Wednesday, September 26, 2012

definition of man


They are special
those inconsistencies
how they change everything
how they change nothing
how life keeps going
how they stand out
It's all a matter of perspective
subjective like most things
to some, they annoy
to others, they're cherished
but they are special
unique
choice
they are specifically
us
they are exact
in the definition 
of 
man

Monday, September 24, 2012

Your just desserts - Banana Ice Cream



I think the hardest part of becoming a vegan for me has been desserts. Yes, everyone hits me with the, "how can you live without dairy?!", but in reality it's not that hard - after a bit of time. And in this day and age you can find coconut, soy and rice ice cream all over the place (even at some ice cream parlors) and let not forget sorbet - which is ALWAYS milk free. :)

But at the end of the day, even those fabulous dairy free alternatives aren't SUGAR free - so if you're trying to be healthy...

That is why I love, love, love, love... FROZEN BANANA ICE CREAM!

currently being consumed as blog is being written

This is the easiest and most delicious dessert you can make that comes with NO GUILT because it's low calorie, sugar free (meaning you won't be adding any sugar, I'm not counting the sugar in the fruit itself), and its delicious. Ok, so I already said that, but it really is.

What you need:

1 banana - the riper the better. This is a great recipe to use up those bananas you forgot to eat.
some fresh pineapple (optional - I have a container of cut up pineapple I use for green smoothies on hand most days)
Strawberries (optional - you can use any berry or no berry, you can just it the ice cream and be done with it)

You'll also need a food processor or a blender.

Chop up the banana and freeze it. This should take about an hour, minimum - I free over night.
Once it frozen, place the bits into the food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl/plate and top as you choose. It's just that simple, fresh banana ice cream that is vegan, raw, and healthy.

Now, if you don't mind a bit of sugar in your diet - you can add about a tablespoon of agave (honey or real maple syrup), a tspn of vanilla and you'll have a new banana vanilla ice cream and if you want to go one step further, add 2 tablespoons coco power - BAM! Chocolate.

OR - you can stick with the agave and instead of vanilla, add a teaspoon of cinnamon - amazingly delicious.

And now you're thinking... what about a milk shake???

EASY PEASY!

Add 1/2 cup Milk of choice (I use rice) - Banana Milk shake.

Banana ice cream is healthy and versatile too! It's great for hot summer days or to just snack on.

Now... go free something and eat it! yum yum yum num yum yum yum!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sunset



be that as it may
I would still like a
recount
a recheck
a redo
I would like
a moment
of peace
of quiet
I would love
to sleep
for hours
as the fan spins
and spins
and the child sings
along

be that as it may
it would be nice
a moment
flowing on
floating by
it would be nice
a sunset
blue and pink
purple and gold
I would love
to trip
into something
and twirl around
and around
and around
and around

till the sun blurred yellow
and the ground green and brown

because truth isn't always true
and right isn't always just
and be that as it may

I'd rather 
enjoy
what's left

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meatless Recipe - Vegan Roast!




I think a lot of times vegetarians don't take the leap vegan because how how limiting they feel it will be. By taking the grilled cheese and baked manicotti off the menu, we lose site of all the other things that are out there. 

Then you think, "Hey, I can do this! Just look at all the vegetarian foods on the market!" But when you start reading the labels on those boxes, it becomes apparent that it's not a very vegan friendly world out there (unless you live some place like L.A. or NYC - but I have to admit, Cleveland wasn't that bad. New vegan restaurants were popping up as I left. If you live in that area, check out The Flaming Ice Cube in Public Square. Now there's some yummy stuff.)

But you can't be going out to lunch all the time - it's both expensive and time consuming (and fattening) and that means cooking.

I've always like to experiment in the kitchen. Some of my favorite memories as a child involve cooking, food (and seeing what concoctions could be made in our new, state of the art, microwave!!)


psst! It didn't have a dial = super duper cool
But now, as a vegan and a adult that tries NOT to microwave food (a lot), I've taken to methods from days of old - and I use a stove, or a slow cooker in the instance. 

