Sunday, January 31, 2010

BBQ Burgers, Homemade Onion Rings , BBQ Sauce

BBQ Burgers

I had these a long time ago at Garfield's. I really loved them. Of course the Boca burgers used there are not vegan and they cost $8 plus a drink. So. I came home and started making them. I do this with alot of burgers I used to go to the Restaurants for. Alot of them are super easy and alot cheaper to make at home. Plus you can cut out some of the calories, make them mostly organic, and make them vegan!

What you need

Boca's Vegan Burgers -This is the brand they use. But they don't use a vegan version.
1 Recipe of Onion rings- Listed below
1 Recipe of BBQ- Listed below
Olive oil
Kaiser Buns or Bread

Poor small amount of oil into your frying pan. De-thaw burgers in microwave. Then fry the burgers up. nicely. Vegan burgers don't have really any fat in them to make them brown So the oil will make them brown nicely. Now you can add a little BBQ sauce to each burger and caramelize it or just take it out of the skillet. At the restaurant they don't caramelize the burgers with BBQ sauce but it is really yummy. Toast your buns, with butter in the skillet or plain in the toaster. Put some yummy BBQ sauce on the bun, then add the burger, lettuce, and tomatoes, and don't forget to put some onion rings on the sammie. I also put a little BBQ sauce in a small cup for dipping. If you don't want to toast your bread before you make the sammie its also a great Idea to put this sammie in a panini press. It is really yummy!

Homemade Onion Rings

When you go to the store and purchase onion rings and feed them to your family it is hard to tell exactly what all is added to them. When I do purchase them I purchase organic* and that costs alot for just a few rings. So I have started making my own. They are really easy to make but if you are going to make a big quantity it can be a little time consuming. I make them in advance when I have time and freeze them in batches. That way all I have to do is grab a bag and either pop them in the oven or fry them. But with this homemade version unlike the store versions there is no oil from pre-frying. So alot less calories.

*Conventional Onions do not have alot of pesticide traces but the other items in the onion rings are not always the best. And some of those items do hold pesticides. So that is why I purchase or Organic onion rings.

All you need

A couple baking sheets or cooling racks
1 Medium onion Per person - This make a good amount
A couple cups of flour
A couple cups of Bread crumbs
And some non-dairy milk. I used almond milk.
And any seasoning you want to add to the flour for extra taste.

Very easy. No measuring. Just enough to role the onion rings around in. Don't put to much in your bread crumb bowl at once though. If the bread crumbs start clumping they will not stick to your onions any more.

So slice the onions in sections so that it makes rings. Place them in a bowl and set aside. Put the flour, bread crumbs and milk in separate bowls for dredging. Place the onions in flour then milk. after the milk put them into the bread crumbs get a good coating. Then put them back into the milk and bread crumbs again. Lay the ring aside and do the same thing with all the rings. I lay the on a baking sheet or cooling rack. After you are finished. Leave them in a single layer on the baking sheet to freeze. It will not take long for them to freeze and they will keep at least 3 months in an air tight container.

The left over ends I chop up and place back in the fridge so I can use them that week. Or you can freeze them to be used later.
To cook these fresh preheat the oven to 425F and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Watch them for the last 5 minutes. Depending on the amount of bread crumbs and the thickness of the ring it will take various baking times. You can bake the rings the same way from the frozen state. The first couple times you bake them. watch them to make sure you do not burn them. Turn your oven down to 375F if you oven is a "hot" oven... These do come out tasty but they do not have any oil. So they can be a little dry. I like them this way though. If you want you can use oil spray and spray them before you put them into the oven. This way they do fry a little from the oil.

To fry just heat oil. Test to make sure it is hot. I like to use a wooden spoon. Place the handle in the hot oil. If the oil bubbles its ready for the food. Ok put the fresh onion rings in for 3 minutes. If frozen add on extra minute. Just take them out when brown. try not to leave them to long. They will soak in a good amount of oil.
Organic BBQ Sauce

My mother has always made this recipe. Not sure were it came from. I do remember she used to put on some kind of meat when I was little but for the life of me I can't remember what. Lol. I know. That is strange but it has been that long since I have seen her make what ever it was. But I do know what it wasn't on. Who knows. lol, anyways.

