Q&A and training with Seattle’s vegan trainer Ben Greene

Are you active, vegan, a Seattle dweller and striving for optimal health in all areas of your life? Take heart, you’re not alone. More and more people are realizing that diet alone isn’t enough, and we vegans know how much we love our indulgences. Thankfully, there are now individuals in the city who can help you achieve your health/fitness goals, and I’m happy to know one of them.

Ben BerlinMeet Ben Greene. Seattleite, vegan and badass Ironman Athlete, co-author of The Vegan Athlete and the owner of Greene Multisport.

An impressive resume, right?

read more »

Roasted root vegetables with roasted garlic-lime dipping sauce

Guys, I’m bringing Vegan MoFo back from its monthly end with this post. See, this was to be my last post for Vegan MoFo, but it wasn’t meant to be due to timing. And thus, here we are.

My last round of conquering food fears was three-fold: parsnip, rutabaga and turnip. So autumn it hurts.

I wanted to get a root veggie-heavy recipe to be a part of this challenge because despite the fact that I’ve eaten them in many forms in restaurants (parsnip soup, rutabaga and turnip in pasta dishes, etc.), I’d feared cooking them because they always seemed rough to prep. I also felt that they would not come out as well at home as at a restaurant that was used to seasoning them and cooking them thoroughly, so this trio was the perfect test of all three at once. So much to mess up…or get deliciously right!

I picked up my beloved, well-used copy of Vegan Soul Kitchen prior to heading to the store and immediately gravitated to the Roasted root vegetables with roasted garlic-lime dipping sauce recipe. I mean, can you count all the delicious-sounding foods in that recipe name? There are many, friends.

I’ve never made a recipe by Bryant Terry that I hadn’t absolutely adored, or that hasn’t wowed a group of people, so I knew that this would be a fitting recipe to try and knock out three cooking fears in one go. So I got to work making it, alongside some Roasted Rosemary Tofu (recipe also from Vegan Soul Kitchen).

Turnips education via Super Mario Bros. 2. Image by GameCola.net.

I went to Central Co-Op to grab these veggies for the recipe, and felt like an awful vegan. I literally had to ask the produce lady to help me differentiate between many of these vegetables, and I only knew what turnips looked like due to childhood memories of playing Super Mario Brothers 2, (nerd alert).

Parsnip, rutabaga and turnip, at your service.

I honestly had to look up online how to prep all of these veggies, minus the parsnip, because it basically looked like a bigger, white carrot. Peeling and chopping these took a minute. Once they were chopped, I set them aside and got to work on making the sauce.

Ready for roastin’.

The sauce was composed of fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, olive oil and a whole head of roasted garlic cloves (mmm) among other spices. After roasting the beautiful garlic, my apartment smelled lovely.

Heaven, slightly burnt.

I then threw all the other sauce ingredients together into my trusty Vita-Mix, and it whirred together into this vivid sauce:

After this was complete, I got back to the veggies. I mixed them together with some olive oil and spices before roasting:

Here’s the finished plate, including tofu:

I made this dish a few weeks back, but the flavors are still memorable in my mind. The roasted veggies came out semi-sweet, but still nutty and autumn-inspired. Soft due to roasting and enhanced by the addition of the creamy olive oil/cilantro/lime sauce, this side dish was spectacular. A touch of saltiness in the sauce melded well with the near caramelized roasted veggies, and the roasted rosemary tofu ended up being this dish’s perfect partner. Honestly, these two sides would be perfect additions to your Thanksgiving table if you’re looking to switch things up from the traditional. I promise you won’t regret it.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy parsnips, rutabagas and turnips?

 

Pumpkin-Daal Soup

Are any of you getting sick of all the pumpkin recipes/creations taking over Vegan MoFo and/or the world right about now? I hope not, because thankfully I’m not there yet!

On Sunday I roasted a butternut squash, and I knew that for dinner I wanted to make a soup. Initially I wanted to make one out of Vegan Soul Kitchen but it also called for butternut, and that’d just be too much in one day for me. I started glancing through my vegan cookbook shelf (yes, I have one dedicated to them all, and it’s getting full) and came across Urban Vegan – Dynise Balcavage’s first book, by the same name as her wonderful vegan blog. I’ve made a bunch of random things from her book, (Better Than Buttermilk-Pancakes, Orecchiette Con Broccoli, Spinach-Fennel Salad with Creamy Avocado dressing – all excellent) but not much in the way of soups.

