If your a treehugging hemp wearing greeny, you should be cave shopping right now. Forget about living in the typical stick built boxes, all the drones call home. The greenest houses on the planet are caves, ask any bat. No insulation needed, earth quake proof, extremely low energy bills, and oh so quite. But, no one but a nut wants to actually live in a cave, right. I mean you would have to be just a little off, like one of those people who actually think doing their business in a bucket is progressive. For us Monkies, we love the bonus sides of cave living and hate the down sides. The no style, no light, drippy ceilings, no right angles and bat guano. But if you could combine the cave DNA with modern architecture, we monkies would be all over it. That is exactly what the architecture firm Productora has done with their House in Chihuahua.
By Productora: The House in Chihuahua is part of a golf club community in the desert like northern region of Mexico. The dwelling was designed to accommodate the special climatic circumstances of the area, since the differences between day time and night time temperatures can vary by as much as twenty degrees. To balance these extreme temperature differences, we partially buried the house into the mountain slope to take advantage of the soil’s thermal mass.
Photographer V Blak
T’was a yummy morning. T’was. The dawn a breakin’, the bird’s a flyin’, the dog a wagin’, the fire a crackin’, the very ripe bananas a smellin’…love was in the air…All the elements were in place for the inspiration and creation of this recipe. A recipe I would never make if I were not visiting a special someone. A special someone, who happens to love his bananas. Me, I can’t stand em’. I know. I am in the minority. But I never liked them. As a kid maybe. My mom, who never cooked anything except her occasional overly steamed vegetables, baked potatoes and chicken soup when I was sick (Sorry Ma!), would make me mashed bananas with sour cream and honey. I know. Sounds nasty but as I kid I would crave it. Haven’t touched it since though. Not sure if I could stomach it now. No idea why I liked that mush so much. But at the time, it was Eureka. Now, I am just not a banana gal. Well, not until this morning.
About 15 minutes after I popped this thang in the oven the house started smelling and feeling like a warm, cozy embrace…of, well, bananas.
I found myself and my taste buds unexpectedly excited to taste it. Unfortunately, his oven sucks and the temperature doesn’t ever stay consistent so the bread got burned along the edges and the bottom a wee bit charred. That is why I cut it up into these cute little individual bite size pieces. A handy trick I learned from the Queen Bee Martha Stewart. Cause let me tell you honey — this moist, delicious banana bread tastes divine. Wouldn’t wanna throw it away cause it didn’t come out perfect. Yep. Another reminder of how there is no such thing as perfection and how imperfection can be perfect…
I have posted about Carl Sagan a few times here on G Living. I never seem to get tired of looking back at his life and the knowledge he left behind. He seemed to have instinctively known the way to excite the next generation in science, exploration and knowledge, is to light up their imaginations with visuals and dramatic stories. He did just that with his Cosmos Tv series. Before CGI, before Star Wars and Battle Star Galactica, Carl created a TV series, which took us into space, not to kill fictional Klingons, but to learn about the actual universe we live within.
Yes, the graphics are a bit dated, it was filmed in the late 70’s but it still blows me away. Watch the entire series on Hulu.com for free. Posted below is the first show in the series. Open your mind and enjoy.
Photographer V Blak
Merry merry jolly jolly to you all! Almost time to celebrate. The tree trimming, the lights sparkling, the festive decorations hanging, the fireplaces crackling, the soups simmering, the stews slowly brewing, the spiced apple cider steaming, the rich hot chocolate warming, the bread baking…mmmmmm I could go on and on….love the holiday season. Always have. And I especially love love love to bake, to brew, to stew and to create something new everyday in my warm toasty kitchen.
