Friday Five: Vegan Chocolate Attack

I was super sad to learn earlier this week that longtime vegan marshmallow maker Sweet & Sara is closing up shop. I placed an emergency “last order” of my favorite Peanut Butter Smore. They’re still filling orders for the next few weeks so get on it! And, please enjoy this #FridayFive of five vegan chocolate treats I’ve been into lately.

1. Sweet & Sara Peanut Butter Smore

I mean. I literally just said it. Why would it not be on the list? A big, fat homemade vegan marshmallow smooshed between honey-free graham crackers, a slathering of peanut butter and dunked in chocolate. I always say I’m going to eat half and then eat the whole thing. Order it.

2. Espresso Chocolate-Covered Cocomels

I was already obsessed with Cocomels’ soft coconut milk caramels, then they went and dunked them in chocolate. Then-then they went and added espresso beans to the mix. Find them.

3. Caramel & Sea Salt Coconut Butter Cups

My L.A. friends laugh at my love of Erewhon grocery store, but I am telling you that for this Midwestern vegan, it was a wonderland. I went last fall to pitch I Heart Keenwah and ended up spending like $500 on raw vegan tacos, kombucha (which I don’t even like) and these coconut butter cups from EatingEvolved. Find them.

4. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Chocolate Quinoa Puffs

I mean, obviously I’m going to include I Heart Keenwah in this list. But legit, they’re like vegan malt balls made with Fair Trade organic dark chocolate. But instead of whatever the hell malt balls are made of, they’re made from quinoa so you get 3-4g of protein per serving. Order them.

5. Lemon Cheesecake Caramel Chocolate

Loving Earth sent me some of their chocolate bars earlier this summer and this flavor blew my mind. Made with raw cashews and lemon essential oil, it really does remind me of cheesecake, but with the added bonus of really good chocolate. Order it.

 

Friday Five: Cheap Thrills of The Week

You know those obnoxious people who can tell you the exact date when they were last sick because they have such magical immune systems that no common cold can take them down? Well I am one of those people, and I’m sorry. But this week karma caught up with me in the form of some kind of barfy head cold that has made me sad all week.

One thing that’s made me feel better, though, is actually five things – a couple of little purchases I made that have cheered me up while I sweated through my pajamas. I figured if you’re here you and I have similar taste, so I hope you find something fun that will give you cheap thrill.

1. Vegan Oxfords

My favorite shoes are a pair of silver Matt and Nat oxfords I picked up at MooShoes for $120, but I recently picked up a pair of faux patent dupes on Zulily for $17. No, they’re not as comfortable as Matt and Nat, and they won’t last as long, but a week in I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of them. (Items on Zulily come and go, but I check every day because they often have cute vegan shoes and accessories. If you’re new to the site you can get $15 off your first order when you sign up with my link.)

2. Type O Negative Enamel Pin

I’ve written about my Type O fandom in the past, so it’s been exciting to see so many options pop up as the enamel pin craze continues to grow. This Hey Peter pin from Depression Pin Co. is exactly what I’ve been waiting for – the color is spot on, it’s just the right size, and it was only $8.

3. Pig Island T-Shirt

Yep, I’m plugging my own shirt, but I was genuinely stoked to receive mine. If you’ve been vegan for more than five seconds, someone has probably asked you what you’d eat if you were stuck on an island with nothing to eat but pigs. For some reason in this scenario you can’t eat what the pigs are eating, and there is no other vegetation on the entire island. Just you, pigs, and sand. It’s a stupid question, and I’ve always wanted a vacation shirt advertising this stupid, stupid place so now I have one. From my own shop. $15.49 and up, available on a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles.

4. Dayglo Frankenstein Print

Yes, I know that’s the doctor’s name, not the monster’s name. Either way, I ordered this print from FriendPrices as soon as they were available in his online shop. The print was only $18, but I’m warning you in advance that if you’ve never checked this shop out you’re going to buy 3-5 things. It’s like Target for scumbags.

5. Stamped Forks

I’ve known Christine from The Family Vegan for some time now, and have recently become a collector of her hand-stamped forks. She “rescues” them from thrift stores and yard sales, and stamps them with cute little messages. I love that she’s upcycling, and that I can use a “vegan” or “meat is murder” fork in my instagram photos. Prices vary, but most are only $3 each. DM her on Instagram to order.

