Created Whole Tortillas Video

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Healthy Vegan Dinner Recipes

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Vegan Pizza with Cashew Cheese

Brenda, Registered Dietitian and Lead of Product Nutrition for Created Whole,  is currently teaching a healthy eating class, that meets weekly, at Nature’s Food Market & Juice Bar, in Bakersfield, California.  The class, based on The Full Plate Diet, increases the amounts of food eaten, but by changing the types of food, most people find that they have increased energy, feel satisfied throughout the day, and actually lose weight.  The lifestyle program focuses on foods that are high in fiber and whole grains, while limiting those that are full of sugar and other unnatural additives.  The program, although not designed vegan or vegetarian, is essentially, the way that Brenda cooks and home and has taught her children to eat.  It is also the premise of what Created Whole believes in- food in its natural form.

Here are some real food recipes, that are easy, vegan, high in fiber, and tasty.  Try the recipes for dinner!

Savory Lentils

2 cups dry lentils

6 cups boiling water

1 large onion, chopped

1 (19 oz) can stewed diced tomatoes

½ cup tomato paste or ¾ cup tomato puree

2 ½ – 3 tsp salt

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp sweet basil

 

Add lentils and chopped onion to boiling water; simmer until lentils are done (about 45 minutes).  Add remaining ingredients and simmer a few more minutes to blend flavors.  May add water for desired consistency—soup should be fairly thick.  Serves 6 – 8.

Pizza

Whole wheat pocket bread, sandwich rounds, or pizza crust (choose 100% whole wheat items)

Italian sauce

Sliced olives

Bell pepper, chopped or sliced

Onion, chopped or sliced

Optional toppings:  sliced or chopped zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, pineapple or tomatoes

Cashew cheese spread

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place pocket bread on baking sheet.  Spread Italian sauce on pocket bread then top with olives, peppers and onions.  Place cashew cheese spread in zipper seal bag and snip corner.  Drizzle cheese spread over pizza. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes.  Serve with fresh garden salad.

 

Cashew Cheese Spread

6 oz tomato juice

¼ cup water

2 oz pimento peppers

¼ cup lemon juice

1 cup cashews, raw

1 tsp salt

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 med potato, baked and peeled

 

Place all ingredients except potato in blender and whiz until smooth.  While blender is running, add baked, peeled potato and continue blending until very smooth.  Mixture can be quite thick and may require brief stirring with spatula while blending.  Some blenders may require an additional 1-2 tablespoons water added to recipe for smoother blending process.  For pizza, place in zipper seal sandwich bag and snip corner and drizzle on pizza like grated cheese.

 

Tofu Dill Dressing

1 cup soft tofu

2 tsp oil

4 tsp water

1/8 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp dill (fresh preferred)

 

Blend tofu with oil, garlic water and salt until smooth.  Pour into bowl and add dill.  Chill.  Serve with salad or as dip for raw veggies.

 

Garden Salad

½ cup baby spinach

½ cup baby salad greens

2-3 thin slices sweet onion

2 Tbsp diced red or yellow sweet pepper

4-6 cherry tomatoes cut in halves

1 Tbsp shredded carrots or red cabbage

2-3 avocado slices

 

Lightly toss salad items together in bowl and serve with Tofu Dill Dressing or dressing of choice. Yield: 1-2 servings.

 

If You Really Knew Me

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Life sometimes takes turns that we do not expect; surprising us, challenging us, and changing us.  We plan and hope and dream, all very valuable in helping us navigate successfully through life, but often, instead of just goal setting and dream weaving, we latch onto an unhealthy control in an effort “to make everything ok.”

I’m not sure what everything means, and I still haven’t figured out what ok is.  Maybe ok is perfect, but if I know, fundamentally, that perfect doesn’t exist, why do I try so hard to achieve vapor?

When will I inherently be ”enough?”

As alone as I may feel in my quiet quest to figure out who I am and where I stand, these questions haunt others, and they are at the core of every persons’ existence.

As humans, we search, and yearn, and spend countless hours concocting ways for people to acknowledge us, love us, and accept us, and frankly, it’s exhausting.  Our hearts our broken, our confidence dismantled, and our spirits crushed, just to start the process the next day, when we interact with another, and say in our soul, “Please just love me for me.”

Attractive and successful, Rob Lowe, with millions of adoring fans, makes a statement in his autobiography, saying, “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t like me nearly as much.”

In an effort to avoid rejection, we take on a job description of self-creator; forming, shaping, and molding ourselves into what “fits.”  This is a duty that was never, and will never be our responsibility.

Last night, during a moment of quietness at work, I read the following words, contemplating the gentle reprimand being communicated towards me.

