Each Spring, Denis and I plant hot peppers and other foods to grow. Living on the beach hasn’t change that. We have been able to grow kale, collards, red peppers, figs, herbs, and more.
We buy supplies and the vegetables we are planning on growing at different places. One place we like a lot is the organic nursery at Food and Thought in Naples, FL. We also get edible plants, vegetables, and other small fruit trees from our local farmers in Homestead and Miami.
We make our own compost in two batches and then mix it with the existing soil as well as new organic soil to grow food.
Even though we are not great at gardening, we have been able to get a lot of food from our own tiny urban backyard. Our neighbors also grow many greens and herbs in a much bigger space than we do and often share with us their collards and kale. And since I recently started to eat a little steamed vegetables, I enjoy steaming collards for less than 10 minutes to stay alkaline all the time.
Planting a edible garden is not that difficult even for busy people like Denis and I with no green thumbs! So I hope more of you get inspired to convert your backyards into a food source. Not only is a rewarding experience, but also a great family project!
One of the most important parts of planning your vacation or traveling is to know where to find food and restaurants. Some people plan ahead, specially if they have specific requests for food or if they love food traveling as much as I do. As a raw vegan and eco-activist, I always plan ahead my food stops before I head out in to my destination. One of my favorites sites to help me plan is Happycow.net where I can find all the local vegetarian and vegan places to eat and shop. As a full time South Florida resident, there are several places here for my fellow vegetarians/vegans to eat and shop. So here is a list of my favorite South Florida places to shop for healthy food:
Josh’s Organic Garden & Juice Bar – Hollywood
Josh’s is probably one of the best, if not THE best, farmers market in the country. Most of the produce is organically grown locally and in Pennsylvania and treated with the utmost care. You can hear Josh scream and see him run every Sunday as he tries to keep the veggies and fruits in the best condition possible. Josh’s greens in the winter beat any store in the county. Once you eat his greens, you cannot accept anything less.
The juice bar is out of this world too! Even though you may feel the prices are high, other supermarkets charge way more for less. Josh’s Juice bar uses their own greens, veggies, and fruits right from the market to make the juices and smoothies. Nothing is processed or pasteurized.
Josh’s Organic Garden is open on Sundays from 9:30 to 5:31 pm and it’s located on Hollywood Beach’s Boardwalk on Harrison street. The Juice Bar is open Sundays 9:30am to 5:31pm, Monday to Thursday 7pm to 9pm.
Glaser Farms – Coconut Grove
The actual farm is located way south in Homestead, but on Saturdays Stan and Tracy bring the farm to Coconut Grove from 11am to 7pm. Located just west of the main Coco Walk center on Grand avenue, Glaser Farmer’s Market is a great place to hang out and enjoy delicious organic, vegetarian, raw food including ice cream and pies! Other vendors set up tents around the market making locals and visitors feel at home.
Marando Farms – Fort Lauderdale
Fairly new, Marando Farms offers great prices for mostly non-organic produce. Some are locally grown from other farmers and some from their own farm. They also offer eggs from their own chickens and sometimes you can see the chickens running around. Great for the kids! They recently open another “wing” for high quality pet foods, so now you can get your food and your pet’s food in the same place!
Marando Farms is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm; Closed on Wednesdays.
Other places for Organic Produce
Other places in South Florida where you can find great prices for organic produce include Green Wave Cafe in Plantation, a raw vegan restaurant. On Mondays Green Wave opens for their “Organic Market” from 8am to 2pm.
Thrive Restaurant in Miami Beach and LifeFood Gourmet in Coral Way also have Farmer’s Market days. You can visit their sites to see more information on when they offer organic produce for sale.
On the way back from the market Saturday, we were having a discussion in the car about creamy sweet dishes vs. creamy salty dishes. We all agreed we liked both. And that brought a memory of spinach dip. So I went to Josh’s Market Sunday but wasn’t able to find spinach to make it. Instead, I decided to change the recipe and get dandelions and arugula, which I very often don’t buy because I’m not a fan of them even though I know they are good for you.
