Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 47: Happy 2010!

Same old, same old for the last day of 2009.  I went for a run in the morning.  It was beautful, sunny, and warm.  Then I came back and had a Banana-Strawberry Smoothie with Flax and Tahina.

Lunch was leftover Sunshine Burgers (tofu, beans and veggies) on a huge salad with peanuts and sun-dried tomatoes and tahina dressing:

Snack was good old Hummus on Rice Cakes (Henceforth to be known as GOHRC).

Dinner will be out somewhere with my sweetie.  Hope I find something vegan.

Last night I went to the monthly meeting of my bookclub.  I'm in a great bookclub with wonderful, witty, smart, and fun-loving women.  I guess someone's been taking a peek at my blog or talkin' behind my back, because almost the entire spread was VEGAN!  There was a crazy delicious roasted pepper soup made creamy with spelt milk of all things!  I'm going to try to re-create that tomorrow.  There was a great salad, roasted veggies, steamed green beans, some fabulous vegetable thing wrapped in phyllo dough, mulled cider AND hot spiced wine!  I just kept thinking, you know you have good friends when they tolerate your food weirdness without so much as a single peep.  Wow.

So tomorrow will be the first day of 2010.  How did we manage to pass an entire decade  in the 2000's already?  Wasn't it just Y2K?  I hope 2010 will be a good year for us here on Earth.  I hope there will be peace and quiet with our neighbors here in the Middle East.  I hope Gilad Shalit will come home alive and well.  I wish you all health, happiness and great vegetable-eating in the Brand New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 46: Join a 21-day Vegan Challenge!

If you have been at all curious about what it would be like to try veganism on for size, the Physician's Committe for Responsible Medicine has put together a 21-day vegan challenge that takes all the guesswork out of what to eat.  They've got daily mealplans with recipes, tons of info and inspiration delivered to your inbox and vegan celebs hosts such Alicia Silverstone, Iron-Man Brendan Brazier, Marilu Henner, Kris Carr, Dr John McDougall and Dr. Dean Ornish.

Here's the meal plan for the coming week:

And here are Alicia Silverstone's tips for the day and some great looking recipes from her new book The Kind Diet, plus a slightly (cough) motivating picture of Alicia in her birthday suit:

Alicia Silverstone, star of the hit film Clueless and many other popular movies, television shows, and Broadway plays, has followed a vegan diet for more than 10 years. She says it is the single-most important decision she has ever made. Alicia went vegan because of her love for animals, but she soon realized that her new lifestyle also made her feel lighter and more vibrant. She began to learn more about the wide-ranging health and environmental benefits of following a plant-based diet, and she never turned back. Alicia just wrote her first book, The Kind Diet, to help others explore the difference of a plant-based diet and learn how eliminating harmful foods can have amazing benefits for your health, your appearance, and even the planet.   Learn more about Alicia and her new book at

1.  As your body adjusts to the new sense of fullness and satisfaction from plant-based foods, eat hearty protein dishes, especially those containing tempeh or seitan and prepared with generous amounts of seasoning. This will help your body recognize a new type of fullness and satisfaction that isn’t doing damage to it.

2.  Whole grains are your new best friend and will be an essential part of your daily diet—ideally at every meal. These amazing little seeds are literally full of life and contain a pure, essential energy that we don’t get from most other foods. Grains will keep you balanced, centered, energized, and focused.

3.  No matter where you're at in life or on this journey, you are sure to encounter a few bumps in the road. Don’t worry! This is normal. We can all support each other on this passage to healthier and happier living. Don’t forget to use the Kickstart message board when you have a question or need support.

4.  Sometimes we think about food because we’re bored or just stuck in a habit. As you make these big changes in your eating, it’s helpful to have a few activities up your sleeve to give you satisfaction: calling a friend, walking your dog, taking a bath, or reading more about this lifestyle can help occupy a wandering mind.

5.  When planning meals, re-create dishes you love, like spaghetti with meat sauce or your favorite Chinese dish, with new ingredients. Use a sauce you love on meat (like a barbecue or teriyaki) and serve it over rice, seitan, or vegetables. You may love it!

