Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Meatless Monday

I wonder if there will be lots of us doing "meatless" today, or if it will be a day that folks think they can skip?

After all, what's Memorial Day without the required cookout?

In my world, tho' Memorial Day is a regular workday - not at my place of employment but at my home business. Often I'm slammed trying to get bag orders filled and stock put back ahead of a July show. This year? The show isn't on the agenda, but there are still orders to fill, so my "cookout" becomes an indoor quick-fix event:

A Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burger (yes, there is cheese on it) on a Sandwich Thins wholegrain "bun," broccoli slaw, and fried potatoes (in a little olive oil and with green onions, red and green peppers all chopped with the potatoes, it's just 2 Weight Watchers points). In fact, using a low fat coleslaw dressing that entire meal up there is 8 points for the entire plate. I had points left for mixed berries and fresh pineapple (1.5 total there).

A patriotic meal in record time!

I hope your Memorial Day is not just meatless, but relaxing. Please keep all those who serve our country's interests or have given their lives for our benefit and their families in your thoughts!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do You Feel Hopeless?

The catastrophe in the Gulf has weighed heavily on my mind for weeks (as I'm sure it has your's). I've never been to the area, but that doesn't mean I'm unaware of the incredible importance it holds in the ecosphere. I've been feeling totally overwhelmed and not quite sure what to do to make a difference other than redoubling my efforts at using less petroleum. I've begun to revisit my wish to take public transit as often as possible, and have decided to do a trial run this weekend, stopping downtown at the Farmer's Market, too.

But it's not enough (will anything ever be enough?).

I happened upon this site last night and decided to join up. Matter of Trust is an organization that, among other things, utilizes pet hair and animal fiber (alpaca, sheep!) to stuff pantyhose (even those with runs) to create booms that soak up the oil. They even have a study in process that evaluates whether the oil-soaked booms can then be used to be a fertile ground for mushrooms to reprocess the gunk into something useful. I think the results of that will be fascinating, and I'll be watching to see what happens there.

Right now, they need pantyhose. I've emailed to see if knee highs work as well, because I haven't worn pantyhose in years. Still. I'm going to be collecting The Meezer's and The Tonks fur in a bag to send them when they need more. If we all had a bag of it ready when the call went out? Wouldn't that be a phenominal way to make a difference with something that otherwise would end up in the landfill?

I feel a bit more positive. Organizations and groups that RETHINK this whole process of stuff? Well, that's my favorite kind to support.

And I'm going to keep on rethinking my own daily activities to see where else I can make adjustments to reduce my own need for plastic, petroleum...STUFF!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wise Environmental Choices....

I've been taking baby steps for some time to make smarter choices environmentally. There are plenty of things I've done with the primary focus being to reduce my electric bill (and while I'm sure it would be higher had I not done these things? It sure doesn't seem to be inching downward much - but so go the rate increases, eh?),

I've mentioned in previous posts that I'm trying to find interesting new places to visit (blogs and websites, mostly) with a focus on wise stewardship, environmental activism, and consumerism, too. So when I find something interesting and new, I like to let you all know...

The Conscious Shopper has been mentioned before. I like her style, I love her posts. She's totally committed to reducing her environmental footprint and helping all of us do the same...and right now? She's having an interesting contest.

Another place I visit often is Fake Plastic Fish. Don't you know, she's having a contest, too?

I can't imagine that I could ever get to the point of using no plastic, but because of her blog, I've rethought many things I do. I've finally started buying milk from our local creamery - in returnable glass bottles! I am using the Co-Op for that purchase, but even our local Kroger carries it. I don't use milk a lot, but it's nice to have this option...and the glass bottles are also a happy childhood memory!

On Fake Plastic Fish today, you'll also find links to this post over at Plastic Manners. An interesting addition to the typical Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra, she adds Rethink, Refuse to the three others. Then another addition I like that I've seen elsewhere - like my Ravelry Trash to Treasure group that does so - is Repurpose.

It's all about stopping, not doing the knee jerk reaction of just reaching and buying. Do you need that? If so, is it made from plastic? What will you do with it once it's empty? Can you recycle it? Reuse it? Repurpose it? If not, is there an alternative to the plastic?

