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Sunday, February 27, 2011

A berry good weekend!

It's 7:15 on a Sunday night and I have to say, I had a wonderful weekend. It started out with a little vitamin D intake at the beach which called for a little beach-reading. I started a new book, The Vegan Girl's Guide To Life, by Melisser Elliot. It's full of cruelty-free crafts, recipes, clothing, and beauty secrets for living a more compassionate lifestyle. It gives some advice and encouragement on how to gracefully embrace the vegan lifestyle while spreading the word to others even though, at times, it seems like a lost cause. It's common for new vegans to be very excited about making the change and talking to others about the numerous benefits. However, sometimes it may come across a bit preachy, which is not the intention. All you can do is tell people about it, suggest some reading material, and get involved in organizations that support the cause. Knowing what I know now, it just seems silly that someone wouldn't want to become "more vegan." Another thing I did learn was that honey is not vegan. Honey bees have complex nervous systems that allows them to feel pain. And furthermore, honey is bee puke. Not to sound gross, but it's the truth. Bees are controlled by a smoker that make them unnaturally engorge themselves with honey. The swallow nectar, throw it up, eats it again, and then repeats. I have found that agave nectar is a great honey substitute.

On Saturday, I forwent my vegan ways to partake in a fondue fiesta hosted by my high-fiving friend, Traci. First of all, it was totally awesome of her to make the fiesta vegetarian. There was beer-cheese fondue and chocolate-peanut butter fondue. Everything was so delicious. It was the first time I had a good amount of cheese in over a month. There's no doubt that cheese is delicious, but after being meat and dairy free this long it didn't really sit well. And speaking of cheese, another thing you commonly hear when talking about going vegan is "well, I could never give up cheese." I was definitely one of those people. I LOVED cheese. But, thinking about where cheese comes from is enough for me to give it up. Was it hard? Sure, at first. But after a week, it was a little easier, and after two weeks, I really didn't miss it. The thing is, you really can give up cheese, you just don't want to give up cheese. Why do you think that is? Perhaps you are addicted to it. I'm not saying that in a joking way, either. Cheese contains casein which is a milk protein that has a highly addictive quality to it. In fact, cheese contains more casein that any other dairy product. If you want, conduct your own experiment. Give up cheese (and all dairy so you aren't consuming any casein) for two weeks. Give yourself just 14 days, and free yourself from the cheese-monster. I'm telling you, once it's out of your system, you won't crave it. Not to mention, there are plenty of vegan cheeses out there to try. I actually haven't experimented with any of those yet though because I honestly haven't wanted cheese. I did make an exception for myself though, for the fondue fiesta. Although food and friends is always a good time, I was looking forward to Sunday.

I met with a friend, and her friend at Darbster's, this adorable, little vegan place on the water. I had a fanTASTIC lunch and met my new boyfriend, Dalton. He has a huge head and requires a slobber-rag but his sweetness and charm made it all okay.
He's a Great Dane who's heart is as big as his head. Everyone at Darbster's was so excited and in awe to watch him walk in. Everyone pulled out their camera phones, including the executive chef. Dalton was an instant celebrity. One of the things I LOVE about Darbster's is that it is very animal-friendly, but not only that, they are not-for-profit. All of their profits go to animal charities and help spread the word about veganism. It's truly a great company with a lot of heart, which is most definitely reflected in their amazing food! Today I had a cup of avocado-cucumber-lime gazpacho with a palmcake sandwich. It was one of the best meals I've ever had. And somehow it tastes even better knowing I am helping animals. I wish I would have taken a picture of it because not only do they do a great job making delicious food, but it's always presented in such a beautiful, artsy way. I just love it.

When I got home I made Berry-Berry Strudel. I bought way too many strawberries for the fondue fiesta so I wanted to make something with them. I found a recipe in Skinny Bitch for Blueberry Strudel and thought, why not make that and add strawberries? I have to give myself a high-five for that one (so basically I clapped my hands together once, which is a bit awkward) because the strawberries and the blueberries went great together. The recipe also has lemon extract and cinnamon in it, so it's full of great flavors. It came out perfectly moist. I couldn't find the recipe for this one online, so you'll just have to get the book (which I HIGHLY recommend!) After seeing the success with my ad-libbed strawberries, I felt like I wanted to keep the ball rolling. So I closed my books and opened my cabinets.

