Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

You really must love these awareness days if for nothing more then it gives us bloggers something to talk about. I don't know how I feel about "Earth Day." I love my Earth in all its dangerous beauty and therefore everyday is Earth Day. I try to live my life with lighter steps and help clear up the debris of those who want to stomp around. I am by no means perfect but I keep stiving to be better, be more educated and clean up old habits.

In an effort to use this day as it was intended, to bring awareness to the issues. Everyone knows the basics and a lot of people subscribe to them: reusable bags, drive car less, fuel efficient vehicles. Fewer people seem to get into the "eat less or no meat" and won't touch the dairy and egg issue with the ever popular 10 ft pole. If you truely want to save the planet. If you really really want to shrink down that ol' "carbon foot print" you'll need to go vegan. That's all there is too it. If I'm not only preaching to the choir here let me just say that it is easier than it has ever been to go vegan. There are an array of amazing delicious vegan cookbooks out there (just check out my library for a start). You'll find great vegan online social networking which can translate into real life social networking. Yes there are other vegans out there and chances are there is at least one near you. My favorite is The Post Punk Kitchen a couple other very welcoming communities are Compassionate Cooks and Just the Food. Speaking of Compassionate Cooks, Colleen does a very informative podcast that is worth checking out. She talks about food, animal rights, animal "processing" and literature.

I have already read several articles and posts about the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle on this oh day of the earth so I won't really go on about it. I'll just point to the following.

If you are familiar with Mr Mark Bittman (author of How to Cook Everything and of the more recent Food Matters) here is an article from the New York Times about meat consumption. Now I don't completely buy into the Bittman philosophy (he mentions something about being "vegan plus" which is a term that will only serve to confuse people as it's inaccurate) but I think he makes some good points and he will reach a lot of people that a vegan will probably not for the simple fact that he is not vegan. He's got some good information.

When I read Kelly's post at I understood the possition completely. It can be tough to keep the faith when so many just aren't willing to take the necessary steps to get it done. While I would like people to do something rather then nothing at all, there does seem to be a lot of half-assing going on. Use your whole ass people. Don't just take one step and call it quits. Keep taking steps, see where they lead you.

Check out The Girlie Girl Army for some great factoids about what your vegan choices do for the planet and the creatures that try to live on it. I kinda like their Earth Pride.

I hope everyone had a good day. Do something for the Earth everyday. Go vegan! These guys really want you to. Did I mention don't "process" them?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Coconut Bacon!

Yes, that's right. I said it. Coconut bacon. It had to be done. Not that I don't love tempeh bacon. That still has it's place on my plate but coconut bacon fits into that little niche between the larger strips and bits although I suppose it could be made into these as well. I went for flakes.

I didn't come up with exact measurements but kept it simple. Don't be afraid to dump some stuff in a jar and see what happens. It's a science experiment. A delicious, wonderful science experiment.

First you'll need your coconut. I went for flakes, unsweetened of course although now I think of it. Sweetened probably wouldn't be horrible but I'd rather sweeten them myself. I like to know what's going in my food.

The marinade: soy sauce, garlic (powder or microplaned), some dark soy sauce if you have it around, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of liquid smoke.

Method: put coconut in a jar, add marinade ingredients (mostly soy sauce and vinegar and a sprinkling of the rest), cover and shake it like a Polaroid picture. I left this concoction in my refrigerator for a couple days. Dump it out onto a baking sheet and set your oven to it's lowest temperature. Bake the coconut until it's dry. Allow it to cool then store it in a jar.
Sprinkle this delight into sandwiches, on salads, in your tofu scramble . . . wherever you need a salty smoky kick. This goes great in a BLT.

Play around with the flavors. Maple would probably go great in this.