This past weekend I had the divine opportunity to speak at The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary's ThanksLiving event. Fun! Amazing! Inspiring! I love my animal rights pals and it's such a privilege to bridge our two worlds - health and compassion. Naturally, I spoke about the effects of a plant-based diet in the role of prevention and reversal of disease and then my BFF Rory Freedman (Skinny Bitch) brought it home with some real deal horrendous facts about what goes on in factory farms.
Jenny Brown and her amazing hubby Doug Able (WFAS Founders) blew our minds with the most delicious feast and a parade of ridiculously cute animal friends. Get this, the turkeys were the guests of honor and they looked gorgeous. So regal. So elegant. Think Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" but with white feathers.
The event really got me thinking about my holiday menu. Brian's family is trekking to Woodstock this year and since they are willing to take the leap and go veg for the weekend I want to make it extra special. But I keep going back and forth. Do I replace the traditional "meat in the middle" dish with a hearty vegan alternative (NOT TOFURKEY - damn that's nasty!) OR do I just make a bunch of little dishes and encourage my family to entertain the idea that a meal is complete without a main event?
Here's an option I'm considering sent by my new friend Gretchen. It's from some fancy vegan cookbook. I'm serving massive amounts of salad as well, but an all raw holiday? Nope, they definitely ain't ready for that (and either am I - pass the gravy!)
Note: This recipe serves 4-6, so double or triple accordingly!
2 T Earth Balance
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 lbs chestnuts, peeled and roasted or three 15-oz cans whole chestnuts, or about ½ lb dried chestnuts, soaked and cooked
2 T parsley, chopped
2 T lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
the equivalent of 2 eggs in egg replacer
a few fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
¼ c oil
dried breadcrumbs for coating
Melt the EB and sauté the onion and celery over moderate heat for 10 minutes until soft but not brown. Transfer to a large bowl. Drain the chestnuts and add to the bowl, mixing then mashing together well.
Add the parsley, lemon juice, egg replacer, and garlic.
The mixture should be soft but firm enough to form into a roll; add breadcrumbs as necessary, more if you’re using canned chestnuts. Season w/salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400. Pour a little oil into a roasting pan and put into the oven to heat.
Form the chestnut mixture into a roll about 8 inches long, pressing it together carefully, then coat it well with the dried breadcrumbs.
Put the roll into the roasting pan and carefully turn it so that it is coated with hot oil.
Bake for 45 mins, until it is crisp on the outside, spooning a little more oil over the roll from time to time. Serve cut into slices with delicious gravy/gravies.
How about you? Any ideas for alternative holiday meal planning?
PS. Check our my girl Corinne with her hubs Steve and their new pig pig pal!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I nearly had a heart attack last night when 2 of Lola's teeth fell out and her mouth started to bleed. I immediately thought EMERGENCY ROOM! My child is dying! Her teeth will choke her as they continue to fall out throughout the night! She has a strange tooth canSer! Oh GODDESS!
Brian and Corinne both laughed at me (which I did not appreciate - until I started to laugh at me too). Is this normal? I guess dog babies are like human babies. It's all so new to me. I'm a cat woman. Cats don't lose their teeth or was I just oblivious?
I gave her some cool veggies to chew on and she went wild. Carrot and Kale shrapnel everywhere!
PS. How many of you are feeding your dogs raw food? How about kibble? We're about to introduce raw and I'm not sure how to do it. Help wise pooch people!
Peace and nervous mother,
Monday, November 17, 2008
Hello Crazy Sexy Pooch lovers,
Well, we finally did it! Brian and I adopted little Lola Rose. She was rescued from a kill shelter down south and given a second chance by the good folks at the Ulster County SPCA. Lola is half leopard dog, half pit bull. She is a wild woman! My child is actually brilliant, we call her Mensa sometimes (house trained her in 3 days), she loves long walks, destroying new toys, cuddling, licking, galloping through our house, pooping in our ferns, playing in leaf piles, getting massages and watching movies (she really watches). She hates The Dog Whisperer. For Shizzle, Lola barks and growls at Caesar. Crap, I love that show! I literally have to turn it off. We DVR Oprah for her instead.