For dinner (and leftovers for lunch) I decided to make some black beans and couscous with a little island-attitude. Last week while grocery shopping I came across this mango salsa couscous.
I just made that, according to the package directions, using olive oil in stead of butter. Then I had a can on black beans and some leftover veggies from last week's recipes. I started out by just adding some chopped garlic and jalapeno to a little bit of olive oil over low heat in a skillet. Then I added the black beans, drained and rinsed first. Sprinkled in a little southwest chipolte seasoning and sauteed for about 5 or 6 minutes. I then removed the beans from the pan and put them in a bowl off to the side. There was lots of great flavor bits leftover so I added a half of a chopped red bell-pepper and a half of a large carrot, shredded, to the pan. I let those soften up a bit and then added some ground coriander and a little cayenne pepper. After about 5 minutes over medium heat, I added the beans back to the pan and tossed it all together. Here's how it came out and the flavor combination was pretty great. It has that perfect ratio of hot and sweet flavors. This couscous is certainly one of my new faves.

So that's about all I have for now. I was really going to give you some powerful statistics that I truly think would make you think about going vegan or vegetarian, even if just for a day. However, I was so eager to get other people reading about this I quickly passed the book on to someone else so I want to make sure I get all the facts and figures right before I tell you about them.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Barley and Me

Last night's meal calls for a mid-week post! I made a barley and vegetable salad. It was another recipe from Whole Foods' free app. You will see that it calls for green lentils, however I totally forgot to buy them last time I was at the store. I happened to have some barely so I used that instead. I thought it came out great. It's full of bright, fresh vegetable flavors because all of the veggies are raw. Definitely shop at the produce stand for this one. Buying this stuff at Publix would probably cost a small fortune. I got all of my herbs and veggies for about $4. The chickpeas were on sale for $0.65 a can, and a half a box of quick-cooking barley is about $1.20. So for less than $6 total (about $0.98 per generous serving) you can have a delicious, vegan meal that would make many chickens, pigs, and cows very happy. Here's how mine came out. I served it with plantain chips (store bought) which I thought was a nice compliment because it added crunch and it was fun to scoop up some of the salad with them.
And here is the recipe.
Lentil and Vegetable Salad
1 cup green lentils, picked through and rinsed (or barley)
5 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 yellow pepper, diced
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeño pepper (optional), finely diced
1 small bunch mint, finely chopped
1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
Mesclun salad leaves for serving (optional)
Place the lentils, water, salt and bay leaf in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender but not mushy, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain lentils and transfer to a bowl of ice cold water to cool. Let cool completely, then drain and put in a large bowl. Add pepper, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, chickpeas and jalapeño to lentils. Gently stir to combine, taking care not to mash the lentils. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over salad greens if desired.

I also made some hummus this week (also from the Whole Foods app) and spread it on one of those thin, round deli-flats. I roasted 1 large zucchini and 1 orange bell pepper and added those to the sandwich. Talk about another very inexpensive yet delicious meal! Wow. And here is the hummus recipe I used. Sorry, I don't have a picture, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Hummus Tea Sandwiches
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
12 slices thinly sliced sandwich bread
Put chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, soy sauce, cumin, coriander, garlic, and 1/4 cup water into a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Before serving, let hummus come to room temperature, then stir in parsley. Divide hummus between 6 slices of bread and spread out evenly with a knife. Top with remaining slices of bread and press each sandwich down lightly. Using a large cookie cutter (any shape you'd like), cut out the sandwiches and transfer to a platter. Cut the remaining part of each sandwich into geometric shapes and transfer to the platter, if you like. Serve immediately, or cover platter with a slightly dampened paper towel and plastic wrap, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

