Fresh sweet carrots, orange zest and a little applesauce make for some light and fluffy carrotcake cupcakes.
Recipe coming soon !
Fresh sweet carrots, orange zest and a little applesauce make for some light and fluffy carrotcake cupcakes.
Recipe coming soon !
I barely knew Ann and Peter personally, but their work is felt everywhere in the Denver Metro Area and up here in Boulder ,too. When I asked Ann to share some of their story she very generously gave me lots of personal material. Below is just a sketch of their vegan activism, advocacy and devotion to the movement and each other. And, I feel like I've known them for years now !
30 years ago, Ann and Peter met at a bar on an auspicious Friday the 13th in 1983 and married a few short months later on Peter's 25th birthday. Both were serving in the Army in the Monterey, Ca. area. And neither were vegan. Over the years as they learned more about the plight of animals they became vegetarian and then went vegan in 1994. During that year, in order to spread the word about the horrors of animals and their 'by-products' used as food ; as entertainment and research subjects , they joined the then 18 year-old Vegetarian Society of Colorado ( VSC ) in 1993 and tabled at events and festivals with educational materials. Peter became its director in 2009 and VSC got a name update in 2013...it is now Vegan Life Colorado ( VLC ). Their website includes a Local Adventures button that has an active calendar of activism opportunities and vegan restaurant outings. There are also recipes to explore, videos and a dining guide. Have I mentioned that this couple also runs the "A Vegan Life" Meetup ? Started in 2009, it is now 1,094 people strong ! When do they sleep ?!
Peter also became Denver Vegfest's director ( started by Dan Hanley of The Gay Vegans in 2008) in 2009, then founded Vegfest Colorado with its cool mountain/carrot logo to reflect a more statewide feeling in 2011 and has been guiding it ever since. The current Vegfest is held in Golden and is already slated for July 5th and 6th in 2014 ! Check the Vegfest website now and then to get updates as the program develops. I can't wait to see who will be speaking. This year James McWilliams gave a thought-provoking talk and slideshow and the Vegan Black Metal Chef brought his unique style and fun recipes. And I got an 'Only Kale Can Save Us Now' T-shirt from Herbivore Clothing. Love their designs and mission....wish they could open a store around here.
Below is an interview Ann and I conducted via the computer. Peter has given us an amazing auto-biographical story of his own. Very moving and unabashedly honest. Be sure to have a tissue handy.
Oh, and they still celebrate every Friday the 13th that comes along :)
I see from your profile on A Vegan Life Meet-up that you came to veganism for health , and stayed for the animals. I love that ! I think many people, once they get their foot in the vegan door, for what ever reason, seem to be more open to the bigger vegan message. Do you see that very often ?
Yes, I see it all the time. People tend to have a hard time with social stigma to showing caring for animals. That's something I remember from childhood. Of course it's much better now. When someone moves to a plant-based diet, they usually identify as vegan, even if they change was exclusively for health. Once they make that move and others know they have, it's easier to look into the animal issues and discuss them, because, as you said, their foot is in the door so try might as well open it up more.
From the Vegan Life Colorado Facebook page I see that you are very active in the animal rights community... leading demonstrations against animals in circuses and anti-fur rallies and others. Are you ever worried about public backlash ? What sort of feedback do you, if ever, receive at circus demos ?
I was a little nervous when I started. I don't think it was so much fear of backlash,as fear of what others might think of me. As I kept going, it got easier and I was less nervous. It took some practice. Anyone can get comfortable with it. I had some thoughts that helped a lot. I realized that it doesn't matter what people think of me, because I am doing someone to help someone else, and that is good. If I were helping people or doing something related to religion, no one would dare say anything insulting. People who are able to yell insulting things from a passing car, aren't people whose opinions I'm concerned with. I realized that people sometimes get mad and yell at me for my driving, but I don't stop driving, and that isn't nearly as important as trying to end animal suffering at the hand of our fellow humans. I realized that it isn't about me and my comfort, it's about the animals not having any comfort or being able to get out of their uncomfortable, miserable, and painful situations on their own. They are sentenced to what is basically prison and death for committing no crime, but simply because they are at our mercy and can't resist our power over them. That is just simply wrong and lacking humanity. There is nothing anyone can do or say to me that will come anywhere near what they suffer.
