Thursday, March 5, 2015

Elephants Never Forget



Me at Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus Protest, Sep. 24, 2014  SLC, Utah
What a fantastic morning!  I get on the web to check my emails and Facebook and what do I find but tens of press releases and commentaries stating that Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey just announced plans to remove elephants from their traveling circus performances!

"The Feld Family, owners of Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey®, announced plans today to remove Asian elephants from their traveling circus performances. Under the plan, 13 elephants currently traveling with the three Ringling Bros. circus units will be relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant for Conservation® in Florida by 2018. There they will join the rest of the Ringling Bros. herd of more than 40 elephants.  […] The circus will continue to feature other extraordinary animal performers, including tigers, lions, horses, dogs and camels." 
http://www.feldentertainment.com/PressRoom/DisplayPressRelease/75870/

This is incredible news!!  Unfortunately these changes will not be fully executed until 2018, nor are they removing all the animal features from their shows.  It’s not perfect, but it is certainly progress.  Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey is a leader in this industry.  I hope their example today will have an impact for good on other animal circuses, influencing them to make the same changes to their entertainment lineups.  Dare I hope?!

Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus Protest - September 24, 2014 Salt Lake City, Utah
As someone who has taken an active part in exposing the realities of elephants in entertainment, discouraging public support of such forums, this progress means worlds to me!  I feel proud to have played a part in this change!  A very small part, granted, but still a role, adding my presence to that of thousands of concerned citizens.  And I was but a recent convert to the cause.  I can only imagine how thrilled other animal activists must be—those who have carried this banner for years upon years, seeing little to no results—until today!  

 The real winners are the elephants.  May they find rest and peace as they are transitioned out of entertainment and reunited with the conservation herd.  I don’t know exactly what the conditions are like there, but minus the relentless rigors of training, touring, performing, cages, and bullhooks they are sure to be much more comfortable.

There is still work to be done here—the non-elephant animals in the circus deserve freedom as surely as their large, grey and scaly friends.  But today we must acknowledge a huge victory.  Maybe, just maybe, the country’s prevailing attitude toward animals is changing.  Are people waking up to what’s really going on and demanding something different—something better?  Compassion?!

They say elephants never forget.  Well, I will never forget this day… Today I celebrate progress!  May there be more of it in days and years to come.

Monday, February 9, 2015

No Preeminence

I have a goal to read the entire Old Testament--something I have never done before. I started last spring and now that very season is approaching again!  It's been a long journey but I'm not giving up!

Tonight I read some beautiful passages in Ecclesiastes 3:18-21:

I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

A MAN HATH NO PREEMINENCE ABOVE A BEAST??

[WE] HAVE ALL ONE BREATH?!

Wow, this is profound... 

Me and Penny at Ching Farm Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, Riverton Utah - Novemeber 3, 2012
I am so grateful to Father in Heaven for the scriptures--for the insight and clarification they impart!  The souls of our animal friends are just as precious as our own--we are all connected to each other!  We ought to give their precious lives the same consideration that we give ourselves.

The wisdom of Solomon--the wisdom of God--lives on.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Evolution


I haven’t blogged in years so it’s high time I post an update!  First of all, I am still vegan!  Actually, it will be my husband’s and my 9th Vegan-versary this April—YAY!  But I have changed…

Evolved. 

Over the past few years, as I continued to study the many materials of animal-friendly organizations and doctors, I decided to further widen my circle of compassion to include… me!  Somewhere along the way I began focusing on animal rights and environmental issues more and more, becoming less and less concerned with exactly what I was taking into my own miraculous body.  Of course, everything I put in my mouth was vegan—that was good enough, right?  Not exactly.  While my meals were certainly free of scrambled eggs, chicken wings, and cheese-laden pizzas, the foods I was replacing them with were not much better nutritionally: a lot of added oil, sugar, refined foods, processed junk and, in short, food-like substances.  Chips, soy cheese, and mock-meats are yummy but just as calorically-dense and/or artificial as anything. 

So there I was, successfully eating to save life on earth and, at the same time, failing to save my own!  I wished long and healthy lives on all my farm and furry friends—didn’t I deserve at least the same consideration??  Of course!  We all do!  Besides, it was my quest for health and fitness that led me to “vegan” in the first place—it was time to get back to my roots!  After another two or three years of personal research and experience I have found that a starch-based, plant-based, whole-foods (WFPB) diet is right on par: potatoes, rice, beans, pasta, squash, and every conceivable variety of grain, legume, vegetable, and fruit!  Who knew delicious could be so nutritious?!  And I can keep all my compassionate tenets while still properly nourishing my body—a win-win!  

