Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recipe: Veggie Vegan Potato Burger + Garlic Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms

Recipe and video from Healthy Vegan Recipes by Heather Nauta, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Her site has lots of valuable information and recipes with videos.

Prep Time: 10 min. Cooking time: 40-50 min.

Time from start to eating: 50 min-1 hour.

  • medium potatoes, boiled(2 potatoes makes 4 burgers)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 large stems of kale, chopped & massaged (or spinach or parsley, chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried wakame or hijiki (sea vegetable), soaked in water and then chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp sea salt (approx)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (for baking the burgers)

Healthy Vegan Potato Burgers Recipe Directions:

  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for 15-20 minutes. Drain, then mash with enough of the cooking water to make it creamy.
  2. Heat a large pan to medium, and saute the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Stir the onion, garlic, grated carrots, massaaged kale and wakame into the potatoes. Season to taste. If you are baking your burgers, add the additional olive oil to the batter.
  3. Shape the mixture into 9 small rounds, and put them on a lined baking tray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
  4. If you prefer to fry your burgers, do them in a bit of olive oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. I hope you enjoy this potato burgers recipe, the latest of my healthy vegan recipes.
Note: I love to make Garlic Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms to add to the burger (or taco, if you feel like subbing the buns for tortillas (I suggest whole wheat).) Follow the above link to the recipe I love and sub the non-vegan butter with Earth Balance Natural Spread.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I am thankful for...

• The local library
• Rest
• Inspiring people (my list is growing!)
• Knowledge
• Veganism

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Live Your Epitaph" and other good advice from Zoe Weil

Imagine that you are very old, approaching the end of your life. You're sitting on a park bench, remembering a time when we humans killed and exploited one another, despoiled our planet, abused animals, and allowed our neighbors around the world to go hungry. While you are breathing the clean air on our now safe and healthy planet, and thinking about that dark period from your past, a child comes up to you. The child has learned about that dangerous, destructive time in history class and asks you, "What role did you play in helping to bring about the world we have today?" What will you tell this child?

Each day of your life you are part of creating this child's future. When you do the most good and the least harm, you set in motion the forces that will make a healthy and humane future possible for generations of all species on earth. Your response to the question above is a way of answering, "What would I like my epitaph to be?" If you can imagine an epitaph that feels worthy of your life, then you can choose to live it- to embody and realize your goals and values more consciously and effectively.

To lead a MOGO life (Most Good, Least Harm), each of us must determine our deepest values and live accordingly.

"Some people may wonder if a MOGO life is difficult because of the sacrifices they might be called upon to make, but I find that as one realizes the positive impact one is having on the world, nothing feels like a sacrifice. Life feels rejuvenating because it isn't superficial, and our actions become much more intentional and purposeful. Most people are looking for meaning and purpose. A MOGO life gives us this."

Epitaph by Kimberly Korona: "Kimberly Korona believed that if we wanted to, we could create a humane world for all people, all species, and the entire planet, and so she strived to contribute her part in creating such a world and to inspire others to do the same."

The choices you make in your life matter to you; to your family, friends, and neighbors; and to all those whom your life impacts. They matter to the people who work in mines to extract the minerals you rely upon, who grow, pick, and slaughter what you eat; who make your clothes; who put together your electronics, and so much more. They matter to the animals whose habitats are being destroyed and whose lives are made miserable for a dietary preference or a product choice. It matters to the overall health and well-being of the planet, and the ecosystems that connect us all when your choices cause destruction, create excessive carbon in the atmosphere, pollute, or cause unsustainable resource depletion and waste. Thus, it matters that you identify your deepest values, consider your epitaph, and live accordingly.

Living your epitaph may also be the most important ingredient for inner peace and serenity. When you actively align your choices with your life's purpose and goals, you live more honestly, courageously, and with greater integrity, and these virtues bring with them a powerful kind of freedom. While no one lives their epitaph perfectly, the more we endeavor to do this, and the more frequently we make choices that are mindful and in accordance with our vision for our life, the more we discover peace within ourselves and the greater our positive impact on the world.