It has been my experience that most people are either quiet and ignore us, or they are polite whether they agree or not. I refuse to let a small number of immature people upset me. That's what they want so they won't get that from me. I am there for the animals and I am determined to win for them. For me, winning is staying calm, not allowing a few mean people rattle me (which is what they want), and having at least one person get the animal suffering because I am/we are there. All of the time, more than one person gets it. If no one is there to help people think about the issue of the animals suffering, they would have little reason to think about it. We don't have to be mean and/or argue with about it. Not to sound at all arrogant, but we are right. If you ask anyone if it's ok to hurt animals, they would say no. They just don't always make the connection in every situation. We are there to help them make the connection, if they are open to it. I ignore those who aren't open. They only distract from the ones who are and that is a waste of time and energy. I hope all of this makes sense. I have given all of this a lot of thought over the years, so it's always rolling around in my head. I don't usually write or say it all at once.
It makes a whole lot of sense, Ann. Thank you for being so articulate and honest about such difficult a difficult subject.
What is the most rewarding work for the animals that you do ?
Everything where I have a chance to connect with other people; tabling at festivals, leafletting at campuses or on the street, protesting specific events (rodeo, fur, circus, etc), showing videos, hosting potlucks, helping with VegFest, all of it. I have had many jobs in my life. I was in the Army for 2 years as well. I loved that. People talk about finding their life's work. I wanted children, and I had them. Since my first was born, I sometimes wondered what I would do when they grew up. I wasn't looking forward to having an empty nest, but I knew it would happen. Now that they are grown (I actually started when they were young, but stepped it up when they became independent), activism for animals has become my life's work. I feel fortunate and joyful to have discovered veganism and animal rights activism. I couldn't imagine doing anything else, even for pay.
I have attended two VegFests so far, and have a really enjoyed the speakers ( Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, James Mc Williams, were a few ) , the range of exhibitors, and of course the fabulous food. Anything lined up yet for next year's Vegfest ?
Thank you for attending and supporting VegFest Colorado! We are tossing around some considerations for speakers for 2014, but we haven't invited any of them yet. It would be premature to name anyone at this point. There are so many wonderful speakers out there, and we want to try to mix it up each year. We have been so fortunate to have the speakers we have had the past 3 years. Each year we can hardly wait to settle on a lineup, and this year is no different. VegFest is so rewarding. My husband of 30 years, Peter, is the director of Vegan life Colorado and VegFest Colorado, and he does most of the planning, web work, set up, contacting speakers, and so on. This is a man who use to give me a hard time about going to the community potlucks with our family, when we started 20 years ago. And protesting (which he also does these days) was out of the question! These days, I am loving watching him create this VegFest event every year, knowing where he came from. I am so proud of him and his willingness to do the work VegFest requires. He is my hero.
What do you think is the most important thing people can to reduce animal suffering in our community ?
Talk about it, research it, accept that it happens, realize that we don't have to participate in it, see lessening animals suffering as a path to a kinder world for all of us, etc.
Anything else you would like to add ?
The most important thing I have learned is, I can't force people to go vegan and stop doing other things that cause animal suffering. I can only live by example, offer information to people who are open to it, and be kind. The most important thing humans can do for our world, is go vegan for compassion. It will benefit not only the animals, but also our health, our environment, our relationships with our fellow humans, and our general well being. That isn't my opinion. I have seen it and lived it, so I know it's the truth. We can't stop accidents, but we can stop participating in causing intentional harm. It's the easiest and best (besides having my beautiful children) thing I have done in my life.
One of the most wonderful things about coming to this lifestyle/community are all of the beautiful, caring, kind people we have in our lives that we might not have met otherwise. There are certainly unsavory people who identify as vegan and/or animal rights activists, but that is true of every community. Our dearest friends came with this life we have chosen. We are beyond fortunate!
Ann also recommends these websites :
Animal Action Network
Stop Circus Suffering.com
A Vegan Life Meetup
Vegans Eat What?
