28 February 2011

Meatless Monday - Arugula Pesto


I veganized this recipe from Simply Recipes (photo above). It is also raw now too.
2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold 1st pressed if possible)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (or other salt)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
note: if your food processor is not very powerful soak your walnut and cashew in warm water for a 1-2 hours to soften them.

Food processor method: Grind the walnuts and cashews until they are as powdery as possible. Combine the arugula, salt, salt and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl.
Mortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.
Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.
Serve with pasta, over a salad, cold or hot pasta, or as a sauce for pizza. I love pesto spread in veggie sandwiches.
 
Variations: use the same amount of spinach, basil or cilantro to make different types of pestos. I like making mine with fresh spinach and cilantro combined.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

Change of Heart - What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change

Today I was checking out what of my favorite blogs The Discerning Brute and I came across this book called Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change by Nick Cooney. I started looking around the internet and have found that this book is awesome. One reviewer of the book said "A must-read for anyone wants to make a positive change in the world". I plan on purchasing this book tomorrow because it seems right up my alley.

Here's a description of the book from Amazon.com: "Should anti-war protestors use graphic images to get public support for their cause, or will such images turn the public off? In encouraging the public to adopt sustainable behaviors, should environmental organizations ask for small changes like using fluorescent light bulbs or big changes like giving up cars? Why do most Americans say they oppose the cruel practices of factory farms and sweatshops yet still buy products from these places? And how can non-profits get more people to say yes to their requests to volunteer, donate, recycle, write a letter to a political prisoner, support gay rights, go vegetarian, conserve energy or make other positive changes?
Scientific research has generated a wealth of information on how people can be persuaded to alter their behaviors, yet this body of knowledge has been largely ignored by those working to improve society. Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change brings this information to light so that non-profits, community organizers and others can make science-driven decisions in their advocacy work. The book examines over 80 years of empirical research in areas including social psychology, communication studies, diffusion studies, network systems and social marketing, distilling the highlights into easy-to-use advice and serving as a psychology primer for anyone wanting to spread progressive social change.
 Nick Cooney is the founder and director of The Humane League, an animal advocacy organization based in Philadelphia, PA that focuses on farm animal protection issues. Nick has written for publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and Z Magazine, and his advocacy work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio. Nick holds a degree in Non-Violence Studies from Hofstra University and formerly worked conducting nutrition education programs with the University of Pennsylvania's Urban Nutrition Initiative."
 
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

22 February 2011

Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes Naturally

I watched this documentary on youtube and I have to share it with the world.


Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes Naturally








I hope you enjoyed and learned something to help change your life. Please visit www.RawFor30Days.com for more information.
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

21 February 2011

Meatless Monday - St. Patrick's Day Happy Irish Beer Bread & Traditional Irish Colcannon Potatoes and Cabbage

I am posting these recipes because St. Patrick's Day is coming up and I have many vegan friends who happen to enjoy some great tasting beers. I also posted a veganized traditional Irish Colcannon Potatoes and Cabbage recipe for all of you wanting to really celebrate St. Patrick's Day right. Enjoy!
St. Patrick's Day Happy Irish Beer Bread 
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 oz stout beer list of vegan friendly beers
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg (optional)

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It couldn't be easier!
 

Ingredients:

  • water for boiling
  • 5 large potatoes
  • 1 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for at least 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. In a separate pot, boil the cabbage in water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In another pot or skillet, cook leeks in soy milk until tender, about 15 minutes.
When potatoes are done cooking, mash them together with leeks, soy milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add cabbage and stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

14 February 2011

Meatless Monday - Vegan Cinnamon Rolls (way better than cinnabun)

Our family does a Christmas breakfast every year. While the rest of my family eats bacon, sausage, and eggs; my hubby and I munch on these wonderful vegan cinnamon rolls. This recipe is a modification from VeganYumYum. Her recipe is delicious as well, mine is just has more sugar, more butter, and more frosting. I'm the Paula Deen of vegan food. Haha. This is why I only make this recipe once a year. If I made this recipe every weekend I wouldn't be in the shape I am now.