Then, I found it: Pumpkin-Daal Soup. The thought of the combination of these two things never once crossed my mind, but the more I thought about it, the more I believed it to be genius. The recipe looked really straightforward and contained ingredients that I already had, which makes for a great start.

When I read through the recipe, one concern I had was that there was very little liquid called for. Truthfully, I haven’t used lentils for many things other than loaves and soups, and I’m used to giving them a lot more water or broth to allow them to do their thing. So at first seeing so little liquid (and only a vegan milk) scared me, but I followed the recipe as indicated - something I have a hard time doing.

And it came out perfectly! The texture was more daal-like than soup, but I didn’t mind at all. The flavor was so complex – sweet from agave yet Indian-inspired thanks to turmeric and coriander, and it did a little dance on my tongue. The pumpkin cooled things down, and helped give the dish a smoother consistency than many lentil dishes. We served it with sprouted wheat toast and topped it with cilantro and roasted butternut squash seeds, (leftovers from our Sunday brunch). The recipe also yielded a few less servings than we anticipated, but that’s probably because we ate more than a traditional serving. It’s easy to do when you’re enjoying a meal this satisfying!

Perfection.

Do you have the Urban Vegan cookbook? What are your favorite recipes to make out of it?

Sunday Brunchin’ III: Basic Scrambled Tempeh + Roasted Butternut Squash

Hello all, and welcome to week three, (and post 11 on my blog, for those counting at home) of Vegan MoFo! The month is flying by and I can’t believe there are just two weeks and some change left of October. I hope you all are enjoying the posts here and all of the amazing things also being made by vegans all around the world on the MoFo RSS feed. I continue to be amazed and inspired by it! Today is Monday, and that means we pick up with the third installment in my Sunday Brunchin’  series.

I knew when I woke up yesterday that I wanted to switch gears and have a savory meal for brunch this week. The Pumpkin Spice Pancakes were great, (and fed us for about 5 more meals – they are the gift that keeps on giving!) but I’m mostly a savory brunch girl at heart. In my head I imagined we’d be making my tried and true scramble recipe, but the boyfriend picked up our copy of Vegan Brunch while I was feeding the cats. I said that we should probably start pressing tofu, but then he suggested we try making Isa’s Basic Scrambled Tempeh recipe. We both love the nutty taste and easy-to-cook-ness of tempeh yet had never scrambled it before, so this seemed like a home run. But what to serve it with?

I read the dish description and it recommended serving it with Roasted Butternut Squash, a side recipe in the book. Bingo! I’ll be honest with you guys: I have a fear of roasting fall/winter squashes. I’d tried to roast a butternut for the first time last year and it was a disaster. A huge mess and an inedible root vegetable. Since then I’ve been scared to touch another, but I thought I may as well try to right that wrong. So the boy went off to get the squash and some tempeh, and I started prepping.

When he got back, I checked the recipe and realized that we didn’t have enough tempeh, but improvised with the same amount of tofu, so this recipe could be called Basic Scrambled Tofu Tempeh. I am the queen of recipe improv.

I started making the squash, because it took three times the amount of time the tempeh recipe did, (which makes it such a quick breakfast recipe).

Our tools.

Peeled and sliced down the middle…

And chopped into a million pieces! I rinsed and saved the seeds, for a role in a future post.

The recipe said to line the pan with parchment, but I didn’t have any so I used foil. I was concerned it might ruin the recipe, but you have to use what you have around! Onto the tempeh/tofu.

There were very few vegetables (and ingredients, really) in this recipe, which is one reason why I loved it. It also didn’t have a lot in the way of seasonings/herbs, which is something I appreciated. I tend to err on the side of over-seasoning, so I love when recipes ask me to scale it back some.

Everything getting cozy in the pan.

Look, they came out perfectly! Crispy, browned and slightly sweet. I’m thankful I found a recipe that helped me conquer my fear of cooking fall/winter squashes! Well, at least butternut.

And here’s the plate I enjoyed with my mug of coffee.

Both recipes were relatively foolproof, and if you have yet to try either but own the book, I highly recommend them. I don’t have a cast iron skillet which would’ve worked perfectly to get both the tofu and tempeh nicely browned, but inevitably I’ll invest in this already-should’ve-owned kitchen tool, (along with many others). As Isa said about the combination of these two dishes, they “blend earthy and sweet,” and I agree that the combination is perfect for a cozy fall brunch at home.

