Monday, April 12, 2010

Transitioning to Vegan

Hello all. Some of you who know me on Facebook or in person may be aware that I've been focusing a lot on animal rights issues, baking vegan treats, and talking about a vegan diet in general. I have decided that I am transitioning to a vegan diet and lifestyle mainly for animal rights reasons but also for health and world sustainability/green reasons. For me, it feels like the right thing to do!

It's been a gradual process but I am making a lot of progress. I've gone from eating meat or fish about twice a day to eating meat/poultry about once per week and fish a few times a week. I remember a while back when someone mentioned the idea of just eating meat once per day I thought, wow, that would be so hard. But really, it has just become easier and easier. I've also transitioned slowly from drinking lots of milk at home, almost two gallons per week between me and my boyfriend, to about a half gallon of raw organic milk per week. In fact, yesterday when my boyfriend who is loving all of the new milk choices grabbed almond, coconut, hemp, and cow/s milk at the store and I asked him to put one of them back he chose to put back the cow's milk! I knew we were really making progress then. The final frontier will be the half and half in my coffee and sea food for sure.

It's a progression because it's about not only saying good bye to all of the things you are used to eating but learning to prepare new things in new ways.. and with our busy schedules that takes time. I'm also just learning about all of the restaurants and stores in the area that offer vegan choices and it's going to now take a little bit of time to swap out the places that don't have those choices. However, the more I educate myself I find that I am not really sacrificing much but rather refocusing on a whole new culinary world of delicious, healthy food!

In addition, I have decided that the culinary career I am pursuing will be vegan. So, I am currently seeking out vegan chefs in the area that will allow me to assist them so that I can learn the ropes. I am also experimenting at home with cooking vegan dishes and baking with vegan ingredients.

Where will this leave Yummy Happy Rainbow? I am not sure yet. In an attempt to simplify my life I have not been taking pictures and posting about everything that I eat. One of the reasons I quit my full-time job almost 2 months ago was to reduce stress. I'd be stupid to swap that stress out with the stress of trying to create some great blog.. even if my handful of readers want that. There is also not much of a reason for me to document my vegan finds and progress when there are a ton of resources out there for anyone interested in those kinds of things. So, I am taking a break from the blog for now until I decide what I want to do with it. Once I kick off some sort of vegan career I may start a new blog then.

Thanks everyone!!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken-less Chicken Noodle Soup

This sounds really strange but one day when I was making my delicious chicken noodle soup I realized that I needed to go buy chicken so I did everything I had to do with the soup except add the chicken. It tasted so good without it that I thought, "I could make this without the chicken and it would still be great." So, that is just what I did this time.

I am trying to cut back on meat and poultry for many reasons but I still love the taste of meaty things. I have found lately that a little goes a long way, if any at all. So, I used my delicious celery and carrots from JR Organics, along with the other ingredients in my soup recipe. It tastes nice and chickeny because of the Better than Bouillon and the poultry seasoning I use (I know, this is not a true vegetarian recipe). I also tried using organic whole wheat angel hair pasta with Jerusalem artichoke flour, it's funny how angel hair shaped pasta is often the easiest to use whole wheat, brown rice, etc because of it's fine texture.. it tastes just like the regular stuff.

You might not miss the chicken at all.. don't knock it 'till you try it. : )

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Farfalle and Salmon Salad

This is a quick salad with a straightforward formula: pasta plus cold veggies (salmon or tuna optional.)

In this case I mixed up my JR Organics (JRO) spinach, lettuce, and carrots. Then, I boiled some bow-tie shaped pasta (farfalle) and towards the end of the boiling process I threw in some JRO peas. I drained the pasta and peas and then added a can of salmon (preferably you would use fresh salmon because of the BPA in the cans but this is good in a pinch.) I tossed everything with the veggies in our favorite dressing and voila! A one-dish healthy and light meal.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sauteed Broccoli with Radishes and Garlic and more JR Organics Produce

I never ever would have thought to cook radishes but now that I have my weekly box of fresh organic produce, it's so much fun thinking up new recipes to make.

I just chopped the broccoli with the stems and sliced radishes and garlic very thin. I sauteed everything up with the some olive oil and it made a great side dish or mini-meal (pictured below). I topped it with some coarsely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese.

For our second week of produce, we received many of the same items as last week but instead of chard we got spinach. Instead of regular carrots and oranges we got blood oranges and red carrots! I also swapped some celery and radishes with some kale and peas.

Here are the lovely red carrots we got, light orange on the inside!

Blood oranges

And here are the super cute peas and spinach!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cupcake Weekend

Got some cuppies from Vanilla Bakeshop: passion fruit, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate raspberry. Also got from BabyCakes: Banana, Red Velvet, and Chocolate. YUM!

Oh, I must have eaten the chocolate peanut butter one before I took this picture.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cooking with JR Organics Farm Produce

With the eleven items in our first box of produce, I can already tell we'll have more than enough fabulous fresh fruits and veggies each week to keep us healthy and happy! It's also exciting to have a bunch of things that I might not normally put together so I consider it a challenge to work with some new combinations. I feel like I am cooking in an episode of Chopped.

First, nothing beats fresh fruit for breakfast to get the day started right. I often find that folks who might not grab fruit from the kitchen have no problems grabbing fruit that's nicely chopped and placed in front of them, such as these delicious apples and strawberries:

I LOVE the smell of fresh Rosemary, so I put it out on the coffee table as an air freshener.


I happened to have some organic chicken breast in the house, and since I love chicken with rosemary, inspiration struck! I decided I would make a roasted vegetable pasta primavera with chicken and rosemary.

I started by marinating the chicken in rosemary, sliced spring onions, white wine, and a little olive oil for a few hours.


Then, I sauteed the chicken up. The onions and rosemary became nice and tender with a little char. Yum.


I sliced up carrots, broccoli (stems and all), more scallions, and more rosemary. I tossed these veggies in a little oil and then put them in the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes until they were soft and toasty. This picture shows the veggies raw.


In the mean time I cut up the chicken and cooked some organic whole wheat penne. When the veggies were done, I tossed everything together with some olive oil and salt and made sure it was all heated through. Then I topped it with Pecorino Romano cheese. We had this for dinner with a delicious salad of butter lettuce, radishes, and avocados.



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Yay for LA Food Trucks!

Can you believe there are dozens of food trucks on the streets of LA now? I am not just talking about your typical Mexican food truck, but rather gourmet Korean tacos, cupcakes, dim sum, and so much more. A few weeks ago many of them participated in the First Annual Street Food Fest. I've only tried a couple of these trucks' fare but I plan to try a whole lot more.

One that I have tried is the NomNom Truck which serves up Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches). The pork and lemongrass chicken in the yummy baguettes were delicious. This is great for folks like us on the west side with limited access to Vietnamese food. We also stumbled upon the Dim Sum Truck on its soft launch day and tried their very tasty turnip cakes (see photo above). I can't wait to try more truck food!

The best way to keep track of where these food trucks are is Twitter. But if you don't feel like signing up for that, this awesome site : Find LA Food Trucks has widgets with all of the Twitter feeds.. it's a one truck stop! : )