Saturday, November 19, 2016

8 Kind & Compassionate Thanksgiving Recipes [Vegan]

I’ve been rather quiet since the election, busy reflecting and trying to understand all sides. A few of my most trusted confidants have been invaluable during this time—namely, love, compassion and gratitude… gratitude for our right to choose and speak up for what we believe, even when we don’t all quite agree… for family and friends, whose beliefs may differ from mine but who will always hold a special place in my heart… for the like-minded folks who keep me inspired and sane… for my four furballs who bring me so much joy, and all the other precious beings that share this Earth with us… for Mother Earth herself, and the lovely space on her crust that I call home… for clean air to breathe and healthy food on the table…  

It seems timely that our annual celebration of thanks is about to arrive (was that the plan all along when they designated November as election month?), and of course, we’re keeping it vegan in my house (because, among other reasons, this is even harder to swallow than our current events). I thought I’d share a few of my top contenders for this year's menu, in case you’d like to join us (…in spirit).

vegan caramelized onion and barley soup

This is one of my all-time faves, and it’s just as excellent with thyme in place of rosemary.

vegan autumn harvest salad

Not everyone’s a fan of Brussels sprouts—but I am!—and the rest of the fall flavors combined with the creaminess of the avocado really bring this dish together.

vegan pumpkin challah rolls

I haven’t tried these yet, but they look amazing (and anything pumpkin is a winner in my book). I'm not known for my baking skills, so wish me luck!

vegan shepherd's pie

This is a regular feature in our house, and we never get tired of it. For deep, rich flavor, I suggest using Oakshire Brewing’s Overcast Espresso Stout (yes, it’s vegan) and adding more simmer time both after adding the beer and again after adding the Worcestershire sauce.

vegan pumpkin risotto

I’m a sucker for risotto, and thank goodness it tastes just as good without the cheese. Plus, I already mentioned how I feel about anything pumpkin.

vegan quinoa stuffing

Not all of Marla’s recipes are vegan, but this one is, and I especially love the addition of Oregon hazelnuts.

vegan sweet potato casserole

This has just the right amount of sweetness and turns out great every time. It’s perfect for potlucks and pleases even the non-root-vegetable-lovers in the house.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

And, of course, dessert! This is so easy to make, and the crust is absolutely divine.

So what’s on your menu for this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cast Your Vote Today (& Everyday) For Rainforests, Orangutans & Personal Health

Rainforests and their inhabitants are under serious threat because of palm oil, a widely-used substance that also presents a danger to our own health. Learn all about it and what we can do.

Orangutan threatened with extinction due to palm oil industry
Orangutans are threatened with extinction due to palm oil
Voting is a hot topic these days, but it’s important to keep in mind that each and every one of us casts powerful votes on a daily basis. Every single day, regardless of the month or year, we decide what to buy, what to eat, what to wear, what to take from the environment and what to introduce back in, and no matter how deep our pockets, those decisions bear influence through the laws of supply and demand. Moreover, when we are united and cast our votes collectively, we become a commanding force capable of transforming the world into the kinder, healthier place we all seek.

That’s why it’s so important that we come together now in a collective stand against unsustainable palm oil—for the sake of orangutans (some of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom), for Sumatran rhinos and tigers and pygmy elephants who are on the cusp of extinction, for native villagers whose voices are silenced as their homes and livelihoods are mercilessly seized, and for future generations, both here and abroad, whose rights to clean air and a habitable earth are deteriorating by the minute.

You see, the problem with palm oil lies in how it is being produced—a process that is carelessly ravaging the world’s rainforests, decimating habitat for critically endangered species, and contributing greatly to global warming—and those issues, along with the damage palm oil can cause to our own health, are why we all need to care.

Let’s take a closer look at palm oil and how it relates to these issues. 

Image courtesy of Wikipedia