So that is all for now. Next blog I think will be about how factory farms are to blame for these mega-viruses popping up, like the H1N1. Researchers and scientists say that it's only a matter of time before another catastrophic strain comes out. This is terrible on so many levels. More to come about that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Please be mine, vegan Valentine

Well, this week was Valentine's day and it was extra sweet, even without the candies and heart-shaped box of chocolates. For starters, I just have to say that I love my Mom! She's been my Valentine for 28 years. Being my first Valentine's Day as a vegan, she gave me a vegan chocolate chip cookie and a gift card to Whole Foods (and some sweet smelling soaps). I mean, how awesome is that? And let me tell you, I don't know how Whole Foods does it but that cookie was awesome! I even had to ask my mom if she was sure she bought the right cookie. She did... and now, a few weeks into leaning into this new way of life, being able to taste how good eating with compassion can be, I'm not surprised the cookie was that good!

Inspired by this beyond-good baked treat, I decided to bake something myself. Think vegans can't eat cupcakes? Think again, my friend. Come to find out, not only can vegans eat cupcakes, but they can eat truly delectable cupcakes. The recipe was simple and sweet. I found it in Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your Bod by Kim Barnouin. This is an AWESOME book by the way. If you are thinking of going vegan but are overwhelmed at all by what you need in your house and want easy recipes, get this one! She spells it all out for you and let me just tell you, her cupcake recipe is a good one! Here it is.  If you want the frosting recipe, buy the book!  And remember, the frosting is actually much thicker after refrigerating, which is not reflected in this picture. (This is a scrolling link by the way, so feel free to scroll up and down for a bigger preview of this book.)

And here is how mine came out. The icing looks a bit runny here. It is. I found out that you need to refrigerate the icing for a couple hours before piling it on. But everything came out good. They were moist and perfectly sweet. Slightly pink from the fresh strawberries that are in the batter! The silken tofu is a bit strange, not too appetizing to look at. I definitely had my doubts when making these but they really surpassed my expectations. Oh, and let me save you some time in the sweetener aisle of Whole Foods. Evaporated cane sugar is crystallized cane sugar. I was looking for a liquid and spent many, many minutes pouring over all the different sweeteners. So once I decided to just take a chance a buy the crystallized cane sugar in a bag, I had the option of regular cane sugar, organic cane sugar, or vegan cane sugar. The packaging offered no explanation. Not knowing what to do I just went for the vegan bag... made sense to me, even though I have no idea what makes sugar vegan. Well, now I know. According to Whole Foods, vegan cane sugar is made without the process of bone char making it 100% suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Ok, creepy! I'm sure your next question is, what is bone char? Bone char, made from the bones of cows, is at times used to whiten sugar. Some sugar companies use it in filters to decolorize their sugar. Other types of filters involve granular carbon or an ion exchange system rather than bone char. Supermarket brands of sugar buy their sugar from several different refineries, so there is no way of knowing whether it is vegan at any given time.

I have also been reading Veganist by Kathy Freston.  I'm only four chapters in right now but I can definitely tell you, this is a must-read!  She gives you plenty of great reasons to go vegan as well as stories from others about why and how they changed their lives.  One of the points she makes very early on is so simple, so logical, yet so powerful.  The human body is not designed to consume animal products.  For starters, our teeth are short and dull, not long an sharp like carnivorous animals in the wild.  Our mouths were not made for chewing flesh.  We also don't have claws to tear through meat.  Our fingers are more appropriately suited for picking berries and things of that nature.  Our digestive systems don't even have the enzymes to digest raw meats and our intestinal tract is long and winding.  Meat-eating animals have a very short and straight colon designed to move meat in and out of the body quickly.  And this is only stating the obvious.  There are so many more reasons to lean into veganism.  Kathy uses the term lean to suggest that you don't have to go-vegan or go-home, but to just slowly change small things.  Maybe start with giving up meat and then slowly phase out the dairy.  It's not about being miserable and trying to change 100% right off the bat.  It's about educating yourself on how to best take care of your body to get the most out of life, while dignifying the lives of animals.  Anyway, the point is, it's a great book.  The health benefits alone are enough to at least consider changing.

