HI.

Just wanted everyone to know that I do plan to blog here on occasions when there are topics I want to discuss at length but will be blogging daily at What I Ate Yesterday . I hope to see you there!

Nutella Tofu Chocolate Mousse

Tofu, yes, tofu is the secret ingredient in this lovely mousse.  Your friends and family will never know that its there, I promise.

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Nutella Tofu Chocolate Mousse

2 12.5 oz packages of firm silken tofu

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of Salt

7.5 oz nutella (half a jar)

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Process the tofu in the food processor or blender until smooth. Add in cocoa powder, sugar, salt and vanilla and process until smooth.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and then add into the tofu mixture. Add in the nutella and process until smooth. Transfer the mousse into a bowl and cover. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

The Best Fudge Brownies

On a recent trip to North Carolina, the dear husband and I had the best brownies ever. We bought them from a baker at the Farmers Market. Had I known they were going to be so delicious, I would have done my best to get the recipe. Alas, I did not. Since then, I searched the world over for recipes to duplicate these little delights. After a few tries and tweaks, I have come up with the best fudge brownie recipe…ever.

The Best Fudge Brownies

Makes 9 nice sized brownies

8.7 oz of semi-sweet chocolate

6 tablespoons butter

1 tbsp instant coffee

3/4 cup sugar

Dash of salt

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup all purpose flour or white wheat flour

Powdered Sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325*. Butter and 8 x 8 baking pan and line it with parchement paper. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter and instant coffee. Once melted and smooth, remove from heat and beat in sugar and salt with a large wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour and stir until the mixture tugs away from the sides of the bowl. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick tests clean. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before sprinkling with powdred sugar (optional) and cutting.

To Cause No Harm

Hi Everyone,

Long time no write! Oh, how I miss my bloggie friends!! Many things have been going on with me lately and my mind is finally clear enough write. Though all of the changes I have gone through have been very positive, I have still needed time to process it all.

Over the past few weeks, I have had a coming of age, if you will. Things have changed in every aspect of my life. The first major choice was to become a pescatarian. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, it means that I will no longer eat any meat except fish. I tried being a pesky a couple of years ago and eventually gave up in the middle of a hiking trip when I was craving bologna. I know, bologna is barely meat at all but that was how intense the cravings were. Soon after, I started my yogi adventure and felt so conflicted with eating meat. The first yama of the Yoga Sutra is Ahimsa which in simple terms means to cause no harm.

Ahimsa encompasses so many things. As a human, it is very easy to cause harm, sometimes without even realizing it. We cause harm to the earth every time we choose a paper or plastic bag at the grocery store. We cause harm to ourselves every time we let our negative thoughts destroy our self esteem. And, from my perspective, we cause harm each time we choose to eat meat. I struggled with this so deeply, I eventually signed up for a private lesson with my yoga mentor, Laura. She told me that I may also be causing harm to my own body by not eating meat and I knew that I needed to make the not eating meat decision based on my body. Fast forward about a year which brings us to six or so weeks ago.

The dear husband and I went to Costco and bought loads of meat, every variety you can think of, we bought it. We came home and began packaging it up for the freezer. It was in those moments that the horrid thoughts began to pass through my mind. I felt such deep sympathy for the pig that made the pork chops and the cow that made the steaks. The thought crossed my mind that I didn’t want to eat animals anymore but we had just dropped a boat load of cash on this stuff. How could I tell the dear husband that I didn’t want to eat all of this stuff that we worked hard to buy. At the time, I couldn’t.

I continued to eat meat for a couple of weeks. Each time, the thoughts of the animals became worse. I felt disgust in myself like I had never felt before. I slowly started to do a little research about craving meat as a vegetarian and discovered that protein isn’t the only concern. Despite my best efforts the first time, maybe I wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed in order to sustain a meat free lifestyle. I learned through my research that iron and B12 are very important. I know that I have low blood iron and have often solved the symptoms of it with beef but B12 had never crossed my mind.  I bought some supplements and a few days later, I ate my last piece of meat.

I went back and forth  on whether or not to eat fish and eventually decided that I will eat it from time to time.  I will do my best to avoid it but know that as I transition, there will be occasions that I will eat fish. I hope to one day become a full fledged vegetarian but I am trying to give myself a little leway while I learn the right way to live this lifestyle. I need to learn how to not cause harm to the animals as well as to myself.

Over the next week or so, I hope to share more of my changes with you. I also hope that as the dust settles, I will have more time to blog. I have been so wrapped up in everything that making time to write has fallen to the wayside and yet, once agan, I realize what a special part of my life it is.

Namaste, my friends.

The Latest and Greatest

Welcome to the latest and greatest version of blogging for me. I hope that you all will enjoy the blog just as much as I enjoy writing and being part of the blogging community. I’m not really sure where this blog is going but I know that blogging has been wonderful “therapy” for me in the past. I am happy to have a place to just write about the things that I want to write about without regard to any one topic or another. I have imported in some of my favorites from blogs past and hope to keep sharing the things that make me tick.

Right now, I have a few things going on in my life. I’m working to find myself in so many ways that often times I feel lost. I want to be a fit yogi with a strong sense of emotional well being. I want to care for the environment and be a writer. Other than caring for the environment and blog writing, I am none of those things. I have a tendency to pick things up, get excited and then drop them when it gets hard. But through all of my flippant behaviors and choices, those are the things that stand out as the things I want from life.

I realize that in order to get from life what I want, I have to go out an get it myself. No one can live my dreams for me. I think that what holds me back is my way of thinking. I have very black and white thinking and often times let one set back keep me from moving forward. I want to change the way that I think about life, love, food, money, family….all of it. Through therapy and this blog, I hope to do that.

I hope you all will come along for the ride.

From the Archives: Snobby Joe’s


Adapted from Veganomican Cookbook

The ingredients with an astrick are not part of the original recipe, I added those to suit my own taste.

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (wet mustard)

*1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

* 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns

Directions
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait. I like to serve these open faced, with a scoop of snobby joe on each slice of the bun.

From the Archives: Bean Burgers

Bean Burgers

1 can of beans, drained and rinsed until bubbles are gone

1/4 cup stuffing mix, crushed but still chunky

1/4 cup corn meal

1/4 cup salsa

1 tbsp mayo (Duke’s ;))

salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin

olive oil for sauteing

Instructions

In a large bowl, mash the beans until only a quarter of them are still whole. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and season with salt, pepper, chili powder and a pinch of cumin. The mixture should still feel wet but firm enough to form into patties. Shape the mixture into four small patties or two large ones and place on a parchment lined plate. Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes until they feel more firm. Remove from freezer and put into an oiled skillet over medium heat. Saute on each side until very well browned.

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