Posted in Uncategorized

Guess who’s back? Back? Back?

I’ve been traveling wide and far, searching for Vegataria…

but it’s been difficult lately. But I’m back now! And for real this time!

Life’s been pretty busy. I’ve been freelance writing, classes have started up again (whoop!), and [im]patiently waiting for fall to begin and for the unbearably hot summer to end.

With all that said, I’m going to start posting regularly again. Hooray! I’ll be hitting you up with a food log tomorrow, but the food logs are going to start being a little different lately. It’ll be great.

Probably.

Posted in HOW TO

HOW TO: Not Use Plastic Utensils

When you think of barbecues and eating out, the last thing you want to think about is saving on plastic.

It’s so easy to just use that plastic McDonald’s fork in its plastic wrap, and to just throw it away when you’re done. But there is an even easier, plastic-free way.

Meet the Realtree Camper Tool. It’s advertised for camping use (hence the name), but I carry one in my purse for when I eat while I am out. It’s so handy, and people are actually really impressed with the novelty of it. It’s really funny to watch people get excited about this thing. I gave a presentation at my college about waste, and everyone was so amused by it. I’m not exaggerating. It was like a celebrity. This is also really handy when I get frozen yogurt or ice cream with friends, instead of using the plastic spoons they give you. I got mine from Boscov’s, but you can order yours online (see hyperlink above).

Posted in HOW TO

HOW TO: Bread? Yes. How to bread.

Those poor plastic bread bags. So misunderstood, so underappreciated. Nobody thinks to try to recycle these guys, and they’re plastic bags. For shame.

When you’re grocery shopping, try to aim for the artisan breads in the bakery. “What? Artisan?” You’re probably asking your computer (you really have to stop asking inanimate objects rhetorical questions), “that sounds expensive!” The loaves may be more expensive than the standard loaf-in-bag you normally buy, but most artisan loaves in the bakery don’t come in plastic bags. Try bringing your own cloth bag or clean pillow case to keep the bread fresh-maybe even reuse a plastic bread bag. Bakeries will also slice loaves of bread if you don’t want to sprinkle your house with bread crumbs while trying to cut the loaves. Making your own bread is also a viable option.

Posted in HOW TO

HOW T-Reeeeusable cups!

They’re so wonderful, right?

You can store hot and cold drinks in all different shapes and sizes of cups, and most are machine washable. Plus, you can use them to even buy drinks you wouldn’t normally think you’d be able to bring your own cup for. Some coffee shops and convenience stores will even give you a discount for bringing your own.

Posted in Food logs

[Vegan]dinner and movie?

I may have swallowed too much toothpaste as a kid, but I have this issue (among many other issues I can’t entirely blame on flouride): I spend an hour, maybe two, making this super healthy, super creative vegan meal, and then by the time it’s done…

I’m not hungry anymore.

Not even hungry enough to have a little. I’m a negative amount of hungry. And I don’t eat anything while I’m cooking, either. Maybe if I had to lose weight, cooking would be a good tactic. So maybe we all need to hang out and eat the food I make. Because the dinner I made (and didn’t eat) looks scrumptious.

Thanks to garlic, I’ve also realized that I am not a fancy person. A lot of recipes call for garlic cloves, and the closest I have is garlic salt and powder. Perhaps I should buy some garlic…

Anyway, here’s food:

Fruit salad (plum, watermelon, canteloupe, cherry, apple, blueberry, doughnut peach)

