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Meatless Monday Post #1

Hello friends! How are you doing with writing a blog post a day as part of BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo? I have surprised myself and my husband with my dedication to writing a new blog post each day. For the first time in three years, since my immensely constantly painful nerve disorder hit hard and has yet to ease up, I have scheduled my days to include a nap and bedtime by 9:30am. It often takes hours to fall asleep due to the sensation of being stabbed in my right ear by an angry, unseen, perhaps scorned in the past ghost hand (or my ex-husband- I change what or who is yielding the sharpened knitting needle or ice pick depending on the ferocity of the pain each day.) Obviously it is just nerve damage sending screaming messages to my brain, when in fact there is no such weapon being stabbed into my ear. After three long years of this I do what I can to not get weighed down by frustration, fear and anxiety.

One thing, well actually two that help me focus on life instead of this pain is to cook new recipes for my family and craft new products – lotions, makeup, salves for various purposes, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. There are still some things I want to make but have not tried my hand at yet- like soap making and canning. Both cause me some anxiety due to the possibility of messing up the process which could lead to dangerous results. I feel more alive and happy when I am cooking or creating, as opposed to spending the day searching for more freelance work, especially with Christmas around the corner.

I just realized that I have many meatless Monday recipes I would love to share, since I was a vegetarian for a decade and now my family and I are going back to vegetarianism, both for health and moral reasons. In the wonderful book The Meat Racket the author states the only way to not support factory farms and feedlots (run by only 4 gigantic meat monopolies) is to become a vegetarian. I am against factory farms and feedlots- I hate the poor, unnatural often cruel manner the animals are treated, the antibiotics they are fed that we end up ingesting, the environmental wreckage that occurs due to the waste of thousands upon thousands of animals living in crowded conditions, how Monsanto, with it’s poisonous pesticides and GMO crops work hand in hand with the meat producers who feed these (banned in Europe and Mexico, but not in the U.S.) tainted, dangerous crops – primarily corn to feedlot cattle- something their bodies were never designed to digest.

Okay, so enough of my rant against BigFood and BigAg. One of the most simple, delicious lunch or dinners to make, that even my two very picky eaters will eat is below. I apologize for the lack of photos! I am a beginner at food photography, but I hope someday to be able to take well executed photos of the meals and sweet treats I make!

Chickpea (No Chicken Here) Salad Sandwiches

2 15 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and draines

1 large tomato, diced

1 avocado, cut in thin wedges

Kale leaves torn into pieces

1/2 cup (or more, depending on taste) mayo

1 Tablespoon mustard

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon black paper or tiny amount of white pepper (white pepper is strong- a little goes a very long way!)

Tiny bit of Himalayan salt or sea salt

Pita bread, tortillas, sandwich bread or use larger kale pieces to wrap around the ingredients

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, add avocado last and be gentle so it does not get too squished! If you’d like you can mash some or all of the chickpeas with the mayo and mustard, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Add spices, then taste to see if you prefer more. I start low with spices since I tend to like more spice and heat with my food, but the rest of my family does not. Place ingredients into pita bread or your choice of outer layer bread or vegetable to hold all the deliciousness together. Enjoy! My family likes this recipe better than chicken or tuna fish salad sandwiches. Chickpeas are my favorite bean- so versatile and easy to hide in recipes when needed! Happy Meatless Monday friends!


PTDC0010 This looks like a dinosaur egg doesn’t it? It is a Florida avocado- something I have never seen here in the Southwest. I bought it while not getting brain surgery in Pittsburgh. It was one of the tastiest, creamiest avocados I have ever had, and it was so big that I couldn’t eat all of it in 4 days! I wonder if I can grow these beauties here? Have you ever had a Florida avocado? They make regular avocados at the grocery store look miniature!





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