Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone. Jason and me are making cinnamon buns, marinara spinach lasagna and then we're gonna watch the Evil Dead series. Fun and yum.

And, because it starts with the letter "H" here is a hummus recipe. Best served with warmed up French Bread or pita bread. Or, to be healthier carrot sticks taste great dipped in hummus.

I think most hummus recipes are pretty standard, but here is mine, slightly adapted from the Veganomicon.

2 15oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1.5-2 tbsp's of Tahini (I don't like Tahini all that much, so I use only a little)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 of the chickpea juice, leftover from the can
Tiny bit of cumin

I use one of those "immersion" blender things because it works better than a fork or my tiny food processor.

1. Place half the chickpeas and the olive oil into a big bowl. Keep pulsing, pausing to stir, until the chickpeas are almost creamy.
2. Add the rest of the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, and spices. Keep pulsing and stirring until it's entirely creamy. If it seems to thick add some of the 1/4 cup of chickpea reserve to thin it out a little.
3. Keep it in an airtight Tupperware container. This makes a tonne, so I usually make half batches unless I'm planning on eating a lot.

Make sure to refrigerate it for at least an hour so all the flavours combine. To serve, put it in a bowl or on a deep plate and drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle paprika over it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Food and World Vegan Day Ideas

So, I think it's pretty fair to say that most people think vegans have weird food in their fridge or pantry. I am here to set that myth straight.

I finally got a new battery charger for my camera so now my pictures will be bigger and nicer, yay! (not to mention way easier to upload).

The Fridge:

Top Shelf: So Nice Original Soy Milk x 2, some Oasis juice I decided to try (Mango flavour), Jason's milk, Cola, Earth Balance 1/2 cup sticks for baking, Organic extra firm tofu x2, Tequila, soy creamer (yuck, but it's for a recipe), an avocado, and finally a Brita water thing

Second Shelf: Organic carrots, Crofters jam in Raspberry and Strawberry flavours, organic vegan applesauce cups, veggie dogs and regular hotdogs for Jason, Bruschetta, leftover quinoa, Better than Bouillon, almonds and some mixed nuts

Third Shelf: Mandarin Orange box and SIX pounds of spinach lol. Normally I only have 1 tub, but I am making lasagna this week that needs tonnes

Crispers: Lemons, limes, gala apples, organic red and green peppers, nugget potatoes, kale, broccoli, green leaf lettuce, cilantro and parsley.

Door: TVP (textured vegetable protein...okay so I have one strange item so far), Italian dressing, BBQ sauce, Jason's miracle whip, mustard, dijon mustard, some of those whole pepper things like the one's you get at Quizno's, Vegenaise (vegan mayo, unopened haha), some Newman's salad dressing, Rene's tangy thai sauce, real chili sauce, more salad dressing, taco seasoning, real maple syrup, real organic peanut butter, banana peppers, jalepeno's, sweet pickles, capers, orange juice, Earth Balance, sherry wine, grenadine and finally some crappy salsa.

The Freezer:

Top Shelf: leftover chili x2, leftover minestrone soup x3, homemade pizza sauce x3, 3 half used loaves of bread, hamburger buns, an Amy's burrito, "That Guy's Soup" chipotle corn (I think), some Amy's frozen entree's, gardenburger veggie patties, some bags of frozen fruit and some frozen veggie bags (broccoli/cauliflower mix and a zucchini/pepper/mushroom/something else one), ground flaxseeds

Bottom Shelf: Ice (definitely some strange vegan food right there haha), some schezuan flavoured Tofu stuff, extra firm tofu, vegan frozen waffles, Toffuti fudgesicles, spicy fries, and some frozen chicken strips and burgers for Jason

Door: Jason's fudgesicles, frozen peas, fried rice (I bought before I went vegan, so I guess it's Jason's now lol), some Turtles flavoured vegan icecream, some (FRIGGIN DELICIOUS) coconut milk mint chocolate chip icecream, some bacardi breezer thing, Jason's moms jam (yum) and an ice pack (oooh!)

