Sparrowsfly’s Blog

Black Bean Soup

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As winter approaches and my wallet becomes lighter from holiday shopping, my favorite meal to make is soup. It warms me up and is usually relatively cheap. This black bean soup is super simple and fast to put together on a busy night.

olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 can of black beans

1 cup of broth

1/4 cup of salsa

1/2 baguette toasted and cubed, optional: top with cheese or butter and garlic

salt and pepper, to taste

Saute onions with olive oil and salt in pot until translucent Add black beans, salsa and broth. Simmer until hot. Use a handheld blender to blend the soup until about half of the beans are blended. You still want to see some whole black beans. Pour soup into bowls and top with the cubed bread. Enjoy!




Written by sparrowsfly

November 7, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Easter Bunny Cake

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Over Easter weekend I spent a lot of time cooking and enjoying my family’s company. Along with my usual assortment of recipes, I decided to try something a little more creative and made a pair bunny cakes. I found the directions for the shape of the cakes here, at the Betty Crocker website. I used carrot cake and coconut frosting recipes from the cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance.

One entire recipe made two bunny cakes. I omitted some of the more expensive ingredients (macadamia nuts and crystalized ginger) for a cheaper, simpler recipe. The cake was delicious and no one had a clue it was vegan. I baked it in two 9 inch round pans (even though the recipe calls for 8 inch round pans) and had to take it out about 10 minutes early. To get a perfectly cooked cake just watch the cake until the sides begin to pull away from the pan. To double check I  stick a tooth pick in the middle; if it comes out clean then the cake is ready.

Before frosting, I cooled the cake for 4 hours. I left the frosting out at room temperature for an hour before decorating the cake. Once I was ready, I frosted the tops of both the cakes. I also put some frosting on the plate where I was going to place the cakes to hold them in place. I followed the instructions and cut the cakes in half and placed them on their sides. The Vegan with a Vengeance carrot cake was perfectly firm enough for this kind of project without sacrificing any of the moisture or deliciousness. Cutting the cake into the right shape was easier than I thought it would be. I used a small serrated knife and a gentle touch.

Once the cake was frosted I decorated the  bunnies with candy. This is the fun part, so be creative with what kind of candy you use. To make the ears I used white chocolate. I simply melted the chocolate in the microwave, at 30 second intervals. Make sure to stir the chocolate in between the 30 second intervals because melted chocolate holds its form in the microwave. It usually takes about 3-4 times for the chocolate to be completely melted. I then pour the chocolate onto wax paper and let it harden. Try to get it in the general shape of the ears that you want (I cut out a pattern from a piece of paper). Once cooled in the refrigerator (maybe about 10-15 minutes) shave off any of the excess chocolate to smooth out the shape. Take the left over chocolate and melt it again; this time add a drop of red food coloring to make the pink inside of the ear. Make the same shape as the white part of the ear but smaller. Put some melted chocolate in between the white and pink part of the ear to hold it together.

The end result was quite fun and made all the kids (and adults) laugh. At one point, with all the camera flashes, I thought we had celebrities in the house.

Brown Eyed Easter Bunny Cake Blue Eyed Easter Bunny Cake

Written by sparrowsfly

April 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Veggie “Tuna” Salad

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Veggie “Tuna” Salad sandwiches are a staple in my house. It’s super easy and delicious. I often make a large batch and eat it for lunch.

Veggie Tuna Salad 1


Makes 4 sandwiches

1 can garbanzo beans

1  1/2 tablespoons of mayo (or vegan alternative)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/3 cup diced onion

1/2 cup chopped pickles

1 teaspoon dill

salt and pepper to taste

optional: 1 tablespoon of capers minced, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 1/4 of fresh chopped parsley

Put all ingredients into the bowl. Use a fork or mashing device to mash all the ingredients together until all the beans are broken apart. Toast bread pile on some of the “tuna” salad top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato or other favorite toppings.

For dinner serve with Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Fries, which makes a really colorful delicious dish that even my omni boyfriend enjoys. For more of a “chicken” salad take out the dill and pickles and add raisins, carrots and walnuts.

Written by sparrowsfly

April 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Living Green

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Living green will lead to a more fulfilling life. 

Another reason I became a vegetarian is because the production of meat is one of the greatest negative impactors of our environment. Raising livestock uses up vast amounts of land, pollutes water, causes deforestation and destroys the ocean. For more information read this short article on the goveg website.

I try to be careful about my consumerism. Being aware of your impact on the environment will make you more in tuned with your surroundings. I’m still practicing but along with being vegetarian, I’ve begun composting, recycling more, and buying less. It’s amazing how much less trash we have in my house; about one bag every 3 weeks. Doing simple things like waiting until bottles of shampoos and body creams are completely gone before buying new ones, not buying new clothes until old clothes have lived out their use.

Living on less allows you to live more. You won’t just feel better about not having so much stuff to clean, you also won’t be in debt, leaving you with more time and money to enjoy yourself. And more time to enjoy yourself will mean a happier and more compassionate you.

Written by sparrowsfly

April 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Vegetarianism: For Your Health

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I believe the first step to being more compassionate in life is to have compassion for yourself. Having great self-esteem is something I struggle with everyday but I make it a point to face my struggle. Taking care of your health is simplest way to help boost your self-esteem. I became a vegetarian not only for ethical reasons but also because I realized giving up meat was the best thing I could do for my body. I recently read a story about a diabetic’s turn to a plant-based diet and how it completely changed her life; this story is a must-read and completely encompasses all the reasons why you are responsible for your own health. Eating well and moving once in awhile will make you happier, being happy is essential to living compassionately. You must be able to feel your own world before you can reach out and touch the worlds of those around you.

Written by sparrowsfly

April 7, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Vegetarian

Inspired by Animals

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Since I am an avid animal fan I get told many amazing animal stories. Today I was inspired once again by an animal; this time it was an Australian pet dog named, Sophie Tucker. I read her story here, on Discovery News. Reading this story made me think about how important it is  that we respect our pets for the complex creatures they truly are. While most days they seems just like simple, lazy beings, drooling over your lunch, when put to the challenge their endurance, desire to live and intricate think-tanks blossom. I enjoy these stories because they not only reinforce my admiration for all animals but they also make me take a moment to remember to be grateful for the animals in my life.

Written by sparrowsfly

April 6, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Animals

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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Ghandi

Animals are very close to my heart, hence my vegetarianism and degree in animal science. I’m one of those crazy people that when you ask me about my cat I can come up with an endless string of stories about his crazy antics. Then I’ll move on to tell you about how exceptionally cute my dog is. My love for animals will show up on this blog as random philosophical thoughts, vegetarian recipes and recommendations for cruelty-free products.

Caring for animals has taught me to be sensitive to my surroundings and compassionate to all beings. These are traits that I am proud of and traits I want to become better at. I hope through my own self-discovery I will be able to help others find ways to incorporate more sensitivity and compassion into their own lives. In our disconnected worlds it is too easy to become numb. I’m searching for ways to reawaken my spirits and remember to stay alive.

Written by sparrowsfly

April 4, 2009 at 3:02 am

Posted in Animals

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