I think I got impatient and took it out at 25).  Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes (ya right..) before cutting into squares.  Garnish with basil, and serve.

It was so nice getting to share this scrumptious and healthy bounty with such wonderful people!  Everyone was inspired by the delicious vegetable dishes- ah! It brought me so much joy!  Owen and I were stoked to see people enjoying these amazing health foods.  I am so thankful for this opportunity tonight!  What a satisfying Sunday!  Off to a great week!

Deep Dish Mexican Inspiration Pizza

Deep Dish Mexican Inspiration Pizza and Guacamole! The crust, so flakey, light, and crisp!  Absolutely delishh with a nice bite of warm refried beans and soy cheeze with cooling, crunchy, flavor-filled veggies!!

Thank you, Jesse Fabrikant.DEEPDISHMEXPIZZA

Jesse has infinite passion and excitement.  He wants nothing more than to share his zest for life- inspiring others.  Such a positive light to be around, Jewish Jesse made a beautiful Shabbat dinner for his friends and I.  Jesse, the rock-climbing vegetarian, views fears as opportunities. “The more something scares you, the better the opportunity.”

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I connected with Jesse in so many ways!  He reminded me so much of myself in his mission to find and pursue his purpose on this planet.  He, too wants to be the best, happiest, and most passionate version of himself.

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(No, there is no pot growing in that hydroponic! Lots of yummy herbs though! 🙂 )

After being on our parents’ path for so long (high school, college…) it is time for us to listen to our hearts, and follow our own paths.  What that might be, it is up to us. Let it be challenging, scary, and let everyday be the f&^%ing best day you could ever imagine.  It can happen…  It is happening right now 🙂  You can get inspired by Jesse by visiting his brand new website at www.themoderncitizen.wordpress.com.  He climbs, and composts 😀

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For the pizza!?! :

The Dough:

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  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil (or substitute with apple sauce)
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 Tbs white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/ 45 degrees C)

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  1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl.  Mix in oil and warm water.
  2. Spread out on a greased and floured deep dish pan.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes, or until just golden perfection 🙂

The Toppings:

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Up to you!! This is what we did:

  • Refried beans spread out on the bottom
  • shredded daiya cheese (then put back in the oven for a minute to melt the cheese a little)
  • organic frozen corn, thawed
  • diced tomato
  • diced bell pepper
  • cilantro, chopped
  • guacamole (on the side to dip the crust in, or to dollop on top 😛 NOM!
  • eat mindfully! Shabbot Shalom!

Guacamole:

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 lime, squeezed for juice
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  1. Mash avocados with lime juice to form a smooth consistency
  2. Fold in the tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno
  3. Mix well and be merry! Mmmm Mmm MMMMMmmm!

satisfiedjesse

5 Tips: Create The Best Version Of Yourself

bestu

Infinite Waters has a deep understanding of enlightenment.  I invite you to check out his videos and read this article I wrote with his inspiration in mind.

bestyou

Rethink your existence. Everything you do is a choice. Realize that you are free. We were brought up to do, to provide, go to school, go to work and to make money. Guess what? We’re human beings not human doings. At this time in your life, realize every second you spend in a day is 100 percent your choice. You choose to wake up to go to 7:30 a.m. class. Nobody is forcing you. So quit complaining! If it doesn’t serve you, let it go. I am looking forward to using what I learn in my classes in my future. If you really don’t want to go to class, I suggest you seriously reconsider what you are doing with your life, open your heart and listen to your passions. Once you realize you are free, you can embrace happiness and practice becoming the best version of yourself.

Be yourself. It all starts with self-love. There will always be people with opinions who think you are this type of person or that type of person. What you do have the power to change is your opinion of your self. When we embrace who we are, full throttle, is when we really start to live to be the best versions of ourselves. There is something within you that nobody else has to offer. Be yourself and grace the world with your presence .

Love is greater than fear.  Fear means False Evidence Appearing Real. I can think of too many things I do out of fear: fear of the future, fear of consequences, fear of disapproval, fear of judgment, fear of disappointment… the list goes on. I’m practicing turning this around, as I begin to do more things out of love.  My list looks something like this: love of dancing, love of yoga, love of friends, love of learning, love of trying new things, love of a good challenge. Everyone has a different list of what they love or what brings them joy. We are all beautiful and unique so, let what brings you love guide you to find the best version of your self.

Cure your “disease to please.” We don’t have to act small to get people to like us. In your attempt to please your parents, teachers, or even your friends, have you lost who you really are? In college, it is easy to fall into the party scene. Friends want you to go out with them. Don’t forget who you are in your journey to providing the most positive contribution possible to this planet.  The only person you have to please is yourself.  Letting go of relationships that no longer serve you may open doors to relationships that do serve you.

There is no such thing as a mistake.  Okay, hold up. Yes, there’s definitely such a thing, but it’s really all about how you look at it. Some people look for ways to make more mistakes so that they can learn and become wise. Others, like me, will misplace her keys and a week later, lose them again. What is huge about this is, not letting it get to you. Why worry?  Why stress? There is nothing I can do in the meantime besides think, look, and keep moving forward. Complaining, crying or freaking out is not constructive.  Like I said, I’m still working on this one, but in striving to become the best version of myself, I practice noticing when stress pours over me and laughing at it  as I try to let it go and move on.

I also suggest eating plant foods. Feeding your body the medicine nature grows for us is fundamentally beneficial for your own well-being. Maybe you think my suggestions are bogus or too spiritual. But, in my journey, I have noticed as I embrace what I love, opportunities fall into my lap. So much serendipity. At the CoRec, I get to share my passions for dancing, yoga and even the amazing and delicious raw vegan cuisine in the demo kitchen! If that wasn’t enough, you’re reading my article as the health fitness columnist for this newspaper and my little diary of a blog www.lifeisrawesome.wordpress.com, that only my mom read, now has over 100 followers!

Every day is the best day ever.  Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just how I look at it .

bestuu