Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Movies and Moong Beans

I had a very chill weekend - I watched a lot of movies! I watched The Purple Rose of Cairo, The Opposite of Sex, Dear John, Love Story, and Bright Star. The Purple Rose of Cairo is one of Woody Allen's biggest hits and I did like it. Jeff Daniels was adorable! I grew up thinking of him as Harry from Dumb and Dumber so it's funny to see him in a "heart-throb" role. I didn't love The Opposite of Sex, it was just OK. Dear John was enjoyable, and I was impressed with Channing Tatum. He was really natural and great with this honest, almost shy dialogue. I really liked Love Story. Ryan O'Neal was great and Ali MacGraw's wardrobe was amazing. I seriously want all those clothes!!!

Bright Star was the best movie I saw all weekend, and if you haven't seen it, you should. It's a 2009 film directed by Jane Campion about John Keats' romance with Fanny Brawne. The acting was beautiful, the cinematography is beautiful, the poetry is beautiful. The whole movie just fills and breaks your heart. The music is fantastic. And I will forever be grateful to this movie for introducing me to John Keats' poetry. I probably wouldn't have had a reason to become interested in Keats if not for this film. Several of his poems are read in the movie, including over the closing credits. It's gorgeous. Just really gorgeous. Please watch it.

I've also been a busy little actor. I went to the LA Actors Tweetup last night and went to a workshop with an agent tonight. And, in some big news, I joined AFTRA, one of the two actors' unions. I'm excited to be a union member! The unions are very important for actors because people are so desperate to work that they'll endure really inhumane conditions and terrible pay and the unions do a lot to protect us.

I went to the farmers' market on Sunday and yesterday I made a big pot of veggie stew. It was kind of a mix of my Green and Orange Soup and Curry Veggie Stew but instead of using split peas, I used about a cup of mung beans that I soaked overnight.

If you are unfamiliar, these are mung beans -


They're small and green, with a very mild flavor and soft texture. I soaked them overnight and they cooked in about an hour.

I put some of the stew in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 and made "Veggie Casserole."


Ahhh, look at all that spinach! I sprinkled nutritional yeast on at the end.

One of my most interesting purchases at the farmers' market was a persimmon! I've never eaten one before but they had some samples and it tasted good so I bought one.





I ate about half of it raw and crunchy like an apple. It was tasty. I'm going to use the rest of it in a savory recipe I'm making tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'm going to a free screening of Halle Berry's new movie and she's going to be there for a Q & A afterwards. I'm excited!

Have you seen any of the movies I mentioned? Did you like them?
Do you have any good persimmon recipes?

Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm Thankful for the Whole Foods Salad Bar!

I had a nice Thanksgiving. My roommate thought I was lying when I said I didn't want to celebrate and so she thinks I'm crazy/sad/anti-social but really I had a good time. I worked out, caught up on some TV and movies, got some work done, read blogs, and went to Whole Foods for lunch. I watched Fringe and The Office on Hulu and the movies Valley Girl and I Am Love on Netflix instant view. Tilda Swinton learned Italian for I Am Love and is getting Oscar buzz. If you like artsy foreign films, check it out. I also made some postcards to send to acting contacts with this on-set photo from Big Shoes to Fill:



But I like this one, too -



While I was perusing the salad bar at Whole Foods a guy came up and struck up a conversation with me and asked for my number! In case you're worried about my safety, I did not give it to him. But I'll take the ego boost anyway.

This roasted beet and butternut squash dish was both on sale and completely delicious. I'm going to try and recreate it soon.



It had beets, butternut squash, onion, parsley, garlic, dijon mustard, apple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper.

I got a bunch of stuff from the salad bar:





You can see marinated mushrooms, lentil salad, a veggie medley called "Healthy Mix" or something (of course I had to try that), and I got a couple bites of vegan potato salad. It was so, so, so good.



At the bottom was a roasted fennel and mushroom medley that had some other veggies, as well. I loved the wide variety of mushrooms! Some of them were actually strangely meaty tasting.

I talked to my family and Skyped with my brother's new puppy. He doesn't have a name yet.



So cute, right?!

My mom sent me a couple pictures of their vegan Thanksgiving feast.





So healthy, right!

