<![CDATA[Front Range Vegan - The Blog]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2016 01:56:30 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[September 07th, 2015]]>Mon, 07 Sep 2015 12:53:19 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/september-07th-2015This afternoon I went to the Boulder and Beyond Vegan Meet-up's final picnic potluck  of the Summer.   What a nice turnout of great people, happy to be celebrating Summer outside and sharing awesome food.   I brought a quiche, modelled after this recipe by Nava Atlas.  It is tofu-based with a chickpea flour and tahini crust....turns out to be a nice combination !   I changed the spices around a little bit and used fresh basil and thyme and a lot of black pepper and a little bit of nutritional yeast, in both the crust and the filling.
We had a special guest at the Meet-Up ...Rae Sikora !   I have seen her speak several times and have always come away inspired, encouraged, and ready to get back out there and speak for the animals.   Rae has been an animal advocate, activist, and humane educator for 40 years and continues to help people define and live there values every day. Follow her on her blog, Plant Peace Daily for more about her, her husband and her life's work.
I made this Zucchini Quiche early this morning to take to the vegan potluck. Really, it should be called the Thank You Summer Pie...it has zucchini, tomatoes and fresh herbs grown organically in our backyard.
Rae and her friend Adena, organizer for the Boulder and Beyond Vegan Meet-up.
Some of the fantastic, abundant and beautiful food we had. More came a little later, until the tables were completely covered.
Let the eating begin !
<![CDATA[Vegan Dairy Ruminations]]>Mon, 07 Sep 2015 00:16:08 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/vegan-dairy-ruminationsI've been buying and making vegan dairy products for almost ten years now and can still remember how exotic plant-based milks seemed at first.  Especially making nut milks at home.  SO different from just blithely picking up a carton of cow's milk at the grocery store.   Soak the nuts.  Blend them with water and strain in the case of almonds, but not necessary with cashews. They all blend up nice and thick and white as snow.  Rice or oat milk:  Boil the grains for a good long while and blend up with water.  Soymilk is a lot more process, but still basically, soak the beans, cook, then blend up and strain.   Very easy and straight forward, with recipes all over the internet now.  Go look !

Cow's milk ( and cheese and ice cream and cream cheese and sour cream...) was the last thing holding me back from going vegan.  I honestly thought that I would not be able to get enough calcium from plants.  When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, we were some of the first kids to get the USDA's Dairy Council brain-washing campaign shoved down our throats.  Early childhood lessons drummed in to us are not easily tossed aside !  Ads in school lunchrooms and ads in magazine addressed to mothers, planting doubt in their minds about whether they are being a good mother when they don't keep pressing the milk. But I knew the milk and all animal dairy products had to go.
So, imagine my delight, almost ten years later, when I saw this book at the library:
I didn't imagine it would be a vegan book,( ok, maybe I did hope that it was ! ) and for the most part the author promoted getting calcium and really, all other nutrients, from plants, but I was still pretty bummed when I read her suggestions to eating fish and eggs ( "sustainable" and "humane" of course. )   Boooo.   AND...how can you write a 250 page book on the horrors of milk and only mention the cows and their suffering in a few measly sentences...?   Not until page 243 does she bring the cow into the picture, almost as an afterthought :   "  Cows are literally bred and milked to death.",....."You get the idea, you know how ugly the picture is of the inhumane and polluting ways of industrial dairy agriculture."   (No mention that the organic dairies are inhumane and polluting as well, either ).  She goes into extreme detail about lactose-intolerance, the myths of cow's milk calcium superiority, and other subjects, for whole chapters, but chooses to only mention the cow herself in a few short sentences.  The book is a study of the evolution of one of the cruelest animal exploitation practices humans have developed ( so far ) and relates how cow's milk adversely  affects human health and boosts corporate profits.  But where is the cow ???   I feel insulted for the close to 10 million dairy cows that suffer for our stupidity and greed.
I leave this post with a picture of some vegan Melty Muenster Cheese that I made this afternoon, from Miyoko Schinner's awesome book, Artisan Vegan Cheese. I've made it many times, can you tell ?                                                    I love living, cooking and eating vegan. And I mourn for the cows and their calves.

<![CDATA[Teeny Tiny Baby Food Plants !]]>Sat, 05 Sep 2015 00:35:16 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/teeny-tiny-baby-food-plants
Eleven seedling pots of various sorts of greens that I found today at Harlequin's Garden. They are a really extensive greenhouse, garden center, and educational hub for everything gardening, from compost tea to some veganic gardening supplies. Neither they nor any of their growers use neonicotinoid poisons that are causing such much havoc with bees ( and who knows what other lives ). So happy we have such a great resource ( and awesome people working there ) so close by. Here's what some of them are: Bok Choy, Shanghai Bok Choy, white stem Lettuce, Merlot Tatsoi Senposai Spinach, perpetual (?!) And more Swiss chard.
How could I resist ?! Oriole Orange ?! Can't wait to see them grow up and glow with my favorite color in the afternoon light. And then we'll eat them in stirfrys and soups :)
<![CDATA[September Already !]]>Thu, 03 Sep 2015 22:38:13 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/september-alreadyIt's been a great summer of not-too-hot temperatures, regular rain, bike rides and ( not enough ) hikes  and good food.  But I cannot believe September is here already.  Last year we had snow on Sept 14th, but today it is in the mid 80's with heavy clouds....I know the summer is drawing to a close, but it is still hard to take in !   

