We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves.

And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

Henry Beston American writer and naturalist

“Other Nations”

“Earthlings”

Sugar? Agave? Stevia? Maple Syrup?

At least I’ve gotten it down to this list because, God know, there are a lot of sweeteners out there.

But which one do I use? I thought I knew. I’ve been using USDA Certified Organic Raw Agave Syrup, but recently I stumbled upon web articles stating that even agave syrup has high fructose levels – and most of us know by now how the addicting qualities of high fructose can lead to obesity and diabetes. Not to mention that the articles also state that most agave is manufactured in Mexico where lax standards have led to accusations of corn syrup additives.  In addition, it is written that agave syrup possess other chemical properties that pose varying health risks.

And so, until agave syrup is vetted to my satisfaction I am switching to good ‘ol American (or Canadian if the price is right) organic pure Maple Syrup. I already added it to my morning cup of coffee and it was wonderful. I am also going to try using powdered organic whole leaf powder Stevia.

grilled vegan chickenvegan grilled chicken sandwichvegan grilled chicken sandwich

{ stuff you’ll need }

1 Gardein Scallopini
Honeycup brand Uniquely Sharp Sweet Mustard
aioli dressing
sandwich bread
celtic sea salt

{ how to make it }

defrost the scallopini half-way, either letting it set out or use the micro-wave … brush it lightly with olive oil and grill or saute it for a few minutes on each side on medium heat  until lightly browned … salt to taste … lightly toast your bread of choice …  assemble your sandwich and top with mustard sauce made from combining the mustard and aioli dressing 2:1

 

{ about this recipe }

Are you ready for some comfort food? This is the creamy cheddar cheese version of my recipe that features parmesean cheese and garlic as the featured taste. And, yes, it’s 100% vegan – yet another recipe that dispels the myth that vegan food cannot be absolutely, satisfyingly delicious without sacrificing the spectrum of sensations we so treasure in our food experiences – taste, texture, depth of flavor, richness, delicacy, heat, spice, sweet, savory …

Like many meals,  I initially made this one based on “What’s in the fridge/pantry that we can use so we don’t have to go out to the store?”  Well, this time I noticed that the expiration date on the sausage was drawing near so, given that parameter to start with,  my attention was drawn to doing something with pasta, cheese and fresh spinach.

And, of course, it had to be easy and quick to prepare.

BRUNCH OPTION >>> substitute cooked diced Yukon Gold potatoes for the pasta

{ stuff you’ll need }

12 oz or one medium package of elbow or penne noodles, cooked, drained,rinsed and lightly coated with olive oil so it does not stick … I used Tinkyada’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta (what I had on hand); it’s wheat/gluten-free and cooks up al dente unlike most wheat-free and rice pasta brands

1 pkg Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages, roughly crumbled

¾ pkg Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

½ cup Wildwood Soy Milk Creamer

½ cup Soy Dream Organic Enriched Milk

2 tbsp Wildwood Aioli

4 handfuls of fresh organically grown spinach leaves, thinly sliced while bunched

powdered smoked paprika to taste

powdered cayenne pepper to taste

Celtic sea salt and ground pepper to taste

{ how to make it }

… while the pasta is cooking saute the roughly crumbled sausages in a fry pan (preferably cast iron skillet) in a bit of canola oil, turning to brown evenly, being sure to scrape up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan – the sausage browns up quickly so pay close attention to them it …  set aside when finished

… in a saucepan, heat on medium high flame the creamer/milk mixture making sure you do not bring it to a boil … instead, when the creamer/milk is very hot start adding the cheese to it, stirring constantly to incorporate the cheese into the creamer/milk

… when the cheese is melted stir in the cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper … set aside

… once the pasta is drained, rinsed and lightly oiled move it to a medium size bowl and fold in the uncooked sliced spinach leaves, being careful not to harm the noodles

… blend the Aioli into the cheese sauce, then pour the sauce into the noodles, stirring and continuing to be careful of harming the noodles, but being sure to mix thoroughly so the cheese is coating all the noodles

… spoon the noodle mixture into a medium size casserole, similar in capacity to an 8x8x3 baking pan

… sprinkle the sausage mixture on top, distributing it evenly and being sure that all the crunchy bits make it on as well

… bake at 350° for about half an hour

vegan tuna salad ingredients
vegan tuna fish sandwich

{ about this recipe }

It’s been a long time in coming but after a lot of online research and working on various recipes I’ve finally come up with a vegan tuna salad that I can be happy to share with you.

Besides really tasting like tuna salad this vegan tuna salad is even healthier.  It is super rich in protein (10g!), Iron, Potassium, Iodine, Vitamin A,  fiber – and more!

The raw veggie ingredients are optional. All the ingredient amounts are approximate and can be adjusted according to your personal taste and textural preference. I happen to like my tuna on the crunchy side so I heavy-up on the celery and carrot. I also like the play of salt v. sweet by using onion and garlic with sweet pickles.