What I read was this:

“Arise and go down to the potter’s house and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in My hand….” Jeremiah 18:2-6

I often argue and become angry with God, because he took me here, or there, or I had to experience this, or that in my life.  But, I thought I was a “better person” before?  I thought I had my life together.  Now?  Well, I feel like chaos on the inside, with the facade of charisma on the outside, and a whole lot of confusion in-between.

Maybe you understand.

With this verse, He so simply, and beautifully communicated that I am not the creator of my life, and what I thought was a good piece of clay, was just marred, but that He will not leave me as that!

A lot of my stress in my life comes from trying to take over the job of the potter, making me into my own creation. But I don’t own that business!  That’s His realm of experience.  He is creating me. He is creating you, out of the marred material, into something else. Something better.  Something new.  The process is done with love, care, and thoughtfulness.

He chooses to create us again.  Into what He sees to be good.

I want instant gratification.  I want the fix now.  Well, timeframes are irrelevant.  Divine Creativity does not fit into human limitations.

And the most beautiful part?  He is willing to sit with my marred piece clay, for however long it takes, and says, each day, each moment, “I really, REALLY know you.  And I love every part of you.”

Can I Outsource My Life?

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Oh little tortilla blog, how you have been neglected!  I have been too preoccupied and entertained with my new project, The Flight Attendant Life.  Also, with my recent trips to Barcelona and Hawaii, that has left little time to even think about tortillas (and I feel guilty about that).

I’ve realized that what I thought would be a little project of transferring my website to another host and figuring out SEO stuff so Google can find me, is too technical and completely over my head for me.

I was getting so frustrated that my fun and creative project was turning into this dreaded task.  This was supposed to be a hobby, not a chore!  I wasn’t going to deal with this mess, so I found a solution, or what I hope is a solution.  Jury is still out.

Enter the beautiful world of outsourcing and my new exploration into finding other people to do stuff for me.

I recently read a book titled My Life As An Experiment by AJ Jacobs.  Jacobs spends every month engaged in radical lifestyle experiments, from always telling the truth (i.e. You are fat), pretending to be a beautiful women, to outsourcing his entire life.  He outsources disagreements with his wife, interactions with co-workers and editors, and basically anything that he can.  Obviously, he’s going for the humor of it all, but outsourcing is a convenient and efficient way to accomplish tasks, especially in our digital world.  It doesn’t matter so much if the person you are working with is sitting next to you or in Mumbai.  These days more “conversations” happen through text messages than in a verbal manner anyway.

Many individuals as well as large and small companies outsource.  It makes sense.  Why pay $50 an hour for someone to complete a project when you could pay $8?  And, these freelancers work for themselves or other companies so you are not paying for that individual’s health insurance.

I looked at various outsourcing websites, registered with a few, and settled on working with a company/individual I found through Guru.com.  So far, so good.  I’ve submitted my project, received a quote, accepted the project terms, sent over information, and paid the amount agreed upon through the SafePay system Guru uses.

Now, I’m feeling like I’m living my life as an experiment…huh.

You think we could find someone in India to make tortillas for us?  I’m sick of the factory delays.

Other outsourcing websites:

Elance.com
Freelancer.com
ODesk.com

Tortilla Factory Updates: 2

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We are getting closer and closer to opening day.  The equipment was moved into the factory yesterday.  The following are pictures of the latest developments.

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Tortilla Factory Updates

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Here are more up-to-date pictures from the work being done on the factory.

We recently purchased a dough divider that is being shipped from Connecticut. We hope to move the tortilla machine into the space within the next couple of weeks. The goal was to have production going by now, so that Nature’s Food Market & Juice Bar would be able to make their Raw Pumpkin Cheesecakes for Thanksgiving. But, if you contact Wendy at the Market, you may be able to place a special order.

Tim (Created Whole) and Chuck (Nature’s Food Market) have been hard at work everyday getting the place up to health code. If you refer back to a few blog posts ago, you will see what the space looked like a month ago.

In a few weeks we will post before and after pictures.

Our dream is happening!

Fix The World

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Dr. Steve with the kids in Haiti

If you read the December 2011 issue of Outside Magazine, you will find a feature entitled, “The Outside Guide To Fixing The World.”  Outside made their pick of the 30 best- smartly managed groups and charitable organizations with transparent financials, efficient spending, and track record of on-the-ground success.

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about what organizations we, at Created Whole can support and be part of.  I believe that businesses must not only exist to earn a profit, but also to reach humanity.  Companies must make a conscious and determined effort to give back to the world.

Last year, I read the book, Half The Sky, a book that candidly addresses women’s issues in the world,  namely three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape, and maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute.  The tragedies are terrible, but solutions to these problems can be found, not by changing entire communities and livelihoods, but simply through educating women, among other things.

