Tag Archives: vegan blog

Guest Blogger: Made of Stars – {A-Z:Veganism} H is for Hatching Project

11 Feb
Let’s kick off Monday with a post from our newest guest blogger, Ally, all the way from Australia with her blog Made of Stars. Here is Ally in her own words, “I share a crazy, beautiful, noisy life with my husband, Mat, and our four tiny vegans. Mat and I aim to maintain a sense of humour – and our sanity! – as we navigate parenthood and the Lego blocks on our living room floor. I am passionate about veganism, Australian politics, breastfeeding, homebirth (my 3 sons were born at home) and dark chocolate. :) I have a Bachelor of Social Work, and have spent most of my career working in the field of family violence.” Check out Ally on: Made of Stars, Twitter, and Pintrest. Welcome Ally!
H is for…Hatching project.This is Sarge:

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Sarge the rooster.
Photo used with kind permission of B. Carmody.

Here is Sarge as a chick, with his sister and brothers:

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Chicks dust-bathing.
Photo by author.

I first encountered Sarge when he lived in an egg. His egg, his world, was part of a school hatching program.

The fragile inhabitants of those 12 eggs emerged into an incubator, to a motherless existence. They did not experience the welcoming chirps or body warmth of a nurturing mother. A heat lamp set to 37 degrees Celsius was their only warmth and comfort.

What is a hatching project?

Hatching projects are promoted as ‘fun and easy do-it-yourself programs that enable children to see chicks actually hatching from their eggs’. School teachers are encouraged to use hatching projects  in their classrooms.

One company, Living Eggs , asserts that their program provides children with ‘the opportunity to experience the miracle of life first hand…’. Hatching projects are promoted as ‘hands-on’ enhancements  for life cycle studies.

When participating in the Living Eggs hatching program, schools are provided with an incubator, eggs, a brooder box for the chicks, educational resources and chick feed.

The company aims for the chicks to hatch on a Wednesday (‘please inform us Wednesday afternoon if there are no signs of hatching’), and instructs that all chicks should be moved to the brooder box by Friday afternoon. It is requested that a ‘responsible person’ take the chicks home over the weekend.

On Monday, the chicks are ‘ready’ to be handled by the students. On the twelfth day, at the completion of the program, the chicks are collected, along with the incubator and brooder box.

What do hatching projects teach children?

According to the companies that provide this ‘experience’ for pre-schools and schools, children are learning about ‘the life cycle’.

A testimonial on the Living Eggs home page states:

‘A wonderful stimulus for work across the curriculum. It gave the children an amazing experience of a real life-cycle’.

Perhaps the chicks were a ‘wonderful stimulus’, however, I do not agree that there is anything ‘real’ about this set-up. A hatching project is not indicative of a ‘real’ life cycle. It is totally artificial!

Another testimonial exclaims:

‘Brilliant!  One of the most unique bonding experiences ever.’

Huh!? Who bonded? The kids? The kids and teacher? Or the kids and chicks? Perhaps the teacher and the chicks bonded?

It is disappointing that there is no concern for hen-chick bonding –  the bond between mother and baby.  I am curious to know what the children are told about the ‘absent’ mother.

In fact, one of the criticisms directed at hatching projects is that the chicks may ‘imprint’ (bond) with the children who are caring for them, only to experience separation anxiety when they are removed from the school a few days later.

Opponents of hatching projects assert that children are being taught to regard the fragile chicks as mere ‘teaching aides’, not sentient beings. This is further enforced when the chicks are collected at the end of the project. The chicks are disposable.

A classroom environment can not emulate the role of a mother hen, who rotates her eggs up to 30 times a day to ensure proper embryonic development.  A mother hen communicates with her offspring while they are still inside the eggs, welcoming them and guiding them as they emerge from their eggs.

This particular ‘educational experience’ patronises children. We only give them part of the story. Yes, the avian egg is fascinating. However, the ‘life cycle’ that is demonstrated to school students is a false one.  A mother, a hen, is essential for the life cycle. She is the layer of eggs, the one who gave them life.

Not just Chicks

I was dismayed to discover that one company,  Hatch n Grow , provides duckling eggs as part of its hatching program.

The Hatch n Grow website provides the following cautionary announcement:

‘PLEASE NOTE: Ducklings can drown if you don’t provide a step for them to get out of the water by themselves. It’s always best to supervise the ducklings in the water and if at any time they look tired or cold put them back near their heat light for a rest.’

