Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some news...

Hey folks! I have two announcements. One: THE SECOND EDITION OF MY BOOK IS COMING OUT! Hip hip hurrah! So, originally Generation V was published on Tofu Hound Press by my friends Bob and Jenna. Tofu Hound started from nothing and became the publishing end of an amazing vegan media empire, Vegan Freak. Recently, Tofu Hound became a part of the broader radical small press, PM Press, who wanted to reissue Tofu Hound's titles under their press, including mine. What a perfect opportunity to get my act together and update some things I've long wanted to update! The second edition now has many more recipes, a part about college (I'm not a teenage vegan anymore!), a new preface, and various other little updates throughout. I feel much more like it's something I, as a 20-year-old instead of a 15-year-old, can get behind. But beyond that it'll be nice to have the book in print again. For some reason this and not last year is the year a lot of opportunities and events (readings and whatnot) have come up and it's awkward to say "Hey, here's this book I wrote. Read it. Except you can't right now. Uh. Thanks anyway." I am happy. You can buy the new edition at PM Press's website. 

That said, I also don't think I'm going to be updating this blog any longer, or at least very rarely. In addition to just being busy with other projects and life-things, I'm taking a step back from the vegan community for a while. I will always be vegan, and I value the friends, discoveries, and memories I've made through this community, but there are just other issues and questions on my mind and heart of late. I wouldn't say I'm burnt out, because to me that phrase is really negative - it implies some kind of breakdown or conflict, something not really chosen, bitterness. My identity as a 'vegan activist' is an identity I no longer feel like I occupy to the best of my abilities or the fullest of my spirit. I'm voluntarily bowing out of full participation in a movement to focus on other things that need my time and attention. I never want to not be vegan, and I would rather gracefully slip out of a movement for a time and live a life of veganism than burn out. I also don't want to devote myself to something my heart isn't in - veganism deserves to be advocated by people who are passionate for it, and it's not as if the community lacks for those. In my 5+ years of veganism, I'm glad I've learned that veganism is something that grows and changes as you do as a person. I know this will continue to be a part of my life, but my growth now is away from the community. I hope to return someday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brownies and back to school

Hello, fair interwebs! After a long summer hiatus from blogging, I am back and will be updating more frequently. The year is off to a really good start. For one thing, my school's dining hall, which has always been really vegan-friendly, now has one station that's entirely vegan and serves things like hazelnut pesto pasta and mock beef fajitas. I like being well-fed. And beyond food-related, it's just good to be back. Most of my classes are creative writing and it's good to have all my friends around again. And I have an internship with a reproductive rights organization and my roommate and I are going to have a radio show through the school...busy but good. Anyway, I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while. Over the summer I was staying at some friends' house for a week or so and wanted to bake something really awesome to thank them. After being frustrated that most of Vegweb's brownie recipes called for weird ingredients like tofu (okay, I understand that tofu is a very versatile food, but it should never go in baked goods. That just seems weird to me, and I wouldn't want anything I made to ever be able to be called 'tofu cookies'. Why. Ugh.) I finally found this recipe and modified it based on what ingredients were in the house. The result: amazing. When they came out of the oven, only two other people were in the house, but we ate about half the pan within an hour. Yum. The secret: self-rising flour! Halfway through measuring out the flour, I ran out, and self-rising was the only other option. I was worried they would explode in the pan, but they became incredibly light and fluffy, which works surprisingly well in a brownie.

Fluffy Brownies

  1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup self-rising flour    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    3/4 cup cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine wet ingredients in one bowl, dry ingredients in another, and add the wet to the dry. Stir well, pour into greased 9 x 13 pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

i'm alive!

Hello interwebs. I am still alive and still blogging, but have been traveling a lot lately and have been somewhat low in time/Internet connection. But! Something really exciting and Generation V-related is happening soon. Yippee. You'll see. I am finally back home in Portland and have had a happy day being love-tackled by friends at airports, writing and walking with other friends, and generally feeling warm and fuzzy over the life I have in this beautiful, rainbow-making city. Something vegan related to make this an actual post: food pr0n from recently!

curry-coconut udon noodles from Herbivore in San Francisco

roasted chickpeas for a picnic in Kansas City: mix a can of chickpeas with enough oil to lightly coat, some salt and pepper and garlic, and bake at 450 for around 20 or 25 minutes. Delicious!

the breakfast of all breakfasts. yum. Grill veggies one night, throw the leftovers in tofu scrambler the next morning, enjoy.

I love food. I promised a good dinner recipe for the house tonight but we forgot to get most of the ingredients while we were at the grocery. I've no idea. Pasta!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rep. Jared Polis rewards veg school lunches

