Saturday, January 23, 2016

Carrot Cake Pancakes

(whole wheat, vegan, oil-free, sugar-free)

P ancakes are a go to midnight snack (that ends up being a meal) for my brother and me. The conversations are always pretty similar.
Brother: *enters my room* So, when are we going down for a snack?
*us making a decision to eventually go down for a snack*
Me: [in the kitchen] I feel like eating pancakes. You want pancakes?
Brother: Let's do it.
Then my brother always has to get the pancake griddle down because it's too high for me, after which he proceeds to sit down while I make the pancakes. It's a pretty fair deal.

Servings: 2-3


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (I used double acting)
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks, chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup pecans, broken
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 cups water

Set the heat to 350 degrees F.
Mix all of the ingredients together, adding vinegar last. Determine whether you need more water or not. You want the batter to be just thin enough to flow freely.
Spoon the batter onto the griddle.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Costumes

I realize that there isn't much time between my posting of this video and Halloween. A poster I saw at school got me thinking about my prospective costumes in a way that I hadn't before. Something which should have been so obvious hadn't been. How had it not occurred to me that dressing up as a label: a particular race, culture, class, mental state, etc. could be so offensive?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pizza: Quinoa + Brown Rice Crust w/ Sweet Avocado Sauce

(vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free)

M y dad actually deserves a bit of credit for this recipe. Last time I made quinoa crust, which tends to have a softer texture, he suggested that I incorporate brown rice to make it more sturdy.

Dana, author of Minimalist Baker, posted a gluten-free pizza crust recipe last year, which is actually quite a bit different than mine. But in her post, she paraphrased a quote from Shauna Niequist which I really liked: "try a recipe once and follow it to a 't.' Try it a second time and make your own tweaks. Try it a third time by memory and it’s yours." A few months ago, I tried making a quinoa crust for the first time. It turned out well, but a little too delicate. The second time I made it, I eliminated some ingredients, eliminated the use of a pie dish, and refrigerated the batter. It came out more sturdy, but it was still too soft. The third time I made it, it truly was mine.

Servings: 4 mini pizzas

The Crust:

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder (I used double acting)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • water
  • [optional] seasonings: red pepper flakes, dried oregano


  • simply natural tomato basil sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green chili peppers, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • frozen corn
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • himalayan pink salt
  • spinach, chopped

Sweet Avocado Sauce:

  • 2 small avocados
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 tbsp stevia
  • a splash of water (or as much as you need for how thin you want the sauce)

1. Rinse and then soak brown rice and quinoa together for 6-7 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Drain the rice and quinoa, and dump them in a large food processor. Turn on the processor. While the grains are processing, go get the salt, baking powder, optional seasonings, and vinegar. In this order, add these ingredients to the processor one at a time. Let the mixture blend for a couple of minutes until fairly smooth. Fill a glass with filtered water, and add 1/4 cup of water to the batter. Turn the processor back on. Gradually add more water, as much as you need to reach the consistency of a pancake-like batter. I used around half a cup of water, but it really depends on how much you drain the grains after soaking.

3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. I have been reusing parchment paper sheets, working on finishing up this last box for what seems like forever. I plan to move onto the silpat after this box finishes.
Divide the batter into four mini pizzas, two on each tray. Spread the batter with back of spoon as thin as you want your crust. I like mine thin.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Poke the centre of the crust, which hopefully has golden edges, with a fork. It should come out clean.

5. Mix the sauce (how much ever you like) with garlic, peppers, and ginger. Spread it onto the crusts. Add the zucchini, onion, and corn. Sprinkle the salt, and then top with spinach.