It is very unlikely that a duckling would drown under the guidance and supervision of her mother, but in a busy classroom a tired or struggling duckling  may go unnoticed.

The web site also states that their program is:

‘Great for keeping the kids in the neighbourhood occupied at home during the school holidays.’

Is that the value we truly wish to place on living beings? When we use living beings as ‘occupiers’ of our children’s time, we treat them as a novelty. The ducklings are reduced to the status of a play thing, a toy.

Ducklings are very cute, undeniably so. I am sure that  my kids would love to hold one. But, this is where our influence and guidance as parents is so important. It is essential that we instill in our children a belief that ducklings (and other beings) are not play things, that they have inherent value as living beings.

At all stages, we must ask: Is this action beneficial to the duckling (or chick)? Is it kind, is it right? This process requires empathy.

We must also ask: What are my children learning from this experience? Are these the types of beliefs that I want them to develop about animals?

I do not want my children to regard animals as toys. This belief, therefore, influences the type of activities  that I would seek for my children to be involved in.  Hatching projects in the home are definitely out.

Sarge’s Story

I rescued four of the chicks from the school hatching project that Sarge was a part of, and took them home to my suburban backyard.

My sister and I named the chicks according to their unique features: Sarge appeared to be ‘the boss’, the benevolent leader. Tails grew her white tail feathers first. Lionel’s tail feathers appeared as distinct ‘lines’. Baby was the smallest.

They were tiny, precious and fragile- and we fell in love with them.

As they grew, two things became apparent-

1. Three were roosters, Tails was the only hen;

2. They were ‘broilers’ (meat chickens), not ‘egg laying’ chickens. The company had stated that the remaining chicks, Sarge’s siblings, were going to a ‘free range’ egg facility.  I had not believed this assertion at the time and, as our chicks ‘grew’ into broilers, we confirmed the claims to be false.

Broiler Chickens

As the chicks grew, deformities began to emerge. And grow they did. Rapidly. Broiler chickens have been bred to gain weight fast. They are commonly slaughtered at approximately 30-35 days old (but no later than 55-60 days old). They are just babies.

I felt so relieved that I had brought the chicks to my home. What fate had awaited them otherwise?

Before long, the chickens could barely carry their own weight. Any amount of exertion would render them exhausted. At times it seemed conceivable that their fragile legs may snap under the weight of their unnaturally large bodies. Eventually, Lionel could only walk short distances at a time.

At the time that we shared our lives with Sarge, Lionel, Tails and Baby I had not eaten chicken for 4 years. I had read about broiler chickens and their crippling deformities. I had seen photos of them.

Now, I was sharing my life and home with broiler chickens. I observed their dust bathing and their exploration of the backyard. My heart ached as I watched them struggle to walk.

I wanted everyone to meet them. To know them. To know what these beings endure in order for humans to eat roast chicken and chicken nuggets. They were just babies. Do people realise that they are eating babies?

There was a happier ending for Sarge, Tails, Lionel and Baby.

A New Home

Once Sarge, Lionel and Baby began crowing each morning, it became apparent  that it was time to find them a more suitable, more rural home.

That is when Bede Carmody came in to our lives. Bede was living on a property that was home to ex-battery hens. He agreed to provide a home for our 4 friends. For this act of kindness and compassion, I will be grateful to Bede, forever.

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Tails, resting at her new home.
Photo used with kind permission of B. Carmody.

Bede updated us on the lives of our broiler friends with photos and letters, and it became apparent to me that he had welcomed them into his heart.

Sadly, all of  these precious chickens died before their first birthday.

Unlike millions of their kin, however, they died FREE. They were not slaves, they were not subjected to the stress of transportation or the horrors of a slaughterhouse – and they knew kindness. In a chicken production facility, they would have been slaughtered before they reached 2 months old.

A Poultry Place

Bede Carmody now runs a no-kill sanctuary called A Poultry Place in Southern New South Wales. A Poultry Place (APP) is home to rescued and unwanted hens, roosters, ducks, turkeys and geese. No doubt, some of the roosters in residence are former hatching project chicks. APP celebrated its 12th birthday this week.

I have not seen Bede for many years, but I look forward to the day that I can hug him and thank him again for his kindness.

