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.

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 {1-2-15}

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.

Happy New Year, all! On today’s edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews), we’ll get into some stories regarding the destructive dieting & detox culture that inevitably crops up around this time each year. But first, an ode to carbs (how do I love thee?) with matzo ball soup and potato salad. Also, don’t miss the three exciting projects in need of support that I’ve highlighted at the very end of today’s post!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Pumpkin Matzo Dumpling Soup
Via Bittersweet

Image via Hannah Kamisky.

Image via Hannah Kamisky.

As the winter weather moves into bitter territory, this bowl of rich broth studded with dense golden orbs of chewy goodness seems so inviting I might just bathe in it. I didn’t think that matzo ball soup could be any more comforting, but leave it to vegan cookbook author and photographer extraordinaire Hannah Kaminsky to accomplish such a feat by adding pumpkin into the mix.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Potato Salad with Coconut Bacon
Via Divine Healthy Food

Image via Susanna at Divine Healthy Food.

Image via Susanna at Divine Healthy Food.

Coconut bacon, caramelized onions, vegan mayonnaise, and potatoes all mashed up into one dish? You might as well just call this salad “Mouthful of Happiness.”

Must-Read News Story

With all the detox, dieting, and New Years’ resolution rhetoric flying around this time of year (which has definitely addled my mental health recently), I wanted to highlight a couple stories that serve as important reminders of self-love, body acceptance, and inner kindness. Two of my favorite bloggers – both of whom write often, inspiringly, and supportively on the topic of disordered eating – have offered just such stories this past week.

Coping with Eating Guilt, Toxic Comments & Triggers
Via Raechel at Rebel Grrrl Living
and
The Two Phases of My Recovery
Via Gena Hamshaw at Choosing Raw

Photo via Rebel Grrrl Living.

Photo via Rebel Grrrl Living.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Time for a New Year’s Revolution: How Diet Culture Upholds Capitalism
Via Melissa A. Fabello at Everyday Feminism

Photo via Everyday Feminism.

Photo via Everyday Feminism.

While I feel that the first portion of the video gets a little victim-blamey, I think that the majority of it does a great job of pin-pointing the social structures behind the common and super destructive phenomenon of the diet/binge/self-hate cycle. One quote I pulled from the video that particularly resonated with me:

“We think we’re unhappy because we don’t look ‘good,’ but the truth is that we’re unhappy because consumerism needs us to be.”

Book Recommendation Awesome Projects That You Should Totally Check Out

Instead of highlighting a book this week, I’d like to point you toward three exciting endeavors currently in need of support. The first is seeking contributions to a supremely important conference taking place this March, while the last two are asking for financial contributions to support meaningful projects.

Call for Presentations – East and South Asian Voices Challenging Racism, Colonialism, and Speciesism Online Conference
Via Hana Low with the Institute for Critical Animal Studies–North America

Image via conference Facebook page.

Image via conference Facebook page.

New Sistah Book Project & 2015 Conference
Via A. Breeze Harper at GoFundMe

Photo via Sistah Vegan.

Photo via Sistah Vegan.

Support the Femmes de Chermaitre Women’s Co-op
Via Vassar Haiti Project

Jeanne Saintulis, President of Femmes de Chermaitre / Photo via Vassar Haiti Project

Jeanne Saintulis, President of Femmes de Chermaitre / Photo via Vassar Haiti Project

A specific note about this last project: while I’m usually hugely skeptical of campaigns spearheaded by Western actors to “benefit” folks in non-industrialized societies (*cough* white savior complex *cough*), my good friend and fellow Vassar student who heads up the Vassar Haiti Project assures me that “this isn’t really a ‘typical’ do good-y non profit type thing. All the initiatives in the fundraiser came from the women, and will be fully implemented by their co-operative….we just put their ideas onto a webpage so that it can hopefully can the support it needs.” My more general reservations aside, I wanted to honor my friend’s request to help spread the word about the fundraising campaign.

In solidarity, Ali.

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

Savory

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.

Sweet

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.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-31-14}

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.