6.  Short on time? Soups are great for quick meals because you can empty the fridge into a leftover soup! Start with water or a good vegetable stock, then add grain or sweet potatoes or beans and any vegetables you haven’t gotten around to using. Eat with a slice of toast. Quick, yummy, and satisfying!

Alicia Silverstone's Recipes

Crocodile Crunch
This chunky, funky festival of fruit is colorful and nutritious. It’s especially fun for kids because it includes a bright green sauce made with spirulina, which has a tendency to get all over teeth, lips, and little hands.

Makes 2 servings

2-3 cups of bite-size pieces of fresh fruit, such as kiwifruit, strawberries, bananas, avocados, apples, pears, or mango
2 teaspoons spirulina
1 1/2 tablespoons any nondairy milk
2 teaspoons almond butter (for this recipe, Alicia likes to use raw)
1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons shaved fresh or dried coconut
1/2 cup kamut flake cereal

Divide fruit into two serving bowls. Use a fork to stir together the spirulina and soy milk in a small glass. Add the almond butter, and mix again. Stir in the syrup and orange juice, and give it a final stir. The sauce should be smooth and neither too thick nor too runny.  Pour the sauce over the fruit, and sprinkle with the coconut and cereal. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew
Served on its own or as a soupy stew over brown basmati rice or couscous, this dish is hearty and filling.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Fine sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the tomatoes and ginger and cook for three minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt. Cook and stir for two minutes, then taste for seasonings; try to use only enough salt to heighten the flavors.

Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft.

To join the challenge beginning on January 1st, register here:
Plus, I'll be here to cheer you on and support you all the way!  Come on, you can do it!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 45

My dear friend Christy asked about Dragon Fruit and Kombucha.  Dragon Fruit is apparently officially called Pitaya.  It's pretty alien looking.  I'm not actually sure if it's grown in Israel or imported from the Far East (we say Far East because we are, you know Middle East.  That cracks me up.  East of WHERE?  Yeah, I know.)

Kombucha is fermented black or green tea.  You brew tea with lots of sugar and then add a yeast/bacteria culture, like when making sourdough or yogurt, and then let it sit at room temp (with a filter on top to keep out flies and harmful bacteria).  It gets mildly fizzy and takes on a vinegar sort of taste.  I honestly can't believe that I like it, it sounds so gross, but I really like the taste, the light fizz and most of all the way it makes me feel.  It IS slightly alcoholic so maybe that's all I'm reacting to, but it makes me feel calm and centered and if my belly is at all bloated or gassy, Kombucha takes that right away.  Mmm. think I need to go pour a glass right now!

You can google it and read tons of more information.  The brand I used to buy in the States is this:

Company:  Synergy  Brand Name:  GT's

I miss it!!!

I liked the ones flavored with juice.  My brother-in-law drank a bottle of plain when he was visiting us in NY once and said "Um, it tastes like straight vinegar"  but he finished it!

Anyway on today's food front I juiced a bunch of oranges and grapefruits this morning.  Sunshine in a glass!

But truthfully, straight citrus juice is a bit too sweet for me on it's own.  Boy, never thought I would EVER say something is "too sweet"!  So I made a delicious smoothie with banana, citrus juice, frozen blackberries, ground flaxseeds for fiber and a spoonful of tahina for protein.  It was yummy and fueled me right through teaching a class today.  I didn't get hungry for lunch until 2pm! 

But then I was really hungry and wolfed down my lunch before I could take a picture of it, sorry.  It was the Coconut Cauliflower Curry over Brown Rice from Get It Ripe by Jae Steele and the Pressed Cabbage Salad from the same book.  Dinner will be some simple vegetable soup with noodles I think.

Parent-Teacher Conferences tonight, Heaven help me!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 44 For the Love of Kombucha

For breakfast today I had a smoothie with banana, frozen blackberries and dragon fruit:

Lunch was significantly less exotic, just boring old hummus on rice cakes + salad. 
But here's a picture of the pigeon sitting on her babies:

Dinner was Sunshine Burgers from Robin Roberston's book Vegetarian Comfort Food and a salad of red and green cabbage, apples, carrots, walnuts and a splash of rice wine vinegar.  Can't share a copy-righted recipe, but can say that these burgers contain beans and tofu and sunflower seeds and some veggies.  Lots of protein!

