Vegan Chews & Progressive News {2-27-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which I view as 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.

Hello, C&C readers! I hope that your week was manageable and offered some joyous moments. Perhaps you’re now able to relax a bit with some Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)!…or you’ll just get riled up again about the stuff I’m about to share with ya’ll. Either way, you won’t want to miss some mouthwatering noodles and sandwiches, the fight for trans justice, the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination, or a book that will have you looking at American slavery in a whole new light. Andiamo! (That’s Italian for “let’s go!)

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Veggie Pad Thai with “Eggy” Tofu & Tamarind Sauce
Via Vegan Miam

Photo via Rika of Vegan Miam.

Photo via Rika of Vegan Miam.

I really appreciate Rika’s approach to creating recipes with origins in cultures other than her own — rather than completely appropriating the dish, she explains its cultural origins, its significance, and why/how her interpretation differs from the authentic dish. Rika does this well in her post about her version of the iconic Thai dish known as Pad Thai, which features crumbled tofu mixed with black salt to achieve the “eggy” flavor and texture included in the original Thai dish. Complete with a tangy tamarind sauce, this dish promises a deep complexity of flavors and textures.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Jackfruit “Tuna” Salad Sandwich
Via Carla Kelly in Vegan al Fresco

Photo via Arsenal Pulp Press.

Photo via Arsenal Pulp Press.

Though I have no photo of this impeccable salad for ya’ll today, I do want to highly recommend that you mash a can of jackfruit with Vegenaise, mustard, dill, seaweed, celery, scallions, and capers; pile it high between two pieces of bread; and top with lettuce and tomato. For those of ya’ll who enjoyed tuna salad as youngins, this recipe is sure to strike all those nostalgic notes, while still maintaining a cultivation of anti-speciesist politics. I’d highly recommend Carla’s cookbook for this dish and more.

Must-Read News Story

No to Prison Industrial Complex: San Francisco’s Trans Community Responds to Brutal Murders
By Toshio Meronek at Truthout

22 JUNE, 2012- Members of the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), march in the streets. (Photo: Eric Wagner)

22 JUNE, 2012- Members of the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), march in the streets. (Photo: Eric Wagner)

Since the beginning of 2015, at least seven transgender women — most of whom were of color — were reported to be murdered. Yet we don’t hear about it. Their names don’t stick in our minds like those of Eric Garner or Mike Brown. Organizations like the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIP) and Critical Resistance are working to change that, in part by marching in the streets of the Bay Area. We need to follow their lead and demand an end to the injustices committed against trans people on a daily basis, and we can start by preventing each individual murdered from becoming just another statistic. We can learn their names and stories, and share them with others. We can amplify their voices. Here are some recently murdered trans people of color for whom we can do this:

Lamar “Goddess” Edwards
Lamia Beard
Ty Underwood
Yazmine Vas Payne
Taja De Jesus
Penny Proud
Bri Golec
Kristina Gomez Reinwald
Sumaya YSL

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Remembering Malcolm X

Photo via The Shabazz Center.

Photo via The Shabazz Center.

February 21 marked the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination, and this week Democracy Now! aired a series of tributes to the legacy of this historic, truly revolutionary activist. You’ll find links to the various video tributes below:

Malcolm X on Democracy Now!: Watch Speeches, Interviews with Activists & Biographer Manning Marable

Grace Lee Boggs on Malcolm X: “He Was a Person Always Searching to Transform Himself”

50 Years After Murder, Malcolm X Remembered by Daughter Ilyasah Shabazz & Friend A. Peter Bailey (Part 1, Part 2)

Book Recommendation

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
By Edward Baptist

Photo via Amazon.com.

Photo via Amazon.com.

Though American historians and the general public alike tend to treat slavery as an isolated incident, independent of the nation’s vast economic success, Edward Baptist in his book explains how the expansion of slavery played the primary role in American modernization and economic growth; i.e., America would not be what it is today if not for the innumerable African Americans whom we enslaved. Perhaps we need to look critically at our professed American virtues of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and instead consider the possibility that our real values lie in torture, violence, and profit over all else.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {2-6-15}

Chickpeas & Changes’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.

