Five Vegan Salad Recipes for Lunch

Avocado and Mango Salad with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
(Bon Appetite, photo – Leo Gong)
As soon as I read the words, ‘passion fruit vinaigrette’ I was hooked! Combine that with avocado, mango and a thoroughly pleasing dose of Dijon mustard and Sherry wine vinegar and you have yourself a salad worth smiling about!
See recipe at Epicurious

bulgur-salad-with-cherriesBulgur Salad with Cherries (Body + Soul)
This salad will look and taste amazing with the ruby red cherries scattered amongst the walnuts, bulgur wheat and herbs. As the recipe suggests, combine this with a green leaf salad for a healthy and nourishing meal.

See recipe at Whole Living

dagmars-detox-saladDagmar’s Detox Salad (Good Food Magazine)
Who doesn’t feel the need to do a little detox now and then? If that time is now for you, why not try this incredible salad of carrots, cabbage, apples, radishes and seeds? The dressing is equally nutritious and ‘body beneficial’ with fresh ginger, honey*, olive oil and lemon (*you can substitute honey with a vegan sweetener of your choice).
See recipe at BBC Good Food.

soba-salad-with-miso-vinaigretteSoba Salad with Miso Vinaigrette
I do enjoy a good soba salad for a delicious and satisfying lunch. I love the idea of the unusual vinaigrette in this recipe made with white miso paste and pickled ginger.
See recipe at Vegetarian Times

strawberry-fennel-and-orange-saladStrawberry, Fennel and Orange Salad
(Body + Soul)
Make use of the seasons best organic strawberries by using them in this superb summer salad which is light, juicy and crispy!
See recipe at Whole Living

28 Ways to Become a Little Greener in 2017

If you want some ideas on how you can start living an even greener, cleaner life this new year, perhaps this list will help. I’ve written down all the best green discoveries I made during 2009 (or earlier) and hopefully some of the actions will help or inspire you! Any more tips or suggestions would be welcome as I love learning about ways to tread more lightly and kindly on the planet. Thank you!

  1. Start the day the organic way. I love organic weetabix (Doves Farm Organic’s Whole Wheat Cereal Biscuits) and organic oat milk.
  2. If you prefer to whip up a smoothie or juice at breakfast time, why not try using a glass straw from Glass Dharma?
  3. Enjoy a healthy morning drink of hot water, one tsp of organic apple cider vinegar and one tsp of organic honey (and reuse tea cup throughout the day to save washing).
  4. To conserve water, I only fill the jug with as much water as I need.
  5. I also turn the tap off when brushing my teeth and washing my hands.
  6. I constantly praise the power of the coconut. Organic and fair trade coconut oil is truly pure and makes an excellent moisturiser for the face and body (its also great as an eye make up remover).
  7. I won’t lie, finding an organic and natural shampoo that worked as well as a mainstream, popular shampoo has been challenging. The one that has impressed me the most has been Green People’s Intensive Repair Shampoo.
  8. I haven’t used a conditioner for ages, preferring instead to massage my scalp and locks with coconut or almond oil with lavender before washing the oils out with shampoo.
  9. I’ve switched from a body wash to a bar of soap to save on excess plastic packaging. I love Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Orange Organic Bar Soap made with sustainably sourced palm oil.
  10. I brush my teeth with Preserve’s toothbrush made in the USA from recycled plastic. I favour organic and natural toothpastes from Green People or Weleda.
  11. Keep your makeup pretty but natural. My cosmetic staples include Lavera mascara, All The Better To Kiss You With Lip Balm in Chai Mandarin, Perfect Organics’ Lip and Cheek Shimmer in London, Borlind Eyeliner and Intelligent Nutrients Aromatic Spray in Awaken.
  12. For clothing, I shop at vintage stores, eco boutiques or online eco stores and sites such as Etsy. I don’t actually shop too much as I try to be creative with the clothes I already own.
  13. I’ve been chuffed with the vintage fashion I’ve found at my local Oxfam store and places such as It’s A Wrap in LA. I’ve picked up great scarves, cardigans, jackets, dresses and shoes that are unique and were sold at bargain prices!
  14. Whether I’m shopping for groceries or clothes, I proudly and stubbornly use my reusable bags.
  15. Instead of a plastic or aluminium water boter, try reusing a glass bottle.
  16. Keep your home and yourself healthy by spritzing a bottle of water filled with eucalyptus essential oil around the house, bedrooms, bathrooms and on television remotes and door handles.
  17. Steam inhalations with eucalyptus essential oil also keep me healthy during winter (as well as spoonfuls of honey and salt water gargles).
  18. Reuse glass jars for storing food in your fridge and freezer.
  19. Bless bicarbonate of soda! It can clean your house, whiten teeth, remove tea stains from cups and can even be used as a deodorant.
  20. Deal with aches and pains with essential oils and apple cider vinegar. For headaches try rubbing lavender onto the temples neat and for stomach cramps during that time of the month, try lavender and sweet almond oil. Peppermint oil mixed with any base oil is also great for any other tummy trouble. Apple cider vinegar can be swiped over aching muscles to ease discomfort.
  21. Peppermint oil can also be sprinkled on organic cotton wool and left around the kitchen or house to keep mice and the like away.


