Category Archives: Vegan Mofo 2015

Day 255: Every week I cut and prep my husband’s veggies for the week. It isn’t that I don’t think he gets enough fiber or veggies in his diet, he just simply likes to snack on raw carrot and celery. In fact, I remember getting excited that Jon liked eating celery when we first started dating. I would also buy it and it would go bad since I only liked eating it cooked. I do it usually on Sunday night and get it out of the way. That way it is easy to grab them in the morning and usually takes about 10 minutes total.


Day 256: Some days I just love boxed orange pasta! I made myself Earth Balance’s vegan mac and cheese. I can’t decide which one is my favorite, but I would have to say Earth Balance and So Delicious, especially the Pizza! I am super excited about the Annie’s vegan pasta that will be coming out. I still have a special place in my heart for the classic Mac and Chreese, but truthfully, they don’t taste like mac and cheese, but I sure do love them. Sadly most stores don’t sell the normal pasta, just the gluten-free.


Day 257: Alexa came to visit and we drove an hour to Wildflower, an all vegan restaurant. Their food is super simple and very veggie heavy. Some foods were better than others. Like we got the vegan mint chocolate chip ice cream, which was good, but you could tell they blended up the mint leaves in the ice cream base. I think a steep would leave a nicer texture. But we got a tofu basil wrap, and Alexa got a seitan wrap. 


Day 258: I brought leftover beet and carrot soup into work. I use to eat soup all the time, but I find it is a little hard to eat and not get the place messy. So I kind-of stopped doing it, but occasionally it makes sense to bring it in. 


Day 259: This is when I realized photographing my lunches is dangerous. I just get so dang hungry! I kept opting for my camera phone over my SLR. I didn’t want to seem weird to my fairly older bosses, and I just wanted to dig in faster. XD Below is a sandwich with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, vegan mayo, and some field roast mushroom deli slices. They are great for sandwiches on the go!


Day 260: Another quick photo day. I never photograph the fruit I eat, so I finally included them. I ate a peach and a plum. In the back is a burrito with white rice, and some leftover curry. What kind? I am not sure of right now. I am thinking a Japanese style curry which is close to a stew.


Day 261: I felt boring if I photographed another burrito, so I made a smiley face with my peach and plum. The wrap? It was leftover chili, rice, and lettuce. It was pretty tasty, and eaten cold.



Let’s just assume this is fake fur.

I remember loving my Grandmother’s food when I was little. I remember eating lots of junk food (the only real time I got a chance were at grandparents and friends houses) and pouring tons of gravy over my ham/turkey and mashed potatoes. But when I got older I figured out why I used so much gravy, the meat was always dry, in fact everything was dry. Heck even last Thanksgiving she dried the only thing I could eat that she made- Pillsbury crescent Rolls. I didn’t even know that was possible. So in someways it is better than I am vegan, I get to bring my own food.

But oddly my Grandmother always forget that I am vegetarian let alone vegan. She very politely says “Oh you shouldn’t cook next time, Grandma will take care of you” but it a double edged sword, risk getting a veggie lasagna filled with cheese and/or get a not so great dinner. I think at this point I stopped tell her and just bring food. The only downside of this method is that we get like 4 desserts for the end of the night, and I can only eat one (guess who is eating all that pie? ME!)

But whenever I do say I am a vegan, my Grandma talks about how my Great Grandma was vegetarian and wouldn’t eat meat. This was a surprise for all my family. They never heard about this before. And my Grandma hasn’t talked about how wearing onions on the belt was the style at the time, so I trust she is telling the truth. It is kind-of cool think that not eating meat is in my blood. And it probably was harder to abstain from meat 80-90 years ago than it is now. Of coarse, I don’t actually know much about my Great Grandmother, she passed away before I was born. Even my Grandfather passed away before I was born.

I like to think that I can pass on the tradition of being compassionate to animals to my potential children, and they will teach their kids the same. 


