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pretty-snow

I think it is interesting that it is snowing tonight on the day Marine wrote this blog entry, and wore her Be Nice, “Pretty Snow” shirt. Don’t you?

:]

Cara

im-local

This design is printed with green eco-friendly ink on a natural organic American Apparel t-shirt. It was designed by Marine.

“I’m Local, talking to me will not increase your carbon footprint”. I think it is a little funny. This shirt is specifically recommended for single beings.

You can get it online at ubenice.com.

This organic mandarin orange almond salad is a simply delicious salad I love to make.

Watch You Need

1 head of organic green or red leaf lettuce or an organic mesclun mix works

1 can (11 ounces) of organic Mandarin orange segments or the equivalent of fresh organic Mandarin orange segments

1 to 2 ounces of organic toasted almond slivers

What To Do

Toss together in a huge bowl with an organic oil (1 cup), vinegar (1/2 cup) and mustard (2 tablespoons) dressing, or an organic Italian is good.

Try it.

-Cara

This organic vegan chocolate cake is good for you and tastes good. Try it, you’ll like it.

What You Need

1/2 a ripe organic banana

1 pkg. (10.5 oz) organic firm lite silken tofu

1/3 cup organic canola, organic olive or organic sesame oil or a mix of all three

1 1/4 cup H2O

2 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla

2 tablespoons egg replacer (powder) (Reason 1 this recipe is not organic is I have not been able to fine a dry, organic egg replacer anywhere. If anyone knows about it let me know.)

2 1/2 cup organic pastry flour (for a little denser cake use 2 cups organic pastry flour 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour)

2 cups organic sugar or organic sucanat

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoon organic baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup organic cocoa powder (for extra flavor you may add 1/3 cup carob powder)

What You Do

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour pan.

Blend tofu and oil in a processor or blender until smooth. Next, add the banana, water, and vanilla.

Combine remaining cake ingredients in a large bowl. Add to tofu mixture and whip for 8 minutes.

Bake for 35 minutes

If you want a fantastical organic pesto recipe here it is.

What You Need

1 cup organic walnut pieces
2 cups organic cilantro leaves, stems removed
1 organic jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 tbsp Bragg organic raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup purified water, or as needed

Here’s What To Do

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until fine. Add the cilantro, pepper, salt, vinegar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and blend. Blend in more water until the pesto is the consistency of a thick sauce. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Keep unused pesto refrigerated in a tightly covered container.

It’s good.

-Cara

This faux chicken is so tasty and really simple to make and takes 30 minutes at most to put together.

What You Need

1 10 ounce package frozen organic peas and carrots
1/3 cup organic butter (organic canola oil for a vegan version)
1/3 cup organic flour
1/3 cup chopped organic onion
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cup organic vegetable broth
2/3 cup organic milk (organic soy milk for a vegan version)
1 cup cooked favorite organic vegetable, potatoes, green beans or mushrooms
1 1/2 cups organic chicken style seitan

What To Do

Rinse frozen peas and carrots under cold water to separate; drain. Heat butter in 2 quart saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in vegetables and seitan.

It’s perfect Autumn food and goes great with my organic biscuits. :]

Enjoy.

-Cara

Photo from, The Well-Seasone Cook's Blog

Photo From The Well-Seasoned Cook's Blog

It is an alternative to mashed potatoes I like. It reminds me of my abuela and growing up in Miami. :)

What You Need

2 organic plantains (green or yellow), peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup organic milk
5 tbsp. organic butter
sea salt and pepper to taste
6 cups of water

What To Do

Place the plantains in a saucepan with the water and cover. Boil on high for 45 minutes or until soft. Once soft, discard the water and mash with electric mixer or by hand after adding the milk, butter, sea salt and pepper.

Good times and food.

-Cara

These cracker are good. I myself cut them in any shape I want to. You can even use cool mini cookie cutters. I love them with anything.

What You Need

3/4 cup organic, unbleached white floor

1/4 cup organic fresh mango purée

1 tablespoon organic canola oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon organic coriander powder

What To Do

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients together to form a dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/16th inch thick and cut into 3 inch squares for the perfect crackers. Prick each cracker 3 times with the tines of a fork to prevent puffing during baking. Bake the crackers on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove crackers from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

So good.

