Friday, March 7, 2008

Goods 4 Girls

Many of you have probably seen the televison commercials and magazine ads explaining that in Africa, many girls miss a week of school a month due to their periods (rather, inadequate menstrual protection).

Fortunately, Always/Tampax is going to rescue them!

They're going to give the girls pads. Disposable pads. Now, I know that I am overly cynical when it comes to corporate altruism (mainly because it just doesn't seem to exist). But come on! This is right out of the artificial baby milk companies' playbook--although without that unfortunate infant-death consequence. Go into Africa, give them wonderful things from monetarily-wealthy nations, then pull out once they're hooked. Et voila, a new market!

Is Always going to "always" give them free pads? I doubt it. And how exactly should they dispose of these disposable pads? Problem solved! Always is going to build incinerators near some of the bathrooms at the school. You know, to incinerate the _plastic_ pads.


Apparently, many people out there are as cynical as I am. One woman started "Goods 4 Girls", which gives away reusable cloth pads. Here's the website:

And yes, I do use reusable products myself (faves are Lunapads and the Diva Cup). "Disposable" products don't magically disappear once the garbage truck comes by!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chickpea-Noodle Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed in your fingers
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup brown rice miso
3 cups water
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups cooked dried chickpeas, or 1 (15 oz) can, drained and rinsed
6 oz soba noodles (most come wrapped in 3-oz serving sizes. If not, the circumference of one 3-oz. bundle is about the size of a quarter).

Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and carrots in the oil for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and herbs, and saute for another 5 minutes. Deglaze the pot with a splash of water. Add the 3 cups of water, the 3 cups of stock, and the chickpeas. Cover and bring to a boil.

Once the broth is boiling, break the soba noodles into thirds and throw them in. Lower the heat to medium so that the soup is at a low boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the miso and stir until it's incorporated. Taste and adjust the salt, and add a little extra miso if you would like a stronger, saltier flavour.

Note: soba soaks up a lot of water, so leftovers will be more stew-ish than soup-ish. If you don't care for this, use a different noodle such as spaghettini.

(taken from Veganomicon)

Monday, February 4, 2008

stuff I like


I love love love our laptop lunchbox--it encourages meal creativity, the kids think it's fun/cool to eat lunch out of it, and it's very environmentally friendly. Oh, and stylish. I bought mine at Earth's General Store. This is what they look like:

Earth's General Store:

I've been shopping here for over a decade. Awesome store concept, and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. They sell environmentally-conscious and fair trade products, so it's good karma central. If you want to know how to start a worm composter, or save money on electricity, get info on cloth-diapering, or pick up some cool stickers for your bike, this is the place. Check out , and sign up for the weekly (e-mailed) activist agenda.


These are my favourite cloth pads, and they're made in Canada! They have some great fabrics to choose from, and they aren't the envelope style; rather, the liner goes on top, so you can change the liner without having to change the whole pad. It's hard to describe, so just go here :


It took awhile for these to grow on me--I thought they looked kind of goofy at first. Anyway, I was pretty much forced into buying them as they were the only option available for my small-footed toddler. Regular winter boots were way too big for her, but she really needed some as she likes to walk and we live in Edmonton. I'm very happy with them; they stay on her feet, they're easy to get on, and she likes them. Sometimes she even wears them to bed (boots and sleepers, there's a look). Oh, and they are also made in Canada.

The Bamboozle:

Super-absorbent diaper made out of bamboo fabric. It's very soft too! I used Dri-line Blue Dog diapers when Annalina was younger (and was happy with them), but now that she's older and not needing to be changed quite as often the Bamboozles (Totsbots) are great.

Mother-ease covers:

These are great diaper covers. I especially like the Eco-Theme ones :) I switched to these after the Dri-Line Blue Dog ones started to leak as Annalina got older.

Bummis Super Brite covers:

These are also great covers, and as the name implies they are super bright! I really think that cloth-diapering products should be attractive--after all, disposies have designs printed on them. Although it is a bit unfair: now, besides being better for babies' bums, and better for the environment (yes, even when factoring in water use, using the dryer in the winter, etc.), they're prettier too!

That'll do for now, I think.

Back again

So, once again I inadvertently deleted a whole pile o' posts. This proved very frustrating, so I gave the blog a rest for awhile. Now I'm back, and I'm not going to mess with the settings ever again. I hope.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fiesta Macaroni Bean Salad

QueenOfDrama (my lovely daughter/cooking partner-in-crime) loves this salad in her laptop lunches.

3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

3/4 cup vegan "mayonnaise"
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 large carrot, grated
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, minced
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 19-oz. (540 mL) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a large pot of water, boil the pasta. While pasta is cooking, prepare the salad ingredients and place into a medium bowl. To prepare dressing: combine all ingredients. Set aside. To prepare salad: Once pasta is done, drain and rinse pasta under cold water until cooled. Shake off excess water and add to salad bowl. Toss ingredients with dressing and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 2 large or 4 small servings.

(taken from La Dolce Vegan!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sesame Street awesomeness

Check this out:

It's from 1977, when Sesame Street was focused more on education (and less on making sure that no one was offended).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Raspberry Blackout Cake with Ganache-y Frosting

This was Annalina's birthday cake--she quite enjoyed it! Thanks to VegMomma for the suggestion. I doubled the recipe (the recipe below is not doubled) and used a 9x13 pan. I'll post a pic when I figure out how to do it.

Raspberry Blackout Cake

1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 + 1/2 cups plain soy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
10 oz jar of raspberry preserves (reserve 1/2 cup for the batter)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 + 1/4 cups sugar
Fresh raspberries for decorating and yumminess

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round springform cake pans with cooking spray.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Combine the soy milk, oil, 1/2 cup of the preserves, the vamilla, and the sugar in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer or strong fork. The jam should be mostly dissolved with the rest of the ingredients; some small clumps are okay .Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches and mix until everything is incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pans. When the cakes have cooled fully, spread one layer of cake with a think layer of the remaining raspberry preserves; spread a layer of chocolate frosting on top of the preserves. Place the other layer of cake on top and spread its top with preserves. Carefully spread the chocolate frosting over the top, then ice the sides.

Chocolate Ganache-y Frosting
3/4 cups soy creamer (I use Silk brand, but if it's not available then plain soy milk will do)
6 tbsp nonhydrogenated margarine
10 oz semisweet chocolate chips

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the soy creamer to a low boil. Add the margarine and melt, turn off the heat, and stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Let sit for at least 1 hour. It shoudl still have a pourable consistency at this point.

(taken from Vegan with a Vengeance)