Thursday, May 30, 2013

Haunted, but not by Earthlings

Earthlings is frequently referenced as a must-see for everyone alike....either to reaffirm a veg*n's commitment or to convert omnivores. I say skip it. The only good thing I can say about it is that it covers the whole animal picture...pets, entertainment, food, etc. If you manage to get through the super slow and boring introduction, then you will be assaulted with horrific images of slaughter and cruelty to animals.

Now, I was prepared for this documentary. I knew what I was getting into. However, I find the
stance is pushed so hard that it is just a turn off. If I were an omni, I would just walk away. And really, I only watched to the end because I was knitting and distracted....and because I wanted something to blog about.

This documentary didn't traumatize me. It didn't haunt me. It really just made me ompare it to more powerful documentaries and books. For example, right now I'm reading Eating Animals. In this book, it describes some of the things seen in Earthlings but the viewpoint isn't forced on you as much, so it still keeps its credibility (in my opinion).

So, if Earthlings doesn't haunt me, then what does? The animals that are soon-to-be food. When I was little, my sister and I used to count the cows we passed on our road-trip to the family cottage. Naturally, I didn't make the connection.

But recently, my husband and I went for a walk. It was a gorgeous day. And in our travels, we walked by a field of beef cattle. At first, only one took interest in us. It slowly walked over to check us out. And then the others followed. It was kind of cool and super haunting.

So, no, I'm not haunted by an-overly-referenced agenda pushing documentary. I'm haunted by animals. I'm haunted how their personalities are ignored and glossed over so that they can end up on the table. I'm haunted by the human rationalization that animals should suffer at the expense of human taste buds. I'm haunted by language that allows people to disassociate the animal connection from what they are eating.

I'm sticking with veggies and my appreciation for animals.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Granola Bars

So, I figured I would start my day by making some treats. I like doing this in the morning before it gets hot or I get lazy.

However, since I'm not always super alert, it can cause issues. Today, I didn't have any major disasters. But I did mess up the recipe.

I decided to make vegan granola bars from At the end of this recipe, it says you can add more syrup if they seem too dry. Well, mine did. So I added more syrup and more peanut butter. It was only after placing them in the pan and coming back to my computer that I realized I forgot the coconut oil. And I mixed the chocolate chips *in* the mixture instead of drizzling melted chocolate chips on top. Oops! I will have to go back and make *the actual* recipe one day. Here's what I did instead:


  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup (although I do find them a bit too sweet)
  • 2 tsp of chia seeds (I would use more next time but I ran out)
  • 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips


  1. Line an 8x8 pan with tinfoil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Press mixture into prepared dish.
  4. Chill until hardened.
  5. Cut into squares (I did 12 squares) and store in refrigerator.


I made the original recipe and find that it holds together much better with the coconut oil. I used tahini instead of peanut butter. I like the taste of the tahini, but I do think PB would bind the ingredients better.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Slow down so you see the pony

Today's theme seems to be "slow down".
  1. This morning I noticed a wild bunny in our backyard. I watched it for a bit until I seemed to be freaking it out. And then I stopped watching it because that seemed like the nice thing to do.
  2. Later I saw a massive cat. Like so huge that it may have been a small pony. And it really could have been a pony, as I only saw the cat out of the corner of my eye. I was rushing around to get ready for work and when I went back for my double-take, it was gone. So, it probably was a pony.
  3. Then, on my way to work, there was a random massive dog in the road. I did slow down, so I know that this *was* a dog, and not another pony.
But, despite the above, I didn't slow down forever. In fact, I was so engrossed in my thoughts, music, and my fantastic smoothie (please note sarcasm) that I didn't notice my speed. But a nice police officer sure did.

When I saw his lights behind me, I figured I was in his way. I was genuinely surprised when he followed me to the side of the road. And I still didn't clue in that I had been speeding. He asked the mandatory question of "do you know why I pulled you over?"

Me: "uh, actually I have no clue."

And then he told me I had been speeding, somewhat significantly. And that it seemed to take me a while to see his lights (which I disagree with because I distinctly remember checking my rear view like *right* before). But I wasn't about to argue with him and I definitely wasn't going to tell him that maybe my reaction was delayed due to the smoothie drinking or radio fiddling. Uh, no, I do not need a distracted driving infraction, officer.

