Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-17-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich or the human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) turns 20!!! (And only a month after my own 20th birthday.) Today’s roundup – as a testament to my beloved mother and the variety of soups she crafts on an almost daily basis during the winter – features two velvety, steaming purees of colorful root vegetables, along with another spoonable recipe of fruity succulence. For stories, an interview and a book provide meaningful models of transformative activism, while a podcast offers an eye-opening take on three otherwise familiar social issues. So, welcome!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe


Beet & Horseradish Soup with Thyme & Caraway Croutons
via The Circus Gardener

Photo via Steve Dent.

Photo via Steve Dent.

The first of two fall-centric soups of today’s roundup, this vibrant puree marries the sweet earthiness of beets with the clean sharpness of fresh horseradish. Lately I’ve found myself more enamored than usual of beets – chopping them raw into my daily lunch salads and baking them whole wrapped in aluminum foil – but have hesitated to implement them in a soupy application. This velvety looking recipe has convinced me, and I intend to throw some caraway seeds directly into the soup along with the thyme, rather than allowing the croutons to get all the caraway glory.


Ginger Pear Butter
via Connoisseurus Veg

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

No soup, but still a smooth puree of yumminess. Quality ripe pears harbor a buttery quality all on their own, but I’m sure not going to argue with a recipe that capitalizes on this rich texture while adding a spicy zing of ginger. For an unrefined version of this delightfully copper-toned fruit spread, use a less processed type of sugar (such as date or coconut sugar) instead of the brown sugar.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Kabocha Squash, Fennel, & Ginger Soup with Spicy Coconut Cream
via Dolly and Oatmeal

Photo via Lindsey S. Love.

Photo via Lindsey S. Love.

While I don’t have a photo of my own to share with you, I do have deeply fond memories from earlier in the week of savoring spoonfuls of this succulent, complexly flavored soup (the second of the day!). Ya’ll. This soup stopped me in my hungry tracks, necessitating after my first bite that I pause to fully appreciate its silky texture and multilayered flavor profile. Providing an example of expert flavor-building, this recipe forms a base of delicate sweetness with caramelized leeks before adding fennel’s notes of mild licorice and finally the most decadent of squashes – kabocha – roasted to tender perfection. I already miss this soup, and I finished the final batch of leftovers two nights ago…back to the kitchen!

Must-Read News Story

Turning Fear into Power: An Interview with Unarmed Peacekeeper Linda Sartor
by Stephanie Van Hook at Waging Nonviolence

Linda Sartor standing on a Soviet tank outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (WNV / Peggy Gish)

Linda Sartor standing on a Soviet tank outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (WNV / Peggy Gish)

I find that looking to more experienced, thriving activists can provide an inspiring model for burgeoning changemakers (like myself, I hope!), especially in demonstrating how to maintain our work in the long-term. Though I hadn’t heard of Linda Sartor before this article from Waging Nonviolence landed in my inbox, I think she offers a great deal of insight into how to sustain oneself as an activist, even while engaging in serious forms of civil disobedience. Linda’s practice of asking “Where is that violence in me?” when she witnesses violence manifested in the world particularly sticks with me, as I see it as a reminder that transformative change begins in ourselves; how can we build a just world if we reenact oppressive structures in our daily lives? All of our activism must incorporate a reconceptualization of the self, an idea that I touched upon in my most recent blog post.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

On Privacy and Privilege
via Radio Dispatch

Logo via Radio Dispatch.

Logo via Radio Dispatch.

While the daily Radio Dispatch episodes never fail to bring contemplation and laughter to my morning, Thursday’s edition of the show framed three issues with which I’m fairly familiar in a completely new light. Discussing the privileges inherent in being able to say that you’re not personally fearful of government surveillance, the paralyzing effect of telling young Black men that they have a set of predetermined life outcomes from which to choose, and the positioning of the white supremacist criminal systems as public health epidemics, hosts John and Molly provided me with a more nuanced manner of understanding these pressing issues.

Book Recommendation

Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism
by Leela Fernandes

Photo via Aunt Lute Books.

Photo via Aunt Lute Books.

In her realistically hopeful book Transforming Feminist Practice, political scientist Leela Fernandes argues that we – people living in contemporary times – have learned to define ourselves against external entities, and that our doing so has limited us from imagining new worldly realities. Fernandes contends that our inability to see ourselves beyond the possibilities of pre-existing identities prevents us from rejecting the ego inherent in all forms of identity, and instead fostering in ourselves a “radical humility required to really manifest social justice in this world” (44). To cast off these static identities through which we currently constitute ourselves, Fernandes calls for an understanding of the self in “radical interconnection” with the world in its entirety (36). In this task, Fernandes does not mean for us to cease taking responsibility for the very real effects of our identity-based privileges, but rather encourages us to envision ourselves as comprised of so much more than these fixed identities, and asserts that this re-envisioning constitutes a necessary aspect of fostering a world in which the social structures that determine our privileges do not exist. Fernandes encapsulates this re-envisioning well in the following passage:

“A strategy for white students dealing with racial privilege would be to recognize and address the social and economic forms of power and privilege associated with whiteness in contemporary society in the United States while realizing that their own conceptions of their self do not need to rest on such hegemonic conceptions of ‘whiteness'” (33).

I love this book. I think I shall sleep with it underneath my pillow.

In solidarity, Ali.

4 thoughts on “Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-17-14}

  1. Alissa says:

    Beautiful roundup! I’m all about comforting root veggie soups in the cooler months, and thrilled to have my pear butter featured alongside your delicious picks in this post. Thanks so much! 🙂

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