Saturday, June 6

Delicious Fat Free (Vegan) Greek Chickpea & Olive Soup

I haven't made this in years but boy was it worth the wait!  In fact, so worthwhile I had to share.  The flavors are complex and tangy and besides, when do you ever have olives... in a soup?  Try it!  
It's so easy to make and with minimal ingredients which is necessary for our busy lives, no?   

The original, non-vegan, recipe was from April 2004 Food & Wine magazine which I used to LOVE, but since it is nothing close to vegetarian (organ meats anyone? No THANKS.)  I have let the subscription lapse:-(  

1 Chopped large Onion
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
4C. Vegan Chicken Stock or Bouillon
2 - 15oz cans of Chickpeas or 1 can Chickpea and 1 can Large Butterbeans (as shown here)
4T. Lemon Juice
2t. Dijon Mustard
3/4C. Chopped Parsley

Serve with Green & Kalamata (or whichever you prefer) Olives on top!

Directions:  Saute the onion in the juice of one of the cans of beans - {ha! a fat-free sautéing trick I bet you didn't know?} for about 7 minutes until soft.    Stir in the Red Pepper, stock and canned beans  (drain the second can first).  Simmer for 20 minutes and then add the last three ingredients and serve with the olives.  Fantastic!  

(NOTES:  I like the can of butterbeans because they are sweeter and very starchy - good comfort food.  I have used both the mix of green & black olives, and just kalamata olives as shown here and it's spectacular both ways.  This is a great summer soup too because it's good even when just barely warm)

Monday, May 11

Fab How Often to Wash? Guide!

'Ever wonder how often you should wash that hoodie?  What about your ski jacket?   

We had an uncharacteristically rainy week here in the Colorado Mountains which has prompted lots of water conservation and California drought discussion.  Just so happens a splendid eco website I adore just posted a comprehensive When to Wash Guide!  Thank you, EcoGreenLove!   
For example: 

I'm not sure I'm up with the raw denim trend of wearing 
jeans for eons, but... maybe a few more wears, eh?

Thursday, March 19

Food! Fat Free Salad Dressing - I found a Goodie!

Another food post!  What's going on here?  I guess it's that the more I read and listen to podcasts (favorite right now: ) the more I can't separate what I'm eating* from what I believe in from an environmental impact + fashion perspective.  And, I've learned I need to cut out fat due to cardiac concerns that run in my family (thank you, Dr. Esselstyn!).  

So - what can I use as salad dressing?   I don't like sweet ones and the only two I ever loved are Blue Cheese and Ranch (which, after living in Texas where pizza is dipped in it!!!!!!  I was so grossed out I couldn't eat that anymore.  It doesn't wash off plates very easily either - can you imagine what it's doing in your body? ugh.ack.yuck.).   

Fat Free Dressing?  Does it exist?  How can one live without olive oil???  Here's what I just invented, and it's pretty tasty on top of being nutritionally dense!

"Salty" Lemon Dressing

2T. Lemon Juice
1-2T. Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Shake or 3 of Maine Coast Sea Seasonings Dulse Flakes (yummy seaweed)
Shake or 3 of Toasted Black Sesame 
    Whip it together w/ a fork and pour over your salad.  Done. 

Here's why I like it - lemon juice aids in the absorption of iron and calcium from greens; Bragg's and Dulse add a sea salty taste without being refined salt; Bragg's is of course an amazing source of Amino Acids (meat, schmeat!);  sesame seeds (the wonder food!) add beauty, crunch, a gazillion minerals, fiber and an earthy sort of meaty flavor; Dulse Flakes are also mineral dense.   
There you have it!  Enjoy:-)

*BACK STORY:  I was raised vegetarian but went meaty in my teens believing the hocus pocus about "needing animal protein" but then, after reading Skinny Bitch 6 years ago I switched to a 95% vegan diet because I didn't have any legitimate excuses for eating animals anymore.  I struggle to this day completely avoiding cheese and ice cream, but I get better every month:-)  And better, the less dairy eat the better my skin and overall health/well-being.  
Brie, oh how I love thee, but thee lovest not me:-(

Sunday, March 15

Food! Homemade Organic Sneaky Strawberry Applesauce

I just can't bear to buy those evil little PLASTIC containers of pre-made applesauce for my kids' lunches anymore.  The guilt was overwhelming once and for all:-(  Just buying a 6-pack every two weeks ads up to soooooo many little plastic bits that will never bio degrade, and recycling them just seems lazy when I can make my own 'sauce.  My family loves it with some sort of berries mixed in.

