Tea has always been my thing. I love the taste of coffee but, like a kid coming off a sugar high, I inevitably crash. So, I’ve stuck with tea and now I’m in a love affair.
My day can be phased in cups of tea: morning usually starts with a strong, black tea like English Breakfast or, if I’m feeling spicy, a little Chai. I’ll pour in a bit of almond milk, most often homemade (more on that later). The afternoon produces a cup or two of green tea. Then when bedtime rolls around and I’m inevitably shuddering beneath my blankets (I live with two very warm-blooded dudes), I’ll have a cup of jasmine.
The tea pictured above is the 500-Mile Chai from Tao of Tea in SE Portland, perfectly spiced and lightly sweetened. Tao of Tea also serves some of the best food (asian and middle eastern-inspired small plates) I’ve had in PDX, hands down. (Try the spinach rolls, chai break and paneer… for starters.) They serve and sell loose-leaf teas. Some of my other favorite teahouses include Teaism in Washington, DC (try the seitan stir-fry with spinach, arugula and macadamia nuts) and Vital Tea Leaf in San Francisco where you can sit, sample tea and enjoy a relaxing respite from the melee that is Chinatown. While you’re there, give the Blue People Ginseng Oolong a shot. Sounds crazy, tastes delicious.
Conscious and Kind is now Kinder. You can visit me at kinderdaily.tumblr.com or www.kinderdaily.com. Just getting started and still working out kinks but I’d love to share it with you!
"Total U.S. meat consumption peaked in 2007 at 55 billion pounds and has fallen each year since."
According to the US Department of Agriculture, our total meat consumption has peaked and is on the slow decline. This is huge especially since studies show we need to cut our total meat consumption in half by 2050 if we want to lower our nitrous oxide emissions enough to help reverse global warming.
If this isn’t cooking seasonally, I don’t know what is.
According to the blog the Kitchn, Fiddlehead ferns are around for only the first few weeks of May and can only be found in the Northeast and Great Lakes states in wet, brackish forests. I stumbled on these baby ferns at the farmer’s market on Sunday and grabbed a handful. I browsed the internet for some preparation ideas: blanch them for 3-4 minutes then saute with garlic, cipollini onions and red pepper flakes. Et voila!
They taste delicious (like a cross between a green bean and asparagus). It also feels good knowing I’m buying seasonal produce from local farms. According to the Worldwatch Institute, our food travels on average 2,000 miles to get from the field to the dinner table. So, when we can buy local, we should try and do so.
Not sure what’s in-season in your area? Check out epicurious’ interactive "Seasonal Ingredient Map." Then hop over to your local farmer’s market!
Tomorrow is National Bike to Work Day. So, if you’ve thought about trading your car or bus ride for a commute al fresco, tomorrow is a great day to give it a try. You’ll be in good company. According to an article in GOOD magazine, "young people drive 23 percent less than they did in 2001." Go, us.
I think I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of quinoa by now. The whole grain (and complete protein) can, however, be overplayed and underwhelming. Here blisstree offers up 20 unique recipes they’ve found through some serious internet sleuthing. These include everything from sushi rolls to cereals to salads and more.
I’ve been hearing a lot about parabens (and spotting them in some of the above monikers) so I decided to pick the brain of an aesthetician at an organic spa I visited.
HERE’S THE SCOOP:
Parabens are chemicals used in preservatives by the cosmetic industry. They have been strongly linked to numerous forms of cancer including breast cancer and lymphoma. (Ask me how strong is “strong” and I’d say it isn’t worth it to me to take the risk.)
Now, according to the very knowledgeable aesthetician (and lymphoma survivor), natural, organic cosmetic products will last somewhere between 9-12 months. As she aptly put it: if you aren’t using up your product by then, you probably don’t like it that much.
Bottom line: Check your labels. Avoid the above offenders. While you’re at it, check out this natural skincare line.
The Story of Sushi via Devour: “Bamboo Sushi of Portland uses handcrafted miniatures and a beautifully designed stop-motion to bring awareness to current fishing practices and change the story of sushi.”
Leave it to a sushi restaurant in Portland to come up with something this clever about sustainable sushi. Totally dig it.
Reason #18485926152830 to give Meatless Mondays a try:
"Animal protein is the most expensive item in your grocery cart by weight and nutrient density. When budgets are tight, people automatically eat less beef, pork and chicken."
According to LearnVest, who did a little number crunching, the cheapest cuts of beef average about $3 to $4 per pound, while lentils and dried beans are generally less than $1 per pound and tofu is less than $2 per pound.
Here’s some simple math: Less money on meat = more money on whatever your little heart desires.
(Check out this link for 11 more reasons to jump on the MM train.)