Monthly Archives: April 2012

Happy Herbivore Chickpea Tacos Deconstructed

I downloaded Happy Herbivore’s Meal plan last week and saw her Chickpea taco recipe. Immediately, I knew I had to try this. As I find most taco shells contain rather strange chemicals, and even the organic ones I could find were just too pricey, I decided to deconstruct her recipe and make it nachos instead. I am a HUGE fan of nachos, I know some of you who are as well and I’m sure you’ll appreciate this. I wish I had thought ahead to make a raw cashew sour cream. That just means there will have to be a next time.

I do urge you to try this recipe, as it was fantastic, I just made my version a little different. Instead of whole chickpeas, I mashed them up and treated them more like refried beans.

Happy Herbivore Chickpea Tacos Deconstructed Thali Plate, Lidia Le François

Whenever I can use my Thali plate, I love using my hands and building each chip as it’s own appetizer. Here’s my deconstructed version of chickpea tacos: Continue reading

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Filed under Gluten free eating, Meals, vegan

Product Review: Nellie’s Dryer Balls PVC Free

Funny how once you start thinking about where products come from and why you even use them that you start to make changes. For the longest time my laundry routine was: Tide, Downie softener and Bounce dryer sheets. Not once did I think about the evil company Proctor and Gamble is, because they test on animals - they drop chemicals right into the eyes of rabbits. This makes me beyond angry.

Nor did I even question Bounce. Did you know there’s gelatin in dryer sheets. Yes, that is pretty nasty if you think about it. Now I use an eco friendly laundry liquid and I measure to the correct line instead of just filling the cup lid. It makes a difference when you use products correctly and it’s amazing how the product lasts that way.

I’ve replaced the dryer sheets with Nellie’s Dryer Balls – PVC free.

Until you open the package, you don’t realize the balls have a place in them for a scent stick. We haven’t bothered, but if I find them by chance I might try them.

I’ve tried dollar store dryer balls before, the blue round ones with small nubs, but they just kept the static away. Nellie’s dryer balls PVC free actually make clothes softer. I was very impressed. Right away I could tell the difference and I really felt like I was in an over dramatic laundry commercial. I pulled a shirt out from the dryer, held it to my face, smelled it, felt the softness and smiled. Yes, I like laundry a little more these days. I’m sure no one enjoys the folding part.

Glad I bought this product over continuously buying dryer sheets and having my clothes tumble in beef fat. Ugh. I’d take this any day.

 

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Filed under Eco Friendly, vegan

Air Eater – Shampoo/Conditioner Free!

I have a secret! I think my experiment is at the right stages to talk about it. I don’t use shampoo nor conditioner!

There – I said it. It started about three weeks ago where I decided I was only going to rinse my hair with water in the shower.

I didn’t use shampoo for two weeks. During that time my hair, root to tip, was enveloped in my own natural oils. Okay, this was getting kind of funky towards the end. The hilarious part was people were complimenting my hair. I really liked how my hair looked, the curls were defined and the waves were locked together as if I was using my favourite hair gel. Imagine that!

Here’s me digging my crazy hippie style of not using shampoo: Continue reading

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Filed under Eco Friendly, Hair Care & Beauty, Rants

Raw Appetizer: Coconut Avocado Crudités

The more I delve into the raw food world, the more I like it. I find the art of assembling is truly that – an art. I’m not a food stylist, but let me tell you I agonize over pictures, placement, and lighting like I was a professional. I wish I had a proper studio set up, I’d love to take the food glamour shots that I dream my food can be.

This picture doesn’t really require a recipe, it’s just an assembly of items that I had on hand and thought would make a delicious combination.

Coconut square from a young thai coconut dehydrated, toped with avocado, sun dried tomato, and a dried zucchini chip.

Raw Appetizer Coconut with avocado and sun dried tomato with zucchini chip

I would totally serve this at a party. So simple to make and easy to assemble, plus the combination is a real crowd pleaser.

 

Happy eating!

 

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Filed under Gluten free eating, Healthy Snacks, raw, vegan

Blissful Bites: Pineapple Not So Fried Rice Air Eater style

The kind people of Benbella Books sent me  Blissful Bites Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet  By Christy Morgan.

 

I really enjoyed Christy’s organized approach to cooking. The book is organized by seasonal recipes and is colour coded. Nothing more I like than colour coding! Okay, a few other things, but it’s up there. The beginning of the book explains pantry and utensil staples. This really helps in terms of being prepared to start cooking.

There are suggested menu items for all four seasons, this is smart because you’re not searching for exotic items during the wrong season and thus saving money by using what is currently available. Sometimes you really just have to be logical about cooking, and Christy does just that.

