Archive for June, 2012

Home-made Rice & Bean Patty

I had a fantastic time in Boston – it is a beautiful city with lots of culture. I stayed with my friend, D, who was happy to eat home-made vegan meals whilst I was there :). However, D is allergic to nuts so I had to avoid using them – not a problem for me. Here is a list of the meals we made and ate whilst I was there:

  • Brown rice with tomato sauce & fried onions, garlic, mushrooms
  • Tofu sausage with leftover rice and salad
  • Fried rice noodles with onions, garlic, ginger, tofu, orange pepper, shiitake mushrooms, beansprouts and asparagus
  • Bean and rice patties (recipe below) with salad
  • Rice with orange pepper, garlic, tofu, onion and beansprouts
  • Rice with soy cream sauce, mushrooms, onions, garlic and peas
  • Red lentil mash with potatoes
  • Homemade pizza with homemade tomato sauce, daiya ‘cheese’, mushrooms, onions, garlic
  • Rice salad (avocado, baby tomatoes, kidney beans, onions)
  • Pasta with soy mince in a tomato sauce
  • Roasted potatoes, garlic and asparagus with salad and beans

Rice & Bean Patty Recipe 

  • 1 can of cooked beans (I used kidney beans)
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • Spices – your choice. I used oregano, sage, chili powder, garlic granules
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon ketchup
  1. Mash the beans and the cooked rice in a large bowl with a fork
  2. Add spices/flavourings
  3. Place bowl in the fridge overnight (I think that you could skip this step if you were in a hurry)
  4. The next day, shape your mixture into balls and fry them lightly
This recipe is very tasty and versatile – you can season it to your personal preference, so don’t be afraid to experiment!


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Kew Gardens was founded in 1759 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The gardens are beautiful and I really enjoyed them. Kew is also a research centre for plant science and conservation, focusing on understanding and protecting the world’s plant and fungal diversity. Their cause is a noble one. I only relatively recently have started to appreciate plants and their seemingly infinite variation. One of the things I like about Kew is the fact that children don’t pay an admission fee to the gardens, allowing them to develop an appreciation for nature early in life for free!

We saw a golden pheasant roaming freely around the gardens – beautiful isn’t it? It seemed relatively unafraid of people (was probably used to them). We also saw peacocks, geese and ducks.

Above, a banana tree in one of the glass houses. Aren’t the leaves beautiful?

Above, the jade vine, native to the Philippines. I almost couldn’t believe they were real – their colour looks so fake!

Above, the Water Lily House. I love the giant water lily (native to the waters of the Amazon rainforest). Here is a video that tells you a bit more about this beautiful water lily.

Just above the water lily was this carnivorous plant, hanging in a basket.

This curly palm tree looks a bit like a snake!

Above, I thought the flowers of this plant were very unusual.

Above, some beautiful flowers in the Rock Garden.

Overall, I really enjoyed Kew Gardens. We walked around the gardens for 4 hours, and we still didn’t manage to see everything! I’d really recommend Kew to people who love  taking photos of plants, flowers and nature – plenty of beauty to capture here.

N.B. You can navigate around Kew gardens using their official free Kew gardens app.

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I’m listing some of my dreams for the future so that one day I can look back and see if I fulfill them! It’s nice to think about the future because it gives you something to work towards, and helps you prioritise what’s important in life.

So, in no particular order I’d like to:

  • Drive an electric car (powered wholly/ partly by renewable energy)
  • Ensure that my home is powered by renewable energy
  • Have lots of house plants (possibly in every room, if I can look after them all)
  • Grow lots of vegetables, fruit and legumes
  • Buy food from farmer’s markets & co-operatives (avoiding supermarkets as much as humanely possible, if not entirely)
  • Have rescued dogs & cats from a shelter (and feed them homemade vegan food that is appropriate to their nutritional requirements)
  • Possibly rescue ex-battery hens; possibly have honeybees (I’m not sure about these two though)
  • Have a water butt to collect rain water
  • Have an eco-toilet e.g. Geberit AquaClean
  • Buy second hand furniture
  • Buy organic linen/matresses/curtains/bedsheets etc.
  • Not have a plastic shower curtain – in general to have as little plastic as possible in my life
  • Become an active member of my community- help improve the community in some way

That is all I can think of for now, but if I think of anything else I will add it!

What are your dreams for the future? Do you think about the future much? I’m enjoying where I am in life at the moment, but I look forward to improving, particularly in terms of environmental sustainability. 

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