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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vegan Keema Recipe from the Indian Slow Cooker Book

Vegan Keema (Spiced Crumbles with Peas) from "The Indian Slow Cooker Book".
 Recipe for Mock Keema (Vegan Keema) at Anupy Singla's "Indian As Apple Pie" Website.

Anupy Singla, author of "The Indian Slow Cooker" book claims she's not a Goddess.  If she isn't, she has some connections.  Since I quit eating meat in something like 3rd grade, I have never had Keema (Lamb).  Never!  And even now, since I went Gluten Free, I still didn't really get to indulge in this, but I made it for my hubby & his Old Timey friend and I think it was a big hit.

Match Meat.

Match Meat and Earth Balance in the Slow Cooker.  Hubby told me I should have "crumbled" it up more, as it comes a little more solid.  I figured it would "crumble" during cooking.  Which it did, but if you want "even" crumbles, then best to do prior to cooking.
Anupy calls for "Meatless Grounds" to substitute for the Lamb.  This works great.  If you are trying to make it Vegan, then make sure you check the label of your "Crumbles".  Many brands put egg whites in them as "binders".  But there are plenty of Vegan Crumble type products now, so it should be no problem to find something suitable for your little Vegan Dinner Party.  We use "Match Meat" which was created by Animal Lover, Allison Burgess, right here in St. Louis.  Actually, out of ALL the products we have tried in the last decade, Match seems to most closely resemble "meat".  But it isn't in shapes (like hot dogs) that turn off some people.  (I remember when Loma Links came out with their canned hot dogs when I was a little girl!  I was always a little grossed out that they looked like the real thing.)  You can find it in the Frozen Section at Whole Foods.  If you don't see it, then ask them to carry it!  She makes a Sausage, Crab Cake, Beef, Chicken, Pulled Pork, etc....

Ginger, Garlic, Peppers.

Lots of Fun Spices!  Green Cardamom, Indian Bay leaves, Cumin, Coriander, Red Chili, Tumeric, and Garam Masala.
This recipe has a little fat in it........I was making it for the boys, so I added even more.  Earth Balance was my weapon of choice.  Anupy's Vegan Keema has a lot of garlic, Indian Bay leaves (I bought "Bay Leaves" in the Indian Store, that makes them Indian, right??  They looked a tad bit bigger than our usual Bay leaves), Green Cardamom pods, cumin, coriander, chili, tumeric, and garam masala.  So an amazing assortment of spices.


Mock Keema prior to cooking.
So simple.  The most difficult part is finding your spices in the cluttered cabinet and mincing garlic.  After that you push a button.  When they talk about cooking with your kids, this kind of food is a great project.  Not only will they be capable of doing it all on their own as soon as they can use an oven or a knife for a couple of things, but you will be teaching them how easy it is to make delicious, nourishing meals.  By promoting this type of plant based eating over "Hamburger Helper", you will actually be extending their lives and passing on healthy and sustainable habits for generations to come.

Keema after cooking, before adding Frozen Peas.  It's normal for a little bit of it to be "stuck" to the sides, as it has been cooking for several hours.  It won't get burned, just stir it a little prior to adding the Frozen Peas.

Vegan Keema.
The Vegan Keema turned out Amazing!!  I couldn't help but keep "taste-testing" it (even though I am off of gluten).  This is a "stick to your ribs" type of dish and something for the people who are still cultivating their passion for beans.  You won't be disappointed!  You add the peas at the very end, and if you are "presenting" this to someone, then serve right away so the peas retain their vivid color.  It is still delicious hours later, but the peas fade slightly.

Does anyone else have Anupy's book??  
Which dishes are your favorites?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Get Skinny's Vegan Winter Leggings Picks from Plush

Full-Foot Fleece-lined Tights
Plush Footless Fleece Lined Leggings. These are for normal, coolish weather.  They are the least expensive in their line and great for fall.  For colder weather, you will want to read on......
Image Source and Credit: Plush

Brutal Winters got you down????  How to get away with your Cute Minis in the middle of a snowstorm?  Got a date during a blizzard? Plush has got you covered.  They have many vegan options for warmth and style.  While Polartec tights are wonderful and very functional, they are often on the bulky side and not something you want to pair up with your new eco-fleece lined minis.  Check out this line of Fleece Lined Wonders (If you order other items from their site, do check on their "vegan status").  This line tends to run a wee bit small, so if you are in between sizes, order the next size up.  Not that you care, but apparently many celebs have been sighted wearing Plush apparel.  This brand has the New York girl in mind.  The girl that always wants to be stylish, yet has to walk miles a day, often in frigid weather.  Check them out!!