Helloooo and welcome to yet another edition of your weekly dose of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)First off, though, I want to thank you all for your thoughtful input on my most recent post on “ethnic” recipe titles as cultural appropriation (a relevant topic considering the holiday on which this post falls). In this case, I’d highly encourage you to read the comments — good stuff going on there! Anywho, today’s featured recipes include a vibrant salad of beautifully contrasting textures and two of my most beloved pieces of fall produce, as well as some of the most flavorful chickpeas I’ve ever cooked up. As for stories, I’m excited to highlight critiques of the oh-so problematic “Thug Kitchen” blog and cookbook, an episode of Citizen Radio that features three of my favorite progressive female podcasters, and a book that highlights the threats made by NGOs to feminist organizing in the Global South (India, in this specific case). Happy Halloween! Here’s a guide to vegan candy and how not to be culturally appropriative with your costume.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Arugula, Fig, & Fried White Sweet Potato Salad
via A House in the Hills

Photo via Sarah Yates.

Photo via Sarah Yates.

Spicy arugula, succulent figs, crispy sweet potatoes…need I say more besides “get ready for a bounty of deceptively simple flavors”?

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Cool Ranch Roasted Chickpeas
via Vegan Yack Attack

Photo via Jackie Sobon.

Photo via Jackie Sobon.

Ya’ll, I cooked up a big ol’ batch of these for my nighttime seminar on Geography & Social Movements this Monday, and the entire class could not keep their hands off of them. Who knew that a little nooch and powdered garlic and onion could so enchant non-vegans and veg folks alike?

Must-Read News Story

Critiques of “Thug Kitchen” by Liz Ross, Ayinde Howell, A. Breeze Harper, and Bryant Terry

Photo via Thug Kitchen.

Photo via Thug Kitchen.

Thug Kitchen provides a striking example of the racism perpetuated by the visible mainstream vegan movement today, and I’m thrilled that folks within the movement have spoken out against it.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

U.S. media freaks out on behalf of Canadians, Shep Smith has a moment of clarity, and Mike Brown’s autopsy
via Citizen Radio

Photo via Citizen Radio.

Photo via Citizen Radio.

Allison Kilkenny of Citizen Radio, Molly Knefel of Radio Dispatch, and Katharine Heller of Tell the Bartender unite for a podcast of laughter and provoking political discussion. My three favorite female podcasters in one place? Too good to be true.

Book Recommendation

Playing with Fire: Feminist Thought and Activism through Seven Lives in India
by the Sangtin Writers Collective

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Questioning the legitimization of “expert” knowledge production versus that of local feminist activists in the Uttar Pradash province of India, the Sangtin writers collective employ deeply personal diary entries to investigate larger themes of sexism, casteism, communalism, and NGO-ization. An utterly important feminist-of-color text indicative of the building of transformative social movements.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-24-14}

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.

On this pre-Halloween edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) that makes no further mention of the spooky holiday (sorry, Halloween fans), we’ve got a vibrant and substantial salad that makes use of the last of late summer produce and an oh-so comforting, veggie-packed bowl of chowda. To nourish your mind along with your belly, this week’s stories include an analysis of the pitfalls of neoliberal feminism, the most entertaining form of counterprotest I’ve ever seen, Laura Poitras’ new documentary on Edward Snowden, and a pivotal work in antiracist organizing by activist, yogi, and vegan extraordinaire Becky Thompson. Happy Friday!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Farmers’ Market Potato & Kale Salad with “Glory Bowl” Dressing
via In Pursuit of More

Photo via Shira of IPOM.

Photo via Shira of IPOM.

As we enter the autumn season, the last of the summer veggies – zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes – make their final appearances at the market. Shira’s recipe for this colorful and substantial salad celebrates this dwindling summer produce, pairing sweet peppers and silky smooth zucchini with crispy roasted potatoes and the master of the leafy green world (aka, kale). With added tanginess from artichoke hearts, olives, and a noochy dressing, this salad provides a lovely culinary bridge from summer to fall.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Smoky Vegetable Chowder
adapted from Maple Spice

Photo via Debbie of Maple Spice.

Photo via Debbie of Maple Spice.

With a lovely depth of flavor from caramelized onions, smoked paprika, and vegetable bouillon, this creamy, chunky soup serves as an ideal dinner to help you warm up after a chilly day. For additional layers of flavor, I roasted the veggies before adding them to the sauteed onions and simmering them in the almond milk-based broth, and also drizzled in a bit of liquid smoke (because, let’s face it, what dish doesn’t benefit from a dash of liquid smoke?). I also switched up the vegetables to accommodate the contents of my refrigerator, so my chowder featured carrots, green beans, cauliflower, and plenty of shredded kale. A comforting and nourishing soup if I’ve ever seen one, especially when served alongside a square of fluffy cornbread.

Must-Read News Story

Neoliberal Feminists Don’t Want Women to Organize
via Sarah Jaffe at Political Research Associates

National Domestic Workers Alliance members protest. Photo via Political Research Associates.