Oh and by the way, I am totally addicted to Kombucha Tea.  Last week I drove out to the edge of the world to score FIVE full-size bottles of the stuff.  I'm trying so hard to ration it out slowly, but I really just want to sit down and guzzle.  I am thinking I need to learn to make kombucha myself.   Wonder if there is any chance my Kombucha man will give me some of his scoby?  (he, he the scoby is the culture.  I love that word: scoby, scoby do how are you...)

Kombucha = Yum + Feeling Groovy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 42: I'm a Pigeon Grandma!

Big news here:  The pigeon eggs laid in my laundry balconey have hatched and that makes me a kind of grandma or maybe just a really good health coach.  You see...

...every apartnent in Israel has what is called a "service balconey" where the solar water heater is stored and with several clothes lines to hang laundry shielded from public view (none of that hanging bras and panties business in modern Israeli building, no siree).  In a country where there is brilliant sunshine 300+ days of the year, it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

So anyway, for the past 2 years that we have lived here, and who knows how much longer before that, a pair of pigeons has had hours and hours of noisy pigeon sex, made a nest in my laundry balconey, laid eggs, and then promptly abandoned them.  We would have to climb down there and toss out the eggs when they began to smell.  Ick.  So this time around I gave these pigeons daily pep talks as I hung my laundry to dry.  I explained that casual sex has it's place but one must follow through on the results of such a union.  You know, responsibility and all.

I told them all about the sacrifices parents must make to bring young into the world.  I spoke quietly so they wouldn't get spooked and fly off to never return.  Heck, I even sang to them!  Clearly I'm a lunatic and yes I know that these birds are like the rats of the bird-world and YES, I KNOW they will keep coming back again and again.  But I just couldn't help myself.  I wanted to see them succeed at this parenting thing.

And voila, a few mornings ago my son discovered broken shells and little yellow babies!!! 

I feel so proud.  I am trying not to interfere too much but I want the mom and dad pigeon to stick with these vulnerable chicks until they are grown and out of the nest, so I think a few more parenting lectures will be in order.  I'll take more pictures as these darlings grow, spread their wings and fly.  So exciting!  (I have no life, right?  That's totally what you're thinking).

For those of you who come here to hear about the food, I'm sorry I've taken a little detour recently.  Veganism has taken me in a direction I never expected and it's taken me some time to process it all.  I think I'll blog about it all but I'm not sure yet.  Just know that yes, I'm still off the animals and doing just fine.  Stay with me as there's plenty more to come...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 37

Still no witty banter from me.  I don't know what has happened to my wit?  Perhaps a side effect of veganism is the loss of one's sense of humor?  Uh oh.

Today's lunch had enough fiber to... well... nope, still not getting any clever metaphors to finish out that sentence.  Sigh.

The Roto Rooter
(is that just an Indiana thing or do people know what I'm talking about?)

This was leftover lentil patties, topped with leftover ful (fava beans), a side of leftover sauteed cabbage and onions and a tomato.  It was yummy and filling.

Tomorrow for my class I am serving this delish creamy broccoli soup:

Dilled Broccoli Soup

1 large bunch ( 2 lbs) broccoli
4 cups veg stock oe water
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 large leek, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup rolled oats
sea salt or light miso to taste
¾ cup tightly packed fresh dill

1. Cut broccoli into large florets. Trim and peel the stalks, cut into 1-inch chunks. Place all ingreds into a soup pot (except miso if using). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until broccoli is soft and oatmeal is cooked, about 15 mins.

2. Puree in FP or blender to smooth. Add miso. Reheat gently.

3. Garnish with dill if desired.

Happy Winter Solstice Everyone!  For those of you buried under tons of snow, happy shoveling, drive carefully, and better you than me.  It was 75 and sunny here in the Holyland today.  That's the way uh-huh uh-huh I like it uh-huh uh-huh.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 36

No witty commentary today.  I'm crabby like you wouldn't believe.  But I ate well at least:

Mock Chicken Salad on Brown Rice Cakes

1 package of tempeh

1 stalk celery, minced
½ red bell pepper, minced
1 large dill pickle, minced
2 scallions, chopped
Handful chopped parsley
3 T vegan mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Poach tempeh in pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or baked in a greased pan for 20 minutes at 170 C. Drain and set aside to cool completely. Chopped cooled tempeh into chicken salad sized pieces. Mix all ingredients. Serve.  Serious Yum!

