My grandma has been wanting more companionship over the past few years. She thought a cat would be nice. Friends of my aunt and uncle were getting divorced and they had to let their cat go. Miss Kitty, the long-haired cat, soon found her way into my grandma's home--and heart. I visited them (again) tonight and took a few photos of the pair. They seem to get along just fine.
Did you know you can substitute tofu into any of the sandwiches on Marie Catrib's menu? Well, it's true and it's delicious! Make sure you try the Vegan Russian. This here is a Grilled tofu, tomato, basil, avocado with vegannaise. Look out...
Need some ideas for getting rid of those leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes? Look no further. Assuming you can spell that action, seitan bourguignonne is the only way to fly.
MATERIAL OBJECTS: FROM CUPCAKES TO CLOTHES
Been saving your hard-earned for the latest in hand-crafted bags, books, and plush diggie buddies? Here's where it's all goin' down.
120 S. Division #125
Saturday, December 2, 2006
An artistic holiday shopping experience where you will find an array of merchandise ranging from handmade clothes and accessories to vegan baked goods, brought to you by a collection of local artists. We are located right around the corner from the UICA, on S. Division- across from Vertigo Records. Please join us for an afternoon and evening of fun and shopping, and be prepared to check out some amazing work. Special indeed!Comments (1)
Mom's Apple Pie
Apple pie tastes even better when you're not fighting off a tryphtophan-induced stupor. Shake the curse of the dead bird, and you'll find yourself with enough energy to dispose of an extra slice of vegan pumpkin on the side. SHAZAM!
Dad's Christmas Kringle (One Month Early)
In addition to Susan's Mom's to-die-for vegan pies, we enjoyed a vegan version of her Dad's famous holiday Kringle, a Norwegian breakfast pastry filled with cinnamon, sugar, raisins, and cardamom and frosted with a mixture of confectioners sugar and soy milk. All agreed that it was every bit as delicious as the original!
Leave The Turkey in The Corn and Sink Your Teeth Into This Harvest Bounty...
Butternut, delicata, and carnival winter squash (stuffed with breadcrumbs, dried apricots and cranberries, pecans, sunflower seeds, sauteed onions, garlic, and celery), mashed potatoes and veggie gravy, cornbread stuffing, creamed onions, candied yams, brussels sprouts, cranberry-orange relish, and candied-ginger sweet potato muffins.
Not for the untold millions of sentient turkeys who suffer miserably to feed the demand for the Thanksgiving holiday. Why not adopt a rescued turkey in lieu of eating one? At the very least, consider eating Tofurkyinstead. Show your friends and family that it is possible to give thanks without supporting cruelty.
...To a Stocking Near You
Those of you who are looking forward to the debut of Erika and Susan's BookBag line (covered in a post on November 12) at >>fwd on December 2nd might enjoy knowing that they will be bringing a few of their new home-sewn friends as well: Diggie Bitey, Diggie Swimmy, Diggie Batty, Diggie Petty, and Kenner Fenner. Pictured here (from left) are Diggie Bitey and Diggie Swimmy hanging out on our Kitchen Aid.
The Festival Squash was baked, and then mashed with Follow Your Heart Vegan Mozzarella, Bragg, and Sriracha. Then stuffed with quinoa, and topped with whole roasted garlic cloves, and steamed purple brussel sprouts. FALL STYLE!
This recipe comes from the Follow Your Heart Cookbook.
You will neeed...
1.5 tablespoons non-dairy margarine (Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1.5 teaspoons vegetable broth powder or 1 vegetable bouillon cube
1.5 cups Rice Dream original flavor
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
Dash of celery salt
Dash of curry powder
Dash of Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 oz. macaroni or medium shells
3 oz. firm tofu (check out local China Rose)
2 teaspoons canola oil
Here's what to do...
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a 1 quart saucepan, melt margarine(Earth Balance) over low heat. Add flour and yeast flakes, and stir until smooth. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vegetable broth powder and wisk in rice milk, garlic, onion powder, celery salt, curry powder, and pepper. Simmer sauce uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce has thickness of heavy cream. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, drain and cover. Keep warm as you finish the recipe.
In a heatproof, variable speed blender, blend tofu with oil and about .5 cup of the sauce. Blend until very smooth, adding more sauce if necessary for blending. Add blended mixture to the rest of the sauce.
Toss the hot, drained pasta with the sauce and serve immediately.