JL Goes Vegan
Thank you for all the work you do for the animals, Ann and Peter !
I met Lynn Halpern on the internet nearly three years ago. Seriously. Jamie had just accepted a job in Boulder and I went 'surfing' to see what sort of vegan-friendly town it could be. We were living in Northern Va at the time, in a not-very vegan-friendly area....the options were few and far between. I had googled "health food store vegan" and arrived at a website to a business that no longer operated, but luckily Lynn somehow got my inquiry and replied. We've been friends ever since. What a wonderful feeling knowing there was a vegan friend out in Colorado who already knew me ...at least a little bit. My Boulderite brother , his wife and two boys didnt really count, since they are family...they have to know me :) Lynn and I had both taught some cooking classes and she had done some catering and even supplied a few local stores with some homemade vegan goodies to sell. We both had experience tabling at events, advocating for animals. And we both love to experiment in the kitchen veganizing recipes and helping others learn how to create their own animal-free dishes. But she has been at it WAY longer than I... 20 years! She also maintains a small private animal sanctuary ( up at 9,000 ft.!) giving some farmed and companion animals a chance to live with others of their kind, free of pain and fear. Lynn is also closely connected to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, helping to raise money and awareness through tabling with PPS literature, cooking massive amounts fabulous vegan food for fund-raising dinners and some behind the scenes work as well. I had the pleasure of attending last year's sumptuous Living at Thanksgiving dinner at the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, and got to meet some of the farmed animals whose lives have been saved from misery and abuse. Many of them come from 'small family farms'...the kind of farm most people think treat the animals with love and respect. Sigh. They are still commodities.
I've asked Lynn to answer a few questions for the blog. And since she is such a modest person, some of her answers are new to me :)
* Why did you go vegan and when ?
Lynn: A little over 20 years ago I noticed that I felt increasingly disturbed when I was eating animal flesh. Around the same time, I was pursuing an interest in keeping dairy goats and got involved with a local dairy goat club. I soon learned what happened to most males, even on small scale and hobby goat dairies. I didn’t want any part of that. Instead, I took in some rescued goats and sheep that were never to be bred and milked. I became vegetarian and, as I learned more about the egg and dairy industries, became vegan a few months later. It sort of all came together.
* You have been tabling, leafleting, teaching vegan cooking, catering and rescuing for a long time ( how long ? ) ...what changes have you seen in the general public ?
Lynn: People are more familiar with vegan foods and the concept of veganism. It is less often that we need to explain that it means no meat, fish, eggs or dairy. Veganism is mentioned more in both the entertainment and news media and the commentary is not always derogatory, which was usually the case a decade ago. Cooking segments on many programs feature vegan food and the hosts are often very enthusiastic about the taste and presentation whereas in past years, if vegan food was on at all it was treated with scorn and derision. Extreme caution when attempting a vegan diet is no longer advised by most health professionals. In fact, I’ve seen several recommend it as a healthy lifestyle. Vegan options on supermarket shelves and in eating establishments have increased. Food labels and restaurant menus more often clearly mark items as vegan.
On the other hand, there has been an increase in the marketing and consumer interest in so-called “humane” meat, eggs and dairy. A closer examination of the production methods inherent in any animal agriculture (http://www.humanemyth.org/ and http://www.peacefulprairie.org/humane-myth01.html) will reveal that these foods are certainly not cruelty-free. It is obvious that animals are slaughtered to produce any meat products. When it comes to egg production, all the male chicks are killed within a day or two and the hens, considered spent when egg production begins to slow at 1-2 years, are killed as well. Dairy cows are continually impregnated, have their children torn from them and then are slaughtered after a few years. Their male children are raised for veal or just trashed at birth. These are standard practice in virtually all animal farming, whether industrial, small scale, organic, free-range, etc. Just ask the farmers - what happens to the hens and dairy cows when their output declines? What happens to the male chicks and male calves that are of no use for egg and dairy production?
*What do you think is the best way to educate people about animal cruelty and veganism ?