The Pantry:

Top Shelf: like 6 cans of non-veggie soups I have to donate to the food bank, some earl grey tea, 3 types of green tea, Jason's nutella and honey, chocolate peanut butter, crushed tomatoes x2, some beans (refried, black, chickpeas...), Nesquick syrup, agave nectar (it's a natural sweetener), rice crackers, microwave popcorn bag, some vegan canned soup

Second Shelf: white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, cream of wheat, vanilla extract, baking soda, corn meal, some crappy Ichiban noodles thing, spanish rice (not vegan), Jason's granola bars, my granola bars both by Nature's Choice (a raspberry one, and a pumpkin granola one..I think), some cereal (The Pumpkin Granola Nature's Choice one is AMAZING, Kashi has good cereal too..the others are Jasons so I don't know what they are lol)

Third Shelf: Ugh, this is my baking shelf. Um, brown sugar, soy sauce, corn starch, baking powder, walnuts, almonds, dried cranberries, raisins, vegan chocolate chips, cream of tartar, egg replacer, cocoa, nutritional yeast, peanut oil, tahini, sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla rice milk x2, vegetable oil and some other baking stuff I am sure I missed

Bottom Shelf: 8 types of pasta (haha), some chips, nacho chips, sea salt, kosher salt, and tortilla shells *burrito size* haha.

The Spices:

Well, not exclusively spices but here's what it is: flour, sugar, Merlot, salt and pepper, maca powder, turmeric, bay leaves, chili powder x2, cayenne pepper, cumin, quinoa, garlic, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, Chinese five spice, and then my spice rack (the ones I use most are basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, herbs de Provence, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme...)

Counter veggies/fruit:

This is my stuff that is waiting to ripen and non-refrigerating veggies and fruit: tomatoes, bananas, kiwis, onions, avocado, shallot

So, as you can see Vegan's don't eat crazy food (with the exception of TVP!!). Everything else you probably already (or should) eat anyways.

Now I'm hungry.

Also, as mentioned earlier World Vegan Day is this Sunday, November 1st. Here are some easy food ideas that you probably already have the stuff for:

Breakfast: toast with jam and fruit, oatmeal with fruit, or some cereal with an "alternative" milk (if you are so inclined to go buy some)

Lunch: veggie wrap with hummus, green smoothie, soup, veggie chili, some whole fruits or veggies

Dinner: Stir fry, tacos with refried beans instead of meat and guacamole instead of cheese, burritos, fajitas with portabello mushrooms instead of meat, soup, chili, any type of pasta with lots of veggies and a marinara sauce, homemade garlic bread (olive oil, parsley, garlic on some crusty vegan bread)

Well, those are just the first things that popped into my head. Some snacks could be apples with peanut butter or you could splurge and buy the coconut milk icecream (pretty sure it's in any grocery store) and be amazed at the goodness of it.

You could also go out to dinner, sushi restaurants are great, as well as Indian or Ethiopian ones. Italian ones generally have a marinara sauce that's good too, just avoid chain restaurants as they have crap for vegan food.

(Oh, I guess I should mention in case you are a bit fuzzy...vegan means no animal products whatsoever. So no eggs, dairy, meat, gelatin, whey, and any other million animal byproducts. Further, no leather, wool etc...but for the purposes of World Vegan Day I would say no eggs, dairy and meat is sufficient.)

Well, that's all for me tonight. Tomorrow I'll post a great hummus recipe and a new pasta one.

Charlie and Alma

Here are a few pics of my babies:

Charlie has the most symmetrical and perfect face, I love him.

World Vegan Day is Sunday!

Just a reminder that the finale to world vegan week is Sunday, World Vegan Day! Eat vegan, feel great, be happy!!

November is also vegan awareness month, so eat vegan as much as you can.

This interview with Alicia Silverstone is really good. It's about her new book, but it talks a lot about non-vegans "flirting" with veganism and great vegan alternatives that taste better than the real thing. Although, the lady host is irritating and they spelled "kitchen" wrong in one of the banners lol.

Later tonight I'm gonna post some stuff you can eat on Sunday. I have to go to New West now to see some lady at the Elizabeth Fry Society, but after I am finally going to check out Karmavore. It's a cool vegan shop in New West only a few blocks away from where I'm going. I am soooo excited, I've wanted to go there for ages.

They will have vegan gum! I haven't had gum in like 2 months. They also have Field Roast sausages which I have been wanting to try for months as well, yum.

Anyways, check back for some vegan day ideas.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leather: not just a by-product

I'm just gonna post a few links to videos and articles about the leather industry. It is very sad and I honestly can't look at leather the same after finding out much of this information.