6. Put the pizzas back in the oven for 10-13 minutes.

7. Rinse your food processor, and blend together your avocados, stevia, lemon, and water.

8. Pour/drop the sauce onto your pizzas.

9. Finally, stuff your face.

I would like to credit this genius for the awesome avocado cream idea.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


D isney is currently #11 on the Forbes list for "The World's Most Valuable Brands" and #84 on Global 2000." For some reason, the company that deems its own park to be "The Happiest Place on Earth" can't be bothered to provide a living wage to all of their workers. You would think that studio like Walt Disney, that has been targeting a child audience for nearly 80 years and bringing families together, would give more of a shit about the issue of sweatshops and child labour.

Based on an undercover investigation by Sacom:

  • child workers as young as 14 years
  • 3 times the maximum legal limit for overtime work
  • injured worker refused medical treatment and ordered back to work
  • company hid chemicals during audits
  • workers "paid by the factory to give misleading answers during audits" and "fined for failing to hit targets."
  • 45 year old woman committed suicide "because she was always scolded"

    This all took place in a factory manufacturing Cars toys. The 2006 film grossed $461,983,149 worldwide, while the 2011 sequel grossed $559,852,396. The production budgest for both of these films was less that half of these amounts.

    sources: "The Guardian" article (2011) AND Box Office Mojo

    On Nov. 24th, 2012, more than 112 workers were killed in a Bangladesh factory (which produced garments for Wal-Mart and Disney) fire.

    Toys and sporting goods are imported to the USA from thousands of sweatshops in China, where the majority of employees are woman who work over 12 hours. This is an environment in which pregnant women are forced to quit their jobs without compensation and workers are not allowed to raise their heads without permission.

    source: "Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights" article (2012)

    Those working for Disneyland sweatshops are paid $0.17/hour and forced to work 12-hours/day, 7-days/week. Reported abuse includes verbal, being beaten and whipped, being locked in overnight, and working 36 hours straight without overtime pay. These reports, as well as sexual harassment reports, have been filed to no avail.

    source: "The Crusader" (2014)

    "...these sweatshops that Disney funds are very real. The US Government can not take significant action because these operations are not on their soil. Organizations such as the National Labor Committee are focused on the issue and do their part in protesting and bringing the issue to attention. Despite their efforts, the same conditions continue every day in China and other parts of Asia for overseas factory workers."

    source:"IHS Child Slave Labor" article (2005)

    Disney claims that they are committed to combating child exploitation and labour involved in manufacturing their products. However, in the documentary "Santa's Workshop," the anonymous voice of a young girl claims that she works in a factory that makes dolls and stuffed animals for Disney from 6:30am until 12:00am, and overtime from 2:00am or 4:00am.
    Bangladesh workers were paid $0.05 for a shirt that would go on to retail for $17.99, and "since workers publicly protested about the poor working conditions, Disney removed their factory there. However, this did not stop the company from going elsewhere, implementing even worse conditions."

    source: "St. John's University" article (2015)

    SeaWorld has obtained quite a bad reputation within media, but I hadn't heard much about Animal Kingdom. Despite not necessarily having heard negative news about Animal Kingdom, I couldn't help but feel uneasy about going. (Packing and leaving for Florida immediately after my final exam this last Winter didn't really leave me much time to research.) As soon as I saw the monkeys inside the park, I knew why. Viewers and Disney staff will claim that the monkeys have freedom. Those monkeys can't leave the park. They are far from free. And another question, why is an animal such as a tiger, that is supposed to be at the top of the food-chain, being forced to laze around on a patch of grass that it can easily run a lap around-- simply intended to be visual amusement for humans? It's sickening.

    As humans, we have so much power and so many resources at our fingertips. Collectively, and as a community, we can achieve so much. Take a look at this place. It's magical. But the magic quickly dissipates once we learn about all of the suffering that goes into it. A magical kingdom that is ethically run isn't something that should be too good to be true.

    Animal Kingdom made IDA's 2014 list of "Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants" following the death of a pregnant elephant named Moyo, and her unborn baby. Typically, pregnant females should not be transfered. However, Disney put Moyo on a truck, and it resulted in her death. The park also made IDA's 2007 list for dropping two of their infertile elephants at an unrecommended facility in exchange for a fertile elephant.

    source: "In Defense of Animals" (2014)

    Here are a few of the horrible things that SeaWorld is responsible for, in case you haven't already read about it.

