VEGAN – Comfort Stew

From “The Healing Show” Series #06: Supporting a Vegan Lifestyle

I feel it’s much more appropriate to call vegan food, comfort food, because you can feel “comfort”able eating it and you can feel “comfort”ed knowing that no being has been harmed for your meal.

I’d like to make a statement for this recipe and also future meals I podcast: “If you wonder why I’m not more exact with the ingredients or method or allowing the method to be optional, it’s because I’m interested in making meals that are fast, don’t have exact measurements and don’t involve me following a detailed method.

I’m not what I call a chef: I don’t really care what the meal looks like, so long as it tastes good and so long as I can avoid shopping for extra special ingredients and spending copious time on complicated recipes. I can throw food together and I can make it taste yummy. If I can get it all done quickly, I’m on for it!

This recipe will suit you well if you’re like me and you’re not the tidiest person in the world where the kitchen is concerned, as I generally have only one or two clean items in kitchen, the rest need washing. What I’m getting at, is you only need one pot to make this dish. Yay, a one pot dish!

Cooking time: 15- 30 mins to prepare and cook.
Serves: 2.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely cut or put through a crusher.
  • 2 red onions, sliced.10- 12 mushrooms, small size or 3- 4 mushrooms, large size. Sliced.
  • 1 potato, washed, peeled and sliced.
  • 4 vegan sausages, diced.
  • 1 broccoli head or 1 bunch of broccolini, cut them your way, but not too big.
  • Water, oil, seasoning or stock cube to taste.

Method:
If you can be bothered following this method, you can, it will make the dish taste better. You don’t need to adhere to the method if you don’t have the patience, I understand completely. Cut everything up however you like, throw it all in the pot and hope for the best. You don’t have to hope that much, it will taste yummy. Just cook the broccoli last, cause you want it to be a lovely bright green color at the end.

Caramelize the garlic and onions. The onions really make this dish, so if you spend a little time getting the caramelizing happening, it’s worth it.

Throw in the mushrooms and add a little water and oil. After the mushrooms have sweated a bit, the water from them will combine with the onions and create a sauce. The sauce is very important. It will make the whole dish delicious, and it comes from the onions and mushrooms. If you want more sauce, add more water (maybe a bit more oil). Less water, less sauce, generally speaking. If you know how to use a prepared vegan gravy sauce, use it and you can improve on the sauce.

Season with salt, pepper and or a stock cube. Quantity to taste.

Add your diced vegan sausages and your sliced potatoes.

Because the sausages are generally already cooked, dicing them is adequate because you don’t need to cook them through as such, you’re just warming them through. You can dice the potatoes, they just take longer to cook that way. Slicing them means they’ll be cooked in a few minutes.

At this stage, you will definitely notice your stew forming nicely… It’s all very exciting!

Lastly, add one sliced broccoli or a bunch of cut up broccolini and just place it on top of all the ingredients in the pot.

Put a little extra water in the pot, turn up the heat and put the lid on for about 3 minutes to create lovely, almost luminous green, inviting broccoli (not that weird darker green yellowy broccoli that you get when it’s over cooked).

Throw it down the hatch (if you’re not familiar with this expression, I mean eat it!) and you will feel nicely satisfied 😀

Easy Yummy Vegan Eating on Special Occasions

From “The Healing Show” Series #06: Supporting a Vegan Lifestyle

Most people who are not vegans but cooking for vegans or recently crossed over vegans, might get to a special occasion and be at a loss for food ideas. But you can eat vegan easily and it can be yummy, you just gotta use ya loaf 😉

This meal idea to follow is great and I didn’t especially plan it that way or stress to get all the ingredients, cause they’re not that hard to get. And that’s the whole point, you want easy to acquire vegan ingredients that most special occasion food tables or buffets would have. At least these ingredients can be purchased from any supermarket (keeping in mind, some supermarkets don’t have an organic section).

Ingredients:

  • A crusty French loaf
  • A good quality fruit chutney
  • Avocado
  • A bunch of parsley
  • A bunch of basil
  • Chopped up garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Chilli
  • Salt

Some people perceive vegans as being only whole grain, raw, super healthy eaters all the time. That’s not true. For the moment, I still enjoy the odd crusty French stick dipped in oil and vinegar, garlic and salt.