Vegan Mofo is asking for us to share our regional dishes. Many people in the US will say this is a little bit of a tricky one. Yes, we do have foods we are proud of and only found in certain parts of the US, BUT we are a melting pot here. I think it becomes most obvious in places like New Jersey, where we are sandwiched between two major cities. It isn’t that we don’t have local foods, but it more like people say it is a “Philadelphia” food or a “New York City” kind-of food. It is more obvious to me, since I have went from North Jersey to South Jersey, and can see all the local foods get snatched by the cities.


One very regional food is the Irish Potato. One might think two things- one that the food is really Irish and two that the food would have potatoes. I am not sure how this weirdo dish came to be, but it has no potatoes, and no Irish roots. The food gets it’s name because they resemble a small potato. And although they don’t have Irish roots, they are a seasonal treat with the Saint Patricks Day holiday.


And if you are sitting here thinking “I’m from New Jersey and I’ve never heard of an Irish Potato!” then I am going to guess you are from Central/North Jersey. I never heard of these guys until I moved to Philadelphia. My roommates (one from Northeast Philly, the other from South Jersey) thought I was crazy that I never heard of these things. One told the story about how for class their assignment was to make a food from their heritage. So Italian kids made lasagna, German kids schnitzels, and Irish kids would make Irish potatoes. As laughable it maybe for a kid to mistake “American” food with “Irish” food they are a great food to make with kids. They are super sweet and super easy to make. You just need an electric mixer, or a really good potato masher.


So what is an Irish potato made of? Well, they are like small candies on par with a fudge. They are pretty much just butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and coconut rolled with a cinnamon coating. As my roommate described it “They should be really disgusting, but you can’t stop eating them.” Oh I think I should note that most people use Crisco over butter in the recipe!

But I couldn’t just leave it be simple. I took another region dessert from the United States and mixed it. Needhams. These are a Maine treat that use potatoes, powder sugar, butter, and coconut flakes, that is covered in chocolate. The snack uses potatoes to balance all that sugar and fat, which is probably what Irish Potatoes need.


I made the batch and sent to my husband’s work, putting it to the true locals test. Turned out that everyone loved it, and couldn’t taste the “vegan” parts of it. Plus most people liked how the potatoes cooled out the sweet parts.

I technically made this recipe almost 2 years ago before I “opened” the blog up. But I thought I should update the photos. I only had two pictures, and I remember taking it with a very-old not-so-hot camera. These are such a local food, that I think they need to be shared around more often.


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Jen – When summer starts I am so hopeful! I get so excited about my CSA, I think of all the things I am going to make, jams, pies, tomato sauce, up my veggie intake, it will be awesome. I think about all the ice cream I am going to make and eat. Ooh! And all those fresh herbs and juicy Jersey peaches. I’ll eat it all, nothing will go to waste.

Then when summer wraps up I wanna just curl up in a blanket and get as much Chinese and pizza take out and never cook again. Oh but I CAN’T do that! It is still really hot and I hate the heat, so no blanket curling. Oh and I am only half way through my CSA, until when? WHAT THE FUCK NOVEMBER! I curl up in a ball thinking about how many more Saturdays I have to go the farm and keep cooking. Then I think of the lack of ice cream I’ve eaten or made because the freezer is full of frozen tomato sauce.

Alexa – I can just never think of a favorite “summer” dish other than ice cream, which I loved year-round but there’s just something extra special about it when it’s hot out. I’m always just too hot to really want to eat anything besides a salad … or ice  cream that it never dawned on me that I might have something that I love eating at this time. But I do know that as soon as it gets to be about 60 degrees and up there’s always one thing I yearn for more than anything else in the summer time…ICED COFFEE. It’s something I especially love in late summer because it’s always so gosh-darned hot and I am constantly sweating or craving something light and delightful.

So we turn to coffee. We don’t really drink it that often for the caffeine, just more for the taste (which is nice because Jen doesn’t let herself drink bad mud water like Folgers, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures for Alexa). The bad thing is we end up spending a lot on coffee. Jen likes getting the fancy drinks from Starbuck’s Clover Machine, and she will find herself getting coconut water lattes from Whole Foods. Why the major chains? Unfortunately the coffee scene is a little bleak in South Jersey. It isn’t bad, but not great. Some of it is possibly because Jen is close to Philadelphia, so they get the die hard coffee fans (she had a friend who drove ALL the way into Philly just to go to Ultimo Coffee). But there are a few good places that she’s found near her. Alexa has a coffee maker at home and has bought beans and concentrate from her favorite local spots, but then her family uses all of it and it disappears. So she cries in a corner all alone until she goes out in the morning and grabs herself a cup that she doesn’t have to share.