I eagerly anticipate  the day that Mat and I visit  A Poultry Place with our children.

For this is the appropriate place to gain a ‘hands on’ educational experience about chickens and ducks (and others).  I want my children to learn about the lives of the precious beings who reside there, to understand that the residents have been blessed with a  second chance. I want them to hear about the personalities, habits and ‘quirks’ of Bede’s feathered friends.

My kids can also gain some ‘education’ by helping Bede with some of the never-ending jobs that stack up at an animal sanctuary! I’m thinking cleaning, shoveling, feeding…..that is very ‘hands on’!

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Sarge and his pals at dinner time.
Photo used with kind permission of B. Carmody.

Have you visited an animal sanctuary? Please let me know in the comments.

An alternative to chicken hatching programs, a lesson plan called Beak, Wings and Feet is available here.

More information about A Poultry Place is available here.

References:

Edgar’s Mission

World of Animal Welfare (WOAW) 

In My A-Z of Veganism series, I discuss and explore a topic or issue related to veganism, and my experiences as a vegan – as I work my way through the alphabet!

Ally

Guest Blogger: The Breakfast Blog – Apple Molasses Breakfast Bars

23 Oct

Thank you everyone for keeping the new bloggers coming! Our newest blogger is Laura, author of TWO vegan blogs: Cook to Love and The Breakfast Blog. Today she has given us a post from The Breakfast blog. Here she is in her own words, “My name is Laura. I am 30 years old, and I live in Houston, TX, where I blog about cooking and eating my way to a healthy, happy life. I love food, fitness, and all things vegan. Follow Laura on all her links: Cook to Love blog, The Breakfast Blog, Facebook: The Breakfast Blog, Cook to Love. Twitter: Cook to Love.

Do you like cereal bars?

I used to love them when I was a little girl.

But, now that I’m all grown up (or so I sometimes fancy myself to be), those flimsy, little, fruit-filled snacks no longer make the cut as far as breakfast is concerned. If I am going to break from my tried-and-true oatmeal routine for some kind of breakfast bar, it had better be a good one.

I like breakfast bars with attitude. They’ve got to have a little sass, if you know what I mean. They’ve got to be thick and rich enough to give an air of sweet, sinful indulgence. And bold enough to stand up to my morning coffee. Unashamed.

Sort of like a brownie. In breakfast clothing.

Of course, underneath that firecracker facade, any breakfast bar I am going to eat has to be chalk full of healthy ingredients. To fuel my long morning bike rides. Or runs.

I know it sounds like I’m being picky, but, you know how important breakfast is to me. Which is why I’ve come to expect so much from my breakfast bars.

And this one–this dark, rich, decadent, apple-filled treat–delivers. Because they are so moist and lush, these apple molasses bars, to me, feel more like brownies.

They’re lightly sweet, and if you choose to add raisins and walnuts (which I highly, highly recommend you do), they’re also soft, crunchy, and just a little gooey.

Apple Molasses Breakfast Bars (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1 cup rolled oats

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs (1 tbsp Ener-G plus 1/4 cup warm water, whisked)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar. These bars are not overly sweet, so you may want to add more sweetener, to taste.)

1/2 cup blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2-3 tbsp nondairy milk, as needed (I used 3 tbsp.)

1 heaping cup peeled, chopped apple (the equivalent of 1 large or about 2 medium apples. I used 1 large honeycrisp apple.)

1/3 cup raisins (optional)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350, and line either an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ pan with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, oats, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together Ener-G “eggs,” applesauce, coconut oil, molasses, sugar, and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and mix until well-combined. Fold in apples, raisins, and walnuts, if using.

Bake for 20-25 min., or until the center is firm.

Cool completely before serving. These bars keep well refrigerated in an air-tight container.

Guest Blogger: Vedged Out – 20 Reasons Why Going Vegan Sucks

19 Sep

Please welcome back a vegan blogger who has a new project going on.  This blog pos is from Somer, formerly of Good Clean Food, she has a new blog called Vedged Out. Here she is in her own words, “I went vegan for health reasons 9 months ago in January. Since then I’ve lost the 20 extra pounds I was carrying around, without dieting or counting calories. I don’t have to work to maintain my weight anymore. I am completely off prescription drugs and my Ulcerative Colitis is in full remission. I’ve never felt better, and I know all of this is a direct result of my diet. I wish I would have known years ago that I could heal my own body with what I was putting into my mouth. It’s really amazing that the cure I was looking for was harnessed through plants.” Welcome Somer!