National Domestic Workers Alliance members protest. Photo via Political Research Associates.

From one of my favorite independent journalists, this article by Sarah Jaffe of Dissent Magazine’s Belabored podcast offers a clear analysis of how a neoliberal rhetoric has influenced mainstream feminism to position sexism as an entity defeatable through individual success stories. Jaffe effectively counters this insidious pseudo-logic by reminding us of the oppression women (particularly women of color) still experience in the workplace, and the “white savior” complex that “enlightened” Western pro-globalization feminism harbors in relation to the non-Western world (specifically, sex workers in the global South). An ever-important call to employ a lens of class, race, and other social issues when looking at sexist power relations.

‘Weird hobby!’ Couple gain hordes of fans after picketing pro-life abortion clinic protests with witty inappropriate signs
via The Daily Mail

Photo via Saturday Chores.

Photo via Saturday Chores.

As a bonus news story on today’s # NewsandChews, this photo-filled article highlights an absolutely hilarious form of counterprotest against anti-abortion activists. Get ready to smile until your cheeks hurt.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Award-winning journalist Laura Poitras, one of the first individuals whom NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden contacted to expose corruption in U.S. government surveillance, just recently released her third documentary film in a trilogy about America post-9/11. The film, entitled Citizenfour after the code name Snowden used to contact Poitras and fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald, features highlights from over 20 hours of footage that Poitras filmed while Snowden revealed heaps of information about the National Security Agency’s Orwellian practices. On this episode of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh interview Poitras about Citizenfour, which opened today in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Book Recommendation

A Promise and a Way of Life: White Antiracist Activism
by Becky Thompson

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Ever since learning of Becky Thompson‘s important activist work through a blog interview I conducted regarding her latest book Survivors on the Mat: Healing from Trauma Through Yoga, I’ve eagerly sought to get my hands on her writings on social and racial justice. A couple weeks ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to meet Becky in person when she spoke at my college campus on her multiracial yoga practice, and inadvertently reminded me that her work in white antiracist organizing could provide an ideal resource in a project I’m working on for my Geography and Social Movements course. In her book A Promise and a Way of Life, Becky features the narratives of thirty-nine white activists who have placed antiracist activism at the center of their lives, highlighting the strengths and limitations of white antiractist organizing along the way. An incredibly valuable read for any white activist looking to get involved in antiracist organizing.

In solidarity, Ali.

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

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.

Wowza, it’s the 19th edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! This week’s recipes move into intensely autumnal fare, highlighting the hearty veggies that provide the substance to get us through the cold months to come. As for stories, I’m pointing you toward three articles that showcase grassroots resistance to the neoliberal powers that perpetuate the ever-growing wealth gap, both in the U.S. and internationally; an important reminder that the intellectual history of our nation did not consist solely of white people; and a book that envisions truly transformative justice more concretely than any text I’ve yet encountered. Happy Friday!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Kale and Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad
via A House in the Hills

Photo by Sarah Yates.

Photo by Sarah Yates.

Vibrant and substantial, this epitome-0f-fall salad promises the creamy succulence of roasted squash, the chewy smokiness of sauteed kale, the crunchy richness of hazelnuts, the plump tanginess of dried cranberries, and the silky brightness of miso-tahini dressing. A prime example of transforming unpretentious ingredients into a dish that far surpasses the sum of its parts.

Sweet

Pumpkin Pie Popsicles
via Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Photo via Amy Lyons.

Photo by Amy Lyons.

Not even the cooling weather can dissuade me from enjoying my dessert of choice: creamy frozen treats (did I mention that I basically lived on vegan ice cream over the summer?). This iteration of such goodies employs a creamy base of bananas for the pumpkiny star of the popsicles, accentuated by warming spices and imbued with richness from nut butter (the recipe calls for pecan butter, but my goodness, how expensive does that sound? I trust that homemade almond butter or even tahini would quite suffice). Plus, look how gorgeously orange they are!

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Za’atar Eggplant over Lemon-Tahini Greens
inspired by My New Roots

za'atar eggplant (2)

Certainly the least seasonal of the recipes highlighted today, this roasted whole eggplant still provides a warming dinner to enjoy on bracing nights. Adapting Sarah’s recipe, I sprinkled the eggplant halves with homemade za’atar seasoning, roasted them until tender, then set them atop a generous pile of mixed salad greens coated in an adaptation of Sarah’s Spicy Tahini Sauce. Filling and flavorful, this dish adequately showcases the smooth texture and buttery flavor of the mighty eggplant.

