Monday, April 28, 2008


Over the weekend, I was thinking about the fact that I hadn't had pizza in at least a month. I kept thinking about it and thinking about it.

So on Sunday, on my way home from Omega (which I still must blog about), I made a stop at Whole Foods. I picked up a few staples for the week, including Follow Your Heart soy mozzarella and some pizza dough.

When I got home, I made a pizza! I used some jarred tomato sauce with roasted garlic, onions, vegan pepperoni, fresh basil and parsley. It was so yummy! I found the cheese to be very tasty as well.

It was so good that I wish we had some more pizza left. But we finished it for lunch today. I guess I'll have to just make it again!

My New Water Bottle

I'd been planning on buying of these aluminum water bottles anyway, because the #7 hard water bottles leech chemicals into water. Ewww, gross. The reusable water bottle I have now is a #5 plastic one. Supposedly safe, but I'm not taking a chance! As I posted last week, Eric and I received coupons for free Sigg water bottles through their website. Today I ordered mine. Here's the one I chose.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Roasted Zucchini

A few years ago, my mom gave me a mandolin (not that one exactly but you get the idea). At the time, I didn't think I needed it. I gave it to my grandmother--or so I thought. Well, I guess I didn't because the other day I found it in my kitchen cabinet. Older and wiser, I now know that every kitchen needs one of these things!

So tonight, I decided to make roasted zucchini chips (along with these Ethiopian lentils and a big salad). Eric swore he didn't like zucchini. I was pretty much convinced that if I cooked zucchini in the right way, I could get him to eat it. So using my found mandolin, I sliced the zucchini paper thin, tossed it with a teaspoon of olive oil, some thyme and salt and pepper. I then roasted the zucchini slices in my toaster oven for about 25 minutes at 425 degrees. They came out crispy and delicious. Not only did Eric eat a serving of the zucchini...I caught him having seconds! Pretty amazing, I think!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Thanks to Michelle, I decided to make my very own bean sprouts! They were so easy to do! I soaked some lentils overnight then drained and rinsed them in the morning. I put them in a plastic container and covered them, rinsing them once or twice a day. In just a couple days, we had fresh sprouts for our salad! So easy and so tasty!

Day at the Shore

This morning, Eric and I headed down to the Point Pleasant Boardwalk to play some skeeball, ride the rides--and take our engagement photos! We met our wedding photographer, Josh Lynn, down there--and we had a blast taking the photos! I am so excited because Josh posted a few of them on his blog already! Look here!

While we were down there, we had lunch at Kaya's Kitchen in Belmar. Kaya's is a vegetarian eatery which used to be Veggie Works. I had eaten there often while I was in college and it was a real treat to be back today. We had the most delicious vegan buffalo wings (karma wings)!

Thanks, Eric, for letting me choose vegan restaurants two days in a row!!!!

A Very Martha Earth Day

I hope everybody had a super Earth Day and did one thing to make a positive impact on our planet. Here's how Eric and I celebrated our Earth Day...

We woke up bright and early--5:30 AM. Yes, I'm on Spring Break this week, and no we weren't going to work. Why were we up so early? To head into New York! I requested tickets for The Martha Stewart Show and we were given tickets for Earth Day! So we left at 6:30 and by 8:15 AM, Eric and I were in the line for audience members.

It turns out that it was a special live Earth Day episode! We couldn't have gotten any luckier than that! Well, maybe if we won the eco-friendly washer and dryer that another audience member did win (and she's from the same Sussex County town as us)!

Seeing Martha in person was awesome! Seeing the studio in person was amazing as well. Though it wasn't my first screening of a television show, it's always fascinating to see how many crew members it takes to keep the show going. It's constant motion. Here are just a few of the show highlights...

Jaime Pressly, from My Name is Earl was on the show. She and Martha stamped reusable totes with fabric paint and potatoes to make them a bit funkier.

Simran Sethi, host of Sundance's "The Green," shared some important information about our drinking water and the use of plastic drinking bottles.

Martha also shared some tips for washing and folding towels. She has a new line of towels available at Macy's.

After the taping of the Earth Day episode, we stayed for the taping of some Memorial Day segments which will be airing on May 23rd. Not only did we enjoy watching the taping of the shows, we got free stuff to boot! We each got a three piece set of towels, a magazine, a big book of flags, a coupon for a Sigg water bottle, an outdoor flag-hanging kit, and two free tote bags!

We walked the mile and a half to a vegan eatery in the Village that I was curious about trying for lunch. I'd read about Sacred Chow on Disease Proof and we were not disappointed! I had the shiitake mushroom and spinach salad with South Indian dressing along with the Korean tofu slices. Eric has a tempeh reuben. Everything was delicious and I highly recommend this place if you're so inclined to try it!

