Thursday, December 11, 2014

90pctvegan hack of the day - eggs!

Two fried eggs atop sauteed mushrooms and spinach.  Behold, the eggy goodness, the meaty umami of the mushrooms, and the Popeye levels of nutrition in the spinach!
This is 90 percent vegan. Really!

One large egg contains 6 grams of protein, and only 71 calories.  So here's 142 of my daily 240-ish calories from an animal source - and it's truly delicious!  The richness of the yolks bastes the underlying layer of veg in creamy sauce-y goodness, making a breakfast of plants into something truly decadent and amazing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

90pctvegan hack of the day – sardines

Here’s an incredibly in-depth nutrition profile from my go-to source, World’s Healthiest Foods

One serving provides 2338% (yes, thousands) of your daily B1, 87% of the selenium you need (so watch the Brazil nut intake on a day you eat sardines), 64% of your phosphorus, 61% of your omega-3 fats, 45% of the protein you need, and a whopping 44% of your daily requirement of vitamin D!  (This isn’t YOUR, of course.  It’s an average of regular adults.  I am not prescribing anything or making ANY representation about giving you personalized advice.  J )

Pacific sardines
And they’re cheap.  On sale at Safeway last night were Beach Cliff brand sardines in mustard sauce (mmmmm – mustard) for a buck a can.  One single buck.

As for calories – according to the Beach Cliff website, a can of their sardines in mustard sauce is 140 calories! That’s well in keeping with my 10% animal/90% plant rule.

Were I not pinching pennies, I might opt for these – and here’s where the topic on climate change comes in.

How sustainable are sardines?  Well, I read here (with alarm) that they are likely already being affected by the warming of our planet. 

And the whole picture is complicated. I read that Gristpiece with a lot of interest, because it highlighted the many ways we don’t know precisely what our impact is on the food webs and ecosystems with which we share our precious planet.

And that deserves a YIKES

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Let's Make an Impact - a Delicious Impact!

I don’t think it’s controversial to state that there are quite a few people in America who think vegans and vegetarians are annoying, in the way they might find it annoying when someone pipes up that they’re “gluten-free.”
As irritating as I myself find self-promotional special-dieters of all stripes (I’m looking at you, gluten-free-for-no-reason and I’m-on-a-juice-CLEANSE people!) I can honestly say that it goes both ways.
When I was vegan, I made it a policy to Keep My Trap Shut. Because it really can be a conversation stopper to drop a lead balloon like, “Thanks, but I can’t eat cheese,” or “That looks delicious, but I’m vegan.” I generally just said “No thanks” and left it at that.
Fair dos – as a larger woman, people generally expect me to “be on a diet,” so my “no thanks” was probably mostly met with a mental “Well, of course she’s not having any – she’s a FATTIE!”
Still, it did come up. Sometimes, nothing but “I’m a vegan” works to stop coercion. “Oh c’mon – just ONE little piece?! It’s delicious! I made it with Real Butter!  It’s my Grandma Gesundheit’s recipe!  You’ll LOVE it!”
In those situations, a firm “That looks amazing, but I’m vegan, so I don’t eat butter,” was often my only recourse.
And it was in those situations that I learned that the vast majority of Americans are probably never gonna be 100%, hard core, card-carrying vegans.
Better looking food in future, I promise!

Reactions ranged from incomprehension (“Dairy doesn’t count, right?” and the divinely moronic “But chicken isn’t meat!”) to horror (“You don’t eat ANY meat?!”) to a strangely bellicose stance, as if I’d said not simply “No thanks,” but “No thanks – AND YOU CAN”T HAVE ANY EITHER!”  The belligerence was often married to a fiercely proprietary attitude (“I couldn’t LIVE without MY BACON!” or “No one’s taking away MY STEAK!”) that put me back on my heels a tad.
So what to do? If we accept the premise that not many Americans are vegetarian or vegan we know that isn’t enough people to move the dial on climate change.  
Here’s the money quote: “The just-released “Vegetarianism in America” study, published by Vegetarian Times (, shows that 3.2 percent of U.S. adults, or 7.3 million people, follow a vegetarian-based diet. Approximately 0.5 percent, or 1 million, of those are vegans, who consume no animal products at all. In addition, 10 percent of U.S., adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet.”
Not a lot of people.

But if everyone could be convinced that it’s possible to make a big impact on their carbon footprint while at the same time getting to eat at least a little of THEIR BACON – well, would that be a good thing?
I submit that it would.
The challenge, of course, is to convince not just with statistics, but with recipes. Delicious, healthy, life-affirming recipes that are 90% plants and 10% animal (organic, sustainable, cruelty-free, of course) products.
And that’s what this blog is setting out to do.  Please stay tuned for delicious foodie goodness, complete with shaky-cam bad quality pix from my trusty new iPhone 4S!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The devil is in the details...

