Monthly Archives: July 2010

(no cook) meatless monday recipe: raw vegetable “pasta”…

this recipe from whole foods is the perfect remedy for the long, hot days of summer. who wants to be in the kitchen, slaving over a boiling pot of water when this bright, fresh and colorful “pasta” dish can be on the table in no time and without breaking a sweat?

the “noodles” are made by thinly slicing zucchini and yellow squash with a vegetable peeler. i might throw some cucumber in there as well (we have quite a few in the fridge). and with our garden and farmer’s market bursting at the seams with beautiful veggies, the variations for this meatless monday “pasta” are endless!

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eat local, motherfu*k#r…

big thanks to treehugger for this awesome slide show addressing food’s carbon footprint.

this one was my favorite, called “far foods”…

showing the food miles for that produce you had to have (more than likely not in season locally) and carbon emissions associated with that tomato trip. see more here.

there’s simple steps from the nrdc, where you can find farmer’s markets and seasonal produce in your backyard along with public transport routes. there’s you are where you eat – it seems to be more of a work in progress, gathering local farms, markets and csa’s. and don’t forget about local harvest (wow, that post was from december 1st!). and finally (and best of all), you should check out hyperlocavore and join a yardsharing community! plus liz is one of my favorite tweeters – follow her @hyperlocavore!

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i ♥ annie leonard…story of cosmetics

i don’t really wear makeup, but i do use a lot of lotions and potions trying to turn back time and mend the damage from the california sun, to make my hair shinier, make my teeth whiter and on and on… but what’s really in all those jars and bottles of promised miracles?

check out annie leonard’s latest: the story of cosmeticstoxins in, toxins out – as always, it is a brilliant and eye-opening 10 minutes. she urges you to visit

and if you missed the article in the latimes, it’s here on my blog – with links to her other works: the story of stuff and the story of bottled water.

get involved and spread the word!

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meatless monday recipe: israeli couscous summer pilaf…

image from

it is hot. it’s been over 100 degrees in the valley for the last couple days. that is hot. every year, i kvetch and complain and wonder how anyone in their right mind would choose to live in this kind of heat. every year, i seem to forget how hot it gets out here. maybe it’s some kind of survival amnesia.

the thought of cooking anything makes me want to keel over. seriously. so when i started poking around, looking for this week’s meatless monday recipe, i was thrilled to discover susan’s beautiful blog fat free vegan kitchen and her recipe for a fresh and colorful and chilled (hooray!) israeli couscous summer pilaf. this is a guest recipe from vegan cookbook author, nava atlasbut the rest of susan’s site is beautifully shot and chock full of terrific recipes, so i know i will be revisiting often…

we have everything on hand for the pilaf except for the israeli couscous (might have to substitute with quinoa) and the apricots (i usually don’t like fruit in my food, unless it’s an avocado, but many of the comments said that was what made this dish extra special). she also said i can up the lemon and reduce the olive oil, but since i’m not looking for a low fat dish, i will play it by ear/eye.

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once is not enough…inception

what a week it has been for our movie-viewing pleasure – first, tom ford’s moving and beautiful “a single man” and yesterday, christopher nolan‘s “inception” – both examples of grown-up, multi-layered narratives…are you listening, hollywood? not every adult wants to see the a-team or some frat boy comedy. some of us want to sit in a darkened space and be transported by a personal love story and the challenges of “moving on” without our partner at our side;  to be moved by stolen moments and powerful memories of a love lost (both films touched on these plot points in oh-so-different-ways).

“inception” is a brilliant sci-fi film – dreams within dreams within dreams – it offers toeholds into genres that keep the plot from completely slipping away, just out of grasp (like waking from a dream and trying to reassemble the pieces):  film noir (the femme fatale, the one last heist/job), the quest for home (the wizard of oz and countless other films), the pull of loved ones and family…i don’t even know if i can speak of the film yet (not just out of fear of giving away anything), because i feel i need to see it again. tim and i couldn’t stop talking about it after we exited the theatre – our minds were so challenged by the intricate pieces of the story.

the film was so well cast. so well shot. so well written (nolan came up with the idea when he was 16 (!)). it is a tour de force of film and special effects. there are visuals and action scenes in the film where i audibly said, “oh sh*t” and “f*ck me”…the liquid, mesmerizing dreamspace allows a true auteur to take you on a journey unlike anything i’ve ever seen on film before (and he shot it on film – no digital video here…)…genius.

it will do your head in (in a good way). it will excite and delight and challenge and entertain you. and with 100+ degree weather in the valley, to sit in an air conditioned theatre and be so transported by a master filmmaker…divine. i cannot recommend it enough. and if you have netflix, do yourself a favor and add “a single man” to your queue.

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good read! @latimes talks about “story of stuff”…

there’s a terrific article in today’s la times about annie leonard and her highly successful videos such as, “the story of stuff”. i love annie leonard and her ability to make dense subjects more understandable and accessible to so many (12 million and counting!). her works have been translated into more than 15 languages.

“We environmentalists are a whiny, wonky bunch,” Leonard says. “We bombard people with facts. But who wants to join a movement where people just scold you? We have to make it inspiring. We have to make it fun.”

i’ve blogged about her “story of stuff”, “story of cap and trade” and “story of bottled water“. up next, “story of cosmetics” and “story of electronics”….and maybe if i can stomach it, a recommended trip to a city dump…she says it’s like a “society’s secret journal”.  we all need to think about what we buy and whether it or not is worth a lifetime in a landfill.

and if all of this seems too heavy (you really should read the article, she lives a lovely communal life filled with deep meaning), let me close with this quote:

If her videos leave you overwhelmed, Leonard has an answer: “I’ve been reading about the emerging science of happiness,” she says merrily. “It turns out that after our basic needs are met, more stuff doesn’t make us happy. It’s the quality of our relationships. It’s coming together around shared goals.

“So, re-engage! It’s more fun.”

you know i will post “story of cosmetics” as soon as it is released july 21.

cheers to annie leonard!

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meatless monday recipe: chap chae…

it’s been a while since i posted my last meatless monday recipe. i’m slowly crawling from the voracious darkness that was my job…but i’m making my way back to the light, carol anne!

growing up, summertime was always cold noodle salad time. my mom would make a delicious and refreshing harusame salad (harusame means “spring rain” – and it was as clean tasting as its name). she would make it with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and julienned carrots, scallions and japanese cucumbers…simple, vibrant and oishii!

this recipe from the kitchn reminds me of my mom’s dish. where harusame are made from mung bean starch, the dang myun are sweet potato based. the addition of spinach and mushrooms makes it sound a bit more hearty and filling. and since tim cannot eat shiitakes, i will add tofu. you can eat it hot or at room temperature (i will choose the latter, i’m assuming the flavors will meld overnight). i am a bit worried about stir frying all the veggies, so much of what was delicious about my mom’s recipe was the crisp, fresh flavors of the cucumbers and carrots. but i will give it a try!

i googled how to say “it was delicious” in korean, hopefully this is right:

a-ju ma-si-sseo-sseo-yo!

i’ll let you know if it’s true…but my mom is a tough act to follow!

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