November 20th, 2013
11:45 AM ET
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the host of The Post Punk Kitchen and author of multiple vegan cookbooks, including her most recent, "Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes For Every Day Of The Week." And yes, there are recipes if you scroll down.
Chances are you have a vegan in your life - a real dyed-in-the-natural-fiber-cruelty-free-wool vegan for whom all animal products are off limits. And perhaps that vegan is threatening a visit to your Thanksgiving table this year.
Thanksgiving is stressful. Everyone knows that; the very history of it is stress. The original celebration was not what people had to eat, but that they had anything to eat at all. Maybe things aren’t as bad as all that today, but it can still be stressful when someone needs a special menu.
But one of the great things about vegan meals is that everyone can enjoy them. (Provided they don’t have a nut allergy, or a wheat allergy, or...well maybe we oughta just go out for Chinese food.)
If your first thought was an eye roll, or something along the lines of, “That’s their choice - I don’t have to cook for them,” or if you think they can get by on salad and cranberry sauce, well, honestly, don’t even invite them. Somewhere there’s a welcoming table where the lentils overfloweth, and they will take your vegan in.
But if you actually like them, maybe even love them, or if your loved one loves them, or if you want them in any way, shape, or form to have a great time as your guest, then read on.
My point is, you don’t have to agree on the ethics to agree on good food. So while other political opinions may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, the only bitter you’ll find at your table will be an arugula salad - preferably made with local greens.
But it's tradition!
I know what you’re thinking: this all seems so unfamiliar. Whatever happened to tradition? But let’s take a look. Did the first Thanksgiving really occur at Plymouth in 1621? Or did it occur in Texas in 1598, as others claim, or in Virginia in 1619? And what about the indigenous tribes before them? Certainly they gave thanks, too, for bountiful harvests with celebratory feasts.
Then there’s the bird. Scholars can’t even confirm that a turkey was present at the first “Turkey Day.” Nor will they tell you it was a national “tradition” until another 200 years or so had passed. And what was with all the buckles? Everyone, it seems, had belts wrapped around their heads and feet back then. Why don’t we do that anymore?
It’s not that I think tradition isn’t significant, it’s actually that I think it is. But tradition in and of itself is not carte blanche to do whatever you want, is it? History is fraught with some pretty terrible traditions.
We all have emotional attachments to food and I think that is a positive quality. If the world seems a little wonky, what’s the harm in the fact that some sage-scented cornbread stuffing can set it right? I love that there are tastes and flavors that ground us and make us feel at home.
But a larger tradition for Thanksgiving is inclusiveness. Or, at least, that is what we’re supposed to tell our children. Let's keep that tradition by providing something out of nothing. Or, more specifically, cutlets out of chickpeas. Here’s to new traditions!
But what's in it for you?
A newfound love of lentils? An additional set of cooking skills? Do you know the wonders of cashew cream or how to emulsify a dressing without eggs? How about massaging kale? Yes, that is a thing. And you just might find it as relaxing as a regular massage.
And not to get all preachy (I am, after all, a vegan) but plant-based eating is the way of the future, if only out of necessity. It’s lower on the food chain, uses fewer resources and is better for the planet. Perhaps this will lead you to Meatless Mondays or to Vegan Before 6 or (best case scenario) to becoming a level seven vegan. Because we all want to have a planet on which to keep celebrating Thanksgiving!
But it goes both ways.
Well, yes and no. No one is asking you to have a completely vegan Thanksgiving (although, hey you never know.) Different families have different solutions. Some set a portion aside before adding dairy products, and others opt for the everything-vegan-except-for-the-turkey approach.
But it would definitely benefit us vegans to chill out a little bit this time of year, as well. Yeah, we’ve all heard those same Thanksgiving jokes from all of our uncles through all those years. You know, when they pass us the turkey or tell us that maybe some bacon would improve our butternut squash bisque.
The truth is, your uncle loves you. He is making that comment not so you will complain about him in an angst-ridden Facebook status later in the evening. He is just trying to relate to you in whatever way he can; he is trying to make you smile. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make you smile, that is neither here nor there, but that is his intent. So smile anyway.
Now that I've convinced you to feed the vegans in your life...
Should you go out and simply buy a Tofurkey? I think that most in the veggie set will recognize your gesture as somewhere from kind to totally the most generous thing ever. But what about going all out?
There are some incredibly easy things you can do to transform your non-vegan dinner into a veritable feast for all your guests. Make the stuffing vegan, using olive oil instead of butter. Try coconut oil in the whipped sweet potatoes. Even the green bean casserole - yes, that one with the crunchy onions on top - can be made vegan. A creative mix of oils makes for a fabulously flaky pastry crust for all of your pie needs. Mashed potatoes using almond milk are totally delish. And I’ve saved many a Thanksgiving with mushroom gravy.
I guess I should also mention that vegans love Thanksgiving. I don’t know why. They love it more than anything. And they will be happy to help you in the kitchen until the cows come home (to the farm sanctuary, of course.) Honestly, you could go get a pedicure and they will make the whole darn thing. But that’s not what this is about, now is it?
Do something great for animals and the planet all while showing the vegan in your life that you love them more than pumpkin pie can say - or at least that much.
