Friday, June 17, 2011

[Hawaii Update] Three weeks in...

Okay, I am finally sitting down to write a proper of my last 3 weeks. Hawaii! I'm here on the big island, Ninole to be exact, on the wet side of the island. I am working on a farm called Every One Grows- named after Drean (the owner)'s desire to help every one be able to grow their own food. He owns over 100 sq acres of land (most   of which he has left untouched) with about 50 chickens roaming free (talk about "free range"), a green house, and a large vegetable garden.

I am traveling through a program called Worldwide Opportunities for Organic Farming (WWOOF, pronounced like a dog would) which is essentially an online work exchange database that connects travellers who want to gain farming experience with farms. You exchange hours of farm work for free room and board.

I've been working 8-1 Monday-Friday since June 1st, mostly feeding chickens, collecting eggs, weeding, harvesting vegetables, planting seeds and starter plants, watering veggies in the greenhouse, and other odds & ends. Let me tell you, 25 hours a week is nothing. The amount of free time that I have is mind boggling to me. I am embarrassed to say that I have not been using my time wisely. Since I travelled out here 1 month ahead of my lovers and friends, I have not been Dora exploring as much as I should be. Instead I have been spending a lot of my free time eating and sleeping. But boy have I been getting good at my most recent hobbies! I'm averaging about 1 book every 2 days and 10-12 hours of sleep per night (much better than my typical 4-6 hours back home!).

My body has sunken into the lackadaisical summer-in-the-country lifestyle- rising and falling with the sun (and here that means getting drowsy at 8 pm and waking at 5 am). This country lifestyle also means (at least by my definition) that I only need 2 outfits- one for farm work and one for non-working times- and probably less showering that I should admit. Come and get em' boys!

Anyways, I won't lie about the fact that I am lonely. I miss my friends and my mom and brother a whole lot. I just wish that I had someone to enjoy this place with. It is so beautiful here that I should be soaking everything in but I am finding it a little difficult when I am in a rural area with no way to escape until the weekends roll around and we get access to a car. Oh well. 12 days until Abby is here! :-)

On a much brighter not, the amount of greens that I have access to is borderline appalling. Rows and rows of lettuce in the garden along with multiple kale plants (which look surprisingly like mini palm trees). The WWOOFer fridge is always stocked with freshly harvested veggies and if for some odd reason we're out of something, I just have to walk 20 strides and pull it out of the earth! I have been unquestioningly satisfying my salad fix.

Well I hate writing long posts (because I don't think people necessarily enjoy reading long posts) so I will stop after a few closing statements:

  • Macadamia nuts blow my mind
  • Mosquitoes were created by Satan
  • Showering via waterfall is well worth cutting your foot open over
And on to some photos...

[Hawaii Update] Meet Tomoko

This is Tomoko. She is a 33-year-old Hula instructor from Tokyo, Japan. I have now known her and have been working with her in Hawaii for 17 days. Tomoko left Japan after the earthquake hit because, despite the government's claims, she does not believe that it is safe there right now.

Today she watched some Japanese news broadcast on the laptop provided for us in a corner of the farm's potting shed. People in Tokyo have been reporting that they have been getting bloody noses and sore throats (and who knows what other serious health conditions) from living in an environment riddled with radiation. The health effects are especially obvious in children.

When Tomoko was explaining this to me at dinner this evening, my immediate emotional response was (and still is) sadness. Sadness that people do not have the choice but to live in unhealthy and dangerous situations. For Tomoko, there is also fear. Her 3 month visa is almost up and soon she will have to leave Hawaii and return to Japan. She says that she knows in her heart that it is not safe there but Tokyo is were she grew up, it's where her family is, and it is where her friends are.

It is easy to be an outsider and comment "Well of course I would get the hell out of there. It's a nuclear disaster zone." But not only are there legal/political obstacles for moving away, there are social barriers as well. Would you rather stick around and chance serious health repercussions sue to radiation exposure or leave everything you know/love?

