Friday

FNB & Meat Free Mondays



A little birdie told me that FNB CEO Michael Jordaan is urging staff to participate in Meat Free Mondays for the sake of the environment and reducing carbon emissions. It's great that the head of such a large company is trying to make a difference. Thank you, Mr. Jordaan.

Tuesday

Veganism in the New York Times Oct 2012

In light of New York City and the East Coast being in the news this week, here are some of the October posts in the New York Times that make mention of Veganism and Vegans. I hope all of you on the East Coast keep safe and stay inside like Obama said. "Don't be a hero." Thanks Mr. President. Hug your animals close!

A vegan runner that insists on running the New York Marathon, Sandy or no Sandy: http://marathon.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/29/runners-adjust-but-marathon-stays-on-course/

A family that takes Yoga very seriously:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/practicing-yoga-family-style.html

A reference to a blog that has Vegan recipes:
http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/what-were-reading-550/

Vegan Big Mac - This could be fun!:
http://www.veggieful.com/2012/10/vegan-vegetarian-big-mac-recipe.html

All sorts of interesting - this is art at its weirdest and most wonderful:
http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/vain-glorious-get-a-whiff-of-this-girl/

Ben Gibbard's nickname - not good Vegan publicity. There are so many healthy vegans out there! Stop only eating pasta and toast, Ben:
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/cmj-snapshot-ben-gibbard-at-brownies/

A New York based Indian restaurant with Vegan options:
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/now-in-new-york-delhis-moti-mahal-and-a-dosateria/

A quip about Vegan worthiness - is this a reference to awesomeness? I hope so...:
http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/deep-sleep/

A quote from a Vegan chef... not a significant article, but it seems that there are lots of mentions of Veganism in the New York Times every month:
http://fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/the-day-shem-walker-investigation-stalled/

Vegan Milk Alternatives!:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/dining/nut-milk-vegan-and-dairy-free.html

A great slide show of Vegan options at California restaurants:
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/09/26/dining/20120926-VEGAN.html

Bill Gates on the Future of Meat eating


This is a great short clip of Bill Gates talking about the future of meat eating and how Veganism is the way of the future. Give it a listen. Pass it on!

Friday

BEing Vegan - Vegan Passport

Here is a wonderful South African Vegan Blog that I love right now! They're regular posters too, so its worth following them, or getting their posts on RSS or Google+. They wrote a post about travelling as a Vegan. I travel a LOT, and I wish I travelled more, and eating while you travel is always a concern, especially when you travel to countries where you are completely unfamiliar with the cuisine or the language. They recommend a couple of great tips on what to do as a travelling Vegan. This little book, The Vegan Passport is the best idea I've heard yet. I know that my communications with Chinese residents of Dunhuang on the edge of the Takalaman Desert went reasonably well and resulted in the most fantastic brocolli, mushrooms and beans with a wonderful spice for dinner on our tour guide's night off, so I didn't go hungry, but it could have been difficult. This little book would have served me well. I have also been lucky enough to have a Chinese friend write a little note for me about what I don't eat and what I do, so I carry that everywhere with me when I go to China. Read BEing Vegan's Vegan Passport Post for more ideas. The great thing about going to China is stopping off in Hong Kong where I always buy a supply of nuts, freeze dried fruit and vegan munchies from a health shop just of Hollywood Road in Central so that I'll survive the moments in between restaurants. You can also stop in at the 7/11 for Oreos or crisps if that's your ball park. Tour guides are a great help, however, as they organised me the most wonderful freshly steamed veggies at all the restaurants. Yum!


I'll write about my Hong Kong restaurant escapades when I have a little more time. There are some of the most fantastic vegetarian and Vegan restaurants in Hong Kong. Its a great place for a Vegan to travel to!

Monday

Urban Decay Boycotts China and Animal Testing Policy

Urban Decay has declined to sell its products in China, as it goes against their Cruelty Free stance on cosmetics. Read the full article on the Telegraph.co.uk site.