Note: we modify this recipe just a little bit. We use a splash of vegetable broth instead of the powder, and curry paste instead of the powder. Also, we add some Follow Your Heart vegan cheddar in thin strips to melt on top. We tend to double the recipe too, because you can never have enough shells and no cheese.
Enjoy! Perfect for Thanksgiving...
Compassion Over Killing: Cruelty Free in D.C.!
ExtraVEGANza! has been a little slow for the past several days due to the fact that I have been at a conference in Washington D.C., home of Compassion Over Killing, winner of the prestigious VegNews 2005 Non-Profit of the Year Award. Back in 2002, COK founder Miyun Park wrote this provocative essay on the incongruity of our respective attitudes toward pets and farm animals. To say the least, COK's "Dog on a Plate" T-shirt has raised an eyebrow or two over the years (see below). Lucky for the compassionate denizens of our fair capital city that the Sticky Fingers Vegan Bakery is in the neighborhood. WHOA, NELLIE!
When you've got a hankerin' for shells and "cheddar," nothing can stop you. So Noodles and Splinters whipped up some vegan mac & cheese, caramelized onion bread, and brussel sprouts (picked saturday at Trillium). Moles and Mixed Feelings came over to enjoy the comfort food, and it was a riot. If anyone is interested in the recipe for the shells and "cheddar," let me know and i will pass it along. It came from the
Follow Your Heart Cookbook.
Introducing Tom Regan...
First moved to consider the issue of animal compassion in the Vietnam era by reading Gandhi's The Story of My Experiments With Truth, Tom Regan has been a pioneer of the animal rights movement ever since. A distinguished Philosophy Professor at North Carolina State University, Regan has argued that non-human animals, as psychological centers of consciousness, are "subjects-of-a-life"--unique, irreplaceable individuals who value their own lives even if no one else does.
Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights
His most recent book, Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights, presents general audiences with an accessible and persuasvie defense of animal rights, followed by an account of the suffering that non-human animals are made to endure in the food, clothing, entertainment, and research industries. Those who wish to get a sense of the drift of Regan's arguments in a succinct, easily digestible format may consult Ten Reasons for Animal Rights or the companion site for Empty Cages. Those desiring a more robust philosophical defense of Regan's Kant-inspired argument that the rights of animals are grounded in their status as "subjects-of-a-life" should check out The Case For Animal Rights. Professional philosophical and popular audiences alike will find much of interest at The Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive.
Who doesn't love a great breakfast sammich? Try sauteed tofu with a little nutritional yeast, tempeh fakin' bacon, follow your heart cheddar style vegan cheese, some arugula, veganaise and sriracha, all between two slices of raisin pecan rice bread. Look out!
I whipped up this noodle party in only 15 minutes. Sauteed leeks, carrots, celery, tempeh, and peas join sesame oil, olive oil, Bragg, and seeds! Then they all dive on top of some buckwheat sobas for Noodle Party 2006!
Animal and Earth Friendly Designs, In Hand or Over the Shoulder
The culinary force behind much of the cuisine featured on extraVEGANza! is also a designer and a seamstress. Her current passion? Making hand and shoulder bags to show off her favorite fabrics and to find loving homes for cherished members of her ever-burgeoning antique button collection.
Bird Bag (Made to Order for Local Artist Erika Jane)
When Susan created this shoulder bag for Erika (who makes, among other things, sublime hand-stitched books and journals covered in posh cruelty-free fabrics), a beautiful partnership was born. On December 2nd, Erika and Susan will debut their BookBag line (at >>FWD on South Division), featuring books and bags to mix and match as you please. Stay tuned for details. A limited number of commissions are available, but please make your wishes known, as Christmas is coming and the Tofurky is getting fat.
A swathe of sultry Sumatra for a shoulder near you.
Keep a firm hold on summer even in the doldrums of a Grand Rapids winter.
Three Households. Three Courses.
Last weekend we took the luck out of "potluck". This weekend we put the progressive into "progressive dinner" by hosting the second course of a meal that took place over four hours in three different households. Our responsibility was the main course, and we did our duty with Susan's famous Seitan cutlets, squash muffins, fresh harvested roasted brussels sprouts and kale; the garlic-leek mashed potatoes and the two different kinds of sourdough stuffing are the handiwork of our friend Christina. No one went away hungry.
One Very Full Cruelty-Free Plate.
