Happy Thanksgiving from your Vegansaurus: Sr. Bear Correspondent Sarah M. Smart!
My T-Givz needed a whole plate and then an auxiliary plate to contain all the madness, cooked mostly by two solitary people—myself and Aurora Wells—and this was all still before pumpkin pie. Don’t be jel!
Pictured: mashed potatoes, gravy, pan-fried seitan I made from scratch, green bean casserole, peas, candied yams, my mother’s stuffing recipe, vegan jellied cranberry sauce (I love that shit, and I don’t care what you think about it), macaroni and “cheese,” AND A ROLL! Oh, also wine, but duh.
OCD Sweets is offering 30 percent off Friday and Saturday, with 20 percent of proceeds going to help animals! ORDER EVERYTHING!
OCD Sweets (whom we love very very very much as they are the MOST DELICIOUS!) is offering 30 percent off orders of $50 or more today and Saturday, and donating 20 percent of the proceeds to Farm Sanctuary, Animal Rescue Corps, and Mercy for Animals! Hot damn, it’s selfish NOT to buy! And we repeat, HER TREATS ARE AMAZING AND YOU NEED THEM TO TAKE AWAY ALL YOUR SADNESS. Seriously, if Thanksgiving did not fill you with thanks for those around you, OCD Sweets might be the only thing that can help. Plus, the money is going to help animals! Don’t be an asshole!
They’re offering this discount “because we love animals and the people who devote their lives to protecting them.” How adorable and amazing is that?? So get up on it and make it happen, just remember to use the code: STICKYBIZOCD
side salad cup of squash soup gobble with gravy savory mushroom stuffing fresh cranberry sauce baked yams with marshmallow (dandies!) topping creamed spinach pumpkin cheesecake
Here are her extremely motivating photos:
and (bonus!), the most outrageous collection of hot sauces she’s ever seen!
Get over there! And don’t forget to mention us so you can get your free pumpkin spice snowball or live pumpkin cheesecake ON. I’m sorry I keep saying “get your BLANK on!” I think I ate so much yesterday that I lost brain cells, only explanation. I can’t stop! God bless the holidays! Especially when you get to choose exactly what you want to eat!
Veganville baked goods on the cheap for Vegansaurus readers! Whoopie pies shipped to your face!
So, what’s the deal with Black Friday? Do we still boycott buying things? Or do we only boycott buying from big business? I’m so out of the loop! I do know I’ll be buying a Caltrain ticket back to to the city so I can work Friday morning (lucky me!) and then a $2 bottle of wine from Whole Foods to drown my sorrows because I’m broke, single and no one loves me. Just kidding! My cat will be so stoked to see me home after a night spent at Grandma’s house!
If you aren’t broke as a motherfucking joke and can buy many glorious items for sale today, please—let me lead the way.
Gigi is a vegan baker, located in the East Bay, who’s items you can find pretty much everywhere, including:
Philz Coffee in Berkeley Tay Tah Cafe Albany Catahoula Cafe Richmond Thornhill Coffee House in Montclair Detour Cafe in Berkeley And soon, Never Felt Better in Sacramento!
Her products sell under the name Veganville and are also available on Etsy! She is offering a 35 percent discount on everything in her etsy store, starting Thanksgiving midnight through Cyber Monday at midnight. Type in the code BigV35. Anything at her store (except for gift certificates, but let’s be serious here)! We are going in for the cupcakes (or whoopie pies! Or brownies! Whatever you fancy, there is so much to choose from!)
Pepe needs a home! A volunteer from the Pets for Life NYC program sent me an email about this cute dog: “He’s been living alone in a fenced-in lot in the Bronx for over a month, and although kindly neighbors are feeding and watering him he’s going to need a foster, adopter or rescue before it gets cold.”
