Thursday, 26 November 2009

S.O.P.H.I.E. video

Sophie Lancaster was murdered just for looking 'different'. S.O.P.H.I.E. stands for Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere. This video is an attempt to raise awareness of the need to speak out against all hate crime, including that directed at subcultures.

And yes, this is slightly off-topic for a blog on veganism, but if our reasons for being vegan coincide at all then you'll understand.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


An online acquaintance posted this, and it made me wonder: why do flexitarians need special resources? I wouldn't be feeling quite so spiky about the idea if I hadn't run across a number of blog and message board posts and even *gasp* offline conversations regarding the idea of 'accommodating' flexitarians. That is, vegetarians/vegans needing in some form or other to do so. Now, I thought the point of being a flexitarian (rather than vegan, vegetarian, ova-or-lacto-veg, pescatarian, or other label that refers in the dietary sense to eating or not eating a specific range of foods) was that you didn't need to be accommodated. That you ate the 'right' thing for any specific context. Surely the right thing for a context in which you are surrounded by vegetarians/vegans is to eat what they do? Be truly 'flex'-ible and refrain from whinging about the lack of animal products? Wow, anyone would think you were an average omnivore trying to gain a trendy label - oh, wait...

Note 1: yeah, I know 'vegan' goes beyond diet, and that this is the key to why some are vegans and some are flexitarians in the first place, but since these conversations have tended to involve food I have stuck to that angle for now.

Note 2: I have nothing against people who are trying to reduce animal product consumption but aren't (yet) ready to go all the way. These are not the people being slated here, especially the ones who may be vegan in the future! But if anyone complains about the lack of meat/dairy in vegan/vegetarian spaces or contexts, I really doubt the sincerity of any attempts to cut down on these substances...


I've added a few more links in General Vegan and Shinies. Nb: I use 'non-animal-tested' rather than 'cruelty-free' when the product ranges in question aren't exclusively vegan. If I post a link it indicates that the company has a decent range of vegan products, but that you may need to check the ingredients online or in the shop before buying.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

My top 10 favourite foods right now

Just to demonstrate how wide a range of vegan food is available! Some of these involve 'scary' vegan ingredients, others don't. Some are easier to cook than others. The order varies with my mood!

1: Chilli, particularly with tacos/nachos. The deluxe version of this involves Cheezly (Redwoods) and Sour Supreme (Tofutti), but these can be done without. The tomatoes, beans and spices are what does it...
2: Gigantes, with either rice or couscous depending on whether the nearest clean container is a saucepan or a bowl
3: Peanut curry with veg and/or tofu - the basic sauce can be made out of creamed coconut and peanut butter
4: Welsh Rarebit, especially if I can find somewhere that sells vegan worcester sauce! That is in short supply in my city for some reason...
5: Leek and potato soup
6: Corn chowder (actually I want this today, but need to actually buy a tin of sweetcorn first...)
7: Dhal with chickpeas. Preferably with rice, but couscous will do.
8: A beanburger with lots of salad. I don't always want to cook from scratch!
9: Lasagna/Moussaka (these would be a lot higher if they weren't such a faff to cook!) - being a philistine I prefer these with salad and chips rather than anything more culturally appropriate, but rice and bread are also good...
10: Pizza! (with or without cheezly depending on whether I have any in... sometimes just dumping a load of veg on it works fine!)

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Gigantes are spicy oversized baked beans which tend to be eaten as part of a Greek meze. This is rather an improvised recipe but tastes good anyway! I have some in the oven right now, which is what prompted me to post this here...

-1 small tin butter beans per person (so large tin for 2 i guess)
-tomato puree
-olive oil
-garlic (about 2 cloves per person)…
-a red pepper (or green or whatever)
-dried mixed herbs

Pour beans into an oven-safe dish, keeping the brine they are sold in. Stir in tomato puree until the liquid thickens. Pour in a fair bit of olive oil - enough to cover the beans. Chop the garlic and the pepper and stir them in along with the herbs. Bake at 220C for an hour. Eat with couscous or rice.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Product rave: Blue Dragon stirfry sauce

Specifically the sweet chilli and soy variety. There are other vegan sauces in the range, but that one is my favourite. It isn't hot, but it adds that bit extra flavour to a stir-fry that is just vegetables. (I know there are plenty of flavours in there already, but sometimes I do feel like decorating it...) A pouch contains about enough to go over two helpings of veg without making things excessively runny. It also managed to avoid getting burned onto the bottom of my wok today! And of course extra kudos to Blue Dragon for labelling their vegan products...

Leek and potato soup

1 leek and 2 decent sized potatoes per person
Water (duh)
Soy milk/cream (optional)

Cut the potatoes up fairly small, boil in the water until they get to the slightly overcooked stage.
While the potatoes are boiling, fry the chopped leeks in the margarine. Add the seasoning - if you're being really basic just use pepper, garlic also works.
Mash the potatoes a bit - they don't have to be completely mashed, more a lumpy puree. (you will notice that I don't own a blender. They can be useful, but are not essential to life!)
Add the leaks and any residual margarine. Simmer everything until tastes merge.

And of course I came to work with no lunch so am feeling hungry after writing this!