    Emma Watson is someone who is well-known throughout the media as being vocal about her beliefs. People who believe in different things often collaborate and it can become difficulty to trace issues back to their source.

    Emma Watson as Belle concept art by Prateek Mathur.

    What I'm getting at, is that Disney has many assets, and it may seem like an incredibly strenuous task to pick out each thing that the company has a hand in or has invested cash into (in order to eradicate it from your life). An immediate action we can take though, is to swear off of purchasing anything that is directly licensed as Disney.
    Be the change you want to see in the world.

  • Thursday, August 20, 2015

    Grilled Eggplant Rolls : " Rice 'n' Roll in a Bowll "

    (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free)

    Today was going to be a mush-meal day. A "mush-meal" is what I call throwing together a bunch of food in the fridge that need to be finished, and cooking it as a thick soupy concoction all at once without any attempts of making it taste good other than the final dollop of sriracha on top. It started off kinda of like that when I started dumping vegetables into the grill. But from that point on, I decided to get a little creative.

    Servings: 2


    • grilled vegetables/tofu
      • 2 medium eggplants (about 5" long), sliced
      • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
      • 1 large onion, sliced in rounds
      • firm tofu slab 1/3-1/2" thick (cut it if it's too thick)
    • 1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked
    • 2 tbsp pine nuts
    • 1/3 jar "Simply Natural" tomato & basil sauce
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 2 green chili peppers
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2/3 tsp salt (add more to taste)
    • Garnish: cilantro + lemon

    1. Cook the brown rice according to the time given on packaging.
    2. Grill the vegetables and tofu on both sides until golden. On the right is a logo photo of the bad boy I used to grill my ingredients.


    1. Heat a small saucepan to medium. When it's hot, dry roast the cumin. Then toss in the garlic and chili peppers. Cook them until brown (not burned). If they start to stick, add a few splashes of cold water. I decided to use pine nuts last minute, but now would be a good time to add them.
    2. Add in salt, sauce and brown rice.
    Optional: I added about 1/4 cup of water at this point, because I like the sauce to be a little thinner.
    3. Leave this mixture on the heat while you assemble the rolls, giving it a quick stir every couple of minutes.
    4. Roll a few pieces of mushroom and a slice of tofu into the eggplant strips as shown in the photos.
    5. Turn off the heat, and add in the onions.
    6. Final Assembly: Split the rice mixture into two bowls. Top the rice layer with the eggplant rolls, and then place your garnish as per your liking. (I just got back a bowl that I painted at crock-a-doodle, and I was really excited to use it for the first time.)

    Saturday, August 15, 2015

    Unofficial Hiatus Message of the Unestablished Blogger

    O riginally, it was my intention to edit and type up this message. But ultimately, I deemed it a waste of time. So here you are, and here is my commendable (more like condemnable) handwriting. Thanks for reading.

    Monday, July 27, 2015


    S ometime over the last year, my dad purchased natural oils for scented oil burners. I had heard that candles were cancerous, and while I thought something of it, it was not one of my greatest concerns. We hear that almost everything sold in stores is cancerous in some regard. However, there was still plently of caution on my end in terms of lighting candles. When I really took the time to educate myself was during a recent dinner that my sister lit a candle for the burner in order to obtain a pleasant aroma. I knew that the oil was natural, and because of this I could not get my eyes off the burner's backside, which concealed (from where I was sitting), what I knew was far from natural. My research from that night is what inspired this video.

    Update: My younger sister has informed me that I incorrectly pronounced paraffin. I realize that it was fairly ignorant on my part to not have checked the pronunciation beforehand for one of the central terms used in my video, and I'll surely be on the lookout for those British-accented "a" sounds in the future.