Be thankful for the choices that you have because some people do not have the choice to healthy and safe.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Quick update on my life [vlog] ch-ch-ch-check it out

Oh and I forgot to mention that I am pumped to essentially to be living on fresh coconuts and avocados. And all those other amazing fruits that are native to Hawaii! Aww snap.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What's all the buzz about?


And on that note, here are a couple honey-themed beauty recipes:

Basic Honey Face Mask
1 T honey
2 drops of lavender or tea tree oil (both natural antiseptics)

Mix the oil and honey and put on a clean face.
Leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
If your skin is dry, simply eliminate the essential oils.

Honey Cleansing Scrub
1 T honey
1 T oatmeal or almonds (natural exfoliants)
1 t lemon juice (takes oil out of oily skin)

Grind oatmeal/almonds in a food processor or blender.
Mix together the honey, oatmeal/almonds/lemon juice.
Massage mixture gently over your face and rinse with warm water when done.

(thanks to Food for Thought)

Is your life too plastic?

bag it.

Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All

So now that finals are over and I have started to conquer the beast that is my gmail inbox, I finally read an email informing me about this soon to be released book:

Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All is being released this month and I am more than excited (to say the very least). 

I mean, it really sounds like the holy grail of information for someone who wants to help create a sustainable food system! The book is broken down into three parts (source: About The Book):
Part I introduces our current food system, how and why it evolved as it did, and the ways in which it no longer serves us well.
Part II describes four key principles a redesigned food system should embody and offers examples of how various individuals and organizations have started to integrate these principles into their enterprises, providing inspiring new models for producers and consumers, businesses and communities.
Part III offers a practical guide to how you can participate in collective action to precipitate big changes in our food system, from your kitchen to your community to your state house and the White House. Dr. Hesterman’s menu for change offers the reader questions to ask at farmers’ markets, tools for starting buy-fresh/buy-local campaigns; advice for forming buyer’s clubs that purchase food directly from farmers and fishermen, and guidance about the legislation to support at the local, state, and federal levels.
I know. Awesome, right??

So let's start listing the reasons why I have a serious academic crush on the author, Oran B. Hesterman, Ph.D.:
  1. He happens to be the president and CEO of Fair Food Network. <<(seriously check out this website, it is amazing all of the stuff that they're doing! I.e. working to increase local food production in Michigan and increase food access in low-income areas)
  2. He co-led the Integrated Farming Systems and Food and Society Programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
  3. He researched and taught forage and cropping systems management, sustainable agriculture, and leadership development in the crop and soil sciences department at MSU.
  4. He played an essential role in establishing the Michigan Food Policy Council.

Dr. Hesterman will be holding public book signings: 
  • Saturday, May 21, 12–2 pm at Detroit Eastern Market (outside the Welcome Center located at 1445 Adelaide between Market & Russell Street, Detroit, MI)
  • Saturday, June 18, 8 am–12 pm at Ann Arbor Farmers Market (outside the Welcome Center, 315 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor, MI)
I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to make it to the signing on May 21st since I will be in Detroit for a sustainable urban planning course :)

Oh, and don't forget to pre-order the book [here]!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Raw Coconut Macaroons

recipe [HERE]: I used Michigan raw honey instead of agave nectar and you can just roll them into balls and eat as is if you are dehydrator-less. Or bake for 10-20 minutes at 350F.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Raw Oatmilk

Raw, vegan, gluten-free, waste-free!

Rinse 1 cup of oat groats*
Soak oat groats in 1 cup of water for 2+ hours (I just soak them overnight because then I don't have to think about it...).
Puree oats and water in a blender or food processor until macerated.
Add 3 more cups of water and allow to soak for another 1-2 hours.
Puree the oats and water.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.

Save the solids to be used as a thickening agent or cook it oatmeal style!

Oatmilk can be used just as you would dairy milk or soymilk.

*If you are from the Ann Arbor area, you can buy oat groats from the bulk section of the People's Food Co-op. Don't forget to bring your own bag!

And great for chia seed pudding...

Yes that's a casserole dish and yes I was eating it in my bed while studying.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy easter.