Vegan Holiday Recipes
The trick with eating raw kale is to work it really hard with your hands, like you’re ROLFing it (which is a deep tissue massage, that looks kind of fun.) Work it at every step, including when you rinse and drain it. Use your hands to really scrunch the leaves up to get the water out, almost like ringing out a sponge. Don’t worry, kale can take it! In fact, afterwards it might feel a little like you after a massage; tender, relaxed and ready to be smothered in vinaigrette.
1 lb butternut squash
Roast the squash:
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread squash out in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. The single layer is important because if the baking sheet is overcrowded the squash won’t brown, it’ll steam and just get mushy. Sprinkle with salt and toss with your hands to coat.
Pop in the oven for about 25 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes or so. They’re done when lightly browned on the outside and tender inside. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad:
Add the kale and take a minute or so, using your hands, to rub the vinaigrette into the leaves and really swish it around in there. Add the cooled butternut and lentils and toss to coat. Give the flavors a few minutes to settle in, then taste for salt and serve.
15 minute option: Don’t feel like butternut squash, or just looking for something a little less labor intensive? Replace the roasted butternut with apple. Just peel two tart apples, like Granny Smith, and dice them into 1/2 inch pieces.
Make ahead: Roast a mess of squash an evening or two before as a side dish for dinner, and use the leftovers (about 2 cups) for this salad.
Sweet Potato Soup With Ginger and Vanilla
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in oil with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add ginger and red pepper flakes, and saute another minute or so.
Add yams, veggie broth and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat a bit to a slow simmer and cook until potatoes are tender – usually 5 more minutes or so.
Once tender, add the vanilla beans. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Or transfer the soup in batches to a blender or food processor to puree. Be sure to let the steam escape in between pulses so that the steam doesn’t build up and explode all over you. Then transfer the soup back to the pot.
Add maple syrup and lime and taste for salt. Thin with a little water, if necessary. You can eat immediately, but the flavor develops a lot as it sits. The lime mellows out and the vanilla becomes more pronounced, especially the next day. Serve garnished with lime, if you like. You may also want to do a coconut swirl, or something like that, if you’re feeling fancy.
Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup refined coconut oil, softened
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.
In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to beat together the coconut oil and rosemary, until relatively smooth. Add the sugar, and beat for about a minute.
Add the non-dairy milk and flax seeds, and beat once again, for 30 seconds or so. Mix in the vanilla.
Add about half the flour, as well as the salt and baking soda, and mix well. Add the remainder of the flour, along with the chocolate chips, and mix well until it looks like, well, cookie dough.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets in rounded spoonfuls. Flatten gently with your hands. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.
Let cool on sheets for 3 minutes or so, then transfer to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.
Stuffed Thanksgiving Burgers
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan non-stick (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Saute onion in one tablespoon olive oil for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt, until translucent. Add mushroom, celery, garlic, black pepper, thyme and sage and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture.
Add baguette cubes, and drizzle in the other tablespoon of oil. Toss bread to coat in the mixture and cook for 5 minutes or so, tossing often, to lightly brown the bread.
Add the vegetable broth and use your spatula to really mush the bread up in the broth, so that it absorbs all the liquid and resembles stuffing. Let it cook about 3 more minutes, to sop up all the flavor.
While everything is cooking in the pan, place hazelnuts in food processor and pulse until they are chopped (not pureed.) Pieces should range from itty bitty to pea sized. Transfer nuts to a large mixing bowl. (No need to clean it out for the next step.)
Add the lentils to the food processor and puree until relatively smooth. Now add the bread mixture from the pan into the processor and pulse 10 to 15 times. You want the mixture to hold together, but there should still be mushroom and celery visible, it shouldn’t be a puree.
Transfer this to the mixing bowl with the hazelnuts. Add in the cranberries and salt. The cranberries like to stick together so make sure you separate them. Combine thoroughly, using your hands if need be, to form a firm but still malleable mixture. Taste for salt and pepper.
Let the mixture cool completely. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so, just to help it firm up and let the flavors meld a bit.
Rinse out your cast iron, and preheat on medium-high. Roll the burgers into 6 equal sized tennis balls. Wash your hands often and keep them a little damp during this process for that the burgers don’t stick to your hands.
Flatten into 1 1/2 inch thick patties. Cook in a thin layer of oil for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve on buns with greens and mayo. Die of happiness!
Recipes used with permission of Isa Chandra Moskowitz
More vegan recipes:
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I would never even consider catering to a vegans needs.
Why? Is it because you are NOT very well informed? Close minded, old fashioned, and afraid of change? Well good luck with your health in the future. Have fund with your MEAT.
Ann, stop the fear mongering. There is no peer reviewed scientific evidence that abstaining from meat has long term health benefits. In fact, evidence suggests the contrary.
And an educated person would know that "vegans" utilize animal products almost every hour of their lives. "Vegans" lives are improved by the deaths of animals. And even knowing that, "Vegans" will not abstain from using those products, because it is not convenient to them. I don't care if you don't eat meat, but don't try to deny eons of evolution that have made us the omnivores we are.