  22. Hang a mesh bag in your closet filled with fresh rosemary or broken cinnamon sticks to keep moths away. Lavender sprinkled organic cotton wool also helps.
  23. Do your laundry on the lowest temperature and try using soap nuts. Add a splash of vinegar for a natural fabric softener and remember to try and dry your clothes naturally.
  24. Dust the house with e-cloths.
  25. Try using olive oil on wooden furniture. I love how it makes everything look so polished and shiny.
  26. Inspiring website discoveries over the past few months have included Kind Over Matter, Jason Mraz’s Freshness Factor Five Thousand and Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life.
  27. Amazing vegan food discoveries during 2009 included Booja Booja Hazelnut Truffles and Ice Creams, Plamil’s Organic Orange Chocolate, Zest’s Vegan Pesto and Mexican Sauce (for super quick and easy dinners) and dessert treats from The Living Food Kitchen(I could write a song about the deliciousness of their Goji Berry Christmas Pudding and Chocolate Mousse).
  28. I love to finish the day, English granny style with a cup of Pukka tea. I absolutely love the Protect tea made with organic jasmine green tea and cardamom.

Five Ways to be Green in Chicago

Chicago is home to Obama, Oprah and ‘oh so good’ deep dish pizzas but what about its green scene? Here are five impressive green places to get you started.

Shop at Pivot (pictured above)
After you’ve sat in the audience for a taping of Oprah (we should all be so lucky) and then checked out the Oprah store, why not walk a few blocks to Pivot and shop for some sublime eco fashion? Pivot is ‘Chicago’s first boutique devoted to eco-fashion’ and their stylish, CFL lit, zero-VOC painted store has every popular eco label a girl could wish for: Mociun, Del Forte, Ecoganik, She Bible, Toggery, Kate Organic and of course, Chicago based designer, Lara Miller. Pivot often hold events in store which is great news for any local green girls but for those girls not lucky enough to live in Chicago, you can still purchase Pivot’s chic pieces through their online store. Want more good news? It’s currently sale time at Pivot and they are offering a whopping 40-70% off items in store and 50% off online purchases (until July 24th). Just visit their website to nab the special discount code.

1101 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL, 60607
Pivot Boutique

Eat at Green Zebra
This vegetarian-friendly restaurant is located in West Town and offers a slick and sophisticated menu featuring tempting taste bud delights such as Roasted Parsnip Ravioli, Foraged Mushroom Dumplings, Miso Risotto and equally scrumptious desserts. In fact ever since reading the description of their Vegan Chocolate Cake with crispy peanut butter, banana sorbet and salted caramel, I have not been able to think of anything else!

