Spring shepherd’s pie, vegan style – let the lambs frolic!

I tested this pie at two separate spring potlucks, and the results were unanimous—it’s yummy! I Spring shepherd's pie, vegan styleadapted the recipe from Sarah Kramer’s Vegan À Go-Go, and I love the bright colours of the peas, carrots, and corn. For St. Patrick’s Day I made a four-leaf clover from peas, and for a Sunday brunch with my cousins I put a pea-heart on the pie (shown here).

This recipe is quick and easy to make, and serves four (or one person four times!).

Spring shepherd’s pie, vegan style
  • 1 small or medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium potatoes, quartered and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance organic whipped buttery spread
  • 2 tbsp Belsoy organic creamy soya preparation (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ c each frozen spinach, peas, and corn
  • 1 pkg Yves veggie ground original
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp tamari, Braggs, or regular soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium pot of water, boil the potatoes until soft. Mash the potatoes with the buttery spread and salt to taste. The optional creamy soya preparation makes the mashed potatoes fluffy and creamy.

In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and tomato in the oil for about 5 minutes. Stir in the Yves veggie ground, frozen vegetables, basil, and tamari. The Yves and tamari are salted, so you probably don’t need to add any salt to the filling.

Pour the filling into a lightly oiled pie plate and then spread the mashed potatoes over top. If desired, decorate with peas. Bake for 30 minutes.

Reasons to eat a vegan diet
  • You can feel happy knowing no animals gave up their lives for your meal
  • The earth will flourish, with less pollution from factory farming
  • It is more energy efficient to eat the vegetables and grains directly, rather than grow them, feed them to animals, and then eat the animals—simply put, the earth can’t support 6 billion meat eaters
  • Your body will feel lighter and function better—meat and dairy are more difficult to digest
  • Milk is made to grow 1,200 pound cows. Are you a 1,200 pound cow? Do you want to be?
  • World-class athletes, including Iron Man triathletes and body builders, compete and win on a vegan diet

For more info, read Skinny Bitch or Skinny Bastard!


Spring elixir brings surprise offerings

It’s a glorious spring day in Vancouver. Happy first day of spring, everyone! Angela James - Vancouver's only chirunning instructorThough the blossoms have been on the trees for months, today spring is officially here, with a hazy blue sky, soft sunsine, pink and white blossoms, and tender new spring green life everywhere. There’s something about that fresh tender green of new leaves that infuses my soul with the same tenderness.

Thursday, running along the Trans-Canada Trail, I noticed this greenness all along the path, in the moss and ivy, salmonberry bushes with their bright pink blossoms, and green grass pushing up among the dried brown grass from last year. New life arising out of the remains of the old life. May these spring blessings infuse your soul with fresh life, optimism, and tenderness for all living creatures.

Yesterday I met with Angela James, the ChiRunning instructor who taught the workshop I attended in January. At the workshop we had talked about how well yoga would complement the ChiRunning, and yesterday we put together a ChiRunning and yoga retreat at Monkey Valley on July 23 – 25! The cost is $375, and includes delicious organic meals, camping accommodations, and instruction in both ChiRunning and yoga. Plus Angela will be providing healthful Rooibos tea. There will be lots of free time for walking through the woods, hanging out by the creek, and toasting marshmellows on the campfire in the evening. Angela is a lovely person, very energetic and positive to be around, and I know that everyone who’s around her feels uplifted by her energy. I think we’ll make a terrific team. I’ll be teaching the yoga portion, offering the yoga routine I’ve developed over the past eight years to complement and support my running! See here for more details.

Sad news about the Vancouver marathon. I’ve been sick for the past three weeks, which put a major crimp in my training schedule and caused me to miss a key long run. So I’ve had to bow down to the truth of my limitations, and scale back to the half-marathon on May 2. I don’t feel too discouraged, as I had that marvellous experience of going further than I’ve ever gone before in the 33 KM run I told you about. I still aim to do the full marathon one day, perhaps for my 50th birthday! Oh wow, that is so hard to believe, 50 is just six years away. But today I am feeling the spring energy bring a lightness to my spirit, so let’s all go out and soak in the sun and smell the elixir of spring in the air.

Running into the mystic

I swear I was about to run through a rainbow today. There it was, just Sunset over Burrard Inletahead of me, spanning from the North Shore across the Burrard Inlet and just to the right side of the trail I was running on. It was only about 500 metres away, tops. The colours were extremely bright, especially the reds and violets, and there was a double rainbow on the North Shore leg. Curiously, the colours of the second rainbow were arrayed in the opposite direction from the first rainbow. Have you ever noticed that? ROYGBIV and then VIBGYOR.

But I learned today that the sun runs faster than I do. For as I got closer, and I could see I’d already passed the landmark that the rainbow had landed on earlier, the rainbow kept moving away from me. Then the shoreline swung south, and suddenly the whole rainbow was on the left of the path. Then it was shining over Capital Hill in Burnaby. But I swear at first it was right over the path in front of me, and I was going to run through it!

I’m not sure how it kept moving farther away. I guess as the ball of the sun sinks it changes the angle and the light refracts through more distant clouds, just like the sunset colours in the clouds can move across the sky.

Ah well, it was a mystic run, and I am just about ready to take the plunge and sign up for the full marathon. Woohoo!! (Sorry, carryover from the Olympics!)