Cashew Celeriac Soup and Onion Bread
Celery Root (also known as Celeriac) is one of the ugliest root vegetables imaginable. Who would ever think to turn this gnarly, fibrous bulb into a savory soup? We would, and indeed we did! With raw cashew butter, fresh ground pepper, a dollop of sour "cream", and a garnish of fresh Trillium Haven kale (harvested yesterday with the sprouts!), this soup will win Celeriac the doating audience it deserves.
The instructions that accompanied this week's Saturday Soup advised patrons "to sink back into the couch with someone you love" and enjoy! Done, done, and done! The enjoyment part was especially easy, since this week's featured soup was VEGAN Golden Mushroom. Sign up today and start anticipating a hearty dose of comfort round about lunchtime on Saturday!
Stalking the Sprouts at Trillium Haven Farm
Ever seen what Brussels Sprouts look like right out of the ground? We harvested these this morning and ate them this evening, halved and roasted with olive oil and fresh salt and pepper.
It seems that to be masculine, one's clothes need to be made out of animal parts. If it's not the jacket, it's the liner. If it's not the sole, it's the upper. If it's not the buckle, it's the band. Needless to say, I have had a hard time finding good looking winter clothes for the vegan male. For the second part of the clothing installment, I looked at places that one may already go to or can buy online. This is what I found:
Many of the blazers at Old Navy do have wool in the lining, so watch for that. However, this blazer is 100% cotton with a nylon lining. Your eyes do not deceive you--it has pinstripes.
2. Earth's Vegan Line Strikes Again!
This shoe features the negative heel, but instead of a dress shoe, it is casual. Our own Vegucator owns a pair of these shoes and likes them a lot (when his feet don't fall asleep). He bought them at Clothing Matters when the shoes were still there. Now you can buy them at such a place as Zappos.
3. Alternative Outfitters for Shoes
I was impressed with the style and price that this company carried. I have not tried these two pair of shoes, or have others I know, but their website promises they'll be comfortable and breathable. The slip-on is nice for work or an evening out, while the quilted shoe gives your outfit more of a twist.
4. T-shirts at Prana
Until extraVEGANza starts to roll out its own t-shirt line, take a look at these shirts. I just found this website last night and their stuff looks great. Prana supports renewable energy sources such as wind. The shirts are 100% organic cotton with abstract designs on the side or bottom of the shirt--perfect if you don't want to draw attention to your massive pectorals from your vegan body-building.Comments (3)
Not a fan of Peter Singer? Introducing Matthew Scully...
One of my favorite things about the animal compassion movement is that it transcends the liberal/conservative divide. Case in point: our second featured author, Matthew Scully.
"Compassionate Conservatism...For Animals"
Scully has a decidedly more conservative point of view on the importance of compassion for animals than that of our first featured author. Indeed, if Singer's left-wing, anti-religious utilitarianism leaves you cold, then perhaps you'll warm up to Scully, a former advisor and speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Though Scully is skeptical of "rights based" discussions of the moral standing of animals, he is emphatically opposed to their merciless suffering in factory farms on the grounds that our "dominion" over the animal kingdom implies a call to mercy and good stewardship in caring for the non-human beings under our charge.
Scully's best-selling book, Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals, and The Call to Mercy, has received rave reviews from all corners of the literary world, and his many articles in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal always make for interesting and challenging reading. You'll want to check out, for instance, Fear Factories: The Case for Compassionate Conservatism...For Animals, Factory Farm Meat Not On Menu For Feast Of St. Francis, and God is Green.Comments (1)
Put those leftovers to good use!
Black Bean Breakfast Burrito
In case you get around to making the Tamale/Black Bean dinner outlined below, you can use up your leftover black beans in this tasty brunch concoction. And, if you don't know about China Rose tofu, you should. Find it at Harvest Health. Also, if you have access to Hawaiian black sea salt...well, bust it out already!
You will need...
Leftover black beans (unless you were a super bean hound, you should have an ample amount left)
4 flour tortillas (the big kind)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, diced small
2 green peppers, diced small
1 lb tofu, diced small
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 package vegan cheddar (we like Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet), diced small
1/4 cup bottled or homemade salsa
salt and pepper
for fixins: avocado, sriracha hot sauce, vegan sour "cream"
Here's what to do...
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, warm up those beans!
In a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat, heat the canola oil. When shimmery, add the onions and peppers. Saute until soft. Add the tofu and saute until a bit brown (not too brown). Add the seasonings and salsa, stir in and heat up. Add the "cheddar" and keep stirring until it gets all melty and delicious (trust me, it will be delicious). Add a bit of salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, put a bit of oil on a cookie sheet.
