The Good Karma Diet: Book Review

41NE50FNxPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“Eat gently, Feel amazing, age in slow motion.”

It seems to me that 4th of July — Independence Day — is the perfect time to review The Good Karma Diet since so many of us (well, not ME exactly, more like some of YOU) will be grilling and barbecuing thousands of pounds of dead flesh, an orgy of pig and cow and chicken and who knows what else.

Don’t get me wrong —  we love to barbecue too, but nothing that used to live and breathe — and it’s still an altogether happy and pleasant and fulfilling experience for tugboat man to get his grill on — with corn on the cob (non GMO of course), potatoes, veggie burgers, tempeh, tofu, garden veggies — and we are causing no harm and eating ethically.

Think of how beautiful our world could be if Independence Day meant Independence for ALL creatures from factory farm hell to enslaved circus animals to SlaveWorld to the horrors of puppy mills.

Freedom for ALL.

Many popular diets call for avoiding some foods or eating others exclusively. But as The Good Karma Diet reveals, the secret to looking and feeling great is actually quite simple: Treat our planet and all its inhabitants well. In this revolutionary book, bestselling author Victoria Moran reveals that by doing what’s best for all creatures and the planet, you align your eating with your ethics—a powerful health and wellness tool if there ever was one!

The Good Karma Diet shows readers how favoring foods that are karmically good for you will help you:

– Sustain energy
– Extend youthfulness
– Take off those stubborn extra pounds
– Reflect an enlightened outlook

This book also includes the inspiring stories of men and women across the country who have made this simple mealtime shift and reaped “good karma” in every aspect of their lives. Follow this wise diet and lifestyle program and you will find yourself waking up in a good mood more often and having a luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living.

Hopefully, you’ll read this wonderfully sweet book and shift your eating habits and quite possibly your KARMA.

The Good Karma Diet shows you why it’s in your self-interest to care about animals and the future of this planet. You feel better and avoid the ills plaguing American society, like heart disease and obesity. We all win a better world. And, good karma is delicious.”
—Jane Velez-Mitchell, creator of JaneUnchained.com, journalist, and author of Addict Nation 

I was provided this book to read and review.

Happy 4th of July!

Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf Recipe

loaf9

I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of protein packed vegan loaves and “burgers”.

Some are winners, some are not. My tugboat man will literally eat anything and everything — although he’s not a very discerning critic, he’s a nice and appreciative hub.

When my son and DIL visited last month, DIL and I teamed up to build a delicious and healthy loaf, but I didn’t get a chance to take pics. They’ll be back tomorrow and I’ve attempted to recreate our original recipe.

(Measurements are sort of inexact…if it looks a little dry, add veggie broth. If it’s too moist, add more bread crumbs or oats.)loaf2

If you’re not familiar with tempeh, here’s an explanation: Tempeh is fermented cooked soybeans (or grains). This fermentation binds the soybeans into a compact white cake. Tempeh has been a favorite food and staple source of protein in Indonesia for several hundred years. It’s low fat and high in protein.

How to make my Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf:

loaf1

1. Cook lentils, onion, carrots, celery with two cups water until tender. Check as lentils are cooking and add water as needed so they’re moist yet fully absorb water, about thirty-forty minutes.

2. Turn lentils into large bowl.

3. Crumble tempeh and mash tofu with lentils.loaf3

4. Add rolled oats, chia, and chopped nuts.(I used a mixture of almonds and cashews.)loaf45. I like to use my hands to mix everything together so I get a feel for texture and whether it’s too dry or too moist. You def don’t want it too dry or it’ll fall apart.
6. Tear whole wheat bread into small pieces, Mix.
7. Add olive oil, ketchup or tomato sauce, mustard, curry, salt, pepper, vinegar, hot pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce.
8. Mix, taste, and adjust seasonings.
9. Fill greased loaf pan, form patties with any extra.
Topping: Ketchup mixed with a little maple syrup.loaf6loaf5Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve with ketchup or vegan gravy. Tastes good hot or cold! Let cool in pan before slicing. Making a day ahead is even better.loaf7

YUMMY!


