Tag Archives: Eating Animals

Vegan Carbonara and the end of grieving

23 Jan

I have been grieving for my kitchen.  Not the physical kitchen – the bench, the sink, the oven.  But, the things that make my kitchen, well, my kitchen.  My amazing food processor (how did I ever live before this?!?), my wonderful Tupperware measuring cups and my Happy Chopper.  My bowls, my marble rolling pin, my baking trays.  I know that this isn’t an excuse for having – without any warning to you – let TTK fall by the wayside.  Well – no more!  I must get over it, I have sufficiently re-stocked my kitchen (albeit with less expensive things…)  And, so – to welcome back TTK I give to you my amazing no-soy, no-fake chesse Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara.

Okay – it doesn’t look super amazing, but it passed the S-taste test, and that is good enough for me.

While you’re spaghetti is cooking, throw one finely chopped onion and half a finely chopped leek into a frying pan with a little bit of vegetable oil (I personally use rapeseed oil) and start making a basic white sauce in a medium sized saucepan.  The amount of sauce you make will depend on how thick you like your cabonara, but my base was about 1 1/2 cups of rice milk and something around 1/4 cup of organic white flour sifted and whisked in, then stir though about 1/3 cup of oat cream until the sauce is a nice consistency – you’ll want it to be thick but still runny (if you cannot find oat cream, you can you Soyatoo or similar).  Add in a dollop of a mild yellow mustard (dijon or similar, or if you prefer something a bit different play around with seeded mustards) and some pepper to taste.  Take this off the heat and add in a handful of roughly chopped green beans, and your nicely-browned leek and onion mix.

Drain your spaghetti, stir the sauce though, serve with (as always) a lovely glass of red!

In other news, tonight S and I were feeling particularly lazy so we had microwave dinner (well, not really as we don’t have a microwave, but you get the idea…) consisting of Amy’s kitchen mac-and-cheese, which I bought from Wholefoods this afternoon.  Now, S had the ‘regular’ kind and I (obviously) had the vegan version.  The exciting thing about this is Amy’s kitchen vegan meals use a Daiya vegan cheese.  You can’t get it in Australia, and I haven’t found packs of it in the UK, though I’m not sure if it’s available or not.  It is apparently the most ‘realistic’ vegan cheese on the market, so I had been keen to try it.  It was nice – rich – but not like I remember cheese to taste.  I would certainly be happy to have it again, and maybe find some to try and cook with, but I’m not in the hugest rush.  I think I have said before that I am not the biggest fan of the fake-cheese products, but they are nice every so often.

One more thing, quite quickly.  Last week S and I went to see Jonathan Safran Foer do a q-and-a at LSE.  You probably know JSF as the author of (among other things) Eating Animals.  It was really wonderful.  It was great to hear how frank he was about his struggles with veganism, raising his children vegetarian, coming to terms with the research he did for the book.  Admittedly, this talk wasn’t aimed at me, and his book wasn’t aimed at me – I had already been vegan for quite a while when I picked it up – but it was great to hear such a truthful account of his struggles.  I think S took a bit more away from it than I did.

S feeding ducks in the Seine

 

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Meaty Revulsion

17 Jun

S and I had lunch at Southland earlier this week, and it reinforced how much I despise shopping center food courts.  It’s not having to question the ingredients of every dish – on the contrary, I am more than used to the ‘does this contain dairy?’ ‘is this made with vegetable stock?’ ‘can I have this made without cheese, please?’  It’s having to watch other people devour over cooked chicken without thinking about the animal behind their greasy fingers, or burgers that are so far removed from ‘natural’ food that you actually can’t equate what is in your hands with a cow being beaten with a steal pipe.  And, even if the cow that ends up in that particular burger wasn’t belted, what the burger represents is ‘the cow’ being beaten.  But, the very worst thing about it is adults feeding their children these things.  Young children who just don’t know better because they still believe what their mother tells them.  It’s just revolting.

Each day, my revulsion at meat, dairy and egg eaters gets worse and worse.  I turn away in disgust from people eating ham sandwiches.  It is actually starting to make me sick.

On a fairly unrelated note: I have recently finished reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals.  As many, many veg*ns have already read – or at least heard of – this book, I don’t want to say too much about it.  When I went up to purchase the book S and I were asked if we were already vegetarians, I replied that I was vegan and that S was vegetarian.  The bookstore lady told us that the book changes people.  I’ve no doubt that it has, would, will change people.  I suppose it did reinforce the beliefs that I already hold, but I find it odd that a number of (prior to reading the book) veg*ns have told me that reading this book has changed them.  Still, I think everyone should read it.  I would love my mum to read it.  People are just so resistant to anything they feel will force them to reevaluate their lifestyles.

But, reevaluation doesn’t stop.  After I read the article Can Meat Eaters Also Be Environmentalists? I was reminded that in terms of my responsibility to animals, just not eating them is not enough, and in terms of my responsibility to the environment, not eating animals or using animal products is not enough.  We should always strive to do more – encourage people to educate themselves and to cut animal produce out of their diets and lifestyles (whether that means ‘meatless mondays’, vegetarianism, veganism, or any other manifestation of decrease).  Not only that but we should remember that by eating over processed, non-local and over-chemical’d produce we may as well erase the good work we do by not eating animal products.

Be kind to the earth, be kind to animals, and don’t eat greasy chicken near me in a food court (actually, please just don’t eat chicken at all!)