90% of the ingredients I’ve used for this menu is organic, locally grown, locally made and fresh. You don’t have to do exactly as I do if organic and local isn’t possible for you, just the best you can do.

I’ll eat about one third to half a bunch of parsley as I nosh down my bread with various toppings. The reason I eat this amount of parsley is because I know that yummy crusty french bread albeit organic, still isn’t healthy and I want to have a good toilet visit too, so hence all the parsley. And don’t be afraid of eating stacks of parsley, it really isn’t meant to be just for decoration 😉 Fresh organic parsley actually tastes a little sweet as well.

This meal is soooooo yummy and you feel like you can have fun eating and being vegan because it’s not that much different from what everybody else is eating.
I’d say most vegans feel left out when they attend a special occasion, but with this recipe, you don’t have to. You can be happy being vegan and feel it’s fun while you eat vegan!

Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 4

Series: Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 4

Coping As A Vegan

When in Rome, it’s easier to do as the Romans do… It’s normal to be dressed up when you’re going to a wedding; it’s normal to sing, if you’re at a music festival; it’s not ‘normal’, however, not to eat animals and animal products.You can be considered weird if you’re a vegetarian and you can be considered even more weird if you’re a vegan.

How weird… That somebody who is kind and compassionate to animals with regards to their abuse and mass slaughter, is considered weird. This is why, if you’re vegan, you’re going to need support.

You need your own little Rome, where the people you hang out with are also only eating plant food and engage in activities accordingly. They want to and they believe it’s good.

It can be difficult being a vegan, because you need other people you can eat with, rather than being the only one at the table with a gap on your plate where the steak would be.

You need other people who will understand how unpleasant it is, to have to walk passed a sausage sizzle on the way to the supermarket. Tortured animals are put into bread rolls and sold for a couple of dollars, so somebody can raise money for something…?

Support is crucial if you’re feeling upset at a market, because there are animal carcasses hanging around in full view. Most people in their unconsciousness walk by or even purchase part of that carcass. As a vegan, you can visualize that carcass as once a living, loving and innocent being.

vegan

Maybe you go to your animal eating friend’s place to hang out over the weekend, thinking you can cope as a vegan, watching what they’re watching on tv. Think again. They could be watching a program where it’s acceptable to catch and kill fish or cook up a whole baby lamb on a cooking show.

You need friends who will flick the channel to other non-offensive programs, because they understand why such programs are wrong.

Animal use, abuse and killing are in fashion shops as leather bags. You need vegan friends who also don’t want to buy leather bags, and would be happy buying something synthetic or from a vegan shop.

98% of the world are unconscious, because they think that using, abusing and killing animals is normal. Only 2% of the world are vegan, so if you are considering being one, or you are vegan already and feel it’s really hard, no wonder. You need support.

Create your own Vegan Rome, with Vegan Roman friends and feel really, really, really good about it. Unfortunately, a Vegan Rome does not exist on planet earth, except in your own consciousness and choices.

Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 3

Series: Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 3

“Speedy Bean Dip!”

This recipe is healthy, yummy and fast. I like this kind of food, beans are good for everything in your body, you pretty much can’t go wrong eating it or preparing it.

Find a can of refried beans and make sure it’s lined on the inside of the can. The white (it’s normally white) lining prevents the stuff from the metal from the can, leaching into your food.

Ideally, you don’t want to eat anything from a can, you want it to be fresh. You ultimately want to prepare this dish from scratch: organic beans that you soak overnight, the next day cook until soft then mash up yourself, but since you probably don’t have a spare thousand years, prepare it this way…

For one person, 1/4 to 1/3 of a can is more than enough. You’ll find you can’t scoff down much more of your bean dip like you can with white rice or potato chips because it’s so FULL of goodness and it isn’t processed.

Put the beans in a pot with a little water, only enough so you can stir the beans in the pot, because they tend to be a big blob of bean-ness and hard to deal with without a bit of water. Warm through, don’t make them hot, you don’t have time for that and also, you want to eat this straight away!

For the additions to the dip, chop up a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of lemon juice and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil (first cold pressed and organic if possible) and a pinch of salt. These are not exact quantities for the additions because I tend to cook intuitively and I want to encourage that, so decide on the proportions for the additions yourself according to how you want it to taste.

