Monday, January 9, 2012

Favorites of 2011

Here are the things that made me happy in 2011 in no particular order.

Kale chips I make these 2 or 3 times a week. My current favorite recipe involves curly kale, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and Frontier Co-op's Garlic Bread Seasoning.

Date Sugar I buy this at iHerb and just love it over my morning oatmeal or sprinkled on top of muffins before baking. It is basically just powdered dates and a little goes a long way.

My New Crockpot I wasn't sure I'd ever use this but now that I've discovered I can finally cook dried beans at this altitude without using a pressure-cooker, I'm in love. (I'm at around 7000 feet and I put pre-soaked beans at HIGH in the crockpot until tender.) I bought this model although currently it is about $20 more than I paid for it last summer.

Koshary This Egyptian street food seen above consists of rice, lentils, macaroni and chili sauce topped with caramelized onions. I used this recipe from One Arab Vegan.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer I especially love this book because it gives a voice to many different people in all sides of this issue. I  bought extra copies to give to friends. It really makes you think and I fervently hope the rumors are true that it will be made into a documentary.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Who knew a recipe that was vegan and oil-free could be so wonderful? I like to use dark chocolate bars chopped up. This recipe is from the plant-based dietitian Julieanna Hever and is available here (scroll down).

Pizza Without Cheese The first time I ordered this at a pizza place I figured it was going to be just awful. I was quite pleasant surprised and I still haven't had a bad cheeseless pizza out. I just order the pizza combo with the most vegetables and tell them to leave off the cheese.

Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau  I always notice the colors of my meals and this book includes many delicious recipes in all color categories. I am looking forward to making more recipes from it soon.

Growing My Own Herbs Indoors I keep buying those big basil plants at Trader Joe's and they are still alive on my kitchen table. I also have some lemon balm and oregano doing well inside but I still can't manage to keep rosemary alive. Honestly most of the herbs go to my pet house rabbit Bubbles but I hope to increase the number of plants in 2012 so we can enjoy them as well.

My New Breville Juicer This was a Christmas present and so far I'm using it daily. I am not yet making a lot of combos of vegetable juices because I'm so obsessed with citrus combos. Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and kumquats (I don't peel these) are all good alone or mixed together.

Massaged Kale Salad I love to use a combo of tahini, lemon, soy sauce, and garlic to mix with fresh kale for an incredible salad.

The Chef and the Dietitian videos These videos are funny and enthusiastic and promote a healthy plant-based diet. Best of all, I've been greatly enjoying all their recipes. I wish they'd get a show on tv! HERE is a link to their episode guide by recipe.

Dr. Fuhrman's Holiday Challenge I lost about 6 pounds this holiday season by sticking to a lowfat whole foods diet heavy on the fruits and vegetables. Dr. Fuhrman's Member Center (it was free for the holiday challenge) had lots of great recipes and support.

Storage Containers from Costplus World Market I've been collecting these handy containers for my future pantry - they are nice and heavy and seal well. The large container will easily hold over 5 lbs of dried beans. Their web site does not feature them but check at your local store. The photo below shows them along with some creamed kale I made from the Whole Foods Health Starts Here program.

Oil and Vinegar Store in Santa Fe It seems that every time I go to the City Different there is a new and fun foodie destination. I've been meaning to get back to this store to buy a few of their delicious flavored balsamic vinegars. Check my blog post here for photos and information about the store..

Homemade Coconut Milk Ice Cream We mix one can of light coconut milk with agave nectar and whatever fruits or flavorings we have on hand and put them in my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. This recipe helped us survive the hot desert summer intact.

Panda Soy Yarn This isn't food-related but I hesitated about trying vegan yarns thinking I wouldn't be able to find what I like, especially in sock yarn. Panda Soy, a blend of bamboo, soy, and elastic nylon, is an incredible soft and elastic yarn. Crystal Palace recently discontinued it but I managed to buy a lot on sale. The Orzival Socks below are knit in Panda Soy in Poppy Red. Another plant-based yarn I liked a lot was Knit One Crochet Too's Wick (a thick polypropylene sock yarn). I continue to test out plant-based yarns on my knitting blog.


Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead This year we finally watched Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives but I thought the most inspiring documentary was Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The movie chronicles the changes in several people's lives as a result of a medically supervised fruit and vegetable juice fast. I don't think anything I've seen shows the amazing powers of fruits and vegetables to fight disease as well as this movie. The story of Paul the truckdriver in the second half of the documentary is so compelling. This documentary is free on Hulu.


Michelle C. said...

I've used those same glass containers for years. Mine came from The Container Store - I'll have to check out World Market's selection.

Andrea said...

Nice list. I especially like the koshary and the muffins.

CraftyEarthMama said...

Wonderful list of awesome stuff!
I love my new breville, all things kale and coconut milk icecream.
I'm going to have to try date sugar.

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