How to go Vegan

25 Mar

Going vegan is one of the best and most ethical decisions you can make. It involves not eating the flesh of dead animals or any products taken from them whilst alive (milk, eggs etc). It also involves not wearing animal products, (such as leather, fur, wool etc), and not using products that have been tested on animals, (such as personal hygiene products, cleaning products and cosmetics.) To help you along, here’s some facts, resources and tasty recipes.


Know the facts

People decide to go vegan for many different reasons. From health reasons and animal welfare, to climate change and the environment the reasons are so numerous and persuasive, the real question is why not to go vegan?! And the answer to that it seems is purely out of habit.

Making the ethical, informed and logical choice to adopt a vegan lifestyle is extremely empowering – it is a way of affirming that you are willing to live your politics in your daily life; a smart, healthy and effective way to limit suffering and pollution. Of course, readers of Sisters of Resistance will know that we also believe in creating a completely different, more fairer society to replace this failing one. But we do not believe that saving the environment, limiting inequality and stopping human suffering, preventing environmental destruction and showing compassion for animals  can or should wait.

Shopping and cooking

A vegan diet is fundamentally different to one that exploits animals and consumes their dead flesh; we do not advice you to rely on replacements (like veggie sausages) but rather to start to cook in a different way, with curries, sauces, vegetables and pulses combined with rice, pasta, potatoes and maybe even couscous. (Having said that, soya milk and diary free butter are very useful.) This starts with shopping, make sure to check the ingredients and stock up on (locally grown, organic and in season) fruits and vegetables, pulses, grains and carbs.  There is a song with a nice shopping list in it available here. Vegan clothes here. Most people will easily find vegan cosmetics in their local Lush store but see also here.

Vegan Resources

Please see the Environment/Climate Change/ Veganism section on our resources page for more.

Going vegan: http://www.viva.org.uk/goingvegan/index.php

Why vegan?: http://www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/

Become a vegan: http://www.vegansociety.com/become-a-vegan/why.aspx

Vegan started pack: http://features.peta.org/VegetarianStarterKit/index.asp

Alicia Silverstone (from Clueless) talks about health benefits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA2CWnJ8j-k

Animals are not ours to eat: http://www.peta.org.uk/issues/animals-are-not-ours-to-eat/

Catchy song lol! If dogs have feelings then … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSdVDuKIIpo

Human starvation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q4rdx7frHM

The planet and climate change

http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/news/news_veggie/all/1395

Most vegan’s have one of these in their kitchen: http://www.thevegancook.co.uk/nutrition-chart.php

Vegan celebs: http://sistersofresistance.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/vegan-celebs-who-inspire-us/

Vegan society: http://www.vegansociety.com/

Protein in the vegan diet:  http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm

Documentaries

Earthlings http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dce4DJh-L7Ys

Books

http://www.vegancoach.com/best-vegan-books.html

Recipes

For vegan recipes see:

http://www.veganvillage.co.uk/recipes.htm

http://www.simpleveganrecipes.co.uk/

http://www.recipesforvegans.co.uk/

I’ve got this cook book: http://www.thevegancook.co.uk/book.php?PHPSESSID=h16v2rf729u3n1nhjnf967c7e2

Or try one of my recipes!! Below you will find:

Butter Bean Casserole

Chickpea and spinach

Classic nut roast

Lentil shepards pie

*******************************************************************************

Butter Bean Casserole

9 oz (250g) dried butter beans
9 oz (250g) carrots
9 oz (250g) onions
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
4.5 oz (125g) mushrooms
2 bay leaves
½ small bunch parsley
1 oz (25g) whole meal flour
½ tbsp vegetable bouillon
18 fl oz (½ litre) sweetened soya milk
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
Salt and herbs

1. Soak the butter beans overnight in plenty of cold water (or for 1 hour in boiling water) until they swell & the skins are not wrinkled. Rinse and drain.

2. Put the butterbeans into a pan with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for about 1 to 1½ hours until the beans are soft. Rinse. Meanwhile peel and chop the onions, carrots & garlic. Fry them in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pan. Chop the mushrooms & parsley.

3. When the carrots are soft add the mushrooms and bay leaves. Mix. Then add the flour and bouillon and cook, stirring all the time, for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the soya milk, stirring quickly.

4. The mixture will thicken and bubble. Turn it down and add the parsley, soy sauce, cooked butterbeans and salt and herbs to taste.

*******************************************************************************************

Chickpeas and Spinach Recipe

This recipe contains no dairy and takes about 30 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce / 300 gram) package frozen chopped spinach
  • ½ – 1 tsp. ground cumin, to taste*
  • 1 (14 ounce) can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 carton of tomatoe passata
  • 1 (19 ounce) can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), or 2 cups cooked chickpeas

* can substitute 1 tsp. dried oregano.

