Friday, November 27, 2009

Recipes: Our Vegan Thanksgiving In Pictures

*Links lead you to recipes that I started with, though many are modified to suit my tastes/added flavors. 

This year I only cooked but two, but it was lovely and cozy. I decided against the Tufurky, turns out you're supposed to "baste" it! I have no idea how to do that. I've never cooked anything resembling meat in my life haha, so... Instead of that, I stuck to my tried and true favorites. It goes without saying that my husband and I were stuffed, and our meal left us feeling extremely satisfied and thankful. Another year of gratitude, and another absolutely delicious cruelty-free feast! We are definitely looking forward to this coming week of leftovers.

There are endless blessings that I am thankful to have in my life, for all my wonderful, beautiful family and friends who constantly inspire and surround me with love no matter how close or how far they are geographically. I am grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my belly, and the love that is in my house every day & night. I think its important to not only celebrate these fortunes on one day out of the year, but its important to remember to appreciate what we have daily, while also being mindful of others, and those who are not as lucky as we are (no matter how hard we think we have it). I also would like to share in a moment of silence, to mourn the millions of lives lost in the building of this country, and the billions of animals who have been slaughtered to nourish American families. Every life is meaningful and every life deserves respect. Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Recipes: Thanksgiving Menu 2009

  • Purple Mashed Potatoes
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffing
  • Blueberry & Raspberry Muffins
  • Jalapeno Cornbread
  • Green Salad with lots of fresh veggies and walnuts
  • Tofurky (my first year ever trying one, we'll see if the dog will like it if we don't)
  • Cranberry Sauce from Scratch (my first time, I have some organic canned sauce for back up)
  • Organic Local Corn on the Cob
  • Mint-Chocolate Vegan Mousse
  • Silk's Non-Egg Nog with Rum
  • Lots of Love, Gratitude, and Phone Calls to Family!
Recipes and photos to come... 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Philosophy: Instead of buying a corpse this year...

...Save a life! No time like the present to start a new tradition of love and compassion for this year of giving thanks.

"But Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without the flesh of a Turkey to murder and consume," or so you say... Did you know that the tradition of carving a Thanksgiving Turkey is a fairly new 20th century marketing ploy, funded and encouraged by the Poultry Industry? There is in fact no evidence of the Pilgrims and Native Americans consuming Turkey at all.

Along with the mass murder, and celebratory consumption of innocent turkey corpses, I would like to acknowledge not just the animal lives lost on this American holiday, but to also remember and bring awareness to the human lives lost when the Pilgrims came to the Americas with blankets infested with Small Pox, and the violence and massacres that went on all to steal land from those who rightly were living here before us. **For more information, please take the time to read The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn (most of which can be read online in that link).

A moment of silence and respect, for the people before us, who lost their lives in the building of what we now know as The Untied States, what we now know as "home" and take for granted as being rightfully ours. Remember those before us, to bring forth awareness, and erase the cultural amnesia that this country continues to promote by continually urging us, the people, to forget its violent beginnings. Be aware, and be thankful not just on this one holiday in November, but year-round. History only has the potential to repeat itself when we don't take the time to learn from our mistakes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recipes: Vegans can be lazy too!

So you don't have loads of cash to eat out at pricey vegan restaurants, or the money to buy a fridge full of expensive prepared frozen vegan meals either? What if you additionally don't feel like cooking? That's how things have been for me lately, and guess what, you don't have to say being vegan is impossilbe, "Off to fast food chains we go!" No sirree. I've been such a lazy cook these past few weeks, so I haven't been posting my regular cooking posts. But in case you're curious out there, what do I eat when I don't have a half-hour+ to cook here it goes, my simple meals:

-Cereal and soy milk (organic raisin bran from Costco is vegan, so are Cheerios, Grapenuts and I also like whole wheat Chex, or old fashioned oat meal).

-Baked potatoes, with earth balance butter, dried parsley, chives, lots of salt and pepper, and tufutti sour cream if I have some. Easily blended into mashed potatoes, adding a little bit of soy milk.

-Nachos, with homemade bean dip (blend a can of black beans into a paste), melt Follow Your Heart gourmet vegan cheese into the beans, add hot sauce, diced pickled jalapenos, diced fresh tomatoes (or a can of diced tomatoes), avocado slices, tufutti sour cream if I have it, olives, and/or hummous too if I have it.

-Canned Soup with toast, Amy's soups are all (if not ALL then mostly all) vegan. Sometimes I sautee onions in the pot first then add a can till heated. I butter my toast with Earth Balance and dust some Nutritional yeast on top.