As we were on our walk back to the car, I couldn't resist stopping at Sabon, my favorite all-natural luxury bath and body shop to pick up some mud-from-the-Dead-Sea soap! Our last stop was at Whole Body to try some organic Aubrey shampoo--and we got another free tote in honor of Earth Day! Woo hoo!

(On another note, we stopped at Bleeker Records to peruse the basement full of vinyl and happened to stumble upon the filming of a commercial of sorts. A British female musician named Kate Nash was being filmed to seemingly promote herself and the record store. At least that's what I had gotten out of it. We had never heard of her but googled her tonight. She reminds me of Lily Allen.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Passover!

Happy Passover to my readers who celebrate! Saturday afternoon, I packed all of our crackers, cereals, pastas and other Passover-no-no's into shopping bags and closed them up in our office closet. I'll do my best to keep Passover (and Eric too) but we're not super strict about it. In our home, it'll be okay to eat rice, beans and tofu, as the Sephardic Jews do. (Traditional Ashkenazic Jews would disagree with us, but that's okay. Many Vegetarians follow the Sephardic way during Passover.)

Anyway, Saturday evening we spent with Eric's parents at a Passover seder at good friends of the family. The food was delicious and we had a fabulous time. Afterwards, Eric's parents came back for the night.

Sunday, we were having my family (and Eric's parents, too) for a Passover dinner. I was sort of panic stricken. What was I, a nearly-vegan thinking aiming to cook a Passover meal for my meat and potato lovin' parents? After much deliberation, this is the menu I settled on.

Not Chicken Soup with Matzah balls (made from mix)
The not chicken soup comes from Mollie Katzen's cookbook Still Life with Menu.

Quinoa Tabouli
Sweet Potato and Carrot Tzimmes (I forget where I found this one--someplace online)
Roasted Green Beans with Garlic
Potato Kugel (Mom cooked)

Italian Ices (complements of supermarket)
Various kinds of boxed Passover candies, cake, macaroons--all supplied by Mom

So that was our Passover meal. Having Eric's parents spend the night before worked out perfectly. Eric's mom was a huge help in the kitchen that morning! Everything came out delicious and I don't think that anybody left our home that evening hungry!

Sooo Delicious!

So I've been pretty good about eating vegan at home--I'm finding it harder to do while out, but I'm doing my best.

On Friday, while perusing the local health foods store, I decided to buy some soy ice cream. Some of the labels were horrifying though! 230 calories and 13 or 17 g of fat! Might as well have the Ben and Jerry's in that case!

But then I found this stuff: Soy Delicious Awesome Chocolate. It's sweetened with fruit and only has 115 calories and 1.5 g of fat. And it's yummy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Can you live like Ed?

Have you seen the HGTV show "Living with Ed?" I haven't caught it yet(not sure if it's currently airing) but I have heard a lot about Ed Begley, Jr. lately. What an amazing guy. Ed is a real environmentalist. He retrofitted his VW Rabbit to run as an electric car. He rides his bicycle to Hollywood events. Ed and his wife Rachelle co-star in their living-green reality show.

Ed also has a book out called Living like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life. Check out the website for Living with Ed here. Also check out the website he created with two partners--Fixing the Planet. His websites and book offer tons of ideas for sustainable living.

Ed will be speaking at the global green Expo in Jersey City next weekend but I'll be here instead...oh, well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Organic Fruits and Veggies Coming Soon!

Thursday, to be specific! I'm joining a Glen Ridge, NJ based organic fruits and veggies co-op called Purple Dragon. I tried it out about 4 years ago and really liked it but for one reason or another, never stuck with it.

Purple Dragon is a great way to support local and organic farmers if you live in New Jersey or New York. There are groups all over. If you're lucky enough to find out in your area that has an opening, join! Deliveries are made biweekly and you'll get a 15--30 pound supply of organic produce. It's always a surprise to find out what's in your bag! I find the price to be extremely reasonable for organic produce--roughly $46, every other week. And, because it's a co-op, everybody volunteers to help sort through the deliveries every so often.

Although the produce is not always exactly local, they do buy local whenever possible. According to the website, Purple Dragon shops "up and down the East Coast, Eastern Canada, the rest of the US, Europe, New Zealand, and certain farms in Central and South America and the Caribbean."

I think it's a great way to support small, organic farms throughout the year when it's not always possible to buy locally.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's in YOUR processed fruit drink?

Processed stuff is bad for you. I know that. You probably do too. Read this feature about how the additives in fruit drinks and candies are linked to Attention Deficit Disorder. In a recent study, "normal" children turn hyperactive after ingesting small amounts of these additives. Scary stuff.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Are you a locavore?

The word locavore was the Oxford Dictionary word of the year for 2007. But do you know what a locavore is?

locavore--the name of a person who only eats locally grown and produced foods

The word didn't even exist until 2005! The locavore movement began in San Francisco when a group of "concerned culinary adventurers" challenged people to eat local foods only for the month of August back in '05.

