You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2012.
2 mashed bananas
1 C non dairy milk
1 T white vinegar
1/3 C applesauce
1/3 C canola oil
1/2 C evaporated cane juice
*2 C mixed grain flours (Use 1/3 C of each: quinoa flour, millet flour, spelt flour, garbanzo bean flour, whole wheat pastry flour & ground oats)
2 T ground flax
1/3 C unsweetened coconut shreds
1/3 C ground walnuts
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1 C blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 C raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and then fold in the berries.
*Depending on the moisture level of the berries (i.e. if using thawed frozen berries) and the size of the bananas, add another 1/4 – 1/3 C flour (wheat or oat) if the batter seems too thin.
Bake in muffin liners for about 22 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 18.
>>NOTES: To make this recipe gluten-free (GF), reduced fat, and reduced sugar…
- For the 2 C flour, use 1/2 each quinoa flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, and oat flour (GF)
- Instead of the flax, use garbanzo bean flour
- Instead of the walnuts, use rolled oats (GF)
- Reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup
- Reduce the milk and the vinegar by half
- Instead of 1/3 C oil, use about a tablespoon of oil and then the rest more applesauce.
Go! Get yourself a copy of Dreena Burton’s latest cookbook, “Let Them Eat Vegan.” You won’t be disappointed. I love the way Dreena cooks and bakes. Her creations have the perfect balance of healthy and delicious. She uses primarily whole plant ingredients, plenty of beans/legumes, minimal added fats and “just enough” sweetener. Eat all you want because there’s zero guilt!
The first recipe I tried was the Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers on page 136. At first I wasn’t sure that the burgers would hold together, but after I let the patties sit for about an hour they held up just fine in the pan. I cooked 2 and refrigerated the other 4 patties (between layers of parchment paper in a storage container.) Now I know that oats are a secret ingredient for vegan burger success! I’ve used gluten flour before, but I’ve never used oats. Oats work great– I think they’re my new favorite cooking ingredient! The “resting” time must allow the oats to soak up moisture and this helps bind the burger.
For Burger Night #1 we had a side salad with a creamy horseradish dressing and some roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, celery and onion.
For Burger Night #2 I made the Raw-nch Dressing on page 47. I didn’t have fresh parsley so I used kale instead. It worked. The dressing made for a great romaine lettuce dip and burger sauce. We made some homemade potato chips!
I’m looking forward to making more out of Let Them Eat Vegan!
Milk a bean, milk a grain, milk a nut, milk a seed, milk a drupe (yes, a drupe!), but please don’t milk an animal. When people consume milk from lactating animals, the first thing you should ponder is what is baby cow– baby goat– baby sheep– drinking? What happens to the baby animals? What happens to momma cow– momma goat– momma sheep when her overworked reproductive system stops being “profitable”? The bad news is that the answers aren’t pretty.
The good news is that non-dairy milk options are plentiful. It’s easier than you might think to wean off animal milk. There is no nutritional need for animal milk in the human diet!
Go to the non-dairy milk section of your local store and you’ll notice an ever-increasing array of plant milks: Soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, coconut milk..even flax milk! There are different brands of each type of milk. There are different varieties within the types of plant milks..like plain, vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened, fortified. If you don’t like one, try another. Find your favorite!
Holiday flavors (YUM!) – Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Peppermint, Nog
Make your “own” milk: it’s easy to do and you needn’t endure a long pregnancy and painful delivery. It’s also less expensive than packaged milk and more eco-friendly. Personally, I don’t like the aftertaste of packaged almond milks but I love homemade almond milk. I encourage you to make your own nut and rice milks. Here’s how I do it…
First, make sure you have a batch of cooked short grain brown rice on hand. I make up a batch and freeze portions in 1/2 cup glass jam jars. One cup (dried) rice will make enough for 7 batches of milk.
You must use short grain rice! You don’t want your milk to have a gritty sediment, do you? What’s the difference between long and short grains? The answer is in the percentage of the starches amylose and amylopectin. (I first learned about them from chef Alton Brown…thanks, A.B.!)
Long grain rice has a higher percentage of amylose. Amylose makes the rice cook up dry, firm and separate. Amylose is insoluble in water. Rice milk made from long grains has more of a “gritty” sediment. The resulting milk is more watery, less creamy = not good!
Short grain rice has a higher percentage of amylopectin. It releases starch when cooking, resulting in a moist, soft and sticky grain. The resulting milk will be creamy without a gritty sediment = good!
On to the nuts…pick your favorite raw nut. I like to use Brazil nuts, but sometimes I mix it up and use cashews, almonds, or hazelnuts.
