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.

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-14-14}

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 another weekly installment of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)Today’s post will get you salivating over sandwiches and mac & cheese, inspired to think beyond the embeddedness of the prison system in U.S. society, seeking to combat the perpetual erasure of women of color in mainstream media, and profoundly moved by the courage and strength of the history of Black struggle in the U.S. Let’s get to it!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Walnut-Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Sandwich
via Healthy. Happy. Life.

Photo via Kathy Patalsky.

Photo via Kathy Patalsky.

This past year of my life has featured an intense love affair with vegan “tuna” salad and eggless “egg” salad sandwiches. Creamy, crunchy, tangy, rich, and inclusive of the holy grail of vegan condiments (helloooo, vegan mayonnaise), these salads never fail to provide me with a profound feeling of comfort. Kathy’s version here makes use of walnuts and chickpeas for a proteinous and textural salad, ideal for spreading generously between two slices of bread.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Sundried Tomato Garlic Mac & Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower & Mushrooms
adapted from Miyoko’s Kitchen

Photo via Miyoko's Kitchen.

Photo via Miyoko’s Kitchen.

In preparation for an upcoming review on the Our Hen House podcast, the folks at artisan vegan cheese mastermind Miyoko Schinner’s newly launched cashew cheese online retail store generously provided me with eight wheels of their impressive products (such an understatement, but you’ll have to wait until the podcast review to hear more details!). Seeking to utilize the cheeses in more creative manners than simply spreading on crackers (though also tremendously tasty), I checked the Miyoko’s Kitchen website for recipe ideas and stumbled upon her gorgeously sophisticated take on mac & cheese. Instead of employing the Sharp Farmhouse Cheddar Miyoko specifies, I made use of her Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic, omitting the truffle oil and pairing the pasta with roasted cauliflower and mushrooms rather than brussels sprouts. Yuppie comfort food at its finest.

Must-Read News Story

Prison Destroys Families and Communities at Society’s Expense” and “Prisons Are Destroying Communities and Making Us All Less Safe
by Maya Schenwar at Truthout and The Nation

Photo via Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Photo via Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Maya Schenwar – editor-in-chief at Truthout, one of my absolute favorite progressive news outlets – recently published an in-depth investigation into the profound harms the prison system effects on families and communities. Based in her experiences of her sister’s incarceration, Maya’s book not only offers a personalized account of how the prison system destroys rather than rehabilitates its victims, but also suggests viable alternatives to incarceration with the potential to work toward collective liberation for all.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Get it together white women
via Radio Dispatch

Photo via The Washington Post.

Photo via The Washington Post.

On this episode of Radio Dispatch, brother-and-sister hosting team John and Molly discuss the erasure of women of color from post-election discussions of Wendy Davis’ losing gubernatorial campaign. Claiming that all women failed to turn out at vote for Wendy Davis – a staunch advocate for reproductive rights – mainstream news outlets completely discount the fact that the vast majority of women of color did indeed vote for Davis. Basing the episode in an article by Andrea Grimes on RH Reality Check, John and Molly bring up the important point that white women are far less likely to feel the harsh impacts that limitations to reproductive rights than are women of color (or any person of color with the ability to carry a baby). A profound example of white supremacy’s continued prevalence in U.S. society.

Book Recommendation

The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
edited by Göran Olsson

Photo via Amazon.com.

Photo via Amazon.com.

Based on a documentary film by Swedish filmmaker Göran Olsson, The Black Power Mixtape provides a vivid portrait of the U.S. Black freedom struggle, featuring exclusive interviews with some of the movement’s most groundbreaking participants as well as with contemporary Black activists. I think it’s so important that white people take the time to learn about the history of liberatory Black organizing, so that we may better understand and reflect on our exploitative structural impact upon Black bodies, as well as develop our capacity to act in solidarity with the contemporary Black community.

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.

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

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

Happy 10th anniversary of Vegan Chews and Progressive News (#NewsandChews)! Exciting, no? Throw some aluminum foil at me! Right? 10th anniversary is aluminum? Anyway… Your jaw will hang wide open at the lavender-spiked grilled cheese sandwich, the creamy green dessert, and the simple yet complexly flavored side dish featured on today’s post. Then, you’ll get your Friday fix of feminism, anti-racism, anti-militarism, and current events. Let’s dive in!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory
Photo via Keepin' it Kind.

Photo via Keepin’ it Kind.

