Tag: food

Coronavirus and the Lethal Gifts of Livestock

With the Coronavirus (or Covid-19) wreaking havoc on our society, we thought it was timely to rebroadcast this episode. Coronavirus is one of many zoonotic diseases — diseases that jump from non-human animals to human animals.  

A “wet market” in Wuhan, China, is most likely where this strain of the coronavirus started. At many “wet markets,” meat, poultry, and seafood are sold alongside live animals for consumption. It is our very consumption of animals and their products that has bestowed upon us what Guns, Germs, and Steel author Jared Diamond calls the “lethal gifts of livestock.” Our abuse of nature comes full-circle and at a heavy price for both the consumer and the consumed.

Being animals ourselves, it makes sense that we share many of the same diseases as our non-human cousins. We aren’t – after all – plants. We aren’t at risk for catching aphids or sooty mold or downy mildew.

In fact, many of the major killer pandemics we’ve been plagued with were acquired from non-human animals. Here are just a few:

we got tuberculosis from cattle, influenza from pigs and birds, whooping cough from pigs and dogs, smallpox from cattle, and of course cowpox from cows. Even HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is believed to have been first transmitted to humans through the butchering and consumption of infected chimpanzees.

Crispy Curly Carrot Fries

I’m officially addicted and will be turning orange very soon! I’m already a carrot freak, but these little curlicues are a game-changer! I call them carrot fries, but many names will suffice: 

  • carrot curls
  • carrot straws
  • carrot chips

The bottom line is that these carrot fries are crispy, curly, delicious, nutritious, and easy to make — and they empower you to eat by color! My go-to appliance for making them is an air fryer, and if you don’t have one yet, I don’t even know what to say. I have the Ninja 4-quart Air Fryer* and use it every day! 

 

ninja air fryer carrot fries

 

If you don’t have an air fryer (!!!!!) you can use a dehydrator, oven, or countertop / toaster oven. But I’m just gonna say it again, the air fryer has been the best small-appliance addition to my kitchen (next to the pressure cooker). OK. Nuff said. 

Back to our curly carrot fries. Because they shrink down a ton once they’re cooked (see before and after below), you’ll want to use 2 to 3 carrots, depending on what you’re using them for. 

To make your curly carrot fries:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. large carrots, ends cut off and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
  • ½ chipotle chili powder (or whatever your favorite chili powder is)
  • Salt, to taste

If you’re using an oven, preheat to 200°F. If using an air fryer, no need to preheat. 

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, slice long thin strips of carrots. Pat dry to eliminate any excess moisture, and add to a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle on the olive oil, and using your hand, coat all of the carrot strips with olive oil. 
  3. Sprinkle in the chili powder and salt, and toss with tongs until well combined.
  4. If using an oven or dehydrator, spread the strips on an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or dehydrator tray. If using an air fryer, just add them to the tray and try to space them out so they’re not overlapping.  
  5. Sprinkle with a little salt.
  6. Bake in the oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, the dehydrator (at 115 degrees F) for 8 hours, and the air fryer … for minutes. Seriously! Why would you want to wait? For the air fryer, turn the temperature down to 300 degrees F for 6 minutes. Toss with a fork, and set for 2 more minutes or until desired crispiness. 

If you have the discipline to store them (once they’re cooled) I salute you. Otherwise, eat as a snack, OR top polenta, black beans, or pizza! ENJOY!

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And you’re welcome!?

HAVE YOU MADE THEM YET?  LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK AND HOW YOU SERVED / ATE THEM!

*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualified sales. 

How Zero Waste Changed the Way I Eat (And Why Baby Carrots Are Evil)

Once you decide to make zero-waste, plastic-free, low- or no-packaging a priority in your life, you learn very quickly you have to make some changes when it comes to what you buy, how you shop, what you eat, and how you cook. Some might find this an inconvenience. I find it an adventure. Journey with me as I share some reflections on favorite foods and how my relationship with them has changed since “becoming zero-waste.”  Oh right, and I’ll also share with you WHY BABY CARROTS ARE EVIL from this joyful vegan’s point of view. 

Thank you to supporters for making this a 100% listener-supported podcast. Become a supporter at patreon.com/colleenpatrickgoudreau!

Five Favorite Foods: Bananas, Cauliflower, Japanese Sweet Potatoes, Popcorn, Olives

When is a banana not simply a banana? Which food (on my least-favorite food list) is an animalogy? How many ways can you eat cauliflower? Which olive was my “gateway olive” to loving olives? How (strangely) do I eat popcorn? Answers to these and many more questions, particularly, “what are your favorite foods?” can be found within. Grab some popcorn balls and take a listen, then let me know your food favorites and food quirks!