Nut Rice Milk (my own creation):
Soak 1/3 cup raw nuts and 2 pitted dates into 4 cups water for 4-8 hours. Blend the water, nuts and dates with 1/2 cup cooked short grain rice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a VitaMix blender or other “sporty” blender. (I don’t know if it would work with a wimpy blender!) Frothy, healthy, affordable and delicious! I don’t strain my milk. I simply shake, then pour.
My personal favorite is mixing my homemade nut rice milk with packaged soy milk in a 50-50 ratio. That’s just me! You do what you gotta do…as long as you leave the animals alone!
Spaghetti can be a quick dinner requiring little more than heating spaghetti sauce & cooking pasta. But jarred sauce is not too exciting. This “meaty” add-in turns a plain spaghetti dinner into something much more tasty, nutritious, and satisfying. You can also incorporate it into lasagna, manicotti and more…
Make this large batch and portion into 1/2 cup size glass freezer jars. It will make about 10 servings. Freeze. Then, on “spaghetti night,” just thaw and heat up one jar (1/2 cup) Italian Mushroom Saute into 1/2 jar (26 oz jar size) of vegan spaghetti sauce (Serves 2).
1 T Coconut Oil (for the pan)
1 Carrot and/or 1 Red Pepper (chopped)
1 Medium Onion (chopped)
Several Cloves Garlic (to taste) (minced)
Dash salt & pepper
1 T dried basil
1 T Italian Seasoning Blend
1 T Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1/8-1/4 t Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
15 med-large Crimini Mushrooms (chopped)
10 med-large Shiitake Mushrooms (chopped)
1 T Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (i.e without anchovy)
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 T Vinegar from Kalamata Olive Jar
6 Kalamata Olives (pitted and minced)
2 Sun-dried Tomato (oil packed or dried & rehydrated; minced)
1 T Red Cooking Wine
In a large saute pan, heat the oil on medium heat and gradually add the ingredients in the following order:
- Onion, Garlic & Carrot/Red Pepper + Spices
- Worcestershire, Vinegars
- Olives, Tomato
- Cooking Wine
It’s done when the mushrooms are cooked and the liquid is reduced.
Beware! There’s a new children’s book coming out this week. It’s called “Vegan is Love: Having Heart & Taking Action,” by Ruby Roth. A book about living compassionately surely needs a warning label, don’t you think? Fortunately, the U.S. media’s version of that label aired on Friday, April 20th on NBC’s The Today Show.
The show’s pre-recorded segment with Ruby Roth about her new book was a positive portrayal of vegan parenting. Ruby’s young stepdaughter indicated that her favorite food is KALE. Impressive! Fortunately, the nutritional integrity of a healthy vegan diet for children was not called into question…because it shouldn’t be.
Instead…great “concerns” were voiced by the 2 in-studio guests regarding the supposed use of “scare tactics” in the book (surrounding food as well as other issues of animal exploitation, such as animal testing.) To hear the guests speak, you’d think that Ruby’s book will scar children for life:
“There is so much fear in this book.” “Why do we have to scare them?” The book is “teaching kids to fear food.” Fear, guilt, “graphic pictures:” Very scary stuff.
But who is really afraid of this stuff? Is it really the children? Will they seriously be harmed by a book that honestly exposes them to the real world? Are children so fragile that they cannot handle the truth about animal exploitation, when it is presented with gentle candor and realistic illustrations? Will children truly react negatively, or will they logically respond with compassion and concern? Won’t children want to help animals and take action? I don’t think we give children nearly enough credit.
I think the adults are the fearful ones. Fearful and feeling guilty. It’s actually the adults who can’t bear to look at graphic pictures of animal slaughter. Adults won’t listen to the truth about unnecessary animal exploitation. Adults are resistant to change. Adults don’t want their routines disrupted, their palate pleasure disturbed, or their minds opened.
Are adults– parents– most of all afraid of having their own apathy exposed? If, for example, their children reads the book elsewhere and comes home to share the cruel truths with them…what then? How will they justify their own complicity in the violence? How will they try to convince their children that they do care when maybe they really don’t? Or, if they genuinely care, then how will they explain the hypocrisy in their actions? Children are quite capable of recognizing inconsistencies.
Let’s stop pretending to worry about the children. They’re just fine. Children are inherently open-minded, curious, and adaptable. Children very easily grasp the basic concept of Veganism, which is about non-harming. Young children, in particular, naturally consider animals their friends. Why would they want to hurt their friends?