Hello, fellow radicals, and welcome to your weekly installation of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! In culinary store for you today is a brightly flavored rice salad, a microwaved donut (?!?!?!), and some hearty stuffed cabbage. On the stories side of the equation, I’d like to share with you the problematic implications of #AllLivesMatter, a groundbreaking view of addiction and the War on Drugs, and a cookzine written by and for vegans of color. Exciting stuff today, folks!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Rice, Peas, Mint, & Raisins
Via The Whinery

Photo via Elsa at The Whinery.

Photo via Elsa at The Whinery.

My mother crafted a number of bright, summery rice salads throughout my childhood, and this dish from Elsa at The Whinery reminds me of the warm-weather suppers my parents and I would enjoy on our backyard porch.  Plus, this salad temporarily quenches my undying urge to throw green peas and mint into everything.

Sweet

5-Minute Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Via F00dventures

Photo via F00dventures.

Photo via F00dventures.

A miniature ingredient list and a trip in the microwave comprise the entirety of this laughably simple recipe for fluffy pumpkin donuts. I’m eager to test the no-oven method of baking introduced here.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Cabbage Rolls
Via Fat-Free Vegan

Photo via Susan Voisin.

Photo via Susan Voisin.

This dish has held a spot on my “Recipes to Try” list for far too long, so I was thrilled to finally check it off while cooking dinner for my 20-person cooperative house the other night. Instead of boiling the cabbage leaves, I stuck a whole head of cabbage in the freezer overnight and let it thaw the next day, resulting in perfectly rolla-ble leaves while eliminating a step in the cooking process.

Must-Read News Story

Dear Post-Racial White Vegans: ‘All Lives Matter’ Is a Racial Microaggression Contributing to Our Daily Struggle With Racial Battle Fatigue
Via A. Breeze Harper at Sistah Vegan

Photo via A. Breeze Harper.

Photo via A. Breeze Harper.

I’ve seen a number of (white) animal activists using the hashtag #AllLivesMatter, I assume in order to draw attention to the lives of non-human animals whom we often refuse to see. However, this hashtag and others like it work to re-center white people in a world that systemically oppresses people of color, and thus appropriates the entire #BlackLivesMatter movement with the effect of once again employing Black bodies to serve the interests of white people. A. Breeze Harper of Sistah Vegan writes on this topic in detail in this post on her blog.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Johann Hari: Everything We Know About the Drug War & Addiction is Wrong
Via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

I usually listen to Democracy Now! in the background during my morning workout, but this interview with British journalist and author Johann Hari had me pausing my lunges to actually sit down and watch. With President Obama seeking $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs in his new budget, Hari articulately and in easily understandable language flips the common understanding of addiction and our century-old failed drug war on his head. Watch and be amazed.

Unfortunate disclaimer: Hari discusses rat vivisection in a fairly callous manner, but the rest of his interview is A+. Check out the fantastic Brooklyn-based organization Open the Cages for info and heartwarming stories on rescued lab animals.

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects That You Should Totally Check Out

Vegans of Color Cookzine in the Works!
Via Portland Vegans of Color

Photo via Portland Vegan of Color.

Photo via Portland Vegan of Color.

The Portland Vegans of Color group has issued a call to fellow vegans of color for recipes and stories, with the goal of “push[ing] back against the lack of authentic diversity to complete appropriation of non-white cultures by white authors in vegan cookbooks.” If you’re a vegan of color with a recipe to contribute, email pdxvoc@gmail.com with your submission! The deadline is March 31. See the link for more details. Thanks to Hana Low for alerting me to this great project.

In solidarity, Ali.

Thoughts on Whiteness & Privilege in Food Blogging | Southwestern-Style Stuffed Squash

Welcome to the week, ya’ll! I’m excited to finally make good on my word to offer up my current thoughts on whiteness and privilege in the world of food blogging. Though I no longer consider this space a “food blog” – rather, it’s now more of a platform for anti-speciesist, feminist, anti-racist political thought with some vegan yummies thrown in (see below, for example) – I’m still interested in examining the reasons behind the pervasive whiteness I see among a group whose work I peruse for recipes on a daily basis.

I want to start of by clarifying that in discussing whiteness and privilege in blogging, I’m speaking of a very specific subset of blogging: that which focuses on food and recipes. I feel it important to make that distinction, since broadly speaking blogs and other social media platforms have offered socially marginalized groups a powerful mechanism for community building, autonomy, and activism. Pattrice Cullors, co-creator of the Black Lives Matter movement, even avows that “the Internet is the only communication channel left where Black voices can speak and be heard, produce and consume, on our own terms.”

