Pleasin' Vegan

May 27

I’m back! and I have things to post.

Made a really great dinner tonight! oh maaaaan. I’m trying to get healthy and this was a very healthy dinner especially because I halved all the oil the recipes called for and they came out fine. I also used less salt. I made all the recipes from the cookbook Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli. I have never made a bad recipe from there! 

Tonight I made her Thyme for Creamy Scalloped Potatoes:

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Garlicky Greens 

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and Tempeh Piccata 

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which was my favorite.

Here’s the whole plate:

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and fresh cherries for dessert! image

yay!

Jan 21

another cook-a-thon

Today I was snowed in and took advantage of that by cooking all day. Also yesterday evening, I made this. It’s pretty good for a super healthy version of a bad for you treat. 

Today while the snow fell I made:

I ended up doing tons of dishes, and my back kind of hurts from being over the stove/sink all day. But I had delicious foods!

My non vegan brother and boyfriend really liked the alfredo with cheese crisps.

Here is a picture of it.

alfredo vegan style

Jan 14

yay I’m posting again! I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting this!

So I kind of got off the vegan wagon for a month. I feel really guilty about it but the good news is that I’m back. I also was being lazy about cooking for a few weeks, and made semi prepared meals a lot. However, I also broke that spell yesterday, when I basically cooked all day long making really delicious things I’d like to share.

Here are the recipes and the pictures I took:

http://www.madejustright.com/post/quick-fix-snack-roasted-chickpeas

I was glad I made these first because I snacked on them the rest of the cooking session. I made them with thyme and oregano and they were soooo good.

roasted chickpeas i made

Then I made these: 

http://www.thevegancrew.com/?p=3219

and here is how they came out: 

daiya cheese biscuits

I seriously could not tell they weren’t made with real cheese!

Then I made the green tea cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Instead of the green tea glaze I made an almond “buttercream” frosting.

I'm perfecting my photography of food a bit more

Then I made Moshed Potatoes from the Soy not Oi! Cookbook zine. I altered the recipe this time though, and instead of lemon pepper I put garlic salt.

Finally, I made these: 

http://www.madejustright.com/post/vegan-hot-wings-recipe

I was really surprised at how amazing they were.

It turned out I put too much food on my plate!

That was the culmination of my day in a dinner! I however could barely eat less than half of what I put on my plate, I was so full!

Apr 10

absence

Sorry guys for the lack of entries lately!

I’ll be back with a new post later today!

Exciting things are happening.

Feb 03

Veganism conversions and Oprah and her staff on veganism

Lately, especially due to all the media attention it’s been getting, in a mostly positive light, I’ve been resisting a bit of an urge to preach veganism to the extreme. This is the blog post where I actually DO preach it to the extreme, amongst other things.

I’m very frustrated that even after Oprah goes vegan, (a challenge, my dear Oprah? the first week is a breeze…very few people striving to be vegan for the multitude of reasons one would want to be a vegan for would quit within the first week I’d imagine) and out of her 300 some odd staff members who joined her, very few of them will make a life long commitment to it.

Even Lisa Ling, who was both privileged and cursed to see the brutal murder (um, slaughter…they both sound bad to me, but I think murder sounds worse haha) of a cows in a slaughterhouse/meat making facility, continues to eat the flesh of animals. She said she appreciates where it comes from more. What? That’s the most absurd comment I have ever heard, coming from someone who just witnessed what few people have actually experienced firsthand. I wish I could think of an analogy of how stupid that sounds, but I’ll try—eh, I thought about it good and hard and there is no situation that would sound more absurd than this. I thought, well, maybe it would be like someone who witnessed an innocent person being murdered thanking the murderer for making him appreciate life more, because he saw a murder and now appreciates life more. I don’t know. To me, after seeing an innocent animal being brutally killed so that I am shivering and crying and flinching my eyes, I wouldn’t feel like eating my vegan food for a month after, never mind resuming eating meat soon after, like Ling.

The thing I am having the hardest part understanding, is how some humans just don’t care. I want to stress it’s not necessarily Lisa Ling I have a problem with, because I don’t think she is the only one like that. But what, psychologically, makes some people convert to veganism once they learn the truth, and others continue to consume animals and animal byproducts?

It can no longer be said that all meat eaters just don’t know or see the full spectrum of the issue, that they don’t realize how an animal is killed for their supposed benefit, etc…because there are people like Lisa Ling, who do, and continue with their old ways, that feed their bellies with the suffering of the animals that went into their food.

No amount of appreciation for where the food comes from makes up for the inhumanity of what we’re doing to the innocent animals that we say we need to survive, but that there is no longer any evidence scientifically that we do.

