Guest post by Kylie Bennett
Lifelong vegan Makini Howell left the bustling streets of New York City in 2005 to open up Plum Bistro in Seattle, WA. Her vision for Plum was to have a place where vegans and omnivores could come together in one community and leave feeling completely satisfied. Out of this restaurant came the cookbook Plum, full of inventive vegan dishes that are bursting flavor and fun to make.
I found out by chance that today is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day! I'm sure every day is a national celebration for some random ingredient, but none the less I felt inspired to write about this one because I happen to be a peanut butter lover. Funny enough, this is something that I struggled with up until September 2012. Why? Because I knew peanut butter wasn't the healthiest food. I realized one day that very few healthy vegan recipes call for peanut butter and wondered why, since it's just blended organic nuts (I haven't had the sugary or salty variety in years). Then I figured it out.
This list of Valentine’s tips appeared in my inbox from a site called Queendom.com - these ideas are so sweet and simple I had to share.
· Forget the dozen roses. Buy one, wrapped with a ribbon. (I add: **make sure it is organic, locally grown and fair-trade!**)
· Show up at your partner's workplace and whisk him or her away for (a healthy) lunch.
· Place a love note in your partner’s lunch bag or on the bathroom mirror.
· Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine, and drive out to a place where you can see the stars. (better yet, bike, walk or take public transportation!)
· Slow dance in your living room. (or get silly and dance to a fun, old school song!)
· Meet at a local hang-out and pretend you’re two strangers flirting with each other.
· Build a little bonfire in your backyard and make chocolate (vegan) Smores.
· Get tango or salsa lessons together.
And remember, V-Day doesn't have to be about being in a relationship - celebrate it with your friends, family, animal companions and/or yourself! I explored the importance of this (and following your heart) in this video with Charles from RawYouth.org:
This salad is incredibly easy to make and is a delicious example of how great veggies can be without oil or dressing. It's also a great way to feature kale in a dish. Though it is raw and unprocessed, keep in mind that the avocado and seeds add a significant amount of fat, so if you're trying to cut back on that you may want to reduce the amount suggested in this recipe. From an eco standpoint, this meal is wonderful because you can get everything without packaging!
Type the word "vegan" on YouTube or do a web search for vegan recipes and you'll immediately come across The Vegan Zombie, a video series that shows how fun, simple, and flavorful plant-based cooking can be. I've admired this channel since discovering it last year, especially because of the professional camera work and editing that goes into it. You may have caught me mentioning them in one of my Weekly Roundup videos, which is how I got to know them personally. Chris, the man behind the magic, tried to arrange a video collaboration in December but my crazy schedule prevented me from doing my part. Fortunately their home/film set near Syracuse, NY was directly on the way to Massachusetts during my cross country road trip so I stopped in and we made the following video recipe together.
I had the pleasure of making a meal with my fabulous new intern Junghwa of An Apple A Day and together we prepared 2 raw recipes. She picked out the Spanish "Rice" from Unprocessed by Chef AJ and I chose the Marvelous Minestrone from Ani Phyo's new book 15-Day Fat Blast. These are great recipes for summer, whether you're trying to lose weight, get healthier or incorporate more fresh, whole foods into your diet without unecessary additives like salt, oil and sugar. In fact, these are acceptable for the 80/10/10 diet as well.
I love Google Analytics. It's an amazing tool that shows website owners practically everything about the traffic coming to their site. And not in a creepy way, it's actually very useful. I'm always most fascinated with the ways people have discovered my site. Today I looked at the Top 50 keywords used to find my site and thought I'd put them in a post to help others find what they're looking for faster. If this is your first time here, Welcome to Eco-Vegan Gal!