Here’s a more detailed description from a volunteer:
Pepe is a lovely, young, rottie, shepherd, pit mix who was left in a lot after his owner was arrested. Local residents have been feeding him and giving him water and Pets for Life NYC bought him an insulated dog house to keep him warm. Pepe as you can see in the photos is a wonderfully friendly dog. He sits for treats and has a very soft mouth when taking treats. He did not resource guard when our volunteer took away toys and food from him. He also did not show any guarding behavior over his fenced in space. He licked our volunteer in the face throughout the duration when our volunteer was putting together the dog house. Pepe is not neutered and showed some humping and over-stimulation with our volunteer which is to be expected from a young, unneutered dog with his energy level who has been getting little physical or mental stimulation. However, the behavior never escalated and our volunteer was easily able to control Pepe by offering hm some treats which he sat for on command. He’s a great dog and we are hopeful a rescue group may take him before the cold sets in.
Paul Shapiro Presents: Animal News You Can Use! (Thanksgiving Edition!)
It’s time for the next installment of Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! This time, it’s THANKSGIVING-STYLE, boooy! Take it away, Paul! I’m thinking we might need an adorable graphic for this? Anyone want to make us one? In return, I will give you a gigantic Thanksgiving high-five! What a feeling!
Well, if you’ve been living under a rock, you may not have heard about Mercy For Animals’ potent new investigation at Sparboe Foods, one of the sole egg producers in the country lobbying against the federal effort to ban barren battery cages. In the wake of the investigation, both McDonald’s and Target dropped Sparboe as a supplier.
MFA’s investigation resulted in massive news coverage, including a powerful 20/20 segment along with much other ABC News content (including a couple minutes of me hanging out with chickens talking about battery cages). Amusingly, a spokesman for the egg company claimed the video was “staged,” only to have the company later publicly correct him, asserting they have no evidence of that.
The NPR affiliate in DC sat down with me for lunch to talk about veg eating and Meatless Monday. You can listen to the six-minute segment here.
Finally, the headline says it all: “Talking Turkey: 9 out of 10 retail turkey samples contaminated with fecal bacteria.”
Recipe: The Absolute Greatest Stuffing For Every Holiday!
This recipe is the family heirloom in my clan. I’m not totally sure it’s OK to give it away, but I fancy myself a rule breaker. No, that’s a lie, I hate getting in trouble. In the paraphrased words of Taylor Swift, “I am scared of the principal’s office of life.” Mom, don’t be mad that I’m giving away our family recipe! It’s too amazing to keep a secret! That being said, is best stuffing recipe you will find, I’m sure of it. Plus, it features all my most very favorite ingredients — spinach, mushrooms, onions, and garlic!
Ingredients: 1 package croutons (make sure they’re vegan) 2 or 3 packages of frozen, chopped spinach* 3 or 4 short cans of sliced mushrooms* 1 tsp. Bell’s Seasoning Between 3 - 6 white onions (obviously your discretion. I’m an onion girl. 6 it is!) 4 - 5 ribs celery, chopped 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning 3 - 4 cloves garlic (Or, if you’re me, 8) Olive oil! Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions: Chop your onions, your celery, your garlic. Drizzle yo’ pan with olive oil (a couple tablespoons olive oil, if you’re into measuring stuff out). Turn it on medium/medium high. Saute onion until transparent (I caramelize, bitches!), add celery, cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic. DON’T LET YOUR GARLIC BROWN. That’s why you add it last. Cook the flavor in, but it gets bitter when it browns. If you’ve had it on medium high, turn down to medium at this point. Add Italian herbs, salt, pepper and Bell’s, too. Let the spices cook in.
If you are using packaged spinach, boil according to directions. Open your cans of mushrooms.
In a PRETTY LARGE BOWL, pour in croutons, cooked onions/celery/spices/garlic, canned mushrooms and cooked spinach! Mixed together! Let sit overnight. Stuff a vegetarian something or other. If you aren’t stuffing anything, you just want delicious stuffing, bake covered at 350 til heated through and through. Take off covering (foil?) and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes until top is lightly browned.
Stuffing atop the tofurkey I made from scratch, Christmas 2009.
Stuffing baked alone for Easter 2011, with fresh ingredients including sourdough bread!
As always, if you make this, let me know of any modifications you make. I want to know everything!