Recipe: Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf

Tempeh, one package
Tofu, one tub firm organic
Two cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup chopped nuts
One cup rolled oats
One or two slices whole wheat bread
Chia
1/2 chopped onion
Two carrots, chopped
Two stalks celery, chopped
One cup tomato sauce ( I used homemade) or ketchup
Veggie broth as needed
Two tablespoons olive oil

One or two tablespoons Dijon mustard
Curry Powder to taste
Pepper
Salt
Hot pepper flakes
One tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Worcestershire sauce

 

A Delicious Threesome of Marukan Vinegars

marukan1This beautiful box containing a variety of Marukan vinegars was waiting for me when I came home from the dentist today. (Just a routine cleaning  — no pain, yay, just fresh and shiny teeth!)
marukan2

How can you not be impressed with a company that’s been around since 1649?

Because of its super high quality, I had always used Marukan Rice Vinegar – the plain kind or seasoned — for sushi rice, but I had never tried the Yuzu Ponzu, soy dressing with yuzu citrus.sushi22014-01-05 18.19.11

Heck, I didn’t know what yuzu was…it’s  a fruit similar in size to a grapefruit; Its juice is tart like that of a lemon, but has a tangy undertone.

I made a delicious Vinaigrette with the Yuzu Ponzu and extra virgin olive oil, little freshly ground pink Himalayan salt, pepper, and a pinch of ground chili powder. (optional)

The Yuzu Ponzu is a delicious marinade for tofu, too.

I combined all three vinegars in this Daikon Radish Salad.

daikonradish1Shred about two cups of daikon radish and rinse several times with cold water and squeeze dry. Shred a couple of carrots and add.

In another bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of plain rice vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, and the yuzu ponzu.
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 3/4 teaspoons white sesame seeds (toasted)

Whisk all the ingredients, pour over daikon and carrots. Gently toss, cover, and refrigerate.

Check out more recipes at http://www.marukan-usa.com

#marukan

 

Not a Sunflower

And not an artichoke, either.

These are SUNCHOKES.sunchoke1 I wonder what they taste like. Anyone tried them?sunchoke2According to Wikipedia, The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunrootsunchokeearth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America.It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.[2]

I haven’t harvested my tubers yet ‘cos I’m still enjoying the flowers — that’s about all that’s flourishing in my garden during this horrible drought in California — but when I do, I’ll probably roast them with garlic, since we got a HUGE string of garlic from Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world, the last time we drove through central Cali.

Sunchoke Liqueur

Sunchoke Liqueur

Have you ever tried sunchoke liqueur? Maybe best of all, in Baden-WürttembergGermany, over 90% of the Jerusalem artichoke crop is used to produce a spirit called “Topinambur (de)”, “Topi” or “Rossler”.[13] By the end of the 19th-century, Jerusalem artichokes were being used in Baden to make a spirit called “Jerusalem Artichoke Brandy”, “Jerusalem Artichoke”, “Topi”, “Erdäpfler”, “Rossler”, or “Borbel”.

Jerusalem artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavour. It is characterised by an intense, pleasing, earthy note. The tubers are washed and dried in an oven before being fermented and distilled. It can be further refined to make “Red Rossler” by adding common tormentil, and other ingredients such as currants, to produce a somewhat bitter and astringent decoction. It is used as digestif, as well as a remedy for diarrhea or abdominal pain.

If you’ve cooked with them, please send me your recipes. Thank you!

 

Got Leftover Sweet Potatoes?

Or yams? Or pumpkin?

(I did.)

MeatFreeZoneAt our house, it’s a meat-free Thanksgiving. 

Even though I haven’t eaten any meat or poultry of any kind since 1971, I used to continue to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving for my son and guests up until a few years ago when I learned about the horrors of factory farming.

