Crazy Cranberry Sauce

With Thanksgiving 2011 well past and four mashed potato stuffed pounds under my belt, its time to update the blog!!! My new favorite addition to our thanksgiving meal this year was the cranberry sauce. No more copouts with the “cranberries + OJ + sugar” routine, no sirree, this cranberry sauce is the REAL deal. I made 2 batches of it since we had 35 people at our house and made another two batches a few days ago. Now, its full of sugar so its not something you can devour in a day – but a spoon or two here and there on toast with peanut butter or just with anything you’re eating is quite delicious. 🙂 ENJOY!!!

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 orange, peeled and pureed
1 apple – peeled, cored and diced
1 pear – peeled, cored and diced
1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to simmer, and stir in cranberries, pureed orange, apple, pear, dried fruit, pecans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

Alterations

1. I pretty much followed this recipe to the T – suggestion, use a food processor! SO much easier and comes out wonderfully.
2. For dried fruit, i used craisins and prunes. I would love to use apricots next time, i’ll have to pick some up.
3. I definitely added more cinnamon. and more nutmeg. mmmmmmmmmm, it doesn’t need it but i just..have an addiction
4. I used a green apple. If you use a sweet apple, you could probably lower the amount of sugar. The next time I make this I am going to experiment with healthier replacements in terms of sweeteners!
5. If you make a double batch, keep in mind this will take longer than 30 minutes!

Yum.

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Listen up kids: Eat your pizza! I mean, eat your vegetables?

The most recent thing on the agenda? Well, haven’t you heard? Pizza is now a vegetable! No, but seriously.

The implications of this are vast, but I think probably the most disturbing part is how easily manipulated us consumers are. Its all about marketing, cheap raw materials, maximizing profit…the words “health” and “long life” have no place when you’re talking about mass produced frozen lunches and corporations not losing out on a meaningful gross margin.

The worst part yet is how adamantly we’re defending our goddamn french fries, chicken nuggets and other assorted lunchtime goodies. Seriously? We’ve been so brainwashed and so deluded that we can’t even bear to part with it all – we NEED it, lets just call it a vegetable!

We feed our kids crap. Most adults would agree – the “pizza” in the cafeteria isn’t fresh. It’s full of preservatives and weird chemicals and things I can’t pronounce. I’m sure those kids will grow up and some of them will learn to make healthy choices but how come we aren’t GIVING THEM THE OPTION NOW?

Gah. Signing off – time to go eat a banana and a spoon of peanut butter – yes thats right, its delicious. And its tasty. And its not going to kill me in 60 years.

Posted in Media | 3 Comments

Honey…that isn’t honey.

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/?hpt=ea_ea

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Treacherous Tomatoes

Its been an interesting week – I’ve had my brown veggie rice and spicy indian chick pea soup referred to as dog food, my home made veggie burger referred to as a hockey puck, and looks of general disbelief as i chopped up a raw yellow bell pepper to eat as a snack at work. (oh yes god forbid i eat some raw veggies! you would have thought i chopped off someones arm the way people were staring!)

Meat eaters, why so much hate? Do you see me sticking my nose up at your hormone added, feces laden, antibiotic ridden, ground up meat/ammonia/broth/mystery meat concoctions? Do you see me referring to your turkey as a poor soul? Do you see me outwardly laughing at your unwillingness to accept that there must be other protein sources out there besides meat?

I also received several lectures this week from omnivores on how I am killing plants. Seriously people. Stop fooling yourselves. Has the whole world gone mad?!

Additionally, I got a nice mini lecture on how I drink milk and how I am selectively caring in the animals department. No, i did NOT get this lecture from a vegan (the ONLY kind of person it would have been acceptable to get this lecture from!!!). i got this lecture from a meat eater.

I have a few questions:

First of all, why am I playing defense? I understand most of the people around me may not be used to a vegetarian lifestyle – but its not like I’m walking around lecturing people or even promoting vegetarianism. I’m just peacefully eating my food. If I walked up to every single person who’s meal I found disgusting or unappealing in my office at work, I would have no friends right now. But that’s not my personality.

Secondly, even if someone looks at my food and really finds it appalling (I really don’t know what’s so appalling about brown rice, but i will humor the notion), is it really bothering you that much that you need to constantly comment on it?

Third, it seems to me that meat eaters are more disgusted with my food than I am with theirs. Shouldn’t I be the disgusted one? It seems that I am almost OFFENDING them by bringing in vegetables or other sources of protein for lunch. I MUST conform. I MUST get a chicken sandwich on white bread to fit in. I MUST stop rebelling and pushing the boundaries with my racy, controversial yellow bell peppers; and furthermore I absolutely need to STOP confusing people with my meals (god forbid anyone get slightly confused or thrown off track with a rogue veggie burger!) and introducing new foods to society – society is very comfortable and i am MAKING THEM SWEAT.

