Monday, 29 November 2010

giveaway + the {highly anticipated} chapbook tutorial

If you haven’t checked out my 24^3 Thanksgiving post yet…I’d love for you to click on over. Lots of good food and good times.


[my fantastic sibs: they are way cooler than I am].

I promised a chapbook tutorial, so here you go. In case you were wondering:

chapbook: pocket-sized book filled with poetry, art, recipes, etc.



  • blank 4 x 6 notecards (you can also use recycled paper cut to this size)
  • brown paper lunch bags
  • padding compound
  • binder clips
  • waxed paper
  • heavy books
  • scissors, glue, q-tips

Step 1: Make a cover. I used and typed in my own content.

chapbook cover2

Step 2: Print your content onto 4 x 6 notecards or paper. Arrange tightly in a stack, and attach binder clips to the side closest to the spine of the book.


Step 3: Use a q-tip to spread a thin layer of padding compound on the edge of the spine. Be careful not to let it drip down the back or front covers of your book.


Step 4: Let the padding compound dry overnight. In the morning, remove the binder clips, and press the book in waxed paper between a stack of heavy books for a few hours.


Step 5: Cut a strip for the binding from a brown paper lunch bag, and glue it to the book’s spine. Let dry.


Pretty easy! Let me know if you end up making a chapbook of your own. They make pretty fantastic gifts, and they can be green friendly if you use recycled paper.


And on a more food-related note…

One of the appetizers served on Tgiving was Michigan apples + pumpkin dip, which is slightly addicting [recipe here]. I used a homemade version of Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese.


Greek yogurt hit the blogworld about a year or so ago and is basically regular yogurt with the whey strained out, which makes it thicker. You can easily make your own Greek yogurt by draining regular yogurt through a cheesecloth lined strainer overnight.

If I use yogurt in a recipe, I prefer to use organic (free of hormones). Stonyfield is my go-to brand, and they were nice enough to provide this giveaway [lots of coupons for free yogurt!].

Thanksgiving Giveaway 002

:: Two ways to win ::

1. Comment in response to this post. What’s your fave kind of Stonyfield yogurt, or do you have a fave recipe that incorporates yogurt?

2. Earn an extra brownie point by mentioning the giveaway on your blog or tweeting about it and linking back to this post. Let me know you did so when you comment.

Deadline is Friday, December 3rd at midnight (EDT).

After a busy weekend, I’m craving a long run and some good tunes. What was your fave dish this Tgiving?


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Dr. Fuhrman's Holiday Challenge

You can get a free six-week membership to if you join his Holiday Challenge before Dec. 4! This is a great way to see if the membership is useful to you without having to spend a dime for six weeks. The challenge is also a great way to be in community with others who would prefer to eat healthy during this time of year when we are surrounded by the most unhealthy foods. See this link for all the information about the challenge.

Mexican Raw Stew

This was suggested by a reader, Gigi, and boy is it good! Her description is given in the comments of this post. This is the first time I liked a raw soup. Today I tried the Mexican version. Next time I'll try her Italian style. I varied it a bit from her description, so you might want to compare.

2 medium tomatoes or one 16-oz can of tomatoes (from the garden if you are so fortunate)
1/2 large cucumber or 1 small
1 large celery stalk
2 medjool dates, or 3 tsp date syrup
1 head romaine lettuce (or similar amounts of spinach or kale, or mixture)
1 small leek or piece of onion (optional)
1/2-1 clove garlic (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice from 1/4 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
red bell pepper, chopped
1 can pinto or black beans
1-2 cups frozen sweet corn
chopped celery (optional)

The base is the tomatoes, celery, cucumber and dates. Blend these in the blender, but do not use high speed. Let it stay a little chunky. Add in the greens, spices, garlic, onion, lime juice, and cilantro and blend some more, not at high power. You can pour the stew into bowls and add the chopped bell pepper, celery, beans, and corn. Or mix it all up in a big bowl. Here' s a serving with everything mixed in:

I really liked this. One thing I'd like to do different next time is substitute a fruit for the dates. I'm thinking frozen mango (or fresh and ripe if you are so fortunate) or maybe an apple or pear? I might not use garlic if I add fruit. Also, I really like purple cabbage as we get it locally and it's downright sweet. I wonder if I could add this in. It might not have enough liquid though. The romaine is nice because it's tender and full of water. I also think I'll add some seeds. I hope to experiment a lot with this!