Until next time... here's a little something to make you laugh.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Steak, ice cream, and brownies - oh my!

I have to say, I am really enjoying this vegan thing.  I think I have passed the point of going through meat and dairy withdrawals.  I'm not saying I will never cheat again, but as I sit here right now I truly have no desire to.  Of course this might have something to do with the truly amazing dinner I just made myself.

First of all, it was super simple because all the work was done for me already.  All I had to do was heat it up and put it all together.  The apron was totally unnecessary, but any excuse to wear it!  I love my owl apron. :) Let me tell you, if you are craving beef and broccoli from the Chinese place, you should try this.  The flavor and texture was great.

I used vegan black pepper steaks, a soy-based imitation meat.  I thought for sure the texture would be creepy and it wouldn't taste like meat but I was so wrong.  I really don't know how they made this texture so real looking.  It shreds just like the real thing.  It's perfectly chewy and the sauce that it comes in is very tasty. I picked it up at Whole Foods in the freezer section. I think it was $6. So I heated it up according to package directions, 8 minutes in a sauté pan on the stove.
Then I just served it over some quinoa and brown rice with a side of steamed broccoli. I am totally patting myself on the back. For me, this gets an A+ because it took all of 10 minutes to make AND it was delish. These can also be heated up in the microwave for 2 1/2 minutes or baked in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Definitely worth a try if you are craving a beefy meal; which I was not craving by the way. It was more or less an experiment to try this fake meat.

Now for dessert... those who know me know that I am a major ice cream junkie, hence my unduly ample shape (just a fancy, more polite way of saying fat). So anyway, I thought it would be so hard to give up real, dairy-based ice cream. Not so.  I discovered the most satisfying and yummy ice cream. OMG! Ok, Blue Bell, you are so NOT missed. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this non-dairy, soy-free ice cream is BETTER than the real deal. It's just as the brand name suggests, purely decadent. I tried the chocolate flavor. It tastes like an Almond Joy candy bar, but better! No lie! This is coming from an ice cream connoisseur (seriously, I used to blog about ice cream). Now, I'd be perfectly happy with this ice cream substitute from here on out because I love chocolate. I think there are only a few flavors to choose from currently, so I'm hoping there will be more to choose from in the future.

Now, while we're on the subject of desserts... a friend of mine sent me a tip for making easy "vegan" brownies. I am putting quotes around the word vegan because, technically, they aren't 100% vegan. What you do is take a store bought box of brownie mix and just add a can of pureed pumpkin instead of adding the eggs and oil. The mix itself does have some milk product in it. I headed to Publix to pick out my brownie mix. As I was looking at the voluminous selection of mixes I decided right then and there, since I was having such a hard time deciding, that I would conduct a taste test (really, it was just an excuse to make two batches of brownies). So, I first went for the Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix. I thought, if I am going to be making these things with pumpkin so they're "healthier" then I want the best mix I can find. I perused the nutrition facts.  The mix by itself is 140 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 18 grams of sugar.

After taking the time read that I asked myself, self- what was the point in reading that if supposedly you're main concern isn't calories and sugar content? So now I've been in the brownie aisle for about 5 minutes thinking. I thought, well how good are these really going to be?? So if the point is to be healthy we might as well compare them to a "diet version." I went for the Pillsbury sugar-free brownies. With only 90 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, I thought it would make for an interesting match.
I knew I already had a can of Libby's pumpkin at home (I stocked up during the pumpkin shortage over the holidays... I was paranoid that I wouldn't be able to make a pumpkin pie in an emergency situation). Now, just FYI, Libby's nutrition facts are slightly healthier than Publix's store brand, (Libby's has 40 calories per 1/2 cup and Publix has 50 calories; not to mention somehow you get 2 extra grams of fiber with Libby's) so I put the "healthier" pumpkin with the sugar-free mix to make them the ultimate healthy brownie. The verdict is in... I'm going to be honest as I promised in my very first entry. I wasn't in love with either one of them. They were both good, but neither one was AMAZING!