Lynn: I wish we had the resources to flood the media and the mainstream consumer consciousness the way that industry does, but we don’t and thus it seems we have to try to sway people via grassroots activities and outreach, one person at a time. Of course, the internet levels the playing field some and provides plenty of opportunity to spread information and inspire change and there are, thankfully, many talented people doing that. I generally like to staff outreach tables when I am able to make food samples available. This brings people to the table willingly and provides an opportunity to have conversations while they are able to have an experience with vegan food they may not otherwise have had. Obviously, a few morsels of food will not change a person’s entire dietary habits, but it might be just one more experience that will help to break down any barriers to fully embracing vegan food. We are also able to provide other recipes, information on cruelty to animals, environmental impact, health, etc. It just opens up an avenue to dialogue.
Last weekend I volunteered at a mobile pay-per-view video truck (http://www.10billiontour.org/about.html) whereby people are offered $1 to watch a documentary – “a 4 minute glimpse into the lives and deaths of farmed animals”. I thought that was extremely worthwhile form of outreach. People must bear witness to the horrors that we have become so adept at shutting out. Yet they have done so voluntarily and on their own terms, so they are less defensive. Certainly those evocative video images will be etched into their memories and will have some lasting effect on most. Nearly everybody seemed visibly moved.
However, if we knew what would inspire people to change their consumer habits, the world would be vegan. Different things work for different people, so I think we need all tools in our tool belt.
* What keeps you motivated?
Lynn: I am always aware of the horrific lives and deaths that animals are forced to endure for food, clothing, entertainment, sport, cosmetics, household products and medications when there are completely viable alternatives.
* Where is your favorite place to eat?
Lynn: Of course, vegan restaurants are a favorite because I always want to support a vegan business. In addition, I can order off the whole menu and there is no danger that a messed up order will mean the unintentional consumption of animal products. It is not so much that I am worried about consuming them in the sense that I will ingest them. It is that the whole idea of veganism for me is to abstain from purchasing and thus creating a demand for animal products. Thus, if I am accidentally served such at a restaurant, I have then “consumed” them, i.e. a consumer purchase/demand has been made on my behalf.
Unfortunately, we haven’t many options to support all vegan establishments in Colorado, but hopefully that will change. I do think it is important to support vegan options in non-vegan restaurants, so that they will remain and increase in number on menus. Non-vegans are more likely to consider vegan foods if they are tasty, convenient and affordable.
I really enjoy eating at the many ethnic restaurants that offer vegan foods that are already a part of the cuisine, either as they are prepared of with slight modifications – Indian, Chinese, Thai, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Mediterranean, Greek, Indonesian, etc. Not only do I find this great variety of foods delicious, I often find that I am not as skilled in replicating some of the nuanced flavors at home. I still enjoy trying, but it’s always a treat when someone else is doing the vegan cooking.
*What else would you like to add ?
Lynn: We all have the power to spare animals from unspeakable cruelty simply by making one choice over another. For the animal's sake, I urge everyone to please choose compassion. Choose vegan options.
"A weight lifted from me that I didn't even know I was carrying," was a newcomer's comment on going vegan during the introductions we were all invited to share during last night's Boulder ( and Beyond ! ) Vegan Meet-up. A collective nod rolled through the room as many of us recalled the feeling of leaving behind the pain and suffering of billions of animals exploited for food, entertainment, research and profit and embracing a vegan lifestyle that celebrates all life and recognizes non-human animals as fellow sentient beings. What a joy. Lisa Shapiro, the organizer of the Meetup, had gathered us in a big circle that evening so that we could take turns introducing ourselves while enjoying the fantastic vegan potluck food on our plates. Lisa is not only a great organizer, but is also the heart and soul behind the Meet-up. She has grown and nurtured this group from 5 people to almost 800...in six short years ! Her mantra is: Making vegan choices has never been more urgent, more necessary or more delicious." I asked her to tell me more about the Meet-up in her own words:
Lisa: "I started the Boulder (and Beyond!) Vegan Meetup almost 6 years ago because I wanted to meet like- minded and hearted folks. It has evolved into a wonderful community of vegans along with pre- vegans and everyone in between ;-) I see the meetup as a support system for people in many ways. Often times when we have our own vegan awakening our partners, friends, family and colleagues may not follow suit and it can be isolating and challenging at times.