Ingredients:
Yeast mixture:
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
Dough:
1 cup almond, rice, or other alternative milk
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (Spectrum brand preferred)
2 teaspoons salt
2 Ener-G egg replacer eggs prepared with warm water
Yeast mixture from above
6 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading

Filling:
1/2 cup earth balance margarine (melted)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Sauce:
1/2 cup earth balance margarine (melted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon



Creamcheese frosting:
1/2 cup earth balance margarine
2/3 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Directions (same as a on VeganYumYum):
Combine yeast mixture and set aside to proof in warm area.
From the dough ingredients, combine the alternative milk, sugar, earth balance, salt, and ener-g eggs in a small sauce pan. Heat until earth balance is melted and all the ingredients are well combined, but do not let the mixture get too hot. You should be able to put a finger in it without burning yourself.
The yeast should now be nice and foamy (proofed). Combine it with the warmed liquid you just made; make sure it’s not too hot, or you will kill your yeast.
Place 4 cups of all purpose flour in a large bowl. Add the warmed wet ingredients.
Beat the batter well with a wooden spoon. The dough will be very wet and liquid, much more like a batter than a dough.
Add 2 more cups of flour and mix in partially. It’ll look like a wreck. That’s fine! Turn out the dough onto a large table/kneading surface, scraping out everything in the bowl.
Time to get your hand dirty!
Begin kneading, gently at first. It’s going to take about 8 minutes to get the dough where it needs to be. Add more flour only if the dough starts sticking to the table and there is no more dry flour to be worked into the dough. You want the dough to end up smooth and elastic, and slightly tacky, but not sticky. You should be able to knead it on a bare table without it sticking.
Once the dough is ready, place it in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled plastic wrap, to rise for 90 minutes in a warm spot. If you’re lacking a warm spot, turn your oven on low for 1 minute, then turn it off and place the dough in the oven to rise with the door closed. Remember to turn the oven off after one minute, and remember the dough is in there — no preheating for other things!
Once the dough has risen completely, it’ll leave a little dent when you poke it. If it springs back, it needs more time.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press it down.
You want it press or roll it out into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle. You can use a roller if you want, but it’s not necessary.
Pour the 1/2 cup of melted earth balance on the dough. Brush it so the dough is covered completely. It’s okay if it pools in some locations.
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar from the dough filling above. Sprinkle it evenly over the dough.
Prepare a large baking dish, like a lasagna dish, by pouring in the melted earth balance from the pan sauce ingredients above. Brush the sides of the pan so they are greased. 
Add the sugar, spreading evenly over the bottom of pan. The pan is now ready for the buns.
The following steps are shown in detail in the video above: Roll the dough up gently, starting from one of the short sides. Let it rest on the seem once it’s rolled up completely. Cut 12 rolls with dental floss or sewing thread. Place the rolls in the pan.
Cover the buns and let rise for 45 minutes if you will be baking these immediately. If baking the next day, cover the buns and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. (I think doing it overnight is optimal).
Bake in the morning with no need for more rising. If making the buns for a date in the future, cover the buns and freeze immediately. The day before you are ready to use them, defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then let warm up on the counter the next morning for an hour. In any case, when ready to bake, follow the directions below.
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, remembering to remove the rising buns if they are in there!
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. While letting the buns cool whip up the frosting ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth.
Liberally cover in frosting and devour them!!!!

Peace, Love, Wealth,
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama



07 February 2011

Meatless Monday - Healthy Vegan Nacho Dip

My family recently became in love with cashews. My 20 month old son eats them raw and my hubby loves the recipes I've been making with cashews. This is one recipe that I created and I hope you all enjoy it. 
Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews (unsalted)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (which you can find at any health food store, it happens to be at the regular grocery store here)
2 teaspoons chili powder (I use the mild kind)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (or other salt)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup smart balance or earth balance buttery spread

1/2 cup alternative milk (almond, coconut, soy, or rice)
Directions:
Pulverize the cashews in a food processor or blender until powdery fine. If your food processor is not very powerful, soak the cashews in water the night before, drain the water and let the cashews dry as much as possible before pulverizing. Mine happens to get the job done without soaking.
Add the nutritional yeast flakes, chili powder, minced garlic, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sea salt and paprika to the cashews and blend together for just about 10 seconds.
On the stove put the buttery spread and the alternative milk in a sauce pan. Heat on medium until the butter is all melted, then add everything from the food processor.
Lower the heat to low and stir everything together. You may want to add more milk if you want your "dip" to be more smooth. I happen to like mine thick. You can also add more seasonings if you want to. I sometimes add more garlic. It depends on my mood.
This recipe is high in protein and healthy fats (which are great for you complexion) and it tastes awesome.
Use this dip with corn chips, veggies, or spread on pizza dough for a nacho pizza. This recipe is very versatile and can be whipped up rather quickly.