-Cara

This mac and cheese is so good. The way you cook it makes it crusty on top. I switch the cheeses around to experiment.

What You Need

3 tablespoon organic butter

12 oz organic Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated

12 oz organic extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

1 pound organic elbow pasta, boiled in salted water, until just tender, drained and rinsed under cold water

1/8 teaspoon organic cayenne

sea salt

2/3 cup organic whole milk

What to Do

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 9 by 13 inch backing dish. Combine the grated cheeses and set aside 2 heaping cups for topping.

2. In a large bowl, mix the pasta, cheeses, cayenne and salt to taste. Place in prepared pan and evenly pour milk over surface. Sprinkle reserved cheese on top, dot with remaining butter and bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Next raise the oven’s temperature to 400 degrees and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until it looks crusty on top and bottom.

Good summer fun.

-Cara

sbr

This is an easy, but always good to have recipe.

What You Need

1 cup organic sweet brown rice

2 cups water

1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter

sea salt to taste

What You Do

Put all the ingredients into a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Do not remove lid while cooking. Remove from heat and allow to stay covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.

And it’s good for you!

-Cara

Veggie Pride Parade

Reason 101 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When you fork over that $1.89 for those 7 ounces of Brown ’N Serve Sausage Links, it’s really quite a bargain, or so you might think. But such purchases–collectively trillions of them across the globe–accumulate a steep ecological deficit. In time, the debt will come due. Future generations will be the ones remitting its payments, in installments, with global warming, aquifer depletion, topsoil erosion, desertification, collapsed fisheries, wildlife extinction, deforestation and lost ecosystem services. Isn’t it time to start eating lower on the food chain? Get Hip. Go Veg!


It has been 101 days since I started the 101 Reasons Why I Am A Vegetarian journey. I commend Pamela Rice for her commitment to wanting to protect the wild animals, human animals (sometimes wild as well) and the planet we live on. I might not have agreed with every thing she said or maybe more of how she said it, but always with her mission. There are not many people out there who believe in a humane cause and then follow it up by actually doing something, something big. It is a sign of great character and I respect that.

Thank you.

-Cara

Hey, you know what I was thinking? We need another theme day and why not Tuesday. We will leave Monday alone for hot topics after our Friday-Sunday themes and Tuesday will be a day to write about one person doing someone that makes a great difference in the world.

Our first honoree is Morgan Hoesterey. Who is she? She is a woman, a zoologist, a surfer, a free diver, an underwater photographer, who lives in Hawaii and is in a documentary film called, “Message in the Waves“. What does she do? She cares about the world and the animals we harm, when we as a society don’t understand that for every action there is a reaction.

Here is a clip from the documentary film she was in called, “Message in the Waves“. It is crazy!

Morgan is the reaction to our action. We need to be aware of what we do and how it effects our world.

Disposable is deadly.

-Cara

life. During her college years she further developed her free diving and surfing skills.


Reason 81 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Every minute of every day, across the globe, 100,000 animals are slaughtered to feed the human lust for meat. This adds up to 50 billion sentient beings a year, not counting fish. Anywhere you go, creatures destined for the dinner plate endure cruel living conditions. “We’re eating them anyway,” goes the strange logic.

The history of solar power is of interest to me, because again for some reason I have an innate interest in all things solar. In this entry I wrote about some of the forefathers of the solar power movement and in future entries I will bring us up to the present time.

Humans and the earth have used the sun as some sort of energy source since the beginning of time, but it was not until 1838 that Edmund Becquerel observed and published findings about the nature of certain materials to turn light into energy. This in itself did not really create much commotion, but it did bring the thought of harnessing the sun’s energy source to people’s mind.

Thirty years later between 1860 and 1881, Auguste Mouchout, a mathematics instructor at the Lyce de Tours, became the first man to patent a design for a motor running on solar energy. This invention was born out of his his concerns over his country’s dependence on coal. “It would be prudent and wise not to fall asleep regarding this quasi-security,” he wrote. “Eventually industry will no longer find in Europe the resources to satisfy its prodigious expansion. Coal will undoubtedly be used up. What will industry do then?” Well we know what they do, they discover other nonrenewable sources of energy like oil and natural gas to use up, and once that is gone then will we turn to sun and wind for our main source of energy? The issue “they” see with that is they have not figured out a way to turn an obscenely grandiose profit off the sun and air, but I would not worry too much as I am sure General Electric is working on buying the sun as we speak.