They would never reciprocate and cater to non-vegans if the roles were reversed.
the reciprocity issue was addressed in comments farther down. (essentially, it's not an equal/fair trade-off. there are deeper belief reasons for our abstention. i'm assuming you don't abstain from vegetables, and we're usually pretty good cooks, and we generally know how to do amazing things with vegetables that the general public aren't familiar with, because they can always fall back on their familiar non-vegan ways of flavoring things. we, on the other hand, have to be creative, and we usually cook from scratch every day.. it wouldn't hurt to try our food. it's the lowest common denominator. meaning usually everyone can eat it. allergies and intolerances notwithstanding, of course.)
also, you don't want someone who is unfamiliar with cooking meat to cook meat for you. (for many reasons. one, being bacteria, the other being the cook would have no idea what the dish tastes like, since they can't taste it to make sure it's okay.)
Don't need to "cater" to a vegan. Just need to have a couple extra servings of non-meat dishes at the dinner party, like throw an extra can of peas, or carrots or corn or potatoes into the pot.
here is the problem with that argument : at some point an animal touched the ground in which those "vegan vegetables" were grown. Would that not invalidate the 'code of the vegan' to eat such tainted food? I am asking because I really don't know. I eat meat and vegetables. If even being around such fare offends vegan or vegetarian ideals, why do they accept dinner invitations in the first place? It sounds like the minority trying to bully the majority.
No it shouldn't violate any code of ethics is a live animal touches a vegetable. However, the FDA wouldn't allow chickens to be roaming around where vegetables are grown. But that's an issue of government regulation, not ethics.
There is no such thing as a "Vegan".
A vegan is just someone who avoids eating all animal products in as much as possible. There is most assuredly such a thing as a vegan. It may be contrary to human nature and, frankly, usually an eating disorder...but it does exist.
Actually, Vegans are defined as those that obstain from using animal products in their everyday lives...not just refraining from eating. As I've said...At least in the US...there is no such thing as a Vegan. Closest they can come is vegetarian...but they will never be vegans.
Vegans are those who ENDEAVOR to abstain from knowingly eating (or with many, using) animal products. It does not mean they always manage to do so, but that is the effort they put forth and that is what defines vegan–not whether they can manage a lifestyle perfectly free of animal products and they are not suddenly non-vegan if they accidentally encounter a real leather seatcover.
close. the words "as far as practical" are included in there. we would LOVE to be completely animal product free, but the world isn't ready, and we need to function in the world and not be shut-ins. if we need to drive somewhere, that's okay. if we need to use a computer, that's okay too. i'm glad you know the definition (mostly). it means there's hope for you. you'e willing to learn. *hi five*
If you don't want the host's food, don't have to eat it. Why should a host have to make custom meals for each guest? It's not a restaurant.
Typically Thanksgiving is surrounded by friends and family. A person who is hosting wants the friends or family who eat more plant based diets to enjoy being there. So whats the big deal.
Then they can bring their own. Pretty simple really.
I feel bad for your relatives, with you being all 'screw what makes other people happy, this is about me and what I want!' Grow up.
If you feel that way, then be sure not to invite anyone with allergies or who chooses to be vegetarian or vegan. Otherwise, I've found it's very easy to accommodate vegans, and delicious. I had a barbecue and all the non-vegans filled up on the vegan fare before we even got to the meat. Guacamole, grilled portabello mushrooms, grilled eggplant, veggie and tofu skewers, grilled sweet potatoes... man I'm getting hungry...
Non-vegetarianism is the real definition of "giving up".
Animals are not meant to be served on the table. they are meant to be eaten alive in the dirt or water - ask any lion, tiger, wolf, shark, killer whale, cute Dolphin
I'm weary of accommodating everyone with foodie special needs.
Next time I'm asked over to a vegan's house for dinner, I'm assuming it's completely acceptable for me to demand they honor my omnivorous dietary preferences and fix me a special item – or two – containing meat, and lots of it.
I find it hard to believe you would be asked over to anyone's house
I don't eat meat, but I've never demanded any host to fix a special dish for me. There's always salad, a starch, whether potatoes, or rice, or couscous, or whatever. For meateaters to be so hostile to non-meateaters–why? Live and let live.
I have been a guest in the home of a work acquaintance of my husband's - i.e., not a close, person buddy - where there was nothing for me to eat. It was embarrassing for me, and it was especially crass behavior because this person knew I was vegetarian. It happened a few times, in fact. It's low-class behavior. A host should offer a range of foods for any group,, regardless of dietary issues. A host serving a group should always have on hand a plain side dish of veggies or a casserole or something that can be eaten by all - diabetics, vegetarians, gluten people, people who don't eat pork...whoever.
First World Problems. You SHOULD be embarassed. Go to their home, STFU, and eat the food that they've – through their own generosity – provided for you. Either that or eat beforehand. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake that the world needs to accommodate.
Many vegans DO cook non-vegan meals for their non-vegan loved ones. Refusing to cater to people's dietary choices is pretty exclusive to meat-eaters, because apparently eating plants is offensive to a lot of dummies.
Your made-up anecdotal evidence is a pile of dung. Where are these "many" vegans you speak of? I've never encountered them. They're too busy being shrill, holier-than-thou bags of water and vinegar.
That's not fear sweetheart, it's outright pity.
I smell a lack of respect for non vegans here....Who is attacking here....the ones that don't eat meat or the ones that eat?
Balance people, balance....
have you not seen the hostile "They can eat what I serve them or they can go hungry" posts, or do you not see that as disrespect?