Nut Case Cookies + My Sweet Vegan cookbook giveaway

After reading everyone’s MoFo posts and reveling in the fall weather we’ve had this week, I knew I felt like baking last night. Sometimes I bake to de-stress (a tactic I picked up in high school, that got me through college and that I still use today) and sometimes I do it out of sheer pleasure, which was the case last night. I’m someone who grew up baking way before I learned to cook, so I feel like that’s where my true strength lies. I have so many memories of helping my mom bake about 10 different types of cookies and baked goods for the holidays, and I feel like my love of baking has only gotten stronger since I went vegan.

I couldn’t really pinpoint what I wanted to bake last night, (I’ve been using a LOT of pumpkin) so I scanned my cookbook shelf and came across Hannah Kaminsky’s My Sweet Vegan. I’ve been reading Hannah’s beautiful blog Bittersweet for years, and have always been amazed at all the gorgeous, creative and delicious desserts and foods she thinks up. I know her creations are delicious because I bought her book soon after it came out, and have used it to create goods for so many parties and potlucks over the years.

I came across her recipe for Nut Case Cookies, and it immediately jumped out at me, (mostly because of the awesome pun). It’s one of her recipes that I hadn’t tried yet, and it seemed incredibly customizable. Desiring something a little less sweet but still dessert, I sought out my ingredients.

The recipe urges the baker to use whatever nuts they had on hand, and I appreciated that. Usually I’ll make do with what I have anyway, but I like being told that trading out ingredients won’t totally screw up a recipe. In lieu of the suggested almonds and pistachios with cashews, I subbed in walnuts and pecans.

Whenever a recipe asks me to put ingredients into a stand mixer, I laugh, because I haven’t used one since I left for college. I’m holding out for a KitchenAid, but until then, I beat my butter and sugar by hand, (it’s possible people, but a definite arm workout).

Added the nuts, and dropped onto the cookie sheet.

This guy was excited for cookies, too. He was a little bummed when I informed him that cats can’t eat cookies.

And success! The recipe yielded 3 dozen cookies, but the boyfriend has already decreased that number significantly. The cookies came out perfectly: soft, buttery and rich. I had a few more today as an afternoon snack.

Don’t you just want to reach through your screen and grab one right now? I don’t blame you, so I’m giving a copy of the cookbook away!

I bought my copy of My Sweet Vegan at Herbivore on a trip to Portland one year and it came signed, (sweet, huh?). But at Vida Vegan Con, I was also lucky to receive another copy in my swag bag. As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d definitely have to have a giveaway for it on the blog as it’s one of my favorites. I also met and had breakfast with Hannah and her lovely mom the Sunday of VVC, and I can affirm that she’s just as sweet in person as you’d ever imagine.

For a chance to win a copy of My Sweet Vegan, leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite vegan baked item to give to your non-vegan friends is. If you linkback to this post on your own blog or follow me on Twitter (@veganmoxie) and tweet about it, you’ll get extra entries to win.

You can enter by any of these methods until Thursday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. PST. This contest is open to anyone, anywhere! I’ll pick a winner at random and announce it here on that day/time. Good luck, baked good lovers!

Sunday Brunchin’ II: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Here were are, at week 2 of Vegan MoFo! Week 1 went by in a flurry of brunching, cupcake wars and reading, but after a fun weekend of geeking out, eating out and relaxing, I’m all pumped up for this week’s posts. And today we continue my theme of Sunday Brunchin’ recaps on Monday!

At Vida Vegan Con, I was lucky to have the chance to meet a ton of people and some wonderful cookbook writers. One of them was the sweet and inspiring Christy Morgan of The Blissful Chef. Christy is a vegan macrobiotic chef, cooking instructor and most recently, cookbook writer. We met and chatted at the Con, but it wasn’t until a few days after the con in Seattle that a few of us local bloggers got together for a meetup when I had the chance to get Christy’s book, Blissful Bites for myself.

A few days after I purchased it, I breezed through the book in a few days, (which is something I normally don’t do with cookbooks) and loved it. The wonderful photos, great tips spread throughout, meals separated out by season and ever-present focus on wholesome, rich and delicious healthy vegan food all hooked me from the first page, and I started keeping a mental list of all the wonderful recipes I wanted to try immediately. The first meal I tried was the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, to make good use of these sweet, seasonal fruits right before summer ended and fall hit. It was fabulous paired with pita bread and tofu spread and some quickly whipped up sangria.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. I sat up in bed and thought, “I want pancakes.” And then a few minutes later, confirmed in my head, “Pumpkin pancakes!”