Take Black Twitter, for example. Breaking the story of the murder of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, Black Twitter used the internet to tell the story with their own voices while corporate media “lagged behind” (Cullors). As Soraya N. McDonald notes, Black Twitter also “increases the visibility of Black people online, and in doing so, dismantles the idea that white is standard and everything else is ‘other”; indeed, Black people use Twitter at higher rates than any other ethic group.

Clearly, to say that the act of blogging in general constitutes a white endeavor would be woefully inaccurate. However, when it comes to food blogging specifically, I’ve noticed that the vast majority of the food bloggers I see are U.S.-based white women of their late twenties/early thirties in heterosexual relationships. A 2011 survey by Norén of 280 English-speaking food bloggers provides further evidence for my hypothesis: of the total respondents, 85% identified as women, 47% were between the ages of 25 and 34, and 55% were married.

Though the study unfortunately did not provide specific data on the racial makeup of those 280 food bloggers, it did find that 51% had at least a bachelor’s degree, and 70% lived with no children at home. These particular statistics suggest a white majority among food bloggers, since in 2012 only 23% of Black and 15% of Hispanic 25-29-year-old Americans had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher (as compared to 40% of white Americans in the same age range) (NACUBO); while Black and Hispanic Americans tend to come from larger families (Keister).

Of course, given that food blogging requires some level of economic privilege, it makes sense that white people would dominate the food blogging community, since in the United States white people face far fewer institutional barriers to maintaining economic wellbeing than do people of color.

Consider that a food blogger must first purchase raw ingredients with which to experiment for a recipe; many low-income people of color may not have the money to shop at grocery stores when a full meal at a fast-food restaurant costs less than $5, and many may not even have access to a grocery store at which to shop (indeed, the proportion of Black and Latina/o residents living in food deserts is around 65 percent greater than those living in non-food deserts [Dutko et al]).

Consider that a food blogger must have sufficient knowledge of photographic skill and varying types of equipment, neither of which low-income people of color tend to be able to access easily.

Consider, finally (though these are certainly not the only three reasons for the predominance of white food bloggers), that a food blogger must have adequate time to experiment with recipes, take and edit photos, write blog posts, and maintain a social media platform – all of which proves  difficult if, like many low-income people of color, you’re spending the majority of your time working at a demanding yet underpaid job, trying to find employment, taking and waiting for public transportation, caring for a large family, etc.

All of these demands of a food blogger create significant barriers for people of color to make up a substantial portion of the food blogosphere. Additionally, since the food blogging community has established itself as a predominantly white one – not only in numbers, but also in values and practices – it would also make sense that people of color might not even wish to participate in the space of food blogging. If this is the case, then food bloggers have unintentionally created an unwelcoming space for people of color in an Internet world that people of color often otherwise depend upon for autonomy and activism.

This predominance of whiteness among food bloggers also means that white people are once again the majority recipients of material privileges, in the form of product donations from companies who seek to expand their customer base through blog reviews, giveaways, and other advertisements. Through this consumer basis of privilege in which white people are encouraged and given the means to consume, white people are given more legitimacy in the eyes of the state. As Retman notes, throughout U.S. history “the role of consumption [has been] integrally linked to citizenship: the consumer became the privileged citizen in the polity.”

Consumerism’s capitalist co-opting of the world of food blogging further suggests the space’s ideological whiteness, since capitalism in the Americas is grounded in the exploitation of African peoples. Indeed, the economic system of the New World revolved around slavery, becoming, thanks to merchant demand, the industry that defined the free trade of the Spanish Crown’s economic liberalization (Grandin 222, 508). In order to uphold this economic system on which their livelihoods depended, European Americans had to think of African peoples as property, excusing themselves from including slaves in “the most radical of all the revolutionary ideas then coursing through the new nation”: that all “human beings were born equal” (Grandin 1151).