Money can’t buy everything, but it can buy cheap thrills that cheer you up when you’re sick.

Friday Five: Vegan Staples You Can Make At Home

Tonight I’m attending a fundraiser for Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary, an organization that works to protect and conserve more than 50 hectares of rainforest land in Sumatra. This land, and the wildlife that calls it home, are all endangered due in large part to the palm oil industry.

Palm oil. It’s the problem vegans don’t like to talk about, because palm-based margarine and oils make or lives so much more “normal,” and avoiding them is a challenge. (It’s also prevalent in non-vegan foods – start reading labels and you’ll see it everywhere.)  Lots of products now claim to use “sustainably sourced” palm oil, but many vegans are choosing to opt out altogether.

I’ve noticed this problematic ingredient most often in vegan pantry staples such as cheese and margarine so I thought I’d dedicate today’s Friday Five to some ways you can make those items at home.

1. Vegan Cheese

Honestly just buy it. Trust me.

Making your own cheese sounds terrifying, I know. But with the right recipes and a few simple ingredients it really is possible. Rather than re-writing a bunch of things that have already been written, I’m going to link you to some excellent resources. The first of which is Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Creamery fame. If you’re lucky, you can buy her cheese and vegan butters in a Whole Foods Market near you, but do yourself a favor and get this book. The recipes are easy (I promise) and none of the ingredients are difficult to sources thanks to the Internet.

Now here are some vegan cheese recipes anyone can make:

  • Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – nutritional yeast, cashews, and a handful of other ingredients come together to spice up your nachos and tacos. Refrigerate and use it as a cheesy spread on sandwiches, or as a base for your cheeseless pizza.
  • Cheddar Sauce – Another nooch-based cheese that is liquid when hot and spreadable when cold. Makes awesome mac n ‘cheese and tastes awesome on veggie burgers.
  • Vegan Mozzarella – This is similar to a buffalo mozz, meaning it’s not going to melt or stretch, and in my opinion, it’s best served cold. This recipe was adapted from one of Miyoko’s, and in her book you can also find recipes for cheese that will, in fact, melt and stretch.

That’s just a handful to get started – but cheese lovers take note: you can recreate literally every cheese. I’ve even seen creepy, moldy, vegan versions of blue cheese. The sky’s the limit.

Food Hack: In a pinch, I’ve replaced cheese with other fats like avocados. I know that sounds hella vegan of me, but it’s true. Try avocado, basil and tomato on crusty bread, drizzle it with balsamic and tell me it isn’t just as good as traditional caprese.

2. Non-Dairy Butter

Eventually every vegan adds one entire bucket of coconut oil to his or her Amazon cart.

This is the biggest struggle for a lot of vegans – what can you use besides store-bought margarine that is typically made with palm oil and loads of other oils that are probably not so great to eat? Listen, I’m not going to tell you that I don’t still buy Earth Balance, but there are some other options I’ve tried that I can recommend:

  • Artisan vegan butter – Yeah, it’s Miyoko again. What can I say? She knows her stuff. This recipe calls for refined coconut oil, which doesn’t taste very much like coconut at all, whipped together with a few other ingredients you can easily find in health food stores. In addition to spreading it on toast, you can actually bake with it!

I’m filing frosting under “butter” because it’s the question I get most often when I start lamenting the evils of palm oil. But how can I make vegan buttercream? The answer is, it’s never going to be the same, but if you’re willing to adapt to a new flavor and texture, there are a few solutions I’ve tried and liked.

  • Tofu frosting – It’s better than it sounds? This recipe is easy to mess with to make it exactly the way you like it. And tofu doesn’t taste like anything, it just provides texture.
  • Coconut oil – Again, use refined so it doesn’t taste (as much) like coconut. Note that this frosting will melt SO FAST if it gets warm so keep it chilled!
  • Cashew icing – Not the cheapest icing you will ever make, but a little goes a long way.

