“Make Every American Home the Place of Plenty and Rejoicing” – Sarah Josepha Hale and Thanksgiving

This is a one-minute clip of some video I took of my hero Colleen Patrick-Goudreau in her class on holiday traditions, specifically the “eat Turkey on Thanksgiving” tradition.  She shares insight on the intent of the day, meant for gratitude and togetherness.

In this clip, she quotes Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879) who wrote:

“Let us consecrate the day to benevolence of action, by sending good gifts to the poor, and doing those deeds of charity that will, for one day, make every American home the place of plenty and of rejoicing.”

There are are several more short clips from this talk, which you can find on My Youtube Channel. 

(Excuse the shaky, awkward camera, I was trying not to be obnoxious as I was right up front.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Miso-Curry Glazed Squash, Tofu and Kale with Chickpeas, Potatoes and Pepitas

Yesterday I indulged in nursing my sore throat (before it turns into more), and found the combination of fresh ginger, lemon slices and cayenne pepper steeped in hot water to be oddly soothing yet energizing. I  may like it more than coffee.

I spent 20 minutes off the sofa putting together a healthy, clean meal. This is my own spin on (though very close to) a recipe from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. Some ingredients altered or added based on what I had on hand.

MISO-CURRY SQUASH with TOFU and KALE

  • 2 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 4 small butter potatoes, cubed
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp red thai curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups raw kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (one can) chickpeas, drained
  • pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to garnish

Miso-curry glazed Squash, Tofu and Kale. Mixed with chickpeas, potatoes and pumpkin seeds.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Get a large bowl, add cubed squash and potatoes. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, miso and curry paste to make a thick paste. Put 1/3 cup of the new paste in a bowl with squash and potatoes, gently mixing by hand to coat veggies. Add cubed tofu to bowl and gently mix that by hand, careful not to break apart the tofu. Add to the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing once or twice throughout.

Using the same large mixing bowl (cut down on amount of dishes to clean!), add the raw kale. Add the lemon juice to the remaining miso-curry paste, whisk, and add to the bowl with raw kale. Massage the dressing into the raw kale. Add chickpeas to bowl of kale and mix.

When the veggies are done cooking and have cooled slightly, add them to the large bowl with kale and chickpeas and mix everything together. Serve with pepitas as a garnish (optional).

Miso-curry glazed Squash, Tofu and Kale. Mixed with chickpeas, potatoes and pumpkin seeds.

This recipe makes enough for about 4 servings (as a main dish), 6-8 servings as a side dish. I’d highly recommend this if you find yourself going to a Holiday dinner and want to take something vegan but not too “weird” (ugh) that will please all palates.

Don’t Hate on Love

A few days ago, I read this article which is a reaction to the people who gripe and moan and are sure to express to anyone willing to listen how much they hate Valentine’s Day.

I respect anyone’s opinion – and if you hate it, you’re most certainly entitled to – but consider that all the energy spent on hating it, on hating anything you aren’t fond of, is just wasted and only feeds itself. Hating something (a person, a holiday, your job, etc) doesn’t DO ANYTHING to improve it. In fact, I bet the more time you spend thinking about how disgruntled it makes you, the less time you have to focus on all the things that make you happy.

You could make a love sandwich from this bread valentine.

If you’re on facebook, take a little gander at your online friends. While it’s true you may not know all of them in person, there are people out there who are interested enough in what you’re doing – in you – to want to follow and support you, even in a small way. I’m certain the contact list in your phone isn’t empty. And think about the last time you spend a day with friends and had a good, hearty laugh. I’ll bet it wasn’t that long ago.

We live in an abundance of love. Look for it, and you’ll find it everywhere. 

READ THE ORIGINAL POST “I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY” HERE. 

(from the original post)

“At this point, nothing is more cliche — or more roundly depressing — than hearing the walking, talking Cathy comics trudge through the 14th talking about how much they hate Valentine’s Day. Yeah, we get it, you remember how single you are. Yeah, enjoying the love of other people in your life is just not the same, and offering your aunt a heart-shaped box of chocolate body paint would probably offer the wrong message. We get it. But does talking about how much you hate it really make you feel any better?

