It's Spelled D-A-I-N-A

A Case for Veganism and Other Important-to-Me Things

Cashew and Cardomom February 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — My Vegan (and other) Apologetics @ 00:23

Apparently its ‘cardamom’ not ‘cardamon.’  Who knew?!

Well I didn’t want to say it in the title, because I seem to really over do this particular topic, but these are more cupcakes!  From the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  Do we still underline book titles? Some fellow vegan friends came over and we chose these exotic sounding cupcakes to make.  Easy to throw together with some interesting ingredients.  They did make a thicker batter than most cupcakes.  And I wouldn’t recommend the Whole Foods 365 cashew butter because it isn’t salted and isn’t perfectly smooth.

The reactions:  My guests loved the whole package.  Cupcake and icing and all.  I thought the cupcake was more like a muffin, but agree the frosting was super amazing.  There is a nice orange flavor in the cupcake, but next time I would add more cardomoM. The appearance of these cupcakes is like all the tract homes of Arizona.  Neutral dessert colors.  Light brown clay.  I think this fact adds to my theory of these as muffins.  Iced muffins.  We cooked the muffins at only 325 degrees and for longer than the recipe calls for because we made them big cupcakes.      

See happiness below.  Recipe follows.

even matches the standard AZ desert colored counter top

Cashew Butter Cardamom Cupcakes (pg 128 in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

1/2 C plus 2 TBSP soy milk or rice milk

1/4 C fresh squeezed orange juice

2 teas ground flaxseed

1/3 C Canola oil

1/3 C plus 1 TBSP granulated sugar

1/3 C Brown Sugar, packed

1/3 C smooth cashew butter

1 C plus 2 TBSP all purpose flour

3/4 teas baking powder

1/2 teas baking soda

1/2 teas salt

1 teas ground cardamom (fresh is best)

1/4 teas ground cinnamon

1 teas finely grated orange zest

 

 

preheat oven 350 degree, mix liquids, mix dry ingredients, whip 2 minutes with mixer and cook for 22 to 24 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

 

 

 

Cashew Butter Frosting we used:

 

 

1/3 C cashew butter

1/4 C  margarine

2 TBSP shortening

1 teas cardamom

3/2 teas vanilla extract

1 and 1/4 powdered sugar

1-2 TBSP rice or soy milk


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Matcha January 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — My Vegan (and other) Apologetics @ 23:43

I really love Matcha.  What is matcha, you ask?  It is green tea powder!  The whole leaf siltified.  It is this bright green, super fine, smooth, powder with a strong green tea flavor and tons of healthy antioxidants.  Yum yum.  You can make drinks with it and feel like a super hero sipping down radioactive green power juice.  (Starbucks has a pretty good matcha green tea frappuccino if you want to try it out.)  You can also bake with it.  Some of my favorite cupcakes are the green tea and almond cupcakes in that most used vegan recipe book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  They are soooo good.  And super moist.  Tonight I had one with green tea ice cream.  Delicious!  But mostly delicious because of the cupcakes and icing.  I actually was not impressed by the ice cream.  I think coconut milk doesn’t make the best base for a vegan ice cream.

Here is the recipe:

1/2 C Soy Yogurt (I usually just make this with some heated vegan milk, cornstarch, and a bit of lemon.)

2/3 C Rice Milk (Or any vegan milk- but rice is the most Japanese to match the matcha)

1/4 teas. Vanilla

1/3 C Canola Oil

1/2 teas. Almond Extract (I usually double this because I love the flavor)

1 1/4 C All purpose Flour

1 teas. Baking Powder

1/4 teas. Baking Soda

3-4 teas. matcha tea powder (I usually add extra of this devine stuff too)

1/4 teas. Salt

3/4 C white sugar

Mix the wet and dry separately and add them together.  Beat just until smooth.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or so.  Take out when a toothpick comes out clean.

For the (amazing) Green Tea glaze:

2 TBSP vegan margarine

1 C powdered sugar

1/8 to 1/4 teas. matcha tea powder (But I put in about 1 to 1 1/2 teas. for extra yum)

1-2 TBSP rice milk (or any vegan milk)  (I have also used brown rice syrup here.)

