One of my favorite quotes is by J.R.R. Tolkien: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Here I'm giving glimpses of all I am deciding in the time that is given to me. Enjoy! All pictures and posts are mine, thank you! Please ask permission for photo use.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

a briny new love

It's official. I'm obsessed with wildbrine.

Seriously, their "bold" sliced pickles are the best damn pickles I've ever had in my life. On the website they call them "courageous" pickles, but the package I picked up in the local organic food store says "bold." 

The pickles have excellent heat to warm your mouth, plenty of garlicky goodness, and, as their website describes, a slight smoky note. My fiance said they smell like pork! Um, gross, because I don't eat my friends the piggies, but thankfully his comment did not deter me from stuffing my face with these pickles.

Today I tried the horseradish kimchi, and holy mother of cabbage--I could eat this stuff all day long!

The pickles and kimchi are raw, chock full of flavor like you wouldn't believe, and naturally probiotic (let all of our gut bacteria rejoice!). They are fermented through brining, which, as the website says, "maintains the health benefits of raw food, boosting its nutritional value, and delivering deliciously complex and balanced flavors." The products taste like they have vinegar in them but no vinegar is used to create their intense flavors.

Ask your local natural foods store if they carry wildbrine, and if they don't, demand it! Your taste buds (and your gut!) will thank you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

green fire

In a Wildlife Management course I took in college as part of my Zoology degree, I read Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac. I really enjoyed the book, and the class ended up changing some strong ideas I had believed about certain things as well as helped shape my ethic towards nature and wilderness (along with many other wonderful courses I took in college).

When I saw that my local public broadcasting station was airing a short documentary about Aldo Leopold, I excitedly set my DVR to record the show. I forgot about it, but recently found it buried under long lists of shows, and after finally viewing it, I am so incredibly glad I did.

The film is a beautiful tribute to Leopold, and I learned so much more about him than I knew before (which really wasn't all that much, but still...). Leopold's eloquent writing, innovative thinking, extraordinary land ethic, and inspirational messages for generations to come were and still are truly remarkable.

If you're interested in the documentary, visit

“I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.” 

“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a good shovel.”

–Aldo Leopold 

Above: a photo I took at sunset in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Above: a photo I took in the Shining Rock Wilderness area of North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

a new enchilada casserole

This recipe from VegWeb for Fajita Enchiladas with Green Chili "Cream" Sauce is just awesome (and by the way, VegWeb, I love your new look!).

Instead of making enchiladas, though, I made an enchilada casserole. I've made an enchilada casserole before--this was just a new take.

The only other modifications I made to the recipe was using pinto beans instead of re-fried beans and using four cloves of garlic instead of two. I think next time I'm going to try red enchilada sauce instead of green (no offense, my lovely tomatillos!).

I just want to take this moment (as I'm stuffing my face and typing these words) to thank the brilliant people who come up with such delicious and nutritious vegan recipes. You all rock!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

curried potato and chickpea magic

This is by far one of the best dishes I've made. The original recipe is here:

The thing is, I wasn't in the mood to ingest all of that extra oil from frying the patties, and I also didn't feel like eating a burger bun. I've had a headache today that I just can't shake--part of me thinks it's due to the weather shifting, and part of me think it's because I slept in way too late yesterday, throwing off my natural rhythm. I had some raw juice at lunch and I've been trying to drink plenty of water, and I'm also forcing myself to stay awake at least until 9:30 and then go to bed and get a really good night's sleep.

I figured that with dinner I should avoid extra grease and extra carbohydrates, hoping it might help chase away the headache. So I followed the recipe in the link above and simply stopped after the point where I added more bread crumbs and let the mixture cool. I put a big scoop of the mixture on top of organic greens that I lightly dressed with balsamic crema. The result? FABULOUS.

My fiance agreed that this is one of his new favorite dishes, and he ate it just like I did, atop a salad. It's vegan, easy, and SUPER delicious. I just don't know how you could make it taste bad, even if you tried.