chile-garlic potatoes and cauliflower with turmeric

26 Oct

cauliflower potato curryI recently rediscovered my love of cauliflower. My only memory of it as a child is a microwaved head, smothered in Velveeta cheese product — certainly not something I would eat now as a food-conscious adult. So I’ll admit I overlooked this vegetable for many years.

Mild, delicately crunchy, and a little bit sweet and nutty, cauliflower makes a delicious addition to many dishes. Not only is it delicious, but like most vegetables, it is full of amazing nutrients and health benefits. A cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower has been linked to a decrease in the risk of: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. The link to various cancers is because of cauliflower’s effect on three major body systems. Continue reading

chocolate-covered rum figs

4 Oct

I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything. I took a summer hiatus from food politics, research, and activism. I needed it.

But now I am home from my 5,000-mile road trip, and transitioning back to the routines of daily life. One of my favorite routines is picking up my weekly harvest box from Los Poblanos Organics (now part of Mountain View Co-Op), and seeing what is inside. Then comes the joy of figuring out creative ways to incorporate all of those fresh produce items into our meals.

This week’s box included a basket of fresh black mission figs. Believe it or not, I had never eaten a fig. I ate one fresh and unadorned, which was delicious. Then I went surfing for recipes. What I found was this fabulous treat: Continue reading

Vegan cheesecake heaven

25 Jul

image

Thank you, Sweet Life! I love visiting the West Coast for many reasons, but dairy-free pastries are high on the list.

pizza is delicious even without cheese

19 May
delicious cheese-free pizza

It even makes great leftovers!

I’ll admit that there are a few food items I really miss since going dairy-free. Namely: nachos, cheesy fries, and pizza. And let’s face it – vegan cheese substitutes are disgusting. So what’s a girl to do when she wants a date night with her man, some pizza, and Netflix? Enter vegan pizza.

I was not optimistic. The man was downright skeptical (mostly of the beans). Pizza without cheese just seemed impossible. And yet, what we pulled out of the oven was not only dairy-free, but delicious! I am sold, and the man liked it too. Pizza and movie night is restored!

Here is the recipe. Please note that although the pizza only needs to cook for 15 minutes, the dough requires almost an hour and a half of rising time. Continue reading

eating meat, killing animals, and reconnecting

29 Mar

meat chickensPlease be warned: This post includes both graphic description and graphic images of animals being slaughtered. If you do not wish to read/see this, please navigate away.

One of the recurring conundrums in my wellness odyssey is the consumption of meat.

We, as humans, have developed such a strange and uncomfortable relationship with non-human animals; from domesticated livestock that are treated like soulless burgers-on-legs, to pets whom we subject to unending confinement and training. Because we believe that animals are lesser beings, our moral compasses somehow seem to allow for a wide array of mistreatment and subjugation. The factory farming and dairy production systems are prime examples of how far we have fallen in our respect for non-human life. Continue reading

miso soup… with substance!

28 Mar

miso vegetable soupI love miso soup. I always order it at sushi restaurants, but I often crave a little more substance beyond the tiny tofu cubes and chopped green onions. So I decided to make a very robust miso soup with noodles and veggies.

Unsurprisingly, miso is also very good for you. A valuable source of protein and B12 for vegans and vegetarians, miso is a fermented soy paste that also supplies trace minerals such as copper, manganese and zinc. Miso helps to support a healthy immune system, bones and blood vessels, and has even been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer. Yay miso!

So here’s the recipe. I used a hodgepodge of veggies based on what I got in my weekly CSA delivery, so feel free to substitute as you see fit. Continue reading

local v. organic: the complex landscape of sustainable food production

3 Mar
organic kale sprouts

Organic greens sprout at Los Poblanos Organics in Mesilla, NM.

When examining food production, there are three identifiable areas of concern: health impacts, environmental impacts, and ethics. These are all, of course, interrelated. However, when faced with the daunting task of honestly examining food production, it’s easier to take one topic at a time. I talk a lot about the health impacts of our dietary choices in some of my other posts, and I discussed ethics in a recent post as well. So now let’s look at the environmental impacts of food production, specifically as they relate to sustainability.

Humans experience life through contrast. We tend to simplify the grey areas of complex topics into black and white whenever we can; our minds automatically distill muddied waters into crystal-clear solutions, even when none exist. When confronting the issue of sustainable food production, many a well-intentioned activist has been caught up in the following false dichotomization:

Which is better – buying local produce, or buying certified organic produce?

If there is one thing I have learned thus far in my wellness odyssey, it’s that food is NOT simple. There are no simple answers. Humankind has entrenched itself deeply in an unsustainable system of feeding its ever-growing population. How do we feed billions of people without destroying our health and our environment? Is it even possible? Continue reading

next installment of agriculture photos

14 Feb

dairy cattle ranchI’ve been a busy bee. Not only am I discovering a lot about food and its production for my own benefit, but I’m working on a related fine art photography project for a class I’m taking, also. Hence, all the artsy B&W photos.

I spend a lot of time driving through the agricultural lands here; Hwy 28, Hatch, Dona Ana, Anthony, and all throughout the Mesilla Valley. What I see is a mixture of hard physical labor, neglected infrastructure, migrant workers, secluded mansions, and a struggle between modernity, urbanization, and authentic living. One thing I know for sure: our food producers are most certainly under-appreciated.

Here are some of the most recent photos from my adventures in farmland: Continue reading

ethical eating, labels, and walking the line

5 Feb

ethical eating for the planetThis journey into wellness and food has taken me to places I would not have anticipated.

I’ve discovered that I am passionate about food. Not in the self-indulgent decadent way (think wine and cheese and foie gras), but more in the vein of delicious, healthful, ethical meals prepared in my kitchen. And that’s really the crux of it: ethical eating.

I find it interesting that for years I have considered myself a conscientious consumer. I recycle, I use reusable shopping bags, I minimize my consumerism, I buy used items often, I pick up litter, I use a travel mug when I patronize coffee shops, and I even buy fair trade coffee. And yet, it took me years to honestly examine the simplest (and most impactful) form of consumption.

We have choices when it comes to our food. Ethical eating encompasses a wide array of options, including (but not limited to): Continue reading

first set of farming photos

3 Feb

Just like my wellness odyssey, my creative project has taken on a life of its own.

This time of year is pretty barren in the fields. I connected with many local farmers and agricultural folks, and spent the last week visiting with the first people on my list. My goal is to help people reconnect with food through art. Yet, as I explored the austere landscapes of winter agriculture, I was inspired most by the textures and artificial geometry I saw around me. Here are a few of the images I’ve thus far created…

freshly-planted onion fields

a field of overwintered onion starts

Continue reading

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