Food Hack: If you tend to use margarine (or butter) to add a little fat, salt and flavor to things – for instance grilled cheese – you can easily substitute other fats and add a dash of salt. I grill thick slices of bread with a drizzle of olive oil and just a sprinkle of salt and I don’t miss the butter at all.

3. Egg Substitutes

A few years ago I made a free download that contains a lot of these, but as a refresher – there are lots of ways to replace eggs in various recipes. Some of the packaged ones might contain some questionable ingredients, so here are some homemade options:

  • Tofu  – Duh? But seriously, you can scramble it for breakfast, use it in baking, whip it into dressing. I always have tofu in it least three forms in my house.
  • Aquafaba – The cooking liquid from chickpeas (or other mild-flavored beans) replicates egg whites so well it’s scary. There’s lots of info on the internet about how to use it, but again, it’s a cheap and easy solution to a lot of vegan conundrums.
  • Flax eggs – Mix some ground flax and warm water and you’ll get a goopy substance that acts as a binder in heartier recipes like brownies and breads.
  • Bananas – You can replace 1 egg with 1/2  mashed banana in lots of recipes, just know that it’s going to taste like banana.
  • Non-dairy yogurt – You can also make this at home, but I kind of think yogurt is gross so I don’t consider it a staple personally. Either way, 1/4 cup can replace 1 egg in a lot of baking recipes.

Food hack: If you’re using aquafaba or tofu to substitute eggs in a recipe where eggs are normally the star (think breakfast sandwiches or quiche) consider adding a dash of Hawaiian Black Salt. It smells “eggy” – so much so that Teno and Tony both yell at me when I use it.

4. Meatless Meat

A lot of new vegans find themselves spending the bulk of their grocery budget on faux meats, and not only are they inexpensive to make at home, but you can avoid the whole conflict between wanting to buy Beyond Meat burgers but not wanting Tyson to get 20% of the money (one example – start digging and you’ll get super bummed super fast about how many vegan “meat” brands have tested on animals or are secretly owned by animal agriculture brands). Here are some easy versions you can make at home:

  • Seitan – I hesitate to say it’s like making bread because then people are like, “Oh my god, I can’t make bread!” But really, it’s easy. Stir things together, cook the things, eat the thing. Plus once you’ve figured out the texture you like, just switch up the seasonings to make chick’n, Thanksgiving “turkey,” etc.
  • Chickpea seitan – Like seitan, but a bit less of a gut-bomb, in my opinion. Another easy one to make and to switch up the flavors.
  • Tempeh – A bit more complicated to make yourself, but as far as questionable ingredients are concerned, I’ve yet to find a store-bought tempeh that had anything in it that made me question whether or not I should buy it.

Food Hack: OK now is the part where I get super vegan and annoying on you, but get this through your head – vegetables are good. You don’t need “fake meat” to eat a satisfying meal. There are lots of whole veggies (and even fruits) that can be prepared similarly to meat – try jackfruit, cauliflower, or mushrooms.

5. Creamy Condiments

vegan ranch dressing recipeAnother area of the supermarket where palm oil tends to lurk is in the pre-made salad dressings, mayos and vegan sour creams. But those are all really easy to make at home, so here are my favorite subs:

  • Vegan sour cream – Yes, it does call for a lot of cashews but if you buy them in bulk it’s not so bad and plus, how much friggin’ sour cream are you eating?
  • Vegan mayo – I like this recipe because it calls for aquafaba, which makes sense because real mayo is made from eggs.
  • Creamy salad dressings and dips – Surprise! You just learned how to make them. Just add your favorite spices and seasonings to either of the above two recipes and you’ll have creamy ranch dressing and yummy onion dip in no time.
  • If you feel more comfortable with a recipe, this one for vegan ranch dressing is easy and tasty.

Food hack: Sorry to keep doing this to you, but in a pinch avocado strikes again! Mash one into your salad or blend it up with some lime juice and seasonings for dips.