Why can’t you take the day of love as an opportunity to simply appreciate the love you do have — send your grandmother a VDay card back, call your mom just to wish her a happy holiday and thank her for helping you with the cards for class when you were little, or take your friend out for dinner to remind them that we can still treat each other to nice, considerate, loving things — even if we don’t expect to get laid at the end of it.”

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

Colleen Patrick Goudreau talks at Vegetarian Summerfest about Holiday Traditions and Thanksgiving ideas and ideals, and “the human ability to cling blindly to one’s rituals” – with an analogy drawn from Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. 

“Because we’ve always done something doesn’t mean we have to continue to do it. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.”

[youtube http://youtu.be/yJEBYbKi_aA]

More videos under the cut…

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FALL SMOOTHIE: 4 Ingredients, No Added Sugar

I was going to say it has 5 ingredients, but have we started to consider ice an ingredient? Does it count? I don’t know. In any case, you need some ice for this so adjust the math as you see fit.

This is another “throw everything in the blender and hit the ‘on’ button” recipes, but I’m still going to take credit for it because IT WAS DELICIOUS and tasted like a DELICIOUS CREAMY FROZEN DESSERT but it EASY and NOT UNHEALTHY AT ALL! Win win win win!

Vegan Fall Smoothie

FOUR INGREDIENT FALL SMOOTHIE

  • 1 banana
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 cup plain almond milk (or other nondairy milk)… forgot to measure this, oopsies!
  • PUMPKIN PIE SPICE* to taste
  • one large glass of ice (to make a thick smoothie or less if you want it thinner)
*PUMPKIN PIE SPICE. Let’s dicuss: If you didn’t already know, you can buy prepared “pumpkin pie spice” which is already blended up nicely for you and contains all the goodies like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. But you can put it on aallllll kiiiinnnnndddss of fall foods and instantly they became DELICIOUS like you are a magical chef/baker/cook. Then you have better self esteem that lasts all day! Look at you!

NEW YEARS EVE!: What is NOG, anyway?

This year after party-hopping among the homes of wonderful, creative people I settled in at my pal Alison’s colorful home for some of the tastiest vegan delights a celebrating girl could ever wish for!

Since the only thing I saw made from start-to-finish was the pizza, I’ll give you a step by step for this wickedly incredible indulgence, and the rest will have to come from a guest post and/or collaborative video with Ms. Alison herself. (She’s cute, you’ll like it!)

You’ll have to sit tight for this mixed drink recipe based on the Master Cleanse. No, really. Think: fresh lemonade, cayenne pepper, and various alcoholic additions like whiskey and bourbon. It was weird and awesome. Just don’t get silly and try to drink only this for 10 days. I won’t be responsible when you get fired and your partner dumps you because you’re a sloppy drunk.

Onward to the pizza! This is super easy, takes only a few minutes to put together, and can obviously be made with whatever ingredients you want. But know this: it was the best pizza I’ve had in a really long time. Thanks in no small part to the use of my favorite condiment ever ever ever, buffalo wing sauce. (Can we all agree to a universal new name for this? “Buffalos are cute Sauce”?)

Let’s watch Shiner make us this most delicious, hard-not-to-inhale food.

STEP 1: Begin with pizza dough. You can find balls (huh huh, I said “balls”) of dough in the freezer section of most grocery stores, but Shiner told me about this neat little trick where you can call a local pizza place and ask to buy just some of the dough, and most will sell it to you! They probably won’t even think you’re weird! (Ask about ingredients, obviously.)

STEP 2: Add the Sauce. I believe in this case he used an organic jarred marinara (spaghetti) sauce. Get crafty and make your own – and if you know how to do that, invite the rest of us over so we can learn, too.

STEP 3: Heat some breaded faux-chicken patties, cut into small pieces, then put in a container that has a lid. Add Buffalos Are Cute Sauce (see above), put on the lid and shake it all up til all the pieces are coated in spicy goodness.