1. You start behaving like a Mormon Missionary and proselytize the benefits of a plant-based diet to everyone you know with copies of Forks Over Knives and The China Study. (Count em, 27 converts to date)

2. You spend so much time in the kitchen that you think “Maybe just this once pre-soaking my pinto beans ISN’T necessary.” Then later, you and everyone in a 12 mile radius of you seriously regrets you didn’t take the time to pre-soak.

3. You get all crunchy and granola like and start making your own soap and deodorant.

4. You get involved in things like the Virtual Vegan Potluck and you consider getting your first facebook account. ever. so that you can hang out in the top secret VVP batcave with the coolest co-horts ever, Annie and Jason.

5. You become one of those obsessed people (we’re victims, really) who can’t stop posting food porn or yet ANOTHER way to use cashew cheez in a recipe.

6. You lose weight even though you no longer count calories and you are forced to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe.

7. After races, you recover ridiculously faster than you used to, so no-one feels sorry for you and you don’t get to take an “extra rest day” afterwards.

8. You feel like you know and love some of your blogging buddies (people you have never actually met) more than your next door neighbor.

9. You become star struck for the first time ever and start stalking celebrity Vegan Chefs like AJ and Ramses.

10. You have so much produce in your fridge, that fitting in yet another box of organic spinach in there becomes a precarious circus act. Things like ‘ears of corn’ topple out onto your head every time you open the door.

11. All of the money you saved by getting off prescription drugs goes towards your organic produce habit. You feel compelled to defend organic foods like an errant family member despite current evidence against it, because you are what you eat.

12. You start to feel “Dietarily Superior” to everyone who’s not plant based.

13. You have less no constipation, so your regular reading of “Runner’s World Magazine” gets completely cut out of your schedule.

14. Even though you are all ready a dietary outcast (1-2% of the world is vegan), you still sometimes consider going raw, high-alkaline, gluten-free or all of the above to further alienate yourself at social gatherings and restaurants.

15. You sadly realize that even though being plant-based has significantly reduced animal suffering and your carbon footprint, it has not cured your cankles or cellulite.

16. You have more kitchen gadgets than anyone you know but you can’t stop buying more, resulting in a severely receding counter-top space.

17. Your children get harassed at school because of the contents of their lunch box. Bully Child: “I thought you said your family didn’t eat meat, why are you eating a Turkey sandwich?” My child: “Um, that’s Tofurky.” Bully Child: “What’s a Tofurky?My Child to me: “Mom, do I really have to drink a green smoothie everyday at lunch? Everyone stares at me!” (Actual comments) :(

18. You feel like you’ve broken up just a little bit with some of your closest friends because you don’t share the same values regarding foods anymore. And truth be told, they probably think you’re a little crazy.

19. You feel compelled to blog constantly about your plant based devotion. So much so that you decide to ditch your best friends over at Good Clean Food and get your own dang blog. Sorry girls.

20. You get overly excited when you have a new recipe to share, as if it’s going to change the world! Well, just maybe it will, one plate at a time.

Guest Blogger: Earthgiven – Kale is the New Bacon

3 Aug

Kale seems to have reached the mainstream in terms of awareness. Our newest blogger Sarina, author of the blog Earthgiven, shares with us her favourite kale chip recipe. Here she is in her own words, “I’m passionate about delicious food and healthy, mindful living. I’m not a trained chef or expert on nutrition or homesteading. I’m just a newbie vegan wanting to explore ways I can be more self-sufficient, even living in a city with a small backyard in southwestern Ontario. I became a vegan in 2011 after many years as a vegetarian and I’ve never felt better. This blog chronicles my journey. Thanks for visiting.” Drop by Earthgiven Facebook page and say hello.

I wish I could take credit for that great line; it was Post Punk Kitchen’s facebook status the other day. But it makes a great introduction for a recipe about delectable, crispy, nacho kale chips!

These chips are the best things to ever come out of my dehydrator! If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could try these in an oven on low heat but I never got great results from kale chips in an oven; some pieces get burned, other pieces are soggy. From the dehydrator, these are perfectly crispy and crunchy, like your favourite potato chip.

A dehydrator doesn’t just pull moisture out, it intensifies the flavours of the ingredients while preserving all the nutrients. I have an Excalibur Dehydrator, bought from Upaya Naturals.