My NINE YEAR vegan journey has been amazing!  I have grown so much in confidence and in truth.  I know that God has guided my feet aright and led me to good resources and good people.  Line upon line, precept upon precept, I know I am becoming the woman He wants me to be.  For these many blessings, and others, I am truly grateful.  Now I feel a strong desire to share all that I have learned—be a “food” missionary!  I’m not very good at it yet, but with my Heavenly Father’s help I know I can do anything! 

In closing, I want to direct you to some of the best resources I have found for compassionate, starchy, WFBP eating.  Each of these men have written books (which include recipes!)  And you can conveniently review their programs and lectures on the web and on Facebook.   

Love and success and continued learning to you!  Enjoy YOUR journey…

·         Dr. Neal Barnard, MD and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.PCRM.org)
·         Dr. John McDougall, MD of the Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center (www.drmcdougall.com)
·         Dr. T. Colin Campbell and the Center for Nutrition Studies (www.nutritionstudies.org)
·         Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., MD of the Dr. Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Program (www.dresselstyn.com)
·         Rip Esselstyn and the Engine 2 Diet (www.engine2diet.com)
·         Michael Greger, MD of Nutrition Facts (www.NutritionFacts.org)
·         Forks Over Knives Documentary – a classic! (www.forksoverknives.com)
·         And the documentary Cowspiracy!  Not nutrition-related but still very good! ;) (www.cowspiracy.com)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How It All Vegan!

This month marks Jordan's and my FIVE YEAR VEGAN-versary!  FIVE delicious, compassionate years!!!  I can hardly believe it?!  In celebration of this momentous occasion, I wish to expound more upon what has helped me along this wonderful journey...

I was already close to being a vegetarian when I officially chose the vegan path in April 2006, spurred forward entirely by the powerful read, Diet For a New America, by John Robbins.  But by no means was I well educated in day-to-day vegan cooking and whatnot!  I yearned to be vegan with all my heart, but my head had to play catch-up!  All I knew was that certain foods were not going to be purchased or eaten anymore--a boycott, plain and simple.  But beyond that, it was all just a journey into a vegan wilderness.  But it was a journey I was excited to embark upon!  I'd just have to do without those familiar, yet cruel, foods.  And do without them my husband and I did!  No butter, cheese, milk, eggs, meats!  I didn't even enjoy the compassionate alternatives or faux varieties of such items!  The fact of the matter was that I didn't realize they existed!

So you can imagine the joy I felt when we discovered vegan mayo... OH MY GOSH!  Follow Your Heart Vegenaise?  Pure Elation!  It had been so long...  And Earth Balance vegan "butter"?!  WOW!  I'd been using peanut butter to make cinnamon toast, and mashed bananas to make frosting!!!  It never was quite what I wanted.  But now, all was well--my vegan journey was comfortable and complete!

It seems silly today, but my Jordan and I were very lonely vegans for well over a year. Outside of ourselves, we didn't know a single vegan!  We didn't think to visit a health-food store to look for alternative foods... we thought they only stocked vitamins.  We also didn't understand the magnitude of blogging and networking or we certainly would have tuned in sooner... it would have been so easy to tap into the culture and be in-the-know about all things vegan.  Oh well.  We eventually stumbled on a few old time acquaintances who happened to have chosen the vegan path as we had.  Through them, we became connected to even more vegans in the Salt Lake Valley!  What joy!  We were no longer alone!

But before all that...  The very first thing we did as "green" vegans was go to the library and look at the vegetarian cookbooks.  One particular selection caught our eye: How It All Vegan! By Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer.  Being timid chefs, we scoured the pages, looking to see if these recipes were within our ability to create.  We saw promise, and immediately checked the book out and took it home.  We utilized that cookbook, to the best of our ability, for weeks on end.  We'd return it to the library on day 30, then turn around and check it right back out again.  We did this for at least 6 months straight!  We finally broke down and bought our own copy so that some one else could get some benefit out of the poor book! :)

 I always swear to people, (well, not swear, but you know what I mean...) that How It All Vegan! saved Jordan's and my vegan butt!  Even though it was a year later that we discovered a local health food store carrying a plethora of additional and "unknown" ingredients we could use to make the remainder of recipes with, still, we wouldn't haven't known what to do or how to proceed with the very real everyday food questions and concerns we had as brand new vegans without this book.  It was a timely find, and a blessing to be sure!