For a species that prides ourselves on our ability to have moral reasoning, why are we so immoral on the whole?

How can anyone make peace with themselves when they know the horrible truth of the meat and dairy industries and continue to enable and support it?

I am saying all this, because I really don’t understand.

I feel there are two different types of people right now who eat meat and dairy products. Those that are blinded from the truth and reality that the food they eat is a product of murdering animals, or that they need to eat the animals because they will die or die quicker if they don’t, and those that know fully well that those two reasons I just mentioned are false, and yet, somehow have some way of distorting reality so that they can detach themselves from the truth. That, my friends, is delusional.

Recently this weird person on twitter kept commenting to me, in an argument that was sparked by an unrelated, fad diet that I commented on, the Paleo diet, and she kept criticizing my desire to eat with morality in mind. What is wrong with being moral? While she is undoubtedly one of those people I described that believes not eating meat will compromise our health, which probably explains why she was so against being moral (why would anyone be against being moral otherwise, unless they are homicidal and corrupt in other possible yet rare and deviant ways) with food, it just sounded so ridiculous to me.

That whole experience with the Paleo diet crazed commenter to me, signifies something that kind of freaks me out, and that I want to kind of avoid thinking about, put in the back of my mind, just like people who deny where their food really comes from and keep eating it, and that is that the people in power and involved in the whole process of meat production, agriculture, dairy, livestock, big food, government, fda, usda, etc etc…are intentionally trying to mess with us so that we have these strange psychological reactions to this issue.

There is definitely some kind of psychological disconnect that is being forced upon many of us in the United States and elsewhere. I am hopeful because I am an example of someone who can see past it, but I’m not sure if others will be as lucky.

I guess the best I can do is continue to share my thoughts and feelings on the matter, continue to talk about and educate and make painfully aware how serious the whole issue is, and maybe I can get through to one person who can get through to more, and it will pay it forward.

Also, I want to share another really great blog I found through my twitter. He can say some things much more succinctly than I can and with much more eloquence. Also he is very knowledgeable about the history of our perception of animals. Check it out: http://www.snargleplexon.com/

Feb 02

[video]

Jan 24

What to do when you want seafood and you're vegan? -

I made this awhile ago and I have to make it again. Most delicious!

Jan 23

My first ever vegan candy taste-a-like invention, Sweetie Rolls! (Vegan tootsie rolls) with RECIPE

SWEETIE ROLLS!

I am so proud! I’ve been wanting to create a vegan recipe on my own and I finally did! It’s a vegan version of tootsie rolls! But they taste better than the original, which I think taste like super waxy chocolate! These are way fluffier and awesome, and are made with raw cacao powder, and since they’re not cooked (though the recipe is not raw), the cacao powder maintains it’s nutrients (at least I think it does as far as I know).

I have the recipe for you! It’s also going to be posted by me on vegweb. here:

Vegan Tootsie Rolls, Or as I call them Sweetie Rolls!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons softened vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance Brand)

1/2 cup raw cacao powder (you can use regular unsweeted cocoa powder if you don’t have it)

3 cups powdered sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup soya powder
1/2 cup corn syrup or possibly brown rice syrup if you like them healthier/less sweet

Directions:

1. If you have a standing mixer, mix margarine, and all powdered ingredients in the bowl. Alternatively, you could use a spoon and mix it together until the margarine is incorporated into the powders.

2. The next step is to add the corn syrup or brown rice syrup. You may also be able to use agave, but I think it might not taste as good.
Again, if you have a standing mixer, keep it running on medium speed while you slowly pour in the syrup.
Note:  I don’t recommend using a hand held mixer or a cheap standing mixer, as it gets very heavy and thick eventually, and you definitely might break a hand-held mixer doing this, and I don’t want someone to break an old standing mixer if it can’t handle it. If you have a kitchenaid mixer, which I do, I had no problems with it.
If you don’t want to risk it, instead you can blend it and knead it all together like bread dough or clay. It will probably work better this way, as I still had to scrape the sides of the bowl off with my hands and combine it a bit more by kneeding after I mixed it in the kitchenaid for about 5 mins.
At first it will be a light brown, and then become a darker color, when it gets dark, it’s almost done.

3. Finally, roll into coils of a length of tootsie rolls, or cut them down to size. I formed the dough into a giant ball and pulled off smaller pieces, warmed it up in my hands like clay, and then rolled it, and cut it to the size I wanted. This would also be great for making different shapes or sizes, or even using as chocolate modeling clay! It would be fun to make with kids.

