cooking blog will remain and should any of my readers have any questions, please feel free to email them to me at email@example.com.
This is not goodbye forever by any means... Simply a goodbye for a while so I can focus on parenting and the small moments in life with the people I love. I appreciate your understanding and hope you all stay connected! I no longer have FaceBook, however have Twitter and Instagram, usernames for both; @jakigh, so feel free to add and stay in touch that way.
I am looking forward to returning to the blog world in the future, when I have more time to dedicate to it. Much love and thank you all for your support!
Click HERE for recipe.
Click HERE for recipe.
Once you start making your own almond milk, you'll never go back to store bought! All it takes is remembering to soak the almonds the night before, and then 5-10 min of time, depending if you are making plain or vanilla. For general drinking, cereal and lattes, we prefer vanilla, and for cooking I use plain. Almond milk will stay fresh, stored in the fridge for 3 days.
Click HERE for recipe.
This recipe has two names because you can enjoy the hearty chili on its own, or as a tasty salad. I actually prefer having it as a taco salad and usually make a double batch of the chili and freeze half of it in individual portion sizes for a quick lunch or dinner when I don't have time to cook. I have also served the taco salad to meat eaters and they didn't know it was vegan!
Click HERE for recipe.
A lot of people tell me that they'd like to be more green, but it's too difficult or costly. I'd like to share some of my favorite simple and affordable ways to go paperless. Some of them will actually save you more money than you might think!
1: GREETING CARDS
I'm a big fan of the Thank You card. When we have a really lovely dinner, I like to ask for the chef's information and email a personalized Thank You to say how much we appreciated our meal. I can't tell you the fabulous service we receive when re-visiting the restaurant; kitchen tours, exclusive off-menu meals and gifts from the chefs such as costly bottles of truffle oil. And all because I took a few minutes to send a Thank You! I also think, when attending a party of any sort, it is mandatory to email a note the next day to thank the hostess. So much work goes into a party, be it a dinner party or a baby shower, and sending a note to the hostess with the mostess will mean more to her/him than you can imagine. And then there's birthdays, holidays and thinking-of-yous; with the cost of postage (not to mention the environmental impact of jet fuel and then truck fuel it takes to get that paper card delivered), it's time to go green and get into eCards! There are lots of free online sites, but my favorite is good4orm for modern style options. You can also check out other sites such as Hallmark, American Greetings, and the funny and quirky HipsterCards. If you have an iPhone, you MUST purchase the RedStamp app! I use my RedStamp account on a daily basis; I can send a Thank You to a chef while still at the restaurant (being on your phone at a nice dinner is rather rude, so maybe wait till you're in your car...) I make up personalized birthday wishes to post on my friend's Facebook walls instead of the generic typed birthday wish; and emailing holiday cards beats writing out and distributing a million paper cards!
Magazines are my weakness. I love the inspiring photos of fashion magazines, the yummy recipes in cooking mags and sometimes even the trashy gossip of those cheap, weekly trash magazines. But what do you do with all of them? Suddenly you have a mountain of outdated magazines and you're not likely to read them even again; so why destroy the planet for something that can be easily replaced with a glamorous paperless option?! Go right now and sign up for a free account on Zinio. (They also have an amazing app for your iPad or iPhone.) Once you've set up your account, you can purchase all of your magazines at a discount, and can read them anywhere; your laptop, tablet, or phone. Another great feature of reading your mags on Zinio, is that a lot of the site references link automatically to their referring websites, and a lot of the magazines have special e-features that you miss out on in the paper versions.
Click HERE to discover more paper saving tips!
It's finally picnic and BBQ season, and neither is complete without a yummy macaroni salad! This recipe takes only a matter of minutes to make and no one will even know it's vegan. I love the flavor and texture of adding dill pickles; it's the ingredient that makes this salad the talk of the BBQ.