1460 West Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL, 60642
Green Zebra

green-genes-chicagoShop for little ones at Green Genes
This adorable store is relatively new to Chicago (it opened in March 2008) but their carefully selected range of eco-friendly products for ‘children and their grown-ups too’ will excite both locals and tourists alike. Not only do owners Heather and Christina aim to fill their store with organic and eco-friendly products but they even made sure their store interior adopted a similar eco conscious philosophy by using bamboo counters, low VOC paints and packaging from biodegradable materials. Look out for their online shopping site coming soon.

5111 North Clark St, Chicago, IL, 606040
Green Genes

karyns-fresh-corner-cafe-chicagoEat at Karyn’s Fresh Corner Cafe and Raw Vegan Gourmet Restaurant
Karyn Calabrese is making it oh so easy to live a healthy life in Chicago with her two restaurants, holistic day spa and weekly meal program! At the North Halsted location you will find a Raw Salad Bar, Fresh Juice Bar offering exotic smoothies such as the ‘Really Rare and Raw’ smoothie made with ‘nutmilk, dates, banana and vanilla’ and raw, vegan desserts like strawberry cake and lemon squares. Yum, yum, yum! The Raw Vegan Gourmet restaurant serves an eclectic menu from pad thai to tamales of corn husks filled with organic masa and other wondrous delights! There is also a store and an Inner Beauty Center on site.
1901 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL, 60614

Karyn’s Cooked – Conscious Comfort Foods
Vegans need their comfort food as well, so this is the perfect stop for anyone seeking a delicious alternative to the raw food offered at the Raw Vegan Gourmet restaurant. Here you will be served wonderful brunches of banana french toast or lunch and dinner dishes like vegan pizzas, enchiladas and burgers!

738 N Wells St, Chicago, IL
Karyn Raw

greenheart-shop-chicagoShop fair trade at the Greenheart Shop
Shopping for an array of products under one roof is bliss but what about when all the products are fair trade? A green girl’s heaven! Greenheart is Chicago’s ‘only nonprofit eco friendly, fair trade store’ and you can happily, rest assured all the wonderful products lining the shelves come from artisans who have been paid ‘fair living wages’. Greenheart has a treasure trove of items for everyone and every occasion. It is the ideal place to purchase gifts that are both ethical and aesthetical for your family, friends or you (choose from clothing, homewares, beauty, food – it’s all here). They even stock my favourite eco bag brands, English Retreads and Mar y Sol, formerly known as Mad Imports. The store has recently moved into larger premises (1911 W. Division) proving the demand for green is growing in major cities like Chicago.

1911 W. Division
Greenheart Shop (online shopping is available through their website).

Vegan Dinner Ideas – Seven New, Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes

perciatelli-with-roasted-tomatoes-and-eggplantPerciatelli with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant
(Martha Stewart Living)
Perciatelli is similar to spaghetti, which you could also use in this recipe. This is a robust and flavour packed pasta with red and yellow peppers, basil, cayenne pepper and lots of tomatoes.
See recipe at Whole Living

ditalini-with-pesto-beans-and-broccoli-rabeDitalini with Pesto, Beans and Broccoli Rabe
(Bon Appetit, image:Susan Gentry McWhinney)
Ditalini or ‘other short tube-shaped pasta’ is the way to go with this dish containing cannellini beans and broccoli rabe. This recipe calls for store bought pesto so UK or European peeps may like to try Zest pesto (vegan or vegetarian options) which is my favourite.
See recipe at Epicurious

Eggplant Pasta Salad
(Sara Quessenberreggplant-pasta-salady, photo: Anna Williams)
This tasty pasta can be enjoyed hot or cold and would be a popular dish to take to a picnic or BBQ. The capers, white wine vinegar and pine nuts elevate this pasta from ‘blah’ to ‘can I have some more mama?’
See recipe at Real Simple.

spaghetti-with-olive-and-pine-nut-salsaSpaghetti with Olive and Pine Nut Salsa
(Gourmet, image: Romulo Yanes)
This recipe has a short list of ingredients and is super easy to prepare. The capers and dried hot red-pepper flakes add extra oomph also.
See recipe at Epicurious.