Lentil Nut Burgers

1 onion, chopped and sauteed until soft
1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled lentils
3/4 cup ground walnuts
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup oats (dry)
Handful parsley leaves
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Process all in food processor until mixed and smooth ( not totally pureed - leave some texture).  Form into about 10 patties.  Fry 5 minutes or so on both sides until outside is crisp and brown and inside is firm.  Yes, the kids ate these!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 34: Strawberries & Hummus

Yay!  Strawberries!  Here in Israel, we are only able to buy what is growing in season - there is no great temperature variance as in North America where someone living in Maine can buy Hawaiian pineapples in the dead of winter.  Nor are the neighboring counrties, who DO grow in different climates, exactly willing to ship to Israel.  So we are on our own here to eat what we grow, close to where we grow it, in the season when it's grown.  Eat Local, Eat Seasonal - here in Israel we don't have a choice to do it any other way!

The growing seasons are somewhat different than they were in North America and it was a big adjustment for me to learn what grows when, and to learn how to enjoy the many different fruits and vegetables.  I literally stood in the market with a useless shopping list CRYING, until I got used to it!  Strawberries, for instance, are available in the winter here and by Spring (the growing season in the US) they are already gone.  The happiest coincidence is that I live in the heart of strawberry-growing country and can, in fact, WALK to the strawberry fields and buy just picked semi-organic berries still warm from the sun!  Yum!

So this morning we enjoyed Strawberry-Banana Smoothies:

For 3 servings:
One banana
2 cups strawberries
2 T ground flaxseeds
1 cup rice milk
1 cup water

Last week I made pickles.  Despite the rainy weather we are having, they appeared to be done today.

I don't eat pickles, so I don't know how they tasted by my kids were literally eating them as fast as I could slice them! (Although that could be because they were starving after getting a dinner of Black Quinoa and Tempeh last night, hehe)

So the pickles were PART of the entire meal I prepared for our Friday lunch today. I also made slow-cooked browned eggs (Huevos Haminados), a green salad, Ful (stewed Fava Beans) and tahnia sauce, that we served over freshly-made organic hummus from our local Eden Teva market.  This is all served piping hot by the way with warm fluffy fresh pita for scooping everything up.  This is stick-to-your-ribs vegan comfort food at it's finest!
Here are some pics of our yummy meal.  And no, I myself, did not eat the eggs.

Hanukkah ends tonight.  By Sunday the local bakeries will have changed over Sufganiyot* production to Hamentaschen**.

*Sufganiyot are jillion-calorie fried doughnuts eaten on Hanukkah which thank heavens I don't like!
**Hamentaschen are jillion-calorie cookies we eat for Purim in March, which sadly I adore.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 33: Black Quinoa?!

First half of the day was boring repeats:  Banana Oats for Brekkie and a Large Salad with Sauteed Tofu for Lunch.  Mid-afternoon snack was especially yummy though, so I photographed it:

This is baked sweet potatoes drizzled with raw tahini (OK, so that's more than a drizzle ;-))

For dinner we had:

Tempeh Baked in a drop of olive oil and a splash of soy sauce
(Note: I'm the only one who would eat it "It looks like Brains!")

Black Quinoa with sauteed onions, fresh scallions, parsley, basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

Roasted Cauliflower, Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes with a splash of Balsamic Vinegar

Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 32: More Logging

Here's another logged food day:


That's an Apple Pie Smoothie with:
1 banana
1 apple
cinnamon and cardamom
1 T ground flaxseeds
1 T tahini
1 1/2 cups water


Large salad with Romaine lettuce, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, 2 T bottled dressing, 1 cup of pasta with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Nutritional Yeast.