Links:

http://everydayfoodiecanada.blogspot.com/2010/11/giveaway-announcement.html Giveaway.

http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/11/do-ex-vegans%E2%80%99-stories-make-the-case-against-vegan-diets.html "Do Ex-Vegan's Stories Make the Case Against Veganism?" If you read about the defection of the now former "Voracious Vegan" from veganism, definitely read this thoughtful rebuttal. She doesn't attack Tasha for ceasing to be a vegan but she does refute her erroneous nutritional claims.




How was your Thanksgiving? What did you do?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving, Vegan Style

You probably know what you're making for Thanksgiving dinner this year but in case you need some inspiration, I have one hell of a post for you.

Last year was my first vegan Thanksgiving and we went all-out. I spent weeks thinking of what I wanted to make because I wanted to re-create every traditional non-vegan food and impress our non-vegan guests. It turned out GREAT. We had a delicious meal that was actually pretty healthy, too!



That's me, my boyfriend at the time, my step-dad, and my brother and his girlfriend. My mom was taking the picture. Everyone was vegan except my brother and his girlfriend.



Left to right - green bean casserole, dumplings (above), Tofurkey, stuffing



My plate from last year. From the potato dumpling, clockwise there's stuffing, green bean casserole, roasted asparagus, cranberry sauce (from a can, like my family enjoys), and Tofurkey with gravy.

We bought the Tofurkey feast, which came with a Tofurkey roast, gravy, and dumplings. It was good but it would also be fine to just get the roast and make some gravy. Even my brother and his girlfriend liked the Tofurkey. We basted it with red wine and balsamic vinegar instead of following the directions on the box and it was great.

We made Susan V's green bean casserole from Fat Free Vegan. Check it out:

The Best Green Bean Casserole
Nutrition Info

I LOVED the stuffing we made. It was easy and healthy, too!

Cornbread Stuffing

2 onions, chopped
6 stalks celery, shopped
4 cups cubed whole wheat bread
4 cups cubed cornbread (I like the Skillet Cornbread recipe on SparkRecipes)
1 cup vegetable broth
Poultry seasoning or dried sage, parsley, and thyme
Salt and pepper

Leave bread cubes out to dry overnight.
Saute onion and celery until soft.
Mix seasonings in a bowl: 3 tablespoons of fresh poultry seasoning or 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp dried thyme, 2 tsp dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste
Add bread cubes, mix in onion and celery.
Add about 1 cup veggie broth until moistened.
Cook at 400 degrees F for around 20 minutes, until top is browned.

Number of Servings: 12
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=831519

We also had three incredible desserts:





Pumpkin cheesecake, apple crumb pie, and pumpkin pie (all vegan, of course!). We bought the pumpkin pie from Bloomingfoods but made the others.



Best Apple Crumb Pie

2 pre-made whole wheat pie crusts (or make your own)
2 lbs cooking apples (Stayman Winesap is great), peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour or soy flour
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp Earth Balance

Place bottom crust in a 9-inch pie plate.

Combine sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.

Arrange half the apple slices in the pie crust. Add half the sugar mixture. Arrange the other half of apple slices and top with rest of sugar mixture. Dot with Earth Balance.

For the top crust:
You can take a crust, cut out a design and place the crust over the pie.
Or, take the crust or dough and break it up into crumbles and mix with some sugar. Top the pie with crumbles.

Bake at 425 for for 40-50 minutes.

Number of Servings: 8

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=831545



The pumpkin cheesecake was also from Fat-Free Vegan. I definitely encourage you to check out this recipe! It was amazing and we made several of them to bring to different events. Nobody could believe that they were vegan. One tip - let them cool in the oven so that the temperature changes slowly and the top won't crack.

Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake


I'm not celebrating Thanksgiving this year. I'm not visiting family and though some of my friends are getting together, I'm planning on just snubbing tradition altogether. So plan on a post featuring some Indian take-out or something. :)

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Giveaway:
http://ieattrees.com/vegan-vittles-giveaway/

Monday, November 22, 2010

On-Set Eats

I had a great and busy weekend working on Big Shoes to Fill. It's a short film where I play a girl encouraging her brother to tell our parents that instead of being a lawyer, he wants to be a clown. Here's a picture of my on-screen family.



Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all 12-hour filming days. But that doesn't mean I was only there for twelve hours! For example, Sunday I woke up at 7 to work out, get ready, and drive to set, call time was 9 AM, and we wrapped at 9:30. All the crew was still there when I left at 10:30. So, long days.