1/4 teas. almond extract (I usually put a whole teaspoon in because almond extract is love)

Frost the cupcakes with the goodness and enjoy!

 

What Do You Eat? October 4, 2010

Filed under: Correction on Common Misunderstandings — My Vegan (and other) Apologetics @ 01:34

What do you eat?!  This is the most common question after someone finds out I am vegan for the first time.  Do you survive on tofu and lawn clippings?

I realize that this question comes from the feeling most people have that a vegan diet is some restrictive and/or temporary thing.  They see it as a sacrifice that I am making and constantly suffering for.  Well I am here to tell you that it is a lifestyle and a very liberating one at that!  And it is here to stay.  My whole paradigm on food has changed in the last year or so.  I don’t think in meals of solely meat, eggs, and dairy anymore.  There are so many other options out there.  I don’t think, “well I used to think a real meal was a center of meat and a side of mashed potatoes and veggies so I need to just make substitutions to recreate a want-to-be real meal.”  I don’t crave meat or dairy or eggs.  And now that I have gotten rid of the butter, milk, and cheese on top of everything, I can appreciate the rich and varied flavors of spices, herbs, whole grains, and vegetables.  Everything is so fresh!

There are a lot of vegetables and grains out there that I hadn’t tried before a year ago.  There are combinations I had never imagined.  Before becoming a vegan, my diet was pretty small in sphere.  Wheat, a few staple vegetables, and a lot of dairy.  That is where I was.  Now I have a whole lot more color in my food.  There is more to life than smothering everything in dairy!  My options for eating have actually widened greatly since becoming a vegan.  And my health is rewarded for the nutritious variety.  There are so many other foods to eat and becoming vegan lets you see past the animal products to all the other options out there.  Its a great big world of vegan food!

And yes I do like tofu in many of it various forms.  If you didn’t like it, it is probably because whoever prepared it for you didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t care much because cooking meat was really their main job.

 

Greek Philosophy September 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — My Vegan (and other) Apologetics @ 10:14

I was looking for some other information online and came across Wikipedia’s vegetarian entry.  In part of it Greek Philosophy is discussed.  I never knew the ancient Greeks were veggies.  Kind of interesting.  Here is that section from Wikipedia:

“Ancient Greek philosophy has a long tradition of vegetarianism. Pythagoras was reportedly vegetarian (and studied at Mt. Carmel, where some historians say there was a vegetarian community), as his followers were expected to be. Socrates was reportedly vegetarian, and in his dialogue of what people, or at least Philosopher-rulers, in an ideal republic should eat, he described only vegetarian food. He specified that if meat-eating was allowed, then society would require more doctors.[146]

Roman writer Ovid concluded his magnum opus Metamorphoses, in part, with the impassioned argument (uttered by the character of Pythagoras) that in order for humanity to change, or metamorphose, into a better, more harmonious species, it must strive towards more humane tendencies. He cited vegetarianism as the crucial decision in this metamorphosis, explaining his belief that human life and animal life are so entwined that to kill an animal is virtually the same as killing a fellow human.

Everything changes; nothing dies; the soul roams to and fro, now here, now there, and takes what frame it will, passing from beast to man, from our own form to beast and never dies…Therefore lest appetite and greed destroy the bonds of love and duty, heed my message! Abstain! Never by slaughter dispossess souls that are kin and nourish blood with blood![“

 

Copy Cat Deliciousness September 25, 2010

Filed under: Yum Yum Give me Some — My Vegan (and other) Apologetics @ 16:13
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Pita Jungle has this amazing dish.  (Not all their dishes are amazing BTW, but a few are…)  I don’t know why, but the Pita Jungle peeps put this amazing dish on the side items list!  Its like they don’t want you to know it is there.  So basically it is some cauliflower fried to crispy garlicky brownness and covered in onion strings, pine nuts, and this sauce that will change your life!  The sauce is amazing and now that I know how to make it, I have been putting it on top of everything.  I would eat an old shoe if it had this sauce on top!  The sauce is very basic.  It is tahini, some water for thinning, and sriracha (the hot chili sauce.)  The ratio might be something like 4 tahinis, 1 water, and 1 sriracha give or take a bit.  Thats it for entrance into food heaven!  Here are some pics to salivate over.  In the pics I was trying to make the cauliflower healthy and steamed, but in fact the fried cauliflower is better! And since I have been putting the sauce on everything, I made pitas with tomatoes and cucumbers and gardein chicken breast fakes and put the sauce all over that delish combo too.  Try it.  I have already been through 1 jar of tahini this week.