Lentil Socca

My chickpea flour is all gone and with no dried chickpeas in my bulk foods stash (and not really into going through another ear piercingly loud experience), I made lentil flour! I dumped some dried brown lentils that I had into the food processor, turned it on and walked away. Processing the lentils was a way less painful experience, thank goodness.

It did not turn out custard-y like classic soccas do but that easily could be me leaving it in the oven for too long. I also used a spring-form pan this time and it was like magic! Super easy to pop it out so I didn't have to deal with the socca sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Lentil Socca
I am not sure if it is technically a socca since I used a different bean flour than chickpea but that's what I'm callin it anyways.

1 c lentil flour
1 1/4 c water
1 t salt
any other flavorings and add ins that you choose! (my favorite so far is sliced onions and olives)

Preheat oven to 400F.
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
Pour batter into an oiled 10" spring-form pan (ideal) or pie pan.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the socca is pretty firm to the touch.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring in My Step Salad

This has been my favorite salad as of late. It's light and crunchy and perfect for spring (oh hey, it's 70 degrees and sunny today!). I have been eating tons of salads lately because of all the greens popping up at the farmers' market! Today I made this with Goetz Farm's salad mix but any green will do!

2 large handfuls of greens (I recommend spinach)
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, halved
1 bell pepped, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T fresh dill, finely chopped
1 T rosemary, finely chopped
juice of 2 small lemons (about 1/4 c)
optional: stevia to taste (or other sweetener of choice, e.g. 1 T local honey or maple syrup)

Warning: This makes a whole lotta salad, definitely more than one person can comfortably eat in one sitting (and this is from someone who eats the most beastly of salads...)

All mixed up

This is not an all local recipe but all ingredients can be bought trash free. For Ann Arbor residents:
-Greens, dill and rosemary can be bought locally right now at the AA farmers' market.
-All produce can be purchased packaging free.
-Stevia can all be bought in bulk at the People's Food Co-op.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I am having a very serious craving for carrot cake...

...but considering that it's midnight and making cake is most likely just some (tasty) way for me to procrastinate studying for the final I have on Thursday, I will (most likely) restrain myself.

But I thought I'd share.

And use blogging as a way to justify the almost inevitable likelihood that I will make carrot cake at 2 a.m.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Raw Tomato Soup

Adapted from here!

2 tomatoes, seeded
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 10+ minutes
1 clove garlic
1/4 large red onion
2 T olive oil
6 basil leaves
a handful of spinach
1/2 t red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

a handful of grape tomatoes, cut in half (optional but I like something to chomp on)

Puree in a food processor or blender and garnish.

This is not an all local recipe but all ingredients can be bought trash free. For Ann Arbor residents:
-Spinach and basil can be bought locally right now at the AA farmers' market.
-Herbs can be bought unpackaged at Sparrow Market.
-Onions, garlic and tomatoes can be purchased packaging free.
-Red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, salt/pepper, olive oil can all be bought in bulk at the People's Food Co-op.

Unity Vibrations Kombucha and other pretty things

I have been playing around with bacteria again, surprise surprise. I have been attempting to make kombucha for about 2 months now and I cannot seem to get it right! I have no idea what I'm doing wrong and it's very very frustrating. Luckily, there is a Brew-Your-Own Kombucha workshop this Thursday that I am very excited to go to (thank goodness for the Ann Arbor Free Skool...)!

Straight chillin above my fridge.

But while I wait, I am very happily sipping on Unity Vibrations Kombucha! I fell in love with this stuff last summer and the Kombucha Scare of 2010 (when all kombucha had to be taken off the shelves because the alcohol content was too high bahaha) was a very dark time in my life. Unity Vibration's kombucha is made by a couple that live in Ann Arbor (this is the cutest love story in the world) and they use local ingredients from the AA farmers' market which I am obviously in total support of!