If you are inviting a vegan to a dinner, then it seems like common courtesy to have something for them to eat.
Don't know anyone who throws a dinner party to serve meat only dishes. The folks I know usually have a few bowls of veggies, a salad, maybe some rolls, etc. How hard would it be for the vegan to just take food from the bowls of veggies and salad?
Rainbow Cadet seems to think that Vegans don't appreciate eating main courses or entrees, and that they should be perfectly fine eating side dished as their meal. If you invite someone to dinner, OBVIOUSLY, you should cater to their preferences and serve something they can eat. If you, for some insanely stupid reason, refuse to learn to make delicious non-meat meals, then just don't ever invite your vegan friends and family members over for meals, and see how long that relationship lasts. If you value your right to exclusively serve meat in your home over your relationships with your loved ones, then that is your choice, but just know that it makes you an absolute moron.
I see a lack of respect of non vegans here........
Am I the only one that read "don't fear the vaginas?"
Well, lets talk about that...how do you feel about your mother?
Albert Einstein said, before he died, that unless the human race as a whole adopts a vegetarian lifestyle we will destroy the planet and make it uninhabitable. The majority of ALL greenhouse gasses produced on the planet are from raising animals to eat. Its staggering. Even the US government admits that '51%' is from animal production but other sources say it is as high as 80%. I am a vegan for compassion and ethical reasons. But Einstein knew exactly what he was talking about and one of the great benefits of going vegan is it is the one way you could cut your carbon footprint in half overnight. I could drive a Hummer as a vegan and still have less carbon production than a meat eater who rides a bike or drives a hybrid. Likely it will be too late before people pull their head from the rear end though. Bye Bye Earth...And don't ridicule me...ridicule Einstein who by the way was a vegetarian.
Spoken just like the typical self righteous, smug, leftist fool. How is that Hope And Change working out for you?
I think you need to look "smug" and "self-righteous" up in the mirror
And what about me, the Republican vegan.
Oh, I don't fit into your narrow view of the world?
Grow up sonny, or it's going to be a rough ride.
ditto what Dave just said. Who are you calling smug and self-righteous??
There is no reason to be a vegan. Vegetarian yes, I can see a reason behind that. Vegans, no, it's not natural.
I guess that depends on your definition of natural I suppose.
The reality is human beings are scavengers, or more aptly, foragers.
Phil, thank you, very well put. I appreciate your comment.
Meat eaters are basically people who are sheep (pardon the food that people also don't kill themselves but eat) meaning they are FOLLOWERS not thinkers. Hell I would eat Turkey the way I did when I was a kid, if it came like it does on the plate with the gravy and NO Bones and Blood and killing ORIGINALLY. a total scam when people eat an item be it cow or turkey carcass that 95% of it is discharged so people don't have to SEE what the stuff really is!
Funny since meat eaters are the people who created civilization, and allow people like you to survive as a vegan.
I'd wager that plants were eaten before animals by early humanoids.
I'd wager you that they were both consumed.
Not trolling here, but most archeologists agree that the reason humans evolved the way they did is because they ate meat. The readily available proteins increased their intellectual abilities to the point where civilization could be created. I'm not saying people shouldn't be vegan or vegetarian - just pointing out a scientific theory.
I AGREE Klaudia, many on here who have not seen the light and still eat 'MEAT' are lost people who MUST and are COMPELLED to think the Vegans are all hippy wimply strange types. it is the ONLY way then can not think about why someone would give up this GARBAGE 'handed to us' for our entire life!!
Humans were NEVER designed physically or ethically to kill and consume Turkey or Cow Carcass!
which is why so many need to attack Vegans to justify their Habit and Enjoyment EVEN though most do not kill anything, they just are dummies who allow others to do the dirty work and just want these GUCK on their plates. after the blood, face
Internal organs are removed!! then spices and covered up with things to make it taste the way it NEVER would if u just ATE it in its original state eat a nut, grain or fruit in it original state now try it with a COW OR Turkey GOOD LUCK!!!
basically people are being fooled into eating this STUFF, cause it is a custom, can taste good and is killed and cleaned way before it hits the market or your plate!!
Then why do we have canine teeth and cutting teeth? You sir, are disingenuous.
Not just disingenuous, but WRONG.
To begin with humans weren't DESIGNED, we are the product of our environment, no design involved other than the randomness of what makes us better able to survive.
It is used for nuts and seeds. Human intestines are too long to process meat. Why don't you google to find out for yourself. If you insist on eating meat, go ahead and hunt the animal yourself and tear into the raw flesh and eat it that way, exactly the way lions, tigers, wolves do, the true carnivors do. Plus its high in cholestrol, fat and cloggs your arteries and causes heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Have a nice Thanksgiving.
Lol nice try. Animals don't need canines for nuts and seeds or squirrels would have them and tigers wouldn't.
canine teeth (also called eye teeth) is a mammalian trait. there are plenty of herbivorous mammals that have gigantic canines. (and you have to admit, ours are wimpy, comparatively. i use mine to shear off carrot chunks.)
if you honestly want to learn more, here's a link to a photo gallery full of herbivores with canines.
Our intestines are way too long for intense meat consumption. That's why we have colitis.
You seem angry.