PLEASE SHARE AND COMMENT (especially if you eat popcorn balls!) 🙂

25 Meaningful Zero-Waste, Ethical Gifts

Aspiring to live “zero-waste” doesn’t mean being perfect or never buying anything ever again. It means valuing and taking responsibility for what we bring into our lives or into the lives of others.  This list first debuted on my Food for Thought Podcast, so if you’d like to hear it in the context of a larger story about living meaningfully, compassionately, and thoughtfully, check out the episode Lessons and Gifts: Making Meaningful Holidays (and Lives).

As for our list, I’ve categorized them into a few different categories and look forward to hearing your thoughts and your ideas for meaningful, zero-waste, ethical gifts. Please use the comments below to do so!

FOOD

  1. Loose Tea — find your favorite in bulk or in tins; if you order from FarLeaves.com (their tins are reusable and recyclable), enter “colleen” as the coupon code for 10% off
  2. Herbs and Spices — If you can’t find them in bulk near you, you should be able to find spices and herbs in glass jars (which can be reused again and again).  When creating your gift for others, you can make theme-based gift packets, such as “baking spices” (including cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom), or “Italian herbs” (including parsley, basil, and oregano), or “favorite herbs for soup.” You get the idea. Add the spice jars to a basket and wrap in a pretty kitchen towel and raffia ribbon.
  3. Fruit and Nut Basket — Go to a local farm stand or farmers market and buy some beautiful seasonal fruits like persimmon, pomegranates, and apples and some whole walnuts (along with a nice metal nutcracker) — even a jar of local or homemade jam and create a gift basket. Add a couple hand-written recipes that feature the fruits you’ve included. 
  4. Ready-to-Bake Ingredients in a Jar — Instead of giving chocolate chip cookies, what about giving chocolate chip cookies ingredients (and promising to come over and bake with your friend)! Get a bunch of jars from a thrift store and add exactly the amount of all the ingredients in each jar, along with the recipe itself. Make it more special by adding a pie plate or cupcake tin, and pack it up in a pretty paper box. 
  5. Homemade Baked Goods — Bake a pie, crumble, or cobbler and hand-deliver your gift! Make my Caramel Popcorn (from The Joy of Vegan Baking), and present it in a pretty  tin. There are so many ways to create a pretty presentation of homemade goodies.

REUSABLES
Give these individually, as stocking stuffers, or Secret Santa gifts — or create a gift pack of some or all of these. (If you order online, just call when you’re placing your order to request using only paper and not plastic packing materials.)

  1. Reusable straws
  2. Stainless steel food containers
  3. Reusable coffee cups
  4. Reusable grocery shopping bags
  5. Reusable produce bags
  6. Reusable water bottles
  7. Reusable tea thermos (you know me and my favorite tea thermos!)
  8. Reusable shampoo and conditioner bottles
  9. Reusable travel cutlery set
  10.  

EXPERIENCES

  1. The 30-Day Vegan Challenge Online Course 
  2. Concert or Theatre Tickets  — Either find a theatre near your recipient and pick a show you think they’d like to see, or buy a gift certificate from the theatre so your recipient can choose exactly what show they want to attend. 
  3. The Gift of Time (in a Coupon Book): Something I’ve done over many years is create a little coupon book, which you can make as simple or as elaborate as you like, that you give to a loved one for them to redeem — for a massage, a home-cooked meal, a movie, a walk, a hike, a dance — whatever experiences you want to encourage you loved one to ask you for. There are companies that sell these nowadays, but I just like making my own. 
  4. Travel by Theme: My husband David and I set for ourselves the goal to sleep in every county in California. When we lived on the east coast, one theme was “Literary / Author’s Houses” (and still is, depending on where we go) as well as “Lighthouses of New England.” The National Parks of North America is another on our list, and that can be done either by driving or by train! (Travel doesn’t have to include flying, though if you want it to, then I recommend my CPG Vegan Trips!)
  5. Local Walking Tours. Many cities have walking tours led by docents who love where they live and relish sharing the history of the place with others. Lots of cities also have themed walking tours — they might be literary, history, architectural, women’s history, etc. (For those who came to my Compassion in Action a couple years ago, I led a walking tour of the animal protection history in Oakland!). Contact a city’s chamber of commerce and register you and a friend today! Many are free; some ask for donations, some you pay a minimal fee for — it’s worth it! I promise!