We grew four tomato plants this year, 2 heirloom Cherokee Purples, and an Amish Gold ( paste type ) and a Celebrity , which has all the modern resistances to tomato diseases.  I got the Celebrity as insurance against the possibility that the Cherokees might fail. Boy, was I off though...the two CPs have been amazing producers !   Super productive with ridiculously gigantic fruit !   I'll be blogging about those babies soon :)     We also have a few zucchini plants that have been somewhat prolific, but no where near what you often hear about.  In fact one barrel of the zukes got pulled up just yesterday to make room for a few Swiss chard plants. Love my greens !

 In mid-August Jamie and I drove out to Grand Junction, CO, over on the Western side of the Rockies to do some hiking in Colorado National Monument and the Grand Mesa and also to load up on organic peaches from one of the many fruit orchards in the area.  And we ate pizza at every single night at Pablo's Pizza.  They are not a vegan restaurant but offer Daiya vegan cheese, so we did not have to just get the veggies on a dryish crust, as is sometimes the case.  For some reason I dont have any pictures of the pizzas...but wow, they were good !   
As for the peaches, we ate them raw, in a pie, and as a filling in some cinnamon rolls.   The filling was a little too wet for the rolls and I would not make that again...the sweet fabulous flavor of the peaches is kind of lost in all the bread dough.
<![CDATA[Cowspiracy]]>Thu, 06 Nov 2014 01:25:02 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/cowspiracyPicture

Have you seen Cowspiracy, The Sustainability Secret yet ?   It is an incredibly important film that asks why many of the biggest environmental organizations do not address animal agriculture as a major driver of climate change.   You follow a guy's journey from The Sierra Club to Greenpeace, to Natural Resources Defense Fund and others, learning along the way just how uninformed to downright ignorant and even hostile some of them are when asked to explain what their position on animal agriculture and climate change is.   Who knew ???     Actually some people knew, including James McWilliams, author of several books exploring food sustainability and animal rights, blogged about Cowspiracy back in April of this year,  he was hoping the film would expose some of the organizations for keeping mum about a difficult subject that might affect their donation flow.   And Dr Richard Oppenlander, who has spot appearances here and there throughout the movie.  He has two books out on the subject of how damaging animal agriculture is and ways to get out of it.  I've read one, Food Choice and Sustainability, Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work....it is an excellent reference and very readable.  Check out the review of the book at Our Hen House.  So happy he is involved in the project.   Will Potter, Howard Lyman and Dr Will Tuttle weigh in on the subject as well.    Hmmmm....so I guess many of us were aware of a gap between what we were learning, what we could see and feel and what the major enviro groups were encouraging us to do ( and not do).   Take shorter showers, drive less, recycle and some even gently suggested you might * try* and reduce your meat consumption to say, maybe just once a week or so.   But none really took on food choices as a real project....hmmmmm...why not ?      The film also explores developments in the humane, organic , free-range and backyard notions of animal slaughter.

 Here in Boulder, Cowspiracy was shown at the Boedecker Theater.  I saw it with a friend and some fellow Boulder and Beyond Vegan Meetup members.   BandBVM was responsible for getting the film here and promoting it....thank you !  I wasnt sure what to expect, and having just spent many hours inside both the Boedecker Theater and the Dairy Center for the Arts ( ugh...hate the name ! ) the week before at the Boulder Rights of Nature Film Festival watching some pretty riveting footage of environmental destruction and animal suffering....well, I wasnt sure I would make it all the way through.   But Cowspiracy was so well done, and Kip Anderson so appealing in his genuine search for answers that the only time I looked away from the screen was during an apparent ( I closed my eyes ) botched slaughter of a duck raised in someone's back yard.  As humane,organic, free-range happy meat, of course.  

I am waiting for my pre-ordered dvd to arrive so that I can watch Cowspiracy at my own pace, and take notes this time.   Lots of great graphics that reduce the mountains of statistics to some entertaining visual nuggets of information.   And, I know where to cover my eyes when the stupid human chases the poor duck around the yard and .....

<![CDATA[Native Foods On a Chilly Day]]>Fri, 10 Oct 2014 23:15:44 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/native-foods-on-a-chilly-day

Over an inch of rain yesterday and temps in the 50's; and maples, cottonwood,elms and oaks we are definitely into Fall !

Twister Wrap with Blackened vegan chicken and a bowl of Cubano Blackbean Soup. Mmmmm.

