Blog Archives

2017 VegNews Veggie Awards, its time to vote!

VegNewsVeggieAwards.921x366

That’s right folks it’s that time of year again where you get to vote for your favorite Vegan products, restaurants, people, and organizations.

It only takes a few minutes and it’s a great way to pay homage to your favorites, not to mention the opportunity to win some great prizes.

Click on the banner above to get started or click here.

 

Advertisements

How Your Body Transforms On A Vegan Diet Shown Week By Week

Here is a great video showing how your body changes week by week on a Vegan diet.

Enjoy!

How To Talk To Non-Vegans About Veganism – Video

Most of us find it difficult to effectively talk to non-Vegans about Veganism. The reason why it’s especially hard to talk to people about Veganism is that the subject of what we eat is a very personal and deeply emotional for people.

I have seen and heard Vegans try to express their beliefs and convictions to others and it did more damage to Veganism than if they would just keep their mouths shut. The people walk away angry and more determined to not give it another thought and/or talk to another person about the subject again. It builds a divide.

This mainly happens when a person tries to persuade (scare, intimidate or shock) people into changing their lifestyle by making rude comments or making the others feel ashamed and negative. This method rarely works and most of the time does just the opposite. If you have been around the Vegan culture for any amount of time, I am sure you know what I am describing.

There is a way that really works and leaves no one angry or upset, all the while really making them think about their diet and the life choices they make.

Please take the time to watch these videos, this method allows the person to come to the conclusions on their own. You will also gain insights on how meat eaters think.

Earthling Ed explains the method in the below video. The second, third & fourth videos show his method being used as he talks to people about Veganism around the UK.

 

These next three videos below show Earthling Ed talking to everyday folks about Veganism.

(He has many other videos that are good as well on his YouTube Channel)

 

 

I believe that the more we allow people to come to their own conclusions about Veganism intellectually, which will then allow them to embrace it emotionally, the more fruit we will see from our labors. And maybe, as an added benefit, we will meet and make some new friends along the way.

I hope you have found this helpful and insightful.

The Vegan Gourmand

Disease Blaming & Shaming; Some thoughts

This post is going to be a bit out of the ordinary for me but I read a little about this concept of disease shaming and found it interesting so I thought I would share with you my thoughts about it.

When I went Vegan, my reason was for my health and as touchy and particular we Vegans can be about our health the reality is that a Vegan diet does not 100% guarantee you a life without sickness or disease. (Although it does raise the odds of living a healthier life by a huge percentage)

I learned this week about this thing called “disease shaming”. This was a new concept to me. As I thought about it, I had to admit that I have been guilty of doing this, although never out loud to a person but quietly in my mind thinking this way about a person’s health situation.

Disease shaming is the belief that if a person follows a certain Vegan diet that they are guaranteed a life of good health devoid of disease. So if a Vegan gets sick, under the weather, gets cancer or some other disease, a person thinks that it was brought on by a failure of the person to follow the vegan diet 100%, “they must have cheated” or they ate too many processed foods and therefore they are paying the price now.

Blaming and shaming the person only makes matters worse. this shaming does serve a purpose though to the person shaming the other, it’s a self-defense mechanism that keeps us from facing the truth that we are not invincible and that our diet is not the fountain of youth, that will make us live forever and that no diet can 100% guarantee good health.

So I am going to start reaching out to others in a positive manner, stop the blaming and shaming even if it’s only in my thoughts.

If you are interested in looking deeper, there is a book out called “Even Vegans Die” I have not read this book, but according to the publisher of the book, they address disease shaming and body shaming as well as other health and animal advocacy topics as they relate to Vegans. It’s a play off of Dr. Michael Greger M.D.’s book “How Not To Die” which I have read and highly recommend.

Here are comments from the books publisher’s page.

“Even Vegans Die empowers vegans and their loved ones to make the best decisions regarding their own health, their advocacy for animals, and their legacy. By addressing issues of disease shaming and body shaming, the authors present a manifesto for building a more compassionate, diverse, and effective vegan community.

Even Vegans Die celebrates the benefits of a plant-based diet while acknowledging that even vegans can get sick. You will learn how to make the healthcare decisions that are right for you, how to ensure your efforts to help animals will not end after you die, and how to provide compassionate care for yourself and for others in the face of serious illness.