Hot Cocoa made with 25g non-dairy chocolate chips melted in 1 cup of heated Rice Milk with a cinnamon stick.  Handful of salted peanuts


1 cup Lentil Soup, a small Baked Sweet Potato and 1 cup steamed broccoli


Chocolate-dipped clementine slices (I only had a couple, not that entire tray!  My son and I made these to bring to a Hanukkah party where I ate not a single latke. Latke Victory!)

Workout was 60-mins combo of free weights, body weight exercise and cardio intervals

1479 calories
53g Protein
56g Fiber
753mg Calcium

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 31: Attack of the Stealth Latkes

My one-month veganniversary coincided with Hanukkah.  I had already decided that I was just going to skip latkes this year.  (Latkes are potato pancakes fried in lots of oil that we eat on Hanukkah).  I mean, aside from the fact that they are made with eggs and therefore not vegan, they are truly just a pain in the buttocks to create.  Peel potatoes, grate potatoes, grate onions, stand at the stove forever frying and frying while your hair, clothes and house are permeated by au d'frycook.  I'm getting pimples just thinking about it!  And of course nutritionally, they are like free-radical city.  Not a good thing.

Well, best laid plans and all...   We went to a couple of back-to-back Hanukkah parties last night and even though I had eaten my sensible salad and beans before we left, I was attacked by the Stealth Latkes, the ones I did not expect to actually crave.  I guess when someone else makes them they are actually appealing to me.  I hadn't thought of that.

I ate...A LOT.. of latkes. 

Unfortunately the story does not end there.  This morning I woke up and thought "Hm, I could create Vegan Latkes using tofu instead of eggs and wow my blog readers.  So without consulting cookbooks or online resources, I just launched into Project Tofu Latkes.  Totally "forgot" my pledge to not make or eat any latkes this year.

As often happens in such instances of rash behavior, the end product did not turn out quite the way I had expected.  I got this rather unappetzing result:

and this:

and oy! this:

If you don't mind burned-on-the-outside-raw-on-the-inside, they came out fine.  The kids ate the lot of 'em.  I was a bit too digusted with myself and depressed at the thought of cleaning those pans to eat very many.  I don't know why they stuck so badly?  It could have been the tofu, or the kind of potatoes or not having the heat just right in the pan.  (You can see that I fried one batch and baked one batch - neither one very successful in my mind).


Vegan Latkes
330g tofu (that's the size of the package here)
6 potatoes, peeled and grated
1 onion, grated,
handful chopped parsely
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
few twists black pepper
oil for frying
Puree tofu, onion and parsley in food processor, mix in other ingredients, fry in oil, spend the rest of your life scrubbing the pans. 

If anyone makes them, tell me how they come out for ya!

So to salvage the past unhealthy 24 hours and to take advantage of the fact that it is sunny and 75 F in Israel in December (yippee!), I herded everyone outdoors and we walked to the City Park. 

We blew bubbles,

and climbed,


and the pipsqueak beat me!

Happy Hanukkah!
(Watch out for the Latkes!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 29 I log my food

Everyone still with me after that Cow post?   Good.  I would miss you if you ran away.

Just so you know, I DO know that cheese tastes really really good and to be totally on the up and up I will tell you that I miss it very much.  I am not saying yet what will happen when these 100 vegan days are over because I don't yet know, but it is a bit difficult to imagine my life without any cheese of any kind, despite what I know about it's origins and health problems.

I have received several emails with questions about protein, calcium and calories.  So I'm going to try to track a few days of exactly what I eat and how it stacks up.

I started the day with a 5K jog which took me 60 minutes.  I'm slow.

Then I had Coconut-Pecan-Banana-Whipped Oats:
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup oat milk
dashes of cinnamom, cardamom and sea salt
1 banana
5 toasted pecans
1 T unsweetened coconut flakes

For lunch I had this:

1 gluten-free pita
1/2 cup hummus with za'atar (LOVE that combo!)
Huge pile of water-sauteed Swiss Chard, cherry tomtoes and garlic

If I'm going to eat dessert during the day, I eat it after lunch when there's still a good chance to work it off!

One home-made chocolate brownie ball, one peanut-oat ball & one piece of chocolate-covered orange peel

This is my current most favorite tea with some oat milk.  It's called Pukka Pleasure and has cocoa, licorice, chicory, cinnamon and cardamom.  Yum!