Must-Read News Stories

Because I’m perpetually interested in examining instances of community-based challenges to hegemonic power structures, I felt compelled to showcase today not one, but three articles that spotlight grassroots resistance to the various iterations of the neoliberal powers that perpetuate the ever-growing wealth gap, both in the U.S. and internationally. Each of these instances of resistance of course prove hugely valuable in and of themselves, but they also point to the infiltration of the neoliberal framework into all aspects of life, and the consequent need to challenge it in a multiplicity of locations.

World Versus Bank: The Return of the World Bank and the People’s Resistance
by Martin Kirk and Alnoor Ladha at Truthout

Homeless Bill of Rights aims to protect life-sustaining activities
by Renee Lewis at Al Jazeera America

Developers Aren’t Going to Solve the Housing Crisis in San Francisco
by Dyan Ruiz and Joseph Smooke at Truthout

Photo via Truthout.

Photo via Truthout.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Black Prophetic Fire: Cornel West on the Revolutionary Legacy of Leading African-American Voices
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Despite what the vast majority of our history books taught us, the construction of this nation did not hinge upon white people alone. Indeed, our entire economy would not exist without the brutal enslavement of millions of African peoples, and African Americans as a population have inhabited U.S. land for longer than any other immigrant group. Yet, despite the fact that Black people played a vital role in building our society, the white supremacist powers that be have all but erased their contributions – economic, social, intellectual – and thereby upheld the myth of Black people as worthless and expendable to this day (as we can see with the mass incarceration of Black people. They’re useless, so let’s throw them in prison…or so the rhetoric goes).

On this segment of Democracy Now!, the inimitable Dr. Cornel West brings Black voices to the fore, reminding us of the astonishing, revolutionary individuals who devoted their lives to fighting for justice.

Book Recommendation

Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law
by Dean Spade

Photo via South End Press.

Photo via South End Press.

An example of a truly intersectional text, Dean Spade’s Normal Life lays out the three formulations of power – individual, disciplinary, and population-based – more clearly than any other work I’ve encountered. Though his book includes “critical trans politics” in its title, Spade makes clear that the power structures that compromise the life chances of trans people operate in the same way to wreak systemic violence upon all vulnerable populations (and to render them vulnerable in the first place). Spade fiercely challenges the “individual rights” framework of the legal system in which many social justice movements currently operate, specifically critiquing the mainstream lesbian and gay movement for centering their efforts on securing legal reform that will only benefit the most privileged in their community, and in doing so strengthening the very stratifying power structures that generate their subjection in the first place.

Not only does Spade offer this necessary critique, he also provides a framework for how to re-enact such social justice movements currently focused on reform rather than revolution, such that they can fulfill their transformative potentials. Read this and be inspired.

In solidarity, Ali.

The (Vegan) Triple Bacon Salad | Why “Farmers Market Vegan”?

Over the course of the past four years of my blogging endeavors, my understanding of and relationship to food, veganism, social justice, and, yes, farmers markets has shifted considerably. Indeed, way back in 2011 when I first conceptualized my blog, I held rather naive, perhaps even romantic notions of all of these entities, and hadn’t even begun to realize the coalescing forms of structural subjugation rampant in our society.

Today, after a turbulent four years involving enrollment at a progressive college and eating disorder recovery, I’d like to think of myself as harboring more nuanced views on all of the above (though I certainly don’t purport to understand them in all their complexity). As such, this past summer I penned a new draft of my ever-developing story and blogging “mission statement” of sorts. Though I made this piece of writing available on the “About Me” page of my blog a couple of months ago, in an effort to share more broadly the new meaning behind my blog (and to free up some time in my hectic college-student schedule), I’d like to republish my “blogging autobiography,” if you will, in a separate post today.

Waiting at the bottom of this story is the recipe for an indulgent-tasting amalgamation of richly umami flavors and a satisfying contrast of hearty and crisp textures…with three shots of bacon (vegan, of course!). A bed of bacon-flavored salad greens (who knew that sesame oil, smoked paprika, and garlic powder combined to create an eerily accurate bacony taste?) forms the base of this salad, nearly charred roasted cauliflower and shiitake mushrooms provide bacon’s crispy-chewy juxtaposition, and succulent tempeh bacon tops the dish. To offset the richness of these three salad components, a drizzle of bright and tangy “ranch” dressing finishes everything off. An impressive meal-sized salad, if I ever saw one (and I’ve seen many).

vegan bacon salad (2)


Birth of a Farmers’ Market Foodie

My relationship with food and activism began as early as childhood, when I would perch upon the kitchen stool alongside my mother as she prepared dinner that my family would share each evening. This youthful connection with food grew into a full “foodie” identity by age twelve, when my mother and I ogled at the culinary masterpieces showcased on Iron Chef and Top Chef every week. As a freshman in high school, I began planning, shopping for, and cooking my family’s weekly dinner menus. Having become quite the make-from-scratch-er, I soon began to disdain packaged convenience foods, due to both their low quality and ability to completely separate individuals from developing any sort of meaningful relationship with their food.