Here is what you’ll need:
Arugula (abut a handful or two)
Red and Green Dandelions (about a handful)
6 leaves of basil
6 shitake mushrooms cut (as big as wanted)
4 mini sweet peppers (red and orange) chopped
4 green scallions chopped
6 stalks of broccolini chopped
For the sauce:
1/2 cup of cashews
1 TBS unpasteurized white miso paste
1 Tea spoon olive oil
1 Tea spoon sesame oil
Italian seasoning to taste
Salt to taste
water (as needed)
I like to start with the sauce so that I can let the veggies soak the flavor, so blend all the ingredients from the sauce until smooth. In a mixing bowl, add the mushrooms, peppers, broccolini and scallions and mix with some salt and oil.
Take the dandelion, basil and arugula in the food processor and pulse until obtaining the desired consistency for the dip. Ensure that the leaves do not become liquid but chopped enough for the dip. Mix in with the vegetables and pour the sauce and mix well. I let it sit there for a few minutes to soak the flavors. You can also add garlic to the sauce before mixing.
About 4 weeks ago, Denis bought 30 coconuts and we had a feast! From drinking the water to making creams, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, etc. The following week he bought 20 coconuts, and the week after that 15 coconuts.
By the end of the third week I couldn’t come up with any more coconut dishes, and Denis had made coconut cream and stored it in the refrigerator. I didn’t want to waste it, and I needed breakfast but was tired of coconut smoothies, so I made cereal!
I soaked some nuts, seeds, goji berries, and raisins in water overnight. The next morning I mixed in the coconut cream with cinnamon powder, maca, mesquite, salt, and palm sugar to taste.
I took it to work and when I got to the office all the flavors had come together rather nicely. So that night I soaked the nuts, seeds, etc but only for a short time. After I rinsed everything, I mixed them in the coconut cream with the same powders, etc and stored overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning I had an amazing breakfast! The flavors of all the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and powders had blended and made an amazing cereal!
The coconut cream was made by blending the coconut meat and water from a young fresh local coconut. You can add extra water or more coconut butter to make as smooth as desired. The water from young coconuts is very energizing and mildly alkaline.
Following with my Green Series, here are some tips to start transitioning to an environmental friendly kitchen.
Cleaners & Paper
As I mentioned in my post about green tips for your bathroom, I recommend using more natural cleaners. I make my own cleaning spray using vinegar, water, and soap. I also use baking soda and vinegar to clean my kitchen sink or my vitamix after many green smoothies which usually leave a “yellowish” coat on my vitamix. I avoid using paper towels to clean; instead I have a nice supply of organic cotton kitchen towels that I purchased at Target for a reasonable price. I don’t purchase paper napkins either, instead I use the small kitchen towel or cloth napkins when I have guests over. I love using cloth/cotton towels because they are reusable and very inexpensive in the long run.
One of my favorite things I do everyday is saving my kitchen scraps for my compost. Not only I avoid creating more trash, but also I use vegetable scraps for my compost which eventually go to my edible garden. In fact, since we started composting, our weekly trash is about a 3 gallon bag! Mainly the trash I have left over is the corn cups I get from Josh’s Organic Garden from my daily juice because most of the rest is recycle paper or some (very minimal) plastic containers. This is one of the biggest advantages of being a raw foodist, there is very little trash if you compost.
However, if you are still eating microwavable food and take out, please look for recycle containers and avoid using new plastic containers when you order food. Bring your own containers so that you can avoid making more trash. For more information on composting, there is tons of sites that are very easy to use. Also, for trash bags, I recommend bags made of corn that will biodegrade instead of your regular plastic bags that will outlive humanity.