*Note: I’ve made a lot of buffalo sauce stuff with unbreaded fake chicken, but really, the breaded stuff is SO MUCH BETTER on a pizza like this. Shiner has made a billion vegan chicken pizzas and concludes that breaded faux-chicken totally the way to go. I now concur.

STEP 4: Here comes an avalanche of Daiya! Daiya is still a relatively new vegan item, and has won so many accolades in the past year for being the very best metling vegan cheese ever. EVER. Cheddar and mozzarella flavors are available, in this case we used the latter.

And check this out: 1/4 a cup of Daiya cheese only has 90 CALORIES! If you like melty cheese but hate the gas/bloating/fat/sad cows, give this a try. I would NOT recommend something that tastes bad for fear it would forever turn you off to vegan alternatives. Your mind will explode. Truth.

STEP 5: Bake in the oven until cheese is melty and crust is a little crispy. Try 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

BEHOLD THE BEAUTY THAT IS ABOUT TO FILL YOUR BELLY.

I could sing Marvin Gaye songs to it all night long.

Alison wasn’t done with the tricks up her cardigan sleeve just yet. She outdid herself when she emerged from the kitchen with a punch bowl of VEGAN EGG NOG. It was incredible! I MUST have her here soon to fill you in how to do this, but I know it did include: rice milk, banana, nutmeg and cinnamon, some sort of liquor, etc…

That lead us all to a question that I’m still not sure I know the answer to. If you have insight, please comment below. WHAT IS “NOG”? It sounds horrible. Disgusting. Like something you cough up when you’re sick. Nog. Noggg. Ew!

The internet tells me this: “Nog used to refer to strong ale in England.” That’s not good enough. I can’t believe anyone would actually, willingly call something nog when there are so many more combinations of consonants and vowels available.

In any case, the vegan egg nog was delicious, despite the ridiculous name.

In the words of my pal Melanie “2011 is going to be my year even more than 2010 was”. HECK YES. Happy 2011!

BE PASSIONATE: “60 Tips for a Stunningly Great Life”

Welcome to 2011!

Until I kick it off right, allow to present to you this list of 60 ideas for helping you to make your life exactly what you want it to be! This article is by Robin Sharma, via Intent.com – I’ve bolded the ones I particularly like. What ideas resonate with you?

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by Robin Sharma

I want to shift gears from leadership to a pure focus on crafting an exceptional life for this blog post. Ultimately, life goes by in a blink. And too many people live the same year 80 times. To avoid getting to the end and feeling flooded regret over a live half-lived, read (and then apply) these tips:

1. Exercise daily.
2. Get serious about gratitude.
3. See your work as a craft.
4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst.
5. Keep a journal. 
7. Plan a schedule for your week.
8. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life.
9. Say no to distractions.
10. Drink a lot of water.
11. Improve your work every single day.
12. Get a mentor.
13. Hire a coach.
14. Get up at 5 am each day.
15. Eat less food.
16. Find more heroes.
17. Be a hero to someone.
18. Smile at strangers.
19. Be the most ethical person you know.
20. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence. 
21. Savor life’s simplest pleasures.
22. Save 10% of your income each month.
23. Spend time at art galleries.
24. Walk in the woods.
25. Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you.
26. Forgive those who’ve wronged you.
27. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades.
28. Create unforgettable moments with those you love.
29. Have 5 great friends.
30. Become stunningly polite.
31. Unplug your TV.
32. Sell your TV.
33. Read daily.
34. Avoid the news.
35. Be content with what you have. 
36. Pursue your dreams.
37. Be authentic.
38. Be passionate.
39. Say sorry when you know you should.
40. Never miss a moment to celebrate another.
41. Have a vision for your life.
42. Know your strengths.
43. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack.
44. Be patient.
45. Don’t give up.
46. Clean up your messes.
47. Use impeccable words.
48. Travel more.
50. Honor your parents.
51. Tip taxi drivers well.
52. Be a great teammate. 
53. Give no energy to critics.
54. Spent time in the mountains.
55. Know your top 5 values.
56. Shift from being busy to achieving results.
57. Innovate and iterate.
58. Speak less. Listen more.
59. Be the best person you know.
60. Make your life matter.