Okay, so this sandwich isn’t necessarily a savory recipe, but that fact certainly does not detract from its ability to make my mouth water after one glimpse of its photo. A huge fan of toasted sandwiches and creamy nut cheeses, this recipe combines two of my gastronomic propensities with my flower of choice: lavender. My past housemate and I share an obsession of sorts with the scent and taste of lavender, though his passion proves so intense that I could smell him walking down the hallway even if the door to my room was closed. Gabe, I would share this sandwich first with you. Though blackberries don’t seem to be in season right now (at least not in Brooklyn), I’m certain that this sandwich would taste just as lovely with raspberries or blueberries.
Sweet
Ethereal Pistachio Mousse
via Clean Wellness
Photo via Clean Wellness.

Photo via Clean Wellness.

I’ve found myself on a rather unstoppable ice cream kick this summer and, judging by my excitement for this recipe, this kick apparently extends to all desserts of the creamy, dreamy, smooth, decadent, delicious, oh my goodness gracious I love ice cream….ahem, persuasion. Anywho, this dessert combines the impeccable texture of creamy desserts with a little green nut that holds a special place in my heart, reminding me of the pistachio gelato over which I swoon whenever I’m lucky enough to return to Italy.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Roasted Scallions, Okra, and Green Beans with Za’atar and Olives
Adapted from Gourmandelle

za'atar veggies with olives

A simple recipe, yet one with enormous flavor. After discovering sumac at the Brooklyn Whole Foods – for which I had been on a quest since last December – I eagerly compiled all of the recipes on my “Recipes to Try” document that featured the brightly flavored seasoning, ubiquitous in Middle Eastern cuisine, known as za’atar (of which sumac is an integral ingredient). The first za’atar-y recipe with which I experimented, this multidimensional side dish pairs the fresh lemon-thyminess of za’atar (homemade with this recipewith the charred succulence of roasted scallions. Since the green beans and okra at my Brooklyn farmers’ market are at peak season right now, I threw a handful of each veggie in with the scallions, yielding fabulous results.

Must-Read News Article

The Problem with Men Explaining Things
by Rebecca Solnit at Mother Jones

Photo via Hypestock/Shutterstock.

Photo via Hypestock/Shutterstock.

I’ve long found myself feeling unimportant, questioning my intelligence and worth, during conversations with many of the men in my life, including those about whom I care very deeply. Feminist scholars like Rebecca Solnit (author of Men Explain Things to Me, which I’d highly recommend) have helped me to realize, name, and understand the origins of this feeling of disenfranchisement that I’ve experienced since childhood when interacting with most men. These feelings arise when, after nearly every mild assertion I make, the man with whom I’m speaking questions it, corrects it, or otherwise explains the correctness of a contrary point. An exhausting feeling to host on a daily basis, I’ve definitely internalized a sense of inferiority when in speaking situations with a male presence. This article by Rebecca Solnit at Mother Jones does a fantastic job of demonstrating the male tendency to explain things (EVERYTHING) to women, and has helped me to start combating that sense of inferiority.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Brennan lies, NYPD misdemeanor arrests are up” and “We tortured some folks
via The Radio Dispatch

John & Molly, hosts. (Photo via The Radio Dispatch.)

John & Molly, hosts. (Photo via The Radio Dispatch.)

John and Molly Knefel, the hosts of The Radio Dispatch podcast, have produced especially tremendous episodes all this week, discussing in an accessible, thoughtful, and entertaining manner the urgent social issues of the moment, such as CIA Director John Brennan lies about his group’s spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, the perpetual fucked-up-ness of the NYPD, the casual nature of Obama’s admission that the U.S. “tortured some folks,” and, of course, Gaza. These are the podcast episodes in which to immerse yourself on your next run, cooking bout, or evening unwinding time.

Book Recommendation

We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America
Edited by Elizabeth “Betita” Martínez, Mandy Carter, and Matt Meyer

Photo via Amazon.

Photo via Amazon.

