Thursday, November 30, 2006

Freezer Food, A Repeat, & A GRRRReat Cause!

You can always tell when I'm putting off trekking to the grocery store as I start pulling things out of the freezer. Don't get me wrong, shopping for food is honestly the only kind of shopping I love to do, it's just that I always try and hold off to slim down the vast amount of pantry and freezer items we always seem to accumulate.

For this reason, last night's dinner was a simple, tasty, but not something I'd eat very often creation:frozen peas 'n corn heated in the micro then added a little EB, sea salt, Parma, and black pepper aside some Morningstar Farms Strips that we had in the freezer for-ev-er. I just sauteed those in a little olive oil with a touch of vegan worsteshire and then threw in a handful of hempseed which coated it rather nicely. It was good, even if the strips are a little salty for my taste. The Cap'n loved the strips and can barely believe that they're not meat in any way. I'm inclined to agree that they are freaky to eat as they taste convincingly like a real meat product. I don't buy them anymore, but it's nice to finally have them out of the freezer.

Had a craving for some soba noodles the other day and, lucky for me, even when our fridge is getting rather bare we almost always have carrots, cucumbers, green onions, and some ginger or ginger dressing on hand.I also try and always have some edamame in the freezer. Combine this all together for a repeat that's so worth repeating. In my original post of this food favorite, I artfully combined the ingredients as one would likely see them in a fine dining establishment. Here, this is how we always eat it, in all it's messy, yummy glory. hehe ;) oh, and yes....that IS some crystallized ginger chopped and sprinkled on the top. Once i but this stuff in bulk you're likely to see it everywhere until it's gone. I cannot get enough of this stuff!

This morning breakfast was on both our minds and I knew we were down to the wire but a bag of frozen spinach and some tofu lingered in the freezer for a really awesome tofu scramble this morning.I just sauteed an onion in olive oil, then combined the thawed, pressed tofu with nutritional yeast, garlic, thyme, a touch of basil, tamari, and some turmeric, salt and pepper to add to the onion in the skillet. when it was ready to serve i just mixed in the spinach which i'd heated in the micro. With a side of vegan rye toast and some EB, this was a perfect way to start a day that seemed to begin with no food in the house! I am missing fruit right now tho , really looking forward to stocking up on some fresh produce. yum!

lastly, I'd like to introduce you all to some friends of mine who are having a big fundraiser this weekend in the Orlando area.
Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the four R's: Rescue, Raise, Rehabilitate, and Release.
When we lived in Orlando, I spent three of the best years of my life becomming a wildlife rehabilitator.It is truly the most life altering experience of my life and I am a changed person forever for having volunteered and then worked there. I still go back twice every year to help out with the fundraisers (I'm the crazy one who commandeers the kids to make fun crafts out of things we'd normally throw away. so much fun!).
This Saturday, Christmas with the Critters will be held on site, free to the public, so that people can come and check out just how central Florida's wildlife is cared for there.There will be food, kid's activities, raffles, and lots and lots of educational embassadors for everyone to meet (these are the refuge's permanent residents who have either come to them due to illness or injury and, therefore, cannot be rereleased back into their natrual environs or were confiscated or tossed out as pets....for the record? wild animals NEVER make good pets, no matter how cute, cuddly, or adorable!).It's truly a remarkable place to visit and learn from and the fundrasiers are always a ton of fun. Should you know anyone in the Orlando area with kids or who would love to learn more, check out their website here. Also, I must also tell you that, sadly, the refuge is in a serious time crunch to find a new home!Zema, the resident cougar...playin'...typical! hehe

They've been existing for years on the same tiny property but it's not enough. What they need is real acreage for better enclosures and release sites. If land and money are not accumulated within the next year, the refuge will be forced to close its doors and end its truly altruistic service forever. Not only will the animals who have spent the better part of their lives there have to move to new homes far and wide, but injured and orphaned wildlife will have no place to go in the area, an area that is continuously growing and pushing them out. The educational presentations that the refuge has, for years, brought to the public as well as the countless tours given to schools and kids of all ages will come to an end as well.
Makai, the resident wolf hybrid. He was found running around a neighborhood as a pup trying to round up a pack. Such a gentle and timid creature. He's very skittish but so sweet once he decides to trust you...something he never fully does.)

There are no words to describe how this prospect breaks my heart or how it will devestate a truly beautiful vision cultivated over the last twenty years. So, again, if you know anyone or know anyone who knows anyone, or even know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who can help in any way (be it money or land or any kind of donation) please pass this along. Even if you can just take a minute this holiday season to check out their site and donate even a little, it would mean the world, for all those little bits really do add up!