First of all, the texture is very moist and dense. You can really taste the pumpkin in both of these brownies. Obviously there was a richer chocolate flavor in the Ghirardelli mix. However, they were very similar overall as far as the overall experience. So if I make these again, I would actually go with the sugar free ones and save on the calories. They are better, I think, after they have been refrigerated. It's more like eating a moist chocolate cake than a brownie. It definitely cures a chocolate craving no doubt! Maybe I can find a real vegan mix at Whole Foods. I'll let you know what I can come up with.

That is all for today. I'm just starting to read the book Veganist by Kathy Freston. Halfway into the first chapter and I'm already learning a lot and looking at things from a different angle. More to come on that this week.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bean there, done that.

So this week I tried a new pasta recipe. This was another one that I found on my free Whole Foods app. I made it exactly as the recipe said. It was okay, lacking a bit in the flavor department.

The dish is called Linguine with Spinach, Artichokes, and Red Lentil Sauce. When you cook the lentils they become very soft and become creamy, giving the illusion of a cream sauce without the dairy. I love this concept. First, I have to say that I didn't have enough lentils for the recipe. Why, you ask? Well Whole Foods doesn't sell pre-packaged bags of dried red lentils so I had to buy it from the bulk aisle. This is the aisle that is sort or candy-storeish. You fill your own bags with whatever amount of any item you would like. So this recipe only called for 3/4 cup of red lentils, I eyeballed it. Not a great idea. I way under eyeballed it -- (side note/story... I had an eye exam yesterday and I have spots on my retinas so now I have to see a retina specialist. I'm not saying this is why I way under eyeballed the lentils, I'm just saying this is pretty coincidental. haha). The point is, I only bought about a 1/2 cup of the lentils which resulted in less creamy, saucy goodness. Looking back, I only paid $0.52 for my underestimated beans... it wouldn't have made a hill-of-beans difference (no pun intended) if I just got a little over zealous in the bulk aisle, given my entire grocery bill for 2 recipes and a couple random snack items was like $65!

Back to the recipe. Here it is. I prepped everything before I started cooking. It makes the process much easier and also makes clean-up a lot easier. Next time I would use less garlic and more lentils (like you're supposed to) and I would maybe add some additional herbs and spices.

2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup dried red lentils
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
1 bunch spinach, stemmed and roughly chopped
4 artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
In a medium pot, heat mustard seeds over medium heat until they begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully add broth, 1 cup water, onion, lentils and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until lentils are very tender and falling apart, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and stir until lentils break apart to make a sauce. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add linguine and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain and return to pot. Immediately add spinach, artichoke hearts and lentil sauce to hot pasta, toss well and serve.

And here is how mine looked.

I think you can definitely tweak this one to your liking.  But I do love the spinach and artichoke combo.

I received a few of the books from Amazon yesterday so I will get to reading those starting this weekend so I will be learning a lot more, hopefully, about the vegan lifestyle.  I have found that I do great at home, but it's difficult at other people's houses.  For example there was a gathering at my mom's house this week with tons of good looking food, but my choices were kind of limited to raw vegetables and ice.  LOL.  Yes, I ate ice.  People were asking me how the whole vegan-thing was going and I said, well I'm eating a cup of ice if that gives you any sort of indication.  Until next time...

Knowing I did my part in not contributing to these guys' death makes me feel good and glad to be a new vegan!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Veganish weekend

This past weekend was my first weekend experimenting with the vegan diet. I would say from Friday night to this morning I have been vegan 80% of the time, and vegetarian 100% of the time. It's hard to avoid eggs I have found. But, I survived the weekend and actually enjoyed what I ate. Being a snacker, one of my first things to try was a replacement for chips. Now I know potato chips are allowed but I was looking for an un-fried alternative... and let's face it, Lay's isn't fooling anyone with those baked chips. Please...