Leftover Veg Soup with Chickpeas and a Soy Chicken Breast thing plus 1 spelt cracker with 1 Tbsp tahina.

Day's Totals:
1536 calories
51 g protein
40 g fiber
532 mg calcium

That puts me right where I want to be on all four counts.
I was in the kitchen today all of 30 minutes tops.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 27 and I will tell you about cows

I had a lovely and intelligent person this morning ask me why avoiding dairy was a necerssary part of being an ethical vegan.  She said "But if we don't milk the cows, they will be in pain."  This is an understandable misconception and I want to talk about it here in case others wonder the same thing. 

Let's start at the beginning.  In order for a cow to produce milk, she needs to have a baby, just like a human or any other mammal.  Therefore dairy cows are artificially inseminated by their boyfriends, dairy farmers.  The cow then carries a baby in her womb for 9 months, just like we do.  But when her baby is born, they are allowed only 1 day together to ensure a good milk supply comes in, and then the calf is taken away from it's mother and the milk that the cow produced to feed her calf is essentially stolen from her calf and given to humans to drink instead.

For both the mother cow and the calf, being seperated so early is very distressing.  Ask any farmer and he will confirm that they call for one another day and night.  Get between a mother and a baby of any species and you will know that we mothers are hard-wired instinctively to protect, care for and feed our young.   To make matters worse, the calves are kept close by so that the mother cow can hear her calf crying and her milk will therefore flow more freely.

If the calf is a female, she will grow up to be a dairy cow like her mother.  If it's male, he is sold to the veal industry.  Those of us who have sworn off veal because of the extra cruel and disgusting treatment these young calves suffer, are directly supporting the veal industry by consuming dairy products.  This is one of my main motivators in going vegan actually.

In addition to becoming a milk machine to feed un-weaned humans, our mother cow is pumped so full of growth hormone to increase her milk supply that she ends up producing 100 times as much milk as she would for her own calf!  Her udder is so swollen and distended that it often drags on the ground.

Here are a few pictures I took of some dairy cows on a small farm right here in Israel:

Look how low her udder is hanging! And look at the one behind her, ick.

This one's got an exercise ball bewteen her legs!

Because of over-milking the cows often develop mastitis, and infection of their teets (nipples).  It is this reason why they are given antibiotics in their daily feed.  These antibiotics pass into the milk we drink, as do the growth hormones.  We are being exposed to these antibiotics on a daily basis leading the World Health Organization to warn of an inevitable global health crisis!  The growth hormones are causing young boys and girls to go into early puberty and feeding hormone-related tumors in adults.

Aside from the cruelty to cow and calf and the antibiotics and growth hormones in the milk there are two additional issues:  1.  Cow Dairy is NOT the health food it is cracked up to be, in fact 70% of the world's population can't even digest it and high dairy consumption is linked with HIGHER rates of oesteoporosis (you heard me right!), and heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and many cancers.  The stuff is plain BAD for you!  It just has fabulous PR people who happen to sit in very high governmental places.

And 2, let's stop and think for a minute about WHAT it is.  We are talking about the breast milk of another species.  Would you take human breast milk in your coffee?  Dog milk maybe?  Pig Milk?  Ew.  Cow milk is no less ickier, we have just become used to the concept.  It's still breast milk and it's made to grow giant, fat COWS with 4 stomachs.  It is not suitable for our bodies AT ALL.  Humans are the only species in the world who continue to drink milk after weaning from their own mother's breast milk and certainly the only creatures who then drink the milk of another species.  It's a lot freakish if you think about it.

NOT Yummy.

I will be back tomorrow or the next day with recipes!  Thank you for reading this Vegan Ed Interlude.  Feel free to discuss, share ideas or ask questions below.