Broke-Ass July

So we're all pretty cash-strapped this month. I spent my money irresponsibly, my love had to fix his car, my folks are watching their expenditures, we're all being careful. So I decided, even though we are basically out of fresh ingredients already, to enter into a challenge not to go grocery shopping until payday. I'm nicking toilet paper from my mom, and have run out of Organic Rice Milk, but we've been managing to eat well regardless! I've been making a lot of dishes that include rice, pasta and other dried foods that we have, so as to extend our use of what fresh produce is left in the fridge. I made a list of food we could make with what we have in our cupboards and our fridge, without running into trouble and needing to spend our last Rands.

I've been making wonderful things with dried and frozen ingredients. I made a fantastic Mushroom, 'Chicken' and Pea Risotto on Saturday, which was phenomenal. I made a wonderful Butternut, Lentil, Coconut and Cashew Nut - Three Nut Curry with Basmati rice last night, for five people and had leftovers. I made us delicious bolognese type sauce with some soya mince and a fantastic tubular pasta that looks like 30cm long macaroni one evening. We had hot cross buns (they were in the freezer) this morning for breakfast. Today my mom gave me a ripe avo. I will accept charity...as I already proved with the toilet paper. This ripe avo is about to become amazing guacamole that will accompany left over soya mince and fresh tomatoes in a wrap. I forget how much amazing food we actually have, and I think that I go shopping for more food far too often. We haven't even started delving into the baked beans or our veggie garden yet, and we haven't started resorting to buying bread to make peanut butter and jam sarmies. There's still much food in our supply yet, and I won't give up on this challenge I've set myself easily. I think we're out of exciting food much faster than I should do, I'm finding so much inspiration in my attempt to use what we have.


I also baked peanut butter cookies instead of buying them. And without any margarine. High five to me! But I had to scrape the burnt bits off the bottom, so maybe a low five. Recipes and images to follow! Updates to follow too!


On this note, I'm sure you will all understand why there aren't any new products on the Woolies or Pick 'n Pay lists. I'm not setting foot in a shop if I can help it!

Got Milk? You Don't Need It - New York Times Article

This New York Times Article - Got Milk? You Don't Need It is written about the American drive to drink milk and debunks the myths. Fantastic to see an article like this in the New York Times. This is internationally applicable and relevant!

Image by Emily Robertson

Our Animal Natures - Must Read!!

This is a fantastic article about how similar human diseases and disorders are to those of animals. We're truly not so different as some like to imagine. We are just animals too.

Please read this New York Times article by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, a cardiology professor at U.C.L.A. and Kathryn Bowers, a writer. This essay is adapted from their forthcoming book “Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing,” which is told from the doctor’s point of view.
Image by Dan Winters

Nasturiums and Summer Gardening

Oh, in this terribly cold weather that some people relish, I am dreaming of my little garden and what I will be planting in August. I am SO excited to have a proper vegetable garden this year. Our winter crop has been small, and somewhat neglected by me, but summer will be different. I will put on my wellies and my gardening gloves and don a trowel. After someone stronger than me prepares the soil, that is. Must love the men in my household for muscle definition as well as strength!

I just found this wonderful little gem post that made me yearn for my Nasturiums of 2010!


Thursday

Lovey Miss Little Bones, Lovely Bones


This wonderful blog is just constantly updated with incredible links! You should definitely try all of these out. I intend on doing so!

Little Bones Olive Spaghetti and Raw Fennel Salad with Pistachio Pesto

How amazing does that sound? Right off the bat? This is probably the one I'll be trying first!
She writes that "fennel makes me happy- it’s my new favourite ingredient since it’s so versatile. It’s also so fresh and crunchy and ever-so-slightly liquoricey." Read the Recipe on her blog.




Lovely Bones Faux Chicken and Mushroom Pie with Creamed Courgettes

This looks delicious! I'm a huge fan of unchicken pie, and I try not to make it too often, because I can't imagine that it's a lean meal by any capacity, but this looks simply irresistible. I've been inspired and I will assuredly be making pie again very soon! My darling will be very happy, I'm quite sure. He made me my favourite food the other night, his creamy Vegan Alfredo tagliatelle so I should return the favour.


No Bones Pasta Bolognese

My brother gets irritated every time that Bolognese is called that, because he says its American, not even Italian, but popular culture determines the naming of food, and misconception about origin is rife - French Fries for instance. They're Dutch. And they eat them with Mayonnaise. Yum! I don't care where they come from, as long as I can have them!