Yes, food is a way to green your kitchen! Buy organic food and hopefully from local growers. Buy more vegetables and fruits instead of pre-packaged foods that create trash and are not healthy for you. See it all leads to being healthy… yeah you catch my drift now. I write a lot about this, so here are some posts on food and environment.
Also, start buying organic herbs and seasonings, star transitioning everything in your pantry to healthier organic foods. For example, if you eat tons of pepper, next time you run out, purchase an organic pepper (most likely) in a reusable container that you can later refill. You don’t have to invest tons of money all at once on switching to healthier foods if you start slowly as they run out.
Energy & Kitchen Appliances
Using the same principle in replacing your food, start replacing your appliances to energy saving ones or better yet, get rid of them. Starting with the microwave! Are you still using it? I mean really? Get rid of it instead of replacing it, and if you still need something to heat up snacks and food, get a small toaster oven. In addition, consider using your regular oven less times a week or use it more efficiently; for example, prepare 3 or more meals that you can save for later days all at once.
Change the settings in your refrigerator to a lower temperature. Most times they are set too high when you don’t use most of the space. Unplug your appliances when not using them everyday. I have two surge protectors where all my appliances are plugged and before I leave for work, I turn the surge protectors off that way I don’t have to unplug each appliance. Avoid using the dishwasher if you have one, and please don’t tell me you do cause I’ll cry!
One of the biggest (my top 5) advantages of being a raw foodist is that our energy bill decreased immensely since we stopped using our stove, and now in our new apartment, we don’t even have a stove!
Utensils & Kitchen Containers
Organic Fruits & Bamboo Bowl
Avoid buying plastic; please really, I mean it! Plastic is the worst thing ever! It’s made of oil and can’t be recycled most of the times. So no more Glad, instead buy glass and bamboo for your utensils. Again, you don’t have to give away all 100 Tupperware pieces you have (that don’t even match anymore) all at once, but as things get lost (and wind up in the ocean), replace them for more environmental friendly choices like glass and bamboo. Unless you really want to get rid of it all after reading this very inspiring post, but please don’t throw it away (there is really no throwing away, it means burying in and hoping it will decompose after 200 years), so donate it to a poor college student, goodwill, or a relative. You can post it in FreeCycle.org and someone will take it.
Ok so those are more than 5 tips for sure, but hopefully one will stay with you today and forever! If you have other “Green Kitchen” tips, please share them with us.
When I started this blog, I decided I didn’t want to rant and be negative. However, lately I’ve been feeling absolutely fed up about people not awakening to what is happening and taking action. I know that part of my frustration is because I don’t want to “convert” people and preach, so I stay quiet and don’t express how much other people hurt me by not participating in conserving resources or protecting the environment. So in this blog I’m actually going to complain and rant about this situation, and then offer my suggestions as to what people should be doing to contribute to the planet. Specially raw vegans and people with children!
Warning: If this is the first blog you are reading in my site, please stop now and read everything else cause in this one I have nothing positive to say!… well maybe at the end.
Ok, so first let me start by complaining about the people who are raw vegans, and I’m referring specifically to the ones that don’t recycle, don’t re-use, don’t compost, don’t drive fuel efficient cars, and don’t simply care. I go to a farmer’s market on Saturdays and noticed that they don’t recycle at the market. So EVERYTHING becomes trash! Everyone that eats there, uses the plastic containers and utensils provided that later wind up in the trash. Every juice at the market is bottled in plastic as well, which winds up in the trash. I’ve been observing the customers of the market, and they don’t even care, and since I live in my own little “green” world, where everyone recycles and reuses, and doesn’t waste, I didn’t realize how much trash they wind up with at the end of the day.
I brought back all my glass containers for them to reuse and another customer asked me why I did that. My answer is: if they can reuse it and don’t have to purchase more glass containers, they may be able to reduce the price of the butters, olives, etc that are packaged in these glass containers. He was looking at me like I had giving him the best news of his life.