None of this is to say that food blogs should be abolished or that white food bloggers are terrible people and perpetuate slavery. I simply seek to point out the racial cocoon in which we food bloggers have wrapped ourselves, as well as the potential reasons behind it, in the hopes that we privileged white people start to take the time to think about race even when people of color aren’t present, understand the institutional barriers they face to enjoying a safe and economically sound livelihood, and start to act in solidarity with them.

So please: the last thing I hope comes of this post is that readers will walk away with a stagnating sense of guilt. What I do hope this post encourages everyone to do is seek out resources to struggle for collective liberation led by those on the margins of society, and starting working such actions into daily life.

Aaaand…maybe you would also like to start working this delicious recipe for stuffed squash into your daily life? (How’s that for a segue?) Easy to prepare and super quick to whip up once you have the squash roasted, this recipe requires a mere six ingredients to create a hearty, piquant, and texturally fascinating dish, ideal as a dinner entree. You can, of course, omit the final addition of non-dairy cheese (or perhaps make your own vegan cheese sauce), as well as use homemade salsa, if you prefer.

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Southwestern-Style Stuffed Squash

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 small kabocha, acorn, or buttercup squash, halved and seeded
1/2 16-oz jar of your favorite salsa
2/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup cooked black beans
3-5 rings of pickled jalapenos, diced (optional)
2 slices vegan cheese (I like Field Roast’s Chaos Tomato Cayenne slices here; that’s what’s pictured) or 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (I like Daiya’s Pepperjack flavor here)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the two squash halves, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour enough water into the pan to completely cover the bottom. Place the sheet into the oven and cook the squash until fork-tender, about 30-50 minutes. Cool the squash, cut side up, until cool enough to handle.

Lower the oven to 350°F.

Once the squash has cooled, scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl, taking care to leave the squash shells intact (you’ll be stuffing them later). Add to the bowl the salsa, corn, beans, and jalapenos (if using). Using your hands, a potato masher, or a large fork, mash together the ingredients until well combined. Scoop half of the mixture into each reserved squash shell.

Place the stuffed squash shells on the same rimmed baking sheet you used earlier, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly browned on top. Lay a slice of cheese or sprinkle half of the shreds on each squash half, and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.

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References

Ayoub, Zareie and Nor Hafizah Selamat. “Blogging a Personal Window to Pleasure and Self-Therapy: A Case Study of Iranian Women Bloggers.” Asian Social Science 10.15 (August 2014): 16-22. ProQuest. Web. 11 January 2015.

Back, Les. “Aryans Reading Adorno: Cyber-Culture and Twenty-First-Century Racism.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 4 (July 2002): 628-651. University of Denver. Web. 11 January 2015.

Cullors, Patrisse. “Black Lives Depend on a Free and Open Internet.” CommonDreams. Common Dreams, 31 December 2014. Web. 11 January 2015.

Dutko, Paula, Michele Ver Ploeg, and Tracey Farrigan. “Characteristics and Influential Factors of Food Deserts.” Economic Research Report Number 140 August 2012. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. 27 January 2015.

Garza, Alicia. “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.” Black Lives Matter. #BlackLivesMatter, 6 December 2014. Web. 11 January 2015.

Grandin, Greg. The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2014. Kindle file.

Gurak, Laura J. “The Psychology of Blogging: You, Me, and Everyone in Between.” American Behavioral Scientist 52.1 (September 2008): 60-68. Sage Journals. Web. 11 January 2015.

Hunter, Shona, Elaine Swan, and Diane Grimes. “Reproducing Whiteness in Organizations, Policies, and Places.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society 17.4 (2010): 407-422. Project Muse. Web. 11 January 2015.

Keister, Lisa A. “Race, Family Structure, and Wealth: The Effect of Childhood Family on Adult Asset Ownership.” Sociological Perspectives 47.2 (2004): 161-187. Web. 1 February 2015.

McDonald, Soraya Nadia. “Black Twitter: A virtual community ready to hashtag out a response to cultural issues.” The Washington Post. The Washington Post, 20 January 2014. Web. 11 January 2015.

Michel, Noemi and Manuela Honegger. “Thinking Whiteness in French and Swiss Cyberspaces.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society 17.4 (Winter 2010): 423-449. Project Muse. Web. 11 January 2015.

NACUBO. “NCES Report Examines Gaps in Educational Attainment by Race/Ethnicity.” Research. National Association of College and University Business Officers, 27 May 2013. Web. 1 February 2015.

