back to the garden

a year of greener thinking


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Vegetarian Fried Rice with Shiitake Mushrooms and Cashews

Big Girls Small Kitchen is one of my favorite sites, not least because its founders, Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine, were nice enough to give me advice when I was starting my first food blog a few years ago (a mutual friend connected us). I made this vegetarian fried rice dish last week and, as usual, they didn’t disappoint.

As Cara says, this recipe is a great meal for weeknights or whenever you’re pressed for time. I added a little extra garlic and soy (noted below), but otherwise I followed her recipe to the letter. If you’re cooking for one, the remaining portion reheated well on the stove the next day.

If you enjoy the dish, be sure to check out their cookbook, In the Small Kitchen!

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Mad Cow Disease discovered in the United States (again)

The mad cow disease story is a few days old  now, but this Chicago Tribune article provides some interesting insight into problems with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s testing restrictions.  Presently, the USDA only tests a very small percentage of animals killed each year and prohibits private companies from conducting their own testing. On what planet does that make sense?


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Mango Spinach Banana Chia Smoothie

I’ve continued my smoothie experiments post-vegan Lent (at least when I wake up early enough), occasionally switching up the kind of frozen fruit or greens I use. I’ve also begun soaking the chia seeds with a bit of water, which creates a clear jelly-like substance that can be added into the blender. (According to livestrong, however, chia seeds also can be eaten whole without soaking, so feel free to skip this step if you’re running short on time.) This smoothie, which includes frozen mango, is my favorite. Continue reading


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Vegan Blueberry Muffins

I love this blueberry muffin recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows. Before vegan Lent started, I’d never baked muffins without eggs, so I was a little nervous about how these would turn out. Fortunately, they didn’t disappoint.  I recommend serving the muffins warm with a bit of Earth Balance spread, soy chai lattes and a Sunday paper.

(While the recipe recommends making mini-blueberry muffins, these also work in a regular-sized muffin pan. Just increase the baking time by about five minutes.)

Click here for Angela’s blueberry muffin recipe.

Soundtrack: Joni Mitchell, Ladies of the Canyon


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Burger King pledges to use cage free eggs, pork

Burger King announced today that all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free hens and pigs by 2017, showing that more humane treatment of agricultural animals is going mainstream. It is the first of the major fast-food chains to set a deadline for the transition.


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Born to Run

An experiment conducted at the University of Arizona at Tucson suggests your “runner’s high” may be the result of natural selection.  The study, written about in The New York Times, examined whether humans are genetically predisposed to like running. The head of the study, Dr. David Raichlen, notes,

It appears from [the] study that we have the evolutionary drive to exercise. But modern man has learned to ignore it.

I’m starting to feel like The New York Times is lobbying for me to work out (I’ve been more than a little lax this month). Luckily, a friend and I just signed up for the Pride 10K in June!

Click here to read The New York Times article.