When everything is ready to go, get ready to assemble:
a few wedges of avocado
...and roll up burrito style.
Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes.
Serve with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream! and sriracha.
Grand Rapids Community College to Host Major Vegetarian Event!
Brace yourselves, extraVEGANzers! GRCC has just announced the line-up for its second annual Vegetarian Awakening Conference. Last year's first-of-its-kind exhibition and celebration of vegan cuisine brought ten of the finest vegetarian and vegan chefs in the U.S. to Grand Rapids, including vegan superstar Eric Tucker, Executive Chef of San Francisco's world renowned Millenium Restaurant. Last year's keynote lecturer "Mad Cowboy" Howard Lyman told me himself that the event was one of the most unique and well-executed conferences he has ever attended (which is saying a lot, considering that lecturing on these issues is his full time job!).
What's New for 2007?
This year's lineup is even more impressive, with all ten chefs returning, and not one, but two heavy-hitting keynote speakers: Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and author of The China Study; and Dr. John McDougall, best-selling author of more than 10 books on the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Worth Every Penny! Just Ask Susan!
ExtraVEGANza's very own recipe maven, Susan, participated in the conference last year and deemed it to be worth every penny of the registration fee. I'm sure she'll log in and post a comment on what it was like to take culinary instruction from the likes of Eric Tucker! Included in the conference fee, as Susan will surely note, are vegan meals GALORE, as well as countless opportunities to taste what the chefs have prepared.
DO NOT MISS THIS EXCITING OPPORTUNITY TO CELEBRATE THE POSSIBILITIES OF VEGAN CUISINE WITH THE WORLD'S FINEST PRACTITIONERS OF THE CRAFT!
I Scream, You Scream!
This non-dairy ice cream sandwich is a snap to make. Two snaps, actually. Just smoosh a little Turtle Mountain "So Delicious" Butter Pecan ice cream between a couple of vegan ginger snaps (both available at Harvest Health Foods), and enjoy a little sugar and spice and everything nice (without supporting the not-so-nice dairy industry).
NOTE: The links for the books provided below are to Amazon.com. If you are considering making a purchase, please entertain the possibility of buying or ordering these books from Schuler Books and Music, our very own independent bookseller here in Grand Rapids. Remember: these books won't be on the shelves in our local bookstores unless we create the demand for them!
Welcome to the first installment of the Featured Author Series!
Given the widespread perception among the general public that veganism and animal rights concerns are long on sentimentality and short on argumentation, one of the primary goals of this blog is to get the word out on authors whose work provides the intellectual grounding for these concerns.
Introducing Peter Singer...
Our first featured author is Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. A world famous philosopher and animal advocate, Singer is widely viewed as the father of the contemporary animal rights movement. His magnum opus, Animal Liberation has served since 1975 as the definitive articulation of the moral atrocities perpetrated against non-human animals in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs or "factory farms") and other industries in which animals are subjected to morally unjustifiable treatment.
Singer's most recent contribution to the animal ethics literature is The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter, a collaboration with human/animal rights attorney and author Jim Mason. In my humble estimation, this book is the single best introduction to the ethics of eating currently available, largely because it presents the animal cruelty issue in the context of many other lesser known moral implications of factory agribusiness, including the degradation of the environment, the loss of human dignity suffered by those who work in factory farms, and the personal and public health fallout of the consumption of animal products.
In addition to his own influential writings, Singer has contributed much to the field of animal ethics by way of editing anthologies that showcase the work of other authors. The updated Second Edition of the classic In Defense of Animals, for instance, offers the reader essays on everything from the scientific and religious implications of animal ethics to cutting-edge activism strategies. Those who'd like a sneak peak at one of the excellent essays in this volume may check out the online version of Jim Mason's "Brave New Farm?".
Finally, those concerned about the question of whether Singer's compassion for the suffering of animals extends to the suffering of human beings may wish to consult his classic article "Famine, Affluence and Morality".Comments (2)
Some people open cans of tomato-flavored high-fructose corn syrup, pour it over pasta, and call it a meal. Not us. This is Pasta Puttanesca: onions, garlic, olives, oregano, crushed fennel seeds, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, red wine, and--the heart and soul of the dish--Trillium Haven tomatoes. Mange!