Naturally, my interest in high-quality, homemade, unprocessed food as well as its convivial nature led me to my local farmers’ market, where I first inhaled the succulent aroma of fresh heirloom tomatoes and gawked at rainbow-hued carrots while befriending the farmers who produced them. Though I had hardly begun to understand the full extent of the problems surrounding America’s current food system (and beyond), I still sought haven at the farmers’ market from the few predicaments I had already realized. My weekly interactions with devoted purveyors of organic produce, as well as with fellow shoppers who too became a bit verklempt over a particularly aromatic cantaloupe, provided me with a (rather naïve) foodie utopia of sorts.

Disorderly Conduct

Come sophomore year of high school, however, my enthusiasm for food had morphed into an unhealthy obsession after an amalgamation of factors—constant judging of young women’s bodies on my gymnastics team, pressure to perform perfectly in academics at my highly competitive high school—led to the development of a fierce eating disorder. With my thoughts constantly fixated on calories—both in terms of eating fewer and burning more—my life suddenly lacked joy and passion. All of my consciousness was focused on waiting for my next meal, as these were the only times when I would allow myself to actually partake in the act that saturated my every thought.

About a year and a half into my eating disorder, a classmate introduced me to veganism, to which I soon clung as a tool of further restriction. Lending less than a second thought to the ethical implications of a vegan lifestyle, I latched onto the diet for an unsuspicious reason to reject calorie-dense foodssuch as traditionally made baked goods, cream sauces, and ice cream (the vegan versions of which I now regularly enjoy). Conscious of this misguided and harmful reason for adopting a vegan diet, I felt uncomfortable every time I called myself a vegan—I knew I was a fraud.

A combination of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Vegetarian Food for Thought podcast and Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet began to pave my path from a depressed, waif-like, phony “vegan” into an inspired, healthy, committed animal rights activist. Introducing me to the intense injustices humans perpetrate against our fellow beings, Colleen and Alicia unflinchingly explained the forced insemination of female cows in the dairy industry, the pulverizing of live male chicks in the egg industry, the role of animal agriculture as one of the most significant contributors to the world’s most serious environmental problems, and a plethora of additional shocking truths.

Previously indifferent to anything unrelated to my obsessive eating habits, I now found a fierce passion ignited inside of me, a drive forceful enough to expel me from my zombie-like state and to shift my mental focus onto something vastly larger than myself – fighting the dominant, violent ideology of carnism.

Suddenly faced with the urgent yet overlooked issue of animal exploitation, I somehow managed to forget about preventing my thighs from meeting in the middle and not consuming more than 25 grams of fat per day. I realized that directing all of my energy toward adhering to arbitrary, self-imposed rules would contribute absolutely nothing to the movement of compassion for all beings. I disposed of my calorie-tracking charts, replacing them with animal advocacy leaflets. I ceased to Google the most effective ab-toning workouts, and instead launched this blog as an educational resource for my classmates who had never before encountered veganism. I even yearned to (and successfully did) gain weight to combat the mainstream notion of vegans as gaunt, frail, and unhealthy. The only unyielding imperative dictating my once laughably self-restricted food choices was now not to consume anything that promotes the needless suffering of sentient beings.

Utopia: Shattered

In the midst of this profound (and life-saving) transformation, I continued to patronize the farmers’ market—to this day, I still revel in my Saturday morning jaunts to the market. However, while after adopting a vegan lifestyle I still viewed the farmers’ market as an aspect of a potential reformation of America’s broken food system, I began to view many facets of the farmers’ marketas antithetical to what I perceived as its primary goal of broadening access to good, clean, and fair food. While I certainly couldn’t argue with the qualitative “goodness” of the market’s impeccable produce, I questioned the market’s tenets of “clean” and “fair” in terms of its support of animal agriculture.

