Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's simple!

What I have to share with you today are some very simple, no fuss, (mostly) healthy choices! Sometimes that's just what you need...

When it's almost 80 degrees when you wake up, what better breakfast can there be than a lovely smoothie?


This one's one of my favorites--blueberries, blackberries, a banana, raw almond butter, cinnamon and ginger, vanilla, soy milk, and flax meal. I like the almond butter--it helps smooth out the texture, and it provides some healthy fat and a good dose of calcium. I like to grind the flax meal and then blend it with the milk before I add everything else. It improves the texture, I think.


This idea came from stonielove's gorgeous blog. A nice RAW lunch with sprouts, red peppers, carrots, green onions, and raw pepitas with a little drizzle of vinaigrette, all wrapped up in collard green leaves. Fabulous, healthy, quick, and all-around perfect.


These don't taste quick and easy, but believe me, they are! Fudgy Brownies from Vive! are only the best brownies I've ever put in my mouth... and fudgy is definitely the proper description for them. The best part is, it took me all of five minutes to whip up the batter. If you're feeling really frisky, have one of these à la mode--it just doesn't get much better than that. If you are still not convinced of the greatness that is Dreena's fudgy brownies, well, I happen to know that someone else recently made them too, and I'm sure she will vouch for them as well!

On a more serious note, here is another simple thing you can do--and it will make a great difference. Our excellent administration is now proposing to remove the protections afforded under the Endangered Species Act to the gray wolf. About 12 years ago, wolves were reintroduced into the Northern Rockies after becoming severely endangered--and upon reintroduction, their impact on the ecosystem was dramatic. The aspen population rose sharply, which in turn allowed the beaver population to grow. Beavers are a keystone species to any ecosystem in which they dwell, creating wetlands that improve the overall health and biodiversity of the area. Removing just one species from an ecosystem can have any number of unforeseen consequences... and removing the gray wolves from their habitat did once, and assuredly will again, have a stagnating effect on the ecosystem. Yet, the governments of Idaho and Wyoming are prepared to legalize drastic wolf killing programs as soon as the ESA protections are lifted.


You can visit Save America's Wolves for more information and a chance to send a message to the federal government urging them not to de-list the gray wolf until proper protections are in place to prevent people like the governors of Idaho and Wyoming from opening fire on them. I took a class this semester on endangered species conservation and management, and one of the animals we studied in some depth was the gray wolf. I was amazed by the complexity and sophistication of these animals' social interactions. They really are beautiful creatures, and it angers me that people can so vehemently advocate their eradication on the grounds that they are a threat to livestock and to the elk-hunting industry. Just once, I would like to see our government put its priorities in order.


Have you read Aldo Leopold's wonderful essay, "Thinking Like a Mountain"? It's a beautifully written reminder that the ways and interests of human beings rarely line up with those of the natural world... and a clear challenge for the reader to discover which one's ways serve the higher purpose.

14 comments:

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

What a delicious post! Your smoothie looks so vibrant & delicious, as does the wrap! I'm seriously trying to resist making those brownies (I've got to fit in my swimsuit Sunday) but don't know if I can hold off? Maybe I could half the recipe...

Laura, you really hit a chord with me about the wolves. I'm sick about it. I'm so disgusted with our backwards governor! (I did NOT vote for him) I'm also outraged by the wolf massacre taking place in Alaska through aerial gunning. How barbaric.

Take Sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.

*Ellie Wiesel*

stonielove said...

mmm for everything! your wraps look so colorful and delicious!

Johanna3 said...

the food looks good.

is so bad that they want to kill them! a shame.

laura jesser said...

Vicki, I was thinking about you as I was writing this, and imagining how frustrating it would be for your home state to be in the spotlight for such an atrocity... At least there are people like you out there who are on the side of what is right. That's encouraging! The Alaska situation is just horrifying too. What is wrong with people? I love that quote that you shared, though--very apt and inspiring.

Stonielove, thanks for inspiring me! I just wish my photo could look as beautiful as yours...

Johanna, yes--it makes me angry!

Emmy said...

The collard green wraps look so yummy and healthy. What a great idea. Thanks for the link to the site about saving the wolves.

Kati said...

What a coincidence - I just drank a smoothie today that looked EXACTLY like yours! Mine wasn't quite as fancy, though, just berries, apple juice, and spirulina. Thanks for the flax seed tip - I never put it in smoothies because the texture is always so grainy, so I will have to try it your way.

Those brownies are calling to me! They really look perfect.

Thanks for the wolf info, too. Such a sad situation - they are beautiful creatures.

Courtney said...

Your wraps look beautiful! There is a raw vegan place near me that actually serves "raw wraps" and they are wrapped in collard leaves too. Yum!

Courtney

laura jesser said...

Emmy, yes--I think collard wraps are the perfct raw, healthy, cool, summery food, and I expect to eat many more...

Kati, the flax seeds are still grainy the way I do it, but maybe not as grainy! It seems I just can't manage to eat flax at all unless it's in a smoothie. I should try spirulina in my smoothie sometime--where can I pick that stuff up?

Courtney, ooh--a raw vegan place? That would be great to check out!

bazu said...

Oh, Laura, this post is heart-breaking. I immediately went on the website and sent a letter to my representative begging that he speak out in defense of wolves. When I heard the governor of Idaho say he wanted to personally shoot wolves, I was so disgusted and saddened. Thanks for the heads-up about this issue.

P.S. I'm working on transcribing recipes for you!

P.P.S. Thanks so much for the oat bread recipe- I've always wanted to bake that.

aTxVegn said...

Everything looks beautiful and delicious - my favorite kind of food!

The wolves are so beautiful. I'll be sure to visit the site you linked.

scottishvegan said...

I love those wraps! They just look sooo healthy!!! And the smoothie is a gorgeous colour! The brownies from Vive! are my favourite…I have to resist making them all the time! Thanks for highlighting the plight of the woves. I had no idea about this…I will go and take a look at the site. By the way, I just ate a slice of your oatmeal wheat bread…yum!

scottishvegan said...

Me again! I was intrigued that you use cinnamon and ginger in your smoothies and I meant to ask…do you use fresh ginger? Cos that sounds delish and I think I’ll need to try it…

KleoPatra said...

Oh, it is just infuriating about the beautiful wolves. Thank you for your eloquent post about these living beings that are being treated like criminals... i can't write in words how my heart breaks to know what is going on... Thanks for calling attention to this...

On a more happy note, that brownie is fudgy, fudgy, fudgy goodness!! Oh that is just fudgerrific, Laura.

That smoothie would feel so good on my hurting throat, Laura. i'm so Jonesin' for that right about now!

Thank you for the well wishes, by the way. You are wonderful!

laura jesser said...

Bazu, yes, hearing that governor make such backward comments is absolutely sickening! I am glad that you sent your comment in--I hope we're effective at stopping something terrible from happening... Enjoy the oat bread! And I'm looking forward to the recipes--thanks!

Diann, thanks--those are good criteria for favorite food! :)

Scottish vegan, I'm so glad you liked the bread! I saw it on your blog and your loaf turned out so pretty! To answer your question, I do put freshly grated ginger in my smoothies sometimes, and I use ground ginger when I am feeling lazy. But yes, go with fresh--it should be good!

Kleo, I would e-mail you that smoothie if I could! The wolves' plight really does make me so sad and angry that I could cry every time I think about it (and sometimes do)! It is good to know that there are other people out there who feel that way...