Sincerely,
Let me eat my veggies in peace!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

http://www.globalissues.org/issue/749/food-and-agriculture-issues

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Eco-Farming CAN feed the world…

Sustainable living.

More on this later as I recently saw a huge article in the Economist related to this very topic.

What do YOU think?

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Media

Just came across this website: http://www.sustainabletable.org/home.php

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Waste not, my friend!

A while back, I posted some rambling on how westerners waste so much food, found here.

I stumbled across this article today on Planet Green which is literally titled “Eat your trash to improve your cooking”. I can’t really comment on the meat and seafood stuff since i’m vegetarian, but the broth is a great idea. I’ve never eaten potato peels or citrus rinds…but hey, its true, i could probably try being a little more resourceful….thinking outside of the box and also considering that the definition of what is and isn’t inedible changes given your circumstances. i.e. Inedible in my mind does definitely not hold the same meaning to a beggar, or a starving family really stretching their dollar to put dinner on the table.

I also love this post. Just love when people present interesting challenges to themself, and kind of goes hand in hand with the idea of less waste, less consumption, less…everything. Eating out of a bowl all day is really doable…i might need a plate here and there for burritos..but i’m loving this idea.

Posted in Media, Waste | 2 Comments

A further threat…

Livestock boom risks aggravating animal ‘plagues,’ poses threat to food security and world’s poor

Research released at conference calls for thinking through the health impacts of agricultural intensification to control epidemics that are decimating herds and endangering humans

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Eating Animals

“Of course, most people never have to confront the unpleasant fact that animal foods (including dairy and eggs) involve killing animals. They remain disconnected from this reality, buying their meats and cheeses at supermarkets, already cooked or presented to them in pieces, making it easy to give little or no thought to the animals these foods come from. This is a problem. It has enabled agribusiness to shift livestock and poultry farming unto unhealthy, inhumane systems with little public scrutiny. Few people have seen the insides of industrial dairies, eggs or pig operations, and most consumers truly have no idea what is going on at such places. I am convinced that the vast majority of people would be appalled with what goes on there.”

This is a quote from an eye opening book, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer.

The funny part is I wasn’t recommended to read this. I hadn’t even heard of it. But one tiring day in Newark Penn station, I was waiting for my train and a 65 minute journey and I was just craving a book. I idly walked into Hudson Books and was browsing when this jumped out at me. The title Eating Animals caught my attention. I knew nothing about the book but I bought it anyways – and i could NOT put it down.

Before I read this book, my case for being vegetarian was….weaker. No, i won’t say weak. I had my reasons – ethics, environment, industry practices. But after I read this book I really came to realize the main problem with animal products in this country. It’s got everything to do with history. There was a time when people really respected their food. They had farms and pigs and chickens and they individually took care of the animals all day and night. Beyond that, they experienced the entire life of the animal from birth to death. Food was appreciated more. Every part of the animal was used and cherished.

And today, its turned into this disgusting cycle of mass production and shady industry practices. We don’t know what goes on, we are conditioned to not “want” to know either, which is even more disturbing. I was at lunch during work the other day eating my veggie chili and two guys I was eating with started asking me all these questions. Why am i a vegetarian, why don’t i eat real food, how can i live on this garbage, why don’t i eat meat, etc. I first corrected them on the garbage part – veggies are not garbage!!! Jeez 😦

They made fun of me a little and were like “ooo you dont eat meat because you dont want to hurt the poor little animals”. This made me laugh because since when is a personal choice like not eating an animal considered “wimpy”? Apparently compassion is for babies now? (wtf?) I told them it wasn’t just about hurting the animal. I also had a problem with the industry practices. They understood that a little more once another guy jumped in and exclaimed how Taco Bell’s chicken is only 35% real chicken.

That shut them up real fast – not me, but another meat eater sharing what he knew. This was an eye opener to me and i found it extremely interesting how much more willingly they listened to that other guy. I wasn’t hurt by it but it WAS funny, because in essence they were “amused” with my decision and found it ludicrous, and were “attacking it” – whereas I didn’t attack their choices to eat meat once.

That’s the thing. Most people don’t question meat consumption…its normal, its a way of life, like brushing your teeth. People pick their own battles. And for me, this is one of them. 🙂

I’ll end this post with another FABULOUS quote from Eating Animals:

“Not responding is a response – we are equally responsible for what we don’t do”

Posted in Books, Eating Animals, Media | 1 Comment