It isn't just the animals that suffer as a result of the leather/clothing industries, it's the workers, the environment and ourselves who all suffer as well.

First I suggest you watch this, it is from Earthlings and gives a good summary of the leather/clothing industry. Although many cow skins are by-products of the meat industry there are also many cows killed just for their skins, especially in India.

This next video has no narrative or anything, but gives you a good look at how tanneries operate. (The Fez Tannery is one of the biggest and oldest in the world):

And here is a video of a boy who works at the Fez Tannery. They use pigeon shit mixed in water (which the people wade through waist deep) to "soften" the rotting flesh...remember, leather IS skin; rotting, decaying skin from a live animal, and it is only "preserved" when we had toxins and chemicals to it:

And here's my last video, it's just some anti-fur/leather/wool add from PETA, still interesting however:

Here is a "Leather Facts" sheet that discusses where it comes from, the environmental hazards as well as some alternatives.

Here is just a good summary of the leather industry from the "biodegradable myth" to the transport of animals used for leather.

Here is a great website with tonnes of info about the leather industries. And yes, cows ARE cool!

Here is a PETA fact sheet that includes info on other animals that are used for leather and a list of alternative websites etc.

And Here is another PETA fact sheet about the harm to the environment etc for both the leather and wool industries.

You have to remember that leather doesn't necessarily come from cows, although the majority does. It seems that almost everyone nowadays is anti-fur but next to no one is anti-leather. Hopefully this opens your eyes a little bit to the horrors of the industry.

(BTW. I don't generally follow PETA, but researching this leather stuff lead me to those articles which have references and what not. Sometimes their facts are a bit faulty, but these ones seemed quite reliable as far as I could tell).

I fell asleep on the bus today...

and I NEVER fall asleep on the bus! Ever!!! I was just reading a crim article and for some reason I just could not keep my eyes open for the life of me. When I woke up I realized how retarded I must have looked haha, my mouth was open and my head was down in a stupid way so I must have had a massive double chin. Ugh.

I have decided because I see so many colourful and wonderful people on the bus that I will have a daily winner on the bus. There will be at least one winner a day, after all my odds are pretty good that I'll meet some crazy with 3-4 hours of bus riding a day!!

Today's winner on the bus is: Miss extreme prostitute. She showed the bus driver her coochie because she had no bus fare!!! She gets on the bus completely stoned or drunk or something with that really bad crackhead skin and her pants had the waist cut off so they were falling down. She asks the bus driver if she can ride for free because she has no money and accidentally threw out her bus pass and blah blah blah and the bus driver is like no you can't, sorry. So she shows him her naughty bits and the bus driver was like OMG and kicked her off the bus. Her pants were literally past her ass and she had no panties on or anything. Ugh. Now I've seen the breasts and a butt of a hooker unintentionally.

I retract my statement about the chocolate chip cookies I made being too heavy/greasy. I just ate some more and they were AH-MAZING!!! I think letting them sit for a day helped everything solidify a bit more so it wasn't greasy at all, just some chocolaty cookie goodness.

Anyways, I have class in a few minutes. Ta-ta for now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vaute Couture

I wish I had a bunch of money to buy one of these coats by Vaute Couture. They are super cute and even better than wool.

Boycott Splenda

I always thought that Splenda was sketchy and fake. Turns out I'm right. Not to mention the horrific animal testing that was done to create Splenda, or the fact that it was tested on less than 6 humans (no more than 4 days each) before it was released a few years ago.

Click Here for information on the animal testing part.

Click Here for health concerns etc regarding Splenda.

Click Here for information on Sucralose as well as some natural sugar alternatives.

Sucralose can't even be digested, and even water treatment plants can't break it down so it filters back through our water systems. Ugh. Again I am disgusted at what society mindlessly puts in their mouths.

Later this week I am going to post lists of what I have in my fridge/pantry and what I consider to be baking and eating essentials. (and I have tonnes of stuff! I love to cook!!) as well as some more information on the leather and wool industries. They seem to go unnoticed by most people, and even I do not know the full extent of the industry.