Click HERE for recipe
Happy Mother's Day to all of my Mama readers! This is my first year as a mum, and it's been the best year of my life... full of laughter, tears of happiness, kisses, mama&baby naps and cuddles. Here is a photo journey of some of my favorite moments being a mother.
Click HERE for recipe.
Click HERE for recipe
Click HERE for recipe
With all of the food documentaries that have come out in the past few years, as well as more mainstream media coverage about the benefits of a plant based diet, I find there are more veg-curious people than ever. A major shift in awareness is happening and a greater population is understanding the devastating environmental and health complications associated with eating meat. So here you are... wanting to eat less meat and/or dairy but not sure where to start. A popular trend over the past couple of years is Meatless Monday. If everyone in America would partake in eliminating meat from their diets ONE day per week, 1,477 MILLION land animals and 7,830 MILLION aquatic animals would be spared! More shocking than this statistic is the amount of water that would be conserved. The amount of water required to raise cattle for consumption is 1,750 gallons per pound. By going meatless for only one day per week, you will help conserve at least 14,000 gallons of water per year!
If you thought the numbers shown in the Meatless Monday paragraph were impressive... multiply them by five! Watch the above video by the "cute-in-a-sort-of-Matthew-McConaughey-way" Mr. Graham Hill. He introduces the idea of being a weekday vegetarian, and then it's your choice whether or not you want to eat meat/dairy on the weekend. This is a great option for the veg-curious individual who's not quite ready to commit, and it will definitely be enough of a change that you'll start seeing noticeable health improvements.
So why am I, a passionate vegan, advocating eating meat at all instead of telling everyone to just give up meat, dairy and eggs completely? Well because I believe that ANY lessening of meat consumption is better for our environment, much better for animals, and better for your health! I understand, as Graham says in the video, that some people are just not quite ready to fully commit to a vegetarian or vegan diet, and these are great first steps if you find your self in that semi-committal stage. Once you start seeing and feeling the benefits of eating less meat, you will find it easier to fully commit to a completely plant based diet. And once you decide to make that leap to the veggie world, I'll be waiting with open arms and ears to answer any and all of your questions :)
*This recipe is not gluten free*
Click HERE for complete recipe
Click HERE for recipe
I am writing this post out of frustration, in hopes that I can enlighten people who are stuck in the mindset that children "need" meat, dairy and eggs to grow and thrive properly. When I was 9 years old, and much to my parent's horror, I decided to become a vegetarian. I had read no books on the subject, we didn't have internet access, and I knew absolutely nothing other than that I wasn't going to eat animals anymore. That was that. Mum continued to cook her normal meals and I ate the things that didn't have meat in them. My grades remained top of my class, I ran fast, I sang loud and my imagination was as rampant as ever. I continued on into my teen years where I got and kept jobs, I moved out onto my own and excelled in my places of work and volunteering. My point is, that with no food education for a base, I grew up and excelled on a plant-based diet.
Now I have a daughter of my own and I am raising her vegan. The number of family members and friends that question this decision is both incredible and in some ways insulting. I can positively guarantee that in the past five years, I have purchased and thoroughly read more books on nutrition and health than all of my raised eyebrow-ed critics combined. My daughter's father, Shane, and I have dedicated hours upon hours to researching raising a vegan child, and are so passionate about this parenting choice we have stated the terms of our legal custody will that if we pass away, she shall be raised vegan until the age of 18 (at which point she is free to make her own decision). This is not something we decided on a passing whim. This is something that we are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about; let me explain.
The rates of child obesity, diabetes, cancer, and allergies are at an all time high. This is the first generation that has a lower life expectancy than their parents. These children are being fed meat, dairy and eggs on a daily basis. Statistics don't lie, and as the consumption of animal based foods has increased, so have rates in obesity and disease. In our society, it is standard that you "have" to eat animal based foods to get enough protein. Yet do any one of you know where this information comes from? I do. This information comes from the popular Basic Four Food Groups pyramid created in 1955. The BFFG pyramid is now retired and yet it is still worshiped by North America's masses as "proof" that you need meat, eggs and dairy to survive. How many of you have researched why this model was retired and is no longer considered a valid guide for the standard Canadian and American diets? Well again, I have. This food pyramid was paid for and developed by the National Livestock and Meat Board and the National Dairy Council. To make it simple, it was created with a massive bias in order to gain a lot of profit for the meat and dairy producing alliances. Since this food pyramid has been retired, there have been numerous revisions, however the one thing that has not changed is its sponsorship from the meat, egg and dairy associations.
