sweet persimmon
» Why Being a Foodie isn't Elitist...

Eric Schlosser just recently wrote a piece for the Washington Post and it sums up everything that is going on in the U.S. food production system that is wrong and why we should be more concerned. There’s certainly great people trying to make it a better place for us to eat, but there’s a much darker side to our the industry and I also believe it’s a good thing to be picky and want to know where your food comes from.

I’ve had some run in with friends who were really turned off my diet choice and of course poke fun at it. These friends had experiences with others who seemed ‘elitist’ to them about their own food choices. When I hear ‘foodie’, I think of someone who likes really good food from excellent restaurants. That doesn’t sound so bad at all. Yeah, it can be hard to find a place to eat at times when I’m out with friends, but I won’t be judging anyone for the food that they eat. I just want them to value that there is something more about being vegan and for me it was being informed about the food system that is currently in place and I can’t support it. I believe ignorance is not bliss.

Click on the headline to read the article and stay informed!

» Going Against the Grain DIY Fair!

An enthusiast led do it yourself fair sponsored by the Delta Emerging Leaders & Rebuilding Exchange. There will be enthusiasts who will talk about their passion for gardening, home maintenance, beekeeping, homebrewing and more. My friend will be talking about how to raise chickens in the city. This is a great way to connect with people locally and learn to do some new things, while saving some money!

Rebuilding Exchange 2160 N. Ashland, Chicago, IL, 60614

May 7th, from 1-5pm

(Source: facebook.com)

» Growing Local in Madison

The 19th annual event from the Congress for the New Urbanism -CNU 19-builds on the theme of “Growing Local,” in Madison, Wisconsin this year from June  1-4, 2011.

The conference will explore linkages that urban communities have with local food production, the food economy and the infrastructure that has developed around this symbiosis.

New Urbanism’s mission is an urban design and development movement dedicated to implementing community-oriented principles of traditional town and city planning in contrast to the prevailing system of formless sprawl. Scholarships are available, so check it out!

Cinnamon Oatmeal Shake

We had lunch last weekend at Irazu Restaurant, which serves authentic Puerto Rican food and a great BYOB place in Chicago. One of the best things to order is their oatmeal shake made with soymilk. Although we couldn’t get them to tell us their recipe, we’ll be back. Yum.

(Source: irazuchicago.com)

Vegan Food Bar

I love the food bar at Whole Foods, especially recently with many more options for vegan dishes…a few more that I stocked my bowl full of goodness, which I usually get more food than I need. If you go there, opt for their reusable bowls instead of the throw-away containers, which you save 10 cents and bring your own silverware if possible!

Homemade Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

I came across a recipe for a unique take on cinnamon rolls and decided that it was a perfect for a little break and breakfast on a Sunday morning. What is great about this how easy it is to make and how tasty it is with all the nuts, currants, carrots and cinnamon. I decided to replace raisins with currants and walnuts for pecans, which I had on hand. I also thought the recipe was sweet enough without frosting so I opted for a dash of powdered sugar. My boyfriend came and helped with sprinkling the fillings and rolling it up, which can be a bit tricky yet the best part is seeing it come together. We did need some patience as we waited for the rolls to rise an hour before popping them in the oven, but well worth it. His photographs of the rolls make me wish I made more. Check out the recipe at the link below and best enjoyed right out of the oven!

(Source: healthyfoodforliving.com)

Wholesome Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a staple in the house, especially for weekend breakfasts. I use organic steel-cut oats and cook them over the stove with a dash of vanilla extract and some agave nectar. To top off the oatmeal, I add natural peanut butter and jam, mixed in with a scoop of trail mix. Growing up, my mom would add peanut butter and jam to make what can be a boring breakfast to something to look forward to for my sister and I. It’s definitely packed with a lot of goodness to start the day. Enjoy!

Last night out in Tucson

After discovering Cup Cafe at the Congress Hotel in Tucson, we had to come back and try dinner and enjoy their local drinks. I learned that they literally have the best margarita and won “The World’s Greatest Margarita” in 2010. They also have amazing tamales made with plantains and sweet potatoes served over green rice and their vegan beans topped with pickled carrots. It was delicious and the best tamale I’ve never had. We enjoyed the meal and great conversation under the clear Tucson moon outdoors that was captured perfectly.

(Source: tucson.metromix.com)

Spring Breeze at Simone’s

Sunday’s weather proved to be more summer than spring. We went down to Simone’s to enjoy a bit of the weather as well as some food and drinks. I enjoyed some ice tea and we ordered their quinoa and avocado pizza with grilled onions. The bartender mentioned the option of soy cheese, but later found out that they didn’t have anymore because no one ordered it…of course it seemed like no one knew either! The pizza was still delicious without cheese and came with a shot of my choice: lemon drop. It turned out to be a nice way to spend a warm Sunday afternoon.

(Source: simonesbar.com)

Pick Up Those Butts!

I really hate the idea of smoking not only for the toxic smoke itself, but because of the dirty nasty butts that get thrown away on the street. It is a bad habit of throwing away butts, which is exactly littering. If you know someone who does, please say something or remind them of these tips that I read from the Milwaukee East Side Business Improvement District (which does awesome work with farmers market, etc.):

We’ll give you 4 reasons to do so:
1) Causes harm to the environment - especially our waterways and Lake Michigan
2) Many minors first experiment with smoking by picking up a butt
3) Animals eat them and become sick
4) Unsightly litter brings down our whole neighborhood

Easy steps you can do to help:
1) If you’re a smoker, discard your butts appropriately and make sure your friends do the same
2) If you’re a business owner, don’t skimp on the outdoor ash receptacles. Provide them visibly at each entry point
3) If you’re a business owner, sweep up your property thoroughly, daily to help prevent “butt migration” and hold your neighbor businesses to the same task
4) Place a “Please don’t litter” message on the door of your establishment or residence
5) Build and enforce a no-litter policy with your employees, vendors and guests

(Source: theeastside.org)

Buying Organic: Family Tree

I’m fan of Good Magazine for the fact they try to visualize important information and focus on issues related to health, environment, design, education, media, politics and so much more. This graph below shows the breakdown organic food companies and their parent companies, which can be seen either as a good or bad thing. Good that larger food manufacturers see the value and are producing organic products…and bad, the U.S. food industry is comprised of very large and few food companies that control most of our food. I think one way to look at is to buy more locally grown food and less processed foods, especially from locally owned businesses. Now that spring is in the air, the outdoor farmer’s market is not too far away. Click on the link below to see the actual image.

(Source: GOOD)

» Eco-Paris, oui!

I adore the idea of traveling to Paris and today came across New York Times Travel article centered on an environmentally friendly Paris trip. The article mentions eco-friendly cafes, organic markets, hotels and of course shops. Just recently the famous bicycle sharing program, Velib, celebrated its 4th birthday in Paris. I doubt it’s just a fade and glad to hear more destinations feature more environmentally-friendly and sustainable businesses that will eventually to the norm. Click on the title to see the rest of the article.

(Source: ecovisitparis.com)

Madres Stir-Fry

Last night, I prepared an Indian-style meal using my favorite easy-to-use simmer sauces from Seeds of Change. I’ve tried all 4 different kinds and last night I used Madres, which is more on the medium hot side. Not only is easy and delicious as well as certified organic, their mission is to make “organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers, while preserving countless heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost to the “advances of modern industrial agriculture.” You can also purchase actual seeds and growing kits as well. Here, Jalfrezi sauce completed the dish of small red potatoes, carrots, peas, tofu, onions and garlic served over jasmine rice:

  • 4 carrots diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 6-8 small red potatoes quartered
  • 1/2 c. frozen peas
  • 1/2 lb. of organic firm tofu cubed
  • dash of pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

In a pot, bring water to a boil to soften the potatoes. Once you can pull a fork out of them easily, the potatoes are ready. Once the potatoes have been cooking for a bit, start with a large pan and heat the olive oil. Then add in the garlic and onions for 1-2 minutes. Add in the tofu for 2 minutes, stirring over medium heat. Then the carrots and mix in well. Since the carrots were diced, they should cook through without boiling. Once the potatoes are drained, add them in as well as the peas. Mix together with the Seed of Change sauce and lower heat to simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve over jasmine rice and dash on pepper and/or red pepper flakes for some heat and enjoy!

(Source: seedsofchangefoods.com)

Chicago Diner Turns 28!
Chicago Diner is turning 28 today and they are celebrating with giveaways,  goodies and specials. I would love to make it there tonight, but school  keeps me away. Hope you can make it there. Click to see what they are giving away!

Chicago Diner Turns 28!

Chicago Diner is turning 28 today and they are celebrating with giveaways, goodies and specials. I would love to make it there tonight, but school keeps me away. Hope you can make it there. Click to see what they are giving away!

(Source: veggiediner.com)

Tucson Cup Cafe

My favorite place to eat in Tucson has to be the Cup Cafe located in the Congress Hotel downtown. The hotel itself came recommended by my good friend, Alex, who use to live in Tucson. They have a few bars and a great place to see live shows. The Cup Cafe’s lunch menu had a couple of vegan and vegetarian options, which they were friendly to accommodate. We ordered their tortilla soup, vegan version of their nicoise salad and also a warm (non-vegan) brie, apple compote with arugula sandwich and a Nimbus brew, a local beer, to wash down the great meal. The salad I had was delicious with their bright blue potatoes and vegetables. They also had a tofu scramble and vegan sausages available for a breakfast option and served through lunch. It was a very cool vibe from their menu to the wine bottle chandelier to their service. Highly recommended for anyone’s next Tucson visit!

(Source: hotelcongress.com)

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