Veg*nuary

**no animals were harmed in the making of this blog**

chia seed recipes

Back in veganuary I talked about chia seeds and what a great, quick pudding you could make with them. And also how crazy good for you they are. You can read about it here:veganuary.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/what-i-ate-today-day-4ch-ch-ch-ch-chia/

This week I decided I would make a bit more of a plan than usual, and hunt down some recipes I want to try in advance. One of these was from Oh She Glows, which if you dont know, is one of the bestest vegan blogs out there.

I followed this recipe to a T. Which, honestly I dont often do. It was so easy, though it does take an hour to cook. so here is the link, and just in case you werent totally tempted, a picture of mine.

ohsheglows.com/2012/01/31/endurance-crackers/

P.s. these crackers are : vegan, gluten free, nut free, and soy free!Image

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Veganuary- post mortem

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It’s february 2nd. Yesterday I had a bowl of noodles with fish sauce in them. Today my all vegan otherwise lunch includes some bacon (local and home cured/smoked by my dear boyfriend).

Part of me wants to stay vegan forever. I feel good. Physically, and yes, morally.  But being  a chef make this hard, and I am only human. Still these excuses sound lame.

So I have decided to maintain a as-vegan-as-i-want diet. That means replacing dairy and egg wherever possible and greatly limiting my meat consumption. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Of course I will not call myself a vegan out of respect for people who actually are.

One thing that bothered me during this experiment (and I am totally guilty of it) was when people would say ” you can’t eat that.”  It happens with alcohol too. Someone will say “sarah can’t have wine.” Thing is, I can have whatever I want. I CHOOSE not the have chicken and cocktails. It’s stupid, but it bothers me.

So this is it. I have started a new blog if you enjoyed reading this one, please give it a go 🙂

http://theresacrackineverything.wordpress.com/

It will definitely include vegan recipes!

And please feel free to ask me any questions about recipe, or veganism, or whatever!

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Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

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By: Mark Bittman  original article here http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others/

It’s time to take a look at the line between “pet” and “animal.” When the ASPCA sends an agent to the home of a Brooklyn family to arrest one of its members for allegedly killing a hamster, something is wrong.

That “something” is this: we protect “companion animals” like hamsters while largely ignoring what amounts to the torture of chickens and cows and pigs. In short, if I keep a pig as a pet, I can’t kick it. If I keep a pig I intend to sell for food, I can pretty much torture it. State laws known as “Common Farming Exemptions” allow industry — rather than lawmakers — to make any practice legal as long as it’s common. “In other words,” as Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of “Eating Animals,” wrote me via e-mail, “the industry has the power to define cruelty. It’s every bit as crazy as giving burglars the power to define trespassing.”

Meanwhile, there are pet police. So when 19-year-old Monique Smith slammed her sibling’s hamster on the floor and killed it, as she may have done in a fit of rage last week, an ASPCA agent — there are 18 of them, busily responding to animal cruelty calls in the five boroughs and occasionally beyond — arrested her. (The charges were later dropped, though Ms. Smith spent a night in jail at Rikers Island.)

In light of the way most animals are treated in this country, I’m pretty sure that ASPCA agents don’t need to spend their time in Brooklyn defending rodents.

In fact, there’s no rationality to be found here. Just a few blocks from Ms. Smith’s home, along the M subway line, the city routinely is poisoning rodents as quickly and futilely as it possibly can, though rats can be pets also. But that’s hardly the point. This is: we “process” (that means kill) nearly 10 billion animals annually in this country, approximately one-sixth of the world’s total.

Many if not most of these animals are raised (or not, since probably a couple of hundred million are killed at birth) industrially, in conditions that the philosopher Peter Singer and others have compared to concentration camps. Might we more usefully police those who keep egg-laying hens in cages so small the birds can’t open their wings, for example, than anger-management-challenged young people accused of hamstercide?

Yet Ms. Smith was charged as a felon, because in New York (and there are similar laws in other states) if you kick a dog or cat or hamster or, I suppose, a guppy, enough to “cause extreme physical pain” or do so “in an especially depraved or sadistic manner” you may be guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals, as long as you do this “with no justifiable purpose.”

But thanks to Common Farming Exemptions, as long as I “raise” animals for food and it’s done by my fellow “farmers” (in this case, manufacturers might be a better word), I can put around 200 million male chicks a year through grinders (graphic video here), castrate — mostly without anesthetic — 65 million calves and piglets a year, breed sick animals (don’t forget: more than half a billion eggs were recalled last summer, from just two Iowa farms) who in turn breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria, allow those sick animals to die without individual veterinary care, imprison animals in cages so small they cannot turn around, skin live animals, or kill animals en masse to stem disease outbreaks.

All of this is legal, because we will eat them.

We have “justifiable purposes”: pleasure (or, at this point, habit, because eating is hardly a pleasure if you do it in your car, or in 10 minutes), convenience — there are few things more filling per dollar than a cheeseburger — and of course corporate profits. We should be treating animals better and raising fewer of them; this would naturally reduce our consumption. All in all, a better situation for us, the animals, the world.

Arguing for the freedom to eat as much meat as you want is equivalent to arguing for treating farm animals as if they could not feel pain. Yet no one would defend Ms. Smith’s cruel action because it was a pet and therefore not born to be put through living hell.

Is it really that bad? After all, a new video from Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, makes industrial pig-raising seem like a little bit of heaven. But undercover videos from the Humane Society of the United States tell quite a different story, and a repulsive one. It also explains why we saw laws proposed by friends of agribusiness in both Iowa and Florida in recent weeks that would ban making such videos: the truth hurts, especially if you support the status quo.

Our fantasy is that until the industrial era domesticated animals were treated decently. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it isn’t; but certainly they weren’t turned out by the tens of thousands as if they were widgets.

