Mad Cow found in Dairy Products! WHAT!!!

I was just reading the April newsletter from Dr. John McDougall and I am even more thankful that I am not only a vegan, but am lactose intolerant!!!  Just in case you need another reason to stop eating that cheese and using cow’s milk on your cereal, here is a link to the article: Mad Cow Proteins Detected in Dairy Products.  It is the second article (you’ll need to scroll about half way down the page).  They have found not only mad cow, but also bovine lukemia in off-the-shelf milk products.  You can obtain all of the vitamins and minerals that you need from vegetable sources that are more easily digested than they are in milk products anyway, so why eat them!  There are a couple of other good articles in that newsletter, so please, read all of them, they aren’t very long, it’ll only take you a few minutes. 

On a different topic, Dr. McDougall also talks about how to Cut Our Food Costs.  He gives some great tips, like being able to eat for $3.00 a day, check it out. 

Last day in Alaska

Back at sea and the second formal dinner night.  After the dinner, you can get your picture taken by a professional photographer on the ship and order prints to take home with you, we just had another family member take a picture for us.  I wish I could post those pictures, but there seems to be something wrong with them and won’t upload.  I will keep working on it and see if I can get them. 

Here is our room:


And our waiter (you have the same one assigned to your in the main dining room for the whole cruise):

The theatre where they had a different show every night:


And, to end with, total relaxation:

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More on my Alaska Cruise

Still in Hoonah (Icy Straight Point)

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K and I went to a cooking class, now I don’t have too many pictures to show for this one because I was still an omnivore then, and I don’t want to offend anyone by showing what they made.  We did have some beer marinaded halibut, dry rub salmon, crab, baked beans and coleslaw.  It was really interesting though. 

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Next stop, Ketchikan. 


We went on a zip line!!!  It was sooo much fun! Our group was full of Arizonans, the other family there was from Phoenix and Show Low, pretty cool. 

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Next up, the rope bridge:

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That night, a midnight buffet with CHOCOLATE!!!  There was other food there too, but I just went for the chocolate and the bread.  The ice sculptures were amazing.  Sorry about the blur factor, but the ship was rocking a little. 

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I promise, I’ll wrap this up tomorrow.  If you ever get the chance to go on a cruise, go for it!  Even if they don’t cater specifically to vegans, there are enough buffets and usually a health food bar for you to pick and choose from.  Happy traveling!

Back to Alaska

Here’s some pictures from our next couple of days on the cruise (they have kind of blurred together now, I knew I should’ve written more down when we got home).  We stopped in Juneau and then in to Icy Straight Point (also called Hoonah).  In Junea we just walked around the town and took a cable car ride.  It was a nice leisurely day.  Going up:

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The view from the top:


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My in-laws took a helicopter ride and a whale watching boat trip.  They took some great pictures, here are a couple. 

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When we told our trail guide in Ketchikan that we were stopping in Icy Straight Point, he laughed and said, “Hoonah, really?!”  Its not the most “happening” of towns, there are more bears per acre than people, but it was beautiful (except for the rain, it made it quite cold).  More on Hoonah later. 


Easter Time Snow

Well, it usually snows around here on Easter, or thereabouts.  So, on Sunday, it snowed all day.  It was snowing really hard in the morning, but by lunch, most of it had melted, well it kept snowing all day and here is what I found on Monday morning when I woke up:

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Okay, so I forgot there was a screen on our side window.  About 5 minutes after taking the pictures, my f-i-l came by and shoveled our porch for us, so, no more snow.  By lunch time, the snow had melted off all of the trees, so there was only about 1/2″ left on the ground.  It was beautiful while it lasted and the snow falling on Sunday was absolutely beautiful and relaxing! 

With all of that said, I am  definitely ready for spring to come! 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone!  For all of you Irish out there, or just Irish lovers, here is a take on Corned Beef and Cabbage for you.  Now, its not the same, just something to have in place of the very salty and not healthy for you corned beef.  This one is good with colcannon potatoes or just plain mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

Miso-Glazed Tofu with Cabbage and Peppers

This one is wonderful by itself or served with mashed potatoes or over rice. A small salad on the side or a piece of artisian bread is also a great way to serve this.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Rest Time: 30 to 60 minutes Marinade Time: 30 to 60 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

1 lb. Exta-firm tofu, cut into 8 slices (or triangles if you want to get fancy)

3 TBSP mirin

3 TBSP miso

2 TBSP ginger, minced

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP soy sauce, reduced sodium

1 ½ tsp sugar

1 tsp chile paste with garlic

1 small green cabbage, cored and cut into 8 wedges

2 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced (about ½” wide)

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced at an angle

1 ½ TBSP sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Press your tofu by placing it on a wire rack over the sink, or a plate, and put a plate on top of the tofu with a brick or heavy cans (like a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes). Let it sit for 1 hour, then cut into 8 slices, or, for a “fancier” presentation, cut into 4 slices, then cut each of those on the diagonal. (You can also press the tofu overnight in the refrigerator)

  2. Whisk together the mirin, miso, ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce, sugar, and chile paste in a small bowl until combined.