Norén, Laura. “Food Blog Study Descriptive Statistics Part 1.” Graphic Sociology. The Society Pages, 29 September 2011. Web. 1 February 2015.

Retman, Sonnet H. “Black No More: George Schuyler and Racial Capitalism.” PMLA 123.5 (October 2008): 1448-1464. JSTOR. Web. 11 January 2015.

Sysomos, Inc. “Inside Blog Demographics.” Sysomos. Sysomos, Inc., June 2010. Web. 1 February 2015.


In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {1-30-15}

And the winner of the But I Could Never Go Vegan! cookbook giveaway is…Kirsten Zellmer! Congratulations — I’m certain you’ll adore Kristy’s book.

Chickpeas & Changes’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.

Whoa, it’s the 34th edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! Where does the time go? Perhaps in recreating an intricate and show-stopping dinner entree? Or in munching on a handful of well-spiced granola? Maybe slurping up a big ol’ bowl of dumpling soup? But, if you haven’t spent all of your time immersed in vegan recipe land, then maybe you’ve been contemplating how to act in solidarity with women of color and trans people of color, how to advocate for anti-speciesism instead of vegan consumerism, or where to find some kick-ass resources on critical veganism. Coincidence — maybe you’ll find just what you need in today’s post!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Puff Pastry-Wrapped Lentil Loaf
Via It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Photo via Sam Turnbull.

Photo via Sam Turnbull.

Though I certainly can’t argue with a blissfully simple, minimally involved recipe that packs a flavor punch, I also can’t help but get excited when I encounter a tad more involved recipe sure to wow dinner guests (or just me). This hearty lentil loaf encased in flaky puff pastry comprises one of the latter sorts of recipes. Maybe I’ll keep it up my sleeve until David Bowie finally comes over for a meal…

Sweet

Ginger & Vanilla Granola
Via Nourish & Inspire Me

Via Ari-Elle at Nourish & Inspire Me.

Via Ari-Elle at Nourish & Inspire Me.

Minimally sweetened yet packed full of vibrant ginger mellowed by vanilla, this granola will surely find a place in my daily smoothie-topping rotation.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Easy Vegetable & Dumpling Soup
Via VeganSandra

Photo via Sandra Vungi.

Photo via Sandra Vungi.

Earlier this bitter cold and snowy week, no item on Earth — food-based or otherwise — struck me as just as comforting as this dumpling soup. Dense, chewy balls of starch swimming in veggie-packed brothy goodness? How could I possibly argue with that? I did change up the dumplings a bit from those called for in the recipe, substituting chickpea flour for all-purpose and tahini for olive oil, and found lovely results.

Must-Read News Story

Mourners for Black Queer and Trans Lives Attacked by Castro Bar
By QTPOC Liberation at The Feminist Wire

AND

Race, Domestic Abuse and a Warning Shot: Marissa Alexander Released From Prison, But Still Not Free
By Nadia Prupis at Common Dreams

Photo via QTPOC Liberation.

Photo via QTPOC Liberation.

These two stories – the first about an attack on queer and trans people of color hosting a #BlackLivesMatter protest, the second about Marissa Alexander’s recent release from prison and transfer to house arrest – serve to remind us that, while Black Lives certainly Matter, the Black bodies of women and trans people of color require a particularly concerted effort of solidarity in order to make their lives matter to a society of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Chaos in Yemen, Wrong Billy Crystal
Via Radio Dispatch

Photo via Leslye Davies at The New York Times

Photo via Leslye Davies at The New York Times

While I don’t usually highlight animal-related stories in my # NewsandChews posts (’cause ya’ll know about that already, doncha?), John and Molly’s discussion of a recent New York Times article struck me as particularly resonant with my understanding of the problematic links between veganism and consumerism.

The article details the beyond-factory-farming torture of typically farmed other animals at an agricultural research center devoted to helping the cow, pig, and lamb industries maximize their profits in the face of a shift in consumer choices toward plants, birds, and fish. Though certainly not an uplifting wake-up call, the article demonstrates that our vegan consumption practices most often do not deter animal agricultural industries from engaging in the most visibly violent forms of speciesism.

Clearly, veganism-as-consumer-boycott does little to combat the dominant speciesist ideologies that permit and even encourage violent industries, and a much broader ideological shift is needed.