There are three elements that make this recipe really taste like traditional tuna fish salad:  the sea vegetable flakes which give it that authentic tuna fish salad taste without tasting ‘fishy’ ( sea veggie flakes are an awesome dietary source for iodine as well as providing the essential ingredient responsible for the production of thyroid hormone and all other hormones of the body); the Aioli dressing which is just so much better tasting than any other ‘mayo’;  and the use of the press to release the maximum amount of moisture from the ‘tuna’ before processing into flakes.

Ingredient Options: roasted slivered almonds and grapes instead of celery/carrot/pickle/garlic/onion

Makes about 2½ cups of vegan tuna salad.

{ stuff you’ll need }

Tofu XPress

Half a pkg. of Dixie Carb Counters Tuna (Not) Salad Mix (made with Certified NGMO Soy Beans)

1/3  cup minced celery

1/3  cup minced carrots

1 tbsp minced red onion

1 tsp Maine Coast Sea Vegetable Cert. Org. Triple Blend Flakes (Dulce-Laver-Sea Lettuce)

½ cup minced Bread and Butter pickle slices

a couple of pinches (or shakes) of garlic powder

s + p to taste

Wildwood Aioli

{ how to make it }

Prepare the tuna according to the directions on the package by simmering it for about 8 minutes or until the tuna is softened to tuna ‘texture’ by testing with a fork … pour into a colander to drain/cool to room temperature

Place the tuna into the tofu press (for at least an hour) until as much moisture as possible is pressed out

Place half the amount of the pressed tuna chunks into in a small food processor and pulse blend until the tuna presents the consistency of tiny, uniform flakes; remove to  a medium size mixing bowl and pulse blend the other half and add to the bowl

Mix the rest of the ingredients into the tuna until evenly blended

Blend in Aioli dressing to desired consistency

Chill and enjoy

spanish rice

{ about this recipe }

This dish is one of those super easy to make comfort foods that is a real crowd pleaser. It was one of the first dishes I ‘veganized’ after I went vegan. You can choose to make it non-spicy by substituting plain diced for the canned tomatoes with chipotle peppers, as well as toning down on the powdered spices. The crumbles are optional – they are the ‘meaty’ part of the dish – making for a ‘heartier’ meal option, and also good for serving to a ‘mixed’ (vegan and meat-eaters) crowd of guests. Served along with a freshly tossed veg/fruit salad and your good to go!

I usually get the idea to make Spanish Rice when I have a lot of fresh garden tomatoes on hand (dear son-in-law just arrived with the most amazing pile of plum tomatoes!), and green peppers are in season (now!) when at the peak of their flavor and low price. However, that does not keep me from making this dish in the dead of winter (comfort food!) when it’s a perfect for social get togethers. And, like most casserole-style meals, it is even yummier the next day, and the next …

{ stuff you’ll need }

I’ll leave the exact quantities up to you but if you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to reply.

. 4 cups cooked (2 dry) organic Basmati style rice – white, light brown or brown
. 3 med-large sweet onions, diced and sauteed until caramelized
. 2 jumbo or 4 med/small green peppers, diced and sauteed until caramelized
. 3-4 15 oz cans of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Petite Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Peppers, undrained
. 1 bag of frozen non-gmo crumbles, Boca or other, nearly thawed
. fresh tomatoes, diced
. smoked paprika
. cayenne pepper
. salt and pepper

{ how to make it }

while the rice is cooking saute in separate batches (a cast iron skillet is ideal) the onion and green pepper, gently folding them into the rice when they are done … then, saute the crumbles for 10-12 minutes and gently fold into the rice mixture … add the canned tomatoes and fresh diced tomatoes … season to taste … bake or microwave to warm and serve

vegan hummus sandwich

{ about this recipe }

This is a sandwich that is delicious unto itself but that I must confess I came up with initially because I was still craving tuna sandwiches (which, thankfully, I no longer do). This sandwich gave me that creamy/crunchy texture I missed with my tuna sandwiches.

This deliciously simple hummus sandwich exemplifies the healthful benefits of “food combining”. In addition to being excellent sources for fiber and heart-healthy iron and manganese, the combination of bread and hummus (chick-peas/garbanzo beans)  provides a high ‘complete’ protein source. Also, by combining fresh carrots with  hummus, digestion speeds up thus avoiding excessive gas buildup.

And, as always, feel free to change up the minced veggie ingredients. For instance, the addition of minced radishes and/or celery wonderfully expands the crunch, texture and taste factor. And if I have it on hand I add a layer of spicy/sweet kale salad and layer it in a wrap – delicious!

hummus wrap with carrots and kale

{ stuff you’ll need }

I’ll leave the ingredient quantities up to you but if you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to reply.