Now I tell everyone if they want to eat meat, they can do it someplace else. I haven’t lost anyone yet, so I guess the food I do serve is tasty enough to keep ’em coming!

Here’s our Thanksgiving dinner menu:

  • Lentil-Walnut loaf (full of protein)
  • Kugel (click on it for the recipe)
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes with vegan gravy
  • Salad
  • Roasted yams
  • Challah
  • Apple and Pumpkin Pie

Challah just out of the oven. Mmmmmm.
Challah

Angel Boy and DIL have gone back to their own lives and my tugboat man and I didn’t have many leftovers because we packed them up with the kids — all except for the roasted yams.

I’m a frugal and thrifty gal when I’m not shopping, really I am. Honest. I swear. For reals.

Here’s what I did with them and it was soo easy!

I used my tried and true recipe for banana bread but replaced the bananas with mashed up yams (you could use sweet potatoes or pumpkin too, of course).

Look how moist and yummy it looks along with oatmeal raisin cookies.Yam Bread

So simple; one bowl; you don’t need to bring out the big mixer for this one.

Leftover Sweet Potato (or Yam or Pumpkin) Bread
2 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat)
1 cup sugar (brown and white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Mashed yam/sweet potato, about a cup
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-3 TBS milk (or plain, unflavored yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional: 1 TBS pure maple syrup)
1/3 chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Mix oil, eggs, vanilla, milk. Add sugar(s) and mix well.
Add mashed yam and mix well. I use a fork; it’s so easy!
Add flour combined with other dry ingredients and nuts. Mix well.
Turn into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about fifty minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
When cool, I make a little glaze with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 TBS orange juice. It adds a nice sheen to the top of the loaf.

Super delicious with an afternoon cuppa. My fave is ginger tea. Enjoy!

Hello Kitty Is My Soul Sister: Princess Rosebud’s Hello Kitty Birthday Party

Taking my son to the airport after a fun week of Mother’s Day and birthday celebrations, he says in that snarky tone he’s perfected after thirty-two years,

“What’s the deal with you and Hello Kitty?”

Hello Kitty 4My tugboat man, who also serves as my HK enabler ‘cos he thinks I’m adorable – uh, note to single girls — only marry a guy if he thinks everything you do is adorable — responded,

“Hello Kitty is for girly girls and your mom is one-thousand-percent girly girl.”

Well said, my captain, well said.

I’ve thought a lot about the reasons why I’m so drawn to Hello Kitty and I think it’s ‘cos she’s like my pretend soul sister.

HKwatchThe Urban Dictionary defines soul sister as “someone who fully understands you.”

Yup, that’s about right.

I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the exact moment when I first became aware of Hello Kitty.

With a son, it was never really on my radar as he was growing up. Shelves full of dinosaurs and skateboards were the aisles we aimed for at Toys R Us. We dug in the dirt; not so much matching dresses or spa days for us.

hello kitty pajamas and slippers

Sexxxyyy!!

I guess it was more of a gradual appeal;  a (grown-up) friend wore a Hello Kitty watch and I was drooling — drawn to the Swarovski crystals surrounding HK’s face and I HAD to get my own; I walked by a Hello Kitty display at Target (great point of purchase placement)…

OR

…maybe it was always hovering in my subconscious, fermenting and fomenting—until one day I succumbed.

hellokittycupI was hooked.

I fell in love with that adorable mouthless face. One watch led to a ring and to a matching bracelet and then slippers, and OMG the cutest hat with an anchor! (!!!! had to have it, right? It was a nautical theme)hkhat

OK, most people associate HK with little girls, but did you know that there is a secret society of adult women who collect HK?

More often than not, when I wear my HK tee-shirt, I’ll be approached by women I do not know,

Princess Rosebud wearing glasses.

Princess Rosebud wearing glasses.

“Pssst…excuse me” [pointing to my shirt]…do you collect?”

It’s like the Skull and Bones society for women “of a certain age.” Haha.