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects That You Should Totally Check Out

“Critical Veganism” Resources
Via Hana Low

Last week I excitedly shared with ya’ll the work of powerhouse anti-speciesist feminist activist and thinker Hana Low, and this week I’ve gotten their permission to pass along a phenomenal list of resources on critical veganism that they’ve compiled. Take a gander at this Google Doc brimming with necessary viewpoints on veganism from marginalized voices.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {1-23-15}

Hey, ya’ll! Quick note before launching into #NewsandChews: if you haven’t yet had the chance to enter my latest giveaway to win a copy of food blogger extraordinaire Kristy Turner’s new cookbook But I Could Never Go Vegan!, then be sure to head on over to the post! Also read my review of the book and get a recipe for Kristy’s Caramel Apple-Stuffed French Toast.

Photo via The Experiment Publishing.

Photo via The Experiment Publishing.

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.

Happy late MLK Day, everyone! This edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) pays homage to the radical legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., so often sanitized by the white supremacist powers that dictate which aspects of history to erase. But first, check out three recipes that have nothing to do with MLK (except that they’re vegan and Coretta Scott King also held vegan principles, so there’s that). Then, as if MLK and the incredible #BlackLivesMatter organizers didn’t provide enough inspiring activism for you, meet the powerhouse queer, anti-speciesist activist Hana Low. Onward!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Maple-Cinnamon Delicata Squash Salad with Jackfruit Bacon
Via Sweet Simple Vegan

Photo via Jasmine Briones.

Photo via Jasmine Briones.

This colorful, nutrient-rich salad bowl screams of textural interest and flavorful simplicity, especially with the delicata squash’s mild succulence and the jackfruit’s smoky toothsome-ness. But really, when avocado and brussels sprouts are involved, I’m hooked immediately, no questions asked.

Sweet

Sweet Dukkah Cigars
Via Golubka

Photo via Anya Kassoff.

Photo via Anya Kassoff.

Dukkah — an Egyptian spice blend of toasted nuts and seeds — takes center stage in these decadent yet sophisticated crepe-like pastries. Anya’s particular dukkah features pistachios and hazelnuts (two of my favorite nuts), as well as coriander and cardamom (two of my favorite spices). Interestingly, her dough incorporates a bit of miso paste, which I’m intrigued to try out. Make sure to use agave or maple syrup in place of the honey when called for, because bees make honey for themselves to eat, not for us!

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Crispy Orange Cauliflower
Via Cara Reed at Vegan Richa

Photo via Cara Reed.

Photo via Cara Reed.

I’m a sucker for Asian-inspired sauces thickened with cornstarch; I just can’t get enough of that viscous texture and salty-sweet flavor. This orange-centric one from Cara Reed of the Fork and Beans blog seems like just the sauce to please my palate, especially when it coats the Mighty Cauliflower — master and most versatile of the vegetable fiefdom (because plants still operate in feudal times, right?).

Must-Read News Story

#ReclaimMLK
Via Ferguson Action

Photo via Deray McKesson (@deray).

Photo via Deray McKesson (@deray).

On this past MLK Day, thousands of #BlackLivesMatter activists did some hugely important organizing, uniting to #ReclaimMLK from the sanitized versions of his legacy that we learn in the white supremacist history books. While we often only hear about Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech — so easily co-opted by white people who employ the rhetoric of reverse racism — we seldom learn that he linked capitalism’s injustice with racism and militarization, and whose assassination was planned by the U.S. government in an attempt to stop him from shifting the status quo.

I’d like to share the words of Ferguson Action to further expand upon the importance of this organizing:

“The present day Movement for Black Lives draws a direct line from the legacy of Dr. King and the current struggle we face today. Unfortunately, Dr. King’s legacy has been clouded by efforts to soften, sanitize, and commercialize it. Impulses to remove Dr. King from the movement that elevated him must end. We resist efforts to reduce a long history marred with the blood of countless members of our community into iconic images of men in suits behind pulpits. From here on, MLK weekend will be known as a time of national resistance to injustice. This MLK weekend we will walk in the legacy of Dr. King and the movement that raised him.”