All her recipes are easy, comfort foods that would satisfy any picky palate.  I made the Pineapple Not So Fried Rice recipe and added a few things. I added a home made sun dried tomato and zucchini chips. I also tried to pipe avocado and Dijon mustard along the bottom of the rice circle with raw avocado on top. It provided a lovely addition in texture and taste. As per the recipe I garnished the rice with sesame seeds, I added toasted as well as plain.

Here’s how I interpreted the recipe: Continue reading

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Green Living Show 2012 Review

We went to the Green Living Show and had a great time, saw a lot of vendors and met Twitter friends IRL

Lidia Le François, Aireater, gluten free
Here’s Mat posing kindly for me against a really nice background that I wish we had in the living room.

Lidia Le François, Aireater, gluten free

One of my favourite displays was the Yurt. What a neat way to live. I wish this was an option in Toronto.  This way of living makes total sense and really was comfortable inside. I really liked the attention to detail, the drawings on the visible surface areas, the practicality of it all; being able to hang up pretty much everything on the inside walls.

Lidia Le François, Aireater, gluten free, Green Living Show 2012, vegan

Lidia Le François, Aireater, gluten free, Green Living Show 2012, vegan

The doorway was very short and we both had to duck when stepping in.

Lidia Le François, Aireater, gluten free, Green Living Show 2012, vegan

Who knew Yurts were commercially available?

Seema (on right) from Tiffinday

We went straight towards the food section to see our friend Seema, who operates Tiffinday, a fantastic vegan (with gluten free options) Indian food tiffin delivery service. If you’re in the Toronto area and want a fantastic catered lunch – check them out, tasty, environmentally friendly and reasonably priced. Excellent value over all. We cannot say enough good things about Tiffinday. An excellent food option and a great way to support the community.

Lidia Le Francois, Air Eater, Vegan, gluten free, Green Living show

LPK's Culinary Groove

Right next door was LPK’s Culinary Groove with vegan gluten free baked goodies. It’s too bad they didn’t have the panini press on Saturday (it was at the Brickworks), but lovely treats either way.

Planet People Gloves off

Gloves off made by Planet People

The food side was incredibly busy and after being hit with strollers (Mat actually had a mother hit him on purpose with the stroller and then forcefully told him to “Move!”. Really? If I hadn’t been speaking with someone at the time I think I would have had a few choice words for her.) we decided to go to the other half of the show.

The Plane People were there with their product Gloves Off – very cool to see an eco cleaner that actually works. Here’s a video of Ami Shah explaining the products (don’t mind the Christmas theme).

Interesting products for sure, we have a few bottles of iQ at home and I really enjoy the smell vs vinegar, and they actually work.

Lidia Le Francois, air eater, vegan, eco friendly

Elmer's Earth Friendly School Glue

We came upon a familiar face with a new message. Elmer’s school glue has become eco friendly! Very cool what they’ve been able to do. I really loved this glue as a kid and it’s great to see the company take responsibility for their product and reduce their carbon footprint while making friendly changes. I am very impressed to see the formula is so heavily made from plants. Amazing.

vegan, gluten free, eco friendly, natural soap, Air Eater, Lidia Le Francois

Earth's Berries Soap Nuts old fashioned washing machine

We came across the Earth’s Berries Soap Nuts booth, Karen, the owner was present. When I asked her why she decided to start a business on soap nuts, she explained she wanted an eco friendly option to do laundry and then friends started noticing and she gave the products away, then went to India to source the items and pay a fair wage to the people there and the rest is history. I am so impressed! What a cool idea and Karen’s company also sponsors four children from the region the products are sourced from. I love the idea of helping the community that provides to others. Have you tried Soap Nuts?

I had no idea Soap Nuts could be used to clean more than laundry. Love how a natural substance can do so much.

 

Speaking of nature, here’s something that made me not so please for the creatures of the sea.

I’m pretty sure the picture above was from the Loblaws booth, but I could be wrong. I couldn’t believe people actually believe fish farming is “sustainable”, so let’s get this straight – we’ll breed these animals, just to kill, but then we’ll breed them again, like plants! No. This is not sustainable.  Can we do the same to children? It’s okay, just breed some more, it’s sustainable.

This really made me angry and not impressed that a “green living” show would accept this. This is incredibly disappointing as well as the other vendors who had meat products available. Factory farming is wrong on many levels. I can’t agree with animal enslavement.

Organic Meadows (was there as well) apparently has cows that go outside and come inside on their own, according to some of their videos on Youtube – kudos to them for not chaining their cows. This still doesn’t make it right. Inseminating the cows over and over again to produce milk. I wonder what they do with the offspring? Humans should stick to drinking their own milk or alternatives. As grown adults, we do not need milk, this is baby food; especially interspecies milk, that’s pretty gross when you think about it.

It’s too bad the Green Living show feels the need to have animal based products. I thought it would be green and clean, instead it was some green over here, oh, here’s a company pretending to care and piggy packing on the movement; TD Bank for example.