And here is a link to the BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies
Enjoy
Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

06 February 2011

Super Bowl XLV - Super Grow XLV

I found some very positive "green" and community service things to write about 2011's Super Bowl XLV. This year's Super Bowl is partnered up with the Texas Trees Foundation to plant over 6,500 trees in several communities in Texas. That's a lot of trees!


NFL Football fans please donate here to help the Texas Trees Foundation plant more and more trees around Texas.
Also, the Cowboys Stadium seats are made of recycled plastic. 
Here are some more awesome things the NFL is doing with Super Bowl 45:
  • 13 children from the Make-A-Wish foundation will be attending the Super Bowl this year to fulfill their "wishes".  
  • Any extra food from the Cowboys Stadium will be donated to local homeless shelters.
  • With Habitat For Humanity, construction of the 45 houses in October 2010 and will be putting the finishing touches on them through May 2011. These houses have are being built for low-income families in northern Texas.
I think it is wonderful that the NFL is doing things like the to help the world be a healthier, greener, happier place for generations to come. Read here for more the NFLs community involvement this year.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

04 February 2011

Ways To Wear The Circle Scarf From American Apparel - Fashion Friday

I told all you that this week I would post a few pics of different ways to wear the American Apparel circle scarf. I am gonna go back to American Apparel and buy a few more colors of the circle scarf because I love it so much. Here are a few ways to wear the circle scarf:
 I like this look because it is great if you don't want to feel too "exposed" on top but still want to be sexy. You can wear any type of outfit with the scarf like this and it will look great. This can also make you look a little more sophisticated if you are the type who likes to wear ponytails and are always on the go (perfect for busy moms). Basically, you just wrap the scarf around your head twice off you go.
For this look I made the circle scarf into a high-waisted skirt. I used a shoe lace to hold up the skirt. I think a shoelace works better than a belt because 1. it's more adjustable so you can make your skirt higher or lower, and 2. not everyone has a belt that fits well on their rib cage. This look has endless possibilities. It's a great way to look dressed up and feel comfy at the same time. I love the fabric of the circle scarf. I wish I would have had this scarf when I was pregnant. The fabric is so comfy and breathable, and I could have actually had some "skirts" (made from the circle scarf) that fit properly.
 I felt so "little red riding hood-ish" when I wear the scarf like this. I actually wear it like this around the house. It's so comfy, like wearing a hoodie without the sleeves.
This is the when you just drape the scarf around you neck and leave it long. I like this look because it makes me look much taller than I am, which is nice since I'm only 5 feet tall.
 I made the circle scarf into a long dress. I did this by putting on a tube top bra, tucking the skirt into it, and pulling it up about 5 inches, then folded it over my breasts. I bunched it up in the back and draped it all pretty, as you can see in the next picture. I think this is a great idea for if you have some sort of event after work. You can wear the scarf in another way, then head to the bathroom and have a completely different outfit on. You can even continue to wear your work skirt underneath style. Great for ladies night as well.
 Here is the back of the last look. I love how it draped so nicely.
This look is just like the last one only the tube top bra is exposed. American Apparel has tons of colors of tube top bras to choose from so you can mix and match them with different colored circle scarfs.

I hope all of you enjoy my circle scarf looks. Feel free to email me pics of your circle scarf looks, I'd love to post them on the blog.

Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

03 February 2011

Meatless Mondays - Know What You Eat

I decided that I'm going to do a "Meatless Monday" post every Monday. I will provide recipes that are meatless, healthy and taste great. I have a few ideas for some things that I'm sure all my readers will enjoy.
For now, here is Oprah's Vegan Starter Kit. Enjoy!

















Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama

02 February 2011

The Vanishing Of Bees Documentary - Bee The Change - Know What You Eat

The Vanishing Of Bees is an extremely important documentary that ALL people should watch because it effects everyone in society, here and abroad. Bees are essential for food production and we need to protect them.
 Here's the synopsis:
"Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives.
Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.
Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.
Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery."


 
The Vanishing Of Bees just came out and you can find a screening near you.
To learn more about The Vanishing Of Bees and the people who support bee sustainability please visit www.vanishingbees.com .


Peace, Love, Wealth
Kimra Diggs
The Progressive Mama