Saturday, August 16, 2014

Our Shared Responsibility: Important Event Tomorrow


Just a heads up about a really important event happening tomorrow that may be of interest to you. In case you haven't already heard about the Totem Pole Journey, you can read a bit more about it here. It's a really inspiring journey led by members of Lummi Nation who are building community and bringing people together all across the country.

In case you missed it, last week the Herald also ran a really great piece written by Lummi Nation member and head carver of the House of Tears Carvers Jewell James, in which he talks about the importance of this journey. To quote from his writing:


“In August we make our journey from South Dakota to the Salish Sea and north to Alberta, Canada, stopping with many of the tribal and local communities whose lives unwillingly intersect with the paths of coal exports and tar sands. We will carry with us a 19-foot-tall totem that brings to mind our shared responsibility for the lands, the waters and the peoples who face environmental and cultural devastation from fossil fuel megaprojects. We travel in honor of late elder, and leader, and guiding light Billy Frank, Jr., who would remind us that we are stewards placed here to live with respect for our shared, sacred obligation to the creation, the plants and animals, the peoples and all our relations. He guides us, still. Our commitment to place, to each other, unites us as one people, one voice to call out to others who understand that our shared responsibility is to leave a better, more bountiful world for those who follow.”


The blessing of the journey is at 9:30 a.m., tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 17th at the Lummi Tribal Administration Center, 2665 Kwina Road. You can RSVP here if you think you can make it.  I hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Technical Difficulties

After wasting 2 hours of my Sunday afternoon trying to troubleshoot why Blogger is not letting me upload any pictures to my blog post no matter what browser I am in or what computer I am on, I'm afraid I am throwing in the towel, for today at least. My apologies for no updated post of any food-related value, but what good is a post without pictures? We live in a world where visual content is more and more accessible and desirable, and I for one am not as into writing on this blog if I can't add a picture to it as well! (Always a fan of using exclamation marks to denote enthusiasm, in this case it should also indicate my frustration!!!)

Anyway, if you are curious about what I was going to write about, check out my Twitter, and wish me luck on getting this Blogger issue sorted! To be continued...hopefully with pictures!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dessert for Dinner


Food is such a pleasure and a joy, and sometimes I want to succumb to my cravings and just enjoy whatever it is that sounds good to me. Tonight I was craving something sweet, and rather than create a traditional dinner entree followed by a dessert, I gave into my cravings and skipped dinner and went straight for the sweet. Dessert for dinner! However, I recently started reading Colin Campbell's book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, and I was thinking about the health benefits of whole foods and how sometimes when you crave something, then maybe it's because there's something in that food experience that your body needs.

So how could I indulge in my cravings for sweets and also supply my body with the nutrition it needed? By using whole food ingredients for both. Hence, my dessert-dinner this evening--a lovely fresh peach, a banana, and some blueberries, together in a bowl, dusted with a hazelnut sesame seed coconut topping.

Simple can be good and tasty and refreshing, and sometimes "cooking" is as simple as washing and cutting some fruit. So the moral of this story is: sometimes it's good to succumb to your food cravings. And also, sometimes you don't need to do much with your ingredients other than put them together in a bowl and call it good!

Also I wanted to say thanks to everyone who sent me beet recipes last week! I got a lot of good ones I look forward to trying out--I always learn so much from what you all share with me. This week I'm asking you to share with me your simple whole-foods based recipes. What are some of the quick and easy things you like to make for snacks, dinner, or dessert?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Balsamic Beets Salad


I have the very very good fortune of working with someone who not only has an amazing garden, but who also happens to be kind and generous and often shares the fruits (or veggies!) of her labor with me. Last week she gave me the most beautiful bok choy, which I ate later that same day in a stir fry,  followed later in the week by some gorgeous beets, fresh from the ground, lovely greens and all.


Which brings me to yesterday when I came home from a nice hike up to Fragrance Lake and decided I was in the mood for a feast! Thankful for a break from the warmer temperatures we have been having lately that had sort of killed my cooking motivation, I was hungry for something delicious and looked forward to making it myself. I whipped up some pesto pasta, some broccoli slaw with cranberries and sunflower seeds, and last but most definitely not least, a lovely kale, beet green, and beet salad, topped with slivered almonds and mixed in a balsamic dressing. It was a truly satisfying meal and perfect after a nice hike and a good day.


It's really quite easy to make a good beet salad, especially if you use the beet greens that come with your beets! I usually just boil my beets, skins still on, for about 45 minutes on the stove top in a pan of water with a little balsamic vinegar. Once the beets are cooked, just rinse them under cold water while sliding the skin off with your fingers--you'll see it just glides right off and really couldn't be simpler. Cut the beets into bite-sized pieces and mix with the dressing of your choice over your bed of greens. Sprinkle with slivered almonds, and voila! Simple and delicious! While I frequently make my own salad dressing, I happened to have a bottle of Drew's Aged Basalmic Salad Dressing and decided to use some of it. Turned out the flavor was just what I needed.


Do you have any great beet recipes? If you do, please send them my way! (veganinbellingham@gmail.com)   And if you are interested in another great beet salad recipe, check out my "Inspired by Tal Ronnen Beet, Apple, & Arugula" post. I can't believe I spent a number of years thinking I didn't like beets--I must've been crazy! Now they are truly one of my favorite things.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bellingham Summer and Watermelon


Having grown up in West Texas, I know how good we have it here in the summer. I am not one who enjoys the heat. In fact, I hate it and it makes me cranky, which is one of the many many reasons why I like the PNW so much. That being said, most places in Bellingham,(including my own place), do not have air conditioning. And so as the temperature inside begins to creep into the 80s, my creativity and desire to blog about something new and wonderful, to explore some unique culinary experience and share it with you all, dissipates, to the point of almost disappearing completely.

However, there is one thing about the summer that I love, that takes me back to my childhood, that always makes me happy. And that is watermelon. So that is now the subject of today's post. How I love watermelon!

 
Not only is watermelon satisfying, tasty, and refreshing on a hot summer day, it's also surprisingly good for you, with many health benefits including being rich in lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that's especially important for cardiovascular health, and has been thought to have cancer-fighting properties. But most importantly, for me, it cools me off when my place starts to feel too warm and I know I need to eat something but nothing sounds good, and I can't bring myself to go anywhere near the stove. And it makes me happy when I start to feel cranky because it tastes sooo good.

So YAY for watermelon! I hope I made you want to go and get  a watermelon of your own. :)  If you have any tips for staying cool, or ideas for what some of your own summer favorite foods are, send them my way! And when things cool down a bit, I promise to try and wow you with something more creative and new. In the meantime, I am thankful for watermelon!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

REMINDER: Vegan Picnic in the Park TOMORROW, July 6th!

Sounds like these monthly picnics are still happening, and now that I am finished with grad school, I hope to make it myself this time! Here's the info that was given to me by the person organizing the event:

Bellingham's Monthly Vegan Potluck Picnic
Enjoy vegan noms, share recipes, 
meet fellow veggiephiles, have fun. 
Every first Sunday at Boulevard Park, April thru September, starting at 2 pm.

Bring your own plates and utensils.