Vegan Chews & Progressive News {12-26-14}

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, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Welcome to the holiday edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! I mean, holiday in terms of the date of its publication, not at all in terms of its content. Instead, below you’ll find a fabulously jewel-toned winter salad, a mound of breakfast creativity, and an elaborate Christmas Eve feast. Then, on the News side, you’ll read about yet another white supremacist non-indictment (this time mere miles away from my hometown), an abbreviated history of U.S. imperialism, and a memoir written by one of my favorite human beings on the planet. Because ’tis the season, right?

Favorite Newly Published Recipe


Roasted Vegetable & Farro Salad
Via Joe Yonan

Photo via Deb Lindsey.

Photo via Deb Lindsey.

I live with a perpetual craving for the caramelized tenderness of roasted vegetables, and this hearty winter salad would certainly satisfy (well, temporarily…). Tossed with the toothsome ancient Italian grain of farro, chewy and candy-sweet dried figs, crunchy almonds, and the master of all spice blends (helloooooo za’atar!), roasted vegetables never looked so good. Instead of the feta cheese called for in the recipe, some homemade cashew cheese or tofu feta would work wonders.


Granola Pancakes
Via Connoisseurus Veg

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

Granola definitely constitutes a staple of my diet, but I never think beyond spooning it atop a green smoothie or stirring it into soy yogurt. Enter Alissa of the hilariously branded Connoisseurus Veg (there’s a t-rex on her blog! Get it?!?!?) to blow my previously held granola conceptions out of the water (or smoothie…?). But think about it: crunchy, nutty breakfast deliciousness enveloped by fluffy, cakey breakfast deliciousness. Sounds like a perfect match to me.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Christmas Eve Dinner
Inspired by Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

xmas dinner collage

Every year when I return home for the holidays, my mother and I like to craft rather elaborate dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year, completely smitten with my recently procured copy of Plenty More by genius vegetable (though definitely not vegan) chef Yotam Ottolenghi, I decided to create an entirely Ottolenghi-inspired Christmas Eve dinner. Minimally altering three recipes from Plenty More, I enjoyed with my mother a wintertime cornucopia of Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Garlic, Candied Lemon Peel, and Tarragon; Buckwheat Polenta with Orange Spice Roasted Butternut Squash and Tempura Lemon; and Smoked Beets with Caramelized Macadamia Nuts, (Soy) Yogurt, and Cilantro. Whoof. Very yummy whoof.

Must-Read News Story

Milwaukee Police Officer Won’t Face Charges for Shooting of Unarmed Black Man
by Nadia Prupis at Common Dreams

Photo via Light Brigading.

Photo via Light Brigading.

Yet another non-indictment to prove the pervasiveness of white supremacy in the criminal legal system (and everywhere else in American society…), this time very near my hometown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shot 14 times at a park by former Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney, 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton joins an ever-growing pool of unarmed Black individuals murdered at the hands of white police officers. Um, hi, #BlackLivesMatter, anyone?

The story to which I linked above doesn’t feature an extensive amount of details about the shooting, so be sure to check out Democracy Now!‘s coverage here.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

How the Iraq War Began in Panama: 1989 Invasion Set Path for Future U.S. Attacks
Via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Also on Democracy Now! this past week was an extended interview regarding the U.S.-led 1989 invasion of Panama, of which this month marks the 25th anniversary. Launched by President George H. W. Bush to execute an arrest warrant against Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, Operation Just Cause unleashed 24,000 troops in a bloody attack on the Panamanian people, and served as a template for future U.S. military interventions (including in Iraq). I find it immensely important as a U.S. citizen to know about the imperial history of my home country so as to begin to foster within myself a sort of radical humility that refuses to regard as inferior modes of being different from that which I inhabit myself. Because without that radical humility, imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy, and all other systems of oppression will live on.

Book Recommendation

Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir
by Alan Cumming

Photo via Harper Collins.

Photo via Harper Collins.

Ya’ll, I am unwaveringly and unapolagetically in love with Alan Cumming. I mean, have you seen him in Cabaret? Or followed his shit-ton of LGBTQ activism? Or heard about the vegan soups (because he’s vegan!!!) he makes in his slow cooker every night for cast parties? Perfection is a shitty and impossible ideal, but dammit, Alan Cumming is my idea of a near-perfect human being. And he has a fraught relationship with his father, just like me! Clearly, we’re meant to be best friends. So yeah, read his book, mmmk?

In solidarity, Ali.

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