Category: Food


Last Easter, I raised baby chicks.  This Easter, I’m going eggless.

Do I think eggs are bad for our health or unethical to eat? Nope.  Although depending on your egg source, one could argue that certain large-scale egg production facilities are cruel to chickens.  And it’s well-known that eggs, especially the yolks, are high in cholesterol.  But my situation is far more black & white than that: if I eat eggs, I get terribly sick for at least a week and can’t leave the house for several days afterwards.  But Easter is coming, and besides the Christian holiday, it’s all about eggs, which still bring joy to my heart with their perfectly smooth, rounded, life-giving symbol.  View full article »

Enjoying winter greens in a smoothie is a tasty way to keep colds away.

I love our green smoothies, and this week in The Free Weekly, our favorite recipe is included so you can try them too!  (It doesn’t appear online this week, but you can pick up a copy around Fayetteville and find the recipe inside.)  If you have a winter garden, green smoothies are a good way to use up any kind of green you might be growing this month, especially if they’re slightly bitter.  The fruit juices make greens taste sweeter, and the avocado turns an “applesauce” texture into “ice cream”!  We use a high-speed Vitamix blender, though, and green smoothies are less feasible with standard blenders.  It was well worth the investment, and we use our Vitamix several times a week.  Blending fruits and veggies in this manner supposedly makes the nutrients more accessible to our bodies, since we don’t chew as much as our ancestors did and can’t break down the cell walls as effectively.  Good nutrition, and in particular the nutrients that come from dark leafy greens, is an excellent protection against all those colds circulating in your office or school.  Stay healthy!

How to make vegan chocolates with Christmas foil colors.

Wrap your own chocolates in recycled candy foil instead of throwing it away!

This was the most fun I’ve ever had in a kitchen, and really quick too.  You could choose to melt your own block or bar of vegan chocolate, or use shaped vegan or close to vegan dark chocolates that already come in shapes.  I’ve done both, but I don’t yet own any holiday-themed candy molds.  So I used Divine dark chocolate Christmas trees, and had my husband Ryan eat some Hershey kisses wrapped in colorful holiday foil.  We saved the wrappers from the kisses, brushed off any chocolate crumbs inside the wrappers, flattened them a bit, and then I used them to wrap these little Christmas trees!

Hint: after you wrap your shaped chocolates, use your fingernail to press into any grooves or designs on the chocolates, so they look less like blobs and more like the shape they’re supposed to be.

Sometimes it’s an adventure!

The latest issue of The Free Weekly – Making Ripples is out today, and I decided to share some personal stories about getting around disposables. I’m not a saint, and occasionally forget my Chococat mug or lose my nerve for deploying one of these tactics, and end up with a take-out container or disposable cup. But more often than not, I avoid buying coffee and make tea from home, or get a washable mug from the barista, which is what my Dad & I did Tuesday at Nightbird Books when he visited Fayetteville for the first time.  We sat outside the shop and enjoyed lovely, unseasonable December weather on Dickson St. View full article »

Celebrating the Harvest in Community

Yesterday, I participated in my fellowship’s tradition of Bread Communion, when everyone brings a loaf of bread to pass around in baskets during the service.  Each person takes a piece of bread, and together the congregation reflects on gratitude for each other and nature’s gifts. View full article »

Our baggy bunnies are still overpopulating our house, but their hold on the kitchen is loosening.

The latest issue of The Free Weekly is out today, and my column Making Ripples talks about reducing plastic use in the kitchen from bulk aisle food purchases.  (I’ve noticed the formatting and punctuation is off on the online version of the column, so I’m sorry if that makes it harder to read – I don’t post them myself so I can’t fix it.) Some of you may remember this is a challenge area for us, because we don’t own a car and those mason jars add up in weight!  But carpooling makes things much easier, and less wasteful. We also tend to re-use the same baggy, let’s say for example almonds, and then pour the almonds into the glass jar so the baggy can go back & forth to the store.  This isn’t the greatest method because if you have 100 food items then you may end up with 100+ plastic baggies, especially if you occasionally forget the baggy labeled “curry powder” and need to get a new one. View full article »

Check out these recipes for planet-friendly treats!

The latest issue of The Free Weekly is out today, and Making Ripplesis all about baking and goodies that aren’t secretly baddies. Here are some recipes from Ripples to help you get started eating green and baking with organic, fair trade ingredients:

Try baking Solar Cookies with the recipe of your choice!  Here’s a how-to video from YouTube.

Want soup? Go vegan and try out this Vegan Cheddar Baked Potato Soup. Warm and comforting!

I love pancakes, and this recipe from Ripples is great for putting autumn flavor into your breakfast: Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Apple Butter

Just for fun, our friend Chris and his students from Colombia want to teach you how to make gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies with your host, Piggy. :)

This soup is perfect for chilly days, and can also be made soy-free!

In this case, we jumped off my dietary restriction boat for two days and used a soy-based, gluten-free cheddar block for vegans. But actually I liked the soup better without the cheddar, when it just tasted of baked potatoes and didn’t come with a side of symptoms.  I’m not supposed to be eating soy.  So alter it to meet your own needs, and enjoy a thick, hot soup for a cold winter day! View full article »

I love having this for lunch when the weather is warm and I’m in a hurry.

Quinoa mixed into salad from Ozark Natural Foods

Despite the fact that it’s getting cold outside and I’ve switched to quinoa soup instead of salad, I wanted to share this recipe with you and make sure I don’t forget how delicious this was! Part of journey with Ripples has been learning how to eat whole, real food.  We aren’t 100% raw, but this year I’ve been eating more fresh foods than ever before.  This is how earthbag homes get built and vegetable gardens are sown, rather than the Pizza Hut model I used to be so fond of, which created more medical bills.  My dietary choices of a decade ago are part of the reason I’m struggling to be healthy now. I’m hopeful that through recipes like this one, I might acquire the kind of body a country life requires.  Or at least a hardier, healthier one. View full article »

Fall into the day with the perfect pancake breakfast!

Ryan & I just discovered the solution to a vegan’s longing for holiday milk flavors: it’s called So Delicious Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk (no, it doesn’t taste like coconuts – they mean “coconut milk” like “almond milk” or “cow’s milk” which doesn’t taste like cows, of course!) When combined with our pancake recipe, adapted for the vegan and gluten-free diet, and topped with Bekemeier’s Caramel Apple Butter, this breakfast is perfect for autumn. I ate the last of the pancakes this morning while basking below a sunlit sky sprinkled with falling golden leaves. This made my morning tai chi session very tasty :) Ripples shares recipes with ya’ll whenever they represent a sustainable, fair trade, or unique experience we’ve had on our journey off-grid. Whether it’s growing cilantro or devouring these pancakes, we want to share what we’ve created and learned. Enjoy! View full article »