I made the chocolate chip cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking. They seemed quite greasy and heavy to me, but Jason ate all his in like 5 minutes so I guess they were good lol. Not the best I've had, but still yummy enough. I didn't want to cook 3 trays of cookies (nor do I need to eat that many in a few days) so I froze the last 2 batches for later. Yum.

Why am I vegan anyways? (part 2)

I support silk worms:

and not their exploitation:

I support natural pollination:

and not the honey industry:

Only farm animals, fish and insects you ask? Well I also support the rights of dogs:

and not their skinning, slaughter, torture, breeding, and use (esp. beagles) in animal testing experiments (look up Splenda's animal testing):

I support cats and kittens:

and not their breeding, slaughter or torture:

I support monkeys:

and not their use in experiments:

I support organic produce farms:

and not the runoff, diseases and other environmental detriments caused by factory farms:

I support forests and other natural habitats:

and not their clear cutting:

I support health:

and not bad health caused by our diets. Diabetes and heart disease can be reversed through our diets, obesity and some cancers are entirely preventable (Read the China Study, among other books/journals):

I support healthy body image and exercise (and yes I know, I am lazy..but I am working on it!!):

and not obesity, overweight children and eating fast food 10 times a day:

And finally, I support vegan food!!!! I have had my eyes opened to soooo many more types of food and flavours. It isn't restricting at all, it's the opposite. Just look at the colours and possibilities:

and I don't support the meat, dairy or cheese industry, this includes animal byproducts like gelatin (cuz we all want boiled hooves, bones, tails and heads in our Jello and candy). I just like how in these pictures the colour comes from fruits and veggies and not the meat...imagine the picture without colour, it's disgusting:

And this, ladies and gentlemen is why I chose to be vegan. I can't love certain animals over others, I can't live in ignorance and pretending, I can't keep eating crap. If you are unfamiliar with any of these industry realities please research them (beef, pork, chicken, fowl, gelatin, animal by-products lists, leather, wool, silk, fish, animal testing, environmental impacts of mass fishing and factory farms, consequences of breeding, spaying and neutering, pet overpopulation, being able to feed the entire world if we were all veggie etc.) and have your eyes opened. You can not call yourself an environmentalist, animal activist/lover etc if you are not veggie, period. Research these industries and impacts and then make an educated decision about your lifestyle.

Why am I vegan anyways? (part 1)

I was sitting on a bench at school earlier today, half reading, half watching people walk by. What was I watching you ask? People munching on hamburgers, drinking milk, wearing leather shoes or Uggs, rubbing on lotion laden with pig products. I got so overwhelmed I had to go sit in the bathroom and calm myself down. I just felt so sad, how can these people wear/eat these things if they knew where they came from? If they knew the horrible working conditions the workers are put in, if they knew that factory farming is the number one biggest threat to the environment, if they even considered that humans are the ONLY species to eat another mammals milk. Think about it, calves don't even drink their mothers milk after they grow up, humans don't, cats don't, pigs dont, but for some reason we believe we need cow's milk to survive...seems strange and completely unnatural when you think about it.

I decided to go remind myself why I am vegan, why I choose this lifestyle. Why? I LOVE animals, what makes a family pet like a dog or cat any different from a pig, a cow, a dolphin, a bear, or even a human? Why do we value some lives more than others, because they taste good? some are cuter than others? Why?


I support cows:

and not their slaughter, torture or the leather industry:

I support the right to live for calves:

and not their slaughter and torture:

I support hens and their strong maternal instincts:

and not their slaughter or torture:

I support the right to live for male baby chicks:

and not the fact that they are literally thrown out as garbage as a result of the egg industry:

I support pigs and their intelligence:

and not their slaughter and torture:

I support a natural life for piglets:

and not their cruel and unnatural lives inside factory farms:

I support lambs:

and not their slaughter:

I support goats (one of my favourite animals):

and not exploitation of them for cheese and milk:

I support sheep and all their smiles:

and not the cruel procedures of the wool industry (mulesing):

I support dolphins:

and not their slaughter off the coast of Japan (and yes, that is the ocean coloured red with blood):

I support fish because they too can feel pain and fear:

and not their capture and slaughter, nor the clear cutting of the ocean floors:

I support the deer:

and not their exploitation:

I support bears:

and not their exploitation:

I support foxes, rabbits and other animals that fall victim to the fur industry:

and not their being skinned alive:

I have more, I am going to make a part 2.