I now make it from time to time to freeze and have on hand. This way when I can't get a simple organic BBQ sauce at the grocery store I have some already made. Plus you know exactly what is going into this BBQ sauce.

So this again is quick and easy. This is a double batch. So just chop it is half for just one dinner.

1 Cup Organic Ketchup
1 Cup Organic Agave ( It calls for Kero syrup which is corn syrup, you take your pick, Make sure the brand you use is thick)
1/2 Cup Vegan worchestershire, Like Annies or the Wizard one
1/4 to 1/2 cup Organic apple cider vinegar (Depends on the taste you like)
2 Tbsp Organic Chili powder

Combine all ingredients into a pot. Heat till it bubble. Stir. Turn back to a simmer. Let cook for a few minutes while stirring. Take off heat and place in fridge to cool. It will thicken back up. If you want a really thick sauce while it is still on the stove add a little cornstarch. This will make it pretty thick.
  • Tip put it in an ice tray and then pop it out into a baggy. Then you have individual serving sizes.

Chickens- Egg Binding- Warning Graphic Picture of egg below

Winter has been going pretty smooth. Well so I thought. 3 Mornings ago I went and checked on the chickens before I left to go grocery shopping. It had just started dropping back down to the single digits so even though I seen that Big Red was Fluffed up and Standing With both feet down just looking a little uncomfortable I thought maybe it was from the cold. And people normally tell me I am making something out of nothing so I left her alone. The next day John let them out of the coop around 1pm. It was cold out ( Like 5 Degress ) and I didn't want anyone else getting frost bit. So we had left them in part of the day. Most of the chickens wondered out including Big Red. John ran into the house. I was napping. He woke me up saying there is white fluid coming from Big Reds Vent. So I got dressed and ran outside knowing before I even seen it what the problem was.

She was depressed, Fluffed out, not eating or drinking, Standing on both feet, not moving around much, but every few minutes she would strain and try to lay her egg.

So freaking out because this was our first trouble other then Frost bite. I was a little worried. We didn't know exactly what we were doing. I called the vet who said she would she chickens but she was out for the weekend. I called every where. Luckily the last place i called had an exotics vet who said she would see her. She deals with parrots and such so. I thought we had a good chance.

I read my chicken health handbook. And spoke with a large animal vet who said to see if we could puncture and pull out the egg. So as brave as I am I was afraid of hurting her and so I sent John in to do the dirty work :)

It is funny how far he has come since we first got together. He liked animals then but he wasn't a vegetarian. he had never thought about being. He hadn't really been around many animals and didn't really know that much about them. I on the other hand was a vegetarian, which he Didn't hold against me :) and I know a good bit about animals. Over the years he has become so interested and has learned so much. Its really awesome!

Anyways, I John put on the glove and put some oil on his finger and went in... He was in the Cloaca and felt around. He could move something but because it felt fleshy he thought it was part of her. So he brought some yolk back out with he but no egg. This worried me a little. I wondered if the egg was further up then it was supposed to be.

The vet couldn't see us till 4pm. It was around 2pm. Checked on her again and she was straining to lay her egg. A bubble of flesh, part of her cloaca was starting to come out from all the straining. So I called the Vet back and asked if we could come straight in. We live about an hour away. So we still didn't make it there till about 3:30pm. She was really good in the kennel. She did strain a few times on the way there. The vet, Dr. Linner came in and brought the "egg" right out. It didn't really look like an egg. It looked fleshy maybe even a little cooked. Big Red looked relieved as soon as the vet pulled the egg out. She was happy again. Dr. Linner gave Big Red a shot of Antibiotics because she was not sure how long the egg had been stuck. She also said she was kind thin. Which really surprised me because we have feeders out at all times. But a few months ago I had changed from crumbles to pellets. She also told me to make sure she gets more Calcium which I already knew. The Dr was really nice and was alot of help! If this ever happens again and I catch it quick I think we should be able to fix it. But I will probably go to the vet to make sure everything is alright.

O' yeah. she also told me to watch for shock. Because after the stress she could get shocky. Don't put her in with the chickens for a couple days so they don't pick on her and put a little source of heat in their coop. It shouldn't hurt them.