I confess: I’m an ADULT COLLECTOR of HK. Recently at the Baltimore Airport during a layover, a Southwest employee saw my HK watch and struck up a convo about her collection that includes the HK toaster, which I really need. Really.

We were whispering, “Are you one of us?” “Yes, tell me what you have” and we each listed the items in our collection.

There we were, two college graduated women of adult children — I am not kidding. It was surreal. I mean, who wants to talk about the depressing economy or the strange weather? BORING! Hello Kitty is a sweet, innocent diversion that makes us happy. What could be wrong with that?

Since I really can’t for the life of me logically explain the appeal,  I wanted to explore the psychology of adult women who are obsessed with  enamored of HK and thought someone should write their dissertation about the marketing genius of this huge pink kitty head with a bow. And sparkles.

I discovered a WordPress blog that seems to be a dissertation of sorts; check out http://hellokittydevotee.wordpress.com/dissertation/

BTW, HK is worth about FIVE BILLION DOLLARS yearly in licensing. And finally the ultimate…did you know that HK teamed up with one of Taiwan‘s biggest airlines? What a great experience–a Hello Kitty extravaganza; from meals to mascots to boarding passes.
hellokittyairlines2hellokittyairlines

HKparty1Which might in some small way explain the excitement I felt for my very first Hello Kitty Birthday Party! I’m not going to tell you how old I am; does it REALLY matter? I think not.

We spent the morning and early afternoon hiking Crystal Cove State Park (read about that HERE). When we returned home, hubs was exhausted and immediately fell asleep.

So much for that birthday cake he was sposed to make.

chocolatecoconuticecream

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

I threw together a One-Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting and Chocoate Coconut Ice Cream.

The cake was out of the oven and cooling before he woke up. Figures, right? If you want something done, ya gotta do it yourself. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I challenged my tugboat man and my son to create dinner all by themselves. OK. We’re talking a Ph.D. Yale professor and a maritime academy graduate with a BS in Engineering.

Two smart, functional, adult men, right?

OMG, watching them write a grocery list and take off to the store offered tons of fun.

“Mom, do you have jicama? Mom, where’s a knife?” “Rosebud, can you chop this onion for me? Uh — how do you chop cilantro?”

I kept looking up recipes on my computer because I felt sorry for them.

Birthday barbecue

Hubs chose to make Mango Salsa with Blue Corn Chips for his appetizer; my son’s contribution was a Jicama Kumquat Salad. It was delicious.

I thought it’d be a good idea to barbecue because I had a feeling the kitchen was going to take me a week to clean up. This was a smart decision. We had potatoes, asparagus, beets (from the garden), corn, Smart Dogs, and it was all absolutely yummy.

Best of all, it was made with love.

HKparty2

keep-calm-and-love-hello-kitty-165

She sees seashells and shelves near the seashore

That “sometimes he’s here, sometimes he’s not” tugboat captain of mine is leaving again in a couple of days.

I’m working hard on a meal for tonight that recreates the lovely Nepalese and Indian food we had in Berkeley.

I’m making Lentil Daal, Curried Rice, Naan Bread, and Raita, a delicious yogurt-based dipping sauce.

I’ll document it all for tomorrow’s post.

In the meantime, I took photos of a few new shelves hubs so kindly made for me to display my ever increasing hoard of shells, his craft of marlinspike seamanship, and my small but growing collection of mudmen from China, and fans.

Yes, those really are seashells covering the screws in the lower part of the shelf.
Seashells can be so very useful, can’t they? Useful and beautiful.

mudmen collection

blackbottleonshelf vaseonshelf fan on shelf fan2

Abandoning the mother ship

pumpkin, pumpkin stew

Soon to be pumpkin stew

DIL and sister wife left this morning to drive back up to SF. I still have my son until tomorrow. He flies out mid-morning to the east coast and I’m not looking forward to the thirty-five minute drive and the lunacy of the airport. At its best it’s not pleasant. Now they’re undergoing major construction delays and it’s another level of Hell.  For the moment, home is reminiscent of the old days; he’s sitting at the dining room table with a computer surrounded by piles of books, only this time he’s not writing a report or research paper, he’s grading essays.

