Monday, October 10, 2011

A Green Halloween

It's that time of year again ... when the veil between the living and the dead becomes thin and spirits can be seen walking the earth. Shadows come alive and threaten to grab us ... witches fly and ghosts materialize before our very eyes.

In other words ... it's almost Halloween and time for our annual "Spooky" post!

Question: What's the ratio of a pumpkin's circumference to its diameter?

Answer: Pumpkin Pi

It's almost Halloween ... that creepy night of ghosts and ghouls. Little goblins everywhere are getting ready. Can Moms and Dads make it green? Well sure!! Here are some tricks and treats ... I mean tips:

-Are you going to carve a pumpkin ... or decorate one?
  • If you haven't grown your own, buy one from a local farm or farmer's market.
  • Use every part of the pumpkin. The seeds can be toasted and eaten as snacks ... they are healthy and taste great. One can toast them in the oven or in a dry frying pan on the stove. When they are brown, carefully remove them (they are very hot at this stage) and immediately sprinkle your favorite seasoning on them (mine is creole seasoning but kids might prefer something less spicy ... like a little salt). Not in the mood for toasting seeds? Try tossing them, either wet or dry, into the yard for birds ... they love them.
  • Use the flesh of the pumpkin to make a pie, soup, cookies or flan ... it might require a bit more sugar than the smaller, pie pumpkins.
  • After Halloween ... compost the shell instead of sending it to the landfill.

Question: How do you mend a broken Jack-O-Lantern?

Answer: With a pumpkin patch

-Are you planning a party for your little ones?
  • Send email invitations rather than the "snail mail" variety. There are a lot of seriously spooky e-cards on the Internet.
  • Use re-usable plates, cups, utensils, napkins and tablecloths. Paper party goods can be expensive and just add more clutter to our nation's landfills.
  • Serve some healthy, fun treats that aren't individually wrapped ... popcorn, apples, fruit leather (in the shape of worms and snakes) and ghostly cookie skeletons.
-Get creative with costumes.
  • Make costumes from old clothes (downsize adult suits, dresses, etc.)
  • Check your closets for "retro" clothing (got any old "hippie" duds? Cool, dude!).
  • Pull out costume jewelry ... little princesses, gypsies and pirates love "bling".
  • Hats of any kind can "top off" an outfit.
  • Shop at Goodwill ... they have not only organized merchandise into a special Halloween section but also offer some creative costumes ideas made from second-hand garb.
These are just a few ideas. I'm sure that with a little thought ... you can conjure up a few of your own.

OK ... one more ... then I'll stop ... I promise!

Question: What is a pumpkin's favorite sport?

Answer: Squash

OK ... I'm done!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vegan Recipe - Cabbage Soup

Welcome to the first Friday of the month and another vegan recipe. I post recipes on Reduce Footprints, once a month, because eating meatless meals is one of the easiest ways to walk gently on the planet. Good food that is good for the environment and our health ... what could be better!

This month's recipe comes from ... me! We enjoy it, with homemade rustic bread, for dinner. I hope you and your family enjoy it as well.


Servings: 3-4


1/4 head medium Cabbage, sliced
1 medium Onion, sliced
1 medium Jalepno, sliced
4 large cloves of Garlic
1/4 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 Bay Leaf
2 large Bouillon Cubes
6-8 cups Water
2 handfuls dried Beans (any variety, rinsed & sorted)
Salt & Pepper as required


  • Toss everything, except the salt & pepper, into a soup pot and cook for approximately 90 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper as required and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until beans are cooked.
  • Serve hot.


  • This is a very versatile soup.
  • For a heartier dish try adding cubed potatoes (1 medium), quinoa, pasta, or rice (a small amount ... about 1/4 cup).
  • If you like a zestier soup, add cayenne pepper or experiment with different hot peppers.
  • Any dried beans work in this recipe but I prefer white beans (Northern, Navy, etc.)
  • One can substitute veggie broth for the bouillon cubes & water.

If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share, please send it to me HERE. And for all the recipes we've shared so far, be sure to visit our recipe page using the tabs at the top of the page ... or by clicking HERE.