So it is all well and good to say "eat no more than 10% of your daily calories from animal sources that are free-range, organic, local, and sustainable," and it is another thing entirely to FIND those things!

As I come across useful information I will be posting it to the Resources page that I just threw up - starting with - looks like I will be paying a visit to Sea Breeze Farm's booth at the U District Farmer's Market soon! (

They're located on lovely Vashon Island, pictured below. Can't wait to try their eggs!

And here's the part where the rubber will meet the road.  See, I live above a Safeway.  In the same building, 4 floors up, atop a huge, giant, massive, big-a$$ SAFEWAY.  Which means it's oh so easy for me to simply pop on flip flops, throw a coat over my sweats, take the elevator downstairs, and shop for factory-farmed eggs that cost almost nothing.

But that's not what I want to do, so I am no longer going to do it.

I will shop for Sea Breeze Farms eggs this Saturday, and report back on the deliciousness factor!

Abundance near La Conner, Washington

September in La Conner Washington is sublime. Endless rich blue skies, warm sun, fresh breezes from the water and the fields, and produce stands that burst with ingredients! 

Was just thumbing through the trusty iPhone and reminiscing about Cousin J and Auntie S visiting this year - we hit a produce stand that made me want to COOK.  Just think of all the things you could make with just the bounty from this one bin!

As a 90% vegan, the first thing I'd do is steam up a few of those lovely pale green patty pans in the back - then lavish them with a knob of organic sweet cream butter and a teensy sprinkle of good sea salt.  A grind of black pepper might honestly be over-the-top!

The tomatoes wouldn't need more than to be sliced, but of course you could drizzle those slices with good olive oil and scatter some basil leaves about.  Or dice them in goodly chunks, grate in a little garlic, and use the resulting goodness as a topping for grilled bread.

I'd probably just wash the first cuke I unpacked when I got home and take a huge bite with no prep - but you could also make a tasty, refreshing raita with Greek yogurt, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some salt, a little mint, and maybe just a tiny sprinkle of sugar.

Then there's the cucumber salad my Bedstemoder used to make - she'd slice cucumbers and onions very very thin (I'd use the shallots shown above) and dress them with equal parts apple cider vinegar and fresh cream, into which she'd whisked a little sugar and a dash of black pepper.

Not feelin' the dairy?  Make a tangy vinaigrette with Dijon mustard and some minced chiles and dress the cukes and shallots with that, instead!

What would you do with those lovely ingredients in the picture?

90 Percent Vegan

So what is 90% vegan, anyway?

It's just what it sounds like.  Get 90% of your daily calories from plants, and 10% (or fewer - fewer is good, too!) from local, organic, free-range, sustainable animal sources.

It’s something I think every American CAN do, and should do, for some pretty obvious and simple reasons.

Not sure anyone would argue that going 90% vegan is good for one’s waistline. As a 100% vegan I lost 60+ pounds… as a newly 90% vegan, I am, already dropping weight!

And it’s certainly a no-brainer that you can save money if you’re not buying meat and dairy – and the savings aspect of this will be the subject of many posts explaining HOW.

But it might not be immediately apparent to many that going 90% vegan can help save our planet from global climate change!

I got this list from Mikko Alanne, who blogged about it over at Huffington Post.  You can read it here:

  1. If all Americans did not eat meat for one day a week, they would save 99.6 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent of removing 46 million round trip flights between Los Angeles and New York, or taking 19.2 million cars off the road for a full year.
  2. If everyone in the US did not eat meat for two days a week, they would save 199 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. This would have the same effect as replacing ALL household appliances in the US with energy efficient ones.
  3. If all Americans did not eat meat for three days a week, they would save almost 300 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. This would have a greater impact on the climate than replacing all US cars with Toyota Priuses.
  4. If everyone in the US did not eat meat for four days a week, they would save 398 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. This would be the carbon savings equivalent of cutting the use of all electricity, gas, oil, petroleum, and kerosene in the United States in half.
  5. If all Americans abstained from eating meat for five days a week, they would save 498 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. This would result in the carbon savings equivalent of planting 13 billion trees and letting them grow for ten years.
  6. If all Americans did not eat meat for six days a week, they would save nearly 600 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. This would be the equivalent of eliminating the total electricity use of all households in the United States.
  7. And finally: If everyone in the United States ate a vegetarian diet for seven days, they would save around 700 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. That would be the same as removing all the cars off the roads in the US.