Anyway, he reduced my ticket for me and thanked me for my honesty. And then he asked me to slow down. He wouldn't want me to get into an accident or anything.

And like a good citizen, I obeyed his instructions. Well, at least I think I did. It's not like I noticed the first time around that I was speeding, so....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up / Six Months In

Overall, I have to say that I've had a pretty good week. I haven't felt the greatest physically, but I'm working on that. I had noticed that I was tired quite frequently, which is something that I haven't really experienced since becoming vegetarian.

Because of that, I linked the fatigue to unintentional consumption of dairy. But since it persisted, I figured that can't be it. So, I started tracking my food on and realized that I'm not getting enough protein. Now, I hesitate to share this because I don't want to add to the misconception that vegetarians don't get enough protein. If I were at my goal weight, I would be pretty much on target. However, I'm not at my goal weight so I'm significantly short on the recommended daily amount of protein. It's a bit of a wake-up call and I'm making some adjustments.

On the good side of things, I survived a pot luck social function. My contributions were a bean salad and peanut butter cups. I skipped many of the other contributions but did eat some raw veggies, crackers, and hummus (in addition to my own of course). The result was that while others complained of being full, I was able to stop before hitting that point. Sure, the pizza smelt delicious but I was able to avoid it.

 (Some) Stuff I Ate

Bean & Veggie Salad
with balsamic vinaigrette
and a touch of maple syrup
My first ever green smoothie
Peanut Butter Cups (recipe to follow)
Granola Bars (recipe to follow)

We also had BBQ food and stuffed peppers. And probably some other stuff too.

Stuff I Want to Eat

  • Mock tuna
  • Vegan lasagna
  • Eggplant Souvlaki
  • BBQ food
  • More bean salad

In the Rest of My Life

  • You know those artichoke hearts I wanted to buy forever ago? They are now 23 past their expiry date and still on the shelf. So, I bought them from a much better store. And they haven't even expired yet.
  • I bought spinach. The very idea gives me the shivers.
  • Ugh, I've slacked on the reading front so I'm *still* reading A Fraction of the Whole, Eating Animals, and The Dovekeepers.
  • On my radar: Vegan Cheeze Sauce; Cashew Cheeze filling for my vegan lasagna
  • Coming up this week:  a review of Earthlings, the granola bar recipe, and the peanut butter cups recipe

Friday, May 24, 2013

Make-up review

A while ago I purchased 100% Pure foundation powder from Raindance Cosmetics. I put off using it because I'm adverse to change and had been using Almay's Smart Shade pressed powder. I was satisfied with how it worked but decided to change over to a company that is cruelty-free. Almay was once upon a time but have made concessions to be able to sell their products in China. Anyway, that's not the point of this post. (Can you tell that I'm still bitter about having to change over all of my cosmetics?)

I wasn't sure about the shade of the 100% Pure powder. It doesn't match Almay's. I wasn't really expecting it to, but I was worried that I would like orange or something. Thankfully, that didn't happen. The 100% Pure goes on sheer. The powder is a bit looser and it doesn't blend quite as well. However, it's not awful and I can live with doing a few extra brush strokes.

The main downside is the price. Almay's is 14.99 (on and the 100% Pure is $33 on Raindance Cosmetics. Yikes. My ethical views support the change and (at the moment) my wallet can handle it.

Almay's Smart Shade comes with it's own brush. 100% Pure did not. The thing with cosmetic brushes is that some (many?) are made with animal hair. It could be horse/pony, goat, squirrel, etc. I have no interest in being that close and personal with a squirrel (or any animal really) so I wanted to buy a set that is cruelty-free and vegan.

I bought a set from EcoTools that I found at target. I love them. They are *so* soft. And they are kind of pretty. The bristles are synthetic and the rest is made from bamboo and recycled aluminum.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chocolate Mousse

This weekend I wanted to make something new. So, I went through my pins (on Pinterest) and asked my husband to pick between a few different options. He chose mousse. Had he known that it meant using the blender for the fourth time this week, he might have selected differently because he hates washing the blender. Because I'm nice, I washed it for him. (as a way to procrastinate on the garden prep work).

I followed the recipe for the most part....except I didn't toast the coconut and I used almond milk. I was upfront with my husband and warned him about the tofu, mainly because I figured he was on to me at the grocery store when he complained that I was buying *more* tofu. I told him it was different but I don't know that he believed me. Anyway, he was game for the treat despite the tofu. His awesomeness in this area made up for today's annoyingness in other areas. Mostly.

