Monday, January 10, 2011

Veganville revisited

It's been a while since I've reported from Veganville. The truth is, it's extremely difficult to be entirely vegan living in the same household as my husband, Mr. Hunter. Over the past few months, we've been inundated with his kills: deer and wild hog. Eating meat from these animals may seem disgusting to some, but here's my thought: would you rather eat a farm-raised, hormone-injected animal that lives in high-stress, overcrowded, diseased conditions? OR would you rather eat an animal that is healthy and runs wild and natural? Do you like eating products that come from God-knows-where, no-named factory farm? Or do you like knowing exactly where your food comes from? Being connected to our food source is something my husband and I are dedicated to - be it hunting or vegetable gardening or shopping at farmer's markets.

Anyway, my husband has been away for the past week which has allowed me to dive back into Veganville. Hooray!

Here's a recipe to try if you have a hankerin' for Broccoli-Cheese Soup - it is super delicious and filling.

Creamy Broccoli-White Bean Soup

1 head broccoli cut into florets, stems thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 15oz. can cannellini beans, drained*
2 1/2 c. vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T. pine nuts, toasted

*I buy dry beans instead of canned beans. If using dry beans, soak 1 c. beans in 2 c. water 6-8 hours. Drain. In a small saucepan, bring 2 1/2 c. water to a boil. Add beans. Simmer for 1 hour. Drain. Use as needed in recipe.

1. Steam broccoli florets and stems until tender and bright green. Let cool slightly.
2. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add beans and stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Remove from heat and add broccoli. Puree in batches in a blender until smooth (or blend using an immersion blender). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with pine nuts.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

DIY Aromatherapy Candles

Attention: No bees were harmed in the making of these candles

Come to think of it, I can't quite remember what inspired me to try candle-making. Being a beginner, I started about as simple and basic as one can get with the craft: container candles. And for the candles that turned out "okay", some lucky individuals received these as Christmas gifts.

Lavender Aromatherapy Candles

Mason jars
soy wax
lavender essential oil
dried lavender flowers

Prepare jars using pencils to center wicks in the jars. Melt wax in a double boiler. Once melted, add essential oil. Gently pour wax into jars until desire fill. (*If you want to put a lid on the jar, I'd recommend filling about 3/4 full). Set on flat surface to dry. Once initial "crust" has formed on the surface of the candle, sprinkle lavender flowers over the wax. Once completely dry, trim wick.