Bonus: Milk & Cream

Listen, I’ve made my own nondairy milks and coffee creamer a few times and just not found it to be worth the effort – but I totally understand why someone would want to. A lot of the easy to find and affordable store-bought options are owned by some truly shitty companies. So here are some options:

  • Coconut oat vanilla coffee creamer – Kathy Hester is the queen of DIY vegan solutions, especially when it comes to coffee.
  • Nut milk – Heh. You can make milk from pretty much any nut and they all work kind of the same way.
  • Yogurt – I mentioned before that I don’t consider this a staple because I think yogurt is gross, but for those of you who do, well, here you go.

So there you go – way more than five, but kind of five vegan pantry staples you can make yourself. Enjoy!

The One Peaceful World Cookbook: Mochi Waffles With Lemon Syrup

I think I’ve already established that breakfast is my biggest struggle of the day. And while I’ve long advocated for the French-toasting of everything, and I’ve made some pretty weird waffles, it has never occurred to me to make mochi waffles!

Mochi, for those who’ve never heard of it, is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice. The texture is light and scrumptious and it’s a nice change from traditional waffle batter. It puffs up when you cook it, so it’s a lot like a Belgium waffle, but contains no flour.

This recipe is from The One Peaceful World Cookbook: Over 150 Vegan, Macrobiotic Recipes for Vibrant Health and Happiness, and is shared with permission from the authors, Alex Jack and Sachi Kato .

Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I might earn a commission.

Mochi Waffles With Lemon Syrup

By BakeandDestroy Published: September 4, 2017

  • Yield: 2-3 Servings

I think I've already established that breakfast is my biggest struggle of the day. And while I've long advocated for the …

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat a waffle iron or waffle maker.
  2. Grate or thinly slice mochi.
  3. Place a handful of sliced mochi into each waffle mold. Cook until the mochi puffs up and turns slightly crispy. Repeat this process with each waffle.
  4. While the waffles are cooking, place brown rice syrup, water, and a pinch of sea salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce flame to low, and simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Remove from the stovetop, add lemon juice and lemon zest, and mix gently.
  6. As soon as the mochi waffles are done, serve immediately with lemon syrup.

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    Friday Five: Natural, Vegan, DIY Treatments That Did Nothing to Help My Squamous-Cell Carcinoma

    Before we dive into what I hope you’ve already figured out is my way of dealing with a scary experience by laughing about it, I want to tell you why I’m posting this.

    I’m posting this because it’s really easy for us to ignore our health. Taking time out of your busy day to sit around a doctor’s office sucks. A lot of times doctors treat people – especially heavily tattooed people – like our ailments are our own fault, or like we’re drug-seekers. So many Americans do not have health insurance, or have shitty insurance with such high co-pays and deductibles that they’d rather just Google stuff than pay to see a doctor.

    There are a lot of reasons to ignore signs that you may not be healthy. But I am here to request that you listen to your body, and don’t ignore your health. Some of you might remember a few years ago when I went to the E.R. because I was having a hard time catching my breath and it turned out I had deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism. (You can read the whole story here.) Well, in May I got a little bump on my leg that I thought was a mosquito bite and this week I found out it was squamous-cell carcinoma. (You can read the whole story here.)

    I’m totally fine, so no sympathy needed. It’s a really common form of skin cancer and the entire tumor was removed for the biopsy. My doctor said to just keep an eye out for more bumps, but he doesn’t think it will come back. But for months before I finally went to the doctor I tried to treat the bump myself – with natural, vegan products of course. So here are five of them that did absolutely nothing to cure cancer.

    1. Quinoa Bath

    This is a fabulous scrub that does not cure cancer.

    I first noticed a little bump on my right calf while shaving my legs. It hurt when I poked it, and when my long skirts brushed up against it. I’m really allergic to mosquito bites, and oatmeal baths are a good way to relieve bug bites. But I hate oatmeal, so all I had in my house was Toasted Quinoa Flakes. I put them in the blender and took a warm bath steeped in toasted quinoa flour. It smelled nice, and made my skin soft, but it did not cure cancer.

    2. Tea Tree Oil

    I started suspecting that the mosquito bite had either become infected, or that it was actually an ingrown hair. It was really hard to see because it was on my calf, which is heavily tattooed and also as far away from my eyeballs as it could be, so instead of having it looked at after one entire month of pain I put some tea tree oil on it. I applied it “neat” as they say in the essential oils world, and covered it with a bandaid. It smelled lovely, but it did not cure cancer.