We have now whipped up everything from chili to chocholate cake from Sarah's and Tanya's cookbook and verdict is always the same: FABULOUS!!!  I have already shared a few of the recipes from this cookbook here in my blog, as well as Jordan's and my variations on them.  That was before I realized the power of networking that blogs can accomplish.  I want to honor the authors--not tarnish their source of income by putting their work all over the web.  So I will not be typing out their recipes word-for-word on my blog anymore.  But I just may type up a review and add a photo of their tasty creativity here for you to browse!  Then maybe you'll want to check out How It All Vegan! at the library for six months straight too!  :)  Or perhaps you'll behave like a normal person and just go buy it!  Who knows!  :)

But whatever you do, I just want you to know that I have a very soft spot in my heart for How It All Vegan!  By Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer.  I sincerely thank these two ladies for educating me with practical vegan know-how!  They are inspirational women who are not ashamed to live their values in the kitchen, everyday!  I am very grateful to have fallen upon such good fortune as to have their sassy cookbook resting on my countertop.  It was the perfect follow-up to Diet For A New America.  I don't know how I would have survived in the vegan wilderness without it, much less FIVE YEARS!   

Happy Vegan-versary!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm surprised I don't miss this food anymore...

Cheese! 

Can you believe it?!  I actually don't miss cheese in my diet!  Before I chose to live vegan, I used to eat it EVERYDAY!  Bought gigantic, warehouse-sized bags of it every week!  I grew up on the stuff!  And now I never even think about it...  

I miss cheese so little that I hardly even buy the dairy-free alternatives like Follow Your Heart or Daiya, which I used to rely on more heavily as a "younger" vegan.  These brands are a taste treat, don't get me wrong, (sure makes a decadent lasagna!) only I don't need to consume them on any regular basis.  And no one is more amazed by this than I...

While talking to my Jordan the other day about this very subject, he confided that he feels the same--he doesn't pine for cheese either.  We both just shrugged our shoulders and laughed at how far we've come.  It is a liberating feeling to finally be "weaned" (pun intended)  :)  from such a fatty, artificial, and cruel product.  Mostly, I just feel grateful. 

Many people think they cannot live without cheese.  They're wrong.  It's an addiction that CAN be broken. 
I'm proof of that.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Rambutan


Guess what?  

I tried a new variety of fruit the other day!  I saw it at the grocery store and thought,  
"What is THAT???  I should try it!"  
So I did!  It's called a rambutan, which basically means "hairy" in Malay, and this makes perfect sense upon glimpsing the rind of this unusual little fruit.  After reading a little bit about them on the internet, I learned that they are grown far, far away from my native Utah, typically on the Southeast Asian side of the world.  Here in the U.S., they may be an exotic sight.  But in many cultures, they are as ubiquitous a food as an apple is to us. 

They sure are beautiful, fresh, on the tree! 
(By the way, this garden photo doesn't belong to me, but the other two pics are mine.)


To reveal the edible inside, I began by using a sharp knife and cutting around the soft-spined outer shell.  Here is what I discovered: a milky-white, pearl-like, fruit-flesh.  I took a nibble...  It had a chewy consistency.  And the flavor... Mild, quite mild.  It reminded me slightly of the taste of raw coconut.  Probably the easiest way of putting it is this: eating rambutan is kind of like eating a large grape, but without the extreme sweetness and juiciness of a grape. 


And do you know what else?  There really wasn't much flesh to eat, what with the big ol' gray pit I found in the center!  I ate around it.  And it looks like that was a good thing to do because from what I read about the rambutan, the pit is bitter and potentially poisonous.   So...  don't eat the pit!  

Rambutan also appear to have some useful nutrition factoids.  I read that they are a quality source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. 

It was a strange experience, the rambutan.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. The taste was so indistinct and the texture so... somewhat gummy, I don't know quite what to make of it.  In all fairness I may have selected a past-its-prime piece, in which case that may explain the so-little-flavor and lack of moisture.   The web says to choose a rambutan that is bright red, its little spines devoid of any black color.  My rambutan was nearly all black before I even purchased it!  Just look at my photos!  Oh dear... 