I tried kale chips at a health fair in April and was blown away by the taste. I didn’t have the recipe but knew it had red pepper, cashews and jalapeño. It was slightly too spicy for my taste so I decided to try to make my own jalapeño-free version. As my friend said when she sampled one of mine at the Upcylcing Party: “These taste like Doritos!”

Nacho Kale Chips
1 large bunch of kale (we like curly kale but any kind will work), washed and patted dry
1 red pepper

1 cup raw cashews, soaked several hours, then drained and rinsed (why soak nuts first)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a splash of lemon juice
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
optional herbs and spices: 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, pinch of crushed chilies, dash of black pepper and 2 Tbsp fresh chives, finely diced
sea salt or Herbamare seasoning

You can adjust the seasoning to suit what you like and have on hand, but the red pepper, cashews, garlic, salt and nutritional yeast are the key ingredients. I had tons of chives in my garden, so I threw them in.

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except for the sea salt/Herbamare seasoning and process until smooth. Cut tough stems off the kale and tear into chip-sized pieces.

Prepare to get messy. The cashew sauce gets massaged into the kale on both sides, so use your hands, then spread the kale pieces on dehydrator trays covered with Paraflexx sheets. Sprinkle with salt/Herbamare to your liking.

Dehydrate at 105 degrees for about 8 hours or all chips dry and crispy.

Kale chips coming out the dehydrator. I try not to eat them all!

Guest Blogger – Air Eater – Air Eater on Holiday

23 Jul

Hello everyone! I am on holiday this week and that means I am going to be working on the Vegan Bloggers Unite! conference Mat and I are planning for 2013, plus, seeing a few Concept Branding clients. Really looking forward to finding the right venue and sponsors for this. I imagine the conference is going to a fun meet up.

Please check back next week when I’ll have more posts on Air Eater and Vegan Bloggers Unite! For all those who wish to contribute, I still need two more VBU! posts.  Thank you everyone who has already sent me their posts – they will go up next week.  Please let your vegan blogger friends know I’m looking for submissions. Click here for instructions.

See you in a week!

Guest Blogger: Life of a Vegan

18 Jul

Most of us discovered veganism in our late 20’s and even 30’s, our newest blogger VeggieGirl29, is starting early. Here she is in her own words, “I’m a Vegan teenager that has been vegan for 7 months now and vegetarian for three years. I feel like I open the eyes of the younger generation that wants to make the switch but their parents are against it. I also face the struggles in high school and being a teenager and being vegan as well. I feel like I open eyes.” Follow her on Twitter and her blog; please welcome VeggieGirl29!

So the other day, I was talking about my veganism and such. WELL, someone asked me if I believed in God. Obviously I said yes. They’re response was, “God put meat on this earth for humans to eat.”

Here’s my response to that:

First, greed is a deadly sin. How greedy certain people get about meat, gets kind of sickening. People kind of over do it on the whole meat thing. I saw someone eat a beef rib, a hamburger, a hot dog, and I think one other thing I couldn’t tell you. That is being to greedy and taking too much from animals.

Second, it has been proven that ANY organism shouldn’t be drinking other animals milk, humans shouldn’t after the age of two. We aren’t suppose to be having milk and cheese in our systems… So God didn’t give us that, we forced it upon ourselves.

Lastly, if God wanted me to eat meat so bad, wouldn’t I be in the hospital at this moment? I mean honestly, if eating meat was so good for me, wouldn’t I be getting sick? But isn’t it the other way around? Becoming vegan I have lowered my chances of getting heart disease incredibly and up my chances to fight diseases.

Sorry if I offended  anyone with this post, but I was offended with at response that man gave to me. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian out that, you are no less that anyone else just by what you eat.

With all my respect,

VeggieGirl

P.S. you can always ask me questions and follow me on Twitter @VeggieGirl29

 

Guest Blogger: The Cute Vegan – Welcome!

17 Jul

Please welcome our newest Guest Blogger Adrienne McDougall, author of The Cute Vegan. Here she is in her own words,”I’m a 32 yr old vegan mom of two and wife from New England. I have a background in Human Services and social work. I’ve been vegan since 08′.” Please follow The Cute Vegan on Pintrest, Twitter and of course her blog. Welcome Adrienne!