With oil spewing into the Gulf, in a castrophic mess that will be with us for years, can we reconsider petroleum-based products completely? What LITTLE thing (or BIG thing?) can each one of us do? I'm planning to take the bus to the Farmer's Market every Saturday for local food, beginning this weekend...See? baby steps.

I know sometimes it feels like one person can't make that much of a difference.

But frankly, I'm coming around more and more to feeling empowered that I can do something at's better than the overwhelming sense of futility that washes over me when I see photos of the coast covered in red slime...

What about you?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Macrobiotic Meatless Monday!

Tonight there simply was no time to cook, I hadn't thought about it at all, and I was hungry. I stopped at the Co-Op and picked up "fast food"

This is Shanhai Dumplings and Spinach Noodles by Macro Bento. I can't do the entire 1/2 a box for a single serving of either (they're spicy!), but that makes them last longer! Hot tea rounds out the macrobiotic meal.

And then I topped it off with a little crystalized ginger to help with digestion (and for a little more spicy-sweetness).

Who says you can't have meatless fast food?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meatless Mondays Lunch This Time

It's that time again, and I've made lunch! It's a simple recipe, as I usually pack my lunches and I want things easy as pie (without the pie)

On the Weight Watchers point system this one weighs in at a heavy (NOT!) 4 points (but then I added strawberries for dessert, and a cup is 1/2 a point, so factor that into your counting)

A Hummus Veggie Wrap on Whole Wheat Tortilla:

(yes, this isn't the best photo, I'd already wrapped it up)

I buy my hummus tho' there are several good recipes out there to use if you want to make your own (if I ever get 20 minutes, I think I'd like to try one of them!). I spread 2 Tbls. of garlic flavored hummus on a warmed wheat tortilla, tossed on some baby spinach leaves, slivered some red pepper strips and drizzled a Ceasar Italian flavored dressing on it - I used a fat-free bottled kind, but you could make your own. IF you use olive oil, remember to add that into your point count, but don't worry, because you're using one of your Good Health Guidelines while you're at it!). I'm careful with the dressing, because I really just want a touch of flavor, not a soupy mess! Roll it up, steam a few spears of asparagus (with a touch of butter on it
for 1 point), salt, pepper, and the whole meal is ready in a flash. And I've got time to knit at my desk during lunch!

Happy Meatless Eating!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meatless Monday Again!

For once I can claim credit for this recipe. I devised it after having something very similar at a fancy dinner some years ago:

Strawberry Spinach Salad
(I'm giving general quantities - I made this for just one serving)

1 cup fresh organic spinach, loosely packed
4-5 fresh strawberries, sliced (or more if you're like me and love them)
5 English walnuts chopped
2-3 Tbsp low-fat feta cheese (to taste)
Ken's fat-free Raspberry Walnut Vinagrette
(you may add slivered red or Vidalia onions to taste, my digestive system can't have them, but wish it could!)

Do I really need to give you directions to assemble? I think not.

(In the winter? Substitute canned mandarin oranges - or a clemantine, sectioned - it's every bit as good, and a fine salad to add to a soup or veggie chili meal.)
Enjoy - Thankfully, 'tis the season for the freshest of ingredients...and wow is this good.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Meatless Monday!

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry):

I can't take credit for the recipe, I found it here. I had no idea how it would come out, but it's good! I input all the ingredients to Weight Watchers e-Tools, and came back with 2 points per serving. Since it made 4 servings, and I was hungry, I doubled my portion for 4 points. Three points for the Na'an (which is storebought) and I thought I was in heaven for a dinner at 7 points!

I will tell you that I automatically chopped the onions, and then realized the recipe called for sliced (oops!). Then I did not have the garlic paste. There's an hysterical youTube video out there telling you how to make your own garlic paste, but I just mixed equal parts of minced garlic and finely grated fresh ginger into the mixture and didn't worry about it (yes, that's what garlic paste is. Equal parts of the two ingredients and perhaps a little water to make a paste...IF I could have found my mortar and pestle, I'd have made it up. Unfortunately, that's one thing that hasn't been unpacked since the move (three years ago).

Anyway! A great, warming meal (which I made last week when it was really quite chilly and appreciated no end!), not too difficult to make. Happy Meatless Monday!