When we left the vet John put straw and food in the kennel and she started eating again. Right away just like nothing had ever happened. She also was drinking a ton of water from a paper cup John had cut down for her.

We came home that evening and put some light bulbs in the coop for heat. It is surprising that 2- 100 watt light bulbs can keep the coop warm enough to not totally freeze the water when it is 1 degrees outside. So they do put of a good amount of heat. I might add a third though. The chickens seem alot happier and stay in the coop even when the door is open.

We have switched them back to crumbles and they have been eating a ton. I also added some more Shell to their diets so that hopefully this doesn't happen again.

Because she was doing so well and because the temperature was supposed to fall and stay cold for the next couple weeks we did put her back into the coop the night be brought her home. The other chickens did not mess with her. But we did check on her about once every hour to make sure she was doing good and no one way picking on her. She showed no Shock symptoms. The swelling that was around her vent was totally gone by the time we placed her into the coop as well.

But Big Red is back to her normal self. and this morning I even found a fresh egg in the coop. I was hoping her body would hold off making eggs for a few days But... I guess her system is back to normal. and I am so happy that everything worked out so great!

Egg Binding


Anytime a chicken or any bird for that matter has its feathers all fluffed out and is standing still on both feet something might be wrong. So this is a definite sign of alot of things.

not eating or drinking
Staining to lay an egg- If you know anything about chickens you will know the sound they make when they are trying to lay. They will also kinda squat down and blink their eyes.
Fluid coming from the vent.

In Big Reds case her egg didn't appear to have a shell. So her case was different then most.

If their is a vet you can go to take your chicken there. If not there are a ton of sites to help you through trying to remove the egg. I would write about it. But I feel for the first timers that you should have someone experienced show you how its done. This way you do not hurt your birds. Because a shell is sharp and can do damage if it is not taken out carefully. So look up Egg bound or Egg Binding. There are also other conditions that can cause an egg to get stuck.. Some of these will need a vet. Prolapsed oviduct, false layers, internal layers, Salpingitis, tumors, etc are all things that could be wrong. So do some research about chickens before you bring them home. Vet cost for this visit... was a lucky $44.08 but the look of relief on Big Reds face: Priceless :)

This Chicken Health Handbook has alot of information!

Warning: Graphic Picture Below

This is what it looks like. It has been frozen for 2 days so it doesn't look as felshy as it did. But it really did just look like thick flesh that had been peeled off in the shape of an egg and it really doesn't smell good at all. If you wasn't vegan before you might be one step closer thanks to this picture.. :) I wish I would have gotten a picture before I froze it! I might have to let it de thaw and take another picture later....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cat Urinary Tract- Struvite Crystals in Urine

A quick run through

We are now dealing with Moejo not only having IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) but now he is having a problem with Crystals in his Urine.
I noticed him having trouble urinating a couple weeks ago. I knew about the condition. So I knew what to look for. But for those who don't know.

If your kitty is:

Spending alot of time in the litter box.
Straining to Urinate or maybe you think he might be having a hard time defecating.
Yelling out in pain.
Painful to the touch.
Urinating a little and stopping or not urinating at all
Urinating out side of the litter box or in weird places
Licking their genitals alot
In male cats the penis may not withdraw into the sheath
Blood in the urine
Weird color of urine, Brownish, dark yellow (can mean blood)
Struvite crystals sometimes stick to the fur around the penis
White or yellowish discharge around penis

If you see any of these symptoms it can be a life of death situation and you kitty should be taken immediately to the vet! a cat can die from as little as 12 hours from not urinating. The urine backs up into the kidneys and the kidneys will stop producing urine! Which means all the toxins in the busy will build up and send the kidney's into kidney(renal) failure. So it is very important to watch for those signs! And be quick you kitty may need catheterized to release all the urine and help him clear some crystals of stones!

What causes crystals in the bladder? Alot of scientists think it is caused by high amounts of ash in the food. Cheap food has way, way to much ash. But evidence in a lab setting has not showed favorable out comes for this theory. They have not been able to prove that ash causes stuvite crystals in the bladder. But just in case and for many other reasons it is important to feed your animals a good quality food. Which I do feed all of our animals very good quality food.

So why Did Moe get crystals?