Well Klaudia Here is the DEAL I and many others make a choice to NOT Consume or be part of the COW or Turkey Consuming LIFESTYLE. (i did till it HIT me at 18yrs old, what the F UC K am I eating I said to myself during dinner!!)
You are not making a choice, as you THINK you are doing. Marketing and availability and your simple type of parents who lacked knowledge are the other factors into why you do what you do!! So it is a HABIT and with enough Gravy and spices and heat/cooking it does taste VERY good. Just cause something tastes good or great does NOT mean HUMANS were ever designed to consume it!!
I dont do it for Moral Compass or even cause I like Animals to such an intense degree. I do it cause I would NOT kill it myself, so I do NOT want to live a lie and cause after YEARS of study I discovered that Cows & Turkey Carcasses were NOT meant to be eaten by PEOPLE!! Most of the body parts of both animals are DISCARDED, and only the deemed proper BODY (based on what country and area u live in) PARTS!
Are people who dont eat meat (aka carcass eaters) better people. It could be no it could be yes. it is all about the person but YES in general people who dont want a recent killed animal on their plate (knowing the Turkey –kind of wanted- to keep living, even if it were locked up waiting to DIE!) it many regards most are better people. And YOU bet your ass MANY are much deeper and sharper people!!!
This Dish is flawed in a sense, cause ARUGULA should have been used NOT Kale. Simply when cooked it tastes WAY way better!!
I do have vegans in my life but they don't come to my Thanksgiving dinner, unless they want to not eat! lol
Exactly. While I can deal with a vegetarian, a vegan can go somewhere else for dinner. Everything I cook has eggs, meat, dairy, honey, or some other animal product in it except for some salads.
If every vegan I've ever known was not a completely intolerant leftist, they would be much easier to endure.
you need to get out more
i know some pretty conservative vegans
perhaps it is you who is intolerant
I'll take an intolerable leftist over a whiny, condescending rightie any day of the week.
There is no such thing as a person being vegan. That shows that someone has missed the point of the entire lesson to be learned, which is that Truth and Life are one and Most Important.
You say we don't have to agree with another's ethical choices and drop it right there. I beg to differ. If a person is disrespecting their own self and we really care about them then we must insist on the very best for them. The point behind veganism is that it respects the Truthful fact that Life is Most Important in Life. Life is Most Important in Life is actually The Most Important Truth in Life. This Most Most Important Truth in Life is not an opinion, a philosophy, or even a theory. This is not just Truth, but it's also the MOST Important Truth of all in Life. If someone is missing out/no understanding what is really Most Important Truth of all in Life then they will damage themselves, others, and the environment. This goes beyond ethics and starts at square one of reality. Are the people we love thing whole thoughts based in reality or are they thinking unhealthy and selfish thoughts based on lies?
You are a nut job. So tell me dear sir, how eating eggs or honey harms anything?
Factory farmed egg laying hens are hurt in the process of producing eggs. Hens aren't designed to lay continuously as they are forced to do in the factory setting. Even "free range" and "cage free" mean little in terms of animal welfare. Male baby chicks are also destroyed by the thousands because Roosters don't lay eggs, so they're killed in the process. The majority of eggs produced in the US are not produced without harm.
I would never argue that humans aren't "designed" to eat animal products because I don't believe that to be true. I do believe that quantity of animal products currently consumed is detrimental not only to the animals, but to the people consuming them, and the environment. I think people who believe the "happy animal" myth in relation to where most of our animals raised for consumption, are naive and need to do more research into where their food is coming from and how it is produced. If you're sourcing your animal products from local farmers who raise their animals with a concern for their health and welfare, then good for you. Unfortunately this is the exception and not the rule.
I have egg laying hens in my back yard. They have a yard and are happy birds, and they are the only eggs I use or need.
So how exactly do those eggs, or the honey that my bees produce = morally wrong?
Wow , as a weapons lover and probably the most passionate person in the universe about meat ....who also happens to be a vegetarian almost vegan for the last 8 months, can help but to be ashamed and feel sorry for those MANY replies here and in so many places against vegans, the hate , the jokes , the ignorance. I was not long ago a passionate meat eater, but I never NEVER saw those who didn't eat meat as a reason of hate or laughter, because I have a functional mind and thankfully a wonderful moral compass. When I see the comment of the MANY that use derogatory words, hate and mockery can't help but to see a spooky resemblance to those crazy religious fanatics that instead of living their lives full of love and kindness they claim to be "full of god" but all that comes out of their actions and words can as well be found in a horror movie. I also used to drink habitual , and decided to stop, the strongest motivation is seeing other drunks act and talk, makes me realize how good is not to be that way any longer , the fighting the crying, the non sense, and I feel bad for them and wish them well and health , SAME exact way I feel for those replying with bullets for words against people that choose compassion over "YUM" , that many like me, loved meat and still made the necessary sacrifices to ensure the well being of 50 BILLION of animals that die so people can engorge with their suffering, let aside the huggge negative impact in the environment.. I wanna say THANKS to all the vegans that show me the way :) and that once and again respond to ignorance and hate with facts and knowledge instead of insults and malice. And I want to thank those who eat meat and express hate and ignorance , because it makes me feel GREAT to NOT being that way .
My English is very bad. I apologize :) ...I hope is not as bad as the hateful comments expressed in this page ;P Much respect
It's alright, if english isn't your first language you are doing a good job with it.
