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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Kale Burgers and Sustainable Gift Baskets

I have some folks on my 'gift-list' this year that I want to do something different for.  Most of these gifts are for family members that I want to do something a bit 'extra' for, but nothing snazzy.

This year I wanted to go about the gifting process in a more mindful way and without a charred wake behind me the size of Texas as a carbon footprint.

In my theme of reuse and repurpose and REBEL from the commercialized pressures --see related post --- I thought I would put together some 'sustainable gift baskets'.  I shopped a local thrift store and found some beautiful baskets (average cost $1.), and picked up some mugs (cost .35 -.50 each),

some ceramic plates (cost .59 each) and some nice linen napkins (cost .30 each).

I might seriously have trouble gifting this very cool basket....

I hit the Amish bulk food store, picked up some bulk bags of raw almonds, raw cashews, raw peanuts, raisins, cranberries and dates.  I mixed these together to give in a mason jar (found a huge box of these in my basement I've been saving, also found some clearanced for $8. for a case of 12) with newly purchased lids.

In the mugs, I packaged the dry ingredients of Lindsay Nixon's Mug Cake along with instructions on how to prepare.  What a cute little gift that is and I'm doing a peppermint variation on Lindsay's recipe (added crushed peppermint candy) and including a candy cane.  There are endless variations on this Mug Cake.  Some of the ones I am gifting are:  Vanilla (omit chocolate/cacao and replace with additional flour/sugar), Chocolate-Cherry (include dried cherries in place or in addition to chocolate chips), Spice Cake (omit chocolate, increase flour/sugar and add cinnamon, pie spice, nutmeg, etc.).  Just let your imagination go wild.  All the recipient will have to do is add applesauce, a few drops of vanilla and microwave for 3 minutes.

I finished the baskets out by including some fresh fruit and a sand-art with rice mason jar. 

I did also include a jar of applesauce and also some whole-wheat pasta and sauce.  (I'll be encouraging people to make the switch to whole-wheat pasta---I'm still surprised at how many people have never tried it!).

I'm enclosing a note with these baskets, explaining the purpose behind the gift and referencing the video "The Story of Stuff". I suggest reusing the mason jars and switching to cloth napkins instead of paper.  I don't want to sound preachy but I want to convey my concern over what is happening to the planet and our need for action now.  I'm hoping that this doesn't go over as 'the stupid gift', but I think that most of the recipients will accept it in the spirit it was given---especially since these folks already know I dance to the beat of a wacky drummer.


Kale Burgers

Diana Dyer writes a blog on kale.  Yep, an entire blog on kale.  Gotta love somebody like that.  She's got quite a story, is a cancer survivor and is an inspiration.  She's not vegan but has some great recipes on her site that are very easily adaptable to a vegan this one for Kale Burgers

I subbed the eggs for my traditional egg substitute, mix ground flax seeds in water, let sit (1 T flax seeds to 3 T water per egg being subbed).

My husband hates the ground that peppers walk on, so I split this recipe in half and did 'his' half with mushrooms (which I don't care for) and 'my' half had the peppers.

I didn't get these patties to do real well in the skillet, so made up enough for us to have for dinner, then baked the rest meatloaf style in a casserole dish.  Pretty tasty!
kale 'loaf' over on left side of plate

May you have the best of holidays, in whatever ways you celebrate them.  And I wish you health and happiness in the new year.

Sue, working on sustainable, in Ohio

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