Monday, January 28, 2008

Ani's Eats
Hello hello! Well, I have finally made something else from Ani Phyo's book that I can share with you. First, this is Mexican Squash Rice

Now, I'm going to digress a bit here to explain something about me making recipes from books. A while ago there was some ongoing debate in the food blogging community about when you were allowed to post a recipe as your own, without risking copyright breaches or anything. The eventual conclusion was that if 3 ingredients were changed, the recipe was now your own.

I was shocked! I don't think I've ever made a recipe without changing at least 3 ingredients! I could publish every single recipe that I make here on the blog! If I say I've made a recipe from a book, everyone must think that I mean I've followed it word for word, which I soooooo haven't. Because, I don't have the same tastes as the book author. I hate ginger. Walnuts and mushrooms (literally) make me vomit. I have to change recipes!

For example, in the recipe above I added some almond and hazelnuts and a pinch of cumin (which was really a good decision) and removed some other things... I can't even remember. It was really tasty! Unfortunately, about 15 or 20 mouthfuls in, I began feeling horribly nauseous and had to stop eating. Ew. I have now discovered that, like walnuts, hazelnuts make me vomit. I didn't actually vomit but in the future I am steering well clear of hazelnuts.

Aaaanyway, this is another recipe from Ani's book. Sort of. It is very loosely based on the recipe Save-the-Tuna Wraps (which is on P 179, if you're interested). In the book it is made using the Save-the-Tuna Pate which is where I started changing things. I have read a number of 'zucchini hummus' recipes and plenty of 'almond hummus' recipes so I decided to combine them... with very successful results, if I do say so myself! I'll be making this again soon and I'll perfect the recipe then... I might even be generous and share it with you!

I'm going to do some prettying-up of my blog template now, so maybe when you read this it will look totally different! I hope I don't ruin everything, lol!
Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Exciting Garden Growth
Wonderful things have been happening in our garden of late - things of the fruit and veggie variety! My Mum and I are growing a totally organic and chemical-free garden to feast from, mostly grown from heirloom variety seeds; we have an awesome compost set-up to stimulate growth and also to dispose of the masses of 'rubbish' that I generate (nothing of mine goes in the bin - it's all plant material! No packaging, nothing).

Here it is, at the moment we are putting stuff in the left while the right breaks down, we'll swap in a while. I'd like to do another one so we've got one to put stuff in, one to take stuff from and one that's breaking down. This is modelled on a particular composting system but I can't remember what it's called.

Compost isn't just good for fertilising! We have not planted a single pumpkin seed but this little guys are on a plant that grew from pumpkin seeds I chucked in the compost! As you can see, they are quite big and doing really well! Very exciting.

Our biggest crop by far is tomatoes! We just about have them coming out our ears - which is totally awesome. Unfortunately the tomato picture seems to have been deleted...

To use up the multitudes of tomatoes, I've been making lots of this - my spag bol. Yum!!!

Well, I know this is short but I have to wrap it up. I'll be back to post again soon!
Have a spontaneous day!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My time at Monarto
As you know, I disappeared from blogland for a few weeks before Christmas, because I went 'home' to South Australia (from my second home, here in West Australia). Why was I there? Well, of course I wanted to catch up with wonderful family and friends, but I was also set to do one week of work experience at Monarto Zoo, a large open-range zoo not too far from where I used to live (and where my Grandma still lives). You can read about Monarto Zoo at their website Now, I think we need to get some things clear here: in general, I do not agree with zoos. I do not agree with locking up an animal for the amusement of humans. I do not agree that zoos are that great for education - what they teach kids is that we can do whatever the hell we like with animals, really. I do not agree with the 'conservation' concept, except in cases where animals are actually successfully released into the wild (I'll come back to this!) I would rather a species be extinct than only existing in zoos. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but I'm interested in the suffering of individuals - if an animal is confined to the unpleasant life in a zoo, just so people can say "that's the last... X... on Earth" I see no point.