As of this moment, I don't feel a pull to consume any more of these exotic fruit.  But I ought try rambutan again because maybe I still don't know what I'm truly missing--maybe I just didn't select a good juicy one. 

So when I decide to give rambutan a second chance, I'll be certain to write a follow-up. Stay tuned!  :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Perilous Perfection

As much as I try to push it off, to overcome it, to ignore it, I always feel this dread need to be perfect in everything I do.  I tell you this because it is the reason behind my lack of posting.  I write a little more frequently on my other, less-advertised blogs--it seems safer there, where few-to-none will ever read.  But especially with this my "Foodie Blog", I want every word and every ingredient and every picture to be, well, perfect.  It is debilitating--crippling even.  What a fantastic, utterly unattainable effort.

Perfection.  Perilous perfection.  

I have infinitely more to give, but I am afraid of failure.  

Please forgive me my weaknesses.  I still have so much to learn about life and A WORLD of room left to grow...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vegan Does Not Equal Healthy

One of my vegan blogging pals, Danielle, inspired my post today:

Vegan does not equal healthy.  It should, but really, in today's world of vegetarian junk food, the two are not synonymous. This knowledge shocks people--can't tell you how many individuals have stared, mouth-agape, at me upon hearing this information.  But it is true.  I don't want to make waves, but the roots of Veganism did not begin with weight loss.  Although, sometimes that is a fortunate by-product!  :)

Being vegan is about compassion for the animals. I am glad there are so many health-concerned men and women who call themselves vegans.  I only wish that those who live it purely for personal health reasons, would call themselves "Complete Vegetarians", or something understandable like that. The title 'Vegan' denotes a spiritual, moral code of kindness, not a fad or diet, and I believe it is important to respect that.  

What do you think?

I don't wish to offend anyone with my views.  I recognize that we are all at different points on the path of awareness.  I certainly have a lot more room to grow.  And it must be said that the pursuit of good health often leads to veganism.  (That was my journey, after all.)  But learning about the animals themselves and accepting their souls to be as precious as mine, completely changed my heart.  I could never have stuck with veganism as a diet, but as a lifestyle of thoughfulness, it is as easy as breathing, for which I am deeply grateful...   

So, Vegan does not equal healthy--it represents infinitely more!  And even if the whole world disagrees with my choice, I am not afraid to stand alone, for I love being vegan!!  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Delicious, Nutritious Day!

It's a little slow at work today, so I have a moment to create a post!  

I think about food a lot, not constantly, but quite often, when I'm not eating and when I am!   Sometimes, even while in the middle of a delicious, satisfying meal, I start contemplating the next one!  I'm not proud of that, but it's the truth.  :)

So as you may have guessed, I'm thinking about food right now.  :)  I am hungry.  (The organic grapefruit I had at 7 a.m. is long gone now!)  But I'm also looking forward to certain edible plans I made for the rest of the day...  Marcy and I are going out to eat for lunch!  Yay!  I love spending time with my sister.  But a Cutler's veggie sandwich is also a treat in it's own right!


classic Cutler's goodness...


Later, for dinner, I think I'll whip up Fantastic brand's falafel mix and a large kale salad.  I've been craving leafy greens lately, and for this I am grateful.  It's rather refreshing!  But this will be my first time trying falafel.  I'm excited!
 




I just peeled an organic banana and am now typing one-handed so I can hold it with the other and munch...  mmmm...  nom-nom...  This makes for extremely inefficient blogging, but it's a setback I'm willing to take!  :)



(These apricots look like a sunset!)

I also brought along some local, hand-picked-by-me, apricots and plums.  The apricots are from my generous neighbors, Blake and Nancy.  The plums, a gift from my dear childhood friend, Marinda, and her husband, Jamey.  (Thank you!  Thank you!)  I'll make a dent in these morsels when I get done with my banana.  Even though my breakfast is sort-of spread out, it is filling nonetheless.


Straight from the tree...


...a polished plum...


...is now a bitten plum!  :D

Looks like it's turning out to be a delicious, even nutritious, day, if I may say so myself, and I can't help but feel giddy about it!   

Yum-YUM!  :D

Friday, August 13, 2010

My New Mantra!


1. Rinse
2. Eat
3. Repeat!

It's my new mantra!  :D
 Lately, at the grocery store, I stock up on plenty of fresh, organic fruits and veggies for a change. It's also that time of year to stop off at a friendly farmer's market for some amazing local taste treats! Even my neighbors and family have offered to share their garden bounty with me!  It's a beautiful thing--the love, simplicity, and common sense of healthy eating.   

