I have been so busy lately, I haven’t had time to post, but I have been thinking about things I want to post, so I am dumping it all here now, before I forget it.
Near the end of last week I was talking to my next door neighbor, who also happens to be a vegetarian, about the process of going vegan. I was telling her that I am still struggling with vegan food although I am doing pretty well, but I am not even ready to address vegan clothing. And anyway, vegan clothing is all ugly or, if it is nice, way too expensive. Then, the next day, there was an article on my local paper’s site about environmentally friendly fashion that listed some more affordable and attractive options. I am still not convinced that I can go to vegan clothing entirely (for one thing, one of the materials highlighted in the article is merino wool, which I have mixed feelings about), but I am not so certain it would be impossible, either. There was even a fun article on recycling various materials to make jewelry. Then, I went to the Earth Day festival on Sunday (more on that below), and got the cutest blue bamboo top for only $32, which I thought was totally reasonable. I am wearing it today and it is so comfortable, and I really like the way it looks. So, I am thinking a bit more about this.
Earth Day Festival
I have never attended the Earth Day Festival here in St. Louis, but I will be going in the years to come. Despite coming home totally sunburned, I had a great time. I ate an AuraPro pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw on top from the chef for Terrene, recreating one of my favorite sandwiches, back in my meat eating days. I will definitely be visiting that restaurant sometime soon—not only do they have delicious vegetarian food, they use organic, sustainable food practices. As I mentioned above, I bought an awesome shirt. And, I found a local group that has vegetarian potlucks on a regular basis. I hate their website, but I like the idea of meeting other vegetarians in the area. I saw belly dancers, salsa dancers and some kind of stylized fighting dance that looked to be African, but I didn’t catch the group name, and I can’t find it on the festival webpage, but they were all very impressive.
What would you do to save the environment?
During the Earth Day buildup, my local paper’s website had a poll on actions to save the environment. I can’t link directly to it, since they have it as a popup, but I can tell you that I found it very annoying, because you had to pick one thing only. What a useless poll! If ever there was a question that begs to allow more than one choice, it is “What would you do to help keep the earth green?” Right after I saw that poll, I noticed this post from BlogHer on my Google sidebar webclips. Elisha Camahort proposes an Earth Day meme to show that you can do more than one thing, and I think it is a great idea. Here is my list of the top 5 things I do for the environment:
1. Moving toward a vegan lifestyle.
2. Recycle as much as possible.
3. Use compact fluorescent lights in my home.
4. Take public transportation to work and walk as many places as possible.
5. Bring reusable bags with me to the farmer’s market and store.
Returning to an old favorite
This weekend when I went to the Farmer’s Market, I bought a huge head of cabbage. I love cabbage, but I particularly had in mind this dish that is kind of like a loose, messy cabbage roll. I used to make this a lot during my last time as a vegetarian, but I haven’t made it in years before last night. I don’t know why, it is delicious and healthy. Normally I would mix the mashed potatoes in with the whole mess, but I kept them separate this time for the benefit of my children. Also, I didn’t even think to check the ingredients on the tomato soup until I was getting ready to type this up, so I have no idea if they are vegan. I hope so, but if not, I know I can get the Imagine soup for next time.
½ large head of cabbage
1 large or 2 medium leeks
1 red bell pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can condensed tomato soup
freshly ground pepper
Slice the cabbage and add to a large soup pot. Add about 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; reduce hit and simmer with a lid on the pot while you continue to chop veggies. Chop the leek and wash thoroughly in a bowl of water, draining several times to get all the dirt from in between the layers; push the slices apart to make sure they get clean all the way through. Add drained leeks to the soup pot. Chop the bell pepper and add that to the pot, too. Cover and let this all hang out for ten or fifteen minutes or so, until the cabbage is tender (I didn’t use the timer, I cleared off the table and looked at the mail and other stuff like that). Drain the veggies in a colander, but don’t worry too much about getting it all dry. I dumped it, gave it a couple of quick shakes and put it back in the pot. Turn the stove back on and add the stewed tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to break the tomatoes up a bit (and incidentally, some of the big slices of cabbage); add the tomato soup and mix well. Grind in some pepper and add the garlic powder to taste. We like garlic a lot, so I added quite a bit, but I didn’t measure, so I am not sure how much. Put the lid back on and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Somewhere in the midst of all this, I washed, peeled and chunked 5 or 6 small Yukon gold potatoes, boiled them until they were soft and mashed them with a little bit of Earth Balance margarine and plain rice milk. I had the stew over the potatoes, and it was almost like stuffed cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes, except without the ground beef.