Thanksgiving pudding

If I named this according to the ingredients, it probably wouldn't be as appealing (mashed carrots and bananas anyone?). But this is super easy and for me, as yummy as pumpkin pie. This was inspired by a couple of other recipe ideas: A reader of this blog pointed out that she likes using steamed carrots rather than canned pumpkin in her Thanksgiving desserts. Well, we get really good local (sweet) carrots here so I thought that is a great idea! And a recipe on the Fuhrman forums uses banana instead of dates as a sweetener so I thought I'd try that.

2 large carrots, steamed until tender
1 very ripe banana
1/2 oz chopped walnuts
pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to taste (about 1/4 tsp?).

Mash the carrots, banana and spice with a fork. Stir in the walnuts. Eat heated or cooled. If you want it sweeter, add some date syrup (or dates soaked in water and mashed). This will probably be a weekend treat for a while.

guacamole & chips

This is a good game-day treat.

Here are the ingredients:

Sprouted corn tortillas, about 4
an avocado (only the pit is remaining in the picture)
Then just a little bit of these:
lime juice
tomato (from a can or fresh)
pinto or black beans (optional)

Here they are before mixing. You can see the amounts I used are pretty small:

Here's another version without beans or tomatoes, before smashing:

Mash it up with a fork. Cut up the tortillas, toast in the oven at 350 F for about 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully at the end.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Foodbuzz 24x24: a hipster(ish) thanksgiving

Thanks to Foodbuzz (and a lot of help from friends & family), one epic Thanksgiving celebration is complete.

hipster logo copy


From peeling 60 billion potatoes from Visser farms


to making chapbooks filled with poetry, art, and delish recipes [see menu here]…


it was a pretty fantastic time of eating and hanging out with friends and family.


This 24^3 event is titled a hipster(ish) thanksgiving because my hometown isn’t the most sustainable, food responsible city (but is growing!), and I consider it pretty hipster to eat local and organic food here.

I was really excited to support local farmers and businesses while creating an amazing meal and to share with my guests the importance of eating locally. Lots of vegetables were purchased from the farmers’ market…

IMG_1532 - Copy

and we made homemade stuffing from locally baked bread from Ryke’s Bakery.


We also served bread from the Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery, which runs entirely on solar power. It was amazing.


I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make my own marshmallows for the apple mallow yams.


Perfectly toasted and delicious. If you haven’t ever made your own marshmallows, you should definitely give it a try.


We tried a few unconventional dishes since Thanksgiving is usually pretty starch-heavy, including kale with garlic and cranberries


apple slaw with local Michigan apples and cabbage,

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and maple roasted brussels sprouts.


My family has a tradition of having our guests sign a tablecloth each Thanksgiving (to be embroidered later). It’s really fun to look back and see how many holidays have been celebrated over the years.


Lots of new names were added to the tablecloth this year, so I suspect a lot of sewing will be going down later.


And let’s be honest…every great Thanksgiving meal ends with pie. Homemade apple pie is a definite favorite for most of my family.


But I prefer the always festive pumpkin pie.


The only thing better than pie is pie topped with homemade ice cream. A local and sustainable restaurant, Mia & Grace, supplied this homemade Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream. Homemade ice cream trumps storebought ice cream any day in my book.


Some of you may remember Patrick’s guest post, and his freshly roasted coffee (as in roasted yesterday!) paired nicely with dessert. Attention coffee snobs: this is the best coffee you will ever drink. Get yours here, and support rural farmers in Honduras.


Although it’s been a crazy time since I finished my internship in May, I have a lot to be thankful for, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with good food + friends & family + supporting sustainability.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!


Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Today's microsalad was sooooo good. I was thinking it's as good as any Thanksgiving treat. It's pretty much what I posted a week or two ago, so I just updated the post a bit and added a few pictures. Maybe I'm just insane to think this is so good, but hey, as long as I'm happy with it.

Monday, 22 November 2010

holiday treats

I'm visiting family over Thanksgiving, and don't have the time or inclination to prepare anything complicated so will just be eating my usual travel fare. But when I return, I might be in the mood for some Pumpkin Pie pudding. Here are some other recipes from Dr. Fuhrman's website (you have to be a member to see them): Pumpkin pie, pumpkin pineapple cookies , and Sweet potato apple bake. I'm too lazy to make the pie, but I will probably make the sweet potato apple bake sometime this season. Actually I described the recipe in this post. Those cookies look good too. I wish I liked baking more, or I wish someone would make these for me! For the really lazy cook, there's the mashed sweet potato with pumpkin pie spice.

If you really want to go all out and make a full thanksgiving feast, here's a link to the Fuhrman recipe site (member only) for all the recipes in that feast. It would be fun to plan a nutritarian meetup and have everyone bring one of these dishes. What a feast that would be.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

weekend cooking

whew, I did a lot of food prep today. First made a batch of housemate's smoothies. then some nachos for the football game (we won, yea!). Then some chili for a potluck tomorrow. Then prepped a big pot of beans for taking to work for the next couple of weeks. Then a huge batch of apple sauce for the family--and a small batch for myself. Okay, I'm ready to eat for a week!

this week's beans

This week I went back to my old easy way of preparing beans.

2 lbs beans (from my Rancho Gordo selections)
juice from 7 lbs carrots (about 45 oz) (5 lbs is fine, I just had extra)
1 lb mushrooms (oyster, crimini, shitake)
1 lb leeks or onions
1 sweet potato
1 lb collards or kale (optional).

chop the mushrooms and onions and sweet potato in a food processor (or with a knife). Combine everything in a large stock pot. Soak overnight in fridge. Cook the next day for about 4 hours. Add some chopped greens to the pot if you'd like, at the beginning or within an hour of finishing cooking.

Update on the beans after cooking: the mushrooms definitely add a meaty flavor, which is actually a nice touch in winter--feels more hearty. It's good as is, or with some frozen sweet corn added to it (then warmed of course!), or combined with steamed veggies.

apple sauce

I've been making lots of apple sauce for family members. Ingredients is Cortland apples and sugar. I happened to have some date syrup (dates soaked in water) on hand for making house-mate's smoothies, so I thought, hey, I can make a small batch of apple sauce for myself.

2 cortland apples
2 tsp date syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 oz chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds (optional)

Cook the apples in about 1/4 cup water for about 10 minutes after boiling. Add the date syrup and cinnamon. Add some walnuts or sunflower seeds if you want. yum!


This was our football-watching lunch. I should have taken a picture, sorry...

1 can (15 oz, no salt) pinto beans
1 can (16 oz, no salt) tomatoes
1 avocado
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
few Tbsp chopped onion or scallion
1-2 Tbsp chopped parsley or cilantro
1 tsp lemon juice
1 oz chopped walnuts and/or pignolias (mediterranean pine nuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Drain the tomatoes (save the liquid for soup if you want). Drain the water from the can of beans, then blend the beans, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Add the onion and parsley/cilantro and pulse until chopped. Pour into a bowl and stir in the tomatoes. Chop the avocado, and stir into the dip.

Cut the corn tortillas into bite-size pieces. Place on a metal tray. Heat in the oven for about 5 minutes. Then remove and spoon the dip on top of the tortillas. Top with the chopped nuts (my version of cheese). Heat in the oven for another 5 minutes. Then eat!

Three-bean chili

This is an easy recipe. I made it for a potluck. Since I don't add salt, I added things to make it taste sweet. I think regular people would like this (hence, a good potluck dish). I put the amounts as ranges because it depends on what you have an hand and what you like more--it's hard to ruin it with too much or too little of something.