    3. Coffee Scrub

    By the middle of the second month I’d read everything on the entire internet about ingrown hairs and decided I had probably the worst one in the history of the world. At this point I’d purchased a magnifying glass and enlisted Tony in my bump-poking army. We applied lots of warm compresses, and I started scrubbing the bump, and both legs, every day with a homemade coffee body scrub. Tony would put on his headlamp for camping and peer at my bump with the magnifying glass every night. He googled a bunch of videos about removing ingrown hairs and we prepared to perform at-home surgery if necessary. The coffee scrub made my butt soft, but did not cure cancer.

    4. Kale Brightening Mask

    I might be the only vegan you’ll ever meet who will tell you with certainty that kale does not cure cancer.

    I decided the coffee scrub was too mild and it was time to really show this ingrown hair who was boss, so I grabbed my Pacifica Kale Brightening AHA Surface Overhaul Mask. It smells like a green smoothie, and it works wonders to peel away dull, dead skin on my face so I figured it would work. My leg bump was baby soft and hella shiny, but alas, kale masks do not cure cancer. Still thinking this was a stubborn hair, I gave Tony the green light to hack at it with a pair of pointed tweezers. As you might imagine, this resulted in a bloody mess.

    5. Soapwalla Balm

    After our failed white trash surgery, my bump was pretty scabby. I wanted to see a doctor at this point, but knew no one would see past this mess of crusty blood and irritation. I’d just received a sample of The Balm from Soapwalla – a repair balm containing moringa oil, arnica, frankincense and a bunch of other skin-loving ingredients. I slathered the balm on the bloody bump and covered it with a band aid for about a week. It did help heal the wound, but it did not cure cancer.

    Finally, I made an appointment with a local dermatologist. I explained that I had a gnarly ingrown hair, but when he looked at it, he recommended a biopsy. He didn’t even entertain the idea of it being a hair, actually. He thought it was either a neoplasm – which is a harmless growth some people develop after an injury (again, super allergic to mosquito bites so I thought maybe that was it) or basal cell cancer (which is typically not aggressive or dangerous) but since the skin is tattooed he wanted to remove the entire growth and have it analyzed.

    Three days later he called me to say it was Squamous-Cell Carcinoma – a different type of common, and typically non-aggressive skin cancer. Luckily he removed the entire growth (tumor? I don’t know what to call it) to do the biopsy so now it’s just a matter of letting the stitches heal and keeping an eye out for any new ones.

    Like I said, this is the second time I had what seemed like a really minor health issue but got it checked out anyway only to find out it was actually pretty serious. It was a huge reminder to me that I need to be my own advocate – whether it’s pushing back on doctors who don’t take me seriously, or in this case, just trusting myself enough to see one in the first place.

    So please take care of yourselves because if you’re reading Bake and Destroy you’re obviously really cool and the world is short on really cool people. We need you.

    Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click and buy any of these items that definitely do not cure cancer, I will earn a small commission that will go toward the couple hundred bucks I spent actually getting rid of cancer. More realistically, though, I will spend it on food.

     

     

     

    Sweet, Savory, & Free: Lemon Streusel Basil Blackberry Muffin Recipe

    If you’re anything like me, by which I mean a totally half-assed backyard gardener, your window boxes are overflowing with basil right now and you are all pesto’d out. You’ve cooked all the pasta. You’ve eaten all the fancy strawberry basil salads and you still have so much basil it’s starting to get embarrassing.

    Well, let me ask you this, have you tried making it into muffins? Because you can. And you can do it vegan, and without the top 8 food allergens. What? Yeah, you read that right. So go grab your basil and let’s do this using a recipe from Debbie Adler new book, Sweet, Savory, and Free: Insanely Delicious Plant-Based Recipes without Any of the Top 8 Food Allergens.

    The streusel topping calls for date paste, which you can make yourself pretty easily.

    Date Paste

    To make the date paste: Place 10 Medjool pitted dates and 1 cup of water in a small bowl. Let them soak for about 20 minutes. Drain the dates and keep the water they soaked in. Add the dates to a food processor. Puree the dates until combined. While the machine is still running, add the reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dates are combined and the mixture is somewhat smooth. You should only need 2–3 tablespoons of the reserved soaking water.