-Rice and beans,  I use our rice cooker to cook brown rice, and to cook quinoa. Minimal effort, and super filling/good for you. Add some canned beans or chili, and perhaps a few microwaved tortillas on the side. Yummy.

-Homemade Snack Fix- Trail mix- Frozen Dark Chocolate Chips (most dark chocolate is vegan- but check labels, none of Hershey's is) and salted mixed nuts (I buy a big tub from Costco).

-Simple Salad- Leafy Greens with whatever veggies I have on hand, bell peppers, grated carrots, tomatoes, avocado slices, and also strawberries, diced apple, nuts and seeds are good on there too. Flax seed oil and Balsalmic vinegar dressing- whipped together with spicy mustard so they don't separate.

-Ramen Noodles- I buy several different kinds at an Asian Market near my house, also Nissin brand, "oriental" is vegan (but Maruchan is not... so read the labels). The Asian Market also has just the noodles (which are vegan) without any flavor packets, so I can add a vegan bouillon cube for flavor. Also while water/noodles are boiling, I like to add some frozen veggies/broccoli into the water along with some dried parsley and siracha hot sauce. Also good to dip toast in.

-Pasta- I prefer Whole Wheat Noodles for added protein and fiber, but most are vegan (just not the egg noodles which are usually clearly advertised as such). There are several jarred and canned vegan tomato sauces that are delicious. I sautee some onions, throw in a jar of sauce with fresh garlic, jalapenos, frozen broccoli, soy rizo, and/or soy protein (substitute for ground meat)- whatever I happen to have, and that's about it.

-Artichokes- Steamed. I whip together a dipping sauce with mostly Veganese and some Siracha hot sauce and its so good! A classic.

-PB&J- You can't go wrong with that! Extra good with a tall, super cold glass of soy, rice or almond milk.

-Fruits! Grapefruits and Apples have been my favorites lately, and Satsumas, but also all fruits, melons, berries and veggies are always good snack foods. Fresh and dried.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Philosophy: "But Animals Aren't as Important as People..." RANT.

I really don't understand why people don't feel the same way about dead and/or abused human babies v. dead and/or abused animals. Why not? They are both innocent, pain-feeling beings. Only the babies consume and accumulate SO MUCH more environmentally damaging waste (diapers, out grown clothes if they're bought new, bottles, toys, pacifiers, water, energy etc...), and grow up to harm the planet further and threaten everyone's life with over-population as our numbers continue to exponentially reach a critical number to sustain ANYone's life. Also most likely they'll grow up to be just another hateful, harmful, cruel person like so many humans turn out to be whether they know it or not, whether they accept it or not. Don't get me wrong, I love kids, they are amazing and breath-taking, inspiring and should be listened to more than most people give them credit for.

But along those lines, why not also love and appreciate our animal brothers and sisters? If we can love babies who continue to harm our planet, why can't we love our truly innocent wild and domesticated neighbors? And I'm not talking about the frat boys next door. Animals live amongst the land, don't negatively impact the planet with pollution and toxins, bio-hazardous and further radioactive wastes, and unnecessary cruelty and meanness to their families, friends, & acquaintances because they 'feel like it' or because they're having a 'bad day' or face it, because they're selfish little shits like most people and just don't care. Why do people think they are so much "better" or "smarter" than animals, when its the humans who are so stupid as to disregard all life around them, and the dying planet that we continue to inflict harm upon. If we all want to live so bad, why do we keep smoking cigarettes (in cars and at home with our kids!), and turn a blind eye to all the small things we could do to make less of a global impact. I know animals use aggression to dominate territory, and such but its not an emotionally charged way to make others just feel bad about themselves, like people do- ALL the TIME. This point right here, might even make people feel bad, but sometimes you have to speak the human language to get the message across it seems.

Humans are so selfish! Sometimes I wish I just lived in the bottom of the sea, or no because of all the water pollution-- better... Sometimes I wish I was just a volcano out in the ocean, building new, isolated islands for no humans- only animals to live on and respect their ecosystems as they innately know how to do, and live harmoniously within their circle of life and not be a dip shit like all these effing douche bag people. Animals are so much more innocent than human babies, but for some reason that doesn't equate to most people. Every time I see a slab of meat, or an animal being mistreated or teased or made fun of their pain- think of your own damn baby, being eaten, and beaten, teased till they cry while you sit and laugh at their pain or ignore or worse- eat them. If you don't have a baby, think of your future children, a child you babysat, your nieces, nephews, friends kids, or heck, just a random baby. And those images that you think are gruesome, and horrible and unnecessary, the images that make you mad and upset, that's what I go through all the time. Why doesn't any one else seem to care? I really don't understand.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat animals. Who do you what to be?