Overall, it turned out pretty good. The texture is nice and smooth. There's a sweetness to it but it isn't overpowering. The original recipe said that it would yield 6-8. I divided it up into 11 portions because I found a little bit goes a long way. It only slightly bothered me that 11 is not an even number (but I told myself that my taste-testing along the way was portion number 12 so it really was even after all). Ya, I'm a bit weird sometimes.

Anyway. Let's move on. What isn't quite right (in my opinion) is that this mousse is *much* thicker than a typical mousse. So much so that I'm considering popping it into the freezer and relabelling it ice cream. Either way, this is something I would make again.

Oh. so. yummy!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hello summer!

So far, this has been a fantastic long weekend. It's been warm, but not scorching hot. And we've been able to get a lot done.

For example, the garden is in! We planted: kale, lettuce, carrots, hot peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, peas, parsley, onion, and potatoes. We will also be expecting some strawberries and raspberries. And then there's the rhubarb but that is not appealing to us.

Last year we didn't get to eat any of the kale because there was a garden thief in rabbit form that kept getting to it first. We planted the kale on the edge this year to make it easier for the garden thief and to try and keep it out of the rest of the garden.

But really, we'd be ok with the garden thief eating the kale, lettuce, parsley, and carrots - as long as there it leaves some for the house bunnies.

We also managed to enjoy some of the day yesterday with a fire, s'mores, and a drink. It's the perfect time of year because it was chilly enough that the bugs weren't out but warm during the day.

Unfortunately, I got a bit too chilled and needed a lot of blankets to get warm once I went to bed (fuzzy sheets, a comforter, a super warm throw, a semi-warm throw, and a super duper thick suffocating blanket).

I didn't have 'traditional' s'mores due to the gelatin thing in marshmallows. Instead, I bought myself Marshmallow Fluff. It doesn't have gelatin, although it does have dried egg whites - so it doesn't entirely get my stamp of approval.

Anyway, I used that, along with some dark chocolate and graham crackers. And a new little contraption thing to toast the s'mores over the fire.

And the drink....was a revisit of last weeks s'mores alcohol. This week I didn't even attempt to drink it straight. I checked out some mix suggestions and settled on Dr. Pepper. It was pretty good. I also fancied up the rim with Marshmallow Fluff, chocolate syrup, and graham cracker crumbs.

Now we're on the last day of our long weekend. We plan to get some spring cleaning done. I should make a tiny bean salad....and then I hope to spend some time outside reading. Oh, and I have one work thing to do. It's looking like my car isn't getting cleaned this weekend. Oh well.

Alright. Enough with the procrastinating. My husband has started cleaning. It's best to move from the couch and pitch in. Right after breakfast, of course.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up (x2)

Going away for a weekend and coming back to no internet kind of messes things up on the blogging front. Then add in a boring two weeks with not much to share....well, you get the idea. But, here I am.

In some ways, the past two weeks have a been a bit calmer. But I haven't had the chance to try out many new recipes or take many pictures of anything.

I have grand plans for the weekend. We spent yesterday cleaning out the bunnies and doing some shopping. Today, I hope to do some baking, cleaning, gardening, reading, and knitting. It sounds like a busy day.

But no busy day should start without a little procrastination. Right?

(Some) Stuff I Ate

Grilled veggie wrap.
Not so great with eggplant.
A bean salad on top of regular salad
S'mores Vodka!
Ok, so one of the items pictured isn't food. It's a drink pretending to be food. But I think it still deserves a place in my blog.

If you can't tell, the glass is pretty tiny. I had to smash the ice cube a bit to get it to fit. Anyway, it's rimmed with a bit of chocolate syrup and then dipped in graham cracker crumbs. At 35% alcohol and 70 proof, it's a bit much for this lightweight. However, if I were to mix it with something, it may just be tame enough that I can have more than a sip without getting tipsy. Maybe.