This bolognese looks phenomenal, and nutritious! I think I need to invest in some form of soy mince again. I think its almost time that I make my bolognese, cashew nut cheese pizza again.


Saturday

Vegan Sparkles

A wonderful blog I've just come across is Vegan Sparkles - an Aussie blogger Rebecca AKA Sparkles gives us her fantastic looking recipes, and she seems a little obsessed with Cashew Nut Cream, something I totally understand!

Check out her Cashew Cream of Mushroom Soup


Check out her Pistachio Cream of Broccoli Soup


Burger, Fries and a Milkshake


We had the most delicious junky lunch (which will be offset by Roast Vegetable salad tonight, I assure you) of bunless leek and green bean burgers, thin sliced oven chips, oven baked onion rings and beetroot! I also made us banana, orange, pineapple and oat milk shakes in my pink parfait glasses. Yum!


The burger patties are made from a pre-mix that my brother bought me ages ago, so you just add water and any veggies you want to. I always add lightly fried veggies to my burger patties, because otherwise its just seeds and grains in the mix, and I'm not a huge fan of patties that aren't chunky and rich with veggie flavours.

I have the most wonderful vegan burger recipe book that is on my Bookshelf page but I hardly ever use it, and regret not doing so - the recipes in there are amazing! So I felt a little inspired today, whipped out some ingredients I had in the fridge and cupboard to produce something that Ryan was overjoyed about!

It should be a pancakes day, considering it's raining in the middle of winter in Johannesburg, something that is completely uncharacteristic for June in this part of the world, but I was too lazy to make pancakes. Stupidly, I picked something that was even more labour intensive, considering you need to balance the cooking of the fries in the oven, the onion rings in the oven (all from the freezer in Woolworths, I'll have you know), making the patties, frying veggies, frying the patties, getting all the condiments out, making 'milkshake' - pancakes sound like a pleasure in comparison! I must admit, however, that I think this was far better than pancakes.

I topped off the burger patties with wholegrain mustard, vegan mayo, fresh parsley and fresh slices of tomato. The beetroot was bottled beetroot also from Woolworths.

Defensive Omnivore Nonsense - Famous Vegans

So this is going around Facebook:


And I would just like to state a few things with regards to this absolute nonsense and this lovely show of ignorance and bigotry. Nigella Lawson has twice the amount of body fat as Gillian McKeith - which is something that generally aids the concealment of ageing. Genetics and access to expensive procedures be they superficial or invasive also changes the way one looks at the age of 51. We have no idea whether this 'health guru' used to smoke, take lots of drugs, sun tan or any of the other factors that speed up the ageing process of skin. Nigella is clearly someone who avoids the sun and its evident from her lack of wrinkles that she has hardly ever, or never smoked. Different bodies age differently, regardless of dietary preferences. It has been proven, however, that one's insides are healthier on a diet that doesn't include any animal products or by products, to the point of reversing illnesses and ailments such as arthritis and diabetes. If you don't believe me, look it up.

Beauty is not something that should be based on looks alone. We keep shouting about how we shouldn't teach our children that the way they look is more important than who they are, but somehow everybody still seems to propagate physical beauty as pivotal to who we are. I am not referring to either of the women in the picture above when I say this, as I don't know what either of them really does with their time or their money, but I would much rather have done something good with my life and look like a wrinkly, normal old person than have focused my energy on being physically beautiful. Compassion, intellect and health are much more important to me. Health is important, and usually, if one is healthy on the inside, it will reflect on the outside. As a feminist, I take offense to the idea that omnivores are basing their meat eating and animal product consuming habits purely on aesthetics. Carol J. Adams has a fabulous lot to say about this. Obviously, when one eats animals, one isn't thinking critically to start with, but this sort of rubbish just makes one look asinine.

If what you look like is all you're concerned about, then perhaps its worth taking a look at lists of Vegans that are as physically attractive (in a mainstream kind of way) as Nigella is.

Wikipedia gives a pretty good overview.
Happy Cow has a comprehensive list of Vegans and Vegetarians through history.

And...to end it off on a funny note, here is something you've all probably seen but that I thought was hilarious. Worth printing and keeping in your wallet for weddings, extended distant family lunches and school reunions.