Tamales With Black Beans, Greens and Guacamole
Gentle people. You've asked for recipes. Here are a few. Typically, when I think about my meals for a week, I think about what I can use and re-use. So, when we make a pot of refried black beans, we like to think of a few ways to use them. Now, I've included a full dinner's worth of recipes, but if you are expecting to have dinner one night and keep your guests for breakfast the next morning, tune in for the next posting. One thing you should know: I don't stuff the tamales, I just make them plain and then encourage people to Mix It Up on their plates.
Here are the recipes, folks:
Refried black beans
Sauteed greens with garlic
Lime wedges, salsa and Tofutti brand sour cream
Make the guacamole and chill it. Start the beans. While the beans simmer, work on the tamales (don't be a perfectionist...it's not worth it here, they taste incredible no matter how much of a mess you make). While the beans finish up and tamales steam, cut up the greens. Plan for 1 to 1 1/2 hours total.
Refried Black Beans (inspired by Rick Bayless)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 white onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cans black beans (we like Eden's)
Freshly ground salt and pepper
In a heavy stockpot, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until they render their sugars and become carmelized. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
Add the black beans with liquid and let simmer until the beans become soft (about 20 minutes). Using a potato masher or the back end of a spoon, mash up the beans to a consistency that you like. If too watery, let simmer a bit longer. If too dry, add some vegetable stock or water. Cook to your liking, add salt and pepper to taste.
They'll look like this...
Tamales (based on a recipe from Nathan Nobis, friend and vegan mentor).
You can find tamale wrappers, or corn husks at a Mexican grocery or at the local D&W. Nutritional yeast can be found at any health food store (Harvest Health sells it in bulk). You'll want some kind of large pot that you can use to steam the tamales; I use a large saute pan that has a tight fitting lid in which I place a round cooling rack and a bit of water.
15-20 corn husks, suitable for tamales
2 cups masa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (I like Rumford)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup olive oil
Soak tamale wrappers in a bowl filled with warm water.
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, then add broth and oil. Stir until well combined.
Ready your tamale steamer and prepare to make your tamales!
When the wrappers are pliable, remove from water (one at a time as you make the tamales).
Take about 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons of tamale dough and place onto the tamale wrapper. Now I pretty much cheat at this process, so if you're a purist, please forgive me: make the tamale dough into a lump about three inches in length (so it's in line with the tamale wrapper), then roll the husk tightly around the dough. The tamale should be about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Some people make these into nice little packages tied with string, but I don't (too impatient). If I were doing a really nice dinner party, I might. Most of our guests get the untied tamales though, and they don't seem to mind.
Repeat until you use up all of the dough.
Steam for about 1/2 hour.
You can keep these in a warm oven until you're ready to serve them.
Guacamole (from my super cool friend Tom)
2 ripe avocados
Juice squeezed from one lemon
1 small onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1 jalepeno, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, mash the avocados with the lemon juice. Add the onion, tomato, jalepeno and cilantro. Mix to combine. Add seasonings and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
Greens sauteed with garlic
1 lb greens (like kale or swiss chard), stems cut out and cut into 1-inch strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet (I like to use an iron skillet). Add greens and saute until slightly wilted. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Season with a bit of salt, and if you like, lemon or lime juice.
Serve beans, tamales, guac, greens, salsa and sour "cream" in their own bowls on the table.Comments (1)
Many vegan options exist for clothing and accessories. Some are local...and some are as local as your computer. Below are a few of my favorites that you should check out:
1. Tiffy Tuffington at Etsy
Tiffy is a local artist with amazing sewing skills. She's made wallets, purses, bags, and buttons to share her love of art. I own the Hello Cloud purse and Earthy Lime clutch pictured above. They are durable, cute and each came with a personalized note. She has participated in the Avenue for the Arts Market as well. Note: You would have to be okay with purchasing items with wool, since most of her bags are made with felt. I purchased the above two items before I thought about wool coming from sheep.
2. Cheryl Chudyk with Stitchpixie
Cheryl handmakes coin purses and bags from vegan-friendly vinyl, as well as jewelry. Unfortunately, I do not own the three coin purses featured above (although I'm eyeing that mod 5 coin purse), but I have purchased a wristlet for my friend Susan. Cheryl's work is based on food, animals, fertility, the city, and monsters. Consider supporting her through pharmacy school by buying one (or more) of her items!
3. Earth: Vegan
Famous for their negative heel, Earth combines comfort with compassion in their line of vegan shoes for men and women. I've had the shoes since the summer and they work well for professional attire as well as casual comfort. They can be ordered online, but are also found in stores around G-Rad such as Clothing Matters (local) and other chain stores.