Full-Foot Fleece-lined Tights
Plush Stitched Leggings.  These are warmer than the Footless Fleece and are great to pair with your skirts.
Image Source and Credit: Plush

Plush Footless Package
Fleece Layer of Stitched Leggings.
Image Source and Credit: Plush

Full-Foot Fleece-lined Tights
Plush Fleece Lined Denim Leggings.  In Natural Denim Color and Black.
For those that want to show how many squats they have been doing at the gym.  If you aren't wild about showing the world "all of you", then just pair with a nice long tunic.  Still great style, but you won't have as many men coming up to you asking for directions or pretending like they know you from somewhere.
Image Source and Credit: Plush

Plush Footless Package
Plush Denim Leggings.  Fleece Lined.
Image Source and Credit: Plush

Full-Foot Fleece-lined Tights
Fleece Lined Arm Warmers.
Image Source and Credit: Plush

Plush Fleece Lined Pom Pom Hat.
Image Source and Credit: Plush

Do you have favorite "girly winter gear"?? Fashionable, yet functional?  Get Skinny is always looking for clothes that "work"!!  Tired of flimsy "fashion" that falls apart 2 times after wearing it.......Let me know if you have any faves!!  Especially warm running gear!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Indian Vegan Eats from Anupy Singla's Simple Slow Cooker


I just love this woman! First I love that she was a successful journalist/reporter and had the cojones to quit that and follow another passion. And although she had the media ties, there were no guarantees that her "passion" would ever actually materialize into a book deal or any other sort of real financial compensation. Second, I love that she is going against long standing traditions in some aspects and introducing people to new, slightly altered ones. For example, she talks about her father and other relatives being affected by heart disease yet really being loyal to the cream and ghee in their foods. All of our cultures have traditions, and it can be difficult to convince people to change something that they have done forever, to a new paradigm. So her new paradigm is healthy, low-fat, yet traditional, Indian food. She is emulating the outdoor clay ovens of India with the slow cooker. So achieving a result that is pretty similar to the original, yet with nearly no effort. An answer to working people or just people who absolutely don't want to spend any more time than necessary in the kitchen. Her approach makes it so accesible to anyone. I seriously haven't bought a book that had ANY meat recipes in it for well over 20 years, if I ever did, I can't remember. But this book has so much "vegan merit" that I didn't even give it a second thought. I always "think" that Indian cuisine is so much more vegan friendly anyway, and at least they won't laugh at the idea of not eating a cow.  Nearly every recipe in the book is either already vegan or can me made vegan by using a nut milk.

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
The Indian Slow Cooker Book by Anupy Singla
Now we just need to wait for  her "special" masala dabbas to go online! It's really important to know that you are getting a stainless steel one because spices like tumeric "eat" everything. I had some tumeric stored in a little plastic container (this happened a decade ago when I used plastic) and the spice actually warped/melted the container. Tumeric (haldi) is getting touted everywhere now as a "magical" spice as it has anti-inflammatory properties and they are even researching it's role in the prevention of Alzheimers. Apparently India has virtually no Alzheimers. Is it the tumeric or is it that the many of the people don't eat beef so there is not much undiagnosed "mad cow" disease that can emulate Alzheimers? Maybe they don't have the "factory farm" culture for cattle at least, since maybe their cattle consumption is less. 
In any case, Eat your Tumeric!!  And don't buy your masala dabba until Anupy unveils her super special one with "standard measuring" spoons that will make cooking Indian food even easier. Rumor has it that they will be ready soon!!

And if you are in the St. Louis area, don't forget that Gokul's (6101 Delmar) opened a new location.  All vegetarian, all the time.  Some of the kindest people on the planet and the food is great too!  Kind to your belly and to the animals.  The Delmar Loop location is Kosher.  The Page location is super quaint with Hindu Deities overlooking the buffet bar and Hanuman on the cashier counter.  Bollywood movies at night.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Hemp Yoga Pants & Soft Cozy Vegan Vaute Couture Sweatshirts (From Clothing to Chemo?)