This summer, I’ve found myself devouring all the literature on social organizing and feminist/anti-racist/anti-capitalist theory that I can possibly consume. As a burgeoning activist, I see the immense importance of understanding the histories of the movements and issues to which I want to commit myself, as well as their contemporary state and significance. This anthology of essays by prominent anti-racist and anti-war activists writing at various points in the 21st century has greatly contributed to just such an understanding, featuring pieces by late revolutionary organizers and activists at the forefront of today’s struggles alike. An important book for engaging in the important work of linking racism, militarism, and other forms of oppression.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {7-11-14}

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

The sixth installment of Vegan Chews & Progressive News features two creative and decadent animal-free recipes for traditionally animal-based dishes (one savory and one sweet); a gorgeously composed salad out of a much-anticipated cookbook; problematic coverage of recent developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict; the racist practices of the National Security Agency; and a book that every food justice advocate should have on their shelf.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Filet O’ Chickpea Sandwich with Tartar Sauce Slaw
via Keepin’ It Kind

Photo via Keepin' It Kind.

Photo via Keepin’ It Kind.

Kristy’s culinary creativity never ceases to amaze me, and she showcases her talent once again in this summery, sea-inspired sandwich. I’ve found myself on a vegan “seafood” kick lately, craving chickpea “tuna” salad sandwiches and experimenting with vegan smoked salmon from Sophie’s Kitchen in an animal-free, homemade version of bagels and lox. As such, Kristy’s fried chickpea-artichoke patty topped with creamy tartar sauce-coated slaw is supremely exciting my tastebuds. Plus, there’s vegan mayo involved. And man, I love me some vegan mayo.

Sweet

Hazelnut Mousse Parfaits with Strawberries & Pretzels
via Artful Desperado

Photo via Artful Desperado.

Photo via Artful Desperado.

The other night, I had the immense pleasure of dining at V-Note, an all-vegan bistro on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and reveling in their creamy, silky-smooth, decadent, rich, mind-boggling rendition of tiramisu. The dessert featured coconut cream, coffee-soaked pastry, and chocolate syrup layered in a glass tumbler, parfait-like. Still reeling from the experience of the tiramisu, I feel called to this Hazelnut Mousse Parfait, especially considering my deep adoration of hazelnuts. Paired with salty pretzels and juicy strawberries, this mousse may just pave my path to replicating my tiramisu-induced happiness.

Be sure, of course, to use cocoa included on the Food Empowerment Project’s approved chocolate list to ensure that you don’t contribute to the slave practices of the vast majority of the global chocolate industry.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Raw Cobb Salad
via the Choosing Raw cookbook by Gena Hamshaw

raw cobb salad

I’ve eagerly anticipated the release of my dear friend Gena‘s cookbook for over a year now, and I’m absolutely thrilled to have its physical manifestation gracing my bookshelves today. While you’ll have to wait until later in the summer when my in-depth review of the cookbook will be featured on the Our Hen House podcast, my excitement for Choosing Raw the cookbook overflows such that I feel then need to offer you all a sneak preview. As part of my recipe-testing for the OHH review, I recreated Gena’s Raw Cobb Salad – an expertly composed dish of lettuce drizzled in a creamy, smoky red pepper-cashew dressing, topped with rows of succulent heirloom tomato, buttery avocado, homemade tangy cashew cheese, and crispy eggplant bacon. A rainbow of flavors in a rainbow of a plate.

Must-Read News Article

What Fuels the Violence Against Palestinian and Israeli Youths?
via Counterpunch

Mourners carry the bodies of fighters Osama al-Hosomi and Mohammed Fasih during their funeral in Gaza City, 27 June. The two were killed and a third was wounded in an Israeli air strike. Photo via Ashraf Amra, APA Images, Electronic Intifada.

Mourners carry the bodies of fighters Osama al-Hosomi and Mohammed Fasih during their funeral in Gaza City on June 27. The two were killed and a third was wounded in an Israeli air strike. Photo via Ashraf Amra, APA Images, Electronic Intifada.

While heated for years now, the Israel-Palestine conflict has received considerable media attention in the past week due to the murder of three Israeli teenagers in occupied Palestinian land. Problematically, however, the coverage of this event has largely failed to mention Israel’s 60-year campaign of occupation against the Palestinians, as well as the collective punishment that Israel has unleashed upon the Palestinian population. Such punishment has included destroying Palestinian homes, farms, and Mosques; abducting over 600 Palestinians; and bombing the people of Gaza with 34 air strikes in one night. This article from Counterpunch fleshes out the pro-Israel media coverage surrounding these events, as well as speculates upon what drives Israel’s abuse of the Palestinian people.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Spied on for Being Muslim? NSA Targets Named in Snowden Leaks Respond to U.S. Gov’t Surveillance
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

This week, the newly launched NSA-whistleblowing site The Intercept published a lengthy investigative report based upon documents leaked by Edward Snowden that identify five prominent Muslim Americans spied on by the National Security Agency. Glenn Greenwald, a founding editor of The Intercept, joins the Democracy Now! team to discuss how “the only thing [the five spied-on individuals] really had in common is that they are all politically active American Muslims. And that seems to be enough in the intelligence community to render these people suspicious.”