Check out the following four news stories for more details on this year’s #ReclaimMLK demonstrations and demands:

Taking Back the Streets and Their Stories, Thousands Reclaim MLK Day
By Lauren McCauley at Common Dreams

What You Can Do to Highlight MLK’s Radical Legacy
By Alyssa Figueroa at AlterNet

Black Lives Matter Aspires to Reclaim the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Via Gabrielle Canon and Bryan Schatz at Mother Jones

Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
By Eric Mann at Counterpunch

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

DN! In Depth: Martin Luther King Jr. & the Civil Rights Movement
Via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

For more on MLK’s radical legacy, check out the collection of interviews, speeches, and other videos that Democracy Nowhas compiled to de-sanitize Dr. King’s work.

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects That You Should Totally Check Out

Hana Low’s Opening Cages for Collective Liberation

Photo via Hana Low.

Photo via Hana Low.

I recently became familiar with the work of Hana Low, a queer and genderqueer anti-speciesist vegan based in Denver, CO whose feminist principles pervades their writing and activism. With essays on why pro-choice does not mean anti-vegan, participating in Vegan MoFo on a SNAP budget, and confronting colonialism and whiteness in vegan communities, Hana’s blog is one that I want to help spread far and wide. It’s voices like Hana’s that need to be at the forefront of activism for other animals — voices that advocate collective liberation for all.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {1-16-15}

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 your third Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) of the year! This one’s got some mouthwatering grub featuring the almighty Crispy Potato and a ridiculously fast, simple, and flavor-packed side dish. For stories, I’m focusing on the hypocrisy and anti-Muslim racism rapidly circulating in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre (which was obviously an awful, awful attack, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t critically question how we respond to it). Then! An ahhh-maaa-ziiing project that highlights the voices of those with marginalized identities who also have histories of disordered eating. Today’s a good one, folks!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Country Hash
Via Everyday Vegan Eats by Zsu Dever, republished at Vegan Heritage Press

Photo via Vegan Heritage Press.

Photo via Vegan Heritage Press.

Crispy potatoes. Chewy tofu. Savory herbs. All cooked up in one cast iron skillet for a seriously satisfying brinner (breakfast for dinner, if ya’ll don’t know). Plus! This recipe provides an optimal venue to experiment with my newly acquired black salt (an Indian salt, actually tinted pink, that lends a sulfurous flavor to foods and thus makes them taste “eggy”…without all of the reproductive exploitation).

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Brussels Sprouts with Onions and Pecans
Via In Sonnet’s Kitchen

Photo via Sonnet Lauberth.

Photo via Sonnet Lauberth.

A phenomenally simple, 5-ingredient dish bursting with succulent flavor from caramelized onions, tender brussels sprouts, and buttery pecans. Try this one on for size on those nights when you can’t bear to think about spending more than 15 minutes in the kitchen.

Must-Read News Story

Unmournable Bodies
Via Teju Cole at The New Yorker

Photo via Dursin Aydemir / Anadolu / Getty

Photo via Dursin Aydemir / Anadolu / Getty

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a ton of hypocrisy and anti-Muslim sentiments have been circulating among various punditry venues. This brilliant article by Teju Cole unpacks the event’s fallout, and reminds us that we must “defend the right to obscene and racist speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.” Additionally, Cole points to the longstanding attack on journalists by such Western countries as the United States as indicative of our propensity to blame the Other (in this case, followers of Islam whom we’ve long targeted) before taking a good hard look at ourselves.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

“‘Circus of Hypocrisy’: Jeremy Scahill on How World Leaders at Paris March Oppose Press Freedom
Via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

More on the hypocrisy rampant in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo, this time from The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill.

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects That You Should Totally Check Out

#marginalizED
Via Melissa A. Fabello & NEDA

Photo via Melissa A. Fabello.

Photo via Melissa A. Fabello.

I’m in love. I love this project. Please spread this project far and wide.

“When you think of eating disorder stories, most of them are told from the same perspective: young, white, able-bodided, middle-class women living in a Western, English-speaking country who suffer a restrictive eating disorder, eventually seek in-patient treatment, and find the road to recovery.