4. Herbivore Clothing
Herbivore, an animal rights group, has a website dedicated to getting the word out about animal rights in their magazine, clothing, and accessories. Check out the site for some neat designs.
While I realize that most of these clothing items have a female slant, stay tuned for the male clothing collage coming up soon.Comments (2)
GET OUT IN FORCE AND SAY "NO" TO PROPOSITION 3!
Don't forget that Proposition 3 on today's ballot is seeking to lift a 100-year-old ban on hunting Mourning Doves in the state of Michigan. For a list of compelling reasons to register an EMPHATIC "NO" to Proposition 3, check out what The Committee to Keep Doves Protected has to say about the cruelty and environmental fallout that would follow upon a lift of this ban. Many thanks to Emily Schreur for the image displayed above.
One of the many beautiful things about vegan living is that it is near to impossible to do it well all by oneself. In a time when fast food and 24-hour warehouse grocery stores have made it increasingly easy to alienate ourselves from the great social goods of cooking and eating together, knowing those who produce our food, and understanding the implications of our choices for other human beings, non-human animals, and the environment, the vegan lifestyle is a daily reminder of the profound and mysterious ways in which each and every one of us is always already connected to every other.
It is in this spirit that we offer ExtraVEGANza! as an opportunity to celebrate a POSITIVE and INCLUSIVE vision of veganism that abandons the shame and blame game in favor of promoting the exciting opportunities and the many joys that accompany the challenges of compassionate living. We hope that there is something for everyone in this blog. To fellow vegans, we offer an expanded circle of contacts and a community of encouragement and support that will make the prospect of vegan living in Grand Rapids that much more exciting. To compassionate omnivores, slow foodies, and agrarians, we offer solidarity in the struggle to model more constructive alternatives to the cruelty, wastefulness, and alienation perpetuated by factory agribusiness. To interested newcomers, we offer experience, expertise, and information that might help to mitigate the sense of malaise that often accompanies the epiphany of "animal consciousness". To those with whom we may initially seem to have less in common, we offer a non-threatening, non-judgmental forum in which to discuss our differences and attempt to find common ground. To everyone, we offer news and reviews of books, media, art, and culture that will invigorate your desire to make a positive difference in the world, as well as recipes and pictures that will make you forget (at least momentarily) that there's anything beyond the pleasure of GOOD EATING! Our sincere hope is that ExtraVEGANza! will be a place where vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike can work together on the worthy task of cultivating a more compassionate community.
Many of you have noticed that we're still under construction. Though we're off to a reasonably good start, there is much we hope to accomplish in the next several weeks. Among the attactions we plan to add are a navigation tool at the top that will allow you to access various categories of posts without having to dig through the archives (categories will include books, recipes, restaurants, arts and culture, alternative household and hygeine products, philosophical arguments, activism strategies, and anything else that emerges as an area of concern as our conversations progress). In addition, we hope to be able to post occasional podcasts of interviews with interesting folks whose concerns are tangent to ours, be they activists, artists, chefs, farmers, philosophers, retailers, or bloggers. Finally, we hope to bring you some great T-shirt designs so that you can wear your ExtraVEGANza! pride on your sleeve. In short, we're aiming to be a reasonably broad-minded bunch, which is why we hope you'll see the good-natured irony in the limited edition inaugural tee that is currently in the works: "FUNDAMENTALIST VEGANGELICAL". Stay tuned for details.
Welcome to ExtraVEGANza! Let us know what you'd like to see, and we'll do our very best to make it happen for you. All we ask in return is your help in making this blog a lively but respectful environment where as many people as possible will feel embraced and included.Comments (2)
Luck's got nothing to do with it. These palate pleasers are the result of pure culinary precision.
Where to start? Arugula hummous? BBQ Seitan? Buffalo tofu?
A drop dead spread? Yes. But if you perish before this table, it'll be from sheer delight, rather than from heart disease, diabetes, or intestinal cancer, because it's all VEGAN!
Susan's Scratchmade Seitan Cutlets
Erika Jane's Homebaked Peasant Loaf (with Olives, Rosemary, and Sundried Tomatos)
Stay tuned for recipes!
Triple Decker "Chikn" BBQ
What do you get when you combine Aunt Millie's Sesame Seed Buns with two Boca "Chikn" Patties, Vegannaise, Annie's Barbecue Sauce, red onion, and Sriracha?