What is MOGO? "Short for 'most good,' a quick way of considering what will do the most good and the least harm to yourself, other people, other species, and the environment."

Excerpts are from chapter 2 of Zoe Weils' wonderful book Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Music: The Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll

Mason Jennings, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath'rin'
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears.

William Zanzinger who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears.

Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn't even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears.

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
And that ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bean and Corn Tortilla Lasagna with Avocado - Vegan Recipe

Bean & Corn Tortilla Lasagna with Avocado
One of my favorite meals in existence!
Makes 4-5 Servings

1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 1/4 cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tspn (rounded) sea salt
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp chipotle hot sauce
1/4 tsp agave nectar
2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
1/3 cup onion, diced
1 can (14 oz) black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
6-7 (6 in) corn tortillas
1 large avocado, thinly sliced
1 pinch sea salt
3/4 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
3/4 cup vegan cheese, grated (I recommend Daiya cheddar style shreds)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for finishing)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, allspice, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper, hot sauce, agave nectar, garlic, onion, and beans and stir to mix well.

Lightly oil an 8x12 in baking dish. Pour half of mixture in baking dish and tip back and forth to distribute evenly. Place half of tortillas on top of mixture. Place avocado slices on top of tortillas and season with a pinch of salt. Distribute corn kernels over avocado, then drizzle them with lime juice. Top this layer with remaining tortillas, spread with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips, then cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling at edges. If cheese hasn't melted, broil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into squares. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Note: I add fresh greens to mine once it is ready to eat. So it's like a salad mixed up with the dish.

From Eat, Drink and be Vegan by Dreena Burton

Creamy Enchilada Casserole - Yummy Vegan Recipe

Creamy Enchilada Casserole

Filling Ingredients:
1 tablespoon light or extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 16-ounce can vegetarian refried beans
1/2 cup mild or medium-hot bottled salsa or one 4-ounce can mild green chilies
2 tablespoons minced, fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups rice milk original
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups grated nondairy cheese (I recommend Daiya Cheddar Shreds)

Other Ingredients:
Eight to ten 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into halves
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Salsa for topping (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a shallow round 2 quart casserole or 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

2. To make the filling, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute until the onion is golden. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients and continue to cook until everything is well heated through.

3. To make the sauce, heat 1 cup of the milk in a small saucepan. Dissolve the flour in the remaining milk. Whisk it into the saucepan, then sprinkle in 1 cup of cheese. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently, and cook until thickened.

4. Line the prepared pan with a single layer of tortillas. Pour in the filling and spread evenly over the tortillas. Cover with the remaining tortilla halves.

5. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the tortillas, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle the scallions over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve at once (makes 6 servings), and pass around some salsa for topping, if desired.

Note: I like to add fresh salad greens to my meal once everything is ready. Or mix in some cooked veggies like broccoli or cauliflower.

Recipe from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas

Thursday, May 5, 2011

If We Take Morality Seriously

Animal agriculture is the most significant source of animal suffering in the world today, and there is absolutely no need for it.

Indeed, animal agriculture has devastating environmental effects, and a growing number of health care professionals claim that meat and animal products are detrimental to human health.

We could live without killing animals and could feed more of the world’s humans–the beings we always claim to care about when we seek to justify animal exploitation–if we abandoned animal agriculture altogether.

Old habits die hard, but that does not mean they are morally justified.

Many people have said to me, “Yes, I know it’s morally wrong to eat meat, but I just love hamburgers.”

Regrettably for those who like to eat meat, this is no argument, and a taste for meat in no way justifies the violation of a moral principle. Our conduct merely demonstrates that despite what we say about the moral significance of animal interests, we are willing to ignore those interests whenever we benefit from doing so–even when the benefit is nothing more than our pleasure or convenience.

If we take morality seriously, then we must confront what it dictates: if it is wrong for Simon to torture dogs for pleasure, then it is morally wrong for us to eat meat.