. Creamy style spicy or garlic flavor hummus
. Shredded sweet carrots
. Kale salad (optional)
. Flavorful whole grain bread

{ how to make it }

spread a layer of hummus, not too thick, on the inside of each slice of the bread …  by spreading  hummus on each slice of bread it serves to hold the shredded carrot in place … sprinkle one slice generously with the shredded carrots … place the other slice of bread on top

glenn beck restoring honor 8-28-10

This excerpted article is the closest description of my experience at last Saturday’s Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital, Washington DC. I would only add that Glenn Beck, together with Sarah Palin, Dr. Alveda King and others, wanted us to also take away an affirmation on how important it is that we as Americans value Unity, Faith, Hope and Charity.

And Glenn Beck wanted us to take away another lesson about the reflecting pool – that not only is it situated on the Mall to physically reflect the majesty of the monuments that surround it, but that the pool is there to remind us to ‘reflect’ on the meaning of each those monuments.

“Pundits will debate whether the crowd at Glenn Beck’s Saturday rally in Washington was the largest in recent political history, but it was certainly among the most impressive.

One would not be able to find a more polite crowd at a political convention, certainly not at a professional sporting event, probably not even at an opera. In fact, judging by the behavior of the attendees following the event, you’d have a tough time finding churches in which people display more patience as others make their way to the exits.

This army of well-mannered folks that marched into Washington seemed comprised mainly of people who had once marched in the U.S. Army or other military branch, or at least had a family member who had. Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that the event was a fund-raiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides scholarships to the children of elite troops killed in the performance of their duty. The day was largely devoted to expressions of gratitude for the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers, for great men of American history like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and for God.

But it didn’t end there. Dave Roever, a Vietnam veteran, offered a closing prayer in which he thanked the Lord for the president and for the Congress. Despite the unpopularity of the latter two, no booing or catcalls could be heard. Relaxed young parents felt comfortable enough to push toddlers in strollers through the crowded areas along the memorial’s reflecting pool.

Not only was the rally akin to a “huge church picnic” (in one Journal reporter’s description), but one had to wonder if the over-achievers in this crowd actually left the area in better shape than they found it.

After the event, walking from the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool through Constitution Gardens, this reporter scanned 360 degrees and could not see a scrap of trash anywhere. Participants and volunteers had collected all their refuse and left it piled neatly in bags around the public garbage cans. Near Constitution Avenue, I did encounter one stray piece of paper — but too old and faded to have been left that day.

Given the huge representation of military families at the event, maybe it’s not surprising the grounds were left ship-shape. A principal theme of the day was that attendees should restore the country by making improvements in their own lives—be the change you wish to see in the world, as Gandhi once put it.

Most of the participants were strictly amateurs in the business of activism. For many, it was their first appearance at a public demonstration. Their strikingly mild-mannered nature might inspire even Mr. Beck to acknowledge that in a crowd estimated at 300,000 [actually, there were at least 500,000 attendees], the craziest person at the event might have been the one with the microphone. While he admits that he’s part entertainer and prone to over-the-top comments, his followers appear to be sincerely responding to his message that Americans need to cling to their best traditions.”

excerpted from:

Glenn Beck’s Happy Warriors

You probably couldn’t have found a more polite crowd at the opera.

by James Freeman
August 31 2010

Article in its entirety at online.wsj.com

 

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Want to read about why it’s so great to go Vegan?

The China Study
by T. Colin Campbell, PhD

Dominion~The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
by Matthew Scully

The Emotional Lives of Animals
by Marc Bekoff

The Inner World of Farm Animals
by Amy Hatkoff

When Elephants Weep
by Jeffrey M. Masson

The Outtermost House
by Henry Beston

Mind of the Raven
by Bernd Heinrich

Tarka the Otter
by Henry Williamson

The Face on Your Plate
by Jeffrey M. Masson

 

             "other nations"

 

Noteworthy

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard for our liberties."
Abraham Lincoln ~ August 1856

"This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat -- accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum."
Charles Krauthammer ~ May 2010

"One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain."
Thomas Sowell ~ February 2007

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself"
Benjamin Franklin ~ "Yardstick of Liberty"

"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
Albert Schweitzer

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Gandhi

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government."
Thomas Jefferson

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
Alexander Graham Bell

"Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts."
Aristotle

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."
Milton Friedman

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."
Ronald Reagan

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
Alexis de Tocqueville

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves."
Thomas Jefferson

"I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts."
Ronald Reagan

"Give me liberty or give me death!"
Patrick Henry ~ 1775

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected upon a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."
George Washington ~ Inaugural Address 1789

"Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem."
Ronald Reagan ~ Inaugural Address 1981

"How can you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
Ronald Reagan

"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."
Booker T. Washington

"I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible."
Milton Friedman

"Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong."
Calvin Coolidge

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If ti moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it"
Ronald Reagan

"Liberals claim to be open to hearing other peoples' views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."
Benjamin Franklin

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
Abraham Lincoln 1856

"There has never been a society or a nation without God. But history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations that became indifferent to God, and died."
Whitaker Chambers

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever..."
Thomas Jefferson 1788

"Within the covers of that single Book are all the answers to all the problems that face us today; if we'd only look there."
Ronald Reagan

      libera nos a malo

 
 
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