647 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108
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Jen – Truth time, I’ve never had their drip coffee and I don’t come here often. I love Grooveground, but they are pretty far away from my work and home (even more reasons why I frequent Starbucks and Whole Foods). It is an interesting coffee shop because the owners really try and do something different. They sell lots of goods by local artists and have a used CD, DVD, and record exchanges going on. In fact, I recently bought a Cat Stevens album there. $4 for a vinyl record? Heck yeah!

They are also have a very vegan friendly menu. They have both almond and soy milk to choose from, and some edibles that are vegan. Okay, so you won’t be getting a cookie from there, but they have some savory options. Like you can get oatmeal or a bagel with PB & J for breakfast. Or for lunch they have a salads that can be modified, a hummus wrap, or (my favorite idea) a hummus panini!


But it helps that their coffee is good too. Even though I never bought their drip, their espresso drinks are pretty darn good. I usually just get a latté or iced espresso, until I noticed they sell caramelized espresso shots. What is that? It is when the barista puts a layer of sugar in the grinds and then pulls the shot. The sugar instantly melts and infuses with the espresso. It is amazing to drink the shot by itself, but then they decided to make a latté out of it. I TOTALLY recommend getting it with the almond milk. Most of the time I am disappointed by almond milk and coffee in part because most places actually buy unsweetened almond milk, making the drink too bitter. So the mix of unsweetened milk with sugary espresso make the perfectly sweet drink. So go and check that out!


10 White Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
Other Locations: Colts Neck, Little Silver, Long Branch, Manalapan
Monmouth Medical, Oakhurst, Wall
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Alexa – I think we have mentioned Rook a few times before but we never truly featured it on the blog yet. It is a little hard to since they are super simple. I mean their coffee is fan-fucking-tastic but they pretty much JUST sell coffee. And it’s not a sit-down kind of place. There aren’t many options for food that seem too vegan because most of it is baked goods (definitely not vegan) or granola bars (possibly vegan?), but their coffee is all that you need.

The 'P' definitely stands for Pumpkin!! And the 'AL' is because it's mixed with almond milk. Gotta get that fall freshness going!

The ‘P’ definitely stands for Pumpkin!! And the ‘AL’ is because it’s mixed with almond milk. Gotta get that fall freshness going!

All of Rook’s coffee is fair trade and made in house, and they have distinct flavors that you wouldn’t be able to find at places like Starbucks or Seattle’s Best (which has been purchased by the Starbucks empire). We like it because the flavors are all very different from something you may find in another coffee shop as well. For example Jen loves the Turkish Coffee and hasn’t found a coffee shop yet that has it! Their coffee tastes very earthy or floral compared to a lot of the nuttier flavors out there, not that those are a bad thing! I also love that they have a list at the counter telling you all about the different roasts that they have. The staff are always very friendly and super knowledgable of each distinct coffee and if you’re like me, who frequents your favorite local spots at least 3 times a week, they pretty much know my order by now. Speaking of knowing my order…


793 River Road, Fair Haven, NJ 07704
36 Beach Rd #9, Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750
549 State Highway 35 North, Middletown, NJ
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Admittedly, Booskerdoo’s bakery in the shop is not vegan friendly, at least not to my knowledge. However, I’m sure if you were to order something from them (they do a lot of special orders all year long, but especially around the holidays) they would probably have no problem in making something vegan for you. The coffee is delicious and they definitely have something that Rook doesn’t – and that is a much wider variety of lattés and teas to choose from. They have almond and soy milk at the ready and don’t mind altering a recipe if you need. The staff in there is amazing, much like Rook, but I feel a bit closer to them as they shop is down the street from where I work. They also have really great and flavorful fair trade coffee that they blend in their original location and sell in each store, and their drip coffee is pretty fantastic as well. I can’t even say if I have a favorite currently…everything is just really good. I would highly recommend stopping by if you’re a coffee shop connoisseur! You won’t regret it. 