BOOKS 
 Obviously, as a writer and a reader, I’m a huge fan of books — even if they’re ebooks or audiobooks. I usually buy a bunch of my favorite books to give out throughout the year, and I’ve listed some below that I use as manuals for living every day. I encourage you to create your own.

  1. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (trans. Stephen Mitchell)
  2. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (trans. Gregory Hays)
  3. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  4. Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
  5. Zooburbia by Tal Moses
  6. Commonplace Book and / or Blank Journals — I journal every day, but I also keep a common book inspired by the Stoics. (Ryan Holiday explains here.) The idea is to not only record your own thoughts (blank journaling/free-writing) but also to record quotes and thoughts of others you find meaningful and want to remember. The act of just writing down meaningful sentences and paragraphs penetrates your mind even more than just reading them. 

BONUS IDEA: MY BOOKS. I’m an author. I’m proud of my seven babies. If you’d like to buy one or more as gifts for others, you’ve made it worth the work I’ve put into each of them. Thank you. 

ENJOY!


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The first-EVER vegan tours to the south of France!

People often ask me how to find plant-based cuisine while traveling around the world, and I often remind them that fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, beans, lentils, herbs, and spices are kind of universal. They’re not just for vegans. 

I also assure them that cities (more than rural areas) always have international restaurants at which you can find delicious animal-free meals. 

However, one region that can be particularly difficult to enjoy  culinarily without feeling deprived is the south of France. While Paris (as most cities) is more progressive than the rest of the country when it comes to vegan restaurants, shops, and attitudes, the south of France … less so. Although you won’t starve (your best bet is to rent a house with a kitchen so you can prepare your own meals), your food choices will be very limited when eating out. The above said plant foods are tainted by dairy-based cheeses, animal-derived cream, fish sauces and pastes, and animal fat, particularly fat from ducks.

Marseille is the seafood capital of Provence (hence, bouillabaisse), lamb and beef are the most popular meats from land animals,  foie gras is common everywhere, and duck fat is the preferred cooking fat—ruining even the favorite default of every desperate vegan: french fries.

That’s where CPG Vegan Trips / World Vegan Travel comes in. We have JUST RELEASED to the public our Summer 2020 trips: to the enchanting Dordogne region and to the charming Provence region.

Aside from the 4- and 5-star accommodations, incredible excursions, outdoor adventures we will be enjoying, our travelers will also get to partake in the local cuisine—animal-product-free. Of course where are a few local dishes that are already plant-based by default, such as ratatouille and pistou, but we go above and beyond to feature vegan versions of the dishes that make this region famous, such as:

  •  bouillabaisse
  • tapenade
  • salade nicoise
  • tarte au citron
  • ‘faux’ gras
  • various cheeses
  • and so much more!

Partnered with my good friends and travel aficionados World Vegan Travel, I am so thrilled to offer these two exciting trips—the first-EVER vegan tours to these regions. You can sign up for each separately or sign up for both and get a discount. 

All of the details are on the websites below, where you can also see and sign up for our last vegan trip for 2020: to beautiful Botswana and Cape Town (only a few spots left)!

Dordogne, France (June 2020)
Provence, France (July 2020)
Botswana & Cape Town (December 2020)

These trips sell out very quickly, so don’t delay! By securing your spot TODAY, you have ONE YEAR to prepare for these 2020 trips! Visit WorldVeganTravel.com to learn more, ask questions, and secure your spot! 

___________________

PREVIOUS AND ONGOING CPG VEGAN TRIPS:

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Our vegan trips are all about ANIMAL PROTECTION, DELICIOUS REGIONAL PLANT-BASED  CUISINE, LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE, JOY, and SO MUCH LAUGHTER. We’re all about spoiling you! You can get a sense of the awesomeness of our 5-star trips watching this video from our Thailand trip.

5-Star Vegan Travel (Join Me!)

Partnered with my good friends and travel aficionados World Vegan Travel, our vegan trips now span several continents! With the trips we’ve added for 2019 and 2020, you can now join us in Africa, Europe, and Asia! 

Alsace, France (December 2019)
Dordogne, France (June 2020)
Provence, France (July 2020)
Botswana & Cape Town (December 2020)

We sold out of our 2019 trips to Rwanda within a week, so don’t delay! By securing your spot TODAY, you have ONE YEAR to prepare for these 2020 trips! Visit WorldVeganTravel.com to learn more, ask questions, and put your deposit down for one of our trips! 