My experience of working with new vegans for 30 years tells me social situations are the hardest for new vegans especially. Meeting other folks that make you feel supported and good in your compassionate choices is very helpful (and healing!) for people. I know it is for me and I am not a new vegan. My world, like for most of us, is full of pre-vegans so coming together with a vegan intention and knowing the food will be all vegan is very comforting and supportive. People also have a lot of questions as they travel a vegan path. Some can be as basic and comprehensive as "what do I eat?" or "how do I deal with my family and friends who don't understand my new way of life". I love answering questions from our members as they travel along their vegan path. Our meetup has a 'Vegan Mentor" program where I match new veggies with experienced vegans that have similar paths: ie- A new vegan runner that has questions specific to his running would gt paired with an experienced vegan runner.
At almost 800 members we have a diverse crowd of folks with their own set of circumstances and situations but the fact that everyone joined a vegan meetup is certainly a common bonding. And let's not forget that the food is always fantastic! We have some incredible cooks/bakers/chefs amongst our group. The potlucks blow not-yet-vegans away. "Who knew you could have so much variety and deliciousness from plants?!" is something I hear at every potluck.;-) " My mantra is: Making vegan choices has never been more urgent, more necessary or more delicious. Please join us at our next potluck or outing and join an amazing community of friends and support and expand your dining options...along with your heart ;)
I also asked Lisa to tell me about starting and running her vegan-based business, All Things Vegan and to share with us the latest trends in veganism. Again, her words are better than mine !
Lisa: " I started All Things Vegan, my natural products consulting business, almost three years ago to work with vegan food companies on their branding/messaging, sales and marketing efforts, and I help raise capital/funding when needed. The mission of All Things Vegan is "To promote quality vegan products, while expanding awareness of the positive impact of vegan lifestyles on animals, people, and the planet." I believe if we can make more vegan products more widely available more people will make vegan choices and consequently more animals will be spared. Until people have their own vegan awakening we need to make choosing vegan as effortless, convenient ( and delicious!) as possible. I spent most of my career (almost three decades) being a purchasing director for national retail chains. Time and time again I would see fantastic vegan companies launch only to be gone in less than a year because they didn't understand the challenges of retail on top of the challenges of creating a vegan product people will want. Often times creative entrepreneurs lack the full understanding of what it takes to operate a profitable business. All Things Vegan works to serve the vegan business community and help vegan companies become as successful as possible.
The latest trend in vegan food news are all the fantastic vegan cheeses that are soon to be hitting the market in the next 6 or so months. Plant based eggs like those created by Hampton Creek and The VEGG are creating quite a scramble. Beyond Eggs (Hampton Creeks) is now replacing all the egg mayo in Whole Foods nationally. Plant based meats like Tofurky and Beyond Meat are continutng to have mushrooming sales and gain wider reach as distribution and placement continues to grow. Veganism is no longer a trend but rather is being incorporated into a part of mainstream culture and that is great news for the animals that needs to continue to grow and take hold in mainstream culture."
And since Lisa has seen a LOT of potlucks, I asked her what was her favorite dish to bring to a potluck, and would she like to share a recipe.
Lisa: "Oh my goodness, I dont think I have ever repeated a recipe for any potluck I have ever gone to. There are just too many creations to try. I do go a bit crazy on desserts because they lend to such creativity in their creation and presentation and that seems to be an area that new vegans assume they will have to forgo. Anything made with animal cruelty can be made vegan. I say that confidently after eating my way through vegan eateries throughout the country. My vegan cheezecakes always disappear and anything chocolate is pretty much a given to be lauded. turning people on to vegan food is a great vegucator so I am an avid baker/cook and never tire of experimenting with the abundance of plant-based ingredients. "
Lisa has graciously offered the recipe for Stuffed Tofu, aka The Tofu Love Bomb, which had been previously posted in Steve Jones' Boulder Benign Blog, and where you can find it even now :) I made it last year...it makes a fun central dish, is beautiful to look at, you get to carve it, no bird had to die AND it's extremely tasty...a win for everyone, and back just in time for the holidays !
