Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Veganism, skinniness, rawness etc

I've managed to get this far with life and veganism without encountering JL goes Vegan, but a brief exploration of the blog suggests I might have been missing out. I found JL's blog via somebody's link roundup on weight and body image, specifically a post titled Veganism is not a crash diet. Of course I agree totally with that idea. Long-term readers of this blog may remember my feelings on the subject of Skinny Bitch - a book which equates vegan with skinny and skinny with healthy, and in my opinion verges on pro-ana in places.

JL has started a new blog called Stop Chasing Skinny, and the post that reasonates with me there (having not had much time to explore either of her sites) was this one - dealing with the flipside of the Skinny Bitch phenomenon, the person who gives up veganism because they are losing too much weight and, quite frankly, because their interpretation of the vegan diet is no fun at all and seems to be based on deliberate self-denial. Fine if you like that sort of thing, personally I don't care if you live on bread and water and put upturned nails on your chair at mealtimes, but it isn't a great representation of veganism - especially if you are suffering rather than thriving.

Veganism doesn't have to be raw or low-fat or gluten-free, and I am living evidence that it doesn't have to involve cutting out caffiene. It doesn't have to be healthy - you can live on chips and doughnuts and still avoid animal products. It just has to be vegan, and people of all shapes and sizes can do it.

Friday, 23 September 2011

No actual dragons were harmed in the making of this meal

Sorry for disappearing for so long, especially on the tail of a post about suicide - I hope nobody jumped to the wrong conclusion there! It's been a bit of a stressful time, and to be honest might remain so for a while yet. Posts are going to be a bit sporadic, but for the sake of making life as normal as possible I'm going to try to post when I have the time and energy.

Today's recipe is known chez Duck as green dragon pie. I have no idea if it has any other official existence. The original inspiration was a 'red dragon pie' - made with red lentils, kidney beans, carrots and tomatoes - that I had in a pub a long time ago and must have reproduced thousands of times over the years. I can't remember how green dragon pie came about, except as a way of having a bit of variety. I do remember dishing it up for some friends, along with a red dragon pie, when cookware constraints meant we had to do two seperate pies rather than one that was big enough for everyone.

This dish can be a bit of a faff if you do everything from scratch, although (as with most recipes I post here) well worth it if you do enough to last for two meals. I've had convenience versions before, involving various combinations of tinned green lentils, mushy peas and instant mash - one of the better things I can do in a rush!

4 medium potatoes
Green split peas - start with half a margarine tub of peas, fill to the top with water, leave in fridge overnight. (Or use mushy peas from a tin)
250 grams of green lentils (dried weight)
Mint (fresh or dried, optional)
Seasoning to taste (I use celery salt and black pepper)
2-3 onions

Cut up, boil and mash the potatoes
Boil the dried lentils and soaked split peas for half an hour or so with the mint and seasoning - the peas will go mushy.
Fry the onions (can also add some fresh or frozen spinach if you have it) and stir into the mixture
Spread the mashed potato over the top and bake in the oven at 200 for half an hour or so - basically until the top of the mash is crispy and brown. You can stick some tofutti slices on top of the mash.