Anyway, Mouchout received funds from the French Emperor Napoleon III and with those funds he designed a device that turned solar energy into mechanical steam power and soon operated the first steam engine. He later connected the steam engine to a refrigeration device, illustrating that the sun’s rays can be utilized to make ice, for which he was awarded an awesome French Medal of Super Freshness [I tried to discover, briefly, what medal it was he won, but to no avail, so yes I did invent the French medal of Super Freshness incase you weren’t sure.]!

Unfortunately, his groundbreaking research was cut short. The French renegotiated a cheaper deal with England for the supply of coal and improved their transportation system for the delivery thereof. Mouchout’s work towards finding an alternative source of energy was not considered a priority anymore and he no longer received any funding from the Napoleon V3 [ah, isn’t that the way things go?].

I will end our solar history lesson there for today and hope you have enjoyed it so far, more to follow!

Let the sun shine in.

-Cara


Reason 80 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In the early twentieth century man learned how to extract nitrogen (fertilizer) from the air, cheaply and in large quantities. The discovery ultimately allowed 2 billion more people to inhabit the Earth and has given humans the luxury of feeding crops to livestock. Yet what gives the world abundance has, by way of nutrient runoff and acid rain, poisoned waterways from the Chinese countryside to the Ohio Valley. (Excess nitrogen promotes algae growth, robbing the water of oxygen.) In North America and Europe, lakes and rivers contain 20 times the nitrogen they did before the Industrial Revolution.

I usually try to stay away from animal cruelty newsletters or web sites as they really upset me and as a vegetarian I feel like I don’t need to be exposed to these horrors. I don’t eat or wear animals because of said suffering, so I don’t want to read or see things that are so sad. That said a few months ago I signed up for PETA’s newsletter for the second time to remind myself that I should do more, even if I don’t want to see it, it does motivate me.

In the latest newsletter I got today, PETA talks about leather. I being a lover of super fresh shoes, always had leather and suede shoes, until a few years ago where I read about the horrors of leather and decided to give up buying any leather products. Recently, I started to see a few shoes made from animals that I thought were cute and I couldn’t quite remember why I gave up leather…

Then along came PETA, with their Shopping Guide To Compassionate Clothing and Cows Are Cool, with their page on, What’s Wrong With Leather. This information reminded me why I gave up leather and suede. I’d like to share some information from Cows Are Cool with you.

Leather may be made from cows, pigs, goats, and sheep; exotic animals like alligators, ostriches, and kangaroos; and even dogs and cats, who are slaughtered for their meat and skins in China, which exports their skins around the world. Since leather is normally not labeled, you never really know where (or whom) it came from.

Most leather comes from developing countries like India and China, where animal welfare laws are either non-existent or not enforced. Many of the millions of cows and other animals who are killed for their skin endure the horrors of factory farming—extreme crowding and deprivation as well as castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning, all without any painkillers. In India, a PETA investigation found that cows have their tails broken and chili peppers and tobacco rubbed into their eyes in order to force them to get up and walk after they collapse from exhaustion on the way to the slaughterhouse. At slaughterhouses, animals routinely have their throats slit and are skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious after improper stunning.

Most of the millions of animals slaughtered for their skin endure the horrors of factory farming before being shipped to slaughter, where many are skinned alive. Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses since skin is the most economically important byproduct of the meat-packing industry. Leather is also no friend of the environment since it shares all the environmental destruction of the meat industry, in addition to the toxins used in tanning.

With every pair of leather shoes that you buy, you sentence an animal to a lifetime of suffering. Instead, you can choose from hundreds of styles of nonleather shoes, clothing, belts, bags, and wallets. Fashion should be fun, not fatal! Read more about the cruelty of the leather industry.

…so nevertheless I have cured myself of my desire for leather, thanks to PETA and Cows Are Cool and my conscious.