Finding something that is both vegan, reasonably priced and not loaded with sodium can be tricky - so I started doing research. I used to be addicted to Turtle Island Foods Tofurky Deli Slices (which are amazing) but due to over consumption of processed soy, I had to give them up. This left a massive hole in my diet. I, like many, and a fan of quick and convenient foods for snacking, lunches, etc - so I needed to figure things out and fast.

Enter - Gluten Flour and the Seitan Roast.



You can thinly slice it for cold cuts, dice it up and add it to your three bean chili. You can slice it into strips and use it in fajitas or cut a thick slab and prepare it like a fillet - we do all these in this house. 

The price of this "roast" is around $5-7 - compared to a Holiday Roast which will run you around $20. You won't use the entire bottle of wine in the roast, which means you can save the rest for dinner (or whatever you'd like to do with it.) You won't use all of the flour in one sitting, which means 2 roasts and once you buy the herbs, you can make 20+ and still have herbs left over. 

As for the broth, use your own [here's a good recipe if you want to make your own] or you can just buy a quart at the store. Buy low sodium! ALWAYS buy low sodium, you can add the salt you want later.

And with out further adieu, here is my recipe! 


2 1/2 Cups Vital Gluten Flour - I buy Bob's Red Mill
1 can organic white beans. (the roast in the photo, I used navy, they were on sale.) 
1 tspn Onion 
1/2 tspn garlic
1 1/4 tspn rubbed sage
1 1/4 thyme
1/2 tspn cumin
1.4 tspn salt 
1/2 C White Wine - I used a beringer chardonnay, they're reasonably priced and tasty. If you don't want to use wine, substitute with vegetable broth. You can also up your Bragg amount, but the roast will be VERY salty. 
1/3 C Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/2 C Water

2 medium onions
3 cloves garlic
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 C Wine (or Soy Sauce)
4 C Vegetable Broth
water

Cheese Cloth!


In a food processor blend the beans, seasoning and add the 1/2 c wine. Blend until smooth. Add Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Don't add the last 1/2 Cup water. 

In another bowl add the Gluten Flour and slowly add the bean mixture. If it's still a little dry use the last 1/2 Cup of water until you get a nice stretchy dough (you may not need the water)

Kneed the dough on the counter for a few minutes and form what ever shape you'd like. Wrap it in cheese cloth and place it in the slow cooker. Add the onions and garlic (and feel free to add celery and carrots). Cover with remaining wine and 4 cups of broth. If it's still not covered, top off with water. 




Turn the cooker on high and let it cook for 24 hours. The longer you let your roast cook, the juicer it will become. 

When your roast is finished, take it out of liquid and remove cheese cloth. Place in a container that can be sealed - like a pyrex bowl with a lid - and add 2 tablespoons of the liquid it was roasted in, into the container. 


Now! Don't go and throw out the liquid you cooked the roast in. Pull out your quart pan an set it on the stove - mix together 2 TBSP of Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance) and 2 TBSP of flour - mix it up until all the butter is absorbed into the flour. Slow add the liquid to the pan, one ladle full at a time 

(NOTE: if you don't like chunky gravy, you may want to strain out the onions - REGARDLESS - REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES. You don't want them in your gravy.)

Allow the gravy to boil, the lower the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes - give it a stir here and there to scrap off the goodness from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 tspn of Rubbed Sage, 1/2 Garlic Powder, 1 tspn Onion Powder - a little salt and pepper to taste - and now you have a perfect gravy to go with your new Vegan Roast!


This recipe has a mild flavor, so you will be able to adjust the flavor of the dish you're making and not have your meals OVERPOWERED by a strong flavored Vegan Roast. 



Hope you love it as much as we do! And PLEASE if you make it, let me know what you think!

100% Vegan Yum




Happy Eating!