Please check them out and spread the word....for the love of the animals!!!! thanks! You can find most of these pics, info, and more on their myspace. check 'em out!

Babbette and Mocha, resident White-tailed and Asian Fallow Deer

Columbo, resident great-horned owl who lost an eye to a bb gun.

Whizzer, resident red-shouldered hawk, who lost his eye and one foot's talons.

Winnie, resident bald-eagle with a permanently injured wing.

Pookie, resident bobcat and sunshine of your every day. RIP, Pook! we miss you like crazy! (pookie recently passed away after many, many more happy years than he would have ever seen out in the wild. a mixed blessing for our dear, sweet pook).

Casper, the friendly goat! also a permanent resident. Casper was orphaned, tho none of us can imagine how that is even possible. sweetest lil guy around!

two of the resident barred owls, tho i can rarely tell them apart...unless one is trying to swoop down and attack me and take off an ear...then i know it's the male. hehe never turn your back on a barred owl...lesson learned! :)

Calhoun, and Kokomu, resident goat and emu. they're pals and share an enclosure..but what they really wanna know got any grapes?

and here's a squirrel who just happened by...even the local wildlife knows how good they have it here!


Freedom said...

Those animals are all so gorgeous! If I didn't live half a world away, I would SO be there, lol! Working there must have been amazing. For 11 years I was a member of an organisation called Fauna Rescue which takes in injured/sick/orphaned wildlife, rehabilitates and releases, but all the members do it individually in their own homes (although there are regular meetings and training days.) I loved it! Watching an animal (especially birds) return to nature and freedom is so cool!
Good on you for promoting this wonderful place!

Melissa said...

I would love to work in a refuge...gorgeous animals! and food!

Candi said...

Oh wow! Not only is the food great, but I am so happy you also shared this info on the Back to Nature refuge. What a dream job that would be, although probably heartbreaking in many ways, and physically and emotionally exhausting.

I'm so happy you were part of the program! Those animals are so lucky. I loved the photos and info you included on each of them. Pookie looks like he was quite the happy cat! He was lucky to meet up with such a great group.

I've added them to my MySpace friends, and will enjoy looking through their photos as well. Thank you for sharing!!!!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible experience. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely check out the links.

I really like how creative you are. I've been pulling from the pantry and the freezer for the past two weeks. I couldn't believe just how much stuff we had accumulated. We probably could have gone another week or two but I desperately needed fresh produce. I couldn't hardly wait to get home before eating some sweet fresh fruit.

Anonymous said...

wow, what an amazing experience that must of been for you! the animals are so beautiful...i was totally cracking up looking at that last picture w/ the squirrel all sprawled out haha!

erica said...

hello, De-lurking here.

I had a baby squirrel three years ago, and wanted to learn wildlife rehabilitation ever since - but it will have to wait a few years. Maybe for my retirement (???)

Seeing your squirrels makes me miss her all over again (it happens oddly frequently, still, three years later)

Kris said...

I love your "we have nothing to eat" meals. They look better than what i can so with a fully stocked kitchen!

What a fabulous cause! I'm envious that you were able to be a part of something so great. I hope the fundraising is a success!

bazu said...

I really enjoyed learning about this group and looking at all the great wildlife shots. Look at that squirrel chillin' in the last photo! That's great that you were a wildlife rehabilitator. Booo. makes me wish I still lived near Orlando...

Anonymous said...

The coconut frosting IS in VwaV on page 227 (the directions for the cake tell you to go there). On page 227 is a recipe for coconut heaven cupcakes and there is a frosting recipe on that page. That's the one to use. It rocks!

Anonymous said...

i write a post before this one, hope you get it! becouse when i try to make it your page went crazy ! please erase this one. if you get the frst i post is ok if not i will try later!

laura k said...

Wow.. what a beautiful thing to do. Wild animals are so beautiful, and it's so sad how they get harmed by our ways of life. It's awesome that you worked with them!

Your "nothing to eat" meals are fabulous! Sometimes it's nice to have something simple and clear some things out that have been hanging around in the freezer a little too long.

Anonymous said...

i absolutely love the photos, amazing!

Brooke said...

What a wonderful place to volunteer!

VeganHeartDoc said...

Great pictures, beautiful animals!

meggsmutts said...


Nice blog--the pictures made my mouth water big time...It's almost dinner time! :o)

I thought you might be interested in my website, since you're vegan too.

My husband and I are hiking the Appalachian Trail (Georgia to Maine) to raise money for animals.


Check it out if you're interested!

That refuge looked really nice.

Take care!