I tried kale chips and I was pleasantly surprised! I had my doubts with this since I associate kale with garnish on plates that no one ever eats. However, these kale chips are actually very crispy (when eaten fresh- do not attempt to store these for snacking later, they lose their crunch) and had great flavor. Another good thing about them is you can buy a huge bunch of kale at the produce stand for like a buck, AND it really couldn't be easier.
You just rip it up (make sure it's bone-dry), LIGHTLY coat with olive oil (I poured about a tablespoon in my hand and then rubbed my hands together then just scrunched the leaves up with my hands), and bake. I sprinkled with salt AFTER they were done so that the salt wouldn't make the kale release any liquid and get soggy.
Here is the recipe:
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
So that was a success. I will definitely make these more often.

I found a couple of recipes on my free Whole Foods iPhone app so I went to buy the ingredients. I have to say, Whole Foods is kind of overwhelming and confusing at first. Plus, I had to buy a few "staples" that were expensive, but I won't have to buy them again for a while (i.e. tahini, almond butter, tamari). Before I get into the next recipe, I just have to vent. I really don't think the layout of Whole Foods makes sense. They have soy sauce located on 3 different aisles!! What is with that?? THEN- my grocery store pet peeve.... one of the things I purchased, which was on my receipt did not make it into my bag and of course I didn't notice until I go to make the damn thing. $4 soba noodles!! Luckily I happened to have whole wheat thin spaghetti in my cabinet that I used for a subsitute, but that just really ticks me off. And it's not like I could have just run back over there, it's like 20 minutes away. Anyway, I am forgetting what the point of this blog is.

So last night I made Sesame-Peanut Noodles. I have to say, I was really impressed. The sauce was perfect (although I did add a splash of saracha hot sauce because I like that extra heat)! Here is the recipe:
1 (8-ounce) package 100% whole grain soba noodles
2 cups snow peas, strings removed
2 tablespoons roasted smooth peanut butter or almond butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced sodium tamari
1 tablespoon sesame tahini
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Add snow peas with 1 minute cooking time remaining. Drain noodles and snow peas thoroughly. In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, tamari, tahini and crushed red pepper. Add a splash of warm water if needed to thin the sauce so it will coat the vegetables and noodles. Add noodles, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper, green onions and sesame seeds. Toss to coat noodles and vegetables thoroughly with sauce. Serve room temperature or chilled.

And here is what my finished product looked like.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I had dinner at Darbster's on Saturday night. Awesome vegan place on Dixie (the old Tree's Wings). I had palm cakes, made from hearts of palm, with mashed potatoes, black beans and mango salsa. YUMM!! Love that place, and they are super dog-friendly and encourage people to bring their dogs, however, I really don't think they want to deal with this...
Check them out!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saying no to foods with faces

So, I want to become a vegan. Why? Well my number one reason is because the thought of cows, and other animals, being murdered is way too sad. Aside from no longer wanting to take part in animal murders, I think there are some great health benefits that come along with a vegan diet. So I figured why not blog about attempting this transformation. I'm eager to learn a lot and I plan on sharing it with you.

If you're going to eat meats or other animal products you at least owe it to the animal to look at his or her face before it's led into the death-maze. I will now think of the face my food once had. When I think about cutting into a juicy steak I will now see his former big, black eyes and soft, furry face. I will think about the unwanted, and not to mention unfashionable, earring he gets as a baby, labeling him with a number, not a name. I will think about him growing up and being fed for a sole purpose, to be shot in the head and eaten for dinner.

Knowing that this change won't be easy I have purchased an arsenal of books from Amazon that should arrive sometime next week to get me started on my cruelty-free journey. As I read and experiment through these books I will share what I have learned. I will be trying some vegan recipes and giving you my two cents on how it really tastes and how much it cost. My hope is to make the switch and possibly encourage others to do so by showing you, if I can do it then so can you.

The books I will be using are:
Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World by Kathy Freston

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Lindsay S. Nixon

The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets and More by Melisser Elliott

Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your Bod by Kim Barnouin

Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

I hope that you will check in to see how my vegan-intervention is going from time to time. I will be 100% honest with my findings and struggles. In the mean time take a look at this face and ask yourself if his death is truly something you're completely okay with.

And also check out this story. I will think of Molly B and her courage everyday. (click on the line below)
Cow that escaped slaughterhouse has new adventure