PETA also made their own version which has some typical points made by omnivores but somewhat more aggressive than above. It should be called Even More Defensive Omnivore Bingo.


Chocolate Dipped Fruit

I stole this photo from Il Pianeta Vegetariano on Facebook because it looks so irresistibly delicious!


Wednesday

Little Bones


I have a friend who has the most wonderful blog called Little Bones, and every now and then there is a vegan recipe that just looks absolutely scrumptious! Her blog is addictive, as the posts vary in theme constantly, so there is always something that you can't pull yourself away from!

Vegan Tarte Tatin
Also look at her rainbow cake recipe! It looks delicious! Miss Bones says: "It was as if a my little pony pooped a rainbow onto my plate and it tasted like almonds!" Sounds right up my alley!

Rainbow Cake before baking

Tuesday

Veganism in the News - June 2012

LINKS TO ARTICLES OF INTEREST BELOW

The Rise of Power Vegans - Joel Stein


July 2012 Magazines Vegan Recipes

Marie Claire SA July 2012

Marie Claire SA just released their July issue, and it has several Vegan and veganisable recipes in it! Page 122 - 126 features Sanza Sandile's E@T Arabi in Yeoville, Johannesburg. This owner/chef has a focus on providing healthy vegetarian food for affordable prices to his customers. With his quirky decor - reminiscent of the Melville artsy decor found in many 7th Street shops - his little restaurant stocks Soy Milk, which is a win for me from the get-go. Their twitter is @marieclaire_sa in case you want to let them know how cool it is that they're publishing Vegan recipes!

Dhal Makhani - Creamy Lentil curry with spicy bell-pepper sauce

Ingredients

2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
oil, for frying
A handful of mixed, dried herbs
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
500g small green lentils (or whatever you have at home)
2 onions, chopped
1tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp masala (ground cumin, coriander and fennel)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
1 cup dried mango, chopped
400 g tinned tomatoes or 6 small peeled and diced fresh tomatoes
A sprinkle of sugar (always advisable when using tomatoes)
season to taste

Method: Bell-Pepper Sauce

Lightly fry bell-peppers, in a little oil
blend with dried herbs and coriander seeds

Method: Curry

Soak lentils/cook as indicated on packaging
fry onions, add turmeric, masala, chilli and fenugreek
add lentils, mango, tomato, sugar and seasoning
Add bell-pepper sauce and simmer

Smoothies

Green:

Blend Avo, frozen banana, lemonade and soy milk

Red:

Blend beetroot, frozen banana, berry juice and soy milk

Yellow:

Blend mango and/or pineapple with frozen banana and orange juice (soy milk optional)

There are two more recipes - a curry for which one can just replace the Chicken with Tofu and Palm Oil with any other oil for frying, and a spicy coleslaw recipe that looks fabulous!

The Sunday Times - 17 June 2012

The Sunday Times Food Weekly on the 17th of June 2012 also had a few cool articles. There was an article about the Good Luck Club Noodle Bar in Illovo that I have also written about, an article on how to make good stock as well as one on a new book by Mary McCartney, Stella's lesser known sibling who is a vegetarian photographer and cook. Her book is called called "FOOD: Vegetarian Home Cooking" and it looks lovely! Can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Mary McCartney's Leek, Courgette and Butter Bean Soup

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
2 courgettes, chopped small
1 stick celery, trimmed and finely chopped
400g tin butter beans
800ml vegetable stock
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs

Method

Gently fry leeks, add other vegetables and beans. Continue to fry. Pour in veg stock, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Whizz with a blender or serve chunky. Serve with Mary McCartney's Herby Croutons. My crouton recipe is super simple too:

Croutons Provençal (Quick Fix)

2 slices of cubed bread (normal sliced bread is perfect, or a stale loaf of any kind also suits)
Set oven on grill - you're going to have to watch these while they crisp so they don't burn
Herbs Provençal, Salt, Pepper, Chilli Flakes and Olive Oil liberally distributed over bread pieces in pan
Croutons stay crispier for longer when the bread has been dehydrated before the croutons are made, but I don't really think that far in advance with cooking most of the time.