Pasta with Beet Greens
(Melissa Roberts, Image: Stephanie Foley)
Pepper your penne with some new ingredients such as beet greens (spinach or silver beet), black olives, pine nuts and golden raisins.
See recipe at Gourmet

Beany Pasta Pot (Good Food Magazine)

Here is a highly nutritious and filling pasta made with red pesto, borlotti beans and even an apple!
See recipe at BBC Good Food.

Courgette ‘Pasta’ with Cashew Mint Cream
Any raw food enthusiasts or those looking for a new twist on pasta will enjoy this healthy and flavoursome dish! I’d love to know what you think of this courgette pseudo pasta.
See recipe at Waitrose.

Six Ways to Become an Ethical Fashionista

1) Check your labels
Grab five items out of your closet and check the labels to see where they are made. If they are clothes from the high street or mass produced labels, I bet the tag reads ‘Made in China’ (or PRC). I did an audit of my old clothing and shoes about 18 months ago and I was shocked to see that 80% of it was made in China! While we should be ever so grateful to the people in China who do work hard to make our products, I don’t know how grateful we should be to the companies that choose to manufacture in countries where they can:

  • pay staff less
  • make staff work extraordinarily long hours
  • employ or use children
  • use hazardous work environments

made-byI make sure the labels on my clothing come from a country I am confident has more laws in place that monitor factory working conditions. I will not buy clothing made in countries where factory working conditions are shady and unlikely to be enforced. If I do buy any clothing made from countries such as China or India, I make sure it has been certified fair trade by an organisation such as the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO, formerly known as IFAT) or Made-By.

Your Resources:
World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)

2) Check your fabrics

Did you know your ‘regular’ jeans contain about 2/3 of a pound of pesticides and your t-shirt contains 1/3 of a pound? – Del Forte Organic Denim website

‘An estimated 1 million to 5 million cases of pesticide poisoning occur ever year, resulting in 20,000 reported deaths among agricultural workers and at least 1 million requiring hospitalisation’ – Environmental Justice Foundation

These statistics were enough to convince me to immediately switch to organic cotton purchases. There are so many stunning fashion items being made today from organic cotton that there is no need to keep using normal cotton.

Another natural fabric, I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t stopped to think about was silk. I don’t like to list disturbing and gruesome information about the way some animals (or living creatures) suffer for things such as fashion, so if you want to learn more about silk, you can read this information provided by PETA. You can buy Peace Silk or Ahimsa Peace Silk instead, which is just as beautiful but is ‘made from the cocoons of caterpillars who have completed the moth stage and flown away.’

I’ve started to limit the amount of bamboo derived clothing on Green Lashes and Fashion after reading articles such as the following:

Treehugger featured an article, ‘Is Bamboo Clothing Truly Green?’ in which Michael Lackman of Lotus Organics stated, ‘the growing of bamboo is environmentally friendly but the manufacturing of bamboo into fabric raises environmental and health concerns because of the strong chemical solvents used to cook the bamboo plant into a viscose solution that is then reconstructed into cellulose fiber for weaving into yarn for fabric.’

3) Check where you shop

I used to enjoy popping into H&M and finding cute pieces at cheap prices but I no longer visit high street, big name shops due to where the clothing is made and the fabrics used to make the clothing. It wasn’t too hard to end this retail relationship once I saw the benefits such as:

  • less chance of running into another girl wearing the exact same outfit as you (the ultimate fashion nightmare)
  • increased fashion creativity. Interpreting fashion trends and outfits I see in magazines or on the street with clothing I already own (and a vintage accessory or two).
  • the thrill of finding a designer item or high street label at Oxfam for half the price and in excellent quality (perfect for moments when you may be tempted back to the high street).
  • supporting ethical labels by shopping at their sites and parading in their eco clothing looking simply fabulous, will increase the popularity and profile of ethical fashion which will then increase the market and lower the prices! It’s a win / win!

Your Resources: If you haven’t checked out ethical shopping online, you may want to check out the following stores (which are also featured on a longer list of shopping sites I have on the side panel of Green Lashes and Fashion).