We did have catering and craft services, but of course a lot of it was unhealthy and/or not vegan. But with a mix of catering and my own food, I managed to feed myself and stay pretty healthy.

Friday I brought a big jar of roasted brussels sprouts with me and ate those as a snack. For lunch they bought me a salad with tofu from Whole Foods. For dinner (at 10 PM) when I got home I ate something I bought at the Santa Monica Co-Op on Wednesday when it was on sale for $2:






It was good! Simple, but tasty - mushrooms and potatoes with a lightly spicy sauce.

On Saturday I ate a kale salad and some unpictured seitan for lunch.




The kale salad was oil-free and very tasty. For dinner they bought me an oil-free pasta dish from Whole Foods with rice noodles and veggies.

On Sunday I brought some seitan and this roasted beet, apple, and fennel salad:


I ate that for lunch and was definitely glad I had it. They ordered pizza for lunch and had a veggie pizza, one half without cheese, but it was gross so I just ate the veggie toppings off of it. For dinner they had Subway sandwiches but none of them were cheese-free so I just had broccoli with hummus and then a baked potato when I got home.

Aaaand that's a wrap! I definitely ate more prepared food than usual, but I was glad I managed to stay healthy and eat veggies instead of eating chips and Rice Krispies Treats like the rest of the crew.

Links:
http://kristensraw.blogspot.com/2010/11/kristens-raw-27th-awesome-giveaway-free.html
http://ieattrees.com/vegan-vittles-giveaway/

How do you manage to eat healthy when you're really busy and away from home all day?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ich Liebe Sauerkraut and the Santa Monica Co-Op

I've been living off my Curry Veggie Stew for the last couple days and feeling great! It's so good for you it's like injecting vitamins into your bloodstream.

I've had a couple of great actor days! Yesterday I went to a seminar, a talk at The Actors' Network, and a casting director workshop and today I had a meeting with a manager. The manager meeting was in Santa Monica so I went to my favorite grocery store in the world (so far... I'm on a mission), the Santa Monica Co-Op. It's not a huge store but it has an amazing selection with a fantastic bulk section, bulk spices, great produce, a hot bar, pre-made foods, Raw foods, makeup, personal products....

Here's a small selection of bulk items I bought -



Cinnamon, nutritional yeast, garam masala, and sun-dried tomatoes. I also got onion flakes, some vegan jerky bites to keep in my car for emergency food, potatoes, kale, apples, and broccoli. I love that they have spices like garam masala in bulk as well as specialties like vegan jerky.

In general, prices are good. Some prices are slightly more expensive than TJs or Ralphs and some prices, especially produce, are fantastic. I bought potatoes for less than a dollar a pound!



I also bought some sauerkraut! I love sauerkraut and I haven't eaten it in months.



This has:
3 small/medium russet potatoes
3/4 cup sauerkraut
1/2 bunch slightly steamed kale
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp onion flakes



I ate about half of this for dinner. It was delicious!

I did realize, though... most "normal" people eat spaghetti and pizza and if faced with potatoes with sauerkraut and kale would probably be disgusted and horrified.

Do you like sauerkraut? If so, how do you like to eat it?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Curry Veggie Stew, Giveaway Links, Spoken Word Poetry Video




Oops, I did it again! I made another soup recipe. This one is jam-packed with veggies, both frozen and fresh.

Curry Veggie Stew

3 bunches kale stalks, chopped
1 bunch carrots, diced
1 eggplant, diced
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
1 bag frozen spinach
1 cup yellow split peas
5 cups water
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp Braggs
1 tbsp mustard

In a big soup pot, add all veggies (if using an onion, add that first), split peas, and water. Cook about an hour, until veggies and peas are soft. Season to taste.

It's amazing, but the broccoli and eggplant are not even detectable when it's done because they cook down so much. This is the perfect recipe for any kind of vegetable you don't like that much. And of course, a perfect way to use your kale stalks!