“Vegan is Love” gently asks young readers to take personal responsibility in the form of taking actions that help make the world a better place for animals. Children are not afraid to do that. They are not fearful. Adults could learn a lot from children.
Here is a perfect example of what I’m talking about, written by my vegan friend from Indonesia:
“I did a talk on Veganism to a bunch of 7 year olds. They totally get it. We also went to a local market in Indonesia and one of the kids happened to see a chicken killed. During the subsequent talk about what happened, children mentioned how horrible that was. I said, I know, but how to you think the meat comes to you? One little girl said, ‘I think it’s mean. That chicken wants to have a family and look after its babies too!’ I said ‘I agree with you,’ and she said, completely off her own back, ‘I don’t think I want to eat animals either!’ Kids get it.”
Check out Ruby Roth’s website here: http://wedonteatanimals.com/
(Picture is my copy of Ruby Roth’s first book, “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals”)
The problem is animal exploitation. The solution is Veganism.
Step 1: You. Change must start with YOU. First you go vegan. You stop consuming animals, wearing animals, and buying products made of animals or tested on animals. You stop going to venues using animals to entertain. You stop accepting that animals are just commodities to use. You start thinking about animals as individuals with their own interests. Simple.
Step 2: NOW WHAT?? Now that you’ve changed, what do you do next? Do you leave it at that? Or, do you speak up and try to help effect change in others? Remember – the point of going vegan isn’t to join a “club” that follows a strict set of “rules.” The point is to help solve a very serious social justice problem.
Solving problems of gargantuan proportion depends on the collective effort of many. No “group” is more oppressed than non-human animals. For the human culture to stop conceptualizing animals as primarily “things to consume” is going to take a monumental push for change.
- To urge forward or urge insistently; pressure: “Push a child to study harder.”
- To extend or enlarge: “Push society past the frontier.”
- To promote or sell: “The author pushed her latest book.”
So who is pushing for change? Vegans. Non-vegans won’t do it. Vegetarians won’t do it. Vegans are the only ones advocating 100% for the rights of animals not to be used.
Passionate vegans work for the greater good. By promoting Veganism, we “urge” others to act with fairness toward sentient beings. We put “pressure” on the status quo. We ask others to “enlarge” their circle of compassion to include all animals. We “promote” non-violence. These are good things. Yet, passionate, active, vocal vegans are frequently called “pushy.”
- offensively assertive or forceful
- marked by aggressive ambition and energy and initiative
Hmm…pushy sounds bad. So how did we get from “push” to “pushy?” How did we get from the words, “urge forward / extend / promote” to “offensive” and “aggressive?”
I think it has more to do with how non-vegans react to being challenged than anything else. I don’t think it really matters what the frequency– the content– the delivery method– of the vegan message is. The vegan message itself is considered inherently “aggressive” in a culture where animal exploitation is ubiquitous. Where animal slaughter is condoned, those who speak in protest are considered the “offensive” ones. All a vegan has to do is open his or her mouth to be labelled “pushy.” No one minds a quiet vegan!
Push…pushy. It doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is we have a long way to go to shift the paradigm. The animals need our help so we can’t keep quiet. So, spreaders of the vegan message: Keep pushing for change…you pushy, pushy vegans!
(Picture taken September 12, 2011 at the Ringling Circus protest in Everett, WA)
This video was taken exactly 2 years ago…4/17/10. Here I was with my brand new skins. They are ridiculously sticky when new. I thought that Eric was taking my picture. I was trying to make a fierce face. Then I realized he was taking a movie and it cracked me up! I love Eric’s commentary.
To climb uphill with skis on, you must apply “skins” to the ski bottoms. (Unless the skis themselves are made for climbing.) They work like this: when you glide the ski uphill– forward– the fibers run flat, but when you stop or try to slide backward the fibers “stand up” and grip the snow. You won’t slide backward unless the slope is very steep or the snow is glossy ice, or if you don’t weight your ski properly on a steep slope. It’s a pretty strange feeling the first time you realize you’re not going to slip!
(Think of those directional spikes you drive over in your car…“Caution: Severe Tire Damage!”…You can roll forward and the spikes flatten, but if you travel in reverse…Yikes! It’s the same concept.)
Back in the days of “old,” seal skin was used. Not vegan! I’m thinking that people might have used their skis for travel and not solely for recreation in those days? Maybe it was necessary to use seal skin once upon a time? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter now because the past is the past. Point is, we don’t need to use the skin of a seal anymore.
When you can do better, you should do better and you better do better…right? Now, we use nylon skins. Continuing to use the word “skin” is kind of icky, but it’s a good reminder of how times change even though words tend to persist. Change is good!