*This stuffing is so good with the canned stuff. I remember telling my mom, “if it’s not broke, why fix it?” — which she agreed with, wholeheartedly. I mean, we were raised on this stuff! However, I use fresh ingredients these days. I’ve slowly ventured to using a bag of fresh spinach and about a pound of fresh mushrooms. If using fresh spinach and mushrooms, saute your chopped, fresh mushrooms until browned, then add spinach. Saute ‘til spinach is cooked down. Put aside, and continue on in the recipe! Oh, and as for croutons, I made my own for Easter** last year. I’ll do that again and get back to you about how it turns out.
**Last Easter, I took a loaf of sourdough bread, chopped it up, drizzled it with olive oil, and baked until toasty. I called that croutons. Turns out, I don’t know how to chop bread into small pieces. But! My friend Evan described my ‘stuffing’ as a savory bread pudding. I LOVE bread pudding. Score!
Inarguably the best vegan turkey that’s ever been on the market. It’s gone now (SAD) but you can still bow down to her glory by making this beautiful bitch! Seriously, if you’re looking for a vegan holiday masterpiece, unturkey is the word!
It’s just so unbelievably moist (ew) and meaty (ew) and you’ll be so happy you made it and even happier that you ate it but not so happy when you feel disgusting after you can’t stop eating it. Purge and REPEAT! JK about the purge part but not about the repeating.
Taste Test! What's the Best Vegan Turkey Substitute?
This photo is from the WaPo.
You know what I’m pissed about? That no one invited ME to participate in this taste test the Washington Post ran, comparing six un-turkey alternatives you could be having at your table this week, or whenever else you feel the need for turkey alternatives.
Spoiler alert: Tofurky and Field Roast won. By a lot. They’re my favs, especially Field Roast products, so I’m not surprised.
What I am surprised about: There are six vegan turkey alternatives?! A major daily newspaper is covering this?! Their write-up is nuanced enough to explain why people might say no to dead flesh on the table (health, environment, animal rights) AND to point out that fake turkey has some issues of its own (highly processed, weird ingredients, questionable environmental impact)?!
I’ve never served one of these guys before— last year I stuffed pumpkins with polenta and seitan bourgignon, the year before I made cholent from Veganomicon and a lentil stew, stay tuned for this year’s plans… But I’ve eaten them and I get the appeal. I’m glad they exist. And I’m glad the mainstream world is paying attention to them.
Things are changing. Slowly. Yay! Something to be thankful for!
Ok here are the results (you can see them bigger here):
Thanksgiving Dinner at Source in SF (Thursday and Friday!)
So many vegan Thanksgiving dinners, so little room in your stomach! Right? Or, so many vegan Thanksgiving dinners, but OMG you have plans with the family! The friends! Don’t worry, Source in SF has you covered. Not only are they serving a phenomenal Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, they’re serving it Friday, as well! You are so stoked, I can tell.
The ENTIRELY VEGAN menu includes: Choice of butternut squash soup or green salad ‘Gobble’ with ‘giblets’ gravy Homemade cranberry sauce Savory mushroom stuffing Creamed spinach Candied yams (with Dandies marshmallows!) Plus(!): Choice of living pumpkin spice cheesecake or pumpkin spice snowball with orange-pumpkin-cinnamon frosting.
All of this, for a steal, at $19.95 a person. They’re accepting in house reservations, walk-ins, and phone-orders. You probably want to come eat there, because for real - sexiest staff in San Francisco.
Say hi to the baker! She’s been working really hard on making these desserts the best ever!
Wait, are you still allowed to buy food on black Friday? It’s doesn’t count as consumerism if it’s vegan, right? I kid, I kid. But really, come for the desserts.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Jenny Bradley is the baker at Source (see above note about her being the baker at Source!) and she provided this inside scoop on their thanksgiving! If you’re looking for other Thanksgiving options in the S.F. Bay Area, check out Meave’s post on that.