So you went from an alcoholic meat eater to a teetotaling vegan? Good for you, but you just come off as another preachy person. Veganism is dumb. Vegetarianism I can understand, but veganism is just silly.
I have no idea why readers are so snarky and hyper sensitive. I appreciate any and all vegan recipes online. Here's my own story of buying meat for an omnivore friend: http://daisybrain.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/the-meat-shop/
That looks like a steaming pile of YUCK!
Vegan food is so delicious! thank you for this article. I find vegan food to be more artistic. tasty. adventurous. I especially find the desserts to be way more tasty then non vegan desserts. and it is done without taking a life. I am looking forward to the vegan meal I will be enjoying this thanksgiving. No need to fear being vegan. Life is an adventure people....give something new a try...and on this day of giving thanks, save a life by not eating animals to give thanks.
Tried vegan cookies before....going to respectfully disagree with what sounds like your biased opinion. A meat eater here, and I enjoy all foods, vegan or not. But if you were not vegan and as proud of it as you sound (nothing wrong with it to be proud, by the way), I doubt you would be saying junk like "more artistic." A piece of meat cooked beautifully with perfect asparagus and a wonderful sauce, vegan or not, is just as beautiful, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
But yeah, back to the original point......vegan cookies are terrible, and taste nothing like a dessert
then you've tried the wrong vegan cookies. (just like traditional cookies, vegan cookies can have dud recipes/commercial products)
this recipe from the sticky fingers bakery in DC is the second best chocolate chip cookie recipe i have ever used (the first is rather scientific and exact and uses a lot of earth balance and needs to sit in the fridge overnight. these are easier and almost just as good.) http://vegancooking.livejournal.com/3414781.html
if you don't feel like baking, then wholefoods bakery cookie is petty good. (very bakery cookie like)
divvies are JUST LIKE toll house soft batch cookies OMG!!!!!
i would stay away from alternative baking company and liz lovely. they're good for what they are, but they're different enough from what you're used to that i could see someone eating them and declaring all vegan cookies inedible.
as for girl scout cookies, (there are two cookie bakers that the girl scouts order from. one is little brownie bakers, and the other is ABC. if your box says ABC, you're in luck! they are very allergen-friendly, and 4 of their cookies happen to be vegan. Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot, Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties.)
as for mainstream cookies, did you know oreos are vegan?
(see? it's not nice to stereotype an entire group on the actions/taste/texture/beliefs of one representation.)
Sorry...I judge cookies that proudly proclaim to be vegan and then s u c k.
Oreos don't need to advertise a gimmick for people to buy them
I agree , as a former Meat eater , and some one who loves the taste of meat and only stop because of the cruelty, I can still appreciate the artistry of meat , not like I did when I used to eat meat but like someone who knows the cruelty and unnecessary health complications from eating meat . Is dark art off course designed for those who still believe killing 50 billion of animals a year that consume a huge amount of the food grown in the land, let aside the incredible harm to the environment, but the most artistic part of it is the reaction that any thing vegan produces on those who eat meat and see it as a choice, which it is, just like the child rapist chose to rape, or the serial killer to kill. Is beautiful dark art non the less :)
Meat eaters compared to Child R a p i s t s. Wow, that's a new one.
Funny how you only mention the reaction of meat eater's on these things. Can you smell the vegetables you plant with your nose that high up in the air? I' don't know who you're referencing, but I have nothing against the vegan lifestyle, just said the vegan cookies I tried were disgusting.
I'd say get off your high horse, but that would be cruel to the horse in your mind, so look down on us from your soy perch
Oreos are Vegan.
I made a wonderful, incidentally-vegan baba ghanoush for a pot luck yesterday evening. Used grain-free things to dip into it: snap peas, endive, bell pepper and celery slices. No one at that pot luck was either vegan, vegetarian or grain-free (and there was meat and wheat served), which to me means if you put some effort into a vegan item (or a grain-free item), you'll have them raving to come back for seconds and thirds. PS – the only vegan desserts I like are bowls of strawberries or raspberries. (Well, I cannot eat cashews, which tends to get pulverized into vegan "cheese" altogether to often!) And TVP is so WRONG on so many levels I'm not going to go there. If you can make me a dessert using real food, and leaving out those gut-wrenching tree nuts, I'll eat it. As I said... I'm not adverse to a bowl of berries!
Vegan Baba Ghanoush? All Baba Ghanoush recipes are vegan. What did you have for desert some vegan fruit?
I don't understand the vitriol in these types of posts, but I probably never will. My best friend was a vegan who smoked since she was 14 & lived into her late '80's with great health & vitality. Aside from her love & friendship, she introduced me to a wonderful, quite large variety of foods & flavors I'd never experienced before & my family is like a mini-UN.
We were able to lunch once in awhile at a local restaurant that had a large vegetarian/vegan selection & bring home "doggie bags". I would bring her bags of my home-grown cherry tomatoes & we'd dip them in hummus while visiting over tea. And I always include some vegan/vegetarian selections at holidays, for my family's health among other reasons. But we still have our turkey. I'm grateful for many things & one of them is my vegan friend. I miss her very much.
Great post, and I am sorry for your evident loss.
vegans not welcome at my table. I don't want to encourage their ridiculous ideas. Lentils taste like dirt to me.