This book offers practical, thoughtful, and sensitive advice on creating a will, mourning, and caregiving. Without shying away from the reality of death, Even Vegans Die offers a message that remains uplifting and hopeful for all animal advocates and all those who care about them.”

Here is a quote from Michael Greger, MD who wrote the foreword to the book.

“Even people who eat a healthy, plant-based diet, can get seriously ill. That’s why this book is needed. Carol, Patti, and Ginny teach us to live wisely while we are still here, not only by eating well but also by caring for ourselves and each other. I want to live well and, if necessary, I want to die well, too. If you do also, then start reading.”—From the foreword by Michael Greger, MD

 

Thanks for listening,

The Vegan Gourmand

 

Veganuary 2017 Survey Results Are In!

The Veganuary 2017 Survey results are in and are as follows:

  • 77% ate vegan food for all of January!*

Of the 23% who did not eat vegan food for the month, 75% were vegan over 50% of the time. And of that 75%, most ate a completely vegetarian diet for all of January. Also, many people are including small slip-ups as failing to complete the entire month, whereas we regard it as a natural part of transitioning. It’s a learning curve! It’s also worth mentioning that a high proportion of omnivores (76%) and pescetarians (75%) completed an entire vegan month. That’s a really fantastic effort by all.

  • 97% feel healthier after taking part!**

And 87% have noticed an increase in their energy levels, with another 87% also confirming some weight loss.

  • 67% are staying vegan!*

Such amazing news! This figure is made up of 59% of the meat-eaters who responded to our survey, 64% of the pescetarians, and a whopping 75% of vegetarians. Interestingly, 21% are unsure of whether they’re staying vegan or not… If you are one of them, then we recommend you join our Facebook group for kind chat, recipes, and ideas. It’s helped (and helping) a lot of people feel more relaxed during their transition to veganism.

  • A huge number are reducing their consumption of animal products!*

95% have stopped eating or reduced their consumption of meat from cows, 94% have stopped eating or reduced their consumption of pigs, and 92% have stopped eating or reduced consumption of chickens. This is life-changing news for animals like Rocky, Ernie and Little Eric!

  • 99% recommend Veganuary!*

Veganuary is very much a sum of its parts… We’re nothing without the people who take part. Thank you for trying vegan with us, and for recommending the experience to others. It will make a world of difference to the animals, and to our planet.

 

2017-results-infographic

*Of Veganuary 2017 Survey respondents.

**Of those who answered this question in the survey.

 

Vegan Gourmand’s Baked Vegan “Corned Beef”

Reuben Sandwich1

Image above: Reuben Sandwich made with this Vegan “Corned Beef” recipe.

 

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Here is my go to Corned Beef recipe. Enjoy!!

Dry Ingredients

1 ¼ cup wheat gluten

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp red pepper (optional)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients

1 cup cold water

½ cup kidney beans, mashed

1 1/2 tsp coarse ground mustard

2 Tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp ginger root, very finely minced

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 Tbs brown sugar

1 Tbs tomato paste

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients, wheat gluten through the allspice.

Dry

3. In a medium bowl, mix together remaining wet ingredients.

Wet

4. Combine the wet and dry mixtures together until well-blended, knead the mixture for few minutes to condition the gluten.

Dry & wet Combi

Seitan Ball

5. Stretch dough out from the ball then shape dough into a flat square like a slab of corned beef and wrap tightly in aluminum foil, folding the ends and corners to seal.

Seitan Wrap1

Seitan Wrap2

Seitan Wrap3

Seitan Wrap4

6. Bake for 35 minutes on a cookie sheet then turn over and bake an additional 40 min.

Seitab Cooked

7. Let cool fully; slice thin and serve. I use a meat slicer to get it thin and a consistent thickness.

Seitan Sliced

Servings: 4

The way I enjoy this the most is in a Reuben sandwich with Field Roast’s Vegan Chao Cheese, Vegan Thousand Island Dressing (See recipe below) and of course Sauerkraut all on good Rye bread. (I like Dave’s Rockin’ Rye)

Reuben Sandwich Pan

Reuben Sandwich1

 

Easy Vegan Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise (I like Vegenaise best)
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • dash salt
  • 3 tbsp sweet pickle relish

Mix well and enjoy!

