This blog is a celebration of the wonderful world of vegan cooking. Enjoy!

* The title of this blog refutes the dangerous idea that veganism is a weight-loss diet and that all vegans are skinny. Conversely, being a-not-so-skinny-vegan is also not the same as being overweight or unhealthy. All food intake must be part of a balanced lifestyle.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FatFree Vegan Kitchen

This blog was named as it is as a humourous reaction to some jokes about vegans that popped up on The Simpsons over the years. I had, rather incorrectly, assumed that vegans can't really get fat. I carried this incorrect assumption until a couple of weeks ago... when I couldn't do up my favourite jeans.

I'm not sure when it happened but I have an idea it might have had something to do with the delicious vegan restaurants in Seattle and then my discovery that Oreos are vegan. I don't think Masterchef has helped either: the more extravagant the dishes on the television, the harder I tried to replicate vegan versions.

So I decided, with the hour or so I walk the dog every day, that I should perhaps cut down on the decadent vegan chocolate cheesecakes (recipe to come!) or rich, creamy cauliflower tarts (also to come!). Like most of my bright ideas I went to the extreme first: I ate 99.4% fat free 2-minute noodles for lunch and dinner every day. I soon got sick of that (we'll not mention how unhealthy it is). Then I tried steamed vegies and flavoured rice. It was good but once a year is enough for a plate of vegetables. I wanted something delicious and creative!

Then I remembered that I recently cooked some vegan quiches with a recipe from a blog called FatFree Vegan Kitchen. The quiches (recipe and photos soon!) were delicious (although, unfortunately, in the higher fat end) so thought I'd browse through SusanV's blog to find some delicious, fat free, vegan recipes. And I found some great ones I'd love to try!

Red Lentil and Rice Patties with Coconut-Mint Sauce

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes

Chili Mac

Easy Macaroni and Cheeze

Curried Chickpea and Quinoa

Friday, July 16, 2010 is a great place to visit if you are or are interested in becoming a vegetarian/vegan.

I can't wait to try out their vegan-friendly recipe for lasagne!

Don't let 'Free Range' become 'Factory Farmed'!

 If you live in Australia please take the time to click here and help Animals Australia stop terrible changes to the way eggs are classified.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Food Inc

When Geoff and I first starting going out we used to have Date Night every Saturday. Date Night usually consisted of dinner and a movie.

Since we started living together Date Night turned into takeaway in front of the television watching a DVD (most recently it's been The Wire and then Planet Earth). But last night Geoff was determined to rekindle our more exciting routine so we went out for dinner and a movie.

We couldn't get a table at A Night in India or at the Himalyan Cafe so we opted for the Indian restaurant near the Palace Centro. It's called Sitar and the food was quite good, prices average and the service was pleasant but very unprofessional.

We had decided to go to a 9.10 movie so had to scoff our food down and I ran to buy the tickets as Geoff paid the bill. And just as we were walking into the doors of the cinema they closed in front of us signalling that the movie had started. We forced our way in as the opening credits started.

The movie we saw was Food Inc. It's been around for quite a while in the US but has only recently hit our cinemas. With the help of Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma) the documentary looked at the origins of the food most Americans eat. And it wasn't just one of these movies that scares the average omnivore into not eating meat for a couple of weeks until they forget about the raw impact of the movie when they get hungry and crave a Quarter Pounder. This documentary shed some light onto the power of consumers to shape the products supermarkets stock, the problems with a few multinational companies holding all the power over what we consume, the veil between product and origin, and the problems with genetically modified food (particularly the soybean).

I always preach that meat eaters are so distanced from the animal because of the way a piece of meat is presented in a supermarket that it's easy for them to buy and eat without thinking about the consequences. I still hold this belief but this film made me think about my choices too. I can say I don't contribute to the slaughtering of animals and the moral, environmental and social consequences that go with it but what can I say about the vegetables, grain and soy proteins I buy?

It's a really well made film and makes its point very well by letting people in the industry, particularly farmers, voice their opinions.

My dear friend Laura was talking about goals this week on her blog. I have a few short term goals (make the perfect vegan caramel popcorn; finish my thesis soon!) and now some new long term goals: don't buy genetically modified foods, buy local, shop at farmers' markets and try to buy organic.