When I was a vegan (yes, I said ‘was’) I decided to take the 6 month chef’s training program at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School in NYC to learn how to cook vegan style. The focus was on cooking with whole foods and how important it is, especially if you are vegetarian, vegan or RAW to learn about how to eat a balanced diet. For example, when I was RAW for over a year I felt great for awhile but then I became totally imbalanced, tired and even lost my period. I was eating a tremendous amount of dried and fresh fruits or raw desserts to try and gain energy. I later learned it was a sign my body was craving protein. It took me a bit to get over my militant RAW food obsessions and transition out of that diet but when I did, I immediately felt better. I just did. I didn’t want to admit that eating a little organic animal protein balanced me out but it did. And it still does. So now, I like to call myself a Flexatarian — which is roughly translated to mostly vegan sprinkled with raw goat dairy, some organic meats and eggs. But I am getting off on a tangent now, so back to the holiday meal! Jeeezzzzzzz….. :)
One of my teachers at the Natural Gourmet was chef and cookbook author Myra Kornfeld. She wrote one of my favorite vegan cookbooks “The Voluptuous Vegan” A cookbook I always seem to go back to time and time again. I bring Myra and her book up because truth be told, this recipe is heavily inspired by a recipe of hers, which I have made many times over the years, for my family and friends. Not only does it look beautiful but it tastes incredible.
All of your guests (vegan or not) will be unbelievably nourished and satisfied. I am not a fan of serving up a veggie meal ladened with all those fake processed vegan meats. Tempeh is a whole food yes, but tofu is not and who the heck knows what’s in those vegan sausages and that damn Tofurky, right? If ya ask me, it’s a bunch of man made crap that will cause much unfortunate digestive upset… ;)
So….try this recipe out for a delicious whole food holiday meal alternative. Believe me, your vegan, vegetarian, and yes, even carnivore friends will be feeling the delicious holiday spirit and will leave your table very jolly!
with Macadamia Ricotta Filling and Cherry Tomato Marinara (raw)
If you don’t have a juice capable of homogenizing nuts, you could try using store bought raw Cashew-Macadamia nut butter. It has to be thick though, otherwise the ricotta mixture will be too runny and will leak out of the manicotti rolls.
I tend to use cherry or grape tomatoes in all of my recipes, except during heirloom tomato season. They taste the best and don’t have that mealy texture that most tomatoes have (even the organic ones) especially in winter.
Serves about 4
(Pine Nut Ricotta, Olive Relish, Wild Mushroom, Sweet Pepper Coulis)
For the Lasagna:
3-4 round zucchini sliced into thin rounds, or long zucchini sliced thin in strips
4-6 black plum tomatoes, or roma, sliced in thin rounds
1 cup sliced mushrooms (portabella, chanterelle,
baby oyster), toss with 2 T shoyu and 2 T olive oil
1 cup Pine nut Ricotta (see recipe)
1/2 cup seeded and tomatoes tossed with T olive oil
1 cup olive relish (see recipe)
½ cup smoked red pepper puree (see recipe)
½ cup smoked yellow pepper puree (see recipe)
Course sea salt, smoked (for garnish on each plate)
Our friend Brendan Brazier, the vegan tri-athlete, author and formulator of the Vega food products, stopped by to show Sarah and Boise how to make a raw energy bar. This is one of the first products Brendan created during his early days of training.
When I finally decided to buy an electric bike to replace my car, I knew I would need some powerful LED lights to keep me safe at night. I started with the basics, the tail light. Most of the time, when your on a bike here in Los Angeles, you have cars whizzing right past you just a few feet away and coming at you from the rear. That means the most important light is that rear tail light so it better get the quickly approaching drivers attention.
When I started looking around, most of the tail lights where all the same. Under powered and not that eye catching. Yes, they where LED lights, they where red, some flashed, but none of them screamed, look out. That was until I found the SuperFlash Stealth by Planet Bike. This light was different, it had a 1/2 watt Blaze LED light with a shaped lens and 2 Extreme LEDs with a visibility of up to a mile. When this thing is on, people can’t take their eyes off it. From the rear, it’s near blinding and from the side, it looks like a fireworks show. So, I bought two. One for the rear of my A2B Electric bike and one for the Wike Bike Trailer. The other cool thing about the light, is that its clear when off. It doesn’t standout or look ugly on the bike.
Creative and Clever Ways to Throw a Smashing Eco-Chic Party Entertaining is a theatrical experience that should dazzle the senses. The experience should be clever and well thought out, no matter what your budget. Here are a few sustainable tips to get your next shin dig off the ground. Go one step further and send out a digital invite instead – eliminating paper all together.
Get off on the right foot - First thing’s first: the invites. Make sure you use invites made from recycled paper. Contrary to ecologically-challenged perceptions, recycled paper can look and feel just like high grade paper, but minus the guilty conscience. If ordering them from a professional, ask whether they use recycled paper.