Consumers who understandably reject nonindustrial animal agriculture due to the huge threats it poses to the environment often opt for animals raised in small-scale free-range, grass-fed, and cage-free operations. These seemingly more sustainable farming methods, however, still effect the environment quite negatively. For example, pastured organic chickens affect global warming 20 percent more than do caged hens. Grass-grazing cows emit considerably more methane than grain-fed cows. If each grass-fed cow requires an average of 10 acres for grazing, and if we all 100 million of the cows in the U.S. on grass, then we would have to devote the entire Western half of the country’s land to cattle (this doesn’t even consider the space required of pastured chickens and pigs). As author, journalist, and author James McWilliams reminds us, “It’s not how we produce animal products that ultimately matters. It’s whether we produce them at all.” A truly “clean” farmers’ market would eschew the sale of animal foods.

To describe the “fair” aspect of its goals, Slow Food nobly affirms that, “we believe that food is a universal right.” I wholeheartedly agree, especially considering the inexcusable food deserts largely concentrated in America’s communities of color, or the 870 million people worldwide who do not have enough to eat. If we agree also, though, that autonomy over one’s own body functions as a universal right, then with animal agriculture we infringe upon this liberty while misguidedly seeking to ensure that advocated by Slow Food (I say “misguidedly” because if all of the crops grown to feed livestock became available for direct human consumption, the available food calories worldwide would increase by up to 70 percent).

Indeed, animal agriculture ensures the exploitation of non-human animals’ bodies while jeopardizing the health of the human animals who consume them, as well as the amount of crops available for direct human consumption. While we may not often hear tales of animal cruelty on small-scale farms, the treatment of animals on such operations often parallels that on factory farms.

The cage-free label, for example, only stipulates that hens live uncaged among up to thousands of other birds in barns or warehouses, generally without access to the outdoors; it also permits forced molting. Additionally, I learned on a trip to the Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary during the summer of 2013 that every single one of the sanctuary’s cows—all of whom the sanctuary rescued from cases of intense abuse—came from small-scale, family farms.

Most importantly, however, I truly believe that supporting non-industrial animal agriculture inadvertently supports factory farming, since it does not question the notion of eating animals in general. As long as this carnist concept remains unchallenged, factory farms will always thrive, seeing as demand for meat will not decrease—and let’s face it, factory farms produce meat most efficiently, to the immense detriment of the nearly 10 billion land animals Americans consume each year. A “fair” farmers’ market would include non-human animals in the pool of beings whom they grant universal rights, especially if doing so meant that it would render the universal right of nourishing, plant-based food accessible to many more people.

Growth of an Activist

Coming to terms with the fact that the farmers’ market and the foodie community in general would probably not fulfill my idealistic notion of sparking a large-scale shift in America’s corrupt food system, I looked to strengthen my animal activism, becoming a devoted member of the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC) immediately upon entering my first year at Vassar College. Little did I know that freshman year (and beyond) would introduce me to a multiplicity of societal oppressions that existed among the speciesism that had kindled my activist flame. Suddenly, I found myself seeking to combat not only the exploitation of non-human animals, but such harmful “isms” as capitalism, colonialism, racism, sexism, ableism, neoliberalism, homophobia, and more.

However, this well-meaning intention first manifested itself in a questionable manner as I began to draw links between these newly encountered social justice issues and the ones I knew well: veganism and animal rights. I found myself thinking: “Women’s reproductive rights are violated…just like female farmed animals are artificially inseminated! Black and brown bodies are systemically exploited…just like the bodies of non-human animals!” Veganism and animal rights provided me a basis for understanding the social justice issues about which I hadn’t read extensively, yet I soon realized the problematic nature of this framing.

During the summer following freshman year, I and my close friend and VARC co-president found ourselves (as Vassar students often do) discussing intersectionality — a social theory suggesting that the various aspects of one’s identity intersect in complex ways, as do the ways one is treated by society because of such aspects. My friend said something hugely profound that day: “It’s not enough to appreciate social justice issues based on how they relate to the one in which we’re most involved. For real change to happen, we must understand the importance of such issues in and of themselves.” That statement has guided my activism ever since.

While I will never forget that veganism and animal rights opened the door to my commitment to advocacy, I’ve since begun learning about and contributing to other social movements — not because they relate to veganism, but because their fights prove necessary in fostering a more just society. I think that all activists must work to recognize the confluence of inequities prevalent in our world, for disparate activism has the potential to create animosity between the feminists over here and the animal rights activists over there. We must realize all of our fights as intimately connected, and commit to individually understanding all of them.