Also in the segment, Democracy Now! airs a video from The Intercept of Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the country’s largest Muslim civil rights group. Nihad responds to the government surveillance he experienced:

“I was not aware that I was under surveillance, except recently. And I’m outraged that as an American citizen, my government, after decades of civil rights struggle, still the government spies on political activists and civil rights activists and leaders. It is outrageous, and I’m really angry that despite all the work that we have been doing in our communities to serve the nation, to serve our communities, we are treated with suspicion.”

Wonderful coverage of a hugely important report revealing the intensely racist practices of the U.S. government.

Book Recommendation

Stuffed and Starved
by Raj Patel

Photo via IndieBound.

Photo via IndieBound.

I would call Raj Patel’s book Stuffed and Starved a must-read for anyone involved in or concerned with the global food justice movement. The captivatingly written book recounts Patel’s investigation into food systems around the world, uncovering the reasons behind famines in Africa and Asia, the rampant poverty of farmers in Latin America due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and more. In doing so, Patel clearly displays that the enormous power of controlling the global food system lies in the hands of just a few wealthy corporations and governments. Once you pick this book up, you honestly will not want to put it down (nor should you!).

In solidarity, Ali.

Tempeh Pita Pockets with Tzatziki

tempeh pita pockets

One of my favorite aspects of living in a 21-person vegan cooperative household involves the high-quality leftovers that my housemates will bring home after they’ve helped to host a catered campus event. In the past, I’ve arrived home to discover samosas and dipping sauces from the nearby Indian restaurant, fried plantains and beans and rice from the Caribbean restaurant down the street, polenta rounds and marinated baked tofu from the Latin American fusion restaurant across the road—all sitting in our refrigerator, free for gastronomic merriment.

Most recently, one of my housemates gifted us with a tray of hummus and whole-wheat pita bread from the nearby Middle Eastern restaurant. Seeking to stuff that pita with more than the standard hummus, I looked through the extensive, mouthwatering Sandwich section of the ever-inspiring Millennium Cookbook, only to come across the ideal recipe with which to experiment: Seitan Gyros.

Millennium’s recipe features homemade herbed seitan medallions stuffed into homemade flatbread and topped with a tofu, mint, and cilantro raita, a tomato relish, and a handful of shredded lettuce. Due to my packed student schedule, the premade pita bread at my fingertips, and the absence of seitan-making ingredients in the house, the recipe required a bit of tweaking to suit my needs. Subbing tempeh baked in a brightly flavored marinade for the seitan, a cucumber variation of the raita (aka, tzatziki) that uses soy yogurt, simply sliced tomatoes for the relish, and the generously donated whole-wheat restaurant pita, I created a less time-intensive spin on Millennium’s original recipe.

Be warned: you will need multiple napkins to fully enjoy this sandwich. But honestly, what sandwich worth eating doesn’t result in a little mess?

Tempeh Pita Pockets with Tzatziki—Oil Free, Nut Free, Low Sodium, Low Fat

Makes 2 pockets, serving 1-2 people.

Tempeh Ingredients:

6 six-inch strips of tempeh (about 4 oz)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp agave or maple syrup
1/4 cup veggie broth or water

Tzatziki Ingredients:

1/4 cup soy yogurt
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup grated cucumber (about 1 small cucumber)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pocket Ingredients:

1 whole wheat pita, cut in half and toasted (use good-quality storebought or one of these recipes)
1/2 of a large tomato, sliced
Handful of mixed greens
1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Prepare the tempeh: Place a steamer basket in a pot of water and set to boil. Place the tempeh strips in the basket, cover, and steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small baking dish, whisk together the garlic through veggie broth or water. Once the tempeh has finished steaming, place the strips in the marinade, and place the baking dish in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

Prepare the tzatziki: While the tempeh bakes, in a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the tzatziki ingredients. Set aside.

Assemble the pockets: Open one of the pita halves and spoon some tzatziki into it. Layer the mixed greens on one side, three strips of tempeh on the other side, and one or two tomato slices in the middle. Spoon some additional tzatziki over the top, and finish off with a couple small slices of red onion.

Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Until next time, Ali.