Crystals are formed in the bladder when magnesium levels are to high. This causes the bladder to become acidic and causes struvite crystals to form. To much magnesium in animal food can cause this. But I think Moe's problem is that one of our other cats pick on him so he doesn't come out of the bedroom much. So I don't know how much water he normally intakes but I would guess probably not enough.

and yes not enough water can cause their to be not enough liquid in the bladder to keep the alkalinity normal. There for causing buildup of to many toxins and making the bladder acidic.

Moe also has a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). This could have caused some of the crystals or could just be secondary caused by all the crystals.

So what will they do for your Kitty at the vet?

  • 1st is a urine sample. Needs to be collected in a clean container. No cat litter! Just urine. They will test it for several different things including a Crystal count. Moes count was so high that they could not come up with a number. His urine was also dark and some of the other tests could not be read correctly and will have to be done again. At our normal clinic I paid $31 for the urinalysis.
  • 2nd they will check for Kidney stones! Specially in Male cats. Their Urethra is alot smaller so if a kidney stone is flushed out it could cause a block. This is normally done with an ultrasound.
They will shave kitty's belly and put a jelly on it and look around with their hand held. Hopefully no stones are found. This will range in price from $80 to $250 and it includes the office visit. Hospitals will charge alot more then Vet clinics. So always check clinics first. Moe was lucky and has no kidney stones to be seen.

  • So next he has been put on Clavamox ($30 every 10 days) for 4 weeks for his UTI and I would assume to stop any further complications due to infection.
  • He was put as SD ($1.60 a can) food. Which is very high in sodium and will be on it for 4 weeks. The sodium will make him drink more and will help flush his kidneys out. Next we will need to do a full blood panel to check and make sure his kidney function is doing ok with the high Sodium food.
    This will run about $100 to $120 dollars.
  • At some point in the next week or so I will need to send in another urine sample to test again. To see how things are progressing. To see if the "flush" is doing its job. And to see if the other tests, that were messed up by the color of his urine the first time, can be completed. Another $31
This will not be the end. He will have to be on special food for at least 2 to 3 months if not for the rest of his life. It will not be the SD. It will be a food a little lower in sodium but higher then normal food. It will also be low in Magnesium and Phosphorus.

After you kitty gets crystals once it is something you will always have to be awear of and make sure kitty is urinating normally at all times. It can be a returning problem.

Moe is doing ok today. He has been relaxing in the bedroom and I have now put water and food bowls all over the house to make sure he is getting enough. I will update later.

Roasted Edamame Salad

Roasted Edamame Salad
From Elton Brown's Edamame Show
Recipe link above. I skipped the scallions & the basil and this still turned out tasty. Wasn't a big hit the first time I ate it. but the next day I craved the red wine vinegar that was all over the salad but I really liked it on the tomatoes and that more I ate of it the more I enjoyed it. It's a nice fresh crisp taste. But would also be great to take on a trip or as a picnic, or maybe just for lunch. It was really nice. I will definitely make it again. But I will still leave out the basil.

Can't wait to have this as a nice side dish in the summer.
But its good all year round

Update: This has become one of my go to lunches. I love this stuff. Sometimes I eat it like listed above sometimes I just eat it as edamame, corn, oil, garlic, salt, & Pepper. Either way it is a great lunch and healthy. Love it

Killer of all bathroom electronics!

Don't let her sweet little PitBull face full you.

Roxie is a natural born killer!
But only of Electronics... and anything she can find laying around the house that she decides is a chew toy! :) and that is most objects. If it will fit in a mouth.. she will find it!
She even got into a pull out drawer to get my hair dryer!
She is very very smart!

:)-Wow, who knew one dog could chew so much?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vegan Lunch Box- Chili Con "Carne"

My Long day!

