My Ten Most Viewed Posts of 2011

As 2011 comes to an end, I’m looking back over what have been my most viewed posts of the year.  With three of them including raw cashews, could this be the year of the raw cashew?  Perhaps.  That nut can do so many things – from dips, to smoothies, to spreads, to sauces.  (If you’d like to link through to the original post, just click on the highlighted name of each item.)

10.  Pulp NonFiction – Thoughts on my Breville Juicer

For Valentine’s Day this year my husband broke the number one rule of gift buying for women and bought an appliance for me.  (Luckily, I completely disagree with that rule.  Most of the items on my wish list are appliances, gadgets, and cookbooks!)  So I juiced through the cold winter months and throughout the farmer’s market season.  My juice-making slowed through the holidays, but now I’m feeling drawn to fresh juices again after the season of comfort food.  I’m starting the morning with celery, cucumber, carrot, beet, and lemon juice and savoring each sip.  Perhaps with the New Year upon us, you’re looking to include more fresh juices in your life.  This is my review of the juicer that I use.

9.  Five Things to Make For Dinner When I Don’t Want to Cook

I think we can all relate to those nights where we stare into the refrigerator and wish that the ingredients on each shelf would somehow morph into a meal.  On those nights when I’m tired and hungry and just want to eat now, making one of these meals is quicker than waiting for delivery.

8.  Happy Slurping – Kale Cashew Shake

Do you love kale so much that you want it for dessert?  Me too!  But kale-phobes, this drink could even persuade you to embrace that nutrient-dense green.  Any bitterness in kale fades away as cashews and frozen bananas make it sweet and super creamy.  For an icy crunch, add ice cubes at the end and blend; for more of an ice cream texture, leave them out.

7.  Cashew Cheese-stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Getting people together for New Year’s?  These freshly made poppers can be made ahead of time and then put into the oven a half an hour before people arrive.  The heat level can vary, depending on the peppers.  Have some lemon-lime-cucumber water handy just in case or Mexican beer if you’re feeling festive.

6.  Obsession in the Making: Raw Kale Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Months later, this salad is still my obsession.  I eat it four or five days a week with varying vegetables.  Sometimes I switch the cilantro in the dressing for other herbs, sometimes I use lime juice instead of lemon.  Regardless of how it’s personalized and tweaked, it always comes out delicious.

5.  Newsreel:  The Three Stages of Cheeseless Pizza

For Vegan MoFo this year, my husband and I made a series of black and white silent films called The Vegan Test, and this was a newsreel break from the others.  This short video takes a humorous look at the situation so many of us have experienced when ordering cheeseless pizza.  After all, the stages of cheeseless pizza are like the stages of grief, but with marinara.

4.  Five Simple Vegan Breakfasts

When people are transitioning to a vegan diet, one of the first obstacles is figuring out what is going to replace chickens’ eggs on toast.  In those early morning hours, there’s not always the time or inclination for whipping up a tofu scramble, waffles, or pancakes.  When something quick but satisfying is in order, these are the meals I visit.

3.  Melted Snowman Soup

Two soups that I made this month round out the top three of my most viewed posts of 2011.  They came in at the end and took a surprising jolt ahead.  First, this adorably pathetic roasted garlic and potato soup.  When the weather gets chilly, we could all use a smile – even if it’s at the expense of a snowman.

2.  Hickory Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

Hearty, smoky soup that’s thick and creamy by way of cauliflower feels like a quintessential winter soup.  With a full-bodied mouth feel it’s the kind of warming soup that the cold months are all about.

1.  How Has Going Vegan Changed My Life?

I have always been an animal lover.  That love has been manifested in many ways over the years.  When I was a child, a Doberman was one of my dearest companions.  As an adult two cats are important parts of my family.  And six years ago when I went vegetarian (and then vegan after that), that love and compassion I had for animals expanded to include pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, sheep, and goats.  It freed my heart in ways I never could have expected.  Getting to know animals at sanctuaries like Farm Sanctuary, who were saved from suffering, has only deepened that compassion.  This post is about that deepening.  It’s about the way that compassion for animals resonates throughout my life.