I am not a vegan or a vegetarian. That being said, vegans and vegetarians are WELCOME at MY table. They do let to know about five days in advance, since that is when I start thinking about the menu. (This goes for allergies or religious restrictions, too - as a busy woman, I don't have time for last minute punting... and yes, in that case they'll end up with the salad...) Personally, I THRIVE on cooking with people on food restrictions, as long as they aren't restricted to things I'd say were not food at all. If your diet is Pop Tarts, yes bring them and I'll heat them up for you, but no, that's NOT food...But making vegan food, vegetarian food, gluten-free food, tree-nut-free food (in this case, I'm also tree-nut-free, but if someone ever shares a dish with nuts at this point I can just largely still pick them out and eat anyways) - I like the challenge given that warns to create wholesome and nutritious meals that may be vegan; may be grain-free, may abide to your religious restrictions. It is a SERIOUSLY fun challenge. The other thing I ask: is no one snipes at others at the table for their choice of diet. (About 20 years ago I died with a "vegetarian" who complained about my eating "dead cow", and the next day I found her eating chicken. Did I refrain from noting, "dead bird"? NO. )
The font on my screen is set too small! "died on..." should be "dined on..." Ack!
... dined with... (read, lady, READ!) I wish we could edit these posts for at least a couple minutes after the uplload! Anyhow, happy Thanksgiving no matter what you eat!
Hmmm. If you can pick out the nuts from a dish and eat it and be just fine, you do not have a nut allergy, Thinking.
I was just making a comment about how meat can also be artistic off course, in a dark way non the less, and how the darkest part of it is the behavior of those who eat meat display towards those who make a conscious decision to not eat innocent creatures, is the same reaction religious fanatics have towards ANY ONE who doesn't follow their fanaticism ; with anger, hate, violence and lots of ignorance. Let me just say that I LOVE THE TASTE OF MEAT :) I don't eat it because I have a critical mind and I'm extremely educated on the matter , I back my claims with facts not with hateful insults like you are doing, because when you do, you make the person(persons) you are attacking look like they are right and you are just frustrated, so If you love meat like I do , but still think is right to eat it, don't address those who obviously make better wiser choices than you do with negativity, because it only shows the core of your character.
Why have you been eating dirt?
really? how often have you made this choice, in order to compare?
...Here we go again...
I like my Vegan smoked for approximately 24 to 36 hours,with Mustard of course.
aah! you'll enjoy the 4:20 varietal. they come pre-smoked. would you like to supersize it?
This is like the politics of food. Whenever there is a vegan piece, meat eaters go on the rampage. Whenever there is an article about BBQ or other meat based pieces, vegans ultimately espouse their "ellitism."
What a great article! Love that she encourages by giving yummy recipes to inspire–also appreciate that it's upbeat and positive. Glad to share this one....
Don't fear the vegan. Be like they are.
(tings! tings! tings! tings!)
fall! our thymes are yum
beer! put down that prawn.
I have proof that plants have feelings, emotions and can be admitted as evidence in a court of law. Plants like animals respond to various threats and pleasures. On a farm, they have the same rights as animals. So how does eating a plant differ from eating an animal when both do live? A life is a life is a life whether its a rose, potato or horse.
Regardless of the life form, Man cannot live unless he kills or something kills for him.
How about grain you say – how about eating unborn plant babies, they'll never see daylight, I say.
... *side-eye* you do realise that food animals need to eat too, right? do you know anything about the "rule of 10s" where essentially each rung up the food chain (away from the sun, essentially) 90% of the food's energy is lost. an animal will only incorporate 10% of their food's calories into their own bodies? so what that means is that an animal, in order to produce 1 lb of muscle, they would need to eat 10 lbs of plants. (roughly. some animals are less efficient, others are more efficient) so, you're essentially eating 11 lbs of food for each lb of meat you eat. if you honestly believe in plant suffering, you'd go the path of least harm and eat the vegetables directly. you would save 90% more plant life, and 99% more animal life (because bugs and rodents and stuff.) than indirectly eating plants via meat.
I'm about efficiency. If I can eat one pound of meat and it contains ten pounds of grass energy, grass being something I cannot digest, I'll do it gladly knowing that I saved ten pounds of vegetables from going through suffering. See plants don't die lickety split like animals. They sit and wilt for weeks in pain in suffocating bags of salad and stacked like cord wood in the refrigerated section. Tell me what not cruel about that.
you completely misread my explanation. (it's possible you did it on purpose, that's fine, but just be aware that i'll stop talking to you, which you might be fine with too.)
meat doesn't contain 10 lbs of grass energy. 90% is lost as body heat. 1 lb of meat still only contains 1 lb of grass energy. the 9 lbs is lost.
the vast majority of cows are fattened up on grain in feedlots. not in pasture. (if you exclusively eat pasture raised cows, more power to you, but most people don't, and if they did, there wouldn't be enough land to handle that.)
that means (by your beliefs, not mine [a horticulturist, BTW]) the grain is suffering in silos for months at a time. (possibly longer?) at least a zucchini only "suffers" for a week max. corn on the cob even shorter, if you want it to taste any good. potatoes will take the waiting into their own hands and start sprouting, so the quicker for them the better, too.
the solution to all of this, if you REALLY believe what you're saying, is to grow your own garden (is my horticulturism showing?) that way you can spare your vegetable the agony of purgatory.