As the kombucha started coming back on the shelves after a change in the fermentation process that prevents the formation of alcohol, I still could not find the UV kombucha for the life of me! Until 2 weeks ago. Apparently UV did not want to change their fermentation process because they believe that it  hurts the bacteria that grows in it so they instead filed to be a beer so they can keep the 1.5% alcohol content! I think that this is hilarious. It also means that they can only be sold at places that have a liquor licence. Meaning not the People's Food Co-op, but instead Everyday Wine! They don't carry my favorite flavor, Cranberry-Clementine, but I am working on that ;)

Moving on to the other pretty things...

Freezing fruit and mint in ice cubes!

Because it makes things prettier...

...and who doesn't want to make the world a little prettier?

Already gone :(

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl

From Natalia Rose

With a piece of raw cinnamon toast.

2 c carrot juice
1 cup raw sweet potato (about 1/2 of medium one), peeled and cubed
4-6 dates, pitted (depends on how sweet you like it)
1/2 avocado
Pumpkin pie spice or a dash of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg to taste

Blend ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth.

This is not an all local recipe but all ingredients can be bought trash free. For Ann Arbor residents:
-All produce can be purchased packaging free.
-Spices can be bought in bulk at the People's Food Co-op.
-Dates can be bought in bulk at Whole Foods

Spirulina Sprout Salad

Spirulina is pretty important for vegans. It is one of the only non-flesh source of vitamin B-12, a vitamin that is essential to the human body and if you become deficient side effects include irreversible nerve damage. Serious issue.

More nutritional info can be found here.

Easy way to get all that goodness into your cells? Salad dressing, duh! I found this video and followed his lead. Best part is that it makes your lips/teeth/face green...

1 carrot, grated
1/2 red pepper, julienned
1 green onion, chopped
1 c sauerkraut

juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c olive oil
1 t curry powder
1 T spirulina
pinch of salt

Mix mix mix!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bleeding Hearts

Could also be named Love Bites but considering how I have very recently became a single lady, I'm going with the slightly more distasteful name...

Whether you have an oh so significant other or you are planning on cuddling up to your roommate or Fido tonight, these bite-sized bits of love will provide anyone with a healthy dosage of endorphins. Hello world!

Bleeding Hearts
Raw vegan, gluten free, and willing to resolve all your of sorrows.

1 c walnuts
1 c dates, soaked until soft
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
add-ins of your choice (cinnamon, cacao nibs, chili powder, mint extract...)
Raspberry Frosting (recipe below)

Food process all ingredients together.
Roll out "dough" between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
Cookie cut to your hearts desire!
If you don't have cookie cutters, use a cup or a knife and a little creativity ;)
Frost with Raspberry Frosting.

Raspberry Frosting
Because it's delicious and blood should be red.

frozen raspberries
optional: sweetener of choice (stevia, maple syrup, honey, dates...)

Puree raspberries in food processor or blender.
Add in sweetener if you want (I did not think this was necessary but others may think that berries are a bit bitter).
Frost the hearts or eat straight up (both ways are awesome).

And for everyone's viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Onion and Olive Socca

I have been meaning to post this for a while now (about 3 weeks...) and I am finally getting around to it! This socca accompanied me during an all-nighter trying to finish writing a 15 page paper. It was delicious and oh so satisfying. Quite different from my skillet socca and I have to say, I do prefer the texture of this method (baking) compared to preparing it omelette-style.

The inside was like custard. Drool.

Custard-y friggin' goodness.

1 c chickpea flour (I made mine by food processing dried chickpeas)
1 t salt
1.5 c water
1-2 T oil

a few thin slices of red onion
a few olives, finely chopped
optional: a few sage leaves, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400F
Add oil to a 9-10" pan (I use a skillet because that's all I have)
Mix together flour and salt.
Whisk in water until batter is clump-less (this will be very thin).
Pour batter into pan/skillet.
Place onions, olives and sage thoughtfully into batter.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until socca has a crust but is soft to the touch.
Optional: Turn oven to broil and bake for 3-5 more minutes for crispiness.

My unsuccessful attempt to remove it from the skillet...

 Horrible picture thanks to the quality of the pictures taken on my phone...

...oh how I wish I hadn't broke my camera.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Pepper Deli [Northville, MI]

My mom had a couple of Groupons to Red Pepper Deli, an organic raw vegan eatery in Northville, so this Saturday we ate (an enormous) lunch there. It was so delicious! 

