back to the garden

a year of greener thinking


The reason I haven’t been posting


There’s a new resident in my apartment! Meet Frida, my Siberian kitten. While sadly (for my boyfriend’s sake), she’s not as hypoallergenic as I’d hoped, she’s a sweetheart  and is making final paper writing a lot more fun. (By the time we realized she was not hypoallergenic as promised, we were too smitten to give her back.)

stop typing! pay attention to me!

Frida has exactly two modes: wild and playful or sleepy and cuddly. As a result, I take most pictures of her with my phone, and they’re either blurred action shots or pictures of her asleep next to me or on my lap. She loves to be near people.

straight chillin'

Next up (okay, maybe in a few years), a dog named Diego, with whom Frida will have a tumultuous relationship.

wild child

Stay tuned for more vegan Lent recipes later this week!


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Beautiful Dawn

The Wailin’ Jennys just got me through yet another round of law school finals, and if that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. In gratitude, I wanted to share one of my favorite songs, Beautiful Dawn, before leaving for spring break.

Also, Happy St. Paddy’s Day, Chicago! Sláinte!

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(Mostly) vegan for Lent

Fat Tuesday has ended, and I haven’t even had a hurricane. That tragic error aside, I did manage to get in some last-minute junk food from the law school cafe when I remembered Ash Wednesday was looming and a friend and I had planned to go mostly vegan for Lent. We’re not very hardcore, since we’re both giving ourselves vacation exceptions (I’m not quite dedicated enough to abstain from seafood in Florida, and Teresa doesn’t think vegan in Vegas has a very good ring to it).

Tonight, I’m planning to make a childhood favorite that also happens to be vegan: pasta puttanesca. I’ll be sure to post the recipe! In the meantime, you can check out Teresa’s blog at  The Daily Mango and my friend Maya, who is going vegan for Lent in Austin, Texas,  at Dessert is in a Different Pocket.

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Bringing In the Darlings

Photo courtesy of

Josh Ritter just released a six-track EP, Bringing in the Darlings, TODAY (Fat Tuesday). This is really exciting if, like me, you sit around waiting for Josh Ritter to release new music.

If you purchase the album at your local record store, you’ll also get a free signed poster — or, for the lazy, it’s  available on iTunes for $5.99. I can’t think of a better way to indulge before Lent.

Make sure you check out the video for the song “Love Is Making Its Way Back Home.” The video was created by hand with more than 12,000 pieces of construction paper. Obviously, Josh and I have a lot in common.


Carnivore, omnivore or herbivore?

Here’s an interesting story from The Washington Post on a growing trend: Americans’ conflicted feelings about meat consumption. Ironically, I’m posting this after a decidedly not meat-free weekend in Milwaukee.  (Maybe I’ll amend my New Year’s resolutions to include a vacation/shared foods exception?)

“Even as millions of Americans continue to gobble down gourmet burgers, dry-aged steaks, chef-driven charcuterie and bacon-wrapped everything, they’re regularly forced to consider the potential consequences of their actions. Environmentalists want us to think about the greenhouse gases that meat production creates. Humane advocates want us to consider the suffering of animals. Doctors want us to ponder the health implications. And the medical community would like us to understand the potential fallout — otherwise known as antibiotic resistance — of pumping farm animals full of drugs.”

After returning to Chicago, a friend and I went to a vegan/vegetarian Mexican restaurant, Quesadilla La Reyna del Sur, in Bucktown this week. (The “chorizo” taco is fantastic.) Back on the wagon for now . . . but still not sure I’m ready for soy-based sheep.

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This Moment of January

Happy New Year from the Windy City!

January is supposed to be a time when you take a moment to examine your life. You think about your choices over the past year and question whether they were healthy or even sane (like that time in 2011 when you ate Thai food for seven days straight).

Then, if you’re like me, you dive energetically into winter’s biggest cliché: the compiling of New Year’s resolutions. (I have a weakness for lists.) I like to think of New Year’s resolutions as recyclable, since every year I pick up and dust off resolutions discarded the previous February or March.

This year, I thought I might feel a little more accountable if I wrote about my efforts (there is nothing like public shaming). At first, I worried that blogging about your New Year’s resolutions might feel a little bit like the proverbial nightmare where you’re standing in front of a large audience, naked and judged. But in a moment that was both freeing and slightly deflating, I realized no one was obligated to check this site except my parents (hi guys!) and decided to press on.

Without further ado . . .

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