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There are animal welfare vegans and animal only-fight-against-other-vegans abolitionist vegans. V-EGANISM is neither. Just as there are positive things and negative things about conservatives and liberals, there are positive things and negative things about welfarists and abolitionists. V-EGANISM avoids all 4 "political parties", and remains as an independent in thoughts and actions, only choosing what is right and just for animals, humans, and the environment. V-EGANISM however does have a mission statement which is how the founder of veganism, Donald Watson, originally coined the word's definition. It was a perfect definition then and it still is a perfect definition now! So the following paragraph is V-EGANISM's official Mission Statement--and nothing more, nothing less, we are simply called, "Vegan Activists", with no additives:

"V-EGANISM educates people and helps people and animals regarding the political and social justice cause, Veganism, which is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude--as far as is possible and practical--all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, cosmetics, household products, entertainment, service or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment."

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Friday, September 20, 2013

Vegan Mabon

Mabon is the mid-harvest festival, and it is when Wiccans take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest. This year, Mabon will be celebrated on September 22. 

It is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings. 

Depending on one's individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Mabon, but typically the focus is on either the second harvest aspect, or the balance between light and dark. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying. There is food to eat, but the crops are brown and going dormant. Warmth is behind us, and cold lies ahead. 

Here are some vegan recipes to help celebrate Mabon:

Simple Roasted Vegetable Medley

1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 lb. potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1-2 onions, cut into wedges
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed 
1 Tb. minced garlic 
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. rosemary
3 Tb. oil, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450F.

2. Toss the squash, potatoes, onion, garlic cloves, 2 Tb. oil, sage, and rosemary in a large roasting pan (a "turkey pan"). Season with salt and pepper. Roast, covered, for 25 minutes. Toss once. Add the minced garlic, and the remaining oil (if necessary).

3. Roast 25 minutes more, tossing once, until vegetables are browned on the edges and completely tender.

Three Squash Soup 

4-5 cups of squash 
1 cup of rice milk (or you can use almond milk or soy milk) 
1 large carrot 
1 med-large parsnip 
1 medium onion 
2 celery stalks 
2 TBSP olive oil 
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) 
Salt & pepper to taste 
Herb for garnish, like parsley 

Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and compost them. Also, roughly chop up the carrot, parsnip, onion & celery.

Fill a 9X13 glass cake pan with approximately 1 inch water and place the squash face-down in the water. Take the chopped vegetables, toss with the olive oil and place on a flat cookie sheet in a single layer. Put both squash and vegetables in the oven to bake. This could take 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on your oven, the size of the vegetables. 

Keep an eye on the vegetables to make sure they don’t burn--but you want the squash skin to brown. Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and let cool just enough so that you can handle them and scoop the flesh out of the shells (but not cold!) and put them into a food processor. You can process the squash first until very pureed, and then add veggies and do the same thing. Add the milk, salt, pepper, cayenne at this time.  Serve warm with herb garnish. 

Alternative suggestion: Some people like their squash soup sweet, so feel free to add maple syrup or agave syrup. 

Vegan Pot Pie 

Note: You can also add extra vegetables. 

For the filling: 
1 cup diced carrots 
½ cup parsnips or golden beet 
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes 
2 garlic cloves whole and unpeeled 
1 sage leave finely chopped 
4 sprigs fresh thyme 
2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 
½ tsp salt 
1 flavored vegan bouillon cube 
¼+ cup flour 
3+ cups water 
2 tsp tamari 
1 cup (approximately) of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 

For the crust: 
2 cups all purpose flour 
1 cup barley flour 
½ tsp baking soda 
½ tsp salt 
1 tsp poppy seeds 
½ cup canola oil, chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes 
½ cup of ice water 
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 

If you didn’t cook the root vegetables with the above recipe, preheat the oven to 425°. Place the vegetables (not the frozen!), garlic, sage and thyme on a cookie sheet, drizzle with oil and mix well, flatten to a single layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool a little. 

While the vegetables are cooking, put a medium sauce pan on the stove at medium heat. Pour in the 3 cups water and bring to boil. Add the bouillon cube and boil until there are no pieces floating around and add the tamari. You can put the flour into a Tupperware container with cold water in batches and shake it to mix it well before slowly pouring it into the boiling water. Whisk it to evenly distribute (try to avoid clumps) and cook until thickened stirring frequently, adding more flour if necessary.  

When the vegetables are cool, remove and discard thyme  and squeeze the garlic out of its skin, place the skin in the compost and mash the bulb up then mix well with the roasted and thawed vegetables. Add just enough gravy to coat the vegetables and set aside. 

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry crust ingredients and whisk together. Drizzle in the canola oil and mix with your hands until incorporated and forming M&M size balls or slightly larger. Mix the ice water and vinegar together, then drizzle into flour, continue to mix with your fingers until it holds together. 

Flour the surface you’ll be working on and knead the dough onto it a couple minutes. Divide into 2 pieces (making sure to wrap up the one you’re not using with plastic wrap). You can use this as pie crust (both top & bottom) and make one big pie. Or you can make small pies by cutting out circles (you can use a 6+ inch bowl as a cookie cutter). Put a tablespoon or two on the bottom piece of dough and then place the top one over top--and make sure to seal the edges! Bake at 275° until browned about 30 minutes for the big pie, 20 for the small one. 

Apple Carrot Bread

1 cup almond milk or rice milk 
½ cup applesauce 
1 TBSP canola oil 
2 cups whole wheat flour 
2 cups unbleached flour 
¼ cup raw sugar
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp cinnamon 
½ cup grated carrot  
2 ¼ tsp (or 1 package) dry yeast (if you’re using bread machine yeast, follow the instructions on the package) 

Measure the milk, applesauce, and oil into the bread pan. Add the whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and grated carrot. Make a well in the dry ingredients and measure in the yeast. Select the basic whole wheat bread cycle for a 2-pound loaf. Baking time will be about 50 minutes. 
Serve this with homemade apple butter, peanut butter, or plain soy butter.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour 
1 ¼ cups raw sugar 
1 Tbsp baking powder 
¼ tsp salt 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
½ tsp ground nutmeg 
½ tsp ground ginger 
¼ tsp ground allspice 
1/8 tsp ground cloves 
1 cup pureed pumpkin (Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix!) 
½ cup non-dairy milk 
½ cup vegetable oil 
2 Tbsp molasses 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin. 

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. In separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, non-dairy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. 

Fill the muffin cups two thirds of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

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