Quotes on Life

Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?  (Coleman Cox)

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Not for Profit

There are many, many Non-Profit Organizations that are close to my heart – where they are doing things that I agree with, have partaken in, or simply think is a worthwhile ambition. Did you know that one of the first national NPO’s was Harvard University? We think that they are all small companies looking to make a difference, but I think we forget that most of them actually have! In more ways than one! I’ve personally served in the inner cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and even in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, and its tourist city Siem Reap. While not everyone is given those opportunities (and while some are even given more), we can all find some way to feel a part of the world at large.

I don’t want this to sound preachy, but come on, if you live in America you’re in the richest 2% of everyone in the world – and as of Halloweekend, that will be 7 billion people. I don’t know about you, but my Facebook friends only to go a little over 1,000, and even I think that’s a lot of people to be connected to. I can’t even comprehend how large of a number 7 billion people is.

What we don’t understand is how often it’s the non profits that do the work that we know should be done, but it’s plainly too much to wrap our heads around. Like world peace. or hunger. or poverty. What we don’t realize is how often those funds don’t come from us, but should. Non profits are entirely reliant on external funding to make their actions happen – they don’t keep it for themselves, with big bonuses and expensive trips, instead they give that money to people who need to eat fo that day. or month. or year. And even just $5 (not even a full Chipotle burrito!) can help make someone’s entire week’s diet.

Just a thought – who knows, even you could partake in some of their services yourselves! Make a difference.

Vegetarian: Mediterranean Fusili Salad

So I have a thing for pasta salads. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel too guilty eating pasta all the time – since GlutenFree tends to be brown rice, whole grain, or maybe it’s because…they’re awesome! I don’t know. But recently I’ve been experimenting with different types of health salads, and I came across an orzo salad. Now, because my types of pasta are limited to what Whole Foods has on their shelves, they don’t seem to carry orzo. So I’ve substituted fusilli pasta, which my friends tell me actually works better than orzo – so we all win!

This recipe takes about 30 minutes to make, start to finish, with GF pasta, so I only assume it’s less with normal pasta cooking times. There’s been some disagreement about whether it’s better cold or room-temperature, but this salad is definitely best freshly made, although it’s so good I will literally eat it for days straight!

You can use a food processor to cut up all the vegetables, but it tends to taste better with slightly bigger pieces than the processor allows for – but if you’re in a time crunch, just toss all the ingredients in the processor, pulse for a few seconds, and voila! The olives and sun-dried tomatoes give the salad a little salty taste – using the amount in the recipe tends to be just perfect, although I personally like a little more – the tomatoes make me feel like I’m eating bacon-bits!

Ingredients

  • 12oz. uncooked fusilli pasta (or rotini works as well)
  • 1 yellow, red, and orange bell pepper (chopped)
  • 3 ½ oz. diced olives
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • About 10-12 sun-dried tomatoes NOT in olive oil (can soak them to soften if needed)
  • 1 cup to ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 3 tbsp. dried, although fresh is much better)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup red onion

Dressing (to taste, but I’ve estimated amounts that work for me to keep from drying out the next day):

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil (cold pressed organic is incredibly good for you, the more the better!)
  • 2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients (except dressing and pasta) in one bowl. Cook pasta last and add to remainder of ingredients – add salt to taste. Add liberal amounts of olive oil and vinegar. Put in serving bowl and sprinkle with poppy seeds as garnish.

Note: you can also substitute golden Yukon potatoes (or other small ones) for feta cheese.

Typically I eat vegan, but feta cheese is so crucial to so many recipes, and SO yummy, that I usually convince myself it isn’t cheese 🙂

Enjoy!