We’re finally seeing some laws that take the first steps toward generally ameliorating cruelty to farm animals, and it’s safe to say that most of today’s small farmers and even some larger ones raise animals humanely. These few, at least, are treated with as much respect as the law believes we should treat a hamster.

For the majority of non-pets, though, it’s tough luck.

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Omnivores Guilt

Tomorrow is the last day of Veganuary. And I feel panicked. 

Last night I shared some of my thoughts and struggles with a vegan friend. He assured me that I didn’t have to make some big decision, I could go back to the way I was, or I could just change a little, or  a lot.  Whatever felt right for me.

But I don’t know what that is anymore.

I can’t unlearn what I know. I can’t look at my cat sleeping peacefully and think that if he was a different animal I would be ok with him being killed, possibly terrified, just so I can eat something I don’t even need to survive. Why is my cats life worth more than a pigs? Why is mine? Because humans are smart? If we were so smart you wouldn’t have fucked up planet so much in the 20 (relative) seconds we inhabited it .

I told my friend it was getting a little annoying sometimes, cooking for myself all the time. Turning down things like the bag of ketchup chips that contained milk (why,why, why??) and smarties. And I felt like a dick. How could I compare my minor annoyance with a lifetime of suffering? 

So please Omnivores, tell me why I should eat meat. Tell me why you don’t feel guilty, how you get past it. Is eating animals from “happy farms” enough? Fish are not factory farmed, is it ok to eat sustainable fish?  And what about eggs and dairy? It seems to me those cows and chicken have it the worst.

Would it be stupid to be mostly vegan? A weekday vegan? Or would it be hypocritical? Would you say I had to be one or the other? Does it mean nothing to try a prevent a little bit of suffering? 

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Vegan Nacho cheese

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Hello! Sorry for the radio silence friends. I decided that the daily “what I ate today”s were just too much darn work for me, and often I wasn’t eating anything new or different anyways! But today I do have something interesting. Nacho cheese! 

So, I just kind of made this up as a went along. I would encourage you to do the same so it will fit your taste,not mine. Basically I:

-soaked a cup of raw cashews overnight

-strained water, put in blender.

-add: lime juice,hot sauce,banana peppers, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and water. Amount will very on your taste. But I would start with approx. 1tbsp lime juice, 1/4 water, 2 banana peppers, 2tsp cayenne, 1tsp hot sauce, 2 tsp nutritional yeast, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp paprika. And then just add more of whatever it needs to taste. You dont want it super thin, so be careful of adding too much water. I put mine in a mason jar and in a warm spot in the kitchen overnight.

Enjoy!

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What I ate today day 19

This month is really flying by now it seems. And I have just realized I have only been to the gym twice all month :S and really I  just went to weigh myself to see if the vegan diet was making me lose weigh (at last check-not really). Oh well. Busy girl.

Breakfast: The usual. Bagel with cashew butter and banana. Green goodness smoothie.

Lunch: Arugula salad with cucumber, avocado, tempeh and cashew cheese.

Dinner: Perogies with tofutti “sour cream”, cold pasta salad with olives and cherry tomatoes.

Late night: I met up with an old friend after work and we went to Elgin Street Dinner. I had heard rumors that their gravy was vegan but it didn’t seem possible. But it is it! Yes, that thick dark brown goo is mushroom gravy- made with margarine! I had fries and gravy. It was what you would expect.

Snack:Pineapple. After all that grease I needed some fruit.

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Next tattoo

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Check out these beautiful pink dogwoods! Only 11 more day til my next tattoo appointment. My guy Rob is going to totally rock this. 

 

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what I ate today Day 18

Breakfast: Bagel with cashew butter and banana, green goodness fruit smothie

Lunch: Rye toast with avocado, arugula, “cream cheese” and smoky maple tempeh.

Snack: coconut milk ice cream

Dinner: Left over lasagna

Snack: cultured vanilla coconut and fruit. Granola bar.

Snack: bagel with cashew butter and banana. More vanilla coconut and fruit.

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Thimblecakes!

Thimblecakes!

Here is a lovely write up about my favorite cupcake shop!. As I mentioned yesterday, so much of their stuff is vegan (and delicious!). 

Gone are the sad days of dry, crumbly vegan baked goods- and good riddance! 

Another amazing vegan shop worth checking out in Ottawa is Auntie Loo’s. http://auntieloostreats.ca/

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What I ate today day 17 +homemade lasagna!

Breakfast: Fruit smoothie.

Snack: Cupcakes with some of my favorite people, Josh and Gwen. We went to thimblecakes on Bank st. 80-90 percent of the stuff there is vegan, all easy to find with a small V (for vegan) or D (for dairy) beside the cupcake name. They also make amazing coconut milk ice cream!

I had a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake and a coconut milk latte. This was my first coffee in 17 days!! I realized early on that I dont really like soy milk. Just as well I figured since I didnt want to overdo soy and I do like tofu and a couple of my other dairy alternatives like tofutti sour cream and cream cheese are soy based. And I have been having a bit of an issue with caffeine making me feel squirrely, so I just stopped. Until today. It was totally delicious, I only drank half, I felt squirrely. Back on the coffee-free wagon I go.

Lunch: I was so hungry when I got home I devoured a spinach-tofu samosa as soon as I got in the door. I picked up some tempeh for the first time today and made such an awesome sandwich! Toasted rye with “cream cheese”, avocado, arugula and smokey maple tempeh.

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Snack: Green goodness smoothie. Sooo good,

Dinner: I made lasagna! Ok, ok. I did use store bought noodles and sauce. So sue me.For the cheese I used silken tofu with spinach and garlic. I also added some daiya mozzarella to the mix and on top . And a couple olives, because I love them.

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Not bad eh?

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