Friday, 27 January 2012

Say 'NO' to sachet flavourings!

Recently my Mum, who isn't vegan and actually has a relatively poor diet, bought back a lot of 'Wonton seasoning' and presented it to me at the kitchen table.  Needless to say I was absolutely horrified!  For those who are unaware of this vile sachet of powder, it's commonly used in 'instant soups' for Chinese Wonton bases.  Traditionally Wonton soup is made from meat stock and ground dried fish but these days people are too lazy, instead using readily 'prepared' sachet powders akin to the Cup-a-soups and Nesquik milkshakes.  
I don't know about you but I am really wary of anything that is 'instant'.  I believe from time to time it's not going to harm our sturdy human bodies, but I do think it's unnecessary and puts a lot of strain on our health if eaten regularly.  The salt, sugar and mono-sodium glutamate content in 'instant' products go through the roof, and some people wonder why they're bloated and dehydrated!  
Unfortunately it's not just the Chinese who like to use instant soup bases but the whole world is beginning to get wrapped up in being fast, instant and unnatural.  It's a shame as much of this comes from busy lifestyles and poor food addiction.  Despite working 6 days a week, I put food as my utmost priority when it comes to health, which is why I won't be touching those soup sachets any time soon.

Now when it comes to seasoning I prefer to keep it simple using pinches of sea salt, natural soy sauce, maple syrup or even sesame oil.  The list goes on but it's a whole adventure looking into clean seasoning and natural flavours.  Gone are the days when I will use instant powders and prefer to make my own veggie broth or kombu soup.  This way, I can feel the power surging through my body and I get less of a hangover the next day.
This leads onto a picture I wanted to share with you... behold my bunches of fresh dill and flat leaf parsley that I picked up at the vegetable market!

In the summer I keep a really pretty herb garden on our window sill but when it comes to the winter, I'm very bad at up-keeping it.  That's why I buy a lot of fresh cut herbs and I make sure they are strong, vibrant and fragrant.  Dill is absolutely fantastic with vegan cheese and goes well with capers, olives and onions.  I love parsley in everything from carrot soup to Tabbouleh.  Right now I enjoy it in my vegetable juices as it gives it another dimension.  It's like drinking a delicious, gourmet salad!

I'm off to the farmers market tomorrow to see what organic goods I can pick up.  What are your favourite natural flavourings?


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Power of the Vegan Heart

If Veganity was a real religion, I bet kindness, forgiveness, gratitude and empathy would all be apart of it, as would discipline, hard work and endurance.  If Veganity was a real religion, there would be get-togethers where love is shared and appreciation was shown, and probably some good food.

I can't speak for any others out there but for me, becoming Vegan wasn't just a health conscious choice, but a conscious change in attitude and outlook.  I've spent a lot of my time growing up in anger and in pain; my parents split up in a bad way, my relationships with my large family fell apart, bad romantic relationships left me insecure and my body image was rapidly torpedoing down hill.  Recently in 2011, I also spiralled into depression whereby everyday was a blur and a smile was non existent on my face.  Those were truly dark days and some really dark periods.  I just don't want to live any more of my short life like that, ever again.

What's wonderful about being 'Vegan' is that you just seem to walk lighter in the world.  I noticed this when I did become Vegan in 2010 and when I started slipping and choosing all the bad choices, I spun into depression.  Go figure, it's hard to explain but I know that there is a direct correlation!  
Despite this I don't want my food to be the decider of my attitudes.  I want to be the good person I know I am  and if I can be kind to animals then I definitely can be kind to humans. The greatest way a person can be is to act through kindness and be good natured, staying positive and loving those around them.  This is how the God of Veganity would want it, I'm sure.  The greatest challenge is to curb jealousy and learn to hold your own tongue, keeping negativity to a minimum and spreading the love you have within you to others.  Lastly, forgiveness is something I must work on and I hope my journey will see me let go of all the anger in my past.  Hopefully as time passes, I'll be walking so light I'll be floating...

Stay kind everyone,


I wanted to share with you a photo of some really delicious plums we picked and ate at Garson's Farm last Summer 2011.  Something about this picture makes me feel wonderful.  

Monday, 16 January 2012

Overnight Apple Oats

If there's one thing that's great about being Vegan, it's the breakfasts that I can indulge in.

My favourite?

Overnight oats soak in apple juice! 
Here is a quick recipe:

  • 1-2 Apples (I like pink ladies, perhaps golden delicious too, also it depends on size), chopped roughly 
  • 300g of Oats (though this depends on your appetite)
  • 500ml of apple juice (not from concentrate)
  • Three large table spoons of non-dairy yoghurt (I like Alpro Soy Vanilla)
  • A teaspoon of Agave Nectar

Here is how to:
Take your oats and soak them over night in the apple juice, the next day they will be plump.  Place in the fridge
When it's breakfast time, take out your oats and mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding or subtracting whatever you want.  Easy.

This is also nice if you soak some raisins in but then I would leave out the Agave.  For a nutrients boost, trying sprinkling on some pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Have a wonderful start to your day,


Do you make moral, informed choices?

I'm going to get the ball rolling by discussing my favourite topic -Informed Choices.  

My decision on becoming Vegan was based on the research and information I had found out through books and trusted sources - it was an informed choice.  I've said this before, it was one of the best choices I've ever made.  
It is because I am informed (but not as much as I could be) that I have chosen to live my life the way it's going and I am at peace knowing this.  It's the truth to say that my choices are based on being moral to animals, humans and the Earth.  With that said, I would class myself as a good person.  So is someone a 'bad' person if they are making informed choices that are immoral?

A good friend of mine, let's call him Ron, and I had a particularly heated debate today about Veganism and it's got me thinking all night.  To be fair I wouldn't say Ron was informed at all about anything; everything he knows is what he's been told by his Mum and what's he's seen on the TV.  It was, however, an eye opener for me and it reminded me that not everyone is willing to accept the truth or even want to understand it. 
Ron was absolutely certain that slaughtering animals is natural and that he was still a good person because he was not the one who was killing them.  I made my 'are you stupid?' face at him.

I continued to question his theory and Ron went on to say that he was bought up knowing between right and wrong.  He was most definitely in the right because he was not harming any animals.  He even proudly told me he would never eat an animal if it were alive in front of him.  Ah, what a good boy.  
This is completely crazy. Eating meat is not only condoning the act of killing but it drives the supply and demand that is causing people to become sick and obese, not to mention the slave labour in the Third World. Cheap, hormone injected, poor quality animal meat is being churned out every second or every minute and what makes me sick is that barely anyone knows exactly where their food is coming from. 
How can he think that just because he's not the one with the stun gun and knife that he is all clear of 'sin'?  Absolute rubbish.  I think in some ways it's probably worse seeing as he's the one who is paying the slaughter houses to run their corrupt corporation the way that they are.

When I tried to explain to him what was so wrong about all the things he was saying, he announced that he didn't really care much for it and that all animals are to die anyway.  My heart saddened at this point.

Back to my original question; if someone makes informed immoral choices, does that make them a bad person?  Ron is a great Dad and good husband to his wife, he is a wonderful friend and great colleague.  There is little bad about him.  
Being informed doesn't mean that you will automatically make the right choices.  Yes it does count to know and it does count to understand but I believe that what really means anything is how you act upon it.  

I just can't bare to look at someone who is truly informed and doesn't do the right thing.   Luckily, Ron will remain blissfully ignorant to it and he will continue to be a friend nonetheless.

What are your choices based on?