I had a long day yesterday. Up at 4am drive into work with John to pick up our car from his job. Went to Walmart to kill some time because I needed Dog food and the pet store didn't open till 10am. Had subway at 7am. Its in our Walmart. Spent Almost $8 at Walmart in 2 hours. lol.. Then went to Target about 20 minutes away. Got there at 8:30am. Spent about $15 on kitchen stuff they had on sale. Then went to Krogers and 9:30am and spent about $4. Wow right.... In 3 hours time I spent including Subway $31. Not bad right. Finally I go to the Pet store at about 15 till 10 only to find out that I have been wasting time for nothing because that have been open since 9am.... I wanted to scream! Wow. So then I can back to Fairmont and John was working and wanting to have lunch. He didn't know I had ate at Subway.. Shoooooo.... :) So he wanted Taco Bell. Which I don't normally do. So I went and got a Plain Bean Burrito & he had 3 Fresco Bean Burrito and and two cups of water. O'yeah I forgot to mention I swear off Soda yesterday. Haven't been feeling good and have had sinus drainage and it gets worse when I drink my beloved Diet Caffeine Free Pepsi. So. I was drinking water all day. After we ate I came home. Did have much time to waste though. We keep Roxie in the bathroom when we are not home. I got ready to leave again. I was going to Chey's Schools Christmas Party. School has been cancelled so many times because of the snow that they just not had it. So I went up there for about 2 hours. Then finally came home. Then I started on the Chili Con "Carne". It was about 4:00pm. I sauteed the onions. Couldn't find the frozen bell peppers so I skipped them. Boiled 5 cups of water. Chopped up 2 tomatoes (Not in the recipe). And put everything in the pot. Luckily I had measured everything out except the water the night before. I was so tired by 4:30pm. I don't work good on 2 hours of sleep. Anyways. Then I flopped down no the couch. Ate a bowl of cereal. Watched a couple tv showed that had taped on the DVR and then fell asleep 5 minutes short of the 3 show ending. Oops. :) So i slept for about an hour on and off till John got home a little after 8pm. The Chili smelled great. So we had chili at about 9pm.

Chili Con "Carne" Click the Link!

This recipe is simple to make and easy to throw everything together and leave it in your crock pot. I wasn't sure about the spice blend. I am a little picky about my chili. Growing up I always had the pre-seasoned canned beans mixed with kidney beans, and with a packet of Chili seasoning added. So I really like it that way. For the most part that is how I cook it. I mean I add veggies, etc to it. But, other wise its store bought.

The texture to this chili is really nice. I really like the TVP in it. I have never cooked with TVP because I just wasn't sure how to cook with it. This recipe showed me that it is simple and I will definitely cook with it more often. It gave a great texture to the chili. I normally only have beans and veg in my chili. But for now on I will add TVP. But back to the herbs. It calls for Thyme, Sage, & Oregano. Measuring the spices the night prier I knew that the one herb was really fragrant compared to the others. But I decided that was the recipe so I am going to make it that way. I think it is the Oregano. It is really pungent to me. To over powering to the other spices in the chili. You could definitely smell it over everything while it was cooking. But when I took the first bite I could tell it was just to much for me. so I added another tsp and a half of paprika and a half tsp of cumin. That didn't really help it. The oregano was still very strong. I made a bowl. Added some more paprika, smart balance light, and crackers. ate a couple bites and them gave it to John. He said it was pretty good. He ate my bowl and another bowl.

I tried it again this morning. After the flavors had more time to meld together. Its a little less pungent this morning but still a little to strong, Oregano wise, for me to eat. I think I will make this again. Well I am going to mix up the herbs & spices a little bit But I am going to make something similar in the future.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vegan Cook book recipes I am getting ready to try

Vegan Lunch Box

Sneaky Mommas Tom Sauce PG109
Mixed Veg Wat PG
Niter Kalden PG101
Broccoli Calzones PG147
Chili Con "Carne" PG 149
Eat your oatmeal pancakes PG
Lentil Rice Balls PG159
Red Rice & Black Beans PG170
Tofu Fish sticks
Wild Rice pilaf PG187
almond Buttered Sweet Potatoes PG190
Broccoli Piccata
Limas w/ Chestnuts & Brussels
Slow cooker Black Beans PG204
Blue Ribbon PG220
Croissants PG222
Banana Oatmeal Cookies PG233
Calcium Smoothie PG 257 - Just tried this one. Nice smoothie. but I think it needs less vanilla 1/2 tsp makes it very vanilla! You know when you eat something and you get a dry feeling in your mouth thats what this smoothie does to me. O 'yeah. I used almond milk you need to use a different dairy alternative. Fruit makes it look curdled and it will separate.