I started searching through my monstrous cookbook shelf and wasn’t finding what I wanted. Finally, I picked up Christy’s book, and the recipe in my head popped out at me: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes. So serendipitous! And then I got to work.

Dry ingredients. I’ve never owned pumpkin pie spice, so I improvised with my most pumpkin-y/fall seasonings on hand: cinnamon, ginger, allspice.

And wet, whisked to a gorgeous orange thanks to canned pumpkin.

Flipped, and doing their thing.

Pumpkin breakfast success! I served ours up with chopped walnuts, Earth Balance, drizzled them with pure maple syrup and enjoyed it all with warm cups of coffee.

The recipe was a simple yet satisfying twist on a standard pancake recipe. I had some problems with the first batch I put on the griddle and felt the batter was a bit runny, but that could’ve been me adding in too much of one wet ingredient or not having the stove on a high enough temp to start. The following batches firmed up a lot faster, so I think upping the heat fixed it. The result was flapjacks that were soft, fluffy, perfect for October mornings and that had just the right amount of sweetness. The boy proclaimed, “mmm, tastes like pumpkin pie,” after first bite. Mission accomplished.

Cookbooking: Chickpea Picatta + Caulipots from Appetite For Reduction

A few weeks back I was feeling stuck in a major food rut. We are generally pretty content rotating through the same few, tried and true meals throughout the week, but sometimes we feel the need to break out one of my many (many) vegan cookbooks to shake things up. And sometimes we end up making something that lands a spot in our recipe repertoire.

Enter Appetite For Reduction, vegan cookbook goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s newest book, highlighting low-fat and healthy lunch and dinner recipes broken up by categories such as Full-On Salads, Totally Stuffed Sides, Comfort Chilis, Curries and Stews and more. While I’m not trying to eat strictly low-fat meals, I will pretty much buy any book this woman pens and was lucky enough to receive it this past Christmas. But if you are looking to watch your intake of fat, calories and more, this book will definitely help you do so all while still ensuring that you’re getting adequate nutrition as well as flavor in spades. We’ve made a few recipes so far, (Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili, Hottie Black Eyed Peas and Greens, Curried Chickpeas and Greens, and many more) and all of them have been absolutely ace, which is what I’ve come to expect from any and all Isa recipes.

Recently we tried our hand at creating the book’s Chickpea Picatta and Caulipots recipes. I’d never had a picatta dish prior to going vegan, so I didn’t know that it means a caper-lemon-garlic sauce. I love all of those things, so I knew that this was going to be a match made in heaven. Caulipots is a word Moskowitz made up that means exactly what it sounds/reads like: half cauliflower, half potatoes, mashed together into tasty, slimmer oblivion. It’s genius, actually. No more, ugh, my tummy hurts because I ate too many mashed potatoes feeling. The cauliflower definitely lightens this side dish a great deal. The following is a photographic journey through our first time making this meal.

One of the first steps: sauté shallots, garlic and bread crumbs.

Third-ish step: add vegetable broth, white wine and spices. Look at it boil away!

Looking at this combination just makes me happy.

We made the caulipots concurrently with the picatta. Here's a sweet mashing action shot.

The picatta and caulipots are served over arugula, and it’d make the perfect romantic or special occasion meal when plated nicely, (or an everyday meal combined into a bowl).

Both recipes combine to form the finished, most delicious product, which we promptly scarfed before heading to a party.

Needless to say, this recipe delighted our tastebuds and is one that will be made regularly in this apartment. Here’s the picatta recipe if you’d like to try making it yourself, though I honestly suggesting going out and getting the book if you haven’t yet. Locally, King’s Books definitely has them in stock.

On the horizon: recap of Caffe Dei’s one year anniversary party, replete with photos of giant, homemade veggie burgers!

Tacoma Co-Op meeting + ‘Why We Love Dogs…’ book review

As those check the Vegan Moxie Facebook page know, last Monday was a busy one for me, but definitely the best kind of busy.

I attended the Tacoma Food Co-Op member meeting (my first since joining) at the Evergreen State College Tacoma campus that evening to be a part of the discussion about the official purchase of the retail location at what is now the Neighborhood Market, as well as ways in which the organization plans to keep fundraising. For those who aren’t quite as familiar with TFC or up-to-date on recent developments, let me get you up to speed.

As of April 24 the Co-Op has 500 members (maybe more now!), but in order to actually get the store up and running and hire the General Manger (who will learn the basics of the store before seeking out the other employees to join), more funds need to be raised. At the meeting, board members went into further detail about this.