We rode our bikes down to the Boulder Farmers Market to catch some end of season eggplants and sunshine. and breakfast from the food vendors. Not too many vegan choices, so I almost always get these vegan corn and spinach tamales, and sometimes the bean and corn ones...love them !
It has taken Jamie and I a few years to understand Colorado peaches. Back East, peaches were a summer given. Mid July brought huge harvests. We even had a nicely productive peach tree sprout from beside our ( poorly managed) compost heap that hung with admittedly small, though luscious fruit for several years.
Two Colorado summers in a row left us wishing for Virginia peaches. By late July we gave up. But this year we decided to check out Palisade on our way back from Ouray July 28th abd the peaches were just startung to come in! We got a bunch, ate some and froze others. Yum. Then we ordered a ' half box' of organic CO peaches to help support the local high school... even better! And just yesterday i got more organic ones from a local veggie stand ( not exactly sure where in the state they are from...will have to ask ), and they are even sweeter and more deeply flavored than the last ! We are now, needless to say, shameless cheerleaders of our state's late summer prize.
Well, as cookies anyway :)
I used a recipe I've adapted from the Vegetarian Resource Group, which you can find on my old New Leaf Vegan Society blog. It's a sturdy, very tasty gingerbread recipe that has oatmeal and some orange zest in it. The recipe is very to make and work with. A single recipe of the dough will yield a herd of about 12 bison...depending on how thick your dough is and how large the cookie cutter. The one I used is roughly 3"x5". After mixing up and chilling the dough, cutting out and baking them, I iced the wooly beasts with this:
1/2 cup powdered sugar,
2 tablespoons cocoa,
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
about a tablespoon or two of water.
I just stirred this up in a small bowl until it was the consistency of a thick ( vegan :) ) cream. You can add more water or sugar as needed. Then I spread some on the bison with a small offset spatula, starting at the head and dragging towards the tail. While the icing was still very wet, so the next things would stick, I set in a toasted almond sliver for the horn and chocolate sprinkles for shagginess.
Last night I baked those cookies you see right there for Jamie to take to work and share with some colleagues. I've made thousands and thousands of Chocolate Chip Cookies in my life,and have a few favorite recipes, but this one caught my eye, since it uses only coconut oil for the fat ( use refined coconut oil if you do not want a coconutty taste ) and not palm oil-based margarine or shortening, which is sadly proving to be an environmental nightmare. I never bake with palm oil anymore...i use either an organic canola, olive or the more newly available avocado oil. There is a margarine, Fleischmann's Unsalted, that is made from soybean oil. It is partially hydrogentated and is probably GMO, but hey...it's just for occasional use. I'm hoping an organic version might come out soon. But I digress ! These cookies were absolutely fantastic ! I used this recipe from Happy Healthy Life. Be sure to read her 7 Secrets To Cookie Success leading up to her recipe...some great tips there :)
September started out still firmly anchored in summer, late summer for sure, but still...warm, sunny summer. Then during the crazy rains and floods here in Colorado last week, the season rolled right into fall. Today it is completely overcast and very lightly raining. No more rain please. Really. 18" of rain in five days is MORE than enough. Really. This light drizzle and 48 degree temperature is, however, perfect weather for baking !
I had read over at Vegan Baking.net a proposal to make the last Friday of September ( today ! ) Vegan Baking Day...the idea is to bake fabulous vegan goodies and bring them to share at work, school and wherever you go. What a wonderful opportunity to show and tell how great vegan baked goodies are ! And all without the addition of inherently cruel animal-based diary products and eggs. I remember after a few months of baking exclusively vegan thinking, " if vegan baking is this good and easy, why on Earth would you do it any other way ???" It is still a mystery to me. And pretty sadly ironic that such nurturing, comforting domestic activities like home-baking breads, cakes, cookies and pies for family and friends can be steeped in so much pain and suffering for so many millions of animals, most of them female. The butter, cream, milk, cheese and eggs used extensively in (non-vegan) baking are all courtesy of dairy cows and hens being enslaved for their exclusively female reproductive products. Dairy products and eggs were the last animal products to go for me. I clung to the language that cows and hens "gave" us their milk and eggs. I believed the myth that humans need milk from another mammal their entire lives. Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary does a pretty good job debunking these myths...and they offer some great solutions, too ! SOOOOO happy to be baking vegan now :)
HAPPY VEGAN BAKE DAY !
