Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Vegan's Three Best Friends

            Are you or somebody you know lazy? Both in life and in the kitchen? Do they happen to be vegan too? Well, I can say that as a student, though I love to cook, I’m pretty lazy with my diet 50% of the time.
            For me, one of the drawbacks to cooking all of my own meals is that it can take up a lot of my precious time that could be spent watching YouTube videos, playing Plants vs. Zombies (a recent addiction), or studying (ugh).
            So with that, my 3 best friends are my rice cooker, my crockpot, and my oven. With my rice cooker, I usually throw in 1 cup of brown rice with about ½ a cup of some kind of veggie. Now I usually get pretty lazy here again and I will use frozen veggies (SO much easier than cleaning and chopping up fresh veggies), and 2 cups of water.  I can do this, go study for about an hour (who am I kidding, I’ll definitely be catching up on some of my favorite YouTubers), come back and have the perfect little meal. Add some garlic, salt, and pepper, and YUM!
            My next best friend, best in line, is the good ol’ handy dandy crockpot. If I know that I’ll be busy the next day, I’ll usually prepare a soup at night and let it cook until the next morning, and BAM, I have soup for days. (Well, usually just that day because my friend is pretty tiny, but don’t tell her that, she’s a great friend to have). Again, I’m lazy here, so I stick to the same soup recipe every time. Why change a good thing? (My crockpot gets me).
            Every vegan has an arsenal of dry beans, so that usually makes up 90% of my soup. A simple recipe here, 2 cups total of any beans you like. My favorites are red kidney beans, split peas, black beans, and great northern white beans. Then I’ll add whatever veggies I have in the fridge, like carrots and celery. Add in 2 Tbspns of veggie stock paste, a good amount of apple cider vinegar, water to fill up the rest of the crockpot, and lastly, my favorite spices which I talk about in my other blog post, “Potatoes & Spices.” Put the crockpot on high if you want it ready the next morning, and wow will you wake up to a delicious smell.
            Lastly, but surely not least, is my oven. I love making fries, stir frys, and everything in between, and I just love the “oh so barely burnt” flavor that a pan cooking on top of a stove can give my veggies and potatoes, but that means I have to stand there, cook, and actually watch my food. But with my oven, I can put my veggies in a dish with some oil and spices, throw it in the oven at 450° for 20-30 minutes, and I just gave myself 20-30 minutes of Plants vs. Zombies time.
            In the end though, it’s not important the food that you make, but how much time you can save yourself for other things you need, or want to do. (Plants vs. Zombies anyone? I know I’m not alone in this addiction). So get to cooking! Or not! And get lazy with your diet!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Merry Vegmas

Christmas is only 24 days away, the elves are stocking up on toys, and Santa is sure to be preparing with some vegan cookies and almond milk. It’s a very magical time of the year, and as I always say to people who don’t enjoy this time of the year, ‘BUT THE WHOLE WORLD IS HAPPY!’ How can you not love the holiday season when the whole world is in the same joyful mindset?
I think Christmas has to be one of my favorite holidays, and around the holidays there’s bound to be gift giving all around. And as a vegan, I think people consider it different because they’re not sure what to get a vegan (even though there are tons of things out there that are vegan). So what DO you get a vegan for Christmas? Snacks, clothes, almond milk? (I’d love to get some almond milk as a gift, it’s DELICIOUS!) So because vegans make it so hard (according to nonvegans) for carnivores to shop for us, I’ve put together a list of some gifts that are sure to get a vegan smile from a vegan human!
·         Tea
·         Dark chocolate
·         Books
·         Soy candle
·         Animal tshirt
·         Bath salt/body scrub
·         Animal adoption sponsorship
Though a small list, these are things that I love, and thus they are vegan approved. Now with tea, my favorite is a good chamomile and rose hips, and you can never go wrong with a good fruit tea. Dark chocolate is one of my favorite treats, and for the vegan sweet tooth lover, it’s a perfect stocking stuffer. (Just be sure to double check the ingredients for milk, not all dark chocolate is vegan) If the vegan in your life loves to cook, why not get them a vegan cookbook! I have one from the restaurant Native Foods, and it has some pretty amazing, delicious recipes in there.
Soy candles are SOY amazing! And they last much longer than non soy candles. What vegan doesn’t love a good cat tshirt? You can’t go wrong with that. For the beauty vegan, try some bath salts or body scrubs. A lot of them are vegan, and some are not, so again, be sure to read the ingredients! This last gift idea is my favorite one, and will probably make that vegan in your life the happiest person in the world. As vegans, a lot of us feel like nonvegans don’t understand our stance on meat eating and animal cruelty, but by sponsoring an animal, that is a great way to show your compassion and understanding for what vegans stand for.
So get shopping, and if none of these gifts work for you, buy them almond milk, vegans love almond milk am I right?