The first of many extraVeganza! potlucks was a smashing success, with 15 people in attendance and a stunning array of cruelty-free comestibles (see the Smorgasbord for highlights). Coconut put in a particularly strong showing, demonstrating once again that this husky tropical tree nut knows how to party.
Writing, Activism, and Cooking are often manifestations of creativity from out of a vegan lifestyle. Art also can do some work for the vegan vision, and here folks is where my heart lies. Oh, art, in it's fragile power, moving us, revealing truths...
Oh, Art of the Vegan, let's take a look...
This is an example of where I am coming from- event based spectacle, games, excess, absurdity, relational printmaking. It's all fun and games until somebody drinks milk!
But enough about me, Friends, let's also take a look at the work of the brilliant Sue Coe!
Sue Coe is a fascinating artist, whose studio practice includes sneaking into slaughterhouses to collect source imagery and reality based narratives for her work, and whose commercial practice includes selling work for prices ranging from 35 dollars to thousands of dollars. Sue is very generous in donating the proceeds of her art sales to animal compassion and advocacy organizations. Perhaps you saw her speak last year at the UICA, or even worked with her in the print shop at GVSU. Let's hear some stories!
Does the work of Sue Coe interest you? Do you want to own your very own Sue Coe print, an authentic , aura-laden multiple by a blue chip artist? Well, it's well within the realm of possibility!
Check out these affordable gems that may be purchased via the interweb. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's all for now, but there will be more posts on art and the vegans to come, think... the art of living.
This grilled vegetable sandwich came out of a wood-fired oven on a breadmakers' peal just seconds before this photo was taken. Your Mom won't have to remind you to eat your veggies when this PHAT BOY'Z in the house. And those bitter greens? Shut your mouth!
Thought there was no such thing as VEGAN meat and potatoes? Treat your skeptical friends and family to a little slice of hearth-n-home, vegan style: sauteed homemade seitan cutlets, mashed garlic russets, braised rainbow chard and veggie gravy!
Looking for a way to use up the leftover beans from your Bayless Black Bean Tacos? How about a GIANT breakfast burrito?Comments (1)
The best way to insure that vegan options will find their way onto restaurant menus is to ASK FOR THEM at your favorite places! Luckily, many of GR's most interesting culinary attractions already have great vegan choices on the menu. For instance:
Pita House (Easttown, Ethel and Wealthy)
Felafel sandwich with hummous, fatoosh salad, lentil soup, and french fries.
Little Africa (East Fulton, Diamond)
EVERYTHING ON THE MENU IS VEGAN, so walk in and chow down in good conscience!
Gaia (Lake and Diamond)
Vegetarian restaurant at which almost all menu items can be made vegan "by subtraction" (hold the mayo, cheese, sour cream, etc!). Be sure to try the grilled tempeh sandwich on homemade foccacia with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard. For an extra special sandwich, hit 'em up for a side of avocado. Mean Green Burrito and Veggie Hash (hold the dairy extras!) are also great choices!
Marie Catrib's (Lake and Diamond)
Local flair, organic and sustainable sensibility; this place is a HUGE ASSET to our community. ALL specialty sandwiches can be made with TOFU and vegannaise, there's usually a vegan "soup of the day" or two on the menu, and the three-salad sampler is a great way to get your veggies and legumes (try tabouleh, curried rice and raisin, baba ganooj, hummous, vegan mother earth, and (my favorite) Marie's OFF THE HOOK coleslaw). And save room for dessert; Marie's specialty is vegan cakes and cookies. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE HOW GOOD THESE ARE, and you certainly won't miss the eggs, butter and cream.
The Heritage Restaurant (Downtown)
This place is one of the best kept secrets in Grand Rapids! It is the "practice" restaurant for the students in the culinary institute of Grand Rapids Community College. The head of the program, Chef Kevin Dunn, is also a NATIONALLY RENOWNED vegan chef. He loves to expose the masses to the amazing possibilities of vegan cuisine, and so you will find some STAGGERINGLY IMPRESSIVE vegan items on the menu: southern fried tofu with mashed potatoes, buscuits and gravy; mock duck enchiladas; eggless tempura vegetable appetizer, mock eel appetizer, pan fried oyster mushroom appetizer, fruit napoleons, and on and on and on. This is a great place to take a date for a very reasonable fine dining experience.