Check out and for more info.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 24 and I pass judgement on Mollie Katzen

Enjoyed a terrific group weight loss class today with some lovely and inspiring ladies.  I served them the following:

Millet-Stuffed Peppers

Unfortunately for you, dear reader, the recipe is not available anywhere online, so I really can't post it.  It is from Get It Ripe by Jae Steele, which is a really wonderful little vegan cookbook with many innovative and delicious recipes such as this one.  I can say that in addition to the millet, the filling contains ground sunflower seeds and tahini for a fabulous amount of protein!  So, buy the coobook, or borrow it from me, or best of all, come to one of my classes and taste for yourself!

Brazilian Black Bean Soup

Now, THIS recipe is from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen but is also widely available online so I have no problem printing it here too.  And truthfully, I'm a wee bit aggravated by Ms. Katzen, who has apparently decided to include meat recipes in her latest cookbook.  As the Mother of Modern North American Vegetarian Cookbooks, I think she should have remained a truer role model.  But really I have no idea what I'm talking about and shouldn't judge.  Bad girl.  Good soup.  Thanks for that Molls!

Brazilian Black Bean Soup
2 cups dry black beans

3 1/2 cups water or stock

Group A:
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 large chopped carrot
1 stalk chopped celery
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp oil, approximately

Group B:
2 oranges or tangerines, peeled, sectioned, seeded (Emily used one)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp dry sherry (Emily did not use “who has sherry?”)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
(Emily also added 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro to the final product)

1. Rinse the beans. Cover them with water and soak for several hours or overnight. Pour off the excess water and put the beans in a large saucepan with 3 1/2 cups of water or stock and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer 1 1/2 hours over very low heat. (Emily says: add a strip of kombu seaweed to the cooking water for more digestible beans).

2. Sauté Group A, beginning with the onions and garlic. If necessary, add a little water to the vegetables to steam them. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add the sauté to the beans. Let the soup continue to simmer over lowest possible heat.

3. Add Group B to the soup. Stir, cover, and let simmer for 10 more minutes. At this point I usually pronounce the soup finished, but you could thin it out with water or thicken it by pureeing some and returning it to the pot.  (Emily sauteed half the soup for a creamier finish.)

I leave you tonight with this picture:

Thing 1.  First-born child.  Apple of my Eye.

He complained that his little pip-squeak brother made the blog and he didn't.  So in the name of fair and square, here he is.  He's, er, fishing, in this picture, which is not a very vegan thing to do, but they didn't catch anything so yay the fish won anyway!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 23 brings rain to the desert!

It doesn't rain in Israel very often (hence sandstorms), but today we were blessed with a whole day of heavy showers.  My youngest son, who apparently has no memory of the first 6 years of his life in frigid, snowy NY, woke up this morning and said "Well, clearly we cannot go to school today because of this rain."  Hahaha

Here is how he dressed himself to "brave the weather":

It was 65 degrees Farenheit. Brrr

So as promised, here is the Vegan Lasagna I mentioned yesterday:

As I said, this is literally the most time-consuming lasagna recipe the world has ever know.  It IS really good though and I would have to say that yes, it was worth the effort.  Just don't start it like right before dinnertime because you'll end up ordering take-out.

The recipe is here.   It is from The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn:

Basically it's whole wheat noodles, layered with tomato sauce, a mashed sweet potato layer, a thawed frozen spinach layer and then a crumbled tofu-vegetable layer containing onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, corn, broccoli, bell peppers and lots of fresh herbs.  Is there a vegetable NOT in this lasagna?  I think not.  The top is covered with freshly sliced tomatoes and then ground raw cashews which make such a fragrant, delicious smell when they are baking and really do give a convincing parmesan-ish taste and texture to the top.

The gray weather made me sleepy (or maybe it was the giant trembling Labrador Retriever wedged under my bed all night who I clearly should have named Thunderphobia?)  Anyway, I made myself a pot of fresh Chai and drank the entire thing.

Vegan Chai
4 cups water
1 T black tea
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 black peppercorns
pinch ground cloves

Boil everything together 5-7 minutes.  Then add:
2 cups non-dairy milk (I used oat milk as in the picture)
2 tsps maple syrup or to taste

Boil a bit more, strain and drink.  Yum.

Lastly, I am really bothered by the lack of a spell check button.  Do I have like a ton of spelling mistakes each post??  How can there be a blog platform without a spell check?  It used to be here and now it's gone.  What the heck?