I also love topping my croutons with some of my best vegan basil pesto once I've popped them in the soup. YUM!

Grazia South Africa 20 June 2012

Grazia is actually more impressive than I gave them credit for. There are one or two articles actually worth reading in this edition, and the fashion editorials aren't half bad. The best part of this week's edition, however, was their all Vegan recipe for Spicy Pumpkin and Bean Soup. On page 87 they recommend making lots of soup and freezing it in single serving portion sized containers so that they are easy to take to work and heat up later. They also photographed it with crostini and rocket pesto - great idea! Melba Toast and Pesto are both easy to keep in the fridge at work, although my pesto always got stolen from the fridge at a previous workplace. Too good to resist!


Spicy Pumpkin and Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
650g pumpkin/butternut, peeled and diced
900ml veg stock
400g can red cannellini beans, drained
Season
Crostini and Rocket Pesto/Basil Pesto to serve

Method

Fry onion, herbs and spices. Stir in Pumpkin and continue to fry. Add stock and beans, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Puree with a blender (or leave chunky - I love chunky soup!).

Sunday

Bolo'bolo Cafe Review

All of you who are either in Cape Town, or thinking about visiting Cape Town should try to get through to the Bolo'bolo Vegan Cafe in Muizenberg. A short drive or train ride from the centre of town, they make fantastic food and you can find many wonderful Vegan books for sale. Read this review on Urban Sprout. Ask for their Hot Chocolate on a really cold day!


Vegan BLT - Really great! Best BLT I've ever had!
Mash, Brussel Sprouts and Unchicken in Tomato and Coconut sauce - AMAZING
Butternut Burger - fantastic!
We visited Bolo'bolo on Sunday, and it was fantastic! We had amazing Beetroot, Apple and Ginger juice, freshly squeezed as well as the food photographed above. I wish that Bolo'bolo had opened in Joburg! I would eat there every day! They have a wonderful selection of books in the shop as well, both for sale as well as part of a reading library.

Great ideas like pay it forward coffee, movie nights, board-game evenings and special events are certain to make you visit often if you're close to the Muizenberg area. There are also a wide variety of 'Zines available for anyone who is interested, and it is cosy and packed on a weekend!

Peaches and Vegan Custard


Don't fear the Alpro custard... Its got lots of vitamins in it, probably more sugar than is good for you and this is a South African favourite. This is nostalgia for my childhood in a bowl! Yum!

Aubergine & Lentil Tomato Soup


I made a most delicious and fabulous soup for dinner last night (even if I do say so myself)! A vegetarian friend came over and I always like to whip up something mind blowing for friends when they come for dinner... coaxing everyone over to vegan food one by one (not really - heehee - but I do like to show off that we eat amazing food).

I've been craving this soup for ages, because I ate something similar at La Cucina di Ciro for lunch not so long ago. The chef there is always so accommodating to Vegans, albeit cheeky about baked beans on toast, grass and lettuce (although, I would probably order it if I saw some home made baked beans on toast on the menu of an Italian restaurant). This dish below is what I ate there:


Equipment


Blender (hand held is best)
2 Pots - one that holds at least 3 litres


Ingredients for my tjaaf-tjaaf version of this soup:

A generous amount of oil
2 - 3 Aubergines
1 brown onion
1 cup white wine
Sprinkle of rosemary
Italian herbs
Oregano
3 bay leaves
Fresh basil - a couple of leaves
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp sugar
Salt & Pepper
Splash of Worchester Sauce
1 litre bottle of Cassata (tomato puree)
1/4 cup of tomato paste
2 tbsp Ina Paarman Vegetable Stock Powder
1 cup black lentils
2 small potatoes
1 carrot
Fresh italian parsley - generous amount
A handful of cherry tomatoes

Method

I used two separate pots for this, so as to blend one finely and keep the other with nice chunky bits of Aubergine.

Put a generous amount of oil in the pot - I'd go as far as a 1/4 of a cup because Brinjals absorb the oil, and generally just taste delicious if they're well fried. You can always pass on this amount of oil and do it with whichever method you prefer, should you wish to do so.

Set a pot with a litre or so of water to boil rapidly on the stove.