In the 1980's a 20 year study called the China-Cornell-Oxford Project was conducted, making it the most comprehensive human study ever completed. The study examined mortality rates from 48 types of cancer and their direct relation to the consumption of animal protein, concluding that people who eat a vegan diet will minimize and can actually reverse the development of chronic diseases.
Shane and I choose to raise our child vegan, based on the findings of the most comprehensive human study ever completed, as well as numerous studies after it which show extensive supporting research. And as I said earlier, THAT is why I find it incredibly frustrating and rather insulting that people judge us and make snide comments to us regarding our vegan parenting choice, when they are basing their "meat is best" opinion on an outdated food pyramid from the 50's that was sponsored by two industries that greatly profited by creating a meat/egg/dairy based food guide, with no unbiased/independent research to back it. My hopes in writing this, are to help our friends and members of our families who don't understand our reasons behind our choice; my hope is that you will understand that we have spent more time researching than you did when you raised your own children/us. My hope is that for anyone who has found this blog through an internet search, that you feel comfortable emailing me or commenting and asking questions if you have any. As I mentioned, I might know a thing or two about vegan nutrition ;)
The China-Cornell-Oxford Project was later condensed into a book called The China Study which is available for purchase if you are interested in reading it.
Click HERE for my guide to making perfect kale chips.
I am by no means a seamstress, in fact I don't even own a sewing machine. This is an easy DIY photo tutorial on how to upcycle a women's t-shirt into baby harem pants! I have been seeing kid's rocking harem pants on numerous Swedish blogs, but can't seem to find any here for babies, so I decided to get crafty and make my own!
DIY Harem Pants
1.)Start by laying a pair of your baby's pants on the center of a t-shirt.
2.)Next cut the t-shirt along the waist-line band. For the legs, measure about 2 1/2 inches away from the edges of shirt seam, and cut upwards approx 3 inches.
3.)Fold the fabric in half and cut across to the center to create a slightly domed, square inseam.
4.)Lay the pants open and flat.
5.)Measure an elastic band to the size of your baby's waistline and sew into a circle.
6.)Securely pin the elastic band to the two outer side seams, and fold over so the fabric comes about half an inch below the elastic band.
7.)Fold the excess center fabric into pleats and tuck over elastic band. Securely pin each pleat into place.
8.)Turn the pants inside out and pin the inseam together.
9.)Keeping the pants inside out, sew around the inseam to create the harem pant legs.
10.)the last step is to sew over your pleats, just below the elastic band. The band should be completely covered inside of your pleated fabric, and you don't want to sew on top of the elastic so it can stretch freely around your busy baby's tummy.
Here's the thing.... a lot of people assume if something is vegan it's automatically healthy, and that it's a green light to over-indulge. Truth is, their assumptions are wrong. Not all things which are vegan are healthy. Vegans can still fry food in many different oils, or add a whole bunch of sugar (even agave nectar & most alternative sugars raise our blood sugar and have basically the same effect on our body as regular sugar does). We can bake anything you can think of - most of the time it even tastes better than the original egg and dairy versions. We've come up with alternatives to every condiment, sauce, topping, filler and drizzle you could dream of. All of this and then there's the whole realm of processed and packaged vegan fare that the veg market offers, like jet-puffed marshmallows, gourmet chocolates, crunchy chips and yummy queso dips, ice kreams (yes, spelled with a "k"), melt-able and scrumptious cheeses, endless cheesecakes and deep fried "twinkies".