What I love about fruit salads is that you can literally put anything in them. I was halfway considering putting carrots in this, but I decided not to for the sake of texture. It’s a ridiculously easy way to get a whole mess of nutrients and make sure that you’re eating fruits of all different colors. If you’re wary about trying a new fruit, toss it in a fruit salad with fruits you like! This will disguise the flavor and texture to an extent, so you get over your fear of inanimate produce. If you’ve got some fruit going bad, fruit salads are handy. This is a pretty large salad, so I’m good on breakfast and snacks for at least the next two days, and that’s another helpful thing: I have healthy, ready-to-eat snacks on hand instead of staring at the fridge and missing cheese (as an aside, I’ve been craving bread for the past week. The entire week, every day). Being vegan feels daunting because all the meals and snacks are advertised as requiring preparation and fresh garlic cloves and squirts of fresh lime, and this misconception, while not entirely inaccurate, is really a misunderstanding. A lot of the things you ate [eat] before you went [go] vegan are still options: fruits and veggies? Yup. Ice cream? Not the dairy stuff, but take your pick of coconut, almond, cashew or soy. Being vegan isn’t difficult; people who are vegan just like to show off.

Sauetted broccoli rabe

If you’ve never had broccoli rabe, stop whatever you’re doing and get some. I’ll wait to hear about the highway accidents on the news. It seems strange and a little complicated to prepare at first, but it’s actually really easy to do and so yummy. It tastes really healthy, too. It’s so simple to prepare that  I can just post the instructions here without having to hyperlink anything.This process is called blanchingfor the record.

  1. Cut off all of the non-leafy stems of the rabe.
  2. Prep a large pot of boiling, “well-salted” water and a “well-salted” ice bath (the site I used said “well-salted,” but you don’t want to make it too salty. I’m honestly not sure what the salt does here; maybe flavor? For the ice bath I just filled the small sink in the kitchen with ice and put in some ice cubes to save a bowl.
  3.  Cook the greens in the boiling water for one minute (just one!).
  4. Immediately (the word immediately scared me when I was doing this) transfer the greens to the ice bath and wait till they cool. When you take the greens out of the boiling water, the water in the pot will be a brownish color (not saying you’re doing something wrong if the water isn’t this color; I just thought I should make note of that here).
  5. Take the greens out of the ice bath and squeeze the water out.

And you’re done! They’re technically considered cooked now, and you can either eat them as is (they’re really yummy), or you can sauette them, or line your cat’s litter box with them. Easy, right? The guy who sold them to me (“watcha buyin’ stranga’?”) told me that blanching them removes the bitter flavor and that they’re also good on sandwiches.

Baked squash with tomato, green peppers, baby carrots, celery and bread crumbs

This is the bigun. Here’s the recipe for this.  Mine looks nowhere this pretty, but it’s the summer and my hair is always oily because I’m sweating so much all the time and have anxiety issues so get over it.

*ahem. Excuse me. It’s just that my hair has been oily most of the time because it has been hot most of the time, and even though it’s short now, I’m really considering shaving it all off again. This issue has just been bothering me the past two weeks, and I needed to vent.

I honestly lost my train of thought.

Ah, there it is. Choo-choo, little train.

Like I’ve said before, squash notoriously goes bad in my house from neglect. BUT, I looked up how to store it correctly, and even though it’s been a week since I put it in the fridge and forgot about it, it was just as fresh and firm as the day I bought it. Phew.

Even though I didn’t eat it yet, I’m super excited to try it.

Posted in HOW TO

HOW TO: Stop Using Paper Entirely (Not really. I’m a writer, I can’t say that)

Once you become aware of how much paper gets wasted, your spidey senses will be tingling all over. Sorry about that.

But there are easy ways to reduce your paper waste.

Paper plates: Don’t use them if you can avoid it. When we have barbecues at home, I use a plate and utensils from inside the house.

Napkins: Find an old bandana or cloth you don’t mind rubbing on your face and use that instead. I carry one of those, folded up in the triangle style I used for plastic bags, along with my Realtree tool. You can wash these however much you want to keep it sanitary, and you can also clean up any spills.

Paper towels: Use the hand dryer if you can, or bring your own cloth towel in your purse or bag. You can also just wipe it on your pants.

Toilet paper: I know, I know, but hear me out. Not using toilet paper is doable, and in a very sanitary and healthy way. I’ll let this link explain it better than I can. Seriously, give it a chance. Stop making that face.