In the other pot Fry finely chopped onions in generous amount of oil until translucent, add herbs spices and garlic. When the bottom of the pot starts to get nice and brown, deglaze with a cup of white wine or alternatively a splash of white balsamic condiment. Boil away until the moisture is mostly gone.

Blanche the cubed brinjal in the rapidly boiling, salted, water for 15 - 30 seconds. Scoop out of water, do not drain as you will be using the water.

Add brinjal to the frying onions etc and stir to get even frying. Once well fried and reasonably well cooked - approxiamately 8 minutes of frying and stirring - add cassata and tomato paste. Switch off the heat after a minute - these are both already cooked, and don't need to keep cooking. You don't want to reduce it. Add a splash of Worcestershire Sauce, sugar and fresh basil. Cover and leave to stand.

While stirring the brinjal at intervals, start adding ingredients to your pot of rapidly boiling water that will now be reasonably peppered with bits of brinjal that you missed during the transfer. Add finely chopped potatoes, carrot, vegetable stock powder, lentils, a handful of fresh yet ripe cherry tomatoes and a generous amount of freshly chopped Italian Parsley (leaving some to add to the dish after plating). Let this boil until the potatoes are cooked. Don't get a fright if the water is black. Once thoroughly cooked, blend the ingredients in this pot. I use a hand held blender, they're wonderful! Blending these ingredients isn't a necessity, of course, but it makes the dish substantially creamier.

Once blended, add to the pot with the tomato and aubergines and give the whole mix a quick whizz, but you want to leave most of the brinjal whole, as it's a big part of the deliciousness of this soup.

Serve! It's quite rich because of the brinjal and the oil - and the lentils & potato make it very filling. Eat leftovers reasonably quickly... We ate it accompanied with a Woolworths Olive Foccacia - Le yum! Bon appetit!

Raw Food Religion - South African Raw Vegan Blog

Check out Raw Food Religion for some raw recipes, tips and stories. Its a lovely little blog! Worth checking out! Check out their page about Raw Nut Cheese.


Cutting Out The Cheese


Milk is hard to cut because it is addictive. Cheese is particularly addictive. We repeatedly get people asking about how to go about giving up cheese - it seems it is the last stumbling block for many.

It was the most difficult animal derived product for me to stop eating, as I absolutely love the taste of most dairy cheese. I was properly addicted to it, and I still think about having Brie or some Gorgonzola. Most fellow ex-cheese addicts, however, have the opposite story of not missing Cheese at all and they would never go back. The few times that I cheated and ate cheese in the beginning were never as yummy or as satisfying as I thought they would be though, so I eventually just stopped eating it. I think that nostalgia for certain things always creep up, but I seem to manage to stay away from it quite happily. Once my tummy is full of healthy food, the craving for nonsense is always crushed.

All dairy contains chemicals that act like opiates (opiates: morphine, heroin etc). These chemicals are released by the mother in order to sooth the calf (for whom the milk is intended).

The chemicals are concentrated in casein. Cheese is very highly concentrated casein because the extra liquid etc has been removed from the milk in the cheese making process and is thus more addictive than ordinary milk. Industry knows this - an infamous presentation by the US Cheese Marketing for Dairy Management Inc given in 2000 asked the question "How to trigger the cheese craving?" and ended with "if we pull this off, we'll eat like kings".

So, as long as you are still consuming cheese, you will continue to crave it and be unsatisfied by alternatives, because they will not give you that same sense of comfort derived from the dairy that your body is addicted to.

Some people will experience withdrawal symptoms - headaches or similar, but if you cut cheese, eventually the cravings will go away, once your body has weaned itself.

How do you stop? That depends entirely on your motivations for going vegan - if they are animal rights reasons, remind yourself of the harm caused to dairy cows and their calves. If environmental reasons, remind yourself that dairy cows cause more damage to the environment than many other animal products, which you have already given up. There are numerous health reasons - from immediate (such as contribution to migraines and sinusitus), to medium term (weight and cholesterol control) to long-term (reduced risk of osteoperosis, arthritus and other diseases). Or just look up Cheese Mites and consider whether you want to be eating something that is essentially the result of this little creature living on, feeding off and excreting on the thing you are about to spread onto a biscuit.