    Lemon Streusel

    • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/4 cup date paste (see above)
    • 2 tablespoons gluten-free oats,
    • ground (I use a coffee grinder)
    • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

    Whisk together the coconut sugar, date paste, oats, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.

    Nutritional info: Serving size – 1 muffin. Calories 70; Total Fat 4.0g; Protein 1.0g; Cholesterol 0.0g; Sodium 50mg; Fiber 2.0g; Sugars 4.0g; Total Carbohydrate 20.0g

    Printed with permission from Debbie Adler. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I might earn a commission.

    Lemon Streusel Basil Blackberry Muffin Recipe

    By BakeandDestroy Published: August 28, 2017

    • Yield: 12 Servings
    • Cook: 18 mins

    If you're anything like me, by which I mean a totally half-assed backyard gardener, your window boxes are overflowing with basil right …

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
    2. Make the date paste and streusel recipes above.
    3. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, basil, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, guar gum, salt, and cardamom in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
    4. Add the applesauce, coconut nectar, lemon juice, lemon extract, and stevia, and stir to combine. Add the yogurt and coconut milk, and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the batter is smooth.
    5. Fold in 1/2 cup of the blackberries, and stir to incorporate.
    6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup should be about three-quarters full.
    7. Top each cup with some streusel.
    8. Bake the muffins until they are a light golden brown and bounce back slightly to the touch, about 18 minutes. Rotate the muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking.
    9. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack, and let it sit for 10 minutes before removing the muffins to cool completely.

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      Friday Five: Vegan Breakfast Ideas

      My favorite vegan breakfast is a toasted sesame bagel smothered in about 700 calories of extra-salty walnut butter, I’m just going to be honest with you. But, I’ve learned to make that a “sometimes” food when I feel like treating myself. The rest of the time, I look for breakfast options that are quick to make or can be prepped the day before, high protein, and that will keep me full until lunch.

      Sidenote: I wish more than anything I could be a smoothie person, but I’m not. I need to chew food to believe it’s food.

      1. Tofu Scramble

      Hear me out, hear me out. Tofu scramble is NOT a copout. You can do a lot with this high-protein breakfast option, plus you can make a big batch on Sunday night and be super stoked on yourself the next few mornings when all you have to do is warm it up (or not).

      Switch out the veggies and seasonings for a different scramble every time. My go-to is the Non-Cop-Out Tofu Scramble from my book which calls for nutritional yeast, Kalamata olives, spinach, Italian seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice, but the sky’s the limit. Try adding vegan cheese and tortilla chips for Breakfast Nachos or throw it on a biscuit crust for Breakfast Deep Dish Pizza.

      Oh, and if you like your scramble to resemble scrambled eggs, you can use this Savory Egg Mix.

      2. Toasted Quinoa Flakes

      Full disclosure, I work for I Heart Keenwah, makers of Toasted Quinoa Flakes – but I wouldn’t recommend these if I didn’t really eat them. I want to love oatmeal because it’s so easy to make, but there really isn’t much going on there nutritionally and I find that most flavored oatmeals have a ton of sugar. Toasted Quinoa Flakes are a good swap because they cook in two minutes, but they pack in 5g protein per serving and only 1-2g sugar.

      These are a blank slate, so I like to make them into Chee-Zee Quinoa “Grits,” using nutritional yeast, some spices and vegan bacon. If you like your oatmeal(ish things) on the sweet side, try adding 2 Tbs of your favorite vegan protein powder (I like VeganSmart’s BadAssVegan Strawberry Shortcake) and top with some fresh fruit and low-sugar granola. Shout out to my absolute favorite, Michele’s Granola.

      3. Not-Avocado Toast

      Avocado toast is actually a great breakfast, especially if you add some spinach or beans or some other form of vegan protein. For something different, try edamame toast for protein, texture. Or make this easy chia spread and serve it with apple slices and whole grain toast.