Now you be sure and get out there and "rinse, eat, repeat" for yourself!  I wish you health and happiness along the way!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rediscovering Greens


For whatever reason, I haven't been eating my greens lately.  
And I've been feeling a little down about it... 

So, when I saw Annie's Naturals Organic Goddess Dressing on sale at my local Super Target, well, I bought up a few bottles!  I already love the taste of this creamy, tangy, salad topper.  And if it helps me get back into the wholesome groove of enjoying a veggie-centered diet again, I welcome it!   

Annie's Goddess Dressing is mostly vegetable oil, so it isn't a fat-free food by any stretch.  Specifically, it packs 120 calories into a 2 tablespoons serving.  But it is vegan.  And in moderation, it is a delicious treat-- a tasty addition to any vegetable meal.  Which is exactly what I need right now-- anything that get's me excited about a salad again.  

So, here's to rediscovering greens, and here's to Annie's Goddess Dressing!  Yummy!  I hope you try it sometime.  :)

I am wondering, though... 


How do you spice up your salads and veggies? 

If you have any favorite products, tips, or ideas, oh please share!  I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on the matter!  :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oatmeal "Wookie" Cookies

I discovered this cookie recipe behind the lid of a Quaker quick oats tumbler during the first year of my marriage.  But it's only recently that its clever title was acquired...  

While savoring a warm-from-the-oven dozen with me and Jordan, my mother reported that the dessert was soft and chewy...  Chewie???  We looked at each other, laughed, and it all came together in an instant...  I guess we all had Star Wars on the brain!  Chewie, the nick-name of large, furry character, Chewbacca, is a member of a race of creatures called Wookies.  And obviously, "Wookie" rhymes with "cookie"...  Before we knew it, the three of us had transformed a batch of seemingly ordinary baking into something even Han Solo could be proud of!  :)

An old-fashioned delight with a space-age twist--what fun!  As a fan of oatmeal cookies and all things Star Wars, I affectionately recommend you these tasty morsels!  And if, perhaps, you're not into science fiction, that's okay.  Call this treat what ever you like, just so long as you give it a try!  I modified the ingredients a little to make everything vegan-worthy.  But not to worry--they're still easy to bake and taste delicious!  I even think a big brown hairy space pilot "long ago, in a galaxy far far away..." might take a liking to them as well!  :D

Oatmeal "Wookie" Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen.

Organic Ingredients:
1 cup Earth Balance spread
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup white sugar
2-3 Tbsp dairy-free milk or 2 bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt (or 1 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats, dry (quick or old fashioned)
1/2 cup raisins or vegan chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Just a note: for a thicker cookie, as pictured above, cut the milk requirement.  Begin by beating together the spread, sugars, milk, vanilla, and salt.  In separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, oats, and raisins.  Combine the two bowls well.  Roll dough into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 3 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Brandi's Chik'n Enchiladas




My friend, Miss Brandi, better know as Vivacious Vegan, posted a delectable recipe to her blog a few months back, and I've been threatening to try it for weeks now!  Well, it finally happened...I recreated her creation! Chik'n Enchiladas!  All the equivalents and instructions are found on her website.


Let me tell you--it was vegan deliciousness!  My pictures may not have turned out as beautiful as Vivacious', but I'm almost certain that the meal itself was probably just a tasty!  The Daiya cheese was melty!  The Morningstar Chik'n Strips were oh-so satisfying!  The Ortega green chili sauce was mild and spicy, all at the same time!  We topped our servings with dollops of Tofutti sour cream!  Yumm!   


As you can see, I was exceedingly pleased with the results of these Chik'n Enchiladas and so was my cute husband, Jordan.  He said it was his new favorite food, and that's really saying something--Wow!  The only unfavorable aspect of the recipe was the final price tag.  Certain organic and vegan specialty items really add up fast.  We won't be able to afford this casserole every week, but once in a while, this recipe is really going to hit the spot!  

Thank you, Brandi!  We absolutely loved it!  :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

a breakthrough?


While lingering at my dad's tonight, he broached a subject to me that I was surprised to hear him voice.  Strangely, it felt like progress... 

