Going Veg*n: Lots of Protein, Little Stress

I’m inspired by how many friends, family, and others I’ve come across recently who are considering going vegetarian or vegan. In particular, it’s been interesting to note how many children of non-vegetarian families have decided to forgo meat.  To those of us in the yogic and spiritual communities, this is a wonderful sign of the ascension of the collective consciousness, naturally drawing to a state of greater harmony, connection with others, and ultimately, ahimsa, or non-harming.  Not only is this a more compassionate and healthy path, I’m here to tell you there is plenty of protein to be had within a plant-based diet.

That being said, non-veg Mamas (& Papas!) are asking for a little help figuring out how to feed newly veg*n kids in a wholesome way, and perhaps begin to move into more veg lifestyles themselves… so here are my top tips! Continue reading

Great Northern Gardening Experiment, Part 2

Gardening Mid SummerA couple months now into our Spring seeding and sprouting, and we are officially in the midst of Summer gardening… and it is OM!  Much of the garden this year was grown from seed and some fruit roots, with a few small berry shrubs thrown in for good measure.  We did see some returning plants from our first year, and things are coming along quite nicely – however, just a little slowly.

Everyone here says it’s been a wet season thus far, though even moving as we did from Texas last year, I find it has been very hot as well.  I will say, 85 degrees with 80% humidity really DOES feel like 105!  Now I understand why the farmers get up so early.   Continue reading

Easy Peasy Cranberry Citrus Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp with Cranberries and OrangeThere’s almost nothing I like better than apple crisp.  It’s been a favorite since childhood, which I will happily eat any time of day or night, as a dessert, breakfast, or snack.  Plus – it’s so easy,  even the little chefs of the house can practically make it themselves!

Traditional apple crisp is OMmmazing, though I’m also  a big fan of tangy, so I try to work this flavor profile in wherever I can.

What better twist on an age-old classic than to toss in fresh cranberries, and even a little citrus?  Continue reading

Great Northern Gardening Experiment: Starting Seeds

Starting Seeds CompleteAs a newer gardener – and brand new to growing in the Northern latitudes – there’s a lot I am figuring out… like the necessity of starting seeds early to work with a much shorter and cooler growing season.

Last Spring, my first priority was settling into our new house, so I got a pretty late start on things.  Besides which, a garden plot still had to be tilled out, compost delivered, and finally starting seeds commenced, and somewhat randomly, since I wasn’t really sure  what might grow successfully in our new environment. Continue reading

Hearty Vegetarian Black-Eyed Pea Stew

Blackeyed Pea StewOn a chilly day (and most any day ;), I love a good, hearty soup.   Unless you’re from the South, you may come across black-eyed peas only around New Year’s, when it’s traditionally eaten for good luck.   For vegetarians and others looking to eat a healthier diet, even then, you may associate these fiber-rich, protein-packed beans with ham hocks and sausage, as they are typically served… so they may not be in your usual repertoire at all.

However, these beans are amazing little fellas with an earthy, savory flavor all their own, which taste great in a tomato-based, hearty stew.  This super-healthy recipe is vegan and gluten-free, though vegetarian sausage can be added to give that down-home flavor you may have in mind around this lucky legume. This soup reminds me of all the comforts and smells of my grandmother’s house, yet in a recipe I created for a more earth-friendly Aquarian lifestyle.  Grab yer okry and let’s get choppin’! Continue reading

The Time-Space Continuum and Savory Vegetarian 15-Bean Slow Cooker Soup

15 Bean Soup BowlWe eat whole foods as much as possible, in the European slow-cooking, slow-eating countryside style, preparing most meals from scratch with a minimum of packaged convenience items, and a sprinkling of favorite indulgences.  Dinner is when this really comes to bear, since we have a real chance to sit down, share, and *linger* – my main term for all things “slow living.”

I make heavy use of my slow cooker year-round in the process… so much so, I’m considering just keeping that gargantuan beast on my counter at all times as a practical measure. ;) Continue reading

Busy Day Quick & Healthy Potato (Veggie) Soup

Potato Veggie SoupFall is in full swing now with crisp weather and falling leaves, and the soup is definitely on here at our house.  We just can’t get enough of it – whether light, hearty, creamy, or brothy…. We’ll take it any way, any day! ;)

This is a great recipe when you want something warm, savory, and nutritious, but you need it quick.  And it’s perfect for those in the family who may not typically go in for the veggies… they’re here in force, though blend seamlessly into the rich potato base to get around those picky eaters.  Mighty O asks for seconds and even sometimes thirds on this one!  Continue reading

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt BreadBy the end of summer, we’ve had our fill of zucchini side dishes and add-ins to every soup, stir fry, and entree.  Time to get creative and indulge in some chocolate bliss…

This Gluten Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a sinfully delicious, yet not overly rich, recipe adapted from one I found on allrecipes.com.   This can be served as a breakfast bread or with afternoon tea, or as a scrumptious dessert.  We actually just served this up at Mighty O’s birthday party this past weekend, disguised as chocolate cupcakes.  I don’t think the kids realized this was a veggie dish at all!  ;)   Continue reading

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergent BucketOne of my latest obsessions is making homemade cleaning products.  My mom initially turned me on to the idea of homemade laundry detergent when she reported making 5 GALLONS of laundry detergent – that worked well! – for just a couple of dollars.  Whaat?!  This appealed to me on so many levels.
There are so many good reasons to make your own laundry detergent.  To live more naturally, consume fewer products with less packaging, reduce chemicals in our homes and on our bodies, and to stem the pollution going into the waste stream and waterways – and last but certainly not least, to save money.  Laundry detergent has always been one of the most expensive items on my grocery list, especially since liquid detergent is pretty much all we can use in our HE machine – so this is an awesome way to conserve in the household budget.   Continue reading

Green Tomato Lime Cilantro Salsa

Green Tomatoes Pig Plate

My son, Mighty O, will be starting at a very cool, very small school this Fall. We’ve had lots of interesting experiences with education already in his young life (perhaps more on that later…), though we are very excited about this one!  This school follows an outdoor-oriented program that is similar to the forest schools of Scandinavia and the American Pacific Northwest, with a very hands-on learning approach that also includes lots of music and performing arts.  If I were the type to ever say, “Squeeeee!” – well, it might be now.

At any rate, the school maintains a wonderful garden, which is tended by the students during the school year and once a week through the summer months.  A very nicely-producing young tomato plant was uprooted by a well-meaning child at our last visit, and the green tomatoes on the bush were begging for a use. I grabbed them to make a tomatillo-style salsa or chutney, which could come in use for the school’s Fall festival, where they serve food from the garden’s bounty.   Continue reading