“Although this is a huge milestone, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to raise $300-400,000 to hire our General Manager and staff, complete minor modifications to the store, and begin purchasing inventory.”

The way that TFC has identified being able to raise this much money is what they call their “investment vehicle,” in which members pledge to invest in the Co-Op. This money isn’t guaranteed to be returned to the individuals that give it, but if the Co-Op eventually does well there could be modest returns. At the meeting board members tried to affirm the fact that investing larger amounts of money (the base amount for this type of investment is described as $500, but payments can be made) is making an investment in the community, not in their stock portfolios. No one should invest assuming they will make large returns, or any at all, and hopefully there are enough individuals in the community willing to do so despite this uncertainty and the economic climate.

Members were recently emailed a survey asking how much they’d be willing to invest, and a few said up to $10,000, so hopefully Tacoma does have some interested and generous individuals willing to help make this much needed cooperative finally happen in our city. I’ve been a member of Madison Market Co-Op in Seattle since I used to live on Capitol Hill, and I absolutely adore it. Their bulk section is amazing, their organic and vegan items are plentiful, the produce unmatched and knowing that I’m an owner of the market is a great feeling. I still stop in nearly every time I’m in the area as the store just has a great aura about it and it gives me fond memories of all of the picnics, parties and dinners that benefited from food and items found at the co-op. To have one in Tacoma would be a dream come true, and I think it would become an asset to the city in time as people learned more about co-ops and how they can greatly benefit a community.

If you’d like more information about the Tacoma Food Co-Op or have questions about becoming a member, there are some more upcoming Coffee Talks coming up this month where you can ask questions, meet board members and find out what the Co-Op’s next steps are. Check out their newly updated website and Facebook page for info on specific dates and other news.

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After I stayed at the TFC meeting for about 40 minutes, I rushed over to King’s Books to make the South Sound Vegans’ monthly book club meeting. This month there were more members in attendance (about nine) and the book discussed was Melanie Joy’s “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism.”

As I briefly mentioned in a previous post, I started reading this book early and finished it pretty fast, and that’s because I found it so engrossing. The way in which Joy conveyed her ideas in this book were appealing to me because they were from a psychologist’s point of view, which is a bit different from that of most vegan books. Usually, they’re written from members of one of two camps: diehard, long-time vegans, vegetarians and animal rights activists and doctors/scientists. One side some may find biased, and the other some may find to be really hard to read or quite dense if you don’t have a science-related degree. With Joy, this isn’t the case as she is a psychology professor who truly knows how to break concepts and thoughts down into terms anyone who’s ever taken a basic psychology course (or to even those who haven’t) can understand.

Her arguments are strong and are based in sound theories, not illogical or disjointed statements or opinions. The book is extremely well-written while also portraying vivid and graphic images of how animals are killed to produce food and products for humans and also putting a name on this act: carnism. It lays plain the incongruity that has become the American diet: eating and wearing animals while also claiming to love others as pets. She reaffirms the fact that this is an easy state to fall into because slaughterhouses are hidden, videos showing the ways in which these animals are killed and processed are few and those that do exist are sometimes removed, further eliminating them from the public, (a recent example: a video of an undercover investigative video by Mercy For Animals, showing cruelty to calves at a Texas cattle company was removed by YouTube). And there’s a reason that these businesses are keeping these animals’ deaths invisible – so that people will keep buying their products without question. For those who’d like their ethics to line up with their actions, vegetarianism and inevitably veganism are, according to Joy, the logical next steps.

The last idea I’ll highlight from the book is the notion of the “Three Ns of Justification.”

“There is a vast mythology surrounding meat, but all the myths are in one way or another related to what I refer to as the Three Ns of Justification: eating meat is normal, natural and necessary. The Three Ns have been invoked to justify all exploitative systems, from African slavery to the Nazi Holocaust. When an ideology is in its prime, these myths rarely come under scrutiny. However, when the system finally collapses, the Three Ns are recognized as ludicrous.”

I felt that these justifications truly resonated with me, because I’ve heard them countless times since going vegetarian and vegan. A few examples: ‘God put animals on this earth to be eaten,’ ‘People were born to eat meat,’ ‘How can you get your protein if you don’t eat meat?!’ etc. When put into this context, I feel that individuals reading this book who may never have thought about the reasons why they eat meat, (other than it’s what they’ve always done/have been raised to do), may actually stop and question their habits and try to see if they line up with their beliefs. I never attempt to push my beliefs about veganism on anyone and generally only discuss it when asked, but if anyone ever asks for book recommendations on why to go vegan, this book will definitely now be at the top of my list. Whether you are a curious meat-loving carnivore, a vegetarian looking to possibly transition or a long-time vegan, I think anyone could benefit from reading the book, and possibly giving their diet and lifestyle further contemplation as a result of Joy’s effort.