Cashew Crispy Squares PG23

The Conscious cook

Fingerling potatoes PG31
Focaccia w carmalized onions PG51
Summer Chopped Salad PG72
Quinoa Salad PG75
PG 80
Gardien "Chicken" Piccata PG85
Corn Chowder PG89
Artichoke Ricotto tortellini w/ saffron sauce PG165
Banana Rum Cheesecake :) PG198
Coffee date cake :) !
Herbed cashew cheese PG121
Tofu Cakes & Pan Roasted Summer Veg PG139
Pasta Dough for Ravioli PG146
Gardien "Chicken" Scaloppini

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wintering the Chickens

The Chickens have faired ok till this week. I have been worried about them all winter. I was hoping that the coop we built this summer would be warm enough to winter them in. But for the last week we have had single digit temps and below zero wind shield. Yesterday I went out to water and check on them and Isis now has a frost bit comb. I feel so bad. I wish I could do something for her. But from my research and the people I ask tell me it will fall off with time. I just feel like it is probably painful right now. I just don't know what to do. Some people say put Vaseline on it. I think I might try that tonight. Hope the rest of her comb is ok. My Chicken health handbook said I should isolate her. I'm not sure that is a great idea. And put Neosporine on her comb. When John gets home tonight I will do that. He has to help me because our big rooster, Titan, hates me. He attacks me any chance he gets. Hope she is ok. She really doesn't act like it bothers her. O' Yeah. went to the Feed store I get my straw at. Its called Main Street Trader. The guy who owns it or runs it.. Has chickens so I asked him.

Ahead is a conversation with a meat eater. Do not take seriously what he says and no one will be hurt... lol

He said it would just fall off with time. Not to worry about it.
Then he said
"If it gets to bad to "Shhhhhhhttttt... Off with her head, and turn her into stew"....
I'm like "I don't eat meat" nicely, kinda laughing... cough cough gag... :)
and he said
"Well chicken is hardly a meat"
and I said
"Well I don't know about that" so then he asked "
so you don't eat any meat"
and I responded with "Nope"
and he said "what about Egg & dairy and that kinda thing"
and I said "Nope" so hes like "So your a totally vegan" and I was like yep.
He was really nice through the who conversation. So that was good. But after a came home and told John. Johns said I should have said
"doesn't look like any vegetable I've ever seen"
"Wonder what tree they come from I could make a fortunate"
and last " Does that make the chickens egg a seed" "Maybe I should plant one to see"

lol... so we both had a good laugh. I wish John would have been with me. He probably wouldn't have said it anyways .. But It would have been really funny if he would have.

The rest of the chickens; though not happy with the snow seem to be fairing ok. Everyone has been staying inside the coop because it coops snowing under the roofed in enclosure. I keep putting new straw out for it to only be covered once more by snow. I am thinking about hanging a light up in the coop so that I can keep the door closed all day so it will keep them warmer when it is snowing or below 10F. This has been a very very cold week. Not normally for us. We normally stick to around the 20F's. I think this summer I am going to insulate their coop. So next winter it should get warmer. I really wish I would have thought of it this summer. Hopefully it will start getting warmer. Bit for the next week or so it is supposed to stay pretty cold. :(

Update: Got the Antibiotic put on Isis's comb. Its not looking any better today. But there isn't any open spots. She just cooed and let me put on the meds. she didn't act like it bothered her any. Maybe she knew I was trying to help. She didn't really want John to touch her though. But what I really didn't think about was how the straw was going to stick to her comb after the meds were on. Oops. So I bet I know why they want her isolated. Ivy was nice enough to easily pick the straw bits off. We put up another perch inside the coop for them to sleep on. I noticed lastnight that they have grown so much that one night perch wasn't enough. I also pu some straw bats going up the sides of the coop walls on the inside to insulate better. I hope this helps them stay warmer. Going to send John out to check on Isis later. Make sure noone is picking at her comb.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Dinner: Sauerkraut w/ Veggie Dogs & Apple Blue Berry Crisp

Every year on New Years as far back as I can remember my family has had sauerkraut for dinner. There are a couple different ways you can fix Sauerkraut. Some are more healthy then others. The traditional way is with pork on New Years eve. This falls back on an Old Dutch Pennsylvania Tradition. Which is supposed to bring good luck & wealth in the New Year. Being a Vegan though leads me away from the thinking that pork means wealth; Wealth because you were fortunate enough to have the means to have a hog to slaughter. So I look at it in a different light. I look at the way I have been enlightened to the abuse that goes on in the world. And I am Fortunate enough to have the means and the morality to live a life of compassion for all. I wish everyone would learn they have the means to live a compassionate life. All it takes is wanting others to live a life of less suffering; a life were they have a right to breath, be in the sun shine, & live their lives to the fullest extent and not be slaughtered. Anyone who sees the truly disgusting way these animals are treated should be able to say this is morally reprehensible; and know that this really needs to change.