4) Check what you really need

wearing-clothesBefore you reach for a pair of harem pants or other ‘must-have item this season’, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will I still be wearing this in a year’s time?
  • How often will I wear this?
  • What other items in my wardrobe will it go with?

When shopping for new pieces, it’s important to purchase invaluable pieces that will suit your lifestyle. It’s also better to spend more money on one good quality item than several cheaper pieces that will date, loose their shape and / or colour or fall apart.

5) Check out vintage and second-hand stores

This is the greenest option by far because you are using fashion that already exists and not creating a demand for new items to be produced which can impact negatively on the environment and the people making them.

For anyone that thinks vintage is expensive (yes, it can be in big fashion cities) but I’m sure you will find some cool vintage stores in your town or online vintage sellers at Etsy, who will all prove just how affordable vintage can be! You can put together a whole new, fashion forward outfit from Etsy’s vintage sellers for less than $50.

6) Check out your sewing abilities

upcycled-clothingUpcycled clothing (clothing made from reclaimed fabrics, vintage clothing, end of line fabrics) is exploding in the fashion world right now. What better way to save the planet and look stylish and unique whilst doing it? If you or someone you know can sew, your fashion creations will be limitless but if sewing is not your thing, you’ll be pleased to know you can look online and find many sites and labels are producing some stunning upcycled pieces (see below for listings).

Check you have have a pretty reusable shopping bag for your ethical fashion purchases! You probably have your reusable bags for your groceries but why not keep an extra one solely for clothing purchases in your handbag?

Eight Vintage Animal Necklaces

Vintage Butterfly 70s Goldtone Necklace
– Lola Vintage (Etsy) $14
Beautiful butterfly necklaces always look beguiling. This gold necklace will add a little boho vibe to any outfit.

Vintage 60s Park Lane Silver and Gold Necklace (and ear clips)
– Nina and Lola £69
This truly unique owl necklace has a moveable body, matching ear clips and comes in a vintage box. I like how this owl’s beautiful ‘orange cabochon eyes’ look inquisitive and not too intimidating.

Vintage Red Bakelite Bird Necklace
– 360 Vintage (Etsy) $78
This unusual bird necklace really caught my eye. I love how the bird looks like it is happily flying (courtesy of some blinged out black jewel wings).

the-elephant-in-the-room-necklaceVintage ‘The Elephant in the Room’ Necklace
– Moonacre (Etsy) $45
Elephants are very auspicious animals in Feng Shui (as long as their trunks are raised). This sweet little one will surely add some charm to your life.

Vintage Large Poodle Charm Necklace
– Purple Daisy Jewelry (Etsy) $20
I do love a fancy poodle silhouette! A little pomposity mixed with cheekiness always works well in the fashion world.

Vintage Two Tone Seahorse Necklace
– Planet Claire Vintage (Etsy) $28
Achieve a cute and quirky look with this fabulous sea horse pendant.

Vintage Retro Kitschy Cat Pendant

– South Beach Club Wear (Etsy) $13
If you favour a little fun and frivolity in your jewelry collection, then this ‘Cat Club of Las Vegas’ pendant is for you. You could wear it as a necklace or use as a keyring or charm for your bag.

Vintage Dragonfly and Clock Face Necklace
– Punkenstein Jewelry (Etsy) $45
This stunning necklace features a dragonfly resting on an antique clock face. My, my, how time flies…

Nine Vegetarian Bruschetta Recipes

avocado-bruschetta-with-green-sauceAvocado Bruschetta with Green Sauce
– Martha Stewart Living
Herb up with this flavour packed bruschetta recipe! Basil and parsley leaves create a divine green sauce that tastes delicious with avocado.
View recipe at Martha Stewart

Crushed Broad Bean and Mint Bruschetta
– Olive Magazine
So simple yet so utterly delectable! This recipe makes eating greens a pleasure with its use of broad beans and mint. The inclusion of parmesan could be optional.
View recipe at BBC Good Food

chickpeas-and-balsamic-vinegar-bruschettaChickpeas and Balsamic Vinegar Bruschetta
– Real Simple (image by Mark Lund)
Toast toppings have never been so flavourful or filling! The humble chickpea is elevated to new gourmet realms in this recipe thanks to a dash of balsamic vinegar.
View recipe at Real Simple