When I sit at the market to eat my food, for which I bring my own containers, utensils, and reusable towels for, I see people drinking juice after juice and throwing away the plastic bottles. Then these same people eat their food and throw away the utensils. Then, they order a dessert or ice cream and take a BRAND NEW PLASTIC utensil which they then throw away again! Oh and if they have another ice cream, then they get a brand new spoon and repeat!
What’s the point in being a raw vegan (of any flavor) if you still an aware ridiculous person that doesn’t care for the environment? This is why I say that food is not all that matters!
So now for the people with kids! One of the reasons why I choose not to have kids is because there is not much to leave them. Water is going to run out in a few years, if we are lucky maybe two decades. And that’s just one very important resource that I’m using as an example. So why have kids? So that they can suffer for my peers’ and my ancestors’ mistakes and laziness and greed? No thank you!
But if I was a parent, I would certainly be doing EVERYTHING in my power to leave something of substance to my children. And I don’t mean a car, a house, a trust fund; I mean clean water, clean air, stable fauna and flora, a world to live in.
How is it possible to bring a person into this world and be so unconscious and irresponsible? Driving an SUV, living in big house that waste resources, eating shitty food and feeding kids that same shitty food, not being conscious of the impact of every action. Every piece of trash, napkin, paper towel, diaper, toy, clothes, hamburgers, soda, designer coffee, bottle of water you use and consume came from somewhere possibly a natural resource, an animal, or an underpaid person/child in China or Bangladesh. How will you explain that to your children?
Now that I’ve complained enough and probably got many people (and possibly friends) pissed off, I’m starting a “Green” series of blog posts that can help all of you zombies out there to contribute in your daily actions little by little to wake up and smell the trash you are making. So I’ll post them as I write.
This is How YOU Make Me Feel
Your actions hurt me and the world. I cry when….
I see you grab paper towels, paper napkins, printer paper, anything paper and forget that was once a tree.
I hear you letting water run and be wasted.
I see you throwing away a recycle or reusable plastic/glass bottle.
I see you uses plastic bag for your shopping and then throwing them away in the trash.
I see you purchase a brand new plastic tupperware instead of reusing containers from other foods.
I see you feed yourself and your children garbage.
I see you contribute to companies that abuse children and workers.
I see you feel up your stupid useless hummer, your porsche cayenne, or your vw toureg‘s gas tank.
I see you water your useless lawn instead of planting food.
I see you vote for people like Sara Palin that kill animals for fun.
If you care about me, your children, your family, and your friends, please take a moment to think about how you can change one thing in your life TODAY and contribute to save resources.
One Saturday morning I woke up waiting a green juice. So I took everything green out of the refrigerator and juice it. I usually don’t juice greens because I get a fantastic green juice at Josh’s Organic Garden called the “Thank God” five days a week. Not only does Josh have the best greens ever, but also their juicing method is out of the world.
So I have gotten used to drinking green juices five days a week and Saturdays they are not open. I washed all my greens and juiced them including two apples because my juicer is not as great as the one at the Juice Bar. And now it has become a tradition to wake up Saturday mornings and juice the greens.
Here is what I juice:
3 types of Kale (dinosaur, red, and green)
3 types of chard (red, yellow, and white)
Florida Romaine lettuce
Dandelion, Spinach, Collard Greens
Celery, Carrots, Cucumber
2 apples (optional)
I juice everything and put it in a jar, mix in about 2/3 of water, and some pH drops. I save half of that for my sweetie and he adds a lime/lemon to his juice, and I add the two juiced apples to mine.
Even though it is still surprising to me and most of my friends why people still need an explanation of why local organic food is better and a healthier choice, I wanted to explain my thoughts on this subject… why I choose to go with local organic foods.
As an environmentalist vegan raw foodist, it is pretty obvious to most of why I choose organic vegetables. However, I always think that even if I didn’t classify myself in those categories, vegan, raw foodist, environmentalist, I would choose organic vegetables for the following reasons. Organic grown vegetables don’t contain chemicals, have higher amount of nutrients as supposed to conventional, and are great for the environment.