I like a variety of foods so it would be no problem for me to entertain a vegetarian. I often have meatless meals. I just can't come up with enough compassion, I guess, to prevent me from eating a scallop. Yes, it's a living thing, but ... really.
I see no reason to cater to Vegans or even Vegetarians. If you don't eat specific food because you are religious, that is one thing. But just deciding to not eat meat or even animal products is just want. You choose not enjoy delicious meats. Every Thanksgiving, you're going to see a Turkey, you'll see various salamis, almost everything will have some meat involved, except for whatever sort of potatoes we've made, which always have butter. Never had a vegan over, and if I do I don't plan on making an assortment of vegan options just because said person doesn't want animal products. In the case of religion, there's normally going to be more than one option available, but if you just pick what you eat, then if my food isn't on your list of choices, I don't care. People always tell picky eaters not to be so picky, but if they CHOOSE to be a vegetarian/vegan just 'cause then you're being a picky eater. So why is it okay for them?
People choose their religion, too. Why do you value that choice over another kind of choice?
Veganism/vegetarianism is usually based on a moral choice. For example, I morally feel that it is immoral to kill animals for the purpose of food, and thus I no longer feel like it is just a "choice" but an obligation to my beliefs.
Most people are born into religion.
Born into, maybe ... but it's a choice whether or not you follow it as an adult.
that makes me curious now. do gentiles take a converted jew's abstention of bacon less seriously than one who was born into it? someone's convictions are someone's convictions regardless of situation. i would never take someone's opinion less seriously just because they chose it for themselves rather than being born into it. (in fact, i would take them even MORE seriously, because they consciously made the decision for themselves and specifically chose that path to be theirs)
How come Christians are called gentiles while Muslims are not. Does it have something to do with having an AK47 in your hand? Muslims are gentle too.
Carrot ... I agree. Making the decision deliberately means it's important to you, and would make me take it seriously. Not eating pork just because you happened to have been born into a Jewish family and never ate it as a kid is more of an accident. Heck, I can say that I don't eat Miracle Whip for kind of the same reason ... no one ever had it around. It's not a moral issue for me.
*fistbump* miracle whip is grosssss!
(the vegan equivalent of that is nayonaise. although they have reformulated recently, so we shall see if that comparison still stands. but if you are a hellmann's girl, definitely go for vegenaise. so good!)
I just find it odd that religion is often considered a "good enough" reason to have a dietary restriction, whereas a moral objection to eating animals is sometimes not given the same respect.
oh! sevenveils, sorry. i missed your comment earlier. i consider myself an apatheist (couldn't care one way or the other whether god(s) exist or not. it won't change my actions. i'm going to be kind whether or not there happen to be any gods.) i was raised catholic, and married an agnostic that grew up jewish.
i guess i should have said goy. (this whole time i thought "gentile" just meant non-jew.) oh! wait, i just looked it up. i was right. (and it looks like mormons adapted the meaning to suit themselves?) http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gentile (i love that the synonyms are "heathen" "idolator" "miscreant" (lulz!)) so no worries, you're a gentile too. <3
Here I thought gentiles were those hard flat things that men stuck on floors & walls with mastic & grout.
Oh my deary, carrot! You write so well! And intelligently! I'd be your friend in a heartbeat:)
i guess when you've been passionate about something for 20 years, you tend to hone your skills. (i'm definitely a practice makes perfect kind of person, and i guess i've had lots of practice on this.) :-p
and alee, ha! maybe they're tiles made of genetic material?
"If you don't eat specific food because you are religious, that is one thing. But just deciding to not eat meat or even animal products is just want"
How are want and religion different?
How can you tell you are talking to a vegan?
Oh, don't worry, they will tell you. Repeatedly.
Why can't vegans celebrate Thanksgiving with friends?
– They have neither grat!tude, nor friends.
You sir sound like a bucket of kittens.
Yeah, not inviting the hippies for Thanksgiving. Go eat your nuts and berries elsewhere.
Indians were the first hippies. They didn't seem to be uptight about what and what not to eat.
You seem to have a very expansive world view and I would like to hear more of your very wise and cultured thoughts.
If you want some real hippies then check out Wood Elves in Skyrim. So hippie that they refuse to eat anything but meat, in order to 'save the earth.' Now that's my kind of hippie.
The small mind and their persistence on labeling every one and them selves :) . " Well skooter is them darn hippies that are lazy and this and that , just like them blacks and how they don't have souls" labels labels labels little labels large labels . :)
What do you call a bulimic Vegetarian, a salad shooter.
I always find it astonishing how angry people get about other peoples choice to try and live cruelty free. It seems odd to respond to an act of compassion with aggression. Right now I'm feeling very lucky to have family and friends who love and respect me enough to want to make the effort to understand my feelings about animal use, prepare something suitable for me when I visit them and enjoy the tasty dished I cook them! They certainly don't complain when I send them home stuffed full!
Well good for you! /sarcasm
And good for you in helping to back up my point! /no sarcasm! :)
Yah good for her , she is bright , kind and is not a lawyer... VERY GOOD I say!!!
The only way you could be cruel free is if you didn't have an older brother or sister. You being a single child perhaps.
I have an older brother.