Monthly Archives: January 2012

#meatlessmonday recipe: miso sesame winter squash…

image from 101 cookbooks

i got home last night and was in a cooking and roasting frenzy! the irishman and i have a hard time keeping up with our weekly c.s.a. delivery and since another bountiful box is coming tomorrow, there were still loads of veggies waiting for their debut in our fridge. i was roasting squash and broccoli and whipping up a black kale, bok choy and tatsoi stir fry to go over brown rice for dinner/lunch/dinner like a madwoman! so you could imagine my sorrow when searching for today’s meatless monday post, that i came across heidi’s recipe for miso sesame winter squash…suddenly my stir fry seemed so amateurish!

and considering the fact that this week’s box from underwood family farms contains the following:

1 bunch Candy Beets
1 bunch Yellow Carrots
1  Green Leaf Lettuce
1 pound Broccoli
1 Celery
1 Celery Root
1 bunch Italian Parsley
1 Colored Cauliflower
1 bunch Rainbow Chard
1/2 pound Brussel Sprouts
1 Green Cabbage
1 basket Blueberries
i’ll have to wait until the next time squash makes an appearance…although i am pretty darned excited about brussel sprouts & celery root!
happy meatless monday (and tuesday and wednesday and thursday…well, you get the idea)!
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@freshthemovie FREE online til 2/1…spread the word!

aptly named, “fresh” takes a fresh approach to talking about sustainable food systems. like documentaries before it, it discusses the horrors and damages caused by factory farming. but more than the others, “fresh” gives voice to the farmers caught in the monsanto/foster farms/KFC/industrial agriculture web. you meet farmers who got out and others who want to. you meet activists and average folks who just want to eat better and are willing to work for it. most importantly, you find out what you can do.

the first thing you can do is watch this amazing film for FREE until february 1st. tell everyone you know to do the same. buy the dvd. make a donation. have a fundraiser. spread the word.

watching the film made me think, i can establish a co-op wherever we land. even though whole foods market supports a lot of local producers, many americans live in a food wasteland where access to produce is nearly impossible. for the farmers, getting a fair rate for their efforts means the difference between survival and bankruptcy. so i’m adding this to our idea jar.

the bottom line, organic farming is sustainable and it can feed the world. and the first step is for us to step up and support local farmers.

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slaughterhouse rules: CA supreme court overturns downer livestock law…


yesterday, the california supreme court overturned a law that required euthanizing downed livestock at federally inspected slaughterhouses. this 2009 law was enacted in california after the humane society released undercover footage of workers abusing cows at a slaughterhouse. most of this meat was slated for delivery to school lunches and other federally funded programs.

the supervisor was jailed for animal cruelty, the slaughterhouse was shut down and 143 million pounds of beef were recalled, but there was no way in hell that the factory farms were going to take this lying down. according to the huffington post:

Federal law “precludes California’s effort … to impose new rules, beyond any the FSIS has chosen to adopt, on what a slaughterhouse must do with a pig that becomes non-ambulatory during the production process,” said Justice Elena Kagan, who wrote the court’s unanimous opinion.

Under California law, the ban on buying, selling and slaughtering of downer cattle also extended to pigs, sheep and goats.

Pork producers sued to stop the law, saying it interfered with federal laws that require inspections of downed livestock before determining whether they can be used for meat.

The Federal Meat Inspection Act allows a federal meat inspector to examine and then determine whether a downed animal is fit to be slaughtered for meat. It also says states cannot add requirements “in addition to or different than” its requirements.

About 3 percent of pigs that show up at slaughterhouses are non-ambulatory, the National Meat Association says, but veterinarians normally give the non-walking pigs a few hours to determine whether their problem is disease, or just stress, fatigue, stubbornness or being overheated from the trip to the slaughterhouse.

A federal judge agreed and blocked the law, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the hold. The justices overturned that decision.

Federal law “regulates slaughterhouses’ handling and treatment of non-ambulatory pigs from the moment of their delivery through the end of the meat production process,” Kagan said. California’s law “endeavors to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same place – except by imposing different requirements. The FMIA expressly pre-empts such a state law.”

basically, california law could not go above federal law. the humane society has introduced a federal bill hr3704, currently under consideration by the house agriculture committee. you can send a letter to your representatives here.

wayne pacelle, president of the humane society of the united states says:

“This ruling places the matter squarely in the Congress and USDA to take meaningful action to protect animals unable to walk, and prevent the food safety threats that arise from these animals,” Pacelle said. “But it’s a very tall hill to climb because of the power of the meat industry in D.C.”

in her op-ed piece this morning patt morrison shared asking jane goodall what was the single thing that one individual could do to make the biggest impact on the planet and the prospect of human survival, and she said, “stop eating meat.” until the world turns vegetarian, can’t we at least unite to ensure that the animals who give their lives to feed us are allowed to live a life free of cruelty and abuse?

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#meatlessmonday recipe: how to cook lentil soup via @bittman…


the days have finally turned chilly and nothing sounds better than a hearty bowl of soup. i must admit, protein content aside, i’ve felt a little guilty posting that last cheesy recipe from herbivoracious (especially in the light of paula deen’s pill popping diabetes revelation). so, i figure i would health it up a bit for this meatless monday recipe…

7 ways to make lentil soup comes from mark bittman’s brilliant “how to cook everything“, so once you get the basics down, you can tweak and edit to your heart’s (and tummy’s) delight!