Young Yale Professor

Photo of a Yale professor in action

I can’t believe this little sk8r boy of mine goes to work and fifteen college freshman call him Professor Angel Boy. Of course, they don’t REALLY call him Angel Boy, but I think they  should. It’s hard to wrap my brain around the concept. It’s mind boggling. Especially since he still derives the greatest pleasure by shocking me with offensive earsplitting and vulgar expulsions of intestinal gas that serves as his initial form of communication when he opens the front door (Insert loud breaking wind sounds here) “Hi, mom, I’m home!” or belching as commentary while we’re enjoying a lovely meal at the dinner table, like Thanksgiving. Apparently, my laughing is an ineffective method of dissuading that kind of behavior. Sometimes I tell him he’s disgusting but he finds that a compliment rather than a criticism. His wife thinks he’s funny too; even the captain finds him humorous, shaking his head, “That’s our boy!” almost, no, not almost–completely proud of him– so it’s hopeless. The dichotomy between his academic braininess and his juvenile antics is-uh-refreshing. It’s no wonder I treat him like he’s still in the third grade. It’s as if he never left elementary school with the stupid arm farts and the other robust sounds and smells that emanate from all of his orifices. I keep my fingers crossed that when he meets with his department heads or his publisher that he remembers all the lessons in good manners we practiced and he only acts out here as the living embodiment of the prodigal son. Like I said, fingers crossed. 

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

Smells DELICIOUS

I’m in the kitchen baking another loaf of Whole Wheat Bread. Tonight we had Moroccan Pumpkin Stew (recipe below) with steamed brown rice and Seared Ahi ‘cos I have to make sure he gets enough protein.

It’s kind of cold, damp, and foggy; after dinner we made a fire and  played Scrabble. He won, of course–232 to 219.scrabble

An assortment of desserts; apple pie, black bean brownies, oatmeal cookiesapple pie, black bean brownies, oatmeal cookies

Beautiful flowers from my Angel Boy

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 6 small potatoes, well-scrubbed but not peeled, cut in half
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-1/2 cups canned tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons raisins

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrot, potato, and pumpkin and saute for 5-10 minutes, stirring from time to time. When vegetables have softened, add the ginger and garlic. Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and cinnamon stick. Cook for another 5-8 minutes, then add the canned tomato and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, then add the raisins. Allow to cook for 18-25 minutes until all vegetables are soft – but don’t overcook. Serve over or with brown rice.

I sat at the children’s table

That’s because there was only me plus the kids here, so I was outnumbered. No tugboat man nor BioDad this year. I know it might seem crazy, but am I the only one who can’t seem to think of their grown son as an adult? I still see him as a four-year-old, and I’m still bringing him tissues when he sniffs and I wait until he blows his nose. I still praise him for the simplest things, “Look who’s reading a book, what a good boy!” Then there’s, “Please take out the trash”.  A few minutes later, “Please take the trash out.” After fifty requests, I give up and take out the trash.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more things stay the same. I’m short on time while everyone’s still here–cooking, driving, shopping, cleaning–but I’ll be back as soon as I’m free. All my little birdies’ll be leaving the nest on Monday, but while they’re here, my time is not my own. It’s 6:30 a.m. Soon they’ll be awake, needing a first breakfast of homemade granola and Greek yogurt before a surf sesh, which’ll leave me time to get their Breakfast Burritos prepared.

Breakfast Burritos are so easy! Refried beans with cheese, scrambled eggs, sliced avocado, tomatoes, salsa, and sour cream–all rolled up in a huge tortilla. That’s what the cool kids eat!

Our T-day table and one of my son, DIL, and sister wife (on the left). ImageImage

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

From one of the funniest blogs out there,  My Life as Lucille, the absolute best quote about Thanksgiving from my secret crush, Jon Stewart.

Thanksgiving Quote
I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.~Jon Stewart