      4. Hash it Out

      Similar to tofu scramble, but a little heartier, and if you don’t like tofu, you can make totally tofu-free hashes. I don’t know the official definition of a hash and I’m too lazy to Google it, but the basic idea here is a bunch of veggies cooked with garlic and onions with potatoes or sweet potatoes as the main event. My favorite is Smoky Jackfruit Hash, which you can make from scratch with young jackfruit in brine, or using Upton’s jackfruit.

      Vegetables for breakfast is my favorite in general – so this is a great way to add lots of flavor on a Sunday night and just reheat and eat all week. It might seem weird if you’re used to sweet cereals or smoothies, but a whole bunch of protein, fiber and some fat (try olives or avocado) will give you lots of energy and kickstart your metabolism for the day.

      5. French Toasted Everything

      Yes I am the genius suggesting French Toast as a revolutionary vegan breakfast idea. No I’m not, why don’t you just shut up and read for a sec? OK, so listen – you can French toast anything. And therein lies the genius. Leftover zucchini bread? French toast it. Experimental muffin recipe that didn’t quite work out? French Toast it.

      Just check out this guide I made, keep some stuff on hand, and be a hero in your household when in reality you are actually feeding your family stale bread and/or mistakes: How to French Toast Everything

      What are your go-to weekday breakfasts?

      Friday Five: Five Ways to Combat White Nationalists Without Punching Anyone

      In light of last weekend’s events in Charlottesville – by which I mean a domestic terrorist plowing through a crowd of counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer – I thought it would be trite to make my second Friday Five about my favorite podcasts or five ways to eat cauliflower. Instead, I’m giving you five ways you can take action against the rise of the alt-right, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, or whatever cute nickname you have for the racist, nationalist trash rising out of the gutters of this country.

      Feel free to add more ideas in the comments, and please note that I will be monitoring the comments because, in case it hasn’t occurred to you already, a vegan feminist blog is not a safe place for bigots.

      1. Support the Victims

      There is an official GoFundMe benefitting the victims of Saturday’s attack. It has surpassed it’s original modest goal, but imagine the medical expenses that 19 people who were hit by a car are racking up. This fundraiser has been cited on many reputable news sources, so I feel confidant that the funds raised will go to the appropriate people. I have also seen GoFundMe campaigns for individual victims.

      2. Educate Yourself

      I’ve seen my Google analytics. I know that the majority of people who read this blog are white women. To the people of color here, none of this is news to you, feel free to call me out if I fuck it up. Being an ally goes beyond acknowledging your privilege. Being an ally does not mean posting memes or photo ops at a rally. While you should acknowledge your privilege, and sharing ideas online and attending rallies are all good things to do – don’t expect a trophy for being “a good white person.”

      That being said, don’t count on people of color to educate you. It’s not their job. There are plenty of lists out there about books you can read to be a better ally to people of color, to women of color, and to the LGBTQ community. Read them. Bonus points if you read them without Instagramming them next to a matcha latte or whatever.

      Also in this category, I’d say to my fellow white people – don’t get offended. There are going to be generalities spoken and if they don’t apply to you, don’t get riled up about them. If someone says “white people are racist” but you aren’t racist, it’s not about you, move on. If someone says “white women voted for Trump” but you did not, no need to wave that flag, just keep on keepin’ on. You don’t have to tell people you’re one of the good ones – prove it. Oh, and if you do get called out on something by a member of a marginalized group, take the time to try and understand why.

      3. Engage With Real, Actual Humans

      Fighting with weirdos on the internet is super fun, I’m not going to lie. But as satisfying as it is to sick burn an egg avatar on Twitter, it’s futile. Instead, combat prejudice in your own social circle, and in your family. Don’t let racists jokes slide at Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t let your aunt use the phrase “those people.” Compare Islam to Christianity when your dad starts going on about terrorists, show him that the similarities outweigh the differences. The most important thing you can do, and maybe the best use of white privilege, is to stop those microaggressions, and stop normalizing hatred and fear.  Yes, it will get awkward. Yes, your mom will probably get mad at you. But the people being dehumanized by those microaggressions would take feeling awkward over being afraid any day – so stand up for them.

