Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Banana Zucchini Bread EVER


This is easily the best quick bread I've made in a long, long time - a happy experimental success prepared as a treat for the folks who are helping us to build Shakti Rock Gym.  It's vegan, makes two loaves, rises beautifully, and is sweetened with only a half a cup of real maple syrup (and the bananas, of course).  It'll take you 15 minutes to put it together, and about 45 minutes to bake.   Make it today and feed it to your new best friends!  Then you can all marvel about how cool it is that you can make great bread without eggs, milk, or tons of sugar.  Who knew?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Big Green Easy - Killer Pasta in 15 minutes


Hello friends!  How is everyone out there?  I hate being so slow to post things on here but people, we have been Busy (and that capital "b" was no accident).  As many of you know, Philippe and I have been working hard for the last couple of months on getting a bouldering gym started.  It began as a bit of fantasy and wouldn't-it-be-cool-if-we-could-do-THIS? and now it's actually happening.  I'm astonished.

For those of you who are curious, and feel free to skip this paragraph if you're not, bouldering is a type of rock climbing without ropes, over thick mats or "crash pads."  It involves short, intense routes that require the cultivation of focus, strength, determination, and technique.  It also, in the case of our gym, involves long lateral routes (traverses) that give the climber a playground on which to develop said strength, focus, determination, and technique.  What it doesn't require is all of the ropes, gear, and partners that regular rope climbing does.  Perhaps more significantly, it gives a person a stress free (and stress reducing) environment in which to fall in love with the movement that makes up this zen "sport."  In many ways, it seems more appropriate to refer to climbing as "a practice," the way one refers to meditation or yoga, because it involves so much quiet, interior work and because the practitioner can experience profound benefits and shifts in awareness over time, much as one does in meditation or yoga.  But it's also just fun and rowdy and dirty and physically challenging.   It can be lots of things to lots of people.  And we're opening a little gym in Montreal where people can check it out.  Yay! (www.shaktirockgym.com)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Vegan Carrot Oat Muffins



My pantry is a little understocked at the moment (time to get to Le Frigo Vert), but my intense drive to consume a muffin or three this morning lead me to overlook the lack and throw together something nice and simple.  If you have it on hand, I would add a half a cup of unsweetened applesauce to bulk these up a bit.  Then you could cut the oil down from 4 to 2 tablespoons if you wanted to.  Just a thought.  They're pretty tasty as they are, even if they're a little on the small side.
 
Now in Kitchen Confidential, one of Anthony Bourdain's buddies says that, "Muffins are for people who don't have the nads to order cake for breakfast."  And while this is an undoubtedly hilarious remark (at least I don't doubt it), all muffins are NOT created equal.  As many of you may know by now, commercially produced baked goods are often packed with trans fats, and if not trans fats, then they're loaded with sugar and other fats.  It's safe to say that companies that mass produce muffins aren't usually doing so with your health in mind.  They want to make a product that will ship well and stay alive on the shelf for as long as possible, and they'll use the cheapest ingredients they can get their hands on. 
 
 I'll try to keep this brief (if it's not already too late for that) but the average Dunkin Donut muffin is between 500 and 600 calories and has around 20 grams of fat. A Costco blueberry muffin (blueberries are healthy, right?) has 610 calories and 32 grams of fat. What the what? To burn that off would take you about 169 mins of walking, 70 mins of jogging, 51 mins of swimming or 93 mins of cycling.  So you might as well order cake for breakfast, then at least you could get the thrill of the transgression.