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thank you, @marthastewart for lending your voice to the voiceless. end #factoryfarming

i’ve said it a million times, i don’t eat meat and i don’t judge those who do. but it’s crucial that people know how their meat is raised. under what conditions. what it’s fed.

a few things you can do:

  • support farm sanctuary (whose mission is to “protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living”)
  • check out whole foods market’s global animal partnership program – creating transparency in the meat industry and hopefully, encouraging other grocers to follow suit
  • sign this petition to raise awareness and help stop the brutality of factory farming

your spirit, your body, your children and your planet will thank you!

…and so will i!

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paula deen’s #diabetes: no one to blame butter self…

this video is from 2011. don’t be distracted by the fact that the fox people struggle reading the teleprompter, it’s more important to note that by this time, paula deen was well into her awareness of her diabetes diagnosis.

she seems completely baffled why, based on the foods she cooks, that anthony bourdain would call her “the most dangerous person in america”. she “aw shucks” and “y’alls” and continues to spin her well-worn tale that she just cooks the way her mama and her grandma cooked. she’s just a sweet, unassuming southern gal who has no idea why anthony bourdain would have such angry things to say about her…

…well, now we know. now we know that for the past three years, she has continued to peddle her fat filled, sugar saturated, butter bonanza recipes to the public while all the while knowing that she suffers from a food based disease. now we know that she wasn’t using the time to “digest” the diagnosis (as she claimed on “the chew“), but was more than likely seeking out the most lucrative pharmaceutical deal to once again peddle to the same public that she helped to make sick.

she could have spent that time writing a new cookbook – a healthier one, based on the palates of those faithful fans. one that lightened the southern diet (more greens, less fat, less oils). instead, her son is spinning off his own career based around “not my mama’s meals” < so she knows it’s wrong, but why not keep more money in the family? mom gets the drug deal, son gets to make his own money and career on a different network…it all works out quite well for the deen family…not so well for america.

anthony bourdain is right when he tweeted: “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”

serious eats was running a series way back in 2008 called “paula deen is trying to kill us” – an artery blocking collection of recipes including this one for ham and banana casserole:

  • Butter
  • 12 slices white bread
  • 8 large slices deli ham
  • 4 bananas, sliced on the bias
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9 by 13 glass baking dish. Butter both sides of the bread and layer 6 of them into the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping them as necessary but keep them even. Layer the slices of ham on top of the bread and then the bananas, 6 more slices of bread, then the cheese, potato chips, and bacon. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour this over the casserole almost to the top. Bake for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cut into squares and remove with a spatula, like lasagna

see? like a lasagna? my favorite ingredient is the unspecified amount of butter…but knowing paula deen, it’s measured in sticks and not tablespoons.

i’m all about personal responsibility. hell, my sister loves some of paula deen’s recipes. and i know for a fact that she doesn’t cook them every night. some have tried to (once again) make this discussion about class – what’s the difference between ina garten and paula deen? one is french based, the other working class. so let’s criticize the working class celebrity chef. but when you are “sending love and best dishes” with a deep fried cheesecake with added chocolate and powdered sugar and “tee hee” a vegetable (a sprig of mint), then somewhere down the line, you are responsible for your own actions:

i don’t wish illness on anyone. but paula deen had a real opportunity to educate her fans and help them change their diets and change their lives. but instead, she claims that she always preached moderation (i must have missed those episodes) and that now she will have to change her life – by cutting back on her sweet tea – because that’s what’s killing america…sweet tea.

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#meatlessmonday recipe: triple smoky mac & cheese and a protein lesson from @herbivoracious…

i’ve been a vegetarian for more than half my life and so you can imagine how surprised i was to find that the old rule of grain + bean = complete protein has been debunked! who knew? and why didn’t you tell me? luckily, michael over at herbivoracious did in a witty and informative post, “how do you get your protein? – is vegetarian protein a problem?

along with so many parts of this blog, my meatless monday posts have fallen to the wayside, but like other parts of this blog (and my life), i’m trying to get things back on track! we’ve started selling items on ebay for the “farm fund” and i have to admit, the first posting was a little difficult. i’ve been collecting things for far longer than i’ve been a vegetarian and i have some deep emotional attachments to some of them. and as i walk through the house, deciding what will stay and what will go, it’s the oddball things that seem to make it to the “stay” list. i’m sure that as time goes by, as the fund grows larger and our new life is closer on the horizon, these feelings will change, but for now, it’s kind of difficult separating from all this stuff….difficult, but not impossible…

it’s also strange that through my googling research, that this “urban homesteading/homesteading/off the grid” concept seems to be occupied by two seemingly disparate groups:  eco peeps and survivalists. so, some websites are very bucolic and inviting, others feel like previews of  “the walking dead“. but at least it gives me hope that red states and blue states can agree on something (even if it’s for very different reasons)…

geez, i’m rambling this morning. back to meatless monday!

image from herbivoracious

in reading michael’s git yer protein post, he had a link to this dish with a whopping 25 grams. and since the days have turned cold here, his recipe for triple smoky macaroni and cheese will give us a warm and hearty dinner and delicious leftovers for our workday lunches. i’ll either wilt some arugula from my CSA box on top or have a lovely salad on the side – despite it’s ooey gooey cheesy goodness, i’m still trying to lose my 2011 stress and holiday overindulgence pounds!

…just one more thing on the “go” list!

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