I would also like to start new Traditions for New Years. Next year I am thinking about taking food from New Years traditions around the world and making some of each that we choice. Learning more about where these traditions come from and why they become traditions. I think it could be a cool new start to the year!

Eating sauerkraut isn't just good luck its beneficial to your health.

Cancer Fighter: The fermentation of cabbage produces a substance called isothiocynates, which prevents cancer growth, particularly in the breast, colon, lung and liver.

Digestive Aid: Sauerkraut is one of the few foods that contain the bacteria Lactobacilli plantarum. It will help balance and protect your gastrointestinal tract. Many people use it to cure upset stomach. It has been used for centuries for stomach aliments and to keep people.... regular... for lack of you better term... It has also been used as a remedy for constipation. Today researchers believe high amounts of lactic acid found in sauerkraut helps aid in the digestive process as well by breaking down harder to digest foods. Also, Today most commercially sold kraut has been pasteurized and so the bacteria are not longer useful. Look for fresh sauerkraut in the fridge section or in barrels where it is fresh made. It is very low in calories.

Immune Boost: Sauerkraut has tons of vitamins & minerals & produce a variety of beneficial enzymes which will help boost your immune system. The fermentation process boosts vitamin-C levels. It has been used as an immune booster for centuries.

Flu cure- Maybe. Researchers in Korea believe that extract from sauerkraut can cure Avian flu in birds. But more research is needed to know for sure.

We also had roles, mashed potatoes, and a Fruit Crisp.

There are 2 basic ways I know of that you can cook Sauerkraut. Or you can eat it the way it is cold. But you can simmer or fry it. I usually simmer mine. Just dump it and the juice straight from the packaging into a simmering pan. Add the sliced up veggie hot dogs or just eat it alone. Let it simmer long enough to get warm or hot. If you let it just get warm alot of the vitamins will stay intact. Then serve. If you would like you can cook the veggie dogs first then through them in while the sauerkraut heats that way the veggie dogs are nice and cooked. Then serve with mashed potatoes and roles... Yum!

Or you can fry it. I have never had it this way till this New Years. I simmered mine and seen that my mother had fried hers. So I went home and took some of my left overs and fried them. It does soak up a fair amount of oil. So it can be fattening. It takes alot more of the veggie dogs flavor when you fry it. It drys out and turns a little brown. My mom cooks hers alot more even past what my picture shows. I liked it but to me it just had a little to much oil. Serve with you mashed potatoes and roles again.

I also had a ton of apples that needed used. So for dessert I made a very yummy Fall Fruit Crisp. I used the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking; PG 142. But I made a few minor changes. I used almonds instead of walnuts and I added ground Flax for an Omega- 3 Boost. Next time I will make double the topping. The picture in the book looks like there is a ton of topping but in a 8x8 baking dish it only puts a thin layer. The almonds worked very nicely with the recipe. Also I cut up the entire 8 cups of apple and it wouldn't fit in my baking dish. So if your dish is 8x8 or 9x9 and isn't more then 2 inches deep don't cut up the whole 8 cups. I put the extra in a separate small baking dish and made another double serving. So I didn't waste any. The topping although kinda thin was really yummy and could be used on the top of any crisp. Or even a topping or side for just a plane baked apple or other fruit. The texture was really nice too. I really enjoyed it.

If you click the link above it will take you to google books. This is a cool feature that lets you browse through alot of different books. It will take you straight into The joy of vegan baking to the cobbler & crumble page. Scroll down to page 142 and the recipe is there.

In case that link moves here is another link to the recipe another blogger has listed it out. The blog is called Gastronomers.


Welcome the tradition of Compassion into your year, your home, and your life!