Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Christmas

Stories of Spring

Posted by on Nov 29, 2015 in Christmas | 2 comments

“Every man and every living creature has a sacred right to the gladness of springtime” – Leo Tolstoy

meerkat

Image from Moqfefeq

(for any keen eyed Tread Kindly folk, yes, I have used that gorgeous Tolstoy quote before but…it’s so apt for this time of year and it’s one of my favourites !)

Spring…..lordy, I’ve really only just snuck in by the skin of my teeth haven’t I ? Life has been busy and my little blog has been woefully neglected. Alas I am here and keen to share my Spring re-cap with you!

  • My favorite Springtime event was a few days spent with a group of like minded, kind and wise souls as part of the Lucy’s Project conference in Byron Bay earlier this month. If helping domestic violence survivors and their animals sparks your interest, join the facebook group to keep up to date. I can’t wait for next year’s conference and to see what we can collectively achieve over the next year. Anna, the founder, is one incredible lady and has shown us what one person can do when they put their mind to it.
  • Speaking of amazing ladies, I loved this article by Edgar’s Mission Pam Ahern about how to speak up for something you believe in when you are not naturally a loud or outspoken person. I feel that I will be referring back to it a lot.

Tried and tested wonderous recipes to share

  • This rice salad (courtesy of my mum) receives rapturous praise and requests for the recipe whenever I make it. So, for my tribe of adoring salad fans from a couple of weekends ago…..here it is ! I think a few dried cranberries thrown in there will make in sufficiently christmas-y ?
  • In all it’s fire breathing glory – my Mapo Tofu. Not for those delicate of tongue !

New discoveries

  • Aquafaba (the viscose-y liquid found in tins of beans like chickpeas) as an egg replacement. I can’t believe I’ve been tipping this amazing substance down the sink for so long.

Yes, free range eggs are better than caged eggs BUT even free range chickens are slaughtered around 18 months of age and male chicks are killed at birth. Plus, our Egg Corporation has some serious integrity issues going on and what they are seeking to be the stocking density for free range is a (sad) joke.  So, why not cut down or eliminate egg use in cooking by giving aquafaba a try ?

Here is my first aquafaba experiment – chai spiced ginger biscuits. They are yum (if not a tad lurid !).

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Join the facebook group – Vegan meringue – Hits and Misses and be bamboozled by what some clever people are creating with aquafaba.

  • Green Smoothies. I have always shied away from even the mere thought of a smoothie made from spinach or kale but they are actually pretty damn delicious. Thanks to The Slow Home Podcast (which has introduced me to so many good things), I discovered Simple Green Smoothie’s website full of recipes and I’ve been trying to make one every non work day.

Inspiring people

  • Thomas King – one of those people who makes you feel a bit inadequate having achieved so much at such a young age but we definitely need more compassionate, young men like Thomas in leadership positions.
  • Amber Canavan. In a story which leaves you shaking your head at the lunacy of this world, Amber was sent to jail for a month for exposing hideous cruelty in a Foie Gras facility in New York and rescuing 2 birds. Her story leaves me feeling uneasy about how the recently passed “Biosecurity” (Ag Gag) laws in Australia will punish brave souls who expose animal cruelty.
  • Mark Pearson from the Animal Justice Party. I love watching his measured speeches in Parliament. Animals are finally getting a voice in politics. Hooray !
  • Wang Yan who’s search for his missing dog, ended up with him spending his fortune on rescuing dogs from the meat trade in China.
  • Journalist Sam de Brito who died on the 12th October 2015. I so miss his words in the Sun Herald each week. Having a blokey, regular Aussie guy discuss compassion and kindness in the mainstream media was so valuable. Here are my favourite Sam articles : Confessions of a Vegan, We Are All Nazis When It Comes To Animal Rights, Put the Cameras In Farms, Not Outside and, his final column, My Baby In Bed. Farewell lovely man.

Great news from around the globe

With Christmas just around the corner

FOOD

“Peace and goodwill” should be offered to ALL creatures this Christmas time. There are a gazillion kind Christmas Day recipe options out there but I’m tossing up between the following delights (or you can check out my last year’s Christmas post for some other ideas):

Bed and Broccoli’s garlic prawns

PETA’s cashew nut roast with herb stuffing 

Epicurious’s Vegduken (I reckon Aquafaba would work a treat to replace the eggs and vegan parmesan if you want an animal product free version)

Vegan Dad’s Maple Apple Cider Tofu

Watermelon Granita with Ginger Syrup

GIFT IDEAS

Thankfully, my family is all on board again to do the donation thing, rather than buying presents but here are some gift ideas which are catching my eye.

Western Australian based Scent To Rescue Candles – 100 % of profits from these gorgeous candles go to animal rescue groups

Sea Shepherd’s “Cookin’ Up A Storm” cookbook

Animal’s Asia stunning bear charm bracelets

Any of the delectable wines from Goodwill Wine. You pick which charity receives the generous donation from your purchase.

T-shirts from Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary (I have one, they are massively cute – don’t you think ??)

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Say farewell to glad wrap by using pretty Beeswax food wraps sold by Ecolosophy

The latest from the fabulous Women of Letters books – Between Us. All royalties go to Edgars Mission animal sanctuary.

Perfect Potion gift boxes. Beautifully presented, ethical body products.

Great Reads

Good Eats

Now……..it’s time to leap into summer……..see you soon (probably sooner on facebook – please stop by and “like” me if you haven’t)! xxx

landfill dogs

This joyous image is from Landfill Dogs (http://landfilldogs.info)

 

 

 

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Ethical Christmas Feasting

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas | 2 comments

“As custodians of the planet, it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness. People get offended by animal rights campaigns. It’s ludicrous. It’s not as bad as mass animal death in a factory.” Richard Gere

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Art: Paco Catalán Carrión

When you’re planning your Christmas day feast, please ponder the plight of the millions of animals who are confined to the most hideous of conditions in factory farms to fuel our endless demand for cheap and plentiful meat so we can “eat, drink and be merry” at this time of year. Life is far from merry for them.

If you are going to have turkey, pork, chicken etc on your table for christmas lunch, please spend a bit more time, money and effort to source it from an “ethical supplier”.

Some great Australia wide websites which help you decipher who the real free range suppliers are, look no further than :

Consume with Care

Flavour Crusader

Sustainable Table

And for seafood, there is this guide :

Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide

For Sydney-siders, a new shop has just opened up in the inner west called Chop Shop Carivorium which stocks, amongst many locally grown, organic products, Melanda Park pork which is unambiguously free range.

If you want to take that one extra step and leave animals off your table this year (or, chances are, you will have at lease one vegetarian / vegan guest at the table – our numbers are on the rise !), read on for some sumptuous suggestions :

* The wonderful people at Bed and Broccoli have shared their fear free christmas recipes. I am going to have a crack at the Tofurky.

* The Sanitarium Vegi Roast with Rosemary and Mint Glaze is an easy, tasty option and can be picked up at your major supermarket.

* Partake in one of the many christmas recipes on display at VeganEasy.org.

* This Easy Vegan Christmas Pudding looks divine.

* For some more snazzy / fancy pants (featuring Donna Hay and Bill Graninger) vegetarian / vegan christmas recipes have a look at these mouth watering suggestions.

Have a happy and compassionate christmas everyone xxx

 

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Christmas Feasting

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Christmas, Recipes - Savoury | 2 comments

leunig

 

Ah, Leunig – what a wise and insightful man you are !

With just a couple of weeks until Christmas, it is probably time to organise one’s menu options for the day.

For the meat eaters of the family, if you live in Sydney, the following companies are tried and tested and completely transparent in their ethics of how the animals which end up on your plate were treated. Feather and Bone and The Free Range Butcher. You will be spending more and you need to be organised by ordering ahead but you will be sure that there is no deceptive advertising involved and that their free range really is free range (Don’t forget that some devious types may advertise their hams as “free range” when they are in fact only “bred free range” – which is not far off factory farmed pigs (piglets are born “free range” but moved into an indoors, intensive arrangement shortly after). For my regional and interstate friends, the Flavour Crusader has an enormous amount of information about sourcing proper free range pig products and turkeys from local farmers doing the right thing. You may wish to re-visit my very first post (over 1 year ago now !) on why “factory farmed” meat should be avoided at all costs. Remember too that animals raised in genuine free range conditions do have a better quality of life but they do go to the same slaughterhouses as ‘factory farmed’ animals – there are no “kind abattoirs” unfortunately.

I, the sole vegetarian of the family, am ironically the ham purchaser this year (from Feather and Bone).

Alternatively, you may wish to “pardon a pig” at Animals Australia and receive a great e-book of Christmas vegetarian recipes for your trouble so you can whip up some extravaganza to show your tribe that vegetarian meals can be festive and mouthwatering too.

I had a dismal cooking fail with my lentil loaf stuffed with mashed potato which was my intended Christmas Day masterpiece. Time consuming (3 hours!), fairly bland and crumbly and described by my beloved as looking “like a tray of kitty litter.” Suffice to say, this project was shelved and I had to eat it every day at work for a week. Sigh.

Luckily, I was saved by the success of this mouthwatering  pistachio and ruby grapefruit salad, baked rosemary and garlic potatoes…….and the convenient Sanitarium Vegi Roast with Rosemary and Mint Glaze which I bought from Coles.  Had a practice run last night and received a solid 9/10 mark from my carnivorous partner which restored my pride somewhat after the kitty litter-esque loaf performance. This is how it looked:

 

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And here are the links I used to make it :

Quinoa tabouleh with pink blush grapefruit, coriander and pistachios from the fabulous “The Mindful Foodie” – a great blog to subscribe to. This salad was truly delicious – loved the grapefruit addition. 

Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes – from VeganEasy.org. There are an array of delicious meat free Christmas recipes to pick from if you need some inspiration. Turned out great – lots of flavour and good to use some of my mountains of rosemary growing in my garden.

I topped the lazy but tasty roast with some cranberry sauce and found it to be a very hearty and worthy meat substitute. 

Found this Otter site to be full of interesting information and handy links about having an ethical christmas – for food, pressies etc. 

Have a glorious, stress free end to 2013. I hope to sneak one more post in before the year’s out xxx

 

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