New Series “Prescription Nutrition”

There is an all new 4 part series called “Prescription: Nutrition”. It brings you the science behind the healthiest foods to eat and takes you on a foodie journey through the world of plant-based cooking.

It featuring experts Dr. Michael Greger, Tracye McQuirter, MPH and chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby from Vedge Restaurant.

New episodes premiere every other week. Unfortunately, it currently can only be seen on Curiosity Stream But you can sign up for a 31-day trial and give it a watch.

Counter Culture Resturant Review

20161224_104428

While in Austin Texas a couple weeks ago,  I made it a plan to stop into the Vegan restaurant Counter Culture. The restaurant is located just east of down town at 2337 E Cesar Chavez St Austin, TX 78702  If you are looking for James Beard award-winning fine dining, this is not your place.  But if you want down home comfort food that will knock your socks off (and your cowboy boots), this place is for you. (The food looked much better in person than in the pictures below, lighting for pictures was not the best for my camera phone)

The restaurant is in an old brick building, the owner has done a nice job of creating a comfortable diner restaurant feel with an option of eating outside on the patio if you like.

20161223_144052

We were greeted immediately upon entrance by a very pleasant young lady. All the staff there are friendly and make you feel at home. Up front they have the daily specials nicely scribed on a chalkboard. They also have a board that continually thanks the customers.

20161224_111859

All their food I was told is made from scratch. They even make their own faux meats and all their own sauces and dips, even the ketchup. Also, most of their desserts are sweetened with dates, not sugar.

Their menu is a comfort food extravaganza as it would be in any diner. Also, every item on the menu if applicable, is marked with a designator indicating a special dietary needs category. An (R) means it is at least 95% Raw. A (GF) indicates it is gluten free. A (SF) means it is soy free and a (E2) indicates it is Engine 2 diet friendly. This makes eating here on a special diet easy.

The first day I visited. (Yes, it was so good I came back for breakfast the next day.) I ordered the Philly Seitan Sandwich with a side of Curry Quinoa Salad. The bread was soft and fresh, the cheeze sauce was warm and had a nice cheesy flavor everything on this plate was great.

20161223_142426

Philly Seitan Sandwich with a side of Curry Quinoa Salad (You get your choice of one side)

My companion ordered the Mac & Cheeze. I was told it was their best seller on the menu and one day I was there they sold out of it. It was also cheesy and had a great flavor. It was topped with a bread crumb topping. I was told by my companion that it was one of the best vegan Mac & Cheeses she had ever eaten. My other companion ordered the Sausage Sauerkraut Sandwich. She was also very very happy with her meal. The sausage is made in-house.

20161223_142438

Mac & Cheeze with a Ceaser salad and potato salad (You get your choice of two sides)

20161223_142450

Sausage Sauerkraut Sandwich with a Ceasar salad. (Your choice of one side)

We ended that day’s lunch with desert. I had the Brownie Sundae. it was out of this world good. The brownie was soft but not too soft. I am not a big sweets fan and the brownie was not real sickening sweet like brownies can be. I believe that this is because they use dates to sweeten their desserts, it was outstanding. We also had their Coconut Cream Pie, OMG another home run!

20161223_145910

Brownie Sundae

20161223_145954

Coconut Cream Pie

The next morning we arrived just before they opened to try their breakfast/brunch. We enjoyed a nice conversation with a local gentleman that was waiting to pick up his pre-ordered Christmas Dinner.

We ordered the East Side Quesadilla, Breakfast Burrito, and Seasonal Omelet.We also ordered two sides just so we could taste. A side of potatoes and one Egg Nog pancake.

20161224_112322

East Side Quesadilla and Roasted Potatoes with homemade ketchup

20161224_112226

Breakfast Burrito and Orange, Kale and Ginger juice.

20161224_112251

The Seasonal Omelet and Egg Nog Pancake with Cranberry Drizzle

All the food we had was outstanding!

The flavors were right on and presented well. The fruit was fresh and full of flavor. The breakfast burrito was huge and just as big on taste.

I was told by my companion that the Quesadilla was the best breakfast she had ever eaten, including non-vegan breakfast.

The omelet was light and fluffy full of fresh vegetables. Everything was so good that there was talk about driving up from San Antonio where we were staying later in the week just to get some more of the Counter Culture fare.

