Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ham-Ageddon, A-Pork-Alypse is coming!

Ham-Ageddon, A-Pork-Alypse, whatever you want to call it, it’s coming! China has even set up a “strategic pork reserve.”

With the drought this past summer, corn and soybean crops have left slim pickins for the piggies. Some farmers sold out before the price of feed has had a chance to rise drastically, others are planning on the shortage to come. Studies have shown that animal fats are partly responsible for obesity and its related health problems. Research has also shown that it takes less food and water to feed a human in one year than it does to feed a pig. This is a good time for humans! Like Garth Brooks says, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” Bingo! Less pork, less cholesterol. Eat grain instead! I know, I know. 

The good news is that Jim Cramer says that Kellogg’s stock is going to soar because of the price of a box of Corn Flakes! Here’s my point; If you have been trying to lose weight and lower your cholesterol by eating less animal fat, now is a perfect opportunity to try. Maybe you could have bean burritos on pork chop night, or a giant salad with everything in it like sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, beets! I wouldn’t feel good about hoarding pork strategically. That doesn’t feel right to me. As a vegetarian, this pork thing isn’t going to affect me. Nobody has mentioned what will happen to those soy products that I buy. Gotta go! I’m going to fill my freezer with those Garden Burgers made with soybeans and corn! Call me a hoarder, but get me to Whole Foods! 

Kelloggs stock? I'm watching it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's been a month?

Can't believe that it's been a month since I posted here. The garden is finally winding down and we're getting ready for a short road trip.

The Fit Horse Companion has made it's way to Kindle and Nook in an ebook version and can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I've learned my lessons in publishing. From now on, all publications will be in the form of ebooks.

We are still working hard at creating vegan menus and have had some incredible garden feasts this summer.

Our Holistic Lifestyle Retreats will be resuming at the beginning of October, and we look forward to cooking, exercising, and teaching meditation and relaxation to our clients at the secluded Hot Springs Ranch in the Colorado Rockies. What a great way to live. We benefit as much as our guests.

Go Crazy On Chickpeas

Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans are a legume that is high in protein and fiber, and low in fat. Grown in the Mediterranean, these beans are a major staple all over the world. The Arabic word for Chickpeas is Hummus which we know as a creamy spread used in many recipes. A vegan chef should get acquainted with Chickpeas and their many uses. Incorporating protein into as many recipes as possible is one of the easiest ways to build a balanced daily menu. I incorporate Chickpeas and sesame seeds into my basic hummus paste recipe to complete the protein. You can use whatever seeds or nuts that you want, but I do it for the nutrition found in sesame seeds. By putting the seeds or nuts into the food processor, you will create a smooth and creamy base. Now, here is the key; Depending on what you plan to do with the basic hummus paste, you will add the rest of your ingredients. A basic hummus recipe calls for oil. If hummus is all that you plan to make, then olive oil is a perfect oil. If you are going to make a cheesy paste filling for lasagne, then olive oil is perfect. If you plan on making a cheesy type dessert like cheesecake, then something more tasteless like Canola or Grapeseed oil might be a better choice.

I generally make two large cans of Chickpea paste at once. By having a container of creamy chickpea paste in the fridge, here is what I do. I take out however much I will be using for Hummus and add garlic, herbs, and whatever else I want in my hummus for the week and use that. We use hummus in wraps, on celery, for dips, etc. If I am making lasagne, I separate some out and add a little garlic, a little extra herbs, maybe some olives or nuts, and put it in the layers of lasagne. If I am making cheesecake, I separate some out and add a little Agave and some cashews and re-puree it in the food processor so that it makes a creamy and sweet vegan cheesecake filler. 

Chickpeas are high in zinc, folate, and protein. When you add nuts or seeds, you can complete the protein, and adding herbs only adds more nutrients. With the basic hummus already creamed in the fridge, you’re on your way to salad dressings, hummus, cheesecake, lasagne, and more. I have discovered these recipes simply by having the basic creamed Chickpeas on hand and have gotten creative with it. Try putting some in your salad dressing bottle with lemon, vinegar, herbs, miso, and water, Voila! See what I mean?