So here are some of my picks for comfy hemp yoga, lounge, livin' the good life pants.  You could always pair them with Mai-Lee Hilgart's Vaute Couture Adorable line of Vegan Sweatshirts.  Go to the websites of these companies and read about their "style".  The Hempest carries a lot of different brands, so you would need to check on each brand.  Vaute Couture, Swirlspace, MoreTrees, SweetSkins, and Natural High are all smaller companies doing amazing things.  When you buy from them you are supporting people who are trying to do the right thing.  Obviously, just recycling your own clothes or going to good-will is the most ecological thing to do.  But if retail therapy gives you some temporary bliss, then give your love to these folks.  They are showing that you can be "capitalist" and stimulate the economy in a sustainable way.  Green Industries will eventually be the norm, as we can't go on forever the way we have in the past.  These folks have been doing this for years, it's not just a fad for them.  Why should you think about what you wear?  Other then sustainability, child labor, fair wages......take a look at the end of this post for some interesting video about "Killer Clothes" by Brian Clement of Hippocrates Health Institute.  Why didn't I read this before thinking my 5 for $25 cute panties from Victoria's Secret were a good buy??  Already have a great hemp blend bra and some bamboo undies but probably going  to start looking for some girly girl organic cotton ones next (there weren't too many hemp ones the last time I looked).  From Clothes to Chemo??  Yikes.......gotta digest this one.

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Vaute Couture's Sweet Vegan Sweatshirts.  Super Soft, Cozy, With a big "V" so "out loud" yet subtle enough to wear anywhere.  Plus you gotta love the model's retro-look.  "Eco-Heather" fleece (Recycled Polyester & Organic Cotton) and printed used water based ink.  As you can see, Mai-lee Hilgart (Vegan Princess and World Saver) doesn't just make incredibly warm & stylish vegan coats, but also adorable Sweatshirts and Tees as well.  You will love them.  Her line of coats is also featured in my "Vegan Winter Coat Picks"

Hemp Dance Pants from SweetSkins. Hemp Yoga & Fashion! Sweetskins is a minority, women owned eco-company in Eugene Oregon.  Mira Fannin started the company in her garage!  Their clothes tend to be more "form" fitting than many of the hemp lines.  So sweet & sexy.  Lots of beautiful, rich colors made from low impact dyes.

Bike Time Leggings
Hemp "Bike Time" Leggings from SweetSkins.  Kind of like leggings with elastic bottoms.  

Sweet Sweat Hemp Capri from Natural High Clothing. Beautiful selection of colors with a comfy drawstring top.

sweet sweat pant
Sweet Sweat Yoga Pant from Hemp and Organic Cotton.  Natural High.  Super cool company on West Coast.  If you visit their Santa Monica Location you can stop by Rawvolution to eat across the street!!  Which has the best seaweed salad I have ever had!!

More Trees "Sweetest Sweats"  made of Hemp, Organic Cotton, & a touch of lycra.  This company is an AWESOME vegan, sustainable, hip find.  Vegan owned and Operated.  Lots of hempy goodness and organic cotton tees.  I have found that in general, that hemp clothes can run a little big.  I always order the smallest possible size with hemp.  The clothing isn't made for 12 year old girls, or for that fact, by 12 year old girls either.  So in other words, it will fit your smokin' body.  Skinny, Curvy, All of it girls.  This company rocks.

Dharma Pant

"Dharma Pant" Hemp Yoga & Lounge pants from Earth Creations.

Bella Tank
High Waist Hemp Leggings from SweetSkins.  From Hemp, Organic Cotton and a touch of lycra.

Hemp Yoga & Lounge Pants from Swirlspace. Made locally in San Francisco.

Killer Clothes
Killer Clothes by Brian and Anne Marie  Clement of  Hippocrates Health Institue.

What are your favorite "eco-clothes"??  Do you have any favorite brands of clothing?  Do you think about buying "greener" clothes?  If so, what is the most prominent reason?  Is it child labor, pesticide use, allergies, supporting small businesses?? 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Raw Vegan Pad Thai from Ani Phyo's Raw Food Essentials


A "Valentine" Tango........You have to watch at about 2 minutes and 17 seconds in.  This gal is sexy strong.  One way to get rock hard ab muscles!  Nothing like dark music to celebrate a "romantic holiday".  I however did no amazing pole dancing stunts on V-day.  My hubby walked into my study and said "Happy VD day". That dates him....he was brought up "Pre STD" (before VD got a makeover) days.   Our day was busy, busy, and I came home and slaved over Pad Thai.  Not really.  I took about 20 minutes to make Raw Vegan Pad Thai and Olive Tapenade.  The Pad Thai uses Almond Butter (because Peanuts are so controversial from alfatoxins to mycotoxins ) and Coconut Butter (I use Artisana brand).  I used Zucchini Noodles.  So no cooking or gummy pasta possible!  You can make fettuccine noodles from just a veggie peeler, but I got the Spirooli, now called "World Cuisine" Tri Blade Slicer.  This makes 3 different thicknesses of noodles and I like that it more closely imitates the diameter of "cooked" pasta.  
World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer
World Cuisine Tri Blade Slicer.
"Spirooli" for $30.00 you can make all the no-fat, raw pasta in the world.
Spirooli.  There are 3 different types of blades.