From www.abolitionistapproach.com
Excerpt from Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? by Gary Francione

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Peter Singer: "The Ethics of What We Eat"

The food we eat, where it comes from & How it is Produced
Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne, Peter Singer takes a hard look at the food we eat, where it comes from, and how it is produced.

Is modern farming compatible with the mainstream view
of how we are entitled to treat animals?

Is there something wrong with a society that doesn't know
how it's most common foods are produced?

"If most urban meat-eaters were to visit an industrial broiler house, to see how the birds are raised, and could see the birds being "harvested" and then being "processed" in a poultry processing plant, some, perhaps many of them, would swear off eating chicken and perhaps all meat." - Peter R. Cheeke, Professor of Animal Science, Oregon State University

The industry has actually made it it's business not to be transparent.

We've bred turkeys to have such large breasts that they are now physically unable to mate. (The typical turkey that is sold in super markets that is.)

99% of the turkeys that Americans eat at Thanksgiving are the result of artificial insemination. Which means there are people whose job it is throughout the week to masturbate male turkeys and collect the semen and there are generally other people whose job it is to take the females, put them in an uncomfortable position where it is possible to inject the semen into them and do that all day with thousands of birds, where the more birds they get through obviously in a day, the more economical it is.

It seems to me that you can take from the idea that we shouldn't be cruel to animals that it is wrong to cause pain to animals without a good enough reason, and yet I think it's clear that they do suffer in these forms of production that I just showed you... There is a lot of evidence that they are suffering.

It's not necessary- we can certainly nourish ourselves in other ways.

So why are we doing it? Well, we enjoy the way meat tastes I suppose and this is the cheapest way to produce it. But I don't think enjoyment of the taste is a good enough reason to justify the amount of suffering that the animals endure. If enjoyment is a good enough reason to justify making animal suffering, then why were we so hard on Michael Vick (the quarterback who was convicted of dog fighting)- no doubt the fans who go to dog fights enjoy the dog fights. And, there might be lots of fans and only a few dogs who suffer, so why is their enjoyment in some way doesn't justify the suffering, but the enjoyment of the way animal meat tastes is supposed to justify the much longer and drawn out suffering of the animals involved.

Peter Singer and Richard Dawkins Discuss Animals and Our Society

Richard Dawkins interviews Peter Singer for "The Genius of Charles Darwin", the Channel 4 UK TV program which won British Broadcasting Awards' "Best Documentary Series" of 2008. Buy the full 3-DVD set of uncut interviews, over 18 hours, in the RichardDawkins.net store

Recipe: Banana Pecan Rice Pudding Pie

This is listed in Eat, Drink and be Vegan by Dreena Burton as a breakfast meal, but I think it is a great dessert too!

Makes 4-6 Servings | Wheat-Free

Pudding Ingredients:
1 tbsp arrowroot powder (we got it at Kroger)
2/3 cup coconut milk (regular or light)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt
3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (When cooking the rice, I suggest letting it sit longer to make it mushier and less chewy as instructed here)
1 cup ripe (but not overripe) banana, sliced

Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup pecans, crushed
3 tbsp unrefined sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 pinches sea salt

1/2- 1 tsp canola oil (for coating pie plate)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). In a large bowl, combine arrowroot powder with 3 tbsp coconut milk and whisk until arrowroot is fully dissolved. Add remaining coconut milk and stir until well combined. Whisk in syrup until well combined. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and then stir in rice and banana. Lightly oil bottom and sides of a 9 and 1/2 inch glass pie plate. Transfer pudding into pie plate. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients, working mixture with your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over pudding. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until pudding is bubbly and has thickened. Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes or longer. (The pudding will thicken more as it cools.) Spoon pudding into bowls and serve, topping with a little vanilla non-dairy milk if you like. I also like adding fresh banana slices on top too.

• Coconut milk, whether light or regular, gives a buttery richness to this pudding, though you can use any non-dairy milk you like, including rice, soy, almond, or oat. If using vanilla non-dairy milk, you may not need as much brown rice syrup to sweeten the mixture.

Recipe From Eat, Drink and be Vegan by Dreena Burton