Links:
There are lots of giveaways going on right now -
http://rickthehealthsleuth.blogspot.com/2010/11/vegan-mofo-giveaway-nacho-moms-vegan.html
http://thediscerningkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/11/mofo-giveaway-and-gf-apple-pie.html
http://veganandsoforth.blogspot.com/2010/11/vegan-mofo-vegan-essentials-giveaway.html

And if you're ready for something that might scare you... The Vegan McPizza - straight out of the "This Is Why You're Fat" cultural tradition:
http://stemartaen.com/2009/05/there-are-no-words-to-describethe-vegan-mcpizza/

And if you make a Vegan McPizza (which I will never do, BTW) and then you feel like a big fatass, watch this video and feel a little better. Just kidding - watch the video anyways, because this guy is a wicked spoken word poet and it's cool. I would not say that I am into poetry or really anything artsy, but I still admire this guy's skill and there's a good message!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Freakishly Easy Curry Tempeh Loaf

I don't make a lot of tofu or tempeh recipes but for some reason I was just craving some this past week. I picked up a block of tempeh at TJ's and after debating for about four seconds how I wanted to make it, I made what I will now dub the easiest tempeh recipe evaaa.



Curry Tempeh Loaf

1 slab tempeh
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp curry powder

Cut tempeh into two servings. Coat one side with ketchup and curry powder. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Flip tempeh over. Coat other side with ketchup and curry powder, bake another 15-20 minutes.

Surprisingly, it tastes really good. I got the idea from German Currywurst - it's sausage with ketchup and curry powder, especially popular in Berlin. Then I got really creative and added it into some colcannon.



This would taste amazing with some sauerkraut, but I didn't have any. I had this one amazing meal (pre-vegan) at a German restaurant (a German restaurant in China... but don't let your brain explode) that was mashed potatoes with sauerkraut and bacon all mixed together. This would make a close vegan approximation.

My weekend has been very good and busy. I had three auditions and all three roles and projects were very different, which makes it fun. I went to the Studio City Farmers' Market this morning, but I found the produce a little lackluster. That probably has something to do with the fact that I was late and also that our weather has been crazy unpredictable, swinging between the 80's and the 50's. I plan on stopping in at the Santa Monica farmers' market on Wednesday and we'll see if that's any better.

I took these pictures at the Loyola Marymount campus today. It's so pretty there but I can't seem to effectively capture it on film. Plus I just left my car running on the side of the street and hopped out to take a picture so I was in a bit of a hurry.





Link of the day:
http://ieattrees.com/the-ultimate-uncheese-cookbook-giveaway/ I always see recipes from this (veganlunchbox.blogspot.com has mentioned it several times) and it seems pretty amazing.

How was your weekend??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fat-Free Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup



I made a big pot of deeeliiicious soup today. It's vaguely based off of a recipe from Everyday Vegan.

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 head broccoli, chopped
5-8 cups water or veggie broth
2 tbsp miso
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (or 1 tbsp tahini)
1 tbsp Braggs (if using water and not broth)

Saute onion in soup pot. Add remaining veggies and water, bring to boil. Water amount depends on how big your head of broccoli is (I had a lot, so I used 8 cups). Lower heat to simmer and cover, cook ten minutes or so, until veggies are tender.

Transfer into a blender and puree. An immersion blender would definitely come in handy if you have one (I don't).

Add miso, nooch, and Braggs, stir well and enjoyyyy.

This soup really does taste a lot like Panera-style broccoli cheese soup. It tastes great with tahini if you have it, but this is a great low-fat version (I said fat-free, but it really means no added fat). It would also be nice to leave some florets out of the blender. But one of the great things about this soup is that you use ALL of the broccoli - use the stalks, the leaves, use it all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baked Tofu Sticks!

I had a great/exhausting weekend. I volunteered at ActorFest (like Comic Con for actors) from 7:30-5 on Saturday and my whole weekend was pretty much structured around it. I tried to go to bed early on Friday but it was a total failure and I only got four hours of sleep. So then I was super wired on adrenaline all day Saturday from the lack of sleep I was even doing wall pushups during my rare downtime. I had a great volunteer gig - I got to escort the VIPs from check-in to the green room and I met some of my favorite casting directors!

After catching up on sleep, I had two auditions on Sunday. Yesterday I had Power Group and then I was supposed to have an audition for a student film - but when I got there, nobody else was! And I was definitely on time and in the right place! I texted the student but by the time she texted me back I had left. I figured if the production was that unprofessional from the beginning, I don't want to be a part of it.

Today I spent all day making and sending mailings to agents. Mailings are not a great way to try and get meetings with agents but I have to do what I can. I feel like I'm ready to work at a higher caliber and I can only get those auditions with an agent so I'm actively working on it. I created a target list and did lots of research -- my IMDb Pro account definitely got a workout this week!