Pho Soc Trang (Division and 43rd in the same complex as the Asian Market)
Recently, this Vietnamese noodle house has become one of our favorite spots in the G-Rap. For a mere $7.00 per person, you get a HUGE bowl of vermicelli noodles LOADED with fresh herbs, veggies and crushed peanuts, and sauced up with a tangy "fish" sauce surrogate. Add a little Sriracha HOT SAUCE and you are in serious business.
Bistro Bella Vita (Downtown behind the Van Andel Arena)
Make sure to call in advance to alert Chef Pat that you want a custom vegan option. He'll whip up a dining experience that is entirely "off the menu". While your omnivorous friends and family members get the boilerplate fare that's rolling off the assembly line, you're thrillin' to the exclusive vegan stylings of Chef Pat, at your service. If you're looking for a sure-fire "impress a date" strategy, this is it: set up the custom menu in advance and then rock the dining room VIP style while everyone else is thinking "I want what they got!".
El Arriero (28th between Beltline and Breton)
This family-owned Mexican restaurant has some GREAT, and VERY CHEAP vegetarian and vegan options (PLUS THE PERENNIAL HIT: FREE CHIPS AND SALSA). We order a side of rice and beans (both of which are vegan: no broth, no lard), a side of tomato and lettuce, and 6 corn tortillas. For about $4.00 a piece, we gorge on chips and salsa and get three PHAT vegan tacos each!
These places are just the tip of iceberg, but there's more than enough here to inspire you to plan a few vegan adventure outings with interested friends. Come on back and post a log of your experiences: what dishes did you try? what are your favorites? what new restaurant discoveries have you made? Roll 'em out!
UPDATED: Be sure to scroll through the comments for new suggestions
The blog's getting text heavy. So sink your teeth into this: Bayless Black Bean Tacos with greens, cilantro, tomato, avocado, sriracha, and tofutti sour 'cream'. Fiesta!
Looking to kick-start your vegucation? These links will get you up to speed lickety split!
North America's Leading Animal Protection Sanctuary, and fantastic source of credible, reliable information about the lives of non-human "food" animals. Save a turkey this Thanksgiving!
Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research. On the basis of scientific research alone (with no "animal rights agenda"), PCRM suggests that a whole foods, plant based diet is the healthiest option for human beings.
Some helpful resources for folks who are exploring vegetarianism and veganism.
Compassion Over Killing
A grassroots animal advocacy organization headed up by Miyun Park, a Korean American animal activist.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
The largest animal advocacy organization in the world, with more than 600,000 dues-paying members. I don't always like their advertising choices (too Hollywood!), and sometimes they rely too heavily on shame tactics in getting their message out, but there's no question that they're on the vanguard of the movement.
Mercy For Animals
An animal advocacy organization with offices in Columbus, OH and Chicago, IL. This organization is a prime example of what the vision and the hard work of ONE PERSON can do to change the world! Nathan Runkle, MFAs Founder and Executive Director, went vegetarian at age 11, vegan shortly thereafter, and then founded MFA when he was 15! He is now 21 years old, and in the past 6 years he has turned his passion for educating people about the plight of farm animals into one of the leading animal advocacy organizations in the country with 8,000 members and counting!
"Mad Cowboy"Howard Lyman
Howard Lyman is perhaps the most inspirational and influential vegan activist working in North America today. A fourth generation farmer-rancher who made MILLIONS of dollars converting his family farm into a factory complex in the 1970's, Howard had a change of heart accompanied by a switch to a vegan diet that has inspired millions of people to do the same.
A California animal sanctuary that is doing ground breaking work both in animal rescue and farm animal education.
For better or for worse, it is fact about human beings that we tend not to believe things until we see them for ourselves. For that reason, unfortunately, it is often difficult to motivate ourselves to change our lifestyles until we see with our own eyes what our daily consumer choices mean for sentient beings of other species. Please be warned that the following links are to videos that contain graphic images of animal suffering. They are posted here as an educational tool for those who wish to learn more about the plight of animals who are exploited in the food, pet, clothing, entertainment, and research industries.
A Film By Shaun Monson
This film is perhaps the most comprehensive documentary ever made on the suffering and exploitation that non-human animals are made to endure in the pet, food, clothing, entertainment, and research industries. You can watch the entire feature length film in ten parts on YouTube:
PETATV Video Archive
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals keeps an archive of virtually all the public service announcements, news stories, and documentary videos of animal cruelty out there on the web. This resource list can help you sift through the available options.
MEET YOUR MEAT
A 12 minute public service announcement that takes a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in animal factories.
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