TD Bank display

Great they have some green initiatives, but in the end they are a bank and they care heavily about the bottom dollar. When was the last time a bank turned away a profit to be green? I’d love to know. Any effort is a good effort, but I would like to see larger companies really do more and truly think hard about what they could do to improve.

I hope the show increased awareness of green initiatives and what we need to do to help the planet. I’m not sure how that is accomplished with making it okay and friendly to factory farm sea creatures by calling it sustainable. Maybe next year the Green Living show will say no to these kinds of companies and have more credible vendors.

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Air Eater: Raw food progression

Lately, I’ve been posting more raw food recipes and I must say I really hate the days when I don’t have my green juice. I never in my life would have thought this to be true. I don’t know how I lived without our juicer and I adore the wonderful healthy buzz I get from drinking a green juice.

If I had told my 2009 self, “Hey, you’re going to make the transition from being vegetarian to vegan next year.” I would have laughed in my own face. I couldn’t imagine giving up cheese! Low and behold I didn’t think last year I’d be making a transition to raw food either. One dehydrator, Blendtech and juicer later, I feel I have a fully stocked kitchen and the right equipment to set myself up for success. I also must admit I have the unwavering support of @MathieuLLF, this helps a great deal. Sometimes it’s hard to resist eating a cooked meal when it’s all there ready, but it can be done.

Yesterday I had a very raw day, Sun Warrior protein shake, salad (homemade sun dried tomatoes, carrots, celery, lemon/garlic dressing and almond bread), then a green juice. That’s it. I wasn’t even hungry to eat anything. I really just feel this is enough. This isn’t a typical day, I am trying to gear up for a juice fast and I wanted to see if I could do it. I hope to be able to go for at least a week, but one day to start.

I know I am getting my nutrients from my shake and the rest of my food. I also use a site/app called My Fitness Pal and I enter in what I’m eating, that way I know what I’m lacking and eat accordingly.

I find preparation is really the key and if I don’t have things done in time, the wait can be hard, especially if you’re in the mood for something particular. I am very lucky to live in Toronto to have access to wonderful raw food restaurants

This kind of mental change has really made me appreciate where I came from and where I’m going. I can only really be excited at what comes next.

 

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Raw Almond Bread

I made a quick batch of almond milk and then figured I ought to do something with the almond pulp left over. Love that nothing goes to waste with a dehydrator. I found this recipe from Raw Living Food 101 and did not use the Grapeseed Oil, instead I used Sunflower oil. I also did not use 1/3 of a cup, just a little less actually and I wish I had used the full amount. Instead what I made was a bit dry and brittle, but the taste – the taste is what makes up for it. Fantastic!

Here’s the pulp right after straining the almond milk:
Almond Pulp before Lidia Le FrançoisI love the shape from my measuring cup. After I just smoothed it out on a dehydrator sheet and scored the mixture, set it to 110F and checked on it after four hours. Then flipped it and put it back for another five hours.

This is what it looked like: Continue reading

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Air Eater Contest No. 14 – Win Tickets to Green Living Show

CORRECTION: CONTEST EXTENDED

Time to go to the Green Living show! The kind people at the Green Living show have given me 5 pairs of tickets – each worth $15! I am really looking forward to the show, they have a lot to offer. Click here to read my previous post and interview with the Director of the show.

Here’s how to enter: Continue reading

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Homemade “Sun dried” tomatoes

One great aspect of having a dehydrator is that nothing goes to waste. I bought tomatoes thinking I was going to make raw tomato bread, but I still had a lot left over from making my recent batch of buckwheat groats/phyllium husk bread. I wasn’t about to let organic tomatoes go to waste, they are pretty expensive, so why not make my own ‘sun dried’ tomatoes.  Easiest thing ever, doesn’t really involve a recipe as it’s literally cut the tomatoes as thick or thin as you like and set the dehydrator for 110F for a few hours depending on the thickness of the tomato.

I would vary the slices and make sure each tray has the same kind. It’s really your own preference. I do like my dried tomatoes a bit chewy, so I tend to make the slices thicker. I left them over night, around 8 hours or so, I would recommend a timer.

sun dried tomato, Lidia Le François

I find that store bought dried tomatoes have sulphites as a preservation ingredient. This makes me a bit worried as to how long that product has been sitting on the shelf. Also, I believe some people are allergic to sulphites, so making your own is really the best idea.

I have been using these tomatoes in my salads and enjoy them more so than regular tomatoes. I’m enjoying the same benefit of vitamins etc., without the mess that is a tomato. I’m not fond of the seeds being semi slimy and genrally making my salad feel wet and weighted down. I don’t know if I’m the only one annoyed by that, but it’s a pet peeve, now I can over come that with the sun dried tomatoes. Rejoice for picky silly people like myself.

Enjoy eating!

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