The last couple days I enjoyed Instant Colcannon, seasoned with my fave McCormick's Garlic and Onion seasoning and plenty of nooch.



Tonight I made some baked tofu. It was great and very easy!



Baked Tofu Sticks

1 block firm or extra-firm (not silken) tofu
Braggs
paprika
black pepper
cumin
dried basil
fennel seed
nutritional yeast

Freeze and thaw a block of tofu. Squeeze water out and cut into eight sticks. Marinate in Braggs (I marinated 10 minutes) and season with spices and nooch. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.



Yum. A tasty classic. I cannot believe I used to HATE tofu! Granted, it's all about texture. Make tofu the right way and it's freakin' divine. Make it the wrong way and it's slimy and icky. Except I have to admit, I've developed such a taste for tofu that I'd probably like it no matter what. I don't eat it very often, though - before this week I hadn't made any since April or so.

Links:
http://damnyouautocorrect.com/ Auto-correct iPhone texting mishaps. I actually laugh out loud reading this.

Do you like tofu? Have you tried baking it? Averie has several baked tofu recipes that I always think look great. I'm glad I finally tried it - most of the time I scramble or stir-fry tofu.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Soup/Stew/Scramble/Dal

It's clear that I've mastered the soup/stew/dal combo from winning recipes like Indian-Spiced Yellow Split Pea Soup, Green and Orange Soup, Indian-Spiced Barley Stew, and Mushroom Dal. But now I've taken it up a notch and I introduce the soup/stew/dal/tofu scramble.

I started with my Eggless Egg Salad from yesterday. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish all the leftovers as is (it made a lot) and I had some other veggies I wanted to make into soup. Then I got this craaazy idea to put in a couple scoops of my eggless salad. Like so:


This was vaguely the recipe:

Eggless Salad Split Pea Soup

1 cup yellow split peas
4 cups water
2 bunches kale stalks
1 bunch carrots and greens
1 onion
1 bunch celery
1 eggplant
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1 cup Eggless Egg Salad

Chop all veggies, cook at least an hour until the correct texture, season to taste and mix in eggless salad.

You can put any veggies in here. Seriously, try it.

It's really good, believe me. I then took it one step further and created something based off of the eggless salad. It made this awesome texture similar to a tofu scramble and you could even make it frittata-ish.

I turned this:

Into this:


Eggless Salad Scramble Stew

2 cups Eggless Egg Salad
1 cup water
10 carrots
1/3 cup yellow split peas
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts
1 cup peas
1 tbsp curry powder
1 cup kale

Simmer ingredients (through peas) together until veggies are soft. Season to taste and add in kale at the last minute, just to wilt. Add less water for a more tofu-scramble-like texture.

I realized something else - you can NOT tell that there is any cauliflower in this, which means you could veggie up your tofu scramble recipes by adding processed cauliflower. I think I'll try it next time!

I really need to invent a new word for my soup/stew/scramble/dal creations. Any suggestions?

Do you LOVE leftovers like I do?

Reading Material:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eggless Egg Salad: Raw/Cooked Combo

Another scorcher today, about 95 degrees. Whoa.

I kind of made this recipe (from Melody of Melomeals by way of Choosing Raw):



Raw Eggless Salad

    3 c cauliflower, pulsed in food processor
    -½ c sunflower seeds soaked for 4 hours, drained then pulsed in food processor
    -1 c diced celery
    -1 c shredded carrots
    -½ c scallions or 2 T diced red onion or shallot
    -½ c nutritional yeast
    -2 t dried sage
    -1 T dried dill
    -1 T dried parsley
    -½ t garlic powder
    -¼ t turmeric
    -4 T tahini
    -4 T yellow mustard
    -2 T Dijon mustard
    -4 T relish
    -1 T chia seeds (or ground flax)
    -1 t black salt (or sea salt)
    -½ -1 t black pepper
    -½ c water

Pulse the cauliflower in processor and set aside in large mixing bowl. Pulse the sunflower seeds, and add to the cauliflower. Add the celery, carrots and scallions and nutritional yeast and spices (not the salt or pepper). In a small bowl add the tahini, mustard, relish, chia seeds, salt and pepper along with ½ c water. Whisk well and pour over the veggies. Taste and adjust seasonings. Allow mixture to chill for an hour before serving. This actually keeps for around 3 days and does not get watery because of the chia seeds.

Makes about 14 1/2 cup servings.