Swirl through the additions to the dip, so you can still see all the bits you’ve added. Don’t mix up the additions into the bean dip so you can’t see them. You want to be able to look at this dip and feel it’s interesting to eat cause it’s got ‘additions’ to it, cause really, it’s a bowl of brown stuff in the end. But it tastes way better than it looks. You could add a bit of chopped up parsley to it, to help distract you from the brown-ness of it all.

Have your dip with essene bread (almost raw bread, sprouted grain), toast (not wheat) or corn chips (organic preferably).

This whole recipe will take you all of 5 minutes to prepare from start to finish and about as many minutes to eat.

You can have my speedy bean dip for any meal of the day, not just as a snack. It’s healthy, fast, vegan and yummy!

Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 2

The “Being Happier” Podcast

Today’s Topic: Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 3

“Kindness With Pets But Not With ‘Plate’ Animals.”

A human who owns an animal is regarded as cruel for leaving their dog in a sealed car on a hot day. How should a human who eats an animal be regarded if they buy ham from the deli?

There’s this funny thing that happens in the head of humans who own animals and the same humans who eat animals and animal products. It’s called disassociation and compartmentalization. These are kind and caring humans, don’t get me wrong, but they are also humans who seem to have spontaneous amnesia.

Humans forget that they disassociate from animals they eat because they’re compartmentalized as animals that are eaten. Lack of love causes this disassociation, exercised and reinforced in society, culture and family patterns.

The owner is so bad if: they don’t feed their pet; don’t let them go outside; keep them in the dark; leave them alone; keep them locked up or unable to move; love and protect their pet one minute and betray and kill them for dinner the next.

The above is so totally acceptable for animals who are farmed or factory farmed?

The animals that are eaten, experience suffering behind closed doors, in an area far way, and their appalling treatment occurs for far worse and for far longer than the suffering our pets generally experience. I’m not saying we shouldn’t care for our pets, on the contrary, we can all do a better job there.

What if there was a factory farm for pigs set up in a (very large) supermarket car park, that you could see every day you went to the supermarket and the ham was selling from that piggery. Would the same tongues wag and fingers shake at the person who’s got ham in their shopping bag as happens for the person who’s got their dog in a closed car?

What if you had to see a newly born baby cow, killed in front of your eyes for the dairy industry, every time you needed transport? Would tongues wag and fingers point as you sat in a cafe enjoying your coffee with milk in it?

I’m not saying that people who eat animals and animal products are bad and those who are vegan are holy. There are many kind people in this world who happen to be meat eaters or vegetarian, who spend time and energy and money, caring for animals or their pet. We grant them that and it is true, they are caring and kind. The same caring people, however, care in isolation. They don’t mean to, they might not realize it, they don’t think twice when they buy a quick roast chicken for dinner.

Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 1

The “Being Happier” Podcast

Today’s Topic: Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle – Part 1

Vegan On The Go

If you have become a vegan recently and if you’re not that creative with food, it can feel like there’s nothing to eat sometimes, despite the whole supermarket full of food.

It can seem like when you ate meat, there was more choice and less now that you’re a vegetarian. More so, it can seem like when you ate dairy and other animal products as a vegetarian, there was more choice and much less now that you’re a vegan.

It’s easy to go blank when it comes to deciding on what to make for lunch or dinner and sometimes you can have trouble deciding, can’t be bothered with the whole process and just wanna eat! These blank, can’t be bothered moments, can cause you to reach for food that maybe isn’t vegan or if it vegan, might be unhealthy like deep fried chips from a fast food outlet.
Help yourself prepare for those fast food moments, with this combination of chopped up, raw and fresh veges in one of those paper thin wraps (avoid the wheat wraps) : avocado, carrot, mushroom and lettuce with hommus and chopped garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, chilli powder and salt. You can exclude or add other ingredients of course.

If you’re in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the tastier brands of hommus are Chris’ and Yummi’s. They might be available in other Australian states, just to save you time deciding, I’m not necessarily promoting any brands.

If you like chilli, I suggest add chilli powder or flakes, rather than sweet chilli sauce. Those sauces begin to delve into the unhealthy condiment department.

The above ingredients are generally not hard to get. Prepare the wraps for when you need a quick meal or to take on picnics. There’s no cooking and after you collect the ingredients, it’s only a few minutes preparation time.