“And while these stories are important and absolutely need to be told, they simply aren’t giving the public (including the professional eating disorder world) an honest account of how eating disorders are experienced by a wide range of people. …

The #marginalizED project is a joint effort between the National Eating Disorders Association and writer, activist, and Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, Melissa A. Fabello. Disparaged by the lack of diverse voices in eating disorder memoirs, they decided to join forces to curate an anthology of narratives speaking to marginalized experiences in eating disorder suffering and recovery.”

In solidarity, Ali.

Strawberry-Chipotle Glazed Tofu Panini

Welcome to Monday, ya’ll! For today I had planned to pen a blog post regarding some thoughts on whiteness and privilege exhibited in food blogging (I even took notes on scholarly articles and everything!)…but other responsibilities got the best of me. I know I’ve promised that particular post for a while now but, rest assured, that post will indeed be coming in late January/early February.

To keep you sated until then (or, at least, until this Friday’s # NewsandChews post), why not cook up this little gem of a sandwich – all hot and gooey and spicy and creamy and chewy and crunchy at the same time? Inspired by a recipe in Carla Kelly’s new Vegan al Fresco, this sandwich utilizes a fun kitchen gadget, a vegan convenience food that recently entered the ranks of my faves alongside vegan mayo, and a surefire method of ensuring optimally textured tofu:

Gadget=cast-iron grill pan.
Vegan convenience food=non-dairy cream cheese.
Tofu method=simmering tofu in marinade then sauteeing, grilling, or baking (works better than pressing!)

Though I’m only highlighting food in this post, I know that all ya’ll radical activist readers out there will understand that vegan consumption practices merely constitute a logical extension of anti-speciesist politics, rather than a full-scale movement for the collective liberation of all beings. So enjoy this panini – and I mean like for serious enjoy this panini in all its messy glory – but remember that just because it doesn’t contain the bodies of other animals, it’s really not doing much to challenge the larger social structures and embedded ideologies that turn all beings into profit-making automatons.

That’s why we organize! We get out in the streets! We look deep inside ourselves and ask how we’re perpetuating oppression in our daily mode of being! We develop a praxis of radical humility!

And, of course, to fuel all of this exhausting, necessary, and fulfilling work, we eat sandwiches (and maybe even take really terrible photos of them).

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Strawberry-Chipotle Glazed Tofu Panini

Makes 2 sandwiches.

1 dried chipotle pepper
14 oz (1 package) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp cumin

1/3 cup strawberry preserves (preferably one without added sugars)
1 tbsp lime juice

4 slices bread (I like Ezekiel’s sprouted whole-grain breads)
1 tsp coconut oil
4 tbsp vegan cream cheese
About 10 slices of pickled jalapeno

Place the dried pepper in a heat-safe bowl. Pour enough boiling water to cover over the pepper. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, or until reconstituted. Drain and dice the pepper.

Meanwhile, lay the block of tofu on its widest side and slice it vertically to produce 8 uniform slices.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the reconstituted pepper, maple syrup, lime juice, tamari, and cumin. Lay the tofu slices in a single layer on top of the marinade. Turn the heat up to high and allow the marinade to come to a boil. Turn down the heat and allow the tofu to simmer in the marinade until it has absorbed all of the liquid, flipping the tofu once when the marinade has been about half absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the strawberry preserves and lime juice. This is your glaze.

Brush a grill pan with oil and preheat it over high heat. Once the pan is hot, coat each tofu slice in the glaze, then place them into the pan. Grill the tofu for about 5 minutes on each side, or until grill marks have appeared on the tofu. Remove from the heat.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a grill pan, you can use a regular skillet, or bake it in a 400°F oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking.

Once the tofu is done cooking, wipe out your grill pan (or regular skillet). Preheat it again.

Coat one side of each piece of bread with 1/4 tsp coconut oil. Spread 1 tbsp of cream cheese on the other side of each piece of bread. Lay two slices of tofu on each slice of bread, add a layer of pickled jalapenos to two of the four tofu-covered slices, and sandwich both pairs of two slices together.

Place one sandwich in the preheated grill pan or skillet, place another heavy-ish skillet on top, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the bottom slice of bread is golden brown. Remove the top skillet and, with a spatula, flip the whole sandwich over. Return the top skillet to the top of the sandwich and cook for another 3-5 on the other side, so that the second slice of bread is golden brown. Remove the top skillet and carefully transfer the sandwich to a plate. Repeat with the second sandwich.

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In solidarity, Ali.