Monthly Archives: January 2010

Skinny Bitch (and a contest, too!)

While living in New York and working for Farm Sanctuary last summer, I was gifted a copy of Skinny Bitch from friends over at LAVA. It’s funny how this book kept crossing my path but I’d always keep passing it along before having a chance to read it (over 2 years ago my pal over at Vegan Mafia had also gifted me copy), so I figured that I may as well actually read it before doing so this time. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book because while I knew they promoted Veganism, I was hesitant at their angle since I’m not a Vegan for health reasons. Okay, okay, I guess when it comes down to it, I AM a Vegan for health reasons…the health of the animals but that’s a given, ya know?

I have to admit that I was actually pleasantly surprised with their voice on Veganism. Yes, this book is about getting healthy and having a kick ass body, but they don’t gloss over Veganism as simply a means to do that. They don’t simply talk about cholesterol or fats in dairy; they get down and dirty and openly discuss the injustices in factory farms, the pain and torture that animals truly suffer for people to stuff their faces because it “tastes so good” to them, and actually include some stories from people who have or had worked in slaughterhouse environments. Being a Vegan for nearly 3 years, I’ve heard all the things that were talked about in these awful farms, but it still brought me to tears to read the words from people who are employed by them. Who could hold tears back reading about people sticking broomsticks up a cow’s behind and screwing them with it? Or how about the hogs that are still alive when they get to the scalding tank, hit the water kicking and screaming and eventually drown? And then there is slicing off a pig’s nose like a piece of bologna, taking salt brine to that mutilated nose and then shoving the rest of that salt into the pig’s behind? Yeah, these ARE things that happen and people who want to think that these are isolated incidents are fooling themselves. Sure sounds tasty doesn’t it? Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm.

This book reminds people that they are what they eat and provides great tips to rid one’s diet of animal products completely and discusses how it benefits everyone involved. It even offers some great menu ideas and a variety of products currently on the market to make the transition to a Vegan diet an easy one.

I’m obviously not a Vegan because I want to be a skinny bitch, but it’s pretty awesome that giving my body cruelty free foods makes me healthier as a result. I love that the choices I’m making are ones that are not only great for me but for all the those living beings who deserve to live their lives in dignity. If that makes me a skinny bitch, well right on then.

So now is the time for me to pass along my copy of Skinny Bitch to one of you and my hope is, after you read it, you’ll pass it along to someone who needs it as well. Let’s make this copy travel until the pages fall out, the herbal tea stains blacken the cover, and we’ve made more people see why Veganism is a great choice for yet another reason. We only get one body so let’s be good to it, shall we?

Next Sunday I’ll pick a random winner to get my worn and loved copy of this book. For a chance to win, please begin following me on Twitter @veganmeowmix and then come back here and in the comments let me know your Twitter name so I can keep up with you, too.

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Good MorningStar

Another product review coming at ya! I’d heard that these MorningStar meal starters were pretty delish but just hadn’t gotten around to trying them out until about a week ago. I was walking about the market quite aimlessly and found myself staring at the frozen foods just hoping one of them would follow me home and cook itself on up. So while THAT didn’t happen, I decided to check out the MorningStar Chik’n Strips that proudly displayed the “Vegan” label front and center.

I warmed up the wok at home, drizzled in some olive oil and browned the strips. After they were all warm and ready to go, I added some stir fry noodles and some broccoli. Instant noms. I have to say, I was REALLY impressed with the look, taste and texture of this product. I took leftovers to work and had colleagues doing the whole “oh, so you aren’t doing that Vegan thing anymore?” and a few even “dared” to try my dish and couldn’t believe it was faux meat. Score.

While I’m not always a fan of MorningStar Farms because they just haven’t gotten with the program and ditched the eggs yet, I am a fan of this particular product. So get your wok ready and mix it on up.