For me, an integral aspect of my intersectional activism involves challenging the problematic aspects of the current vegan movement, including its racism, sexism,ableism, and focus on capitalist, consumer-based strategies. Because these oppressions would exist even if I were not vegan, and my giving up veganism would enforce another very real oppression, challenging such exploitative facets of today’s vegan movement does not involve dismissing veganism altogether.

Instead, I try to engage in a number of actions in the hopes of combating the privileges (access to a bounty of plant-based foods, an income to obtain such foods, and a social circle that won’t disown my non-mainstream lifestyle) that allow me live a sustainable vegan lifestyle. Such actions include supporting admirable organizations like Food Not Bombs and the Food Empowerment Project that work to make nourishing vegan options accessible to marginalized communities; working to free myself of the capitalistic mindset of nonstop accumulation of material goods; working not to reinforce my various privileges in my daily interpersonal relations; and educating myself about the histories and current manifestations of various oppressions by devouring anti-racist, feminist, anarchist, etc. literature and following progressive news sources.

Veganism is only the first way in which I hope to challenge the capitalist, patriarchal, colonial, speciesist, etc. society that makes it super easy to thrive as a white, straight, cis-gender individual with an upper-middle-class background like me.

So…Why “Farmers’ Market Vegan”?

And thus, you have the long, convoluted story of my development as a vegan and an activist. The name of my blog—Farmers’ Market Vegan—serves as a nod to the origins of this story, as well as a reminder to all that combating systemic oppression in all manifestations involves much more than simply buying a bunch of kale at the local farmers’ market.


vegan bacon salad (1)

The (Vegan) Triple Bacon Salad

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

2-4 oz tempeh, relatively thinly sliced
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp tamari
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of cayenne

1/4-1/2 medium-sized head of cauliflower, cut into florets
6 large shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp smoked paprkia
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise (Just Mayo and Vegenaise are my favorites)
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp fresh chives, minced

2-3 big handfuls of mixed salad greens, washed and dried
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, liquid smoke, tamari, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne (in the first grouping of ingredients). Toss the tempeh slices in the marinade and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the salad components.

Toss the cauliflower florets and sliced shiitake mushrooms with the coconut oil, smoked paprika, and liquid smoke (in the second grouping of ingredients). Spread out in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the veggies are crispy.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the vegan mayo, water, apple cider vinegar, garlic, dill, parsley, and chives (in the third grouping of ingredients). Set aside.

Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Place each slice of marinated tempeh in the skillet and sear until browned, 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat.

While the tempeh cooks, in a large bowl, toss the mixed greens with the sesame oil, smoked paprika, and garlic powder (in the fourth grouping of ingredients).

To assemble, place a bed of half of the dressed salad greens on two large plates. Scatter half of the roasted veggies over each bed of greens. Place half of the tempeh bacon on top of each salad. Drizzle half of the ranch over each plate. Serve.

Recipe submitted to Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {8-29-14}

A quick note before today’s #NewsandChews post: be sure to enter my current giveaway for your chance to win a copy of the cookbook Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery!

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 wellbeing of all creatures (not just the rich or the human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Welcome to the last summer edition of Vegan Chews and Progressive News (#NewsandChews)! In honor of the final days of August, I’ve got a meal-sized salad recipe ideal for highlighting all of that late-summer produce calling your tastebuds, plus a sandwich that has inspired disappointment in every moment that I’ve not yet eaten it, and some finger food that provides a tasty way to use up those puzzling broccoli stems. For news, I’m pointing you toward an article that reminds us that poverty need not serve as a default mode in our society, a video that offers a striking and truly consciousness-raising alternative to the Ice Bucket Challenge, and a book that deeply explores the fact – recently erupting with the public outcry against the murder of Black teenager Michael Brown – that racism and white supremacy reign in the U.S.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Smashed Potato Salad with Seed Pesto & Charred Sweet Corn
via Our Four Forks

Photo via Our Four Forks.

Photo via Our Four Forks.

Yesterday, I relocated from my summer apartment in Brooklyn to my vegan living cooperative on the Vassar College campus. While I’m thrilled to recommence my formal education (WRITING PAPERS!!! But actually, I live to write papers), it’s recipes like the one pictured above that cause my heart to pine for the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket that I’ve left behind. Currently bursting will all of the ripe summer produce featured in this meal-sized salad and beyond, the market provided me with vibrant, fragrant, and nourishing produce (and good conversation) each week from Greg at Willow Wisp Organic Farm, the heirloom tomato lady at Evolutionary Organics, the Divine Brine pickle folks, and more. Another aspect to love about the market concerns its EBT program, which allows low-income New Yorkers access to this top-notch produce. Comprising 25%-50% of many farmers’ total income, EBT sales clearly prove substantial, suggesting that the market welcomes a wide array of individuals, not just rich white locavore foodies. Anywho, this hearty salad – crispy, crunchy, sweet, nutty, herby, succulent – provides an ideal dish for featuring that summer produce that won’t hang around much longer.