The main course this evening was hamburgers and hot dogs, personally barbecued by Dad himself.  They were not vegan.  But I was aware of what was going to be served, so knowing I'd likely be the only vegan present, I brought along my own animal-free patties.  This way I could easily blend in with the festivities and not compromise my compassion.  (Not that I wanted a cow burger anyway--that gets a friendly "no thanks"...)  Well, I blended in so well that many family members, including my step-mom, Marie, thought I was actually biting into a regular old burger!  Knowing me, she nearly stopped in her tracks when she saw what she thought was on my plate!  Smilingly, I reassured those concerned parties that it was only a veggie burger, and as such, was no cause for alarm.  We all had a good laugh about it.  :)

But later on, during a conversation, my father randomly piped up,  

"There's something I doesn't understand about vegans--why is it that you eat foods that resemble meat but aren't really meat?  Why not just eat whole foods as they are?  Why do you try to disguise other foods as meat?" 

Well, his question quite surprised me!  But in a good way!  I was honored that he would even feel comfortable to voice his query to me; to trust that I wouldn't go off on some long tangent, and for lack of a better phrase, throw-up a bunch of unwanted information on him.  We see each other fairly regularly, and this is the first time I can recall that Dad's asked me anything about my being vegan in all the four years I've lived this lifestyle!  I'm loathe to read too much into this, but it felt like a breakthrough!  Like a vegan dialogue of sorts had been opened!  It was like the elephant in the room had finally been acknowledged in some small way!  How liberating! 

I gave him a brief reply.  Feeling caught a bit off guard by such a question from my meat-and-potatoes father, I shared the first and foremost explanation I could think of.  It could have been better--it could have been worse.  Still, it was from my heart.  I replied,  

"When everybody is enjoying a certain traditional meal, it's nice to be able to join in with them, but still hold to one's personal values."... 

I said something like that.  I could have given any number of good answers but that was the one that was really resonating with me at the moment. 

There's honestly nothing more to the tale, other than that Dad mentioned that while he was at Costco the other day, he tried a sample of vegetarian meatballs and thought they tasted horrible, to which the only response I could really give was, "Oh. I'm sorry."...  My dad.  I do love him though.  :)

Maybe next time he sees me, he'll have a new question to ask me about vegans or vegan food?  That would be cool!  Let's keep this dialogue going, that's what I say!  Dare I even hope?  It may be the tiniest of baby steps, but to my mind, it's a step forward nonetheless. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sprouting Mung Beans



I like to sprout!  

I have had delicious success with Alfalfa seeds.  So I thought it was time to branch out and give another variety of sprouts a try.  Enter organic Mung beans.  So I purchased some and gave it my best.  How did it go??



My Mung beans grew like weeds!  Even when I failed to water them as frequently as I should have, they still turned out amazing--crisp and juicy!  With their mild flavor, I can see why they would make an ideal snack, a lively addition to salads, or a perfect choice in any Asian dish.  Plus, these sprouts were giants compared to the Alfalfa shoots!  But of course, the Mung beans were much larger than the Alfalfa seeds to begin with, so it makes sense.  Most importantly they were refreshing and healthy!  You can order exactly what I purchased at this Handy Pantry Distributors link, as well as read a brief summary of Mung bean nutrition.  It's rather impressive actually! 

 I did miss my "day five" photograph.  Boo.  So if you notice a huge difference between my sprout's growth in a couple of the pics, you'll know why.


I really do hope you give sprouting a try!  If you want lots of how-to details, check out my "I Can Sprout!" blog post, where I chronicle my experience with Alfalfa seeds.  Simply treat the Mung beans with the same kind of care.  The only difference I noticed was that the Mung growing cycle seems to be about 48 hours less than the Alfalfa; I'm not certain to what length these sprouts are supposed to get, but I think I gave my batch a day too many.  Also, be sure not to over fill your jar with beans initially--they need room to grow!  One to two tablespoons will do the trick.


Just remember, sprouting is much easier than it appears to be, so take heart!  I know you can do it!

 Day Two- Mung emergence!

Day Three- Just look at those cute little tails!
  
Day Four- The Mung sprouts are casting off their hulls!

Day Five (No Photo)
I remember the jar was three-quarters full. They were probably ready to eat on this day, but for what ever reason, I neglected them. How sad.


Day Six- Jam packed! These babies are just begging to be released from captivity!


Now it's your turn to grow a batch of sprouts!  I wish you the very best of luck!