Wow! Welcome to the world of blogging! I am not quite sure how well this will turn out but I am hoping it will turn out well! You may still be asking yourself, actually I am sure you are, wether this blog will be worth reading. Well, my answer to that is give it a try! I am writing this blog for everyone! You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy my blog either. There will be plenty of stuff to read that is not about veganism. Think of my blog as having a vegan undertone… So, I challenge you, stay with me for a month and then, if you don’t like it, leave me lonely!

Thanks for visiting! Sincerely, Adrienne

Guest Blogger: Rubber Cowgirl – Saving the World One Bite at a Time!

16 Jul

Please welcome back Rachel, author of Rubber Cowgirl. Her blog is named for her boots! Six years ago, she read Skinny Bitch and decided to go Vegan. Her life has never been the same! Her health improved, her jeans got a lot smaller, she learned how to cook and how to grow a garden. Going vegan is the most delicious way to secure your own health and protect our planet, so eat your greens! Rachel’s previous VBU! post was a recipe for Enchillasagna with Cauliricotta Please join Rachel on Twitter, and of course her blog. Please, welcome back Rachel!

I just returned from vacationing in one of my very favorite places: Traverse City, Michigan.  Located on a temperate northern bay of Lake Michigan, the Traverse City area is famous for its tart cherries and hosts a Cherry Festival the first full week of July.  It’s a great destination for food lovers, with an emphasis on fresh, local cuisine; spend a day tasting wines in the many beautiful vineyards on the Leelenau Peninsula, or visit one of several localmicrobreweries.  Traverse is also a great destination for lovers of the outdoors, whether your preference is for beaches and hikes or kayaks and bikes, there are lakes and trails galore, so go ahead and work up an appetite!

Michigan is my home state, and I will always love it.  Every time I visit I am pleased to find more and more vegan options on restaurant menus, so to all the Vegans of Michigan, thanks for making a fuss!  Gone are the days of tormenting your poor waitress with a million billion questions about what’s in this and what’s in that and can I please just have some veggies sauteed in olive oil?  Nowadays, at considerate culinary establishments, vegan and gluten free options are clearly marked on the menu!

Red Ginger, 237 East Front Street, downtown Traverse City

Take for instance Red Ginger, my favorite restaurant in Traverse City.  Happily, an Asian fusion restaurant is one of the best places to find tasty vegan eats when traveling!  Red Ginger has great food, great cocktails, great atmosphere, great location and excellent service!  I always look forward to eating there and enjoying some happy hour specials.  Though I wouldn’t expect any less from a restaurant under my sister Jo’s management, I write without prejudice: my meal was superb!  I went for a late lunch and enjoyed a tall Kirin Ichiban with edamame for an appetizer and then tried the vegan version of their Pad Thai made with local organic tofu and veggies.  Delicious!

Vegan Pad Thai at Red Ginger
Red Ginger interior
the chef’s counter
many types of seating available – bar, booth, patio…

Guest Blogger: Good Clean Food – Somer Saturday – Jam Packed Post

4 Jul

Here’s an unique blog called Good Clean Food, run by four vegan mothers: Somer, Amanda, Erika and Carolyn. When I asked Somer, one of the writers, what the blog is about, she answered, “A few moms trying to feed our families, especially ourselves, with good food, wholesome food, real food to make life easier, happier and healthier.” I visited their blog and noticed their jam post and asked for the HTML, hope you enjoy this post below as much as I did. Please welcome the ladies of Good Clean food!

It’s Somer Saturday! Amanda recently said in an email to us girls at GCF “I’m not sure we can contain Somer in a single day.” Indeed, I can hardly contain myself! We were recently nominated for TWO blogging awards: Drumroll Please….

First, Jason at Jason and the Veganauts nominated us for the Reader Appreciation Award. If you haven’t visited his stellar blog, do it now and you’ll find the coolest Atkins to Vegan dude that you ever met. Doesn’t hurt that his posts are so funny that he often leaves you in stitches with laughter tears running down your face. Good times. Thanks Jason. Pure worship to my veganaut brother from another mother!

Then the gracious Lucy at Lucy’s Friendly Foods nominated us for the One Lovely Blog Award. Aw, shucks! *Blush* Lucy is a Cordon Bleu trained Chef/Mom that has taken the vegan cooking/baking/you wanna reach into the computer and take the food in her photos and eat them world by storm. I’m hosting a birthday party this weekend, and I’m pretty sure most of what I’m serving will be Somerized interpretations of something dizzyingly delicious from her blog. Check it out now. Really. You won’t be sorry! So thank you to Lucy and Jason! You’re my faves too!