I've made this recipe before, several months ago, and it's delicious. I didn't really make it right this time, though. First up, I tried to be lazy and use my food processor to shred my carrots and celery but it turned them into mush and then made it hard to process up my cauliflower. Oops and I should not be lazy. I also didn't have any tahini or sunflower seeds. I also used too much carrot, which then overwhelmed the amount of cauliflower I had. But I did have a block of tofu I just thawed and I figured I'd use it and make it a combo recipe of typical raw and non-raw vegan eggless egg salad recipes.

Aaaaand that's why it's orange.



Tomorrow I'll show you what I did with the leftovers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hummus Salsa Salad

Today was HOT! In the upper 90's! In other words, fa bel tempo. Hace buen tiempo. Awesome freaking weather.

I wanted to adapt my hummus and salsa mix to a salad. Usually I go for the dark green leafies but for some reason I was just wanting some old fashioned butter lettuce so I mixed this up and ate dinner on the roof porch!



Doesn't that just look like a taco salad? It's really cool, hummus can stand in for queso or sour cream. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau makes quesadillas with hummus instead of cheese. I haven't tried it but I bet it's tasty. BTW, if you haven't listened to her Vegetarian Food for Thought podcasts, get thee to iTunes right now and rectify that gaping hole in your life and vegan education. I learned so much from her and she's so awesome and non-judgmental.

I've had a few weird/shady acting job offers this week and I hate trying to figure out what to do. The especially insidious offer is the one that seems like an acting job, but they're really just trying to get you to be an unpaid extra. And I really don't do that and I certainly don't do that for shady people treating me like a sucka. For example, I just got an offer to do a commercial on Saturday but it's featured extra work with the potential of a speaking role, it's unpaid, and I've never met the people before. I wish I had a bodyguard. I'm just not going to do it.

Link to Chuckle at:
dealbreaker.tumblr.com If you haven't looked at this blog, you should check it out. It's funny.

OK, it's time for me to go watch Law and Orders SVU and Los Angeles. Is anyone else watching LO:LA? Opinions? I love it! And it's so much fun seeing our city on TV!! Suuuure LA is on TV all the time but it's still fun.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Salsa + Hummus and Sun-Dried Tomato Chips!

I had a crazy craving for hummus mixed with salsa yesterday, so I got some provisions and ate this weird/delicious snack.

That's hummus and salsa but instead of chips I used sun-dried tomatoes!! YUM!! It sounds crazy but really, it's good. I'd love to eat this again but make some zucchini chips in the dehydrator. If you made the hummus and salsa yourself, this could easily be a raw snack.



That eggplant hummus has about half the calories and fat of most hummus because it doesn't have any oil. And that salsa is freaking delicious and together they are da bomb.



This morning I brewed up some of this new coffee I bought at TJ's the other day:



Except first I had to really struggle to get it open because the pop top came off and I had to stab it with a knife and get really violent.



This coffee was good but I'm not sure that I like it any more than the other kinds I buy. I don't even know what makes it espresso. For being such a coffee monster I am surprisingly ignorant about coffee.

In other news, I voted today! I walked about 20 minutes to and from my polling place and it was quite easy and painless. And luckily it seems that Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown are going to win. Unfortunately, Prop 19 looks dead and that sucks.

It also sucks that people are impatient and don't look at the big picture. People ask - what has Obama done? Has he changed anything? Well what kind of miracles were these people expecting? I'll tell you a couple very important things I'm grateful to Obama for:
1) The recession could have been SO much worse. We'll never know what kind of disaster was averted.
2) Obama made health care reform happen even though it was politically costly and still imperfect. But I am super grateful because I'm now able to be back on my parents' health care insurance until I'm 26 which alleviates one of the biggest stresses of my year. So for me at least, that was huge.

And all of that was done while the Republicans stood for nothing but obstructionism. They couldn't stand to see Obama succeed in any way so they focused on fighting against him instead of working together for the good of the country. And now with an even more sharply divided Congress, Washington will get even less done. It's kind of exhausting and depressing to think about.

Did you vote? Are you happy with the election outcome?
And have you ever eaten plain sun-dried tomatoes? Or do you think I am crazy?

Today's Link:
http://www.choosingraw.com/the-lure-of-juice-fasting/ I totally agree with Gena's position on juice fasting and I think her comparison of the "high" of juice fasting with the anorexic mindset is very important.