apple cider doughnuts.

apple cider doughnuts.

Fall is here, I think.  Despite the fact that it was 80 degrees for a while yesterday, I am still completely ready to eat pumpkin- and apple-flavored everything right now, and I am always completely ready to eat doughnuts.   Aside from few incredible establishments that I have been fortunate enough to experience (see: a variety of vegan options at Fritz Pastry in Chicago, a whole vegan shelf at VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon, and the truly amazing, all-vegan Dunwell Doughnuts in New York City), the vegan doughnut remains a rarity when eating out.

This thoroughly confuses me, because they are quite simple to bake at home.  Often