Parent Tested, Vegan Approved

Cooking for my parents is always a treat. I am often reminded of the Kix commercial, “Kid tested, mother approved…” or however it went. Memorial weekend has historically been one involving grilled foods. This year I took control of the kitchen and made these fabulous mushroom burgers!

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms, roughly chopped (combination of crimini, shiitake, and Portobello)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup shredded vegan cheese
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg replacers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the mushrooms, onions and garlic over medium heat for about ten minutes, or until the liquid boils off and the mushrooms begin to sauté.
  • In a large bowl, add the mushroom mixture to the oats, soy cheese, breadcrumbs, egg replacers, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Allow to sit for fifteen minutes to develop the flavors. Shape into patties.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick skillet, over medium heat. Fry patties, cooking about five minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Fryin’ em up!…

The spread…

Thumbs up, clean plate clubbers!

Sweet Tooth Trio

I must have been bitten by the baking bug this week, because I have made a sweet variety of treats. I started off the week by baking Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vanilla Agave cupcakes…it is seriously the best cupcake that I have ever made.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c soy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 c light agave nectar
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Line cupcake pan and pre-heat oven to 325F
  2. Mix milk and apple cider vinegar, let sit and curdle. Then beat in agave, oil, vanilla and almond extract. Sift in dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  3. Fill liners two-thirds full, bake for 20-22min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting

  1. Beat 1/4 c shortening with 1/4 c butter until combined and fluffy.
  2. Add 1 3/4 c powdered sugar, beat for 3-5min.
  3. Add 3/4 tsp vanilla and 1/8 c milk (more if needed). Beat until fluffy!

Later in the week I attempted brownies and classic chocolate chip cookies. I wasn’t thrilled with the way either turned out, so I am not going to share those recipes. If you really want them, I will, but I am on a quest to find a hype-able recipe. If you have any suggestions for recipes I can try out, please share!

Local TV Personalities Go Vegan

As I was enjoying my morning breakfast of Earth Balance buttered toast with sliced bananas and cinnamon, I decided to see what was happening in the world. The Today show bored me so I flipped to the local Fox 9 News channel. Their “Morning Buzz” show was just beginning. Two of the three hosts started off the segment by saying they were going vegan for the week. There are a few clips you can access on-line, such as a “Health Aspects of a Vegan Diet” and, “Going Vegan: Good Choice?

My first reaction to this was, “hey this is pretty cool.” However, as I continued to tune in throughout the week, I grew irritated with their mocking attitudes. On Wednesday, the crew sampled Tofurky pizza made with Daiya cheese. Two of the men (Jason and Keith) were dramatically disgusted with it. One of the men referred to the pizza as “spackle,” which he then proceeded to mash against a container. I am sure if he stuck a slice of dairy cheese pizza on the same container it would stick in a similar fashion. The woman, Alix, seemed to enjoy the pizza.

I am not upset that they weren’t as enamored with Daiya cheese pizza as I am. What bothered me was their “comical” bashing of a lifestyle that I work hard to promote each day. It is challenging enough to reach out to certain audiences and flip their skewed perceptions of veganism. Antics like this just make the efforts of those working in the movement much more difficult.

I wonder whether vegan “challenges” are a good thing. I think the answer is yes, but it is important to explain why these challenges fail. For example, on Oprah they aired a clip of a family at home sitting down to eat a pasta dish with Tofurky sausage and Daiya cheese bread. The family had nothing but negative things to say about the dinner. Ok, let’s pause here. Do meals containing animal ingredients come out fantastic and gourmet each and every time? No. This is reality, you won’t like every vegan dish you try. But why not show the family enjoying a dish that they do like?

In the case of the local newscasters who went vegan for the week, I think it’s important to note that not everyone can adapt to veganism over night. In fact, I would say for the majority, it is a gradual progression. Don’t get me wrong, I know of a few people who went from eating meat to being vegan in a matter of hours, and more power to them! The most important thing in this transition is to have the proper support and resources. If you don’t have veg friends or family, then seeking out groups on Meetup or non-profits like Compassionate Action for Animals can be a great way to find like-minded people.

It’s also important to keep an eye on what you’re eating. If you consume large amounts of processed vegan junk food, then you’re going to feel like crap.

I appreciate Jason and Alix from Fox 9 taking this challenge. All jokes aside, I hope this can be a lesson for others. Maybe rather than diving into veganism, viewers will do their research and make the transition at a pace that works best for them. Now, if we could only get them to do a blurb about CAA….