If you’re reading this blog and live in Oakland you best know about Souley Vegan, but maybe you haven’t heard of The Food Mill? It’s rad. It’s got the best bulk section of anywhere I’ve ever seen, even better than Berkeley Bowl or Rainbow Grocery. Maybe not Rainbow. But it’s good! It’s where I bought dried sassafras and sarsaparilla for making root beer.
Anyway, these two deals combined are almost enough to make me move back to the Bay Area. Promise me three meals at Souley Vegan and I may even come visit? EAT THIS BECAUSE I CAN’T RIGHT NOW I’M JEALOUS! Can you mail Tasty Crispies? Arg!
Any of y’all ever go to P.F. Chang’s? It was my favorite restaurant when I was but a wee teenager in Indianapolis, and one of the yummiest menu items was the vegetarian lettuce wraps. I found myself craving these this weekend, but the nearest Chang’s is on the other side of the bay, so I decided to try to make some instead. Even though I used the “wrong” kind of lettuce because that’s what I had so GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK, they were still really yummy:
Goes well with Blue Moon, 2-Buck Chuck, Absolut straight from the bottle, +c.
Accidentally Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps Ingredients
1 head of lettuce (iceberg probably works better than the red-leaf I used) 3 Tbsp. peanut oil 1 pound of tofu, pressed and diced into 1/2-inch cubes 1 cup celery, minced 5 smallish carrots, minced 1 8-oz. can of water chestnuts, minced 2 bulbs shallots, minced (PROTIP: save time by mincing all this shit together, in a food processor if you’ve got one) 1 Tbsp. minced ginger (did you know you can buy that madness in jars now?) 1 tsp. coriander 1 tsp. thyme 1/2 tsp pepper 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar 2 Tbsp. soy sauce 1/2 cup cilantro Hot chili paste or sriracha, to taste
1. Heat your skillet on medium-high, and pour 2 Tbsp. of the oil in there. Once it’s hot, throw your tofu in there. Stir frequently until it’s pretty brown; this will take maybe 10 minutes. Add your ginger, coriander, thyme, and pepper. Stir for about a minute, and then add your minced mix. Take a moment to appreciate the shallot: It’s like if garlic and onion had the most beautiful, delicious baby ever in existence, not that babies are generally delicious, I mean, I wouldn’t know about the taste of babies, OKAY GOD ANYWAY. 2. Stir and cook for a while (10 minutes-ish?) until your veggies are soft. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, and as much chili paste or sriracha as you can handle. Cook for a while longer until some of the liquid evaporates. Once it’s acceptable to you, remove from heat. You might want to let it cool for a while so its sheer heat doesn’t rip holes in your lettuce. 3. Take a leaf of lettuce, put some of this mixture on it, roll it up to the best of your ability, and nom. Make sure you have a fork nearby.
Warning: These are low-carb, so if that’s bad for you, add some rice or toast or something. I would marry carbs if they were a person, so I had some popcorn later in the evening. #popcorn4lyfe
Really? Feather fur extensions for dogs? They are as stupid as they are cruel!
Welcome to yet another travesty in American culture: Puppylocks. They are feather fur extensions for dogs. Feather fucking fur extensions for dogs. The world is a crazy place. It’s bad enough that people wear feather extensions, now their dogs have to? I find it completely offensive, like, towards life in general. I think it’s super whack and corny but I know that people think feather extensions look nice on them (even though they don’t) and people really care about how they look, but a dog, at best, does not give a fuck about feather extensions. Is it really worth torturing roosters for this?
The demented company that makes Puppylocks is Condition Culture. Call them and write them angry emails about how ridiculous and cruel they are—oh, and don’t forget to mention how fucked up their feather supplier is! The company they proudly get feathers from is Whiting Farms, one of the world’s largest producers of “fly tying feathers” (you know, for the glorious "sport" that is fishing). Whiting Farms says they “harvested” 125,000 roosters in the year 2000—that is pre-feather extension craze. I don’t want to imagine how many they “harvest” now.