You will need a large sauce pan and blender.  I love my Vitamix because it completely purees out any chunkiness which my texture-sensitive children absolutely can't tolerate.


  • Clean and cut into 2" chunks an entire bag of Organic Apples - variety of your choice.  I used Granny Smith this time (which require more sugar as these are tart) but any variety works.  One bag will yield 6-10 servings depending on how big the serving size; approximately one serving/apple.
  • Clean and remove tops of 6-8 strawberries or a handful of other mixed berries.
  • Place everything into a big sauce pan.
  • Simmer about 10 minutes with 1Cup of water.  If you prefer to eat raw, you can skip this step or shorten the time.  I prefer the carmelized flavor that comes about as a result of cooking with a bit of sugar.  
  • Let cool as long as you have the patience to wait. 
  • Scrape into your blender.  If it doesn't hold the whole batch, make sure you reserve some of the liquid for the second blending.  
  • Blend until as smooth as you prefer.
  • Sweeteners - here's where you can be as creative as you wish!  A bit of sugar is important as it acts as a preservative giving you a good 7-10 days in the 'fridge to finish off your batch - if it lasts that long;-)  I recommend sweetening to taste AFTER you blend the sauce, as you may not need any added sugar.  If your apples are tart you will need about 1/4c. of organic sugar or an equivalent liquid measure of agave, rice syrup, maple syrup, etc.  Here's the SNEAKY part - try some dates for extra nutrition (fiber, magnesium, B6) but blend them well so the brown bits disappear!  So - start by adding a couple tablespoons of your sweetener, blend and taste.  Repeat until it has the flavor you desire!
Pour into reusable containers* and dole out for lunches as needed.  If your sauce is not cool before you put the lids on - let them sit out for a bit otherwise the cooling lids contract so much in the fridge they may be too difficult for small hands to open.  

*I happen to LOVE the stainless reusables from Kids Konserve which we ordered from a fantastic website called  Unfortunately the lids are still plastic, but at least they are very hearty and you will get many, many years out of them before recycling.  They do leak a bit with some things so I bag them in baggies for extra protection (yes, plastic again:-( )  Reusit has a huge selection of every container you could ever need, including water bottles and bags.  
If anyone knows of a truly leak-proof container, please, please let me know!! Thanks. 

Cooked and cooling.  I feel like they are done with the skins start to fall off and the berries are fading, as shown, about 10 min. on low heat.

If you use red apples and/or more berries you will get a much prettier pink color than this.

Tuesday, February 3

Dear, Deer

Our new neighbors

Elk in back yard

young buck Mule Deer in backyard

an Elk herd meandering through our little downtown. thx, 99.9 KEKB

Saturday, January 24

YES! Upcyling Car Seats into Couture!

pic from Sustainable Brands blog, thank you.

I am so excited about this year's Redress EcoChic Design Awards competition.  Look what these designers came up with by upcycling car seat covers from the Ford Motor Company!  
Redress founder and CEO Christina Dean commented: “Waste-to-landfill is a big issue our planet faces and we at Redress work to raise awareness about how we can reduce this. The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge was a great demonstration of how sustainable design thinking is as relevant for fashion as it is for the automotive industry.”  (Sustainable Brands blog entry)
The winners were Veronica Lee from Malaysia and Amandah Andersson from Sweden with this entry: 

From Ford's website

“We scored the foam on the reverse side of the seat fabric, revealing color and texture reminiscent of the stone walls of the legislature,” said Andersson. The award-winning, architecturally inspired outfit was handcrafted in three hours.

Amandah Andersson is definitely a designer to watch.  You can peruse her amazing creations on her website here.

Veronica Lee doesn't appear to have a website yet but you can see her sketches here. 

Tuesday, January 20

Tilda Swinton on Clothes with History

"... It's only relatively recently that we have a fetish for newness," Swinton said.
pic courtesy of InStyle's website

Always a leader in thought and boundary pushing, luminous actress, Tilda Swinton recently performed the third in a series of one-woman plays about our relationship with clothing. Here she talks about the series and a bit about what clothing means to us, particularly clothes with history.

And here, blogger Alice Taranto, does a spread on Ms. Swinton's lovely Haider Ackerman choices.  LOVE!