  3. In a shallow pan, arrange the tofu in a single layer and cover with 1/3 cup of the marinade, turning the tofu to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to and hour.

  4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and have a second piece of foil ready to cover the baking sheet completely (you may need two smaller sheets to cover well).

  5. Arrange the cabbage wedges in two rows on your baking sheet and scatter the bell peppers around the cabbage. Sprinkle with the green onions. Pour the rest of the marinade over the vegetables and cover tightly with the remaining foil.

  6. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

  7. When the vegetables are tender, remove from the oven and place the tofu slices in the center of the baking sheet, overlapping them, and cook uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes more.

  8. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve over rice, with mashed or colcannon potatoes, or just with a piece of hearty bread.

Tip: To toast the sesame seeds, place them in a non-stick skillet over low heat, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes. They will become fragrant when they are done. Don’t overheat, they burn easily.

Recipe adapted from Eating Well Magazine 1999


Colcannon Irish Potatoes

This is a classic Irish Mashed Potato dish, made with kale or cabbage. You could probable use spinach or Swiss chard as well.

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4 servings

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (Yukon Gold or Russet work well)

1 cup kale, julienned

2 leeks, julienned

½ medium onion, diced

1/3 cup almond milk (preferably room temperature)

2 TBSP roasted garlic, minced

3 TBSP nutritional yeast (opt)

1 bunch green onions (or chives)

3 cups vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add the potatoes to a pot of water, bring to a boil and cook until tender.

  2. In a skillet, cook the kale, leeks, and vegetable broth until the vegetables are tender, then strain. (You can use the reserved liquid as broth in another dish. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.)

  3. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher, a ricer or a food mill. Add the almond milk, nutritional yeast (if using), garlic and vegetable mixture to the potatoes.

  4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

 I hope you enjoy it!  A little Guiness alongside would not be bad either (or a vegan stout, since Guiness is not vegan, their refining process uses isinglass). 

My favorite day of the cruise!

Our first stop on the cruise (and our first excursion) was in Skagway, Alaska.  We signed up for a hike through the rainforest area with a guide, it was even better than I thought it would be.  The day started out pretty windy and chilly, so I was a little nervous, but as soon as we got to the trailhead, the wind was gone.  It was a beautiful hike!  We first got off the ship and walked around the town of Skagwaya little:

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Next stop was the train ride to the trailhead.  The ride wasn’t too long, about 15 minutes.  My in-laws got to ride the train the whole way around, about a 2 hour ride I believe. 

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Next stop, the trailhead, although, first we had our instructions and were handed out bum bags to carry our water and a snack of peanuts and snickers.  Our guide also showed us where we were and where we were going:

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The views on the hike were amazing!  We saw a river and a gorgeous waterfall, there was a fallen tree that had little baby trees growing on top of it and a tree that had fallen down and took a big chunk of the trail with it.  

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Now, this innocent looking plant is called Devil’s Club, for good reason.  It is also affectionately called wipers nightmare.  The top of the leaf looks all nice and soft and the size is great for those emergency bathroom situations (not during a guided hike, of course) and a lot of hikers in the Canada/Alaska area happen upon this plant.  Well, the underside is full of spiky thorns that lodge themselves in your skin, through your clothes, even your shoes if you’re not careful.  Luckily, I missed brushing in to one, but my husband was not so lucky.  He was helping up another hiker who had slid and fell, and he ended up leaning right into one.  He was able to get all the thorns out, but his skin was red for about 3 days. 


On our way back to the ship, we were able to get some good pictures:

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Product Review: Izze Pop

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A little break in the cruise log to let you know that I really like this drink.  It has all natural ingredients, low in calories and sugar (about 1/2 that of regular pop), and has fruit juice in it.  I don’t recommend drinking soda pop at all, and carbonated beverages only occassionally, but when you do splurge, Izze’s are the way to go.  I found them at Costco, they come in a box of 12 (4 of each flavor) with an assortment of Pomegranate, Clementine and Blackberry.  The Clementine goes great with Mexican food, the Pomegranate is good, though a little tart and the Blackberry is mine and K’s favorite.  I also found 3 other flavors at my local health food store: Grapefruit, Blueberry and Pear.  I haven’t tried them yet, but I can’t wait to try the Grapefruit one!