The next book club meeting for the South Sound Vegan Meetup takes place on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 p.m. at King’s Books, and the book to be discussed is “Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?” by Anthony J. Nocella II and Steven Best, PhD. Copies of the book are available now at King’s Books. Check out the meetup’s new Facebook page, and join the discussion at the next meeting if you can!

South Sound Vegan Meetup + “Mad Cowboy” review

I’ve been a member of Meetup.com for sometime, so when I saw that there existed a vegan group geared towards those living south of Seattle a few years back, I jumped on it. The South Sound Vegan Meetup Group has gone through some leadership changes, but its current organizer (who I have yet to meet) seems passionate about veganism and there have been some great events planned as a result. One of those great ideas was the inception of the Vegan Book Club group – perfect for nerds like me who love reading but are bad about doing it in a timely manner unless I need to for a class or a discussion.

The meetings take place the fourth Tuesday of every month at the ever-wonderful King’s Books at 7 p.m. The first meeting was held in February and the chosen book was “The China Study.” I couldn’t make this, but I would have loved to have discussed this incredibly informative and important book with a group of like-minded individuals – as it is pretty dense, full of scientific numbers and is generally lauded by the vegan community. I did make the March meeting after reading “Mad Cowboy,” by Howard Lyman though, and got to meet a few of the members as well as share our opinions on the work.

 

 

For those who aren’t familiar with it, (which I was not before joining the book club) “Mad Cowboy” is an account of Lyman’s early life, growing up on a Midwest farm, being born into a cattle ranching business and eventually turning vegan in mid-life for health reasons. The book is informative, but some of the chapters may be common knowledge to those who are already vegetarian/vegan, or who are at least aware of all of the cruel and inhumane ways that animals are treated in the processes of being slaughtered and the effects they have on the environment. The information that I didn’t already know was primarily about Mad Cow Disease – something that I (sadly) did not pay much attention to in the news when it spread as I thought, “well, I’m safe! Probably don’t need to know about that,” (I know, horrible). Learning about the bacteria Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, aka mad cow disease), its new variants and that it essentially does exactly what the name says – turns your brain into a sponge – and that is has a decades-long incubation period were all news to me, and honestly would’ve made me question eating animals if I hadn’t already been a vegan while reading it.

Lyman was also the man who in 1996 shared information about Mad Cow Disease and the cattle industry on the Oprah Winfrey show, which then led her to state that she would never eat another burger on air. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sued both Lyman and Oprah, but both were declared not guilty in 1998.

Some members of the book club felt that it was great, thoughtful and honest, but other felt that it didn’t cover the animal rights aspect of veganism enough and I agree, but I also don’t think that was Lyman’s reason for writing this book. His intentions seemed to be addressing the health problems arising as a result of these businesses that are being concealed by the meat and dairy industries and also shedding light on the ways that the environment is being ravaged by them. I feel that he did a great job conveying these by still utilizing his voice and yet also having all of the facts available and referenced to back up his arguments.

The next book club meeting will take place on a Monday (not on the usual Tuesdays), April 25 and the book chosen for it is “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism” by Melanie Joy PhD. I’ve finished the book and don’t want to give a ton away, but I did love the way that the messages of the work was portrayed: through a psychologist’s eyes, which is something I haven’t read a ton of in terms of books on veganism. It aims to break down the exact reasons and justifications as to why, over thousands of years, humans have decided that some animals are more valuable or deserve to live more than others. The title kind of scared me a bit, and made me think it was actually justifying eating all of these animals. But if you pick it up and simple read the first chapter, I think you’ll find that it’s a great read, too. Copies are available now at King’s Books, so go grab one and come to the April meeting!

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Today, the Food Camp (253) food conference took place and I presented on vegan food and lifestyle in addition to many others on topics ranging from the slow food movement, food photography, CSAs, canning vegetables and more. I had a great day, met some great people and ate lots of delicious food, but I’ll wait until next week to post a full rundown of the event (and procure some photographs taken throughout the day, too).

Next week I’ll also be giving details about a fundraiser that a few members of another Tacoma meetup and I are planning for the end of the month that I’m entirely too excited for. Two words: baked goods.