Friday, February 19, 2010

Egg Industry vs. the Environment

I came across an article in the news about a small California town situated next to a large egg hatchery factory farm. It starts like this: "At the end of a remote road lined by houses, children play in yards just a short distance from a stagnant, 16.5-acre lagoon filled with the waste sludge of a factory egg farm." This type of waste disposal is a very common practice at these behemoth factory farms - the one in the article houses 700,000 hens.  Lagoons like this are the leading cause of soil and groundwater contamination in the US and contribute greatly to the vast greenhouse gas emissions that fuel the global warming problem.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunflower Seed & Herb Cheese Spread

My family has always been big on cheese spreads. I think it's a Midwest thing. Cheese logs, balls of cheese, cheese dips - all delicious and dangerously irresistible. One of my favorites is the garlic & herb cheese spread made by Rondelé, spread on a cracker - it's a tiny piece of heaven. This recipe captures that essence and is very similar in consistency and taste. Cheese has certainly been one of the more difficult obstacles on my path to veganism. Needless to say, when I first heard about nut and seed cheese and how amazing it is, it peaked my interest in a major way.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Soyaki Tofu and Garbanzo Beans

A few months ago I got hip to the beauty of marinating tofu. I'd been cooking the stuff for some time and I knew how to spice it up and prepare it pretty consistently, but I came across an article raving about the benefits of marinating, so I gave it a try. I gotta say - definitely the way to go. Marinating tofu for 30 minutes or more before cooking is super effective. The flavors take hold really well and it also makes the tofu cook much faster and more evenly. My fav marinade at the moment is Trader Joe's Island Soyaki - it's unbelievably delicious, teriyaki with hints of ginger and garlic goodness. If you're not near a TJ's the brand Soy Vay makes and Island Teriyaki or Soyaki marinade that is available in most supermarkets.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vegan Black Bean Chili Lunch Bowl

I woke up today to the unusual sound of rain falling outside my window. Southern California doesn't see too many rainy days, but when they come I am thankful. It was chilly and wet all day long and I was in the mood for some warm comfort food. I thought of black beans - I've become very fond of their many uses as a meat alternative - and I had some fresh veggies to use up, so I decided on a chili-type bean bowl to soothe my soggy soul. It was very quick and easy to throw together and certainly served it's purpose...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hearty Tofu Scramble

I've always enjoyed a good breakfast. When I first lived on my own, my roommate and I would make these big egg scrambles, packed with all kinds of delicious ingredients. When I first started seriously considering vegetarianism and researching the food industry, eggs was one of the first things to go from my diet. I'm not here to preach, but the way they discard the male chicks in hatcheries (see here if you're curious) shows such a complete disregard for the beauty of life and the spirit of nature. Animal cruelty is just a very small part of why I went veg, but this left quite an impression on me - and eggs almost immediately lost their appeal.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Veggie Terrain: Why Veg?

I go to the Veggie-Terrain blogsite all the time for recipes. She has laid out a great set of links and resources related to the many factors involved in a sound decision to switch to vegetarianism/veganism. Check it out...

Veggie Terrain: Why Veg?


Egyptian Foul (sounds like "fool")

Sometime last year I learned to make a delicious middle-eastern dish called Foul. Full name - Foul Mudammas. It is a fava bean stew, and my Egyptian friends traditionally eat it for breakfast. It's fairly simple and quick to prepare and the result is a hearty, aromatic, protein-packed snack or even a full meal.