Stuff I Want to Eat

In the rest of my life

  • You know those artichoke hearts that I wanted to buy 2 weeks ago, but they were expired? They are *still* in the refrigerator section of my grocery store. I think I need a new grocery store. One that doesn't try to sell things that expired 16 days ago.
  • I spent more time outside with the bunnies
  • I finished reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking (it's interesting)
  • I'm still reading A Fraction of the Whole  (it's huge!) and The Dovekeepers
  • I've started reading Eating Animals
  • On my radar: Chocolate pancakes
  • I will likely post about the granola bars and/or mousse later this week, in case you are wondering how they turned out

Zayne looking grumpy (with chicken
Behr in the carrier hiding from the *evil* grass)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Grilled Veggie Wrap

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a grilled veggie wrap at a local eatery. I figured, 'hey, I can make that!' And I totally did.

This is really a non-recipe, so I won't do all of the formal recipe stuff. I'm sure there is a much more complicated recipe out there, and it may even taste better. But, I'm all for simplicity.

  • Slice veggies (I did eggplant, zucchini, peppers - next time I will add onion and eggplant...and load up more veggies in general).
  • Marinade veggies for a few hours. I used a balsamic dressing mixed with a tiny bit of maple syrup.
  • Grill veggies.
  • Place on a tortilla. Drizzle more dressing on top of the veggies.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Banana Bread (a different recipe)

I was pretty satisfied with the vegan banana bread I made, but I wasn't sure that it could compare to the usual recipe. While I didn't do a side-by-side taste test, both recipes received good reviews.



  • 1 cup of ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • mini chocolate chips (optional and to taste)



  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the bananas, sugar, oil, sour cream, and eggs.
  3. Fold in the flour, soda, baking powder, and mini chococolate chips. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour batter into a greased bread pan.
  5. Bake for 65 minutes or until baked through. (I like mine a little under-done so you may need to adjust times accordingly).
  6. Eat and enjoy!
My slice
And my husband's chunk...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up

So, I had another craptastic week. My support systems continue to be awesome and no one has pushed me over and kicked me in the head and told me to get over it. I had hoped to just brush things off and start fresh with a new day. No such luck. However, I did have a nap and it was like a do-over.

My plan is to enjoy the weekend and get some reading done. I hadn't made much of a dent in my co-workers book and I don't want to have it forever.

Anyway, moving along.

(Some) Stuff I Ate:

Tofu Souvlaki. Next time I'm skipping the tofu.
Bring on the veggies!
Veggie burger w/BBQ sauce & mayo,
with grilled eggplant, onion,
 mushrooms & sprouts
Veggie Kabobs

Grilled Veggie Wrap
 (Recipe to follow at some point)

Stuff I Want to Eat

  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Naan bread pizza
  • Couscous salad (I may try a new recipe)
  • BBQ baked potato
  • Quesadillas?
  • Other BBQ food
  • Banana bread
  • Cookies

In the Rest of my Life

  • I wanted to get adventurous in the grocery store. I was going to pick up artichoke hearts. But the seasoned ones were past their expiry date. And yes, my grocery store rocks.
  • I bought the bunnies a new outdoor pen, which should allow them to get some fresh air more consistently. Bunny Naveen will love this. The other two will plot my demise while I sleep.
  • I bought a hammock-y thing (not exactly the one I wanted) so I could read while supervising the outdoor bunny playtime.
  • I'm still reading A Fraction of the Whole and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
  • I've started reading The Dovekeepers
  • I still like eggplant and I've started to like zucchini and bean sprouts
Bunny Naveen
Napping Naveen
(Background Noise: Zayne & Behr)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Veggie Kabobs

Ahhh. BBQ season. It takes me way out of my comfort zone. For starters, I don't BBQ. I'd likely blow up the house. Secondly, my husband also shouldn't BBQ (based on the two fires involving camping BBQ stoves and then the fire in the oven).

But the thing is, it is too hot to cook inside...and despite the danger, my husband loves to "man the grill". Personally, I think it's just an excuse to drink beer. I don't do beer (blech!) or fire. However, I do need to eat.

So, I made up a marinade for my veggies, put them on skewers, and passed them off to the fire-starter cook. And they turned out yummy. I do need to add a new disclaimer for my recipes though.

I like things sweet and I continue to be mostly vague in recipes. If you are good with that, keep reading.


  • Veggies (I used bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and onion)
  • 1/4 cup of pineapple or apple juice
  • 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs mustard (or honey mustard)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped


  1. Cut your veggies into chunks. Set aside.
  2. Mix up the marinade and add veggies to it. Let soak for a while. (I did four ish hours)
  3. Place on skewers.
  4. Grill until cooked on BBQ. Eat & enjoy!