*One main concept to remember is that for raw foodists, nothing can be heated above about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It is believed that above this temperature the living enzymes in the food are killed making it more difficult for the body to digest.

Whenever I go out to eat with my mom there is one rule: you are not allowed to order what you can make at home. This narrows down the selection quite a bit because we both really enjoy cooking/un-cooking. It helps us to discover new types of food/flavor combos so we can happily scurry home and try to recreate on our own.

It is always such  pleasure eating at raw restaurants because of the thought and energy that goes into all of the food. For example, raw baking recipes usually uses a dehydrator and takes hours (sometimes days) to complete! Between the 3 sandwiches we tried (that's right, we ate 3 sandwiches between the 2 of us...) there were 3 different kinds of breads! Rye, house-made seed, and pizza bread. Needless to say, we stuffed our faces and also bought some house-made seed bread to go.

My mom refused to open-mouth smile because she
was afraid that she had spinach in her teeth haha

SPINACH and SPROUTS. The special of the day!



We also had a side of house-made sauerkraut and a double shot of wheatgrass. All of it was delicious but we both agreed that we liked the mock tuna salad sandwich the best. It tasted unbelievably similar to traditional (i.e., full of meat, dairy, eggs...) tuna salad!

The Red Pepper Deli Hours: Monday - Wednesday 10:30 - 7:30, Thursday - Saturday 10:30 - 8:00, Sunday Closed.

Located at 116 West Main Street, Northville, MI. 48167 248-773-7671

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Zucchini Pasta with Pesto Sauce

Zucchini made into "pasta" = the best. It is water rich, alkaline and nutrient rich. I have been on a serious pesto kick lately, pureeing just about any leafy green and nut that I can get my hands on. 

Based off of Pesto Pasta in Raw: The Uncook Book. This is a much more allaborate recipe than my typical one

For Pasta:
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into pasta-like strips
1/4 of a red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 c of marinated onions*
1/2 tomato, diced
5 basil leaves, chopped
leaves from 1 sprig of oregano
leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
8 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for at least 10 minutes, chopped
1/4 jalapeno, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon

Pre sauce

Mix together and set aside.

*1 onion thinly sliced and marinated in 2/3 c tamari for 10 minutes - 8 hrs

For Sauce: (This makes more than you need for the pasta so add as much as you desire!)

3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 handfuls of walnuts
1/4 c basil leaves
2 handfuls of baby spinach (MI spinach is finally in season!!)
1 heaping T miso
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
8 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for at least 10 minutes

Blend sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Add water to reach desired consistency (I used 1/2 c).
Pour as much as you want onto the pasta and refrigerate the rest.

Remember how I actually eat my foodPasta curled up on my couch with my laptop ;)

This is not an all local recipe but all ingredients can be bought trash free. For Ann Arbor residents:
-Herbs can be bought unpackaged at Sparrow Market.
-All vegetables can be purchased packaging free.
-Tamari, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, miso, salt, olive oil can all be bought in bulk at the People's Food Co-op.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Raspberry Fudge Ice Cream

This takes less than 5 minutes to make and only 4 ingredients!!! I have made it 3 times so far and plan on making it again... tonight.


It's from Chocolate Covered Katie and is really really amazing. It's so rich that it's almost unbelievable that it's healthy!
  • Cacao powder is friggin' PACKED with antioxidants. Packed as in it has the most antioxidants compared to all other foods, teas, etc. Also it has lots of soluble fiber, magnesium, chromium, iron, and has more vitamin C than any other common nut or seed.
  • Raspberries have phytonutrients for antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic protection. The are an excellent source of manganese, dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as a good source of riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and copper.
  • Coconut butter is thought to be anti-aging and although they contain mostly saturated fats, they are unlike the saturated fats in meats because they are short to medium chain fatty acids which are more water soluble than longer chain fatty acids and thus require less energy for the body to absorb and utilize. Coconut butter actually helps to lower cholesterol.