What a great question! It actually took me a good amount of time to figure out what I would be making for Mr. President. At one point I was talking about pie with Jen over the phone and that’s when it hit me… MAKE HIM A PIE. It’s delicious, it can be eaten at any time of the year, and they range from super simple to complicated while still being a crowd-pleaser. Obama is definitely worthy of getting a special pie. 

I thumbed through the pages of a book that Jen had called Pies and Tarts with Heartand I stumbled upon the Peanut Butter and Fluff recipe. The blurb about the recipe even stated that PB and fluff is just about as American as you can get…and that’s when the light-bulb went off in my brain! My friends always had peanut butter and fluff sandwiches from time to time while we were in school, but I was one of those kids whose parents wouldn’t buy it. No time like the present, right? However, we switched the recipe up a bit though, substituting peanut butter for cookie butter


It’s been a while since I baked a pie since they’re usually saved for special occasions, and this being a VERY special occasion I wanted to make sure the crust was perfect. I got to use Jen’s food processor and that was a huge treat for me since I don’t have my own at home yet. 

img_6347The only thing that we should have been on the look out for was the different consistency between cookie butter and peanut butter. When we were mixing all of the ingredients together for the filling the cookie butter started to ball up really quickly where I think peanut butter would have smoothed out a bit easier. We added a teaspoon of soy milk to help soften it and it didn’t affect the flavor at all.  


Apparently I have a serious love of trying to make pies look as if they are picturesque, who knew? This recipe was so simple, but was such a great idea. We even thought that we could have pushed it further by getting gingerbread cookies to use as the pie crust, but I think the chocolate was still a great choice. The cookie butter and chocolate worked really well together. And the chocolate cookies were sweet, but not TOO sweet, so it balanced out the filling really nicely (which was almost surprisingly sweet with all of the added sugar that we probably could have cut out).

img_6382 img_6403

This recipe is so great because it’s very family friendly. It makes perfect sense as a dessert and the portion sizes can be easily controlled because it’s nice and easy to cut. 

I still have a bit left over at home and it is definitely calling my name. I love desserts so much, and I felt as though that would have been something I would want to share with the President. While a meal is a great experience to share with someone I feel as though dessert brings everything together at the end and has so many different variations that could be brought to the table (literally AND figuratively!!!). Dear President Obama, I hope you would have enjoyed my choice for your visit!

I do swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth...this pie was AMAZING! And totally worthy of America's taste-buds.

I do swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth…this pie was AMAZING! And totally worthy of America’s taste-buds.


My mother recently had some hip surgery done, so I stopped by to visit her and brought some food so she wouldn’t have to be in the kitchen. She already prepped some meals, but it better to have too much food, than too little. I made her a fresh dish of Pad See Ew from Vegan Eats World. But I also gave her some leftover tomato cobbler that I made earlier that week. I figured it would be a good dish to have to switch things up a little in her diet.


The name is a little deceiving. When I tell people about it, they get confused and think it will be sweet. It is probably more accurate to call it a tomato casserole, but there seem to be a lot of similar recipes that call this dish a cobbler. Oh so confusing! I am not sure what region this made in or the history, but it is pretty stinkin easy to make and it great when you have a cherry tomato plant that is making more than what you can eat on your salads.


The beauty of this recipe is that you can just toss the tomatoes in a bowl and cover them in the flour. No chopping. I might of chopped some of the cherry tomatoes in this dish since they were huge at my CSA. I also included yellow pear tomatoes, which were very awesome. Mix and matching the small tomatoes make the dish really yummy. So use cherry, grape, sungolds, or whatever heirloom tomatoes. It will be worth it.


I originally based my recipe on a dish that had caramelized onions in the filling. But I figured I should step up on the flavor and included some poblano peppers. This really makes the dish, giving a little bit of a tex-mex flavor. Seed the peppers, but if you want some heat, try to leave in the white fleshy membranes that the seeds are attached to. And if you want to kick the dish up even more, feel free to pulse in some daiya cheese into the biscuits!


I will leave on this note- a few days after bringing my mother the dish she texted me saying she loved it…. but she put cheese on it. Hey, I get it, you eat cheese and that is your decision, but it is a little insulting to put cheese on the vegan dish I am trying to share with you. Seems a little crazy, but I am also sharing my points of view and ethics when I share my vegan dishes. So omni-eaters, if you are eating a vegan dish that was made for you, don’t add cheese to it, and if you do, lie and say didn’t. XD

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This morning has been very productive. I think the planets aligned to get my butt moving. The weather outside is fabulous, 70-some degrees out, low humidity, and a nice breeze. So all the windows are wide open to get some much needed fresh air in the house. I think todays prompt, Alexa’s visit, and the nice weather kind-of kicked my butt into action and started to tidy up the house a little. Nothing huge, just small things that can make all the difference. Our house is slowly starting to feel like ours, but in small bits. 

BUT before going on reading, check out my tea giveaway! All you need to do is comment, and if you follow on me on facebook, instagram, or whatever you get bonus entries, so check that out and enter! What type of tea? Raspberry, Vanilla, and Peppermint flavored Green Tea. It is one of my favorites.

As I mentioned a few times, we recently moved, and it is taking awhile to make our house feel like our home. The biggest battle is that we need new furnature, as we tossed some junky stuff when we moved. So our kitchen is a little chaotic with pantry foods, and barware. We haven’t opened up half of our cocktail/beer/wine glasses because we need a hutch/jelly cabinet. We also need some sort of book shelf for the cookbook which are on the floor. Oh and our fridge is 19 years old…..


Our fridge is pretty boring. nothing crazy going on. When my husband and I saw how average it was, I asked if I could try out wallpapering the fridge if it was really old. I was thinking old being 10 years, but once I took a closer look I found out that it was 19 years old! Never would of guessed that. We are saving up to buy a new fridge, in anticipation of it breaking down at random. But for now I am making it pretty.

So this isn’t a tutorial, because I think it is a little insulting to make a tutorial of how to put paper on your fridge a tutorial. But I will give little bits of tips for you. One if you haven’t seen the wallpaper on fridge thing, let me guide you to this article and this article on The Kitchn. They give some pictures of what other people had done. I was a little nervous because I had never used removable wallpaper before. So here is what I did:

1 imperfect1

  • Remove handles on the fridge. You can find tutorials easily online- though every fridge is a little different. I couldn’t remove the bottom half of the handles so that made things a little tricky. But it helps A LOT, so if you can’t get the whole thing off, don’t just poo-poo the extra work. It is worth it.
  • Clean the fridge door. Super important so you don’t just cover weird funk, but it will help the paper stick for longer periods of time.
  • Pre-cut the first sheet, then try laying it down all at once, fixing bubbles afterwards. I tried laying one half down then smoothing it down, it didn’t work. This might vary from brand to brand. I used Target’s line of wallpapers, so I found that it stretched to much for the lay down a corner and smooth as you lay the rest down method. Smack it down where you want it, then smooth it out. If you lay it down in one go and get a bubble, you can probably peel a corner off to the bubble and re-smooth out.
  • Smooth with your hands. NOT WITH A RULER! I saw some tutorials do this, but it just messed up the finish for me. This could of been because I was using a shiny eggshell like finished wallpaper. If your using wallpaper that is glossy or a contact paper, this might not be a problem.

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Day 248: I forgot to take a photo of anything today. T_T

Day 249: My husband really loves eating cookies for lunch, so Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar get used often. The most popular recipe are the banana everything cookies since they are really quick and easy to modify.


Day 250: I really love But I Could Never Go Vegan, as I mentioned on my book review on the blog. I think it is my go to for omni gatherings. I made some potato, green beans, and caramelized shallots salad. It was a big hit, and my in-laws wanted to keep some for their lunches the next day.