Also, PETA has given shopping alternatives to leather, wool, silk, fur, down on their site. Here are the links and one link for companies who offer cruelty-free products to be listed in PETA’s guide:

Vegan Companies
Leather and Fur Alternatives
Search by Product Type
Animal-Friendly Companies Wanted

Remember all animals feel pain and nothing is done to alleviate these animals suffering in their processing and slaughtering. I don’t want to ever be a part of that.

Knowledge is enlightenment.

-Cara
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Reason 69 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In 2005, a $7.1 billion plan to prepare the U.S. for a bird-flu pandemic was instituted by the Bush administration. It included very little to help poor countries slow the spread of the H5N1 strain already on the march. Pharmaceutical companies would get most of the largesse in order to stockpile and develop speedier methods to develop appropriate vaccines for American citizens. In addition, President Bush proposed that he be given the power to impose essentially martial law on the land in the event that a pandemic actually came about. The number of countries with bird flu increased from 14 to 55 in 2006.

Lips

Time to play. Today you can play, improving your memory while doing so and if you want, learn more on how to keep your lips soft, click here.

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Reason 2 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

America’s farmed animals produce 1.3 billion tons of waste per year, or 5 tons for every U.S. citizen. (Just one cow produces 100 pounds per day.) And the pollution strength of it all can reach levels 160 times greater than that of raw municipal sewage. This vast accumulation is not neatly contained; manure is the most common pollutant today in America’s waters. Land sprayed with pig excrement is particularly toxic, since pigs contract and transmit many human diseases–namely, meningitis, salmonella, chlamydia, giardia, cryptosporidiosis, worms, and influenza. Manure is laden with phosphorous, nitrates, and heavy metals and emits ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and cyanide. Manure has always been seen as fertilizer. But in today’s quantities, it is an under-regulated industrial pollutant.

This is the only dedicated blog entry that will be solely on Pamela Rice and her book, 101 Reasons Why I Am A Vegetarian. What I am going to do for the next 101 days is, at the end of the next 101 blog entries, I will quote one reason from Pamela Rice’s book for anyone who wants to read it. I am going to be reading each reason for the first time as well, so lets hope it’s good! :P :D :)

Go Vegetarian

Who is Pamela Rice you may ask, according to her web site, VivaVegie Society,

“Pamela Rice is the author of the popular 16-page pamphlet “101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian,” which boasts some 180,000 copies in circulation, 10 printings, and 6 updated editions. Many have dubbed this veggie manifesto “the mighty convincer.” A good read-through and you’ll find yourself at least considering reducing the amount of meat in your diet.

Ms. Rice has dedicated her life to ferreting out every argument under the sun that lends credence to the personal choice of vegetarianism — the environmental argument, the health argument, and the ethical argument.

Ms. Rice is currently the director of the Vegetarian Center of New York City — a referral center, a reading room, a research library, and a cultural hub for vegetarians to meet and form groups.

She is the publisher of the incisive magazine The VivaVine: The Vegetarian-Issues Magazine.

She is also known to engage the public through “vegetarian street outreach,” distributing pro-vegetarian literature, including her “101 Reasons,” using eye-catching costumes and arresting images.

Reason #1:

  1. Nearly all of the some 10 billion animals slaughtered for food in the U.S. every year are the end result of a behemothic-sized swift-moving assembly line system, incorporating dangerous, unprecedented, and unsustainable methods of production. If America’s farmers were required by law to give their animals humane living conditions, including spacious quarters, clean surroundings, fresh air, sunlight, and opportunities for social interaction–and if it were illegal simply to drug the animals who would otherwise die from the conditions in which they live–cheap meat could never exist. Time and again the industry balks at even low-cost measures designed to improve the animals’ plight. Prices have been driven to levels unnaturally low, and, alas, a luxury good has been transformed into a staple.

That’s sad. :'( I think Marine is going to do a blog entry on organic, hormone free, free range meat and fish for all you carnivores sometime soon..

-Cara

Eating green…sounds good. I have always been a big fan of changing and incorporating a defined structure to my diet. I am already a vegetarian, was a vegan for years, sustained myself on a raw diet for a hot second, and also lived on a macrobiotic diet, so I figure how hard can this green diet be?