Where was I? Oh yes, not only can I hardly contain myself, but I’m bursting at the seams and this week my kitchen was overflowing with fruit. I had cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, blueberries and strawberries to name a few. What to do with so much fruit? Why I needed to make jam of course, not just any old jam, but Antioxidant Chia Jam. Adapted from this fabulous pectin free recipe here at OSG.

Antioxidant Purplicious Chia Jam

3 C. Pitted Cherries

2 C. Raspberries

1 C. Blueberries

1 C. Strawberries

1/2 C. Pomegranate Arils

1/2 C. Pure Maple Syrup

5 T. Chia Seeds

Dash Cinnamon

Method: Combine fruits, pure maple syrup and cinnamon in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it reaches a low boil. Mash a bit with a potato masher, add chia seeds and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often until nicely thickened. Remove from heat and ladle into jars. Share. Keep refrigerated, will stay fresh for a week or two.

Now you need to make this nut butter, also adapted from this recipe here at OSG (can you tell I’m in love with Angela lately?)

Super-Powered Nut Butter

2 C. Raw Almonds

2 C. Raw Cashews

1 C. Raw Pecans

1/2 C. Sunflower Seeds

2 T. Hemp Seeds

2 T. Sesame Seeds (I used black and regular)

2 T. Flax Seeds

2 T. Chia Seeds

1/2 C. Unsweetened Dried Shaved Coconut

1/4 C. Pure Maple Syrup

2 t. Kosher Salt

Ok, ok, so just really use whatever nuts and seeds you have, I know this list is a bit ridiculous, but my pantry is pretty awesomely stocked at the moment. You may also need to halve this recipe if you have large food processor envy. Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roast nuts all nuts and seeds on a large baking sheet (except coconut) for 5-7 minutes, stirring once. Add shaved coconut to the nuts and seeds and roast for a few minutes more until the coconut turns golden. Remove from oven. Let cool briefly. Add to food processor and let ‘er rip. You may have to scrape down the sides a couple of times but in 5 minutes or so it should start to come together and stop looking like very finely ground nut flour. When that happens, add the maple syrup and the salt. If you notice steamy fragrant luciousness emitting from your food processor, you’re not the only one, and no the motor isn’t malfunctioning, the nut butter is heating up under blissful pressure. Process for a couple more minutes until delicious. Eat while gooey and warm and turn into a veganaut superhero.

Add pretzel rolls, I know you haven’t forgotten these from my carb loading post, neither have I ;)

Instant Picnic!

Don’t forget to make yourself a vegan pizza for dinner tonight for Vegan Pizza Day! Ideas here and here!

And finally, if you haven’t entered my Cafe Rio Giveaway, DO IT NOW! Winners to be announced on Tuesday!

A House Full of Health: Who Needs Cake When There is Pie!?

1 May
Please welcome back Marsha, blogger of A House Full of Health – who can resist pie indeed! Please read Marsha’s previous post here and follow her on Twitter here, while you’re at it, please do visit her FB page. Enjoy!

When I make cornbread I use some silken tofu and some egg replacer. If it’s just egg replacer the cornbread is not as fluffy and creamy. If I just use silken tofu the cornbread just falls apart. So, I use half of each. It works very well!

With this, I had practically a whole block of silken tofu left. I looked around the kitchen and found some other ingredients. Here is what I made.

Stuff you need:
I block of silken tofu (missing about an 1/8 of a cup is fine)
Small bottle (airline bottle) of hazelnut kahlua
10 oz semi sweet vegan chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s has vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
1 9 inch pie crust (Wholly Wholesome has a great whole wheat frozen pie crust)

What you need to do:
Bring a medium sauce pan of water to a boil. Half full or more of water is plenty. Lower to a simmer.

Melt the chocolate with the kahlua and vanilla in a metal bowl set on top of the simmering water. Mix frequently with a rubber spatula until melted.

Add the tofu, chocolate mixture, and agave nectar to a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for 1.5 hours or until set.

For the pie crust, bake according to package directions (for a no bake pie)

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we did! So good!!

Cheers and happy eating!

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