 

Loving Hut September 19, 2010

Filed under: vegan / vegetarian,Yum Yum Give me Some — My Vegan (and other) Apologetics @ 00:31
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There is this all vegan restaurant nearby.  An all vegan restaurant with a few twists.  Loving Hut.  You might need to just visit the place and google “Supreme Master ching Hai” to understand the ambience that comes with this place.  I find it very peaceful, clean, and light.  And I am always fascinated by (um) the culture that leads to a place like this based on a philosophy like that.  (Very mysterious, I know.)  The people who work there are always very gracious and full of service.  You can check wikipedia if you want the mystery info, I want to talk about the food!  This place is set up like a common Chinese of Taiwanese health restaurant.  It is not expensive.  It is fairly casual but clean and open.  The menu’s have pictures and very Asian names.   Everything seems like it was translated directly from Chinese.  And it is all based on the idea that this food is healthy and cleansing.  See when someone in China wants to go out for something healthy and healing (maybe the equivalent of tyring to eat all local or organic) they eat vegan!  This idea is pretty lost on Americans, but it makes perfect sense in Asia.  So with that understanding you can better prepare for what Loving Hut is all about.  This place is interesting, and a field trip worth taking.  And the food is all good!  At least everything I have had was great.  The portions are more appropriately sized and you won’t be spending over 7 dollars for any entree.  I suggest it.  Here are some pics from our recent trip.  (This group was all carnivores (sans myself) and all enjoyed it immensely.  In fact the eating location was suggested and chosen by non-veg friends who love this place.)  There are Loving Huts all over the world so I hope you get to try one soon.

 

Eating Animals August 6, 2010

Filed under: Correction on Common Misunderstandings,vegan / vegetarian — My Vegan (and other) Apologetics @ 01:08
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I have mentioned the book, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer a few different places on this blog.  It really is a great book.  Informative, shocking, well researched, and somehow entertaining (or at least really well written.)  It has a great voice.  I really grew to like the author while reading and it was informative- even to me who thought I already knew all there was to know about animal treatment.  Anyhow….. a friend just finished reading the book and sent me an email of some highlights.  These are things she found important or interesting from the book.  Read on.  And then go get the book and read the whole thing.

“Eating Animals

Cruelty-

not only the willful causing of unnecessary suffering, but the indifference to it.

Depends on an understanding of cruelty, and the ability to choose against it. Or choose to ignore it.

The power brokers of factory farming know that their business model depends on consumers not being able to see what they do.

When we walk around thinking we have a greater right to eat an animal than the animal has a right to live without suffering, it’s corrupting.

The animals have paid the price for our desire to have everything available at all times for very little money.

Isn’t it strange how upset people get about a few dozen baseball players taking growth hormones, when we’re doing what we’re doing to animals and feeding them to our children?

Americans eat 150 times as many chickens as we did 80 years ago.

The highest rates of osteoporosis are seen in countries where people consume the most dairy foods.

Farmed animals in the US produce 130 times as much waste as the human population.

In the world of factory farming, expectations are turned upside down. Veterinarians don’t work toward optimal healrh, but optimal profitability. Drugs are not for curing diseases, but substitutes for destroyed immune systems. Farmers do not aim to produce healthy animals.

Roughly 4.5 million sea animals are killed as bycatch in longline fishing every year, including roughly 3.3 million sharks, 60,000 sea turtles, and 20,000 dolphins and whales.

I’ve left a mental state of constant personal decision making about eating animals for a steady commitment not to.

Less than 1% of animals killed for meat come from family farms.

Other animals have the same five senses that we do. And more and more, we’re learning that they have behavioral, psychological, and emotional needs that evolution created in them just like it did in us.

Today’s social conservatives are yesterday’s extremists on issues like women’s rights, civil rights, children’s rights, and so on.

Millions upon millions of advertising dollars are spent simply to make sure that we see people drinking milk or eating beef in movies.

Suppress conscience in favor of craving.”