I found some great tools to aide in establishing a greener diet in my life on cspinet.org. First, the Eating Green Calculator calculates how what you eat impacts the world, ecologically. Then, on this site, you can also discover how your diet scores on nutrition, the environment, and animal welfare. Lastly, you can take a tour of how food supply of non-organic food ends up at your house. It is super fun and education. :)

The website is promoting and selling a book, Six Arguments for a Greener Diet,


A diet based more on plant-based foods than meats and dairy can lead to extra years of healthy living. This very same diet reduces environmental damage and farm animal suffering. CSPI’s new Eating Green brings to bear the science on a greener diet and its impact on the environment.

Six Arguments for a Greener Diet. CSPI’s new book provides thoughtful advice to consumers and policymakers alike on moving to a plant-base diet.

Maybe I’ll pick up this book and see what it is all about.

Eat green!

-Cara

Tofu Robot Girl

Let’s talk about tofu today. What you put into your body is super serious and if you want to be the best you can be, fuel my friends is très important! Tofu is one of these super foods, even so, a lot of people seem to have issues with it. Maybe it was due to a horrendous first experience or maybe you just hate it on spec. Look, I can accept people not liking tofu, like people who hate strawberries or beans, but hating it after trying it once…well…that is just not acceptable. It may have been that the preparation was not to your liking that first time, but tofu only tastes like how you season it. The texture as well is up to the chef. I mean it is not only super fresh for your brain, body and soul, but extremely versatile. You must love it!!!

Let’s see what wiki has to say on the subject of tofu

Tofu, also toufu (the Japanese Romaji spelling), doufu (the Chinese Pinyin spelling often used in Chinese recipes) or bean curd (the literal translation), is a food of Chinese origin made by coagulating soy milk, and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu has very little flavor or smell on its own, so it can be used either in savory or sweet dishes, and is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.

The production of tofu from soy milk is similar to the production of cheese from milk (fermentation), although some tofu is made by processing non-soy products, such as almonds or black beans. Two major byproducts of the process are tofu skin and soy pulp.

Tofu originated in ancient China, but little else is known about the origins of tofu and its method of production. The origin is the source of some speculation and legend, but there is insufficient historical information to support such speculations. Tofu and its production technique were subsequently introduced into Japan in the Nara period (late eighth century) as well as other parts of East Asia. This spread likely coincided with the spread of Buddhism as it is an important source of proteins in the religion’s vegetarian diet.

Tofu is low in calories, contains beneficial amounts of iron (especially important for women of child bearing age) and has no cholesterol. Depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, the tofu may also be high in calcium (important for bone development and maintenance), and magnesium (especially important for athletes).  

One cool thing I learned about cooking tofu is if you want the texture of tofu to be like chicken, buy the extra firm, freeze it for 24 hours, let it defrost, cook it however. You’re welcome. :P There are a million recipes online. I don’t want to give any here because i don’t know what you like, if you like chicken nuggets search for fried tofu recipes, if you like steak teriyaki, search for tofu teriyaki…you get the point.

Plus, tofu is just fun!

Wanna make your own tofu?

150g Dried Soy Beans

2g Calcium Sulfate (aka Gypsum, used for wine/beer making) water

Soak beans in water overnight.

Place the beans in a blender, adding water until they’re covered (about 1″ above the bean level). Blend for two minutes until it’s a smooth liquid.

Using a sack made from two pieces of cotton cloth, squeeze out the soy juice.

Bring the juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Reduce flame to low and simmer for two to four minutes or so.

While the mixture continues to boil, prepare a small dish and dissolve Calcium Sulfate into two to three tablespoons of water.

Using a food thermometer, bring the temperature of the boiling mixture to 176F.

Pour all of the mixture into a dish with the Calcium Sulfate while mixing briskly for three seconds and stop. Wait 10 minutes for the tofu to set. Serve hot right away, chill or squeeze more water with a cotton cloth while it’s still hot for harder tofu.

Good luck.

-Cara

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I start many things with good intentions, many, many things. This time I intend to stay focused. This time I will not leave behind what I started. This time it is larger and more important than my obsession with Martha Stewart, all design shows, and Teresa Witherspoon. :P This time it is about the greater good...this time I am serious.

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