A piece about the fad in the Seattle Times says the feathers ”come from roosters that are genetically bred and raised for their plumage. In most cases, the birds do not survive the plucking.” Some places do live-plucking? That’s a horrible and sickening process. But according to the Seattle Times, at Whiting Farms, “the roosters live about a year while their saddle feathers — the ones on the bird’s backside and the most popular for hair extensions — grow as long as possible. Then the animal is euthanized.” So Whiting Farms claims it doesn’t do live-plucking, I guess thank god for small favors?
If the roosters being killed just for their feathers isn’t bad enough for you, you can read about the breeding process in ”The Hackle Manifesto" by owner Tom Whiting himself. This "manifesto" is pretty nuts actually. Does he not have a PR person?
First, Tom tells us how helpful objectifying the roosters can be:
It is good to start out with the appreciation that even though the hackle breeders get the credit for the fine feathers, it is the roosters who do the actual producing. It is the chickens, or more specifically the individual feather follicles within their skin, which generate the coveted feathers. The bird itself can be viewed (if you are a reductionist) as merely a biological support system for feather follicles extruding dry fly hackle.
It gets better:
First it should never be forgotten that the unit of use is the individual feather. The whole breeding program must always focus on the feather… Too easily does the focus of the bird or the pelt distract from the all important individual feather… So don’t select birds, select for feathers, and then use the birds that happen to be attached to those feathers.
Wow. This dude is such a dick. He does say that you have to “pamper” the roosters and create optimum conditions for them or the feathers suffer. I guess giant rows of stacked cages means pampered?
Eventually, he gets into the difficulty of examining feathers on a live bird:
These aren’t gentle barnyard or fancier chickens, but demons in hackle disguise. And your goal is to look at their feathers, objectively and carefully. Well I have news, he ain’t exactly going to cooperate
You see every hackle rooster seems to realize who exactly is responsible for sentencing him to a solitary cage for the last 6 months, with nothing to look at or listen to other than lots of other confined roosters. And he also realizes he probably has only one good chance to hammer the living hell out of you… And then you have to go catch the son of a bitch as he eludes you then ambushes you from under the cages. Your sentiments can quickly shift from wanting to evaluate their necks to wringing them. Some of my most sheepish moments in life have been after hurling an especially bad rooster across the barn in utter frustration, only to watch them flutter and sail to the floor, ruffled and cackling indignantly, with every single other rooster in the shed chiming in to let you know they all witnessed your little moment of weakness.
Um, say what? Who is this guy? I think he’s in too deep. Shit is getting to him. No, shit has clearly gotten to him. Or, he just blew the roof off a haughty rooster conspiracy! Those indignant mofos are in it together!
So, that is where these Puppylocks come from. Is this really justifiable in the name of some weird projected dog vanity?
See everyone? I’m not all about fake turkeys and worrisome ingredients. I know how to cook dishes from whole foods (as in ingredients, not the store). That being said, some of you have got to be in the same boat as me, with family members that are all “everyone, OUT OF THE KITCHEN! NOW!” which is how holidays at my Grandma’s house tend to be (while the real turkey is roasting! Yikes!). So I rely on monstrous soy turkeys where all I have to do is set the oven for my vegan holiday feast [Ed. note: I thought it was GLORIOUS! Not monstrous!]. Whatever it takes to avoid bickering make the most of family time, right?
For some reason, every once and a while, I can get away with making a delicious, elbow-grease-inducing (though so worth it!) recipe like this one.
Some changes I made:
-Added a little cinnamon to the butternut squash, whilst in the food processor. -Added about a half of a tablespoon each of cornstarch and arrowroot to the squash, instead of silken tofu. -Caramelized a white onion, then sauteed the processed butternut squash mixture with it. -Sauteed garlic with the mushroom topping. -Used sherry wine instead of sherry vinegar with the mushrooms. -Used olive oil instead of Earth Balance for everything except the crust.
Overall, it’s a stellar recipe whether you use my modifications or not. To tell you the truth, on Thanksgiving I made the original version of it and the next day I changed it up. What can I say? At twenty-nine (last year) I was the the youngest person home for the holidays. I got antsy.
What a beauty!
Did you make this when you saw it up last year? Did you make any modifications? Are you going to make it this year? Tell me everything!