Now we're clear on that, I'll tell you why I was doing work experience at a zoo. I am studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery - when I finish my degree in 3 years I will be a qualified veterinarian. However, I am planning on being a full time animal rights activist and not a vet, because that is my passion and what I want to devote my life to. I am getting this degree because, sad as it is, people pay more attention to you if you have a bunch of letters after your name. Basically, I think the degree will increase my credibility, which will allow me to do more for the animals. As A part of my course I have to do 5 weeks work experience on farms, but we are permitted to do one week at a zoo or wildlife park instead. I tossed the options up and decided zoo would be better than piggery, lol. So I spent a week at Monarto Zoo. And it was an amazing experience, interacting with the beautiful animals there. It was sad, because I knew that this is not what their lives should be and this is nothing like how they would be in the natural environment, but I tried my best to just enjoy it for what it was, and I did. Plus I taught the meat-loving keepers a bit about raw veganism, lol! So without further ado, here are some pictures:

This is a Tasmanian Devil, native to Australia, crashed out in its newly renovated house. They look super cute from a distance but the have the name 'devil' for a reason, lol! Throw them a piece of meat and they go nuts, tear it to shreds in seconds! Sadly, the wild population (already not huge) is currently being ravaged by a horrible, fatal transmissable facial tumour condition. A lot of research is going into causes, transmission, possible cures etc, but they haven't got far yet.

Here's a lemur. I really disliked the lemur environments - they were kept in quite small cages with only concrete flooring and dead tree branches for climbing. All 7 of them were males and they weren't even on public display... basically, they were pointless. Nevertheless, they were beautiful animals to interact with - being primates, their hands seem so human. They take food from you and are so gentle - touching them made me feel very special inside!

The American Bison moved me deeply as well, just looking at them. On one hand, they are symbolic of not only mans' dominion over the animals but also white mans' dominion over those of other races (I'm talking, of course, about the mass slaughter of the bison when white man first came to america). On the other hand, their sheer size simply made me gasp. But at the same time, they seem so gentle!

Similarly, the rhinos were incredible in that they are obviously amazingly strong, yet seem so docile. They too made me very sad - each morning they are slowly walked from small night yards into larger day yards. Each evening they are slowly moved back. They are fed the same thing day in, day out. There is precious little variability or interest in their day. People say that zoos keep animals healthy and safe, with food shelter and water, so what's the big deal? But if You were kept permanently locked in a house, moved from the bedroom to the living room and back again, with the same 5 people, every single day, would you enjoy it? Sure, you're healthy, clean, have people to talk to... but it just isn't enough!!

Here's me with one of the cheetahs, I can't remember whether is was Tsotsi or Ascari (most of the animals that are named have names from their natural country). There are three young brother cheetahs who were all hand raised and trained and are used as 'ambassador cheetahs.' The head cheetah keeper, who raised them, said explained that she never wanted them to be hand-raised, she wanted their lives as 'normal' and natural as possible, but their mother go very sick while she was lactating. If you're interested they do purr just like a domestic kitty, but their fur is bristly not soft.

This little sweetheart is a critically endangered Black-flanked Wallaby (another Australian native) who was being hand-raised by a keeper at the zoo. This brings me to what I mentioned before about conservation - the zoo is involved in a small number of programs for the conservation of Australian natives, that actually involve the release of animals back to the wild to try and re-establish a wild population. I can see the value in this and I support it, to an extent. Let's leave it there shall we?

Well, congratulations if you got through that, lol!
Have a totally awesome day and don't forget to check out my e-Book, on sale now!!

My Recipe e-Book is Officially for SALE!
YAY! If you would like to buy a copy of my book, just pop over here and pick yourself up a copy. It's a total bargain at $11.95 (AU)!! Here is the spiel from the linked page above:

It gives us so much pleasure here at Raw Pleasure to bring to you this ebook. We have watched Freedom grow over time, going through her battles with a gentle strength that shines through her writing.

Created by our very own FreedomB, this ebook gives a basic outline on what raw veganism is, mouthwatering recipes, great photos and more!

Great for all types of raw, the recipes are mouthwatering and delicious yet simple and easy to prepare. Become inspired!

Recipes Fit For a Princess comes in an easy to download Adobe PDF format.

I will put a permanent link to the page in the sidebar so if at any point in the future you decide you want one, it will be waiting for you. I had so much fun writing the book and the excitement of seeing it finally for sale was almost overwhelming. Of course making money from it is going to be totally awesome (it will go towards m uni degree, scrummy organic fruit, and charities, if you're interested) but I really hope that it will make raw food easier for people. I'm just one girl, who went raw overnight, without being anything super special. I hope others can see how easy it is.
Have a fantastic day everyone, and stay tuned for more regular posting in the near future!