Ultimately, the decision to stop eating cheese is like a decision to stop any other behaviour and has to come from you - though, thankfully, its not nearly as hard as quitting other addictive substances (IMO) - the cravings should subside after a week or two.

It is of course much easier to quit if you are avoiding cheese in general - don't keep any in your fridge, choose Chinese food over pizza for the next few weeks until you are more comfortable saying "no". Eventually you'll have no qualms ordering a pizza with lots of veg toppings, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh avo or rocket etc, or making a snackwich from spinach, tomato and cashew nut butter.

As for vegan cheese alternatives - tastes and preferences vary greatly. Try the following links for suggestions on Vegan Cheese alternatives.

SAVS Website - A forum review of where to find cheese alternatives and what people eat instead.
This Blog - A list of commercially available dairy free cheeses and where you can get them in South Africa

I nicked and slightly changed this blurb from the SAVS Facebook Page Notes - Written by one of the Directors of the SAVS as a response to quitting the cheese habit. Check it out to see the responses from other readers.

Raw Vegan Restaurant - 44 Stanley Avenue

Raw makes incredible Raw Vegan food! It can be expensive, as the portions are reasonably small for a hungry Vegan like me... But go see and taste for yourself! Everything I've tried there was fresh and scrumptious!








Spicy Broccoli and Cauliflower

I love to make this when we have lots of Broccoli and Cauliflower - it tastes delicious and it's very filling.



Ingredients

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Chilli
Garlic
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
And desired herbs
Dash of olive oil

Method

Roast in the oven on 180'C until golden, or to taste. It tastes best crunchy to me, so it doesn't ever go in for very long!


Crudités Anytime!

I love eating raw vegetables with a good dip - Crudités are one of my favourite snacks. Ryan and I absolutely love Hummus, so when we feel like nibbling Crudités are always a good option! We chop up sweet carrots, cucumber and celery, sprinkle some cherry tomatoes on the plate, olives, broccoli, mushrooms and lettuce - include anything else you can think of! We then put together dips - hummus, sweet chilli sauce, mayo, Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Guacamole, Basil Pesto, whatever - toss in some herbs - rocket, basil, coriander - and dip away! Before you know it you're full, and you've just eaten something absolutely delicious! I added some Paprika and fresh coriander to some of the Pick 'n Pay Low Fat Hummus in this photo.


Eating Restaurant Quality Food at Home

My younger brother qualified at SA Chefs Academy in Cape Town last year, and ever since he started there we've been using him to cook at every opportunity he allows! He offered to cook us an Asian style main, with an Italian Starter and a Chocolate Tart for dessert. I can't give away his secrets, because I wasn't watching him cook - but take a look at our delicious Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup, Asian Greens and Veg with Lemon Infused Rice Towers and a very dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart.










Creamy Vegan Potato Soup


This soup is a staple in our household! We eat loads of soup when its cold, and it's one Ryan had to teach me to make, as I couldn't cook a potato when we started dating!

Creamy Vegan Potato Soup a la Ryan

Ingredients

1 - 2 Brown Onions fried in soup pot before adding Potatoes
2 - 3 cloves of crushed garlic fried in pot
A tiny splash of white wine or white balsamic condiment to deglaze the pot once onions and garlic start to brown
5 Potatoes, Peeled or not - whichever you prefer
Ina Paarman Chicken Flavour Stock powder - add to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste
Unsweetened Soya Milk (Or Rice milk - whatever is handy)
Nutmeg - a pinch
Leeks are an optional extra.

Method

Fry everything that needs frying in the same pot that you plan to make the soup in. Boil the potatoes in enough water that you are left with enough after boiling for soup. The more water you have, the more watery your soup will be, so rather have less water to start with and add as desired. Add all other ingredients when blending the soup. Best to use a hand held blender as other blenders seep out the excess water.

The croutons used in this photo are from Woolworths.


Leftovers, if you get tired of it, should be kept and added to the next soup you make to make it nice and creamy! A cup of this makes a great base for a hearty tomato soup.

A lovely little gift from Paris


My lovely friend who lives in Paris brought me little Vegan bites from Paris. They taste lovely, so to anyone going to Europe, keep an eye out for these in the Supermarkets! There are several varieties of flavours too.