Because I have an entrepreneurial spirit, one story that has remained with me centers around the concept of microlending.  Microlending is the supply of loans, savings, and other basic financial services to the poor (http://cgap.org).  In developing countries, microlending allows women to start businesses through small loans that they are able to pay back over time.  This allows them the possibility of being financially independent, to build confidence in themselves, and to earn respect from their husbands and village.

One of the organizations Outside Magazine recommends is Kiva, a San Francisco based non-profit, that since 2005, has provided $248 million in microloans to small entrepreneurs in developing countries.  When on a trip to East Africa 2004, Matt Flannery, a former software engineer at TiVo, saw how much difference small investments can make, and realized he needed to help.  He launched Kiva, and currently the organization is now working to start microfinancing programs in the U.S., beginning with Detroit and New Orleans.

There are hundreds of ways that you can give back and help those around you. Some ways will speak to your soul and tug at your heart.  You may find you love children or you want to help bring fresh water to a village in Africa.  Find where you fit and step out and make a difference.

If you are interested in projects like Half The Sky, check out Orange County based International Princess Project, empowering women formerly enslaved in prostitution, to repair broken lives and restore their sense of self through providing vocational training and dignified work for women.

International Princess Project:  http://www.intlprincess.org/

ADRA, which stands for Adventist Development & Relief Agency, seeks to identify and address social injustice and deprivation in developing countries.  You can visit ADRAs Gift Catalog and personally choose what you would like to give to, whether it be sponsoring a child’s education or feeding a family for a month.

Here is the list from Outside Magazine of non-profit organizations. Also, check in your area for local non-profits.  Either way, constantly be looking for ways to improve your immediate world.  One small act, done consistently, with the combined effort of others, does a lot to create a better place for everyone to live.

December 2011:  Outside’s List of Non-Profits

Shelterbox: Practical tools for disaster victims. Shelterbox.Org

American Himalayan Foundation: Provides resources for education, health care, and cultural preservation in Nepal, Tibet, and Tibetan refugee settlements in India. Himalayan-Foundation.Org

Oceana: Conducts studies and research, inform lawmakers, and protect degraded oceans through concrete policy. Oceana.Org

Macro Sea. Turns “junk spaces” into inspired community rec centers and art projects. Macro-Sea.com

Adaptive Action Sports: Gives disabled athletes a path to extreme activities. ADACS.Org
KIVA: Micro lending in developing countries.  KIVA.Org

1% For The Planet. Businesses pledging to give 1% of sales to vetted environmental groups. OnePercentForThePlanet.Org

Big City Mountaineers: Gives underprivileged city kids a chance to experience wilderness adventure.  Mountaineers.Org

Waves For Water: Recruits surfers to deliver water filters in their travels through developing countries. WavesForWater.Org

African Wildlife Foundation: Includes local people in conservation activism. AWF.Org

American Forests: Establish and protect state and national forests. AmericanForests.Org

World Bicycle Relief: Distributes and sells bikes in developing countries. BicycleRelief.Org

Water For People: Helps those in developing countries gain access to clean water. WaterForPeople.Org

Climate Counts: Scores corporations on their carbon footprint. ClimateCounts.Org

Arch Angel Ancient Tree Archive: Mission is to clean up the planet’s air and water and reverse the effects of climate change by cloning the world’s biggest and oldest trees. AncientTreeArchive.Org

Citizen Effect: Online fundraising platform that connects citizen philanthropists with vetted, small-scale projects around the world. CitizenEffect.Org

IOBY: Posts local environmental projects in NYC like urban farm start-ups. IOBY.Org

American Trails: dedicated to building, expanding, and safeguarding trail systems. AmericanTrails.Org

The Marine Mammal Center: Rescues sea mammals. MarineMammalCenter.Org

Afghan Child Education and Care Organization: creates safe homes for Afghani orphans. AFCECO.Org

Foundation Rwanda: Pays for education, medical, and other care for mothers and children of sexual assaults in Rwanda. FoundationRwanda.Org

Environmental Defense Fund:  devises solutions for environmental issues.  EDF.Org

Trekking For Kids:  Raises money for orphans by organized walkathon-style treks.  TrekkingForKids.Org

American Rivers:  Healing America’s waterways.  AmericanRivers.Org

Health In Harmony:  Better healthcare for Indonesian Indonesian farmers can improve the health of the forest. HealthInHarmony.Org

Pathfinder International:  Expands access to basic health and reproductive services so individuals in developing nations can plan families and build sustainable communities.  Pathfind.Org

Rainforest Alliance:  Aims to preserve the biodiversity of forests worldwide.  RainforestAlliance.Org

TechnoServe:  Connects entrepreneurs in developing countries with capital and educational resources. TechnoServe.Org

Vital Voices Global Partnership:  Combats human trafficking, supporting women entrepreneurs, and advancing women in politics and public leadership.  VitalVoices.Org

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