<![CDATA[World Vegetarian Day, October 1st]]>Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:13:34 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/world-vegetarian-day-october-1stToday is World Vegetarian Day, which the North American Vegetarian Society founded back in 1977 and seeks to celebrate and promote a vegetarian lifestyle.   Of course I am all for advocating a compassionate lifestyle, but I do prefer the word "vegan", if leaving animal dairy and eggs off of our plates and out of body care and other products is the intention.  The word "vegetarian" is so often synonymous with consuming egg, dairy and even fish ( !) that  I am immediately suspicious when I see the word.  
  Egg production, even "humane" and "free-range" eggs is a brutal industry that accounts for vast numbers of egg-laying birds living out their short time on the planet in misery.  According to Karen Davis, the founder and director of Untied Poultry Concerns,     "Approximately 300 million hens are caged for egg production in the U.S. each year, 26 million in Canada, and 40 million in the U.K. Worldwide, about 5600 million hens are living in cages". 
   Dairy production, for milk, cheese and other products is, in my mind, the worst of the worst in terms of cruelty and suffering.  Read why here :(    But even without knowing all the horrific humane, environmental nightmares and human health issues connected with dairy production, just connecting the dots on how cows "give" us milk is so disturbing , and the callous, flippant way we are asked to view the process chills my soul at times.   This is what runs through my mind in full graphic clarity every time I see milk and animal dairy products:   Females being exploited for a reproductive body fluid ( milk ) meant for their own young.  Females kept pregnant and lactating for 4 to 5 years and then slaughtered for cheap meat, leather and pet food.  Day or hours-old calves, still wet and weak from birth, being whisked off for veal production for the males or kept enslaved for future milk production for the females.  As a female who nursed her own two children,  I am ashamed and humbled that I did not make the full connection until I was 50 years old.   Our society, and the Dairy Board, wants to keep us in the dark. 

Here's a blogpost I did on veal way back in 2009 in my  New Leaf Vegan blog, while living in Virginia.  The picture still breaks my heart :(

And last but certainly not least...there is a new film out that seeks to help us connect the dots about animal dairy production titled Cowspiracy:  The Sustainability Secret   Check out the trailer and reserve your tickets to watch it at the Boedecker Theater here in Boulder...I've got mine...let's fill the theater !   The Boulder and Beyond Vegan Meetup is promoting the event as an evening out :)]]>
<![CDATA[Well, Dang It !]]>Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:07:38 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/well-dang-it

I did not get 20 blog posts up in the Vegan Month of Food :(

That was not for lack of subject matter...so many great vegan happenings and food, it really is hard to keep up !

My last blogpost for Vegan MoFo 2014 is a shot of Jamie's dinner... He insIsted it needed its picture taken, it was so pretty :)

Above, you can see the big stir- up of homemade seitan pastrami, peppers and onions, and cooked quinoa. I just sauteed the peppers and onions in a little oil, added chunks of the pastrami and some green onions. Lots of red pepper flakes and Montreal Salt. Not seen is the side bowl o kale (A big deal for a former kale hater !) , which he stirred into the quinoa mix. Jamie... You've come a long way, Baby !

<![CDATA[Back at Watercourse Foods with Jamie]]>Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:43:46 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/back-at-watercourse-foods-with-jamie

We have both been traveling, me to AZ, he to DC. I just picked him up at Denver International and here we are, at Watercourse, before we even get home to Boulder. He has heard so much about the Chicken & Waffles here, we had to stop !

Extra gravy and kale for me !

<![CDATA[It's Vegan, But It's Still Crap]]>Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:11:29 GMThttp://www.frontrangevegan.org/the-blog/its-vegan-but-its-still-crapI traveled down to Chandler, Arizona last week to spend a few days with my soon-to-be 86 year old mother and two of my brothers.  We all had a great time.  Mom is still pretty darn active and loving life and it is always fun to hang out with  my brothers.  I had intended on posting vegan -related stuff everyday, to keep up with my Vegan MOFO 2014 pledge, but the dang Weebly mobile site on my phone hit an apparently fatal glitch on day one and i was out of commission.   Grrr.   
But I did take some pictures with my phone, and I am back in Boulder now, so maybe I can catch up !

Mom likes to shop at Wal-mart.  While strolling the crap-as-food aisles with her  two items caught my eye.   The first one was a maple bacon frosting.   I know bacon is the darling of animal-eating foodies everywhere right now, but damn....I had to look !  And it turns out that it is quite possibly vegan....depending on what they mean by "natural flavors". And the fact that it says "may contain milk ingredients" gives me pause.  And surely, the palm oil they are using is not from sustainable palmfruit farms, but from the cheapest source possible.  Yikes.   And really....kind of hilarious ( in a sad way ) that the "freshness " of the hydrogenated fats, industrial colorings, starches and sugars are preserved by potassium sorbate, sulfur dioxide and sodium benzoate.
Next item up is some inject-able flavoring stuff that I suppose one could infuse a block of tofu or seitan, or even an eggplant with. But the tiny amount in the squeeze bottle, the insane amount of packaging carrying it, and the fact that the stuff is just high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings, why on Earth would you want to ?   Really depressing to see new crap like this hit the shelves.   I guess I need to leave The Bubble more often and see what's out there !  
  I guess I should end this post on a positive note, but frankly...I'm not feeling it.   Knowing this crap is being thought up, manufactured using precious energy and water resources and taking up premium supermarket shelf space does not bode well for our country.