Day 251: I used Angela’s recipe for chia seed jam from her Oh She Glows cookbook. I subbed berries for some purple tomatillos, and I don’t think it works as well as berries. Oh well. Jon still liked his purple tomatillo and peanut butter sandwiches. I use her cookbook and website so often, and my husband whips it out when he makes his own smoothie. He really likes the gym rat smoothie! I mentioned in a book review that I loved the book, and I even bought it for my in-laws for Christmas!


Day 252: This isn’t a vegan cookbook, but a vegetarian one. My mother had this book for years and gave it to me when I said I was going full vegan again. The book is full of great ideas, and has some staples in our diet like a spinach and red lentil penne and beet and carrot soup. I like recommending Vegetarian Planet because it is written by a non-vegan/vegetarian, so I think she doesn’t try to mimic things as much as vegan cooks do.


Day 253: I think Veganmonicon isn’t my favorite cookbook, but an embodiment for loving Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero‘s cookbooks. I love how they don’t fuss over calories, nutrition, whatever and focus on just making delicious foods. I first checked out Veganomicon from the libary, and made a few dishes, and knew I had to eventually buy they book for myself. The recipe that I made? The BBQ collard greens! I don’t like to wrap them in the greens, but instead serve them like sloppy joes. I had a can of chickpeas opened so I used chickpeas instead of black eyed peas, which wasn’t a great call. XD


Day 254: This isn’t so much a favorite cookbook exactly, but I learned from my family that a great way to save recipes is to use a binder. It is great because if you have a recipe from a magazine, just rip it out, find something online, print it out! Much easier than rewriting everything on a recipe card. Plus the sleeves make an easy clean up. I recently shuffled the old recipes, and cleaned it out. It is also great because I check out cookbooks from the library and photo copy or handwrite my favorite recipes from them.



Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaNow that I started pumping iron, should I start worrying about where I get iron?

Somehow in our mental psyche we imagine iron intake with strength and manliness. I mean weak women are prone to being iron anemic right? Well, lets start with why we need iron in our body. Our bodies take the iron we eat to create hemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen to our body. Not enough iron means that our body isn’t making enough hemoglobin, which means we can make enough red blood cells, which means our muscles are deprived of oxygen. 

So how much iron do you need? It varies with age, but the average adult male needs 8mg of iron, while a woman needs 18mg of iron. Why the extra load? Well, remember we need iron for our blood, and what happens each month? Menstruation. Yup, once a month we loose blood. But does that mean we still need to get 18mg each day that we don’t have our periods? Iron takes awhile to build up again in our system, so lets say your donate blood, it might take awhile to rebuild the iron again and would show in blood work a week later.

I like to use CRON-O-Meter a few random weeks during the year to try and check my dietary intake. I usually find that reaching that 18mg of iron is actually easy. Sometimes you need to try and focus on it, but it is more like what you eat are drops in the bucket. For example I got most of my iron from white beans from my lunch, but I also got iron from kale, spirulina, oats, and soymilk. Heck, I even got 6% of my iron from peaches (I ate three, so uh.. not sure if that is normal)

So what about this iron rich beef I keep hearing about? It is known in pop-science that beef is great for anemics. Right? Not really. This myth probably comes from two ideas. One is that liver is very high in iron. Each animal has varying amounts of iron in their liver, and apparently duck liver has the most iron. When comparing meats to each other, beef has more iron compared to chicken and pork. But compared to high iron vegan sources, beef isn’t that impressive. Three ounces of cooked beef has about 200 calories and 12% of your iron requirements, while half a cup of tofu has about 100 calories 35% of your iron requirements!

But there is something beef has over tofu- heme iron. Basically when animals consume iron, they start to process it for themselves to help with oxidizing their blood. When we eat animals were are eating half-processed iron, making it easy for our body to absorb. There is some evidence that heme iron may be bad for us, but like most nutritional science, it is hard to figure out if those bad things are from meats, or the heme iron. If you are concerned if the iron is being absorbed, you can try and increase absorption by eating a lot of vitamin C with your iron. Calcium and caffeine can hinder iron absorption, though I figure these can be hard to avoid pairing with foods. And my favorite suggestion is try cooking your food in iron pots, because the iron can leech into your food!