Over the past year or two, I think we've all begun learning why it's so important to eat foods grown close to home. Supporting our local farmers helps our local economies. Big corporate owned factory farms put more and more family owned farms out of business every day.

Did you know that our food travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to our supermarkets? So how fresh do you really think those strawberries in your refrigerator are? Buying food in this way (the way that most of us Americans do), has detrimental effects on our economy, global warming and our health.

I just finished the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a year spent in the life of Barbara and her family who, for a one year period, live the lives of locavores. On their Virginia farm, they grow mostly everything they eat. And the rest is all local--with the exception of a few staples like coffee and spices. Most of us aren't going to be able to grow all of our own food. But I highly recommend this book. It really is something that we need to think about as the outlook for our planet grows more and more dire on a daily basis.

We don't need to have an all or nothing mentality about it. Personally speaking, I've begun to really read the labels of products. When I ran out of honey recently, I chose the honey produced in New Jersey as oppose to the kind that was flown in from far away. When our local farmer markets open for season, I'll spend an extra few dollars to buy produce there. Baby steps count!

Read more about it...

(Pic came from here...)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung! I hope you're having a lovely week wherever you live! I'm certainly enjoying the nice weather this week!
Who doesn't want their home to feel fresh and clean for Spring? As part of my Spring Cleaning resolution, I've decided to begin "banning" icky cleaning products in my home that are full of chemicals. Isn't it better to spend a little more money on products that are better for us?

I realized this the last time I cleaned my bathroom quite recently. Although the chemical products left the bathroom sparkly and shiny, I had to open every window in our upstairs to air the house out! I was coughing and felt like I could barely breathe!

So, I've decided to pay a visit to Target this week to pick up some Method cleaners.

There was an interesting feature over at Grist this week. Eight organic bathroom cleaners were tested. It's here if you're interested...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Where do YOU get your calcium?

As I'm on my voyage to becoming a near-vegan, I'm learning a lot of interesting information about foods that offer the most nutritional bang for the buck.

The million dollar question I hear is, "You don't drink milk? But where do you get your calcium from?"

Dark, leafy greens. Calcium-fortified ricemilk.

And broccoli! Did you know that a serving of broccoli has as much calcium as a serving of cottage cheese! (And I'm pleased to report that Bianca posted how she recently made some vegan cottage cheese. Woo hoo!)

How green is your candidate?

Newsweek's cover story this week compares the three presidential candidates and where they stand on environmental issues. The article is here if you are interested...

Friday, April 04, 2008

Ever try a neti pot?

I've been fighting a cold/sore throat/cough all week long--just after I boasted last week that I hadn't been sick all winter long! I'm doing everything possible to avoid nasty meds. I'm using some of the natural remedies on Earth Clinic. I'm gargling and drinking lots of hot tea! I decided to try one of these neti pots. Anyone ever use one? Read more here...

A Month of Organic Living

I decided on the way to work this morning in the nasty pouring rain to feature sustainable and organic living this month in honor of Earth Day. So lets talk chemicals. We all know they are bad for our bodies and bad for our planet, yada, yada, yada. Personally, I'm trying to be a lot more aware of what I put in my body these days. Natural, unprocessed fruits and veggies, whole grains. For the most part. (I did have a 1/4 of a bagel this morning minus the cream cheese. Not so bad.)

But how often do we really think about what we put on our skin? The shower gel we use? The moisturizer and face wash? I just read that the skin is the largest organ in the body. Do you really want to be rubbing chemicals into your skin that can cause harm to yourself?

I use Aveeno face wash and moisturizer. I thought it was a good product. But according to Skin Deep, a site that rates beauty products, my moisturizer is rated high hazard! It has ingrediants that are linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies and other gross things. And they perform animal testing. So I think when I have some extra money, I will be definately buying some organic products for my skin.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Going greener!

I'm constantly debating how we can make our lives greener. Lately, I've been eyeing the Toyota Prius but, not only can I not afford a hybrid vehicle, but I still have 2 1/2 years left of payments on my Matrix.

As I'm reading the wonderful book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I'm realizing the importance of locally-grown, organic food. However, right now, there is really no local produce to be had! And the cost of organic produce tends to be astronomical! So oftentimes, I'm buying the conventional-flown-in-from-Ecuador produce from the market. But I'll make a conscious effort to do better, come summer, when local produce is available.

Today's April 1st. Yes, it's April Fool's Day, but we also observe Earth Day this month. I have a list of things I'd like to do to turn Kermit-like this month, such as joining Green Dimes and learning about composting.

Today, my AAA membership is up and instead of renewing, I've decided to join the Better World Club. Their services are comparable to AAA but they are an environmentally conscious company. They donate 1 % of their total revenue to environmental cleanup and advocacy.