How cute are these babies? Pro tip: SO CUTE! They are at the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary in Stockton, CA and they need homes! Lena and Lewis both have petfinder pages. The brother and sister were found sad and dirty on a country road in Stockton in October. Lena is lively and gentle and likes getting hugs (OMG!). Lewis is a “miniature athlete with a winning heart of gold,” and is looking for some nice active humans. They sound so cute! They LOOK so cute! Someone out there must be looking for cute puppies like these. If you can’t adopt them, maybe you know someone who can? Send this around to your friends and family! Post it on Facebook! These guys deserve homes and every little bit helps!
Show your love for tripods and support a good cause with John Bartlett's clothing line!
John Bartlett has a great line of comfy-looking clothes featuring a lovable tripod named Tiny Tim! Tiny Tim is Bartlett’s late dog that he rescued from a sweet rescue organization that took him in from a high-risk shelter. After his dear dog passed, Bartlett created the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund that’s “dedicated to raising and distributing funds to independent rescue groups who are pulling directly from the high-risk shelters.” When you purchase anything in this collection, ten percent of the proceeds go to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund.
I think the sweatshirts are super-cute. They have the style available in tons of men’s designs as well as women’s, with a few things for pups too. I’m into this reglan style above. And all the sweatshirts look so comfortable! And a lot of the shirts are that perfect grey—Rocky grey as I call it. I love that shit.
Ubuntu's chef Aaron London has a side dish for us for Thanksgiving! IT’S EXCLUSIVE (I think, maybe not) and DELICIOUS (this is for sure a fact) and something we can all make and serve to our family so they don’t die from butter and lard consumption on the big day. Happy holidays!
Ingredients 4 bunches of kale, pulled from stem and washed 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced 3 lemons 3 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane ½ tsp. red pepper flakes ½ cup extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 cup golden raisins 1 cup cooking sherry ½ cup pine nuts, toasted at 325 F for 10 to 12 minutes 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar Vegan parmesan cheese substitute, i.e. Parma Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions Sweat the onions over low heat in a heavy bottomed pot in ¼ cup olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and chili flake and continue to cook while stirring until the raw garlic smell is gone.
Add three bunches of kale to the pot and stir until well coated with the oil and onion mixture. Add in ½ cup water and place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for approximately one hour, until the kale is braised and very tender.
Place the raisins in a small pot with the sherry, and cook on low heat, while stirring, until the raisins are plumped and tender. Then place them in a bowl and add the balsamic, pine nuts, zest and juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup olive oil, and reserve.
Use a sharp knife to slice your remaining kale into thin ribbons, and toss this with the juice and zest of two lemons. Hold this in the refrigerator for up to 20 minutes.
Once your kale is braised, and the other steps are done, run a knife a few times through the braised kale; you don’t want to chop it too much, just get it into more manageable-sized pieces.
Lay the braised kale out on either a large platter, or individual dishes, and drizzle with some of your pine nut vinaigrette, then top with the raw kale and the remaining vinaigrette. Finally, top the dish with as much vegan parmesan-substitute as you like.
Serves six. This dish can be eaten as is, and is also very nice served over red quinoa.
Here is what it could maybe look like, even though it’s an entirely different recipe:
(I know this post is very Christmas-y, but basically I eat the same-ish meal for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so of course I assume everyone else does the same!)
Last Christmas, I went all out and treated myself to a Vegetarian Plus Vegan Whole Turkey. I was super curious after seeing the ads in VegNews. Now, I’m a Tofukery fan — I like it, but I’m not in love. I’m also a vegan who LOVES faux meat, in taste and in image. I think it’s hilarious this vegan turkey is actually shaped like a turkey. I could not contain my excitement about eating a drumstick again. Vegan drumsticks = pure joy.
I bought my vegan turkey at Rainbow Grocery and lugged it to Grandma’s house in Redwood City. I showed it off to practically anyone I came across. The thing is like, 4 pounds and has to defrost overnight. So plan ahead! It also comes with gravy and stuffing, but I put those aside (in Grandma’s freezer, for a later date) and made my own. There’s actually a cavity to put the stuffing in. This thing is intense!
