Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Snow of Fall 2011

Some pictures of the first season's snow from my little flower garden.  Obviously, most of the flowers have become part of the compost pile, but a few remained.  My husband dug up the dahlias yesterday and there are plenty of bulbs for next spring.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Zombie Attack

I know I'm not the only one who is watching the Walking Dead right now.  So far, the 2nd season is phenomenal.  Zombies are such a cultural phenomenon at the moment that I have zombie dreams.  Guess what?  I kick serious zombie butt.

C'est moi kicking arse in my awesome zombie t-shirt

Here's my top 10 fav zombie films and shows:

28 Days Later- Absolutely frightening- the people and the zombies!
Zombieland- Awesomely fun & screamtastic.  
Dawn of the Dead (2004)- This is the movie that got me into zombies.  And I love Sarah Polley.  
Night of the Living Dead (1968)- I still jump up and down during parts.  
The Dollhouse- this show gave me the most zombie nightmares.  I freaking loved it.  
The Walking Dead- I get so nervous while watching this show that I need a stiff drink to get through it.   
Shaun of the Dead- I laughed, I jumped up and down and yelled at the characters.  Good fun.  
Pet Cemetery- Not as good as the book, but still well done.  
Resident Evil: The Afterlife- Milla Jovovich kicks so much arse in this movie.  And it was surprisingly good.  I liked (but fell asleep during) the first Resident Evil.  This is the only other film I've seen out of the lot, but I highly recommend.  
Planet Terror- Rose McGowan and Robert Rodriguez equals awesomeness.  I really regret not seeing the Grindhouse movies (Planet Terror & Death Proof) back to back, because they were probably the best films to come out that year.  I'm a big fan of both and loved McGowan in this.  

Joe looking for zombies

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Michelle's Vegan Mofo Recipe: Lasagna to Cry For

Ironically as I'm typing this blog post about Michelle's healthy lasagna, I'm also getting ready for Halloween.  Halloween is synonymous with junk food for kids under 12 and I've eaten my fair share of snack bars for trick or treaters who never ventured their way down to the end of our dark street.  However, I've found that a hearty, healthy meal is the best defensive move when trying not to overindulge on the sweets.
Michelle, from Healthier Steps, makes gorgeous vegan soaps but also has a very inspiring story about the importance of a clean diet in our every day lives.  For those of you who need a little kick in the butt to get started on a life of healthier eating, read Michelle's story.  Here's Michelle's step-by-step delicious recipe:)

Michelle's Lasagna to Cry For
This delicious lasagna is guaranteed not to stay in the dish very long.
2 26 oz bottled spaghetti sauce
½ onion diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ red bell pepper diced
1 zucchini diced
1 Tbs oil

1 lb x-firm tofu drained and mashed
1 cup frozen spinach thawed
½ cup cashew
1 cup water
2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes
½ cup vegan cream cheese
1 Tbs onion
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic

1 lb lasagna noodle uncooked
2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded, optional (I used Daiya vegan cheese)
Dried parsley to garnish

Preheat oven 375 degrees. 

In a skillet on medium heat sauté onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and zucchini until tender. 

Stir the veggies into the spaghetti sauce

In another bowl place mashed tofu and spinach. Place water, cashew, cream cheese, onion, garlic, salt and nutritional yeast flakes in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Mix into tofu and spinach.

Place a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cover sauce with uncooked noodles about 4 leaving space for noodles to expand. Cover noodles with tofu mixture, then dribble a thin layer of sauce over the tofu mixture. Next cover with noodles, then tofu mixtures then place a layer of sauce, then a layer of noodles, then sauce. 

You may place the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle dried parsley to garnish. Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil, to make sure noodles are cooked then uncover for 10 minutes. 

When Michelle isn't busy making kick-butt lasagna, she is homeschooling (go Michelle, I used to homeschool too!) her two children and creating soap that looks good enough to eat. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vegan Mofo Recipe: Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash

That's right!  This is the second blog post on squash this week.  I've had a plethora of delicious squash in my kitchen waiting to be cooked the last month or so- zucchini, butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and my own home-grown pie pumpkins!
Acorn squash is a wonderful stuffing vehicle for savory foods.  I particularly like to stuff them with rice and veggies, but home made bread cubes with vegetables is wonderful as well.

Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 4

2 acorn squash
2 cups of cooked brown rice
small head of broccoli, destemmed and chopped into small florets
1/2 cup of peas
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 T earth balance margarine
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. hungarian paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
olive oil spray

Place acorn squash directly on rack in oven set at 350 degrees.  Cook for 20 minutes.  While squash is cooking, saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes at medium high heat in medium sized saute pan.  Add broccoli and cook, stirring often for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
Remove squash from oven and chop off stem (plus an inch of flesh) and slice down the middle- see picture.  Cook until flesh is soft enough to scoop out (but not mushy)- maybe 10-20 more minutes, depending on the size of your acorn squash.  In a bowl, stir together all ingredients except for squash, margarine and olive oil.
When acorn squash is ready to scoop, remove flesh (leaving about 1/4 inch) from shell.  Chop it finely and add to rice mixture with margarine.  Stir well.  Cook about 30 minutes with the oven still set at 350 degrees.