This is the "removable" blade.

Just put the Zucchini in and turn the handle!  Super easy.  

Ani's Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Food
Another great book by Ani Phyo.  This doesn't have the beautiful color photos, so it's not just for "window shopping"!
I really love the Carob Rye bread and all of the noodle recipes she includes.  You can use kelp, zucchini, or other veggie noodles.

Raw Vegan Pad Thai from Ani Phyo's "Raw Food Essentials" Book.
Ani Phyo's Website.  Lots of Great Recipes!

One of our dishes on Valentine's Day.  It took a few minutes to throw together.

Olive Tapenade from Raw Food Celebrations  by Nomi Shannon and Sheryl Duruz.
Raw Food Celebrations
Have made several recipes from this!  
"Raw Food Celebrations" Tapenade.  This book says for "celebrations" but I find it has lots of great recipes that aren't too difficult to make.  This is super easy.  Olives, Onion, Tomatoes, Garlic.  You just mix it up.

Guess what my beloved UPS man brought me??  Yeah, it's not Rosamonte but....It's dried at a low temperature and is organic.  From "The Mate Factor".  I get 5 pounds of loose Green Yerba Mate at a time.  I used to only fill the gourd once a day and keep pouring water over it, but lately have really upped it.

This video is similar to the Pad Thai I made.  But it uses kelp noodles and more oil.  This recipe is great!!  And Kelp noodles are worth exploring.  If you use the Kelp Noodles, note that they do soften up if left in water with salt or lemon juice for awhile.  I prefer when some of the crunch has been eliminated since I was so freaked out that I was eating Kelp in the first place.  Now I love them, but they are a little pricey and you may have to buy them online since not all stores currently carry them.  If you are using kelp for your thyroid, it is cheaper just to buy loose Kelp from Mountain Rose Herbs and make your own Capsules.  They sell the Capsule Making Machines also, for under fifteen dollars.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crazy Sexy Diet Adventure Cleanse Day 20-21. Norwalk Juicing and Chakra Balancing.

Video from Sharon Gannon's "Chakra Balancing Yoga" DVD.  Sharon Gannon is a tireless advocate for taking responsibility for our planet and compassion towards all creatures.  Truly a fierce feminine force.  This is an Acacia DVD.  This DVD is great, but if you are a Jivamukti fan, you need the  Jivamukti in a Box CD/DVDs.  It's like hanging out with David & Sharon in your living room.  And if you still want more, you can subscribe to the JivaDiva podcasts that one of their students produces.  Alanna Kaivalya is a musician, a yogini, an author,  and just a beautiful person.  I subscribed when she was doing a "Podcasts for Puppies" drive.    

Holy Basil Herb.  An "Adaptogen" that is touted to help combat stress and calm the nerves.
Well, I never wrote about the "End of the Cleanse".  Maybe because that's when I actually started behaving.  The last few days I ate tons of Kale Salad and Red Cabbage.  Monday I did a 24 hour "Juice Cleanse" and I just made all the juices Sunday Night.  I put Kale, Celery, Carrots, Apple and also Lemon.  Often I squeeze some lemon juice in but this time I just put the whole rind in (organic) and the juice tasted great.  I think it probably helps preserve some of the nutrients as well.  Lots of tea as well and had a minor crisis when I ran out of Mate and had to use some very old Mate with herbs in it (not my cup of Mate).  Finally ordered a 5 pound bag from "The Mate Factor".  Have transitioned from traditional "Rosamonte" to a green Mate that has been dried at low temperatures.

Steeping my Holy Basil Tea in Glass.  Figuring I probably need to Freebase it.  

Compost or Salad?

Bad Woman's Compost.  Sweet Fruits and Yerba Mate. 

Dandelion Greens.