The raw cacao powder gives it some additional nutrients and probably a richer taste, so I really recommend it! You can get a great deal on it by Navitas Naturals on Amazon!


The recipe was adapted from this one: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/easy-tootsie-rolls/Detail.aspx

Jan 18

Moral Fiber in our diets! (kind of ranty)

Hey, so I thought I’d discuss a bit about why I’m a vegan.

Though I have been off and on for awhile, this is my longest and most deeply rooted commitment I have had to veganism.

I admit that sometimes it is hard to stay a vegan when most of your friends and people you seek support from are not. It was especially hard being in romantic relationships with vegan unfriendly people. It’s hard trying to maintain friends, or make new ones, and when they invite you somewhere to eat, having to decline or not eat with them because the place they chose has no vegan dishes on the menu.

When I made myself committed to staying vegan this time around, the first thing I had to conquer was this very problem. I decided to meet with a nutritionist, because I was choosing this not just for moral reasons, but because I feel this is the healthiest route as well, and needed to learn ways of being healthiest with it, to make sure I was doing it well. I found out that a nutritionist I was recommended was vegetarian, and was eager to see her. She was very helpful.

The first rule I learned about being a vegan with a broad social life, is to not bring up the topic that I’m a vegan unless absolutely necessary or if I am asked about it.

It was kind of hard to do, but made sense. It is especially helpful in work situations. Now, most of my friends know I am a vegan, and I try to only have friends that are supportive of my lifestyle. So I feel like I can talk about my food more, but I never get into the moral and health benefits/reasons behind my life choice of veganism, because it often makes people feel like I think I’m a better person than they are because I’m a vegan, unless they’re willing and open to discussing these reasons with me.

I don’t think I’m a better person for this choice, instead, I think that, knowing what I know, and having the beliefs I have, this is the best choice for me and the best thing I can do in terms of helping people, animals, the environment, and my health. I know the statistics, horror and torture animals go through to be food, the unhealthy factors of eating meat, milk products, etc, the impact meat based diets have on the environment and the issue of worldwide hunger and poverty, and a wealth of other things I know surrounding the issue of meat and animal byproduct consumption, and if I DID NOT become a vegan, I would feel like a bad person, immoral, etc. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t carry it on to how I feel about you as a person. Of course I’d be thrilled if you were a vegan, but I understand people have different beliefs, ideas, and have the right to those and their own choices.

The fact of the matter is, that most people, for a variety of different reasons, may choose to ignore, not research, all the issues surrounding their meat eating habit. I keep wanting to type that it’s their choice to eat meat, but in reality, they were most likely not given a choice, nor educated to any alternatives, at all, or not until it was too late for it to be a big struggle for them to give up their food addiction to meat, and animal byproducts.

I keep thinking of the argument that some people have, that we are meant to eat meat, because we are animals, and animals hunt other animals, especially when that animal is higher up on the food chain. Well, yes, but, seeing as we are the highest link on the food chain, and the most intelligent animals as far as we know, we are smart enough to develop and research that we can be completely independent of the need to consume animals and remain perfectly healthy. Yet, for whatever reason, and for reasons I’m not going to really address, we do not.

I believe we are indeed the most intelligent animal, and thus, we have an obligation, as that most intelligent animal, to find ways to stop suffering on this earth amongst our fellow animals.

To say that many animals do not have the power to care, know, suffer, feel pain, etc, is ridiculous, because, once again, we are animals, and we have the power to do all those things. Never have we determined that other animals cannot either. Sure, it’s a bit different, and they have other strengths and weaknesses depending upon the species it is we’re talking about, but this is almost a perfectly intuitive point.

As caring, thinking, feeling animals, we are lucky enough to be in this species, a species where we don’t have to worry about being eaten by bigger, more powerful other species. And as animals with the ability, we need to do the best we can do to care for others. We can use our thinking, to educate other humans and research and create delicious foods that decrease our total reliance on animal food and byproducts. As Albert Einstein roughly said, nothing will benefit the human race more than a vegetarian diet.

So, that’s the start of my moral discussion with veganism, I’m sure I’ll go back to it more, but I just wanted to get this out there. I’m sorry it was a bit rambly/ranty, but I figure getting these ideas delineated a bit and written down would be a good start and kind of release some frustrations I’ve been having lately.

Jan 16

Raw Vegan Cheesy Kale Chips I made on my new dehydrator. Sooooo good. I made them from this recipe: http://www.adventuresinrawfood.com/

Raw Vegan Cheesy Kale Chips I made on my new dehydrator. Sooooo good. I made them from this recipe: http://www.adventuresinrawfood.com/