Polenta Bruschetta with Tapenade
– Good Food Magazine
If you’re puzzled when it comes to creating new and delicious polenta recipes, why not try this bruschetta recipe? With an olive tapenade and sun blushed tomatoes, this appetizer will be a sure-fire hit amongst friends or family!
View recipe at BBC Good Food

bruschetta-with-fava-beans-greens-and-blood-orangesBruschetta with Fava Beans, Greens and Blood Oranges
– Bon Appetit (by Joanne Weir, image: Kana Okada)
With an earthy smothering of fava beans, crispy green salad topping and the surprise burst of citrus, these bruschette will surely delight anyone who takes a bite!
View recipe at Epicurious

Bruschetta with Eggplant and Olive Topping

– Australian Women’s Weekly (image by Brett Stevens)
Honour the origin of bruschetta with this Italian rich recipe which also features capers, pine nuts and basil on a slice of ciabatta.
View recipe at Australian Women’s Weekly

Cranberry Bruschetta

– Natural Health Magazine
Put a twist on the usual bruschetta with this unique recipe using sweet potato, rosemary, hazelnuts and cranberries.
View recipe at Natural Health Magazine

Bruschette Recipe, Baby Artichoke

– Jamie Oliver (image by David Loftus)
Artichokes, garlic, lemon and mint combine to make a truly tasty bruschetta in this Jamie recipe.
View recipe at Jamie Oliver

bruschette-with-chickpea-puree-and-arugulaBruschette with Chickpea Puree and Arugula
– Gourmet (image by Andrea Fazzari)
The pairing of chickpeas and arugula (rocket) would be quite sublime on a thick, toasted slice of country loaf!
View recipe at Epicurious

Beauty Review – Inika Mineral Foundation

With the party and gift giving season well and truly upon us, it may help to learn about a great mineral foundation I’ve found. Inika’s award-winning Mineral Foundation provides your skin with everything you could want from a foundation – excellent coverage of flaws, natural looking and light enough so that your skin can still breath! This foundation can also be used as a concealer.

Many mineral foundations contain nasty talc and bismuth oxychloride, but Inika avoid these along with preservatives such as parabens, preferring to keep it simple with only the following ingredients:

Mica (CI 77019) May contain (+/-) Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891); Zinc Oxide (CI 77947); Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499); Ultramarines (CI 77007).

To ensure the foundation stays put throughout the day and night with a fantastic consistency, I’d suggest using Inika’s primer. This lovely cream is applied after your moisturiser (or can be used without a moisturiser) and is a vital step in getting the most from your mineral foundation. I love the botanical scent and the fact the ingredients are certified organic.

inika-vegan-kabuki-brushVegan girls will love Inika’s award-winning, Vegan Kabuki Brush which is perfect for applying the mineral foundation. This brush is big, fluffy and enables you to distribute the foundation evenly around your face with large and gentle brush strokes (that are super soft). Even the wood from the brush handle is ‘sourced from sustainable forestry.’

You’ll find the Inika range of cosmetics looks ultra luxurious. The sleek, Cleopatra shades of black and gold packaging make each product look equal to any pot or jar of Chanel or Dior. Inika also have a broad selection of foundation shades to choose from, so finding the right shade for your skin should be a breeze. I tend to like choosing a shade a smidge darker than I usually would as it provides a nice, sun-kissed glow.

All three products can be purchased at Content – Mineral Foundation(£21.46).

the-inika-line-of-cosmeticsContent are also selling a gorgeous Christmas pack at the moment filled with Inika goodies. You will find a medium pot of foundation, mini Kabuki Brush and organic Berry Lip Whip in a classy gold purse.

The Inika line of cosmetics and brushes are certified vegan (by the Vegan Society), are 100% certified cruelty free (Choose Cruelty Free) and are made in Australia. To learn more about Inika, you can visit their website.