      4. Build Your Community

      After the election, local government bodies across the country saw a surge of interest from women. The same should be true in times like this. Whether you go through the steps of actually running for office, volunteering for a candidate you believe in, or you find your local chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations, or Black Lives Matter, or any grassroots organization – your hands and mind and body are needed! If marching through the streets isn’t for you, volunteer your time in after school programs that help to shape kids into compassionate people. Bonus: volunteering your time is an excellent way to alleviate that feeling of helplessness that can overtake you when it seems like the whole world has lost it’s damn mind.

      5. Give What You Can

      A t-shirt featuring a snarky comment about the president is fun to own, but consider instead throwing that $25 toward any of the numerous organizations that are working to combat hatred, defend the innocent, uphold our constitutional rights, and reform those who have been swallowed up by hate groups. There are so many I can’t list them all here, but a few you may not know about include Southern Poverty Law Center, Life After Hate, and Indigenous Environmental Network. Like I said – there are SO MANY amazing organizations, these are just a few. Feel free to comment about your favorites.

      This really only scratches the surface, guys, but I’ve seen so many friends already talking about feeling drained and emotionally spent and not knowing what to do – so here’s a start. Whenever you start feeling drained, keep in mind that just because this fight is new to you, doesn’t mean marginalized people have not been fighting it for decades and decades. Because they have. So chin up, dudes. Let’s do this.

      Event: Sumatra and the Money Tree Fundraiser for Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary

      Less than 500 Sumatran elephants exist in the wild today. Due to the devastating impact of the palm oil industry, Sumatra’s rainforests are being destroyed at an alarming rate, causing the loss of natural habitat for many wildlife species, and creating easier opportunities for poaching.

      They are now critically endangered, and palm oil is largely to blame. Because of all this, places like the Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary have become a necessity in order to help protect land and wildlife.

      Come join Hiraeth Diaries on September 8 at Slate Studio for a fundraiser event. Complimentary drinks and snacks will be provided, all palm oil-free. Images will be on display and for sale, and raffle prizes will be available as well. The night will end with a presentation featuring images and stories captured in Sumatra, giving you a deeper look into the affects of palm oil, the stories of people fighting to end deforestation, and learn more about what you can do to help.

      All proceeds will be donated to the Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary. Tickets are limited, so reserve your seats today!

      15 Minute Vegan: Edamame Beans on Toast

      Sunday night is meal prep night in my house. It’s a lot less daunting than it sounds. We take a few minutes after dinner and before Game of Thrones to wash the produce we’re going to use for the week, chop a few things, maybe whirl together a vegan cheese sauce or salad dressing, and then it’s off to see what Jon Snow is up to before bed. The rest of the week, thanks to those couple minutes of prep, we’re generally able to pack a healthy lunch and throw together a quick dinner without much hassle.

      Katy Beskow has a similar philosophy on her blog Little Miss Meat-Free, and now in her new cookbook 15 Minute Vegan: Fast, Modern Vegan Cooking. The book is filled with smart short cuts to make filling breakfasts, sides, entrees and even desserts. It’s a no-presh intro to vegan food for beginners, and a “ah-hah” book of new ideas for old pros.

      I chose this breakfast recipe to share because so many healthy breakfast options require loads of prep – whether it’s pressing tofu or making puff pastry, and this one takes literal minutes.

      Recipe excerpted with permission from 15 Minute Vegan by Katy Beskow, published by Quadrille July 2017, RRP $22.99 hardcover. Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a commission if you click – but this is not a paid or sponsored post. 

      Edamame Beans on Toast

      By BakeandDestroy Published: August 13, 2017

      • Yield: 2 Servings

      Tip from Natalie: Throw a little nutritional yeast on these babies and go to town.

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. In a pan, heat the olive oil and edamame beans over a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and quickly stir-fry for another minute.
      2. Reduce the heat to low-medium. Add the lemon juice to the pan. Stir the chives through the beans along with the salt. Cook for a further minute and then smash the beans roughly.
      3. Lightly toast the bread until crisp and golden. Pile the beans high on the bread and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil for an added fruity flavour, if desired. Top with tomatoes before serving.
      4. TIP: Frozen edamame beans are available from many large supermarkets. They are very versatile, so keep a handy bag in the freezer.

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