Chik'n Stir Fry

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Sunday Brunch

Weekends are made for staying up late, sleeping in until noon, and eating good food. Really, for me, Sundays are all about being lazy. Shoot, I wouldn’t even be blogging this today if it weren’t for my buddy Dino over at Alternative Vegan saying he needed some good food porn. So Dino, this one’s for you!

I still haven’t visited many places here in Albuquerque that offer a lot of Vegan options but I hear they are out there and I’m excited to visit them soon. With Flying Star a quick jaunt from where I live, and hearing they had some yummy Vegan goodies, I decided to check out their menu. While their selection (or lack of) didn’t really impress me, they did have a tofu scramble that was a callin’ my name so away I went.

Not being a huge fan of the red onion, I opted for them to leave that out of my scramble, which they serve with toast and home fries, and some peppermint tea. Sadly, no agave was available but I made do with my Sugar in the Raw. Then, the food arrived:

Tofu Scramble ala Flying Star

Great dog almighty, they sure didn’t skimp on the portions for which I shelled out $8.99. This was a HUGE plate of food! I asked for my Cholula hot sauce and stuffed my little Vegan face. The scramble included crimini mushrooms, green chiles (I am learning this stuff is everywhere here!), and diced tomatoes. The scramble had a great flavor, the home fries were perfectly seasoned and the toast was tasty with some strawberry jam. Overall, it was a nomilicious experience.

Now if I could just persuade them to try a nice Vegan biscuits and gravy, we’d be all set. 😉

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With a Name Like Chic-A-Roos…

I’m going to attempt a product review at least once a week. There are so many great (and not so great) options out there that I don’t mind being the one who will figure out which is which. 😉 If you have a certain item you’d like me to put to the test, follow me on Twitter and let me know!

This week’s product review is from the Cluckphrey collection. I love the ease of just pulling something out of the freezer, throwing it in the oven, and nomming on down to something tasty. Sadly, many of the nuggets out there these days aren’t Vegan (I truly wish Quorn would get with it!) but these outshine the vegetarian versions I used to nosh on before going Vegan. I cooked them much longer than the instructions suggested because I like a little crunch in my breading and because I was a little confused as the nuggets don’t “brown” like I would have expected (you can see this in the picture below). The Chic-A-Roos had a nice “meaty” texture and deliver a really good taste.

There’s enough for a meal and a small snack or a couple small snacks. If you just don’t feel like cooking or just want something to nibble on, grab some BBQ sauce and get dipping!

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Come On, Everyone Is Doing It

Sometimes the idea of cooking can be overwhelming for people. Add the “mystery” of cooking Vegan style and it can be a whole new level of overwhelm. But really, it’s like trying anything new and remembering that preparing food with new ingredients you may have never worked with before can be a lot of fun. Just ask my sweetie who tried his hand at Vegan cooking for the very first time on New Year’s Eve for me. I was actually quite impressed that he stepped out of the traditional pasta with marinara that I usually get when someone has me over to their house because they “just don’t know what to cook for a Vegan.” Color me quite pleased to hear the menu as going to be grilled seitan, garlic mashed potatoes, and chilled strawberry soup. (I know, right?)

So after him fretting about the kitchen, the results looked good and tasted even better. The main course:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Seitan

The yummy dessert:

Chilled Strawberry Soup

It was all really very tasty and, again, quite impressive for someone’s first foray into Vegan cooking. This gal can only hope this continues and evolves into a project as awesome as Cooking for a Vegan Lover’s Blog. Okay, I won’t get greedy, I’ll just be happy for the occasional dish or two now and then. I do think he knows, though, that the way to my heart is through my tummy. ;)

I’ll leave you with the recipe that he used (and Veganized!) for dessert.

Chilled Strawberry Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen strawberries

2 cups vanilla soymilk

1 cup non-dairy creamer (recipe called for heavy cream…do they make this Vegan? If so, let me know!)

1/2 cup Tofutti sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Puree strawberries,  soy milk, cream and sour cream in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in sugar to taste. Chill 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator before serving.

So there you have it. Now get into the kitchen. Come on, everyone is doing it! NOM.

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