Sweet

Grilled Almond Butter Mango Sandwich
via Connoisseurs Veg

Photo via Connoisseurs Veg.

Photo via Connoisseurs Veg.

There exist few food types that satisfy me more than sandwiches, especially when those toasty, bready slabs of scrumptiousness involve nut butters and the fruit of culinary royalty (aka mango). Though I choose to avoid purchasing tropical fruit on a regular basis since I don’t think that the working conditions and monoculture rates in their countries of origin warrant my support (especially when those issues arise primarily from Western demand), sometimes I’ll treat myself to a mango if I can find a fair-trade and organic one (and OH, what a treat it is). My next mango will certainly contribute to the recreation of this sumptuous sandwich.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Broccoli Stem Fries with Spicy Sunflower-Pumpkin Seed Dipping Sauce
adapted from What’s Cooking Good Looking

broccoli fries 3

Impressed by the ingenuity and no-waste mentality represented by this use for broccoli stems, I experimented with Jodi’s original recipe, coating the green batons in coconut oil, corn flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, and black sesame seeds. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these fun finger foods married well with a simple “peanut” sauce made with homemade sunflower-pumpkin seed butter, brown rice syrup, tamari, lime juice, garlic, ginger, and sriracha.

Must-Read News Article

Poverty is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do to Turn Things Around
via Dean Paton at Yes! Magazine

Photo via Yes! Magazine.

Photo via Yes! Magazine.

I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of reminding folks that the status quo need not serve as the default – need not exist at all, even. For example, though most individuals cannot (or do not wish to) envision an alternative to our current dominant economic mode of neoliberal patriarchal imperial capitalism, the industrial-based capitalist system originated pretty darn recently in relative terms, around 1750 according to Marks in The Origins of the Modern World. Before that, non-Western civilizations thrived on trade-based, non-war-inducing economies of subsistence rather than of accumulation. This article from Yes! Magazine follows the same path of debunking what we’ve been conditioned to believe must exist – in this case, poverty – and suggests a number of  potential solutions. It’s stories like these that give me hope.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

The Rubble Bucket Challenge
via Ayman al Aloul at AlterNet

Photo via Ayman al Aloul.

Photo via Ayman al Aloul.

In the midst of the sweeping popularity of the multiply problematic ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, many folks have found alternative, more productive methods of consciousness-raising around social issues. For example, a number of my friends within the animal rights movement have taken on the #HydrateDonate challenge launched by Vegan Outreach Executive Vice President Jon Camp, in which one drinks a glass of ice water and donates to a number of organizations of their choice (learn why the Ice Bucket Challenge proves greatly harmful to non-human animals and humans who use drugs tested on animals here). The alternative challenge presented by Gaza-based journalist Ayman al Aloul in this video strikes me as especially profound, employing the rubble pervasive in an Israeli-ravaged Palestine instead of the area’s scarce water to encourage folks to speak out against Israel’s devastating bombardment and occupation of Palestine.

Book Recommendation

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander

Photo via NewJimCrow.com.

Photo via NewJimCrow.com.

I’ve found myself seeking out a ton of critical race theory for reading material this summer, which seems fitting amidst the murder of Black teenager Michael Brown by white cop Darren Wilson. Of course, since racism and white supremacy run rampant in the U.S., this reading material would prove relevant even if Michael Brown’s murder had not sparked such public outcry. Indeed, Michelle Alexander illustrates this point well with her argument that the War on Drugs – launched under Reagan but still thriving – has sparked the rebirth of a racial caste system that treats Black people as second-class citizens by throwing them behind bars for the most minor of offenses. Targeting young Black individuals for drug-related arrest even though statistics show that white people tend to use drugs at rates equal to or above the drug use of Black people, today’s criminal justice system functions as clear evidence that the racial biases so obvious in the civil rights era run rampant even in the age of our first Black president, only now they prove more difficult to identify. The hidden nature of this discrimination demands systemic change, and Alexander’s book provides a thorough, compelling analysis of where we should focus such changemaking efforts.

In solidarity, Ali.