Centerpieces – Gone are the days of deplorable fake flowers you could spot a mile away – usually collecting dust in some over-crowded knick-knack filled nook and cranny in your grandmother’s house. These days, if you know where to look, fake flowers can pass for the real thing.
Aside from standard silk flowers (which are still using silk worms), there’s the option of clay flowers. Deco Clay flowers are absolutely gorgeous and look just like the real thing – except that they cost a fraction of the price, are environmentally safe, and last forever.
The even better upside is they’re reusable so you’ll save money in the long run, plus you’re not contributing to flower butchery nor the very unsustainable flower industry, which has to shower flowers with pesticides – a factor that’s damaging to both you and the environment.
However, if faux is not your thing, then get flowers from the local farmers market. You can even get great arrangements and settings out of potted plants and flowers. A personal favorite is the clever use of moss as decorative center pieces. Moss is not only cheap, sustainable, and uber chic, but it can also be planted afterwards with next to no effort.
Red Kuri, Buttercup, Kabocha or Delicata are my favorites squash’s to use for this simple and delish recipe. This is a beautiful festive compliment to any meal; mix it into a mixed winter green salad, put it over cooked grains, sautéed greens, sprinkle some toasted pumpkins seeds over it…basically anyway you wanna serve this, you gotta wonderful sweet seasonal treat… :)
Day 1: I always say that the secret of success to healthy eating is being prepared. So I’m kicking myself right now. For months, I’ve known that this would be the week I did a juice fast. Clearly, I had ample time to prepare. And I did, to some degree. I spent the week prior eating exceptionally well. I drank a ton of water. I carefully plotted what I would eat so that my house would be nearly barren when day one arrived. What I neglected to do: get a juicer. And buy fruits and vegetables to juice. Duh. I had arranged with my neighbor to borrow his juicer.
But when I called to get it today, he was busy, so he said he’d drop it off later while I was at the gym. (We have keys to each other’s apartment.) So I went to the gym, had a great workout. Started talking to this cute guy. And before I knew it, it was like three o’clock, and I’d yet to have anything but water. The cute guy offered to buy me a juice (and to take me out to dinner). They had fresh squeezed orange and carrot juices on the menu. But they were out of oranges and carrots! Now, I was in trouble. I knew that by the time I walked home, got my car and went to Whole Foods, and got back with all my fruits and veggies, it would be at least an hour. Fuck! So not prepared. After grilling the poor juice girl, I settled on a smoothie. It was made with frozen mango and pineapple and water. It tasted good, but frozen fruit smoothies weren’t exactly what I was after when I decided to do my fast. I was a little disappointed in myself, but remembered this juice fast wasn’t about being perfect. But I vowed that from that point on, I’d be prepared. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Here in Florida, we are blessed to be at the height of our Farmers Market season. My Saturday ritual involves getting up as early as possible (but never early enough) and heading downtown to visit my favorite organic farmers. Every week I vow to arrive earlier when I hear that I missed out on the strawberries or the last of the Lacinato kale. But come Saturday, sleep always wins. When I finally make it to my favorite booth, I’m always on the hunt for something exotic. Sometimes I can find rare tropical fruits (more often in the summer) and unique citrus varieties. Last week I scored the last of the pink tangelos and WOW–what a treat.
This week I was late. Kale, a major staple for me–gone. So I fumbled around trying to figure out what else to get. I’m a total list maker. I have to be, while shopping for me, my hubby and a handful of clients. Though, in keeping with fresh and seasonal ingredients, my favorite list entry is often “stuff for salad”. Walking around the booth, it was impossible to miss the gorgeous display of Romanesco (a broccoli & cauliflower relative). This is seriously the most beautiful food I have ever seen. It’s bright, lime green and full of spiraling florets. Even better, as much as I love broccoli and cauliflower, Romanesco is a bit more subtle in flavor. I grabbed a perfect looking piece, a ton of fresh herbs and knew I was in for a treat this week. This salad is so light, delicious and absolutely full of fresh herby flavor. If you can’t get your hands on Romanesco, feel free to substitute broccoli or cauliflower.