Directions:

  1. In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often until golden, about two to three minutes.
  2. Add bell pepper, garlic, and cumin and cook, stirring often until softened.
  3. Add tomatoes, passata spinach, and chickpeas, stirring well.
  4. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down into a sauce, spinach is defrosted, and peppers are soft.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice or serve with a lemon wedge, if desired.

Serve Chickpeas and Spinach atop a bed of rice, couscous, or garlic mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

************************************************************************************************

Classic Nut Roast

A great vegetarian standby – easy enough to make midweek, impressive enough to serve to dinner guests.

Recipe for Classic Nut Roast, contributed by Janey Macleod

This is a particularly nice nut roast, and is not too difficult to make, especially as the mixture can be prepared ahead of time, leaving only the final baking until later.

You can use almost any kind of nuts for this recipe. I prefer to buy a pack of chopped mixed nuts (much faster than chopping them myself), supplemented with larger pieces of Brazil or walnuts, or some whole cashews.

I like to serve the roast with potatoes and a green vegetable. The quantities given here will make four generous portions.

  • Oil for frying
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 – 6 medium mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups (10 fl oz, 300 ml) vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1½ cups (6 oz, 175 g) finely chopped nuts
  • 3 cups (6 oz, 175 g) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. dried herbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour for coating
  • Oil for roasting

Oven: Pre-heat to 375F, 190C.

Stew the onion in the oil for about five minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for a few more minutes.

Sprinkle the flour on top. Stir well. Add the stock or water, stirring all the time. Bring the mixture to the boil, and simmer slowly for two or three minutes. Stir in the nuts, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, herbs and seasoning.

Turn the mixture on to a floured board, and form a loaf shape with your hands. Coat evenly with flour on all sides.

Heat the oil in a roasting tin. Place the loaf in the tin. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, basting occasionally

**********************************************************************************************

Lentil shepherd’s pie

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time:2 hours total Serves: 6Ingredients

110g (4oz) brown lentils
900g (2lbs) potatoes, roughly chopped
40g (1.5oz) butter
3 tbsp olive oil
3-5 tbsp milk
8oz onions or leeks sliced
4oz carrots, small slices
4oz parsnips, small slices
8oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
3-4 sticks celery, sliced
2 tbsp tomato puree
225g (8oz) chopped tomatoes
1tbsp soy sauce
sprig of Rosemary, finely chopped
1tsp dried oregano
1 bayleaf

Instructions

1. Cook the lentils in stock or water until they are tender (about 1 hour).

2. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. When tender, drain and mash with the butter and milk to obtain creamy (not sloppy) mashed potatoes. Season to taste.

3. Meanwhile saute the onions, celery, carrots and parsnips with a small amount of olive oil, until almost tender. If they are slow in cooking, add a bit of water, cover and cook until the carrots are tender.

4. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they are softening. Then add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato puree and rosemary and cook for a few more minutes. Season to taste with soy sauce and salt and pepper.

5. Spread out in an ovenproof dish. Cover with mashed potatoes about 2cm thick. Use a fork to decorate the top if you like. Bake at 200C (375F, gas 5) for 30-40 minutes, until the top is ncely browned. Your grill may be used to brown the top.

6 Responses to “How to go Vegan”

  1. Joseph March 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Forgive my pedantry but as veganism is based on the rejection of all forms of animal exploitation it also involves, (amongst other things), not wearing animal products, (such as leather, fur, wool etc), and not using products that have been tested on animals, (such as personal hygiene products, cleaning products and cosmetics).

    • sistaresista March 29, 2011 at 1:54 am #

      This isn’t pedantry this is a really important point!! Sorry we haven’t had time to compile links on those topics. Please feel free to do so and we’ll add them to the post and the Resources page (although the Earthlings link does already touch on all of this, we completely agree it must be flagged up much more.)

    • sistaresista March 29, 2011 at 2:04 am #

      Have added your points and some more links to the article. Thanks again for this!

  2. Joseph March 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Thought you might find this of interest, it’s a discussion on the relationship between eating meat and patriarchy:

    http://press.princeton.edu/books/stanford/chapter_7.pdf

    • sistaresista March 29, 2011 at 2:08 am #

      Wow! This is fascinating! Thank you so much! Have added to our Resources page! Will finish reading in the morning. :)

  3. eva April 4, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Just wondered if you’d read the Sexual Politics of Meat? It’s by Carol Adams and explores the relationship between veganism and exploitative images of women in the media and advertising.

    There’s an article by here here too:

    http://www.caroljadams.com/text_interview7.html

    Which is basically a vegan-feminist manifesto!

    Eva :)

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