So should you supplement iron in your diet? I would say no unless you have an iron deficiency. Also keep in mind how often you donate blood, because that will effect your iron levels. But once you get your iron levels up, you can easily get the daily recommendations! I find adding a teaspoon of spirulina in my morning smoothie gives a nice boost to my iron intake. But for the most part, most foods have iron in it, and all those foods add up. It is also easier since many grain products have supplemented iron in them. For example oats have iron added to it, and does most wheat products. Try eating various greens, spirulina, tofu, beans, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, lentils, peas, blackstrap molasses, and tomato paste. And shit- there is even a fair about iron in CHOCOLATE! Even more in cacao!

Want some recipes for iron rich foods? Well here are few savory and sweet.

Lentil, Tempeh, and Sweet Potato Chili – If you ate a quarter of this dish (which is a lot) you will have consumed about 40% of the iron your need in your day. Not bad.

Spinach and Coconut Dal – This recipe mixed spinach and lentils to make a protein rich dish. You will be getting a quarter of your iron intake from a quarter of this dish.

Pinto Bean Mole Chili – This dish mixes beans and chocolate together with vitamin C rich foods. Making it great for iron absorption!

Beet and Carrot Juice – Freshly made juices are a great way to add iron to the diet, making it easy to eat lots of veggies and fruit in one sip.

Spinach Dal – Okay I’ve been listing a lot of lentil dishes, but this one features lots and lots of spinach, leaving a bright green goop!

Green Iron Smoothie – Alyssa talks about her method of adding the small amount of iron to equal a lot of iron. So her Green Iron Smoothie has 61% of the iron in a day! Holy cow!


Ever wondered why there aren’t any blue foods? Aside from the sky and water, there aren’t many blue things in nature. Heck even the sky and blue aren’t really blue in the sense that you need a lot of it to appear blue. If you took a jar, and bottled the air or water, it would just look clear. So why is that?


Well there aren’t too many different plants and animals that have a blue color. A lot of it has to do with the fact that blue is hard to make a pigment of. It hasn’t been until recently that blue pigments have been made synthetically. This is probably because to get blues from light, you need a higher wavelength frequency, needing more energy. For a pigment to “work” you need chemically stable compositions that stays the same color under various temperatures (think about how metals change colors when hot or how food kind-of changes color when cooked.)


So why not blue animals or plants? Well blue pigments are probably the least stable color. If you look at old photos you probably see it morph into browns and red, as the colors get effected by UV lights. Animals have a hard time absorbing any blue pigments from plants compared to reds (think of flamingos who get their color from their diet). But animals have managed to get blue by “structural color,” including human’s blue irises. So pretty much pigments are absorbing light to create a specific color, but structural color is formed by diffusing light. Sometimes this light diffusion is obvious by it’s iridescent qualities like in bird feathers. Still confused? Well I still kind-of am, but D News has a fun video about why we don’t have blue hair.


So what are the available blue foods? Well the plant based foods are blueberries, blue corn, blue potatoes, star flowers and indigo milk caps. The latter two aren’t that common to eat since one is a flower and the other is a mushroom. There are lots of other blue mushrooms out there, they just aren’t edible. Which can be problematic when cooking up a blue dish. There are also some non-vegan “foods” like blue cheese, lobsters and crayfish, and lingcod which has turquoise blue muscle tissue.


And you might be thinking most of these foods are kind-of purple… and they are. And that drives me nuts! Pretty much for us to get blue we need dyes, and I threw in my cooking towel here. I feel like using synthetic dyes is cheating, and it is. So I tried to work with the most blue item I got from my CSA- purple tomatillos. I was a little greedy about these yummy fruit and picked way too many. Now I am trying everything that I can to preserve them including salsa, jams, and shrubs.


This dish uses a little bit of fermentation so it can stay fresh and edible over several months in the fridge. But if you are going to eat it fresh, it is really tasty! It definitely tastes different than salsa verde! It is like if you baked two apple pies, one using granny smith apples, and the other with golden delicious. One would be much more tarte than the other. The purple tomatillos give just enough sweetness. Serve with chips, tacos, or bake tofu in the salsa. Continue reading