Not Food, Chemicals!
Conventional farming uses soil that has been extracted of natural minerals and fertilized with chemicals. They are also sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Pesticides are chemical compounds used to control insects and other organisms that may reduce agricultural productivity; most are toxic and are sprayed on our food! Herbicides are chemicals that kill weeds and plants. Conventional vegetables have to be washed with soaps and special cleaning liquids to remove residues of the pesticides sprayed on them. What is the point of eating anything if you are not getting anything good out of it? Have you ever wondered why all the tomatoes in the conventional isle of your local supermarket look the same? Like clones of each other? Well most crops are genetically engineered to grow faster, cheaper, and last longer. They have spent at least 2 weeks in the back of a truck from the moment they were picked from the farm and arrived to a distribution center where they will be dispatched to a supermarket. Most conventional vegetables are tasteless, not ripe, and go bad very quickly. Yes they are cheaper… in the short term, in the long run, you wind up paying more because they go bad sooner and they wind up in your garbage as if you were throwing money away. Local organic vegetables last longer because they are fresh and given to you right from the farmer’s hand.
It is also known that most nutrients are missing in conventional vegetables, therefore causing one to get hungry faster and not prevent sickness because of missing antioxidants. When unripe vegetables are picked and packed to be transported, their growth stops. They can no longer absorb nutrients from soil even though the soil is filled with chemicals as I mentioned earlier. Nutrients are important because frankly if I would waste time and money eating something that is not giving me my ROI, I rather not eat and live on supplements! Yes taste is important too and therefore if you have ever compared organic strawberries and conventional ones, you know that organic strawberries are super tasty! Nothing compares to a wonderful organic cucumber from the farmer’s hand.
Save the Planet One Carrot at the Time!
So why do organic vegetables help the environment and conventional vegetables do not? By reducing the consumption of conventional vegetable and food, the pesticide and herbicide production decreases as well. In addition, most conventional food travels about 1,500 miles to get to a distribution center; this means a truck in using that much gas to get pesticide unripe food to your refrigerator. It also requires packing which most times is not recyclable or compostable and therefore adding to more garbage in landfills that will take more than a lifetime to decompose. Local farmers do not use packaging and most times don’t transport the vegetables to sell them. Organic farming does not use pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds. The fertilizer used in organic farming is most times produced by the farmer from compost or bought from other organic farmers.
I have more reasons why local organic food is the best. It supports local farmers, and therefore supports local economies, not to mention that you know where you food came from and didn’t spend weeks in the back of a refrigerated truck. Of course, if you don’t have a local farmer’s market, the organic food at your local supermarket is probably as good as conventional minus the pesticides.
I have chosen these three reasons because they are the most common for everyone to make the choice to turn to local organic food, no pesticides and chemicals, more nutrients, and environmentally friendly production. In general I can understand why people still buy conventional food. Organic vegetables are more expensive and one has to find the right place to buy them. I consider it an investment in my health, less time at doctors and less money on pills and medicines. However, each person has to decide what is better for them. I do hope that with these words, people reading my site can get a general idea of why I chose organic over conventional.
Vote with your money!
Additional Reading and References
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins
Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
The Newman’s Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That benefit You and the Place You Live by Nell Newman
Wake Up and Smell the Planet: The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Grist Guide to Greening Your Day by Grist Magazine
Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability by Greg Horn
Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman
This website is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information provided in Panyvinito.com is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Please contact your primary care physician before making changes to your diet or lifestyle.
What is Pan y Vinito?
Pan y Vinito is my nickname. When I was born, a movie was released called "Marcelino Pan Y Vino." My grandfather saw the movie and named me after the movie. So from then on he called me "Marcelita Pan Y Vino." Years later the name became "Pan y Vinito."
The words Pan y Vino actually mean "bread and wine."