Thursday, February 26, 2009

Taking a trepidant whiff.....

I have the most exciting news! They don't smell...not at all....I am amazed and delighted!

Oh, erm, let me backtrack....

I understand from the numerous blogs, podcasts and nutritional handbooks out there that it's important for a well-balanced vegan diet to include a multi-vitamin. Yes, I prefer to eat widely to ensure I get as broad a range of nutrients directly from 'the source' as possible, but as a wise woman once said 'it's a good insurance policy'.

However, many of the multis out there are not vegan and so when I found one a few months ago that was, I scooped it up and brought it home. Where it sat in pride of place on the kitchen shelf alongside the dogs' treat jar.

And gathered dust.

Quite a lot of dust, in fact.

And I was frequently more tempted to reach for a dog cookie than for one of those vitamins. Because after a dose or two, I simply couldn't stand to take any more.

Because of The Smell.

I think - but don't quote me on this - that it's the fault of the B-vitamins. Which specifically or why I do not know, but I find it absolutely noxious. My stomach clenches, my throat constricts and I cannot - to save my life - get that damn stinky horse-pill down my throat.

So when, a week or so ago, I received an email from Cosmos Vegan Shoppe - those fine folks down in Atlanta, GA - advertising their line of Tiny Tablets Multivitamin By Deva one word leapt out at me: TINY! Perhaps, I hoped, these would be ones I could take!?! So I ordered some and crossed my fingers.

Yesterday, the box arrived from Cosmo's and in it, from within the biodegradable packaging, I unearthed this:

With slightly trembling hands, I fumbled the cap and took a trepidant whiff.....


Zip. Zilch. Nichts.

No smell.

Finally - FINALLY - a multi-vitamin which stands some chance of escaping the bottle on a daily basis! I feel better already!

Eat well and stay vegan, friends!

PS - the writing on the label is wicked small, but here's a full nutritional listing courtesy of Cosmo's:

Vitamin A (Acetate) 2500 IU
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 60 MG
Vitamin D2 400 IU
Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate) 30 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate) 1.5 MG
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1.7 MG
Vitamin B3 (Niacinimide, Niacin) 20 MG
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hcl) 2 MG
Folic Acid 400 MCG
Vitamin B12 6 MCG
Biotin 30 MCG
Vitamin B5 (D-Calcium Pantothenate) 10 MG
Calcium (Calcium Phosphate, Carbonate) 20 MG
Iodine (Kelp) 75 MCG
Magnesium (Oxide) 8 MG
Zinc (Oxide) 2.25 MG
Selenium 35 MCG
Copper(Gluconate) 100 MCG
Manganese(Sulphate) 1 MG
Chromium 30 MCG
Molybdenum 19 MCG
Boron (Citrate) 50 MCG
Choline (Bitartrate) 3 MG
Inositol (Nicotinate) 3 MG

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Review: Little Things are Big

Sometimes it's the small things in life which make the difference. Courtesy on the road from a fellow motorist equally late to work, a warm smile from the tollbooth collector on a freezing winter night, or a random act of general kindness when least expected.

So that's one reason why I have come to love Maria-Rose's blog Little Things are Big. I stumbled across it accidentally and was drawn immediately to pictures of her beautiful little girl, Miss Bumblebee, and to Maria-Rose's wonderfully gentle writing style. By the time I learned she's also a vegan...well, I was hopeless addicted!

Maria-Rose is one of those unique folks who sees the good in the everyday, the beauty in the routine. Being somewhat of a pessemist myself, it is uplifting to read her posts - especially those of her undercover exploits as the Kindness Bandit. And it doesn't hurt that she's owned by the cutest bassett hound around!

So if you - like me - find yourself occasionally in need of a quick emotional pick-me-up, head on over to check out Little Things are Big. Because sometimes the 'little things' are all that count.....

Stay Vegan, Friends!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And now for something 'a little different'....

Since I have been struggling this past week with a bad dose of the 'flu, I have not felt too much like cooking, writing about cooking or even really thinking about food. However, yesterday I started to feel a mite more like my old self and decided to pull out a few stops and 'Make Dinner'. Not only that, I thought I would document it for your delectation and delight!

My Beloved fancied something 'a little different' and to my surprise he chose a recipe from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and Be Vegan that combined sweet elements - in this case dried apricots - in a savory entree: Moroccan-Infused Vegetable Phyllo Rolls

This is what I started with.....

Loads of fresh produce, a can of chickpeas and some filo/phyllo dough

And once the vegetables were chopped they lined up glamourously like this:

From left to right the cast is as follows:

orange pepper, red pepper, yellow squash, onions, dried apricots, fennel bulb...and some whole cloves of garlic hiding shyly in the top left of the board.

In essence, this is a really easy recipe, but there *are* a couple of stages to get through so it's probably not a week-night option. First, you have to chop the veg and then collect together some seasonings to roast them in:

Headlining here are powdered ginger, cumin seeds, cinnamon, paprika, salt and black pepper.

Toss all of these into a large bowl along with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and combine well. Add in the chopped veg and make sure they get nicely coated. Roast on 425 for about 30 mins.

When they're done, mix them with a cup of chickpeas and about a half cup of freshly torn basil leaves. Now the mix will look somewhat like this:

Now the fun part: reduce the oven temperature to 375 and take your first sheet of filo/phyllo dough and brush it lightly with some olive oil. Place another sheet on top and repeat the process until you have about 6 sheets all stacked up.

Then take some of your mix and place it along the length of the dough sheets, folding it up burrito-style. I find it easiest to start with the long edge closest to you and fold the sides in gently as you roll this into a strudel shape. You can seal the final edge with a little olive oil if you like.

Place roll gently - seam-side down - onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and then brush the top lightly with olive oil so that it will brown nicely. I made one roll per person, but I am greedy so you could probably get by on one roll per couple. (But who wants to just 'get by'....I ask you!!!!)

OK, so when you have all of your rolls in a row, bake them for about 25-30 minutes until they are a gorgeous golden brown color and piping hot inside.

A glory shot courtesy of My Beloved who just wanted me to hurry up so he could get his tastebuds around this little lot!

So, I served them with garlic smashed potatoes and garlic-soy green and waxed beans. Oh and a nice glass of chardonnay. Perfect!

Plus a poached pear with vanilla ice-cream for dessert..... god, the SHEER DEPRIVATION of the vegan lifestyle!
Ho Ho! ;)

Eat well and stay vegan, friends! this space for something else exciting to do with pears....coming soon! :)