It’s possible I went a little overboard with the stuffing, as you can see from the split seams.
I tried to bake this monster according to the directions, but unfortunately my aunt had turned off the oven, forgetting I had to prepare my vegan meal! (I’m sure it was just an accident…) So, it took a little longer than the directions stated. The turkey was well worth the wait! So tender! So moist (ew)! So flavorful! I AM IN LOVE. I have been so excited for the holidays to roll around so I can get another one! For real, this faux bird is delectable. It’s meant to feed 8 - 10 people, but I have the appetite of 5 people so I ate half of it in one night. I think I’ll lay off of doing that again this year (no promises). I learned my lesson the hard way, and felt sick for days (which didn’t stop me from eating the leftovers. Really. It’s that good. Don’t get me started on the turkey sandwiches with veganaise…)
Vegan Christmas plate! ‘Turkey’ drumstick, gravy, stuffing, carrots and twice baked chipotle sweet potato (recipe from The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life).
My parents are in London at the moment, visiting my cousin and his sweetie pie little daughters, Sophia and Joanna. Turns out, Sophia has taken a shine to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and adopted her own dolphin! I asked her to write a little bit about the WDCS and she was kind enough to oblige!:
I became interested in WDCS when I was reading my nature magazine (National Geographic, Kids). At the end of it was an adoption form and a bit of information about WDCS. They allow anybody to adopt a dolphin, whale or porpoise, but it is actually aimed at kids. I adopted a dolphin called Moonlight; she has a one year old calf called Mellow Yellow. Here is a picture of a dolphin:
The global voice for whales, dolphins, porpoises and their environment.
I know, she’s very well spoken. She’s also a mean soccer player! Or football player, as they would say. Now I want to adopt a dolphin! No I probs would adopt a whale. I feel so bad for them all the time. Sigh. Let’s just look at the cute dolphin drawing!
Recipe: Seasonal Affective Risotto (butternut squash and leeks, mainly)
The yearly end of Daylight Savings Time puts me into a funk. I’m on the brink of another major depressive episode, and the only things keeping me going are Sadie (my cat companion), wine, and glitter.
Risotto takes a while to cook, it’s a good dish to make when you want to be brooding and pensive and listen to Bright Eyes’ Fevers and Mirrors. I made it with butternut squash and leeks and a bunch of random fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, and oregano) because those things came in my CSA box (so bourgey!). It lifted my mood enough to make me finally take a shower. Here’s how it went down.
Seasonal Affective Risotto
1 decent-sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 4 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves of garlic 6 cups vegetable broth 2 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced 2 cups arborio rice 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but gives it a nice fall color and a cheesy flavor) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (if you have to pick just one, choose sage) Salt and pepper
Preheat that oven to 400 degrees F. Put the squash on a baking sheet, and mix it up with two tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast it for 40 minutes, stirring when you remember.
Put the broth in a saucepan, heat it to a simmer, turn off the heat, and cover.
On medium-low, heat the remaining oil in another saucepan or wok or something big with some sort of sides. Throw those leeks in there, and saute until soft. I like to poke the spoon through the center of each leek slice so that the layers become kind of a cone, and then I laugh and ponder my existence.
Once the leeks are soft, add some garlic until it smells reeeeeeal nice. Pour the rice into the pan and stir for a minute or two. Then you want to add the wine:
Get one of these tiny bottles of crap white wine, and drink what you don’t use. You… might be sorry?
Stir some more until the wine is absorbed. Then you will add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring all the while. Every time you add some broth, stir until it’s absorbed before you add more. While you’re stirring, you’ll have plenty of time to think — about your nonexistent career path, your latest failed romantic endeavor, that time you farted at Burning Man. Then know that things can only go up from here.
Half an hour or so later, when all six cups of the broth are absorbed and you are all cried out, add the squash, nutritional yeast, and herbs, and cook until heated through. Add salt and pepper if you need to, but I don’t think you will. Take a deep breath, slap some bread on your plate, and smile for the first time in weeks.