-Aryn 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thought process


To over think
every thought
would be a waste of time
yet here I am
thinking
about everything
so much
it swirls
around
and around
and around
pulling me past
myself
alone

Most certainly lost
in the sea disdain
a lack of trust
and the lack of
control
for myself
with myself
a butterfly effect
chaos at
its best
as the pretty pictures
storm the gate
leaving me
a pile of wreckage.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Adventures in Cleaning


I found out about this gem cleaning solution on pinterest and later I googled it and found this site, which went into great detail about the process.

And then I promptly forgot about it.

OK, I didn't forget as much as I couldn't find a large enough spray bottle and I have issues with paying $6 or so for a bottle of Dawn dish soap (or $3, or anything over $1.5, like the generic dish soap I use in my home). So I just let it slip away and ignored the nasty soap scum in my bathroom, sticking with my normal excuses as to why it was alright NOT to remove said scum.

And then the roaches came.

So all the blogs and pins I read about "Dawn & Vinegar" were for bathroom use - but I decided to go out on a limb and try it in other ways and LET ME TELL YOU!! SHAZAM!

My stove looks A-MA-ZING!


This mixture of soap and hot vinegar removed stains and cooked on goo that I can never get off. It removed grease from the top and the side and dark marks from the vents in the front of the stove.



It was SO unbelievable I rushed off to my bathroom and sprayed the hell out of the tub and the tub walls... guess what? ALSO A-MA-ZING!!

(I'd post photos, but my bathroom is small and it's hard to get in there and take a photo and not cut out more than half the room.)

This is what I did different:

First - I didn't buy Dawn, it's expensive and actually my least favorite dish soap on the market (but I still love them because of saving wild life after having oil sludge dumped on them. So GO DAWN! You rock - except in my sink). I used my generic target brand dish soap - in vivid green. Because it's cheap.

Second - I didn't wait 2 hours. Let me give you a heads up, heated vinegar smells TERRIBLE. Terrible. Like eye burning, nose hair singing bad. Clean fast, and open windows.
Use a wet rag, sponge, towel, whatever and wipe the wall/appliance down completely and BAM - shiny clean surfaces.

Third - It worked anyway and I will no longer buy stupid cleaning supplies like Tilex that make me want to vomit and not wash my child in the tub for 2 days after using it. (And I won't by the eco-friendly cleaners, because if it's eco-friendly, that means I should be able to make it myself, at home.)


I had to pass this along because it works so well and its SO CHEAP! You can buy a gallon of white vinegar for under $3 - as for a spray bottle, you can either go out and buy one, or dump out one of your old cleaners (wash the bottle several times) and use that. (I ended up using the travel spray bottle I use to tame my curly fro - I'll need a new one).

Totally worth it.

Happy cleaning (and saving!)
Aryn

ps - Thank you "Life, Crafts & Whatever" for you awesome blog!
pps - if you're bored you can follow me on twitter and on pinterest

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Crossroad


I haven't been on here in a long while... actually, that's not entirely true, but until yesterday I hadn't posted in a very long while. Over a month actually...

Suddenly I find myself at a crossroad. I have to decided what to do with this blog.

When I started writing this blog back in '09 it was to speak about my new life as a mother. A way to vent about my transition from social "afternoon" drinker and employee to mother of one and unemployed.

Everything was new.

Back then I enjoyed venting but now, most days, I feel like I'm doing nothing more than complaining about nothing, and that is not what I want out of my life or in it.

So what to do?

I don't know, and that's the truth, but for now I'm going to flow with it and by the end of 2012 (apocalyptic style or the normal new years route) make a decision, one way or the other.

If you have kept reading over all these years, I say thank you. It means a lot that you stop by and read my words. More than you may ever know.

Sincerely,
Aryn

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The truth about nothing.




sun sets
leaves fall
wind twists 
and change
the stars 
pale in color
as the moon 
rises,
and truth
as it should be
in daisies
in leaves
in shadowy 
cavernous souls
sit quietly
waiting
but sadly
there is no 
truth
in anything
at all