Going home from the shelter... (how frickin' cute is her little freaked out face!?)
I think her ears look like Doritos and I need to bite them on an hourly basis. Making fart noise kisses on her belly is another totally satisfying activity. You all were sooo right! I just needed a little time to get over my loss. Nearly 6 months after the love of my life (sorry Brian) Crystal kitty died I was ready to dip my toe in with a little look. PS. Lola also loves to bark and poo on Crystal's grave. WTF?
Anyway, so off we went to the shelter(s) - total torture. How do you choose? There were and are so many perfect individuals. It's heart breaking. Brian and I visited every Sunday for 6ish weeks and then one day Lola arrived. End of story. We actually got her 2 weeks ago but with the election and a whirl wind trip to DC, LA, AZ, (ugh, just got back) I decided to wait on blogging about her arrival till my dust settled.
I love being a mom again! This is our baby album from day one. More to follow of course. Sorry, I could get gross for a while. Lola is way more fun to talk about than alkaline food or canSer.
She adores attacking brooms and rakes. Who wouldn't?
Peace & poochie,
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
We did it! Not only did the rainbow of race, age, and creed storm the voting booths in record numbers to elect our very first African American healer-poet, philosopher, peacekeeper, maker of change, but thanks to the extraordinary efforts of animal advocates around the country, 20 million farm animals' lives will improve. Prop 2 was also passed!
Is it just me or do you feel empowered again? I woke up whole. I opened my green eyes ready to start a new chapter in my own life. If Obama can do it, what can I do? How far can I go? Where is the ceiling of personal potential or is there one?
Peace and tenacity. Love and righteousness. There is no better job than the job that allows us to serve humanity.
How do you feel today friends? Surreal? Cracked wide open, oozing sunshine and honey? Perhaps hung over? I am! Brian and I waited 2 years to drink an amazing bottle of champagne given to us by our Executive Producer at TLC. The card that came with the spirits read "to the start of the revolution".
You'd think we would have drank it the night "Crazy Sexy Cancer" aired on national television - a feat that few thought we'd accomplish. "Cancer? On TV? Funny? No one wants to see that, ratings will tank".
Yes we can! Yes we did! But still, we did not drink the nectar. Even though it took 5 long years to make and a whole heck of a lot of blood sweat and tears, we knew something bigger was coming.
That champagne tasted really sweet, really right and really HEALTHY last night.
Peace and pride,
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Peace & hope,
PS. All you Cali people, don't forget to vote YES for prop 2 today! Also, check out my fabulous friends at Freerange Studios informative video .
Monday, November 3, 2008
I've got two words for you... One Day! That's all we've got, one day. So here's a concept: let's vote... then volunteer. Contact your local organizers and see how you can help. Drive someone to the polling place who's in need, knock on doors, hand out fliers. And if you live in a swing state like Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, and Pennsylvania - hustle baby hustle! Here are some voting basics:
1. Find your polling place by clicking here or calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
2. Voter ID laws vary by state, but always bring your ID!
3. Not on the list? Make sure you're at the right polling place, then demand a provisional ballot.
4. If voting by machine with paper record, verify the record is accurate.
5. Know your rights when you go to vote: http://truth.voteforchange.com/
6. Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
7. Your cell phone camera is a valuable tool for democracy. Record video of any problems and upload to watchdog sites. One of them is Video The Vote. You can also interview other voters who had problems outside the polling place - as long as you stay the legal distance.
Even Oprah had a hard time at the polls, gang. If you see something fishy, say something. Double, triple check that your vote was counted and that your choice was correct. Let's avoid the Gore debacle at all costs.
Good Luck Obama! I'm on Crazy Sexy Pins & Needles!
Peace and anxiety,