It’s time for the next installment of Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Take it away, Paul!
I’ve got an op-ed in Capital Press (an ag trade publication) about why it might be a good idea to let farm animals turn around. Yep, this is still a debate.
AP has a good article about our work in California. Take-away line: “’Of all the animal organizations, HSUS has the money and the political savvy to be problematic for my clients going forward,’ said Michael Boccadoro, a poultry industry lobbyist. ‘They are on another level.’”
In the shocker of the year, Smithfield is refusing to give HSUS details about its plans to stop using gestation crates to confine breeding pigs.
Do you like getting massages? So do fish. Pretty cool. Also cool (and feels better than a massage): This national AP story about vegan celebrities and billionaires.
Finally, if you live near Grand Rapids, I hope to see you in a few days!
P.S. Video of the week: Piglets Gone Wild, courtesy of my good friends at Animal Place.
Sometimes Google doesn’t have all the answers. I know, I know; I can hardly believe it, but it’s true. I learned this when I Googled “vegan turkey Thanksgiving” and got a bunch of stupid HuffPo articles about how veg turkeys were not as good for eating as real ones.
Luckily, VegListings, a new business with a cute little site, might be able to help me out with that — and other vegan searches, such as those for shoes, restaurants, naturopaths, and more.
And if you own a veg business, you’re in luck because VegListings doesn’t charge for a listing in its directory. Seriously, do it, because it’s looking a little sparse.
This is a compassionate endeavor: When you support vegan businesses, it creates what I’d like to call “the financial circle of vegan,” in which the proprietors of vegan businesses take their earnings and in turn spend them on other vegan businesses, and so on until the bears rise up and take over the world.
Check out the SF SPCA's holiday windows at Macy's Union Square!
MERRY CHRISTMAS LITTLE DOG!
I know, it is basically the SF SPCA blog over here lately, but we are on Krista’s mailing list and she has a lot to say right now! Hi, Krista!
Every year the SF SPCA and Macy’s Union Square get together to promote local animal adoption, by designing fancy winter-holiday (Christmas) windows to show off all the cutie-pie puppies and kittens you could adopt as your winter-holiday present to yourself, because you’ve been super-good this year and besides of which, giving a needy animal a home is a total mitzvah, better than getting all your loved ones exactly what they put on their wish lists.
Last year “about 300 animals featured in Macy’s holiday windows found new homes from the adoption center on the Main Floor and more than $70,000 in donations was raised for the SF SPCA.” Awesome job, shoppers.
If you’re not ready to adopt a new best friend right now, you can at least go see the animals and get in the holiday spirit—it’s too late to complain, CHRISTMAS IS HERE—when the adoptable animals are unveiled in their windows this Friday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. at the Macy’s Union Square. Go be charmed! The SPCA windows will be up through Jan. 1, 2012.
[photo from the SF SPCA’s 2010 holiday windows; see more here]
Has anyone seen My Life as a Turkey? It’s a documentary about this guy, Joe, who raises wild turkeys from hatchlings to adulthood. My friend Staci sent me an email about it last night and was all, “OMG AMAZING!!” but then also, “I didn’t see the whole thing.” STACI! Anyway, the full thing is on PBS’s Nature site, so uh, anyone want to watch it and tell me whether or not to tell Staci to watch the whole thing?
I just love the guy who does the voice over. “And became their turkey mother,” is probably my favorite. Or, ”The journal Joe kept of his life as a turkey ultimately became a book.” SO THAT’S HOW YOU GET A BOOK DEAL! Someone bring me a bowl of turkey eggs, I can do this. Also, I’ve got a feeling that this documentary is chock full of quotable tidbits. I wonder if Joe eats turkeys? Or did? Or still does? Also, does he successfully learn to talk turkey? Because I’m dying over here.
Here’s Joe and one of his turklets:
One more thing, when I was in Sea Ranch last year, I saw some wild turkeys flying and that shit was amazing. They are so fat! And yet they get major air! It gives me hope.