I can't tell you the number of times, even my best friends have told me, or said in front of me, what a healthy eater I am. And I do try my best to be a healthy vegan. The problem is that it's a lot more fun (and a lot more tasty) to make a super sugary caramel peanut butter frosting than it is to make a superfood sprout and seed salad...So while I try to be healthy, there are still some days when I cover everything on my plate in my Daiya cheese sauce or when I eat six vegan-but-still-laden-with-sugar-and-fat-cookies at a time and then reach for some chips. A combination of the easily accessible previously mentioned store bought junk foods, plus a love of cooking and a bookshelf jammed with cookbooks full of recipes for every comfort food and cupcake ever invented, equals the Junk Food Vegan.
If I'm really honest, I'm about a 50% junk food vegan. I hate to admit it, but I am. Until a few months ago I never thought twice about this. Kind of like my friends, I just assumed I was a healthy eater. Then I read a few books that made me think deeply about my diet and I realized that I need to slide that 50/50 ratio to a more organ-friendly 80/20 ratio. Realistically I still want my chocolates, cheeses and lavish cooking experiments, but they shouldn't make up 50% of my diet; 20% is more than enough to satisfy junk food cravings but not so much that it's causing congestion and ailments.
So I'm inviting you to join me as I flip my ratio and go from being a semi Junk Food Vegan to a mostly Super Food Vegan. I'm going to try my best to post as many healthy and nutritious recipes as I can. Usually I feel inspired to cook at night, and then the lighting is crappy and I refuse to take food photos in bad lighting; therefor the recipes and my creations never see the light of Kigh's Kitchen. Going forward, I'm going to make a dedicated effort to cook earlier in the day so I can photograph and share this healthy journey with you, and I promise that the next recipe that finds it's way typed onto this blog will be made of kale instead of chocolate!
Today started out very exciting for me - I attended my first blogging conference, BlogWest 2012. I was somewhere through the first seminar when I checked my phone and realized I'd missed a call from my aunt in Kansas. She also sent a text that said it was urgent. I stepped into the hallway and called her; she informed me that my grandma had fallen during the night and hit her head, and that the doctors had given her hours to live. It was such a surreal moment. Knowing that I was 1900 miles away from my family there, and feeling very alone I made an odd decision to stay at the conference instead of going home. I am happy that I stayed. I happened to be sitting next to one of the most genuine and compassionate people I have ever met. And she happens to be a counselor. When I got the call that my Grandma had peacefully passed on, she and others at the conference were amazingly supportive.
So while this blog post is nothing like the one I had planned on writing after my BlogWest experience, and there are no flashy headlines, it is about my experience. I left the conference with many things today, and above all, I left with a deep sense of gratitude. Gratitude that complete strangers extended themselves and offered me a listening ear, hugs and support that I needed. Gratitude to all of those that had no clue what was going on, and engaged me in humorous conversations and made me laugh. Gratitude for those who taught me new things. This gratitude will carry me through all of the emotions I am facing now that I'm home; and this gratitude will continue to carry me through the upcoming difficult days of honoring and remembering my Grandma.
I'll end this with a tearful thank you... to my new friends... to my old friends who have been calling all evening... and finally to my Grandma, for all of our beautiful memories; for all of your love. I will miss you more than words can explain and will forever cherish the time we got to spend together.
Posted by jakigh at 10:33 pm
***giveaway is now closed.... Congratulations to contest winner, Mandy M.!***
I opened a new Facebook page, and to celebrate I'm doing a giveaway! The giveaway is a 100% organic cotton reusable lunch bag and napkin set from Rebel Green. Rebel Green's products are made in the USA and are all printed with low impact eco-friendly inks.
To enter the contest, like the new Facebook page HERE. That's all! Draw date will be March 30th, 2012 and the winner's name will be posted on Facebook as well as Twitter. To follow my Twitter account, click HERE.
Posted by jakigh at 2:44 pm