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Our vegan trips are all about ANIMAL PROTECTION, DELICIOUS REGIONAL PLANT-BASED  CUISINE, LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE, JOY, and SO MUCH LAUGHTER. We’re all about spoiling you! You can get a sense of the awesomeness of our 5-star trips watching this video from our Thailand trip.

DON’T MISS OUT THIS TIME! BOOK TODAY!

Lentil Meatballs {Recipe}

Of course there are commercial vegan meatballs in the store, but in just a short time, you can enjoy a more delicious, more healthful, more affordable, zero-waste, plastic-free version! These are fantastic over traditional pasta or zoodles, pasta made from zucchini!

ADVANCE PREPARATION REQUIRED

Ingredients

2 tablespoons water for sauteing

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup dried brown lentils

2-½ cups water

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water, blended in a food processor or blender for about 1 minute or until thick and gelatinous

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Italian-style or plain)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon ground fennel seed

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste

¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Marinara sauce of your choosing

Directions

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat up the water in a large sauté pan, and add the onion. Sauté over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for another minute.  

Add the lentils, water, and ½ teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. (If there is still some water left in the pot when the lentils have finished cooking, drain it in a strainer. If the water evaporates too quickly for the lentils to properly cook, add a bit more water.

When the lentils are done, place them in the bowl along with the flax seed mixture. Add in the bread crumbs and all the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Taste for salt, and add the remaining ½ teaspoon, if needed.

Mash the mixture with a potato masher or fork until the lentils are broken up and the mixture is sticky enough to hold together when rolled into balls. You want the mixture to be soft but not a paste.

Let the mixture sit covered in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes, up to 24 hours.

When ready to prepare, squish the mixture with your hands. The mixture should be quite wet and able to be formed into balls that will stay together when cooked. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs. If it’s too dry, add a little water.

Taste, and add more salt or other seasoning, if desired.

Shape the lentil mixture into balls of your desired size. You can make them large like golf balls or smaller. To create uniform sizes, use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop.

Next, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the same large sauté pan you used to sauté the onions, or use a nonstick pan to brown the lentil balls. Turn your stove to medium heat. Brown the lentil balls on all sides. If using right away, add them to a large pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serve with pasta and your favorite marinara sauce with fresh parsley sprinkled on top — or on a hearty roll with sauce and vegan cheese for a meatball sub!

For Your Information

The longer you leave the lentil balls in the marinara sauce, the more they’ll break down, which is still delicious — it becomes more of a “meat” sauce. However, if you’d like them to keep their shape, heat the sauce separately, and pour it onto the pasta and the lentil balls while everything is still hot.

For Your Modification

You can make a gluten-free version with a gluten-free flour of your choice or with rolled oats. Pulse rolled oats in a food processor until they are ground into a powder-like consistency. One cup of whole rolled oats yields the equivalent amount of oat flour.

Soy-free, wheat- and gluten-free (if using wheat-free flour)

Minestrone Soup with Kale {Recipe}

The addition of kale in this classic comfort soup makes it even better, certainly more nutritious, and definitely more colorful! PLUS, it’s vegan / plant-based / animal product-free!

The Italian word minestrone refers to a large, hearty soup. The soup itself is part of what is known in Italy as cucina povera — literally “poor kitchen,” referring to the necessity of creating dishes based on what was available and in season. As it has been passed down through the ages, there is no fixed recipe and lends itself to many variations.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil or water for sautéing
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
One 15-ounce can or equivalent fresh diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cups white beans (Cannellini, Great Northern, navy)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
6 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 cup soup pasta (elbow macaroni, shells, etc.), cooked
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat the oil or water in a large soup pot over medium heat, and add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onion turns translucent and the carrots glisten, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute or so, until the garlic begins to smell fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit.

Add the beans, kale, parsley, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the flavors are all incorporated.

Add the pasta, and stir to incorporate. Cook for 5 minutes more, tasting and adjusting the salt and pepper as needed, then remove from heat and serve.

What more fantastic vegan recipes? Have you checked out my cookbooks? 

The Joy of Vegan Baking 

The Vegan Table

Color Me Vegan

The 30Day Vegan Challenge

Yield: 6 servings

Oil-free if using water to sauté, soy-free

GET YOUR FREE JOYFUL VEGAN GUIDE

Includes delicious plant-based recipes and a meal plan!




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