Saturday, November 8, 2008

Phenomenal Soup

A couple of days ago, My Beloved talked me into making a soup. It was against my better judgement as - that night - I really wanted some vegan 'junk food' and this soup seemed altogether too healthy to even contemplate.

However, I am awfully glad that I listened to him (for once!) as this was just about the most perfect soup ever! It is from Jo Stepaniak's classic Vegan Vittles** and is the Potato, Tomato and Cheez Chowder, with two slight deviations: no tomato, and a small substitution.....


2 cups diced potato (peeled)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery
6 cups vegetable broth (stock)
2 cups soymilk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cashew butter
(originally the recipe called for 1/2 cup of tahini, which I did not have so substituted the two nut butters instead)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Here's what you do:

1. Combine the potatoes, onion, celery and vegetable broth (stock) in a large pan and bring to the boil.
2. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 mins.
3. Combine the soymilk, flour, peanut butter, cashew butter, nutritional yeast, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, onion powder, salt, garlic and dry mustard in a blender. Process until smooth.
4. Pour this mix into the pot with the potatoes, celery etc and stir over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes. It'll be ready when it's smooth and thickened.
5. Stir in the parsley and serve.

The pic does not do it justice, but lemme tell ya, it was creamy, savoury, velvety and so more-ish that we both ended up with 2 bowls each and then I had the remainder for lunch the following day. It was awesome!

With food as good as this, it is really easy to...

Stay Vegan, Friends!

** If you try this recipe and like it, please do think about buying the book. It's understated but really quite the find!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On Prop 2: Ask yourself 'What would she want?'

In case, in case, in case there's anyone in California who's unsure which way to vote on Prop 2, please let me introduce you to someone who might help you make up your mind. Her name is Blaze and she currently resides at Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. Isn't she gorgeous?

Now, I know that there's this huge ideological chasm between welfare reformers and abolitionists about Prop 2 and other similar ballot initiatives and equally I know that the issues are complex. However, when I look into Blaze's eyes, those intelligent, inquisitive, forgiving, comical eyes, I know which way SHE would want us to vote. If we can offer even a modicum of comfort, succour and relief to the millions of caged animals that Prop 2 seeks to assist, I think she'd want us to do it.

OK, the phasing out of intensive confinement (battery cages, gestation crates, veal crates) does not bring us immediately to a world without suffering, a world of compassion and respect, a reality in which our fellow sentient creatures are no longer used and abused for our taste and our whim.

But look into those eyes. Let yourself really see her for the singular creature that she is. And then tell me that these measures wouldn't have made any difference to her?

Stay Vegan, Friends

Read about Blaze, and Edith, Pillar and Dora at Joanna Lucas' beautifully written blog, Peaceful

Gnarly Head or Blue Star?

On this auspicious day, My Beloved and I prepared a small celebration. The drinks are ours; the decision, yours!

Voting Today?

East Coast: Yes on Question 3

West coast: Yes on Prop 2


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Avocados do not have rectums....


Yes, that was the Quote of the Day at yesterday's Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. My Beloved and I managed to get there right on time and boy was it ever worth getting up early on a Saturday morning! The day started with a talk by Sarah Kramer on travelling as a vegan and she is so entertaining - funny, erudite, snappy, with a terrific presence and a good heaping measure of plain old common sense. She is exactly the sort of person you wish was your next door neighbour, your BFF or your older sister.

No papparazzi, sweetie!!!

But no, the above quote is not attributable to Sarah!

Next up was a legend in the vegan community: T. Colin Campbell. I was so honored to hear him speak and he did not disappoint. The room was packed - and I mean that there were people ranged along all of the walls (several layers deep), others sitting on laps, the gangways were packed with those who chose the floor and still others were crushed in the doorways, just to catch a glimpse. Professor Campbell was the first speaker that day to receive a standing ovation, so that pretty much tells you how thrilled the audience was. His presentation focused largely on how The China Study came about, his work with malnourished children in the Philippines and was very by its nature fairly dense with medical and scientific data. My Beloved loved it and is now interested in reading The China Study, so I'll have to procure a copy for him......

But, no once more, the above quote is not attributable to him either!!

Following Professor Campbell's talk, we were hooked. We stayed for all of the others throughout the afternoon and were alternately charmed by Karen Dawn, greatly entertained and enlightened by Dr. Michael Greger and delighted in Hannah Kaminsky.

Apologies for the terrible pix, but I truly could not get closer. And besides which, I was just so thrilled to have the chance to listen to these folks, I kind of forgot about camera angles....

Karen Dawn is very Californian and incredibly media-savvy. She is a true professional and you can just feel the passion oozing out of her. Highly energized and energizing, it is a privilege to spend time with her. Michael Greger is one of life's born teachers: the kind of peson you dream of having as your professor at university, but sadly never do! He's incredibly well informed and 100% up to date on his material, has all of the facts at his fingertips, knows the research inside out and has the charisma of the showman. His presentation was very audience-focused, with a lot of very dense information imparted in thoroughly entertaining ways. I would drive a fair few hours to hear him speak again!

Sadly, I have no photos of Hannah. Her spot was right at the close of the festival but still the room was packed. She presents as someone who is perhaps somewhat under-confident, but I think that's completely due to her tender age. There is no doubt that she was intimidated by appearing before so many people but I sense that she will grow into the role nicely and prove to be a wonderfully engaging and attractive advocate for veganism. I am excited to see how life develops for her.....

OK, I have tons more to say but it is cold here in my study and I am longing to curl up under the duvet(s) and read through some of the literature I picked up at the festival. So, you'll have to wait for Part Deux tomorrow, when I will indeed reveal who said: 'Avocados do not have rectums!'

Until then, gentle readers, stay vegan. Friends!