Usually when my local paper mentions the v-word, it's either talking about someone I know or something that's been done in KC's small-but-fervent activist population or meaning to poke fun at liberals, picky eaters, etc. But the other day it cropped up in the news section! What? There was a news brief similar to this article and I am so excited about it. Colorado rep Jared Polis introduced a bill back in March that increases vegetarian and vegan options in school lunches and rewards schools that offer such meals to at least 2/3 of its students. Polis isn't a vegan, but he's doing this for the obvious reasons - childhood obesity and its accompanying health problems are skyrocketing. I'm not optimistic about its passage, but the fact that it's even been introduced is telling. It's interesting how much of an impact the fact that Polis isn't vegan is having on the way the media is talking about this. Every article I've read on this is generally positive and coming at it from an entirely reasonable, health-based angle. I feel like that wouldn't be the case if Dennis Kucinich (who is vegan) were this bill's creator. Being vegan in itself makes (some) non-vegans skeptical of you, your motives, your legitimacy. You're "one of those." You're not an individual who happens to be vegan, just a vegan. A friend of mine, if he ever has to call a restaurant or company to ask about vegan options/products or lack thereof, pretends he's someone considering going vegan, just asking for future reference. He does this to show that there are people in the world who are considering going vegan, that vegans aren't a special breed of people destined from birth to be wackos. This is why all the articles about Polis' bill are so positive and focused on health: Polis sees that plant foods are healthy, which is all well and good, but isn't one of those crazies who only eats those things. I think I'm going to write more about this later, it just says so much about so many things. But regardless of all that other stuff, this is exciting! If nothing else, even if it doesn't get passed, I think it could pave the way for better regulations about what's in school meals. We shall see!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

pesto with Daiya!

For some reason, I have always felt like I am never good at making pesto. Which is strange, because isn't pesto always the same very few ingredients? Hummus is hummus and some is better than others, but it's almost almost always good. PBJ is PBJ. Spaghetti is spaghetti. Etc. Shouldn't the simple combination of basil and olive oil and pepper and pine nuts and maybe a little garlic be intrinsically good? I've made pesto countless times and never had it blow my mind.....until the other night. Everything went into the food processor as usual, but I also threw in some Daiya (mozzarella Daiya, which I had never had before) and woahmygod. Magic. Observe:

So delicious. It retained all the freshness and summery delight of the basil and spices with all the sheer om nom nom deliciousness of revolutionary cheese. It also got the Omni Friends stamp of approval. I didn't measure anything, so I don't really have a recipe to offer other than put all the above ingredients in a food processor until it becomes delicious pesto. 

Lessons learned:
1) Not making something successfully dozens of times does not mean you never will.
2) While sometimes it is wonderful for the natural goodness of herbs and pulses and spices and whatnot to shine through (Hi Dino), sometimes an omni sub is dish's saving grace.
2.5) Daiya is always an appropriate addition to a food
3) Fresh basil makes your whole kitchen smell good!

Yum. I had the leftovers for dinner tonight. What delicious things have you made or eaten recently?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

summertime is chocolate banana smoothie time

I know it's summer and I'm at home when I have one of these almost every morning. It's really pretty good for you but tastes decadent and is surprisingly filling. Basically, freeze a banana and throw it in the blender with some chocolate soymilk. The variations are endless: a little peanut butter, a little cinnamon, different kinds of milk, etc. If you've never frozen banana before, you are missing out. It tastes like vanilla ice cream! Pro tip: slice bananas before you freeze them. It's easier on the blender if you're making a smoothie, and more fun if you're eating them plain. Happy summer!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

(Portland) vegan airport guide

Today I leave the land of ironic hipster mullets for the land of sincere ones, so what better time to post about eating vegan in the airport than while I'm actually in one? This post is primarily about the Portland airport, but as there are a lot of chains here that are in a lot of other airports as well, hopefully this can be helpful to you regardless of where you're flying.

PDX may be in Portland, but it is still an airport, not a promised land of vegan delights. Here are your best bets:
Jamba Juice was my saving grace this morning. In addition to a wide array of vegan smoothies (my favorite is the Five Fruit Frenzy), they have oatmeal made with soymilk (but the brown sugar crumbles contain milk, so order without). You can also get hot chocolate with soymilk, a wrap with hummus and quinoa and veggies, and an apple cinnamon pretzel. Their website is very helpful as it has an entire section listing everything on their menu that is vegan.
Flying Elephant Delicatessen is a recent addition to PDX. Other than the usual chips, fruit salad, etc. they have a sandwich with vegan cream cheese (WTF? In an airport?), eggplant, and arugula. They also sell Kettleman's bagels, if you don't mind a dry bagel. (Why do they only sell vegan cream cheese on the sandwich?)
Riverfront Cafe has hummus and pita!
Quizno's has a veggie sub that is vegan when you order it on white or wheat with no cheese and no dressing.
Big Town Hero has multiple veggie subs, including one with avocado, that are vegan if you order without various dairy nonsense.
Wendy's French fries are vegan.
Pizzicato's airport menu drops the v-word. You can order any of their pizzas without cheese, and they also have hummus and foccacia and peanut sauce.
I know Good Dog Bad Dog has a veggie sausage, but I don't know if it's vegan. Ask. Anyone reading this know one way or the other?

That's PDX. The key to being vegan in an airport, or anywhere, is being crafty (if you have time). All things considered, pack your own food if you can. A Luna bar or pack of trail mix doesn't take up much space in a bag, doesn't go bad, and can be the most delicious food on earth when you're tired and jet-lagged and starving. But beyond that, you might often be surprised. For example, Denver's airport sells Nana's vegan cookies (in the nondescript Hudson News places), Newark has a few little natural-themed kiosks with Odwalla bars and Naked juices and the like, Minneapolis has an Asian place with tofu noodle soup, Seattle has a cafe (Kathy Casey Dish D'Lish) with a couscous dish. Those are all just off the top of my head, and all were surprises to me. You never know what you might find, and often a quick Google search of the airport(s) you'll be at can lead you to a list of restaurants there, which, combined with the powers of the interwebs, can give you a head start on finding vegan food. Happy travels!