I am a little embarrassed to be posting about another bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich but 'tis the season, and pretty soon our homegrown tomatoes will be just a dim memory. We can see the new snowfall up on Long's Peak and Mt Audubon on our walks now...and it won't belong for us ! In fact, I need to start looking at recipes to pickle the small green tomatoes that are not going to make it to a sandwich...
Coconut bacon. I resisted for some reason...I guess it just seemed too outlandish and reaching a little too far. Weren't tempeh, seitan and tofu bacon good enough ? There are several commercial vegan bacons on the market, but I never really liked them as much as the homemade version ...I like mine super salty and sweet.
Now I wish I had not waited so long ! All this time I could have been making crunchy, smokey, salty, sweet coconut bacon for less than five bucks for about 4 cups worth ! Enough to sprinkle on salads and tofu scrambles for weeks and weeks ! But most importantly to layer into a vegan BLT. My all-time favorite sandwich. If you are coconut-adverse you might not like it, but really, the coconut flavor is very subdued...I don't know that I would have picked up on it if I had not known for a fact it was coconut. I baked mine for about 20 minutes, stirring in 5 minute intervals, to get the extra-crispy deep browned look and crunch. With so many recipes out there already, I can't really add anything here, except that you should give one of them a try and adjust your spices as to how sweet, peppery, salty and smokey you like your bacon. I followed Skye's general directions from his Gentle Chef website, but you should also check out the Post Punk Kitchen's entry as well as this one at Vegannomnoms
Ok, so it's not soup made from an ACTUAL unidentified flying object, but that squash is sometimes called a spaceship squash and it was given to me by a neighbor who works at Ball, here in Boulder... a company that makes "space-based instruments" for satellites ...so I'm sticking with Spaceship Soup ! This squash, also called patty pan and scallop squash, is a relative of zucchini and crookneck squash, and like them,is a summer veg. It will not store for months like the heavy-skinned, drier-fleshed winter squashes like pumpkins, acorns, butternuts and such. Its skin remains pretty tender, even at a larger size, such as this one ( slightly over 1 1/2 pounds ! ) I think a nice big zucchini would work just as well, and give the soup an authentic extraterrestrial green hue to boot ! This soup couldnt be simpler...I chopped everything up, threw it in a pot, cooked it for about 25 minutes, removed the bay leaf and then ran it through the blender . You could use an immersion blender, or just leave it chunky. If you are going to serve it chunky, cut the pieces of everything up into smaller more uniform pieces. I added about a 1/2 cup of coconut milk at the very end, because I had some left over from another recipe and thought a little creaminess wouldn't hurt, and wow...it really brought it all together. The following recipe is how I made the soup with what I had on hand, your results may vary, depending on the make and model of your spacecraft :)
1 Spaceship Squash, 1 to 11/2 pds, stem and any major seeds removed, roughly chopped.
1 large baking potato, about 10 ounces, scrubbed. Leave the skin on ! Roughly chop.
2 or more cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 largish shallot or small onion peeled and chopped
2 big stalks celery, chopped
1 large cube Not-Chick'n bouillon cube
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast ( optional, but oh-so-good )
1 bay leaf
several sprigs fresh thyme, or about 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
Throw everything together into one medium pot, bring to a boil and cook until all the veggies are soft, about 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Carefully pour the soup into a blender and blend till smooth. Return the soup to pot to reheat. Add the coconut milk and heat a little longer. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to thoroughly blend it all, or just go with chunky.
Greetings from Boulder, CO ! I'll be blogging about our new life here on the Front Range where the Plains meet the Rockies in awesome geologic confluence :)
Blog Roll ( in no particular order )