Dandelion, Kale, Hemp Salad.  I usually throw together a dressing of olive or hemp oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and some type of salt.  Gluten Free Tamari, Sea Salt, or Coconut Aminos (which are a little pricey, but less sodium.  of course my husband says you just use more of it so it isn't truly less sodium)

A Get Skinny Staple.  Fat & Sugar.  Lots of variations on this but basically I take an avocado, carob powder (at least enough to make it dark), a couple dates, stevia, or other sweetener.  Put in Vita-Mix with enough water to blend and make a pudding.  Also you can put one avocado, one banana, carob powder, cinnamon.  The Vita-Mix makes it a super smooth creamy texture.  The Cuisinart will work but I find it more difficult to get all of the little green chunks smooth.  I have also found that the Carob is already sweeter than the Raw Chocolate.  Which is great because you don't really need that much sweetening.  

My Medicine Cabinet.  
So this was my morning project last Sunday..........I just store the juice in Ball Jars.  It took me about an hour to make at least 128 ounces of juice.  So not too bad.  Was worried about storing any of the green juice as you always hear to drink it basically the second you make it.  Even at Liquiteria in New York, you buy the bottled Norwalk Juices.  They aren't made on the spot and then they are stored in plastic! And that's at one of the leading juice bars.  The juice actually tasted great and lasted for days.

Wallpaper came with the house.  No grief, please!  Everyone gives us grief on our wallpaper.  Never mind that the rest of the house is a disaster..........

This  Norwalk juicer was a gift from our Otis.......a puppy who loved Kale Juice but didn't make it to see the arrival of the juicer.  We were borrowing my parent's Greenstar before that.  The Greenstar is also a great juicer, but it takes more time and effort to push the carrots through and it is more difficult to clean.  I think the "hot" juicers now are the Hurom Slow Juicer and the Breville.  I doubt you can store the juices for long, but they are probably great for everyday use.  Of course juicers are just like exercise, the best kind is the kind that you will use.  And for kids that don't like texture in their food (sometimes occurs in autism), a juicer can be a great way to get all of your nutrients.  Kale and Collards are some of the highest rated foods on the ORAC scale plus they have easily asorbable Calcium.  You can grow them year round in most places (if you don't have slugs that you are are nurturing).  But of course Kale isn't subsidized by the government like Milk & Beef.  So you actually have to pay the true cost of growing it.  Or just grow your own.

This makes me proud.  It's not chocolate avocado pudding.  It's not my staple of apples and pumpkin seeds.   

The juicer has bags and cloths to use for the first part of the process.  The bags are for carrots and apples (things that are easy to clean).  The cloths are more for greens.  Some people prefer to use the cloths all the time because they are so much easier to clean.

This is the pulp after it has been squeezed with 200 pounds of pressure.

It's super dry. I always think I should use the pulp for flax crackers but often the timing doesn't work out.

My aunt just wrote me the other day saying she was also reading the "Crazy Sexy Diet" book!  I was totally surprised.  She was one of the peeps I was going to "gift" it to, and had just procrastinated.  Hmmmm.......but does she have Anupy's book yet??  Watch out Mr. R, you might be eating Rajmah and  Dal Makhani for awhile.

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes

Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!

 Speaking of Dal Makhani,  Gokul's finally opened their second location at 6101 Delmar in the Loop.  All vegetarian all the time, with lots of vegan options and soon will have vegan night twice a month.  We went on opening night and they had the projector running but the Bollywood movies hadn't made it to the new location yet.  I believe the place is Kosher as it was packed with Orthodox Jewish families.  Their other location on Page Avenue is usually packed with Indians, Veggie/Vegan types, University professors & College Kids, a real Hodge-Podge of peeps.  I guess they were swamped their first day at the new location.  Ganesh, Kali, and Krishna haven't made the move yet (their statues) but I hope they do join us. 
The New Gokul.  Bad photo, but it was cold and dark.  And Icy!
In the St. Louis Loop at 6101 Delmar.  Just East of Pi.
On opening night they had Vegan Saag (Spinach), Vegan Dal Makhani (Kidney Beans and Black Lentils), Vegan Dal, Vegan "Potato Chips" (spicy potatoes), Vegan Aloo Baingan (Eggplant & Potato). The food was great and their whole staff was there so they had to close the old location for opening night.  The food is always great there, but it's really the people working there that make you keep wanting to go back.  The people are so kind and you always feel energized after spending time there.  We have been going to the Page location for years now.  It started out as a "Snacks & Sweets" place which didn't have much "real" food and has evolved into a real restaurant with a vegetarian buffet every single day.