1-2 onions
1-4 garlic cloves (to taste)
1-2 large sweet potatoes
2-3 large carrots
2 16-oz cans of tomatoes
3 cans of beans, different kinds: I used black soy, red kidney, and chick peas. pinto would be good too, and black beans too.
1-2 red or green bell peppers (optional; I didn't have any today).
2-3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon or cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1-2 Tbsp date syrup (optional)

Run the carrots, and onions through a food processor. The resulting texture after cooking is a bit similar to the ground meat in chili. Add the spices (except cinnamon), and some water and start cooking the carrots and onions. Run the sweet potatoes, peppers, and garlic through the food processor too (or chop with a knife if you prefer). Add the tomatoes, veggies, and water to the pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Add the beans, cook some more. Add the cinnamon stick for about 5 minutes (then remove), or add the ground cinnamon. Add the corn and date syrup in the last 5-10 minutes. Total cooking time is about an hour.

Friday, 19 November 2010

if i could clone myself right now…

This week has been seriously crazy. I’ve had lots of counseling clients and meetings and also taught another class at the health club.

And then there’s this…

hipster logo copy

Lovely little event that will be going down next Thursday thanks to Foodbuzz. I already spent $50 on local ice cream…priorities, priorities, people! This is the newly designed chapbook cover for Thanksgiving 2010. [I will also do a tutorial on making chapbooks, for those interested].

chapbook cover

My class this week was on shaping up for the holiday season. I always like to serve food at classes to a) prove that healthy food can be delicious and b) shamelessly entice people to come.

herbed popcorn


image via 101 Cookbooks

harvest bars


carrot ginger soup


Here are some tips I found while putting together my class this week. They may be things you already know, but it’s always nice to have a list of strategies to keep you in your skinny jeans (taken from all over the place…not all my original ideas):

shape up for the holidays

  • use a small plate: for some reason, we always want to fill the plate, no matter our appetites. or maybe we just need the plate size to remind us not to overindulge.
  • don’t eat next to the buffet table: it is so easy to munch mindlessly while talking. move away from the food…
  • keep some food on your plate: this way, your friendly hostess won’t push you into eating more.
  • fill half your plate with veggies: perfect way to get in those elusive daily servings.
  • bring a healthy dish: and get a friend to do so, also.
  • never use food rewards: treat yourself to new running gear, an i-tunes card, or a massage instead.
  • enjoy treats {in moderation}: food should be enjoyed, but just don’t go overboard.
  • watch drinkable calories: yes, they do add up, and alcohol does give you the munchies because it can lower blood sugar.

Any other tips to add to these?


p.s. there were a ton of questions on chapbooks, so I will dedicate some time to that subject in a future post…

Sunday, 14 November 2010

blended soups, hipsters, and chapbooks


My quest to find the perfect butternut squash soup recipe (ala the amazing bowl eaten at Farm) continues. The latest recipe included apples, leeks, and walnuts. It was pretty delicious, but the acidity of the apples + leeks were a little much, so I added some coconut milk. Not just right but getting closer…


The biggest news of late is that I will be tackling a local Thanksgiving meal or “a hipster Thanksgiving feast” for Foodbuzz’s November 24^3 event (24 bloggers, 24 meals, 24 hours). I’m really excited to have the opportunity to participate again (see last year’s epic 24^3 event), but this time I won’t have energy bar Dan’s creative expertise or culinary assistance.


Between 15-20 people will attend, so we’ll see how it all goes down. I am requiring my guests to dress appropriately. And we may be compiling a chap book as part of the event. I also wanted to make my own paper to print the menu on, but my mom said I was getting a little carried away…(yes, I’m all about go big or go home).

Exhibit A: a handbound chapbook (filled with poetry and art, etc.). Last year I made 33 of these…


I’ve also been researching different local products and delicious recipes to serve…if you have any creative Thanksgiving dish recipes, send them my way!

Exhibit B: delicious local bread from the Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery. 


I’ll be purchasing the majority of food supplies locally, including an Amish turkey and lots of vegetables. This will be an epic Thanksgiving.


What’s your fave Thanksgiving dish (if you celebrate)…any unusual dishes unique to your family?