In a state that is known for and runs on Texas BBQ, Counter Culture is a breath of fresh air and a mouth of fresh food.

If you are ever in Austin Texas and in need of some good old Vegan comfort food then Counter Culture is a must eat at destination.

Counter Culture on Yelp

Vegan Gourmand’s Vegan Biscotti Recipe

5n5a8006

With the weather getting colder and the coffee getting stronger I thought we needed something to sweeten our mornings the Italian way. So I though to would share with you my Biscotti recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (you could also put 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of pumpkin spice into the mix as well)
  • egg replacer, the amount equivalent to 3 eggs (I use Energ brand)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

 

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 bag of Dark Chocolate chips for dunking (I sometimes add the zest of one orange into the chocolate as it is melting to  give it a citrus note) (or maybe some crushed candy canes to give it that peppermint kick)

NOTE: Get creative with this. If you don’t like a certain flavor, add the one you like. Don’t like dark chocolate maybe white chocolate is more to your fancy or none at all. Like almonds? Use almond extract instead of vanilla and add slivered almonds into the dough. It’s up to you!

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, prepared egg replacer, water, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture to form a heavy dough. Divide dough into two pieces. Form each piece into a roll almost as long as your cookie sheet. Place roll onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press down and flatten until its about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When The Biscotti logs are cool, slice each one crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes on each side for a total of 12 to 16 minutes. Slices should be lightly toasted and golden brown on edges.
  4. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler and dip the flat bottoms of the biscotti to cover the bottoms.  Let cool until the chocolate hardens and enjoy!

Bom Bistro Resturant Review

This new restaurant, the Bom Bistro is not Vegan or even Vegetarian but they are very friendly to both. You can be sure that you can get plenty to eat here, I eat there at least once a week.

It’s Hanoi street food. They are quoted in part as saying on their website  “Our unique house recipes protect the authentic flavors and simplicity of Hanoi street food while elevating them with high quality ingredients.”

“Our mission is to bring a taste of Vietnamese soul food to our guests.”

They are located at 12910 SE Kent-Kangley Rd Kent, WA 98030 Phone: (253) 277-8405   They are open 7 days a week. 11am-9pm

Yelp at the time of this post has it rated at 4 1/2 stars with 52 reviews and they have only been open months.

The restaurant is always very clean and the servers are friendly and prompt to take your order.

inside-3

The food is fresh and always cooked to order, not sitting around in warming pan or under a light. This makes it easy to ask to have things left out or substitute ingredients. The owner goes to the market in Seattle every three days to get fresh ingredients for all his creations. Oh, and did I mention that it is cheap eats!!

inside-2

Here is a sample of what I order when I go. (This is what I order for two people, its a lot of food)                                                                   Menu Link

20161011_171549

Mango Salad with fried tofu. $7.50 To keep it vegan order with the soy sauce dressing instead of the fish sauce dressing.  This is a must-have favorite of mine. It’s so fresh and refreshing to eat.

20161011_171822

Classic Fried Rice with fried tofu ordered with no egg.  $8.00 Not much more to say here but yumm.

20161011_172943

Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich $5.00 This is a great Banh Mi! The bread on this sandwich is so fresh and soft. I tried to find out where they buy their bread and all I could get out of them was that it was in Seattle. They are not telling us any of their secrets.

springrolls

NOTE: Vegetarian Spring Rolls $6.00 are new on the menu and I have only tried them once. (I am not sure at this time if they are 100% Vegan more investigation is needed) but they are very tasty. They are done a bit different that your normal Viet spring rolls. The filling is a filling rather than veggies rolled up inside and the wrapper is lighter.

(They have fresh rolls as well, just ask to leave out the shrimp)

They also have Pho that is made with a vegetarian broth that is vegan. I have not tried it yet because I can’t pull myself away from the offerings shown above. I will someday give it a try.

Its refreshing to see someone take such pride in the food they prepare. And it’s great when they have Vegan and Vegetarian options or, will work with you to make a dish fit your dietary needs.

So if you are ever in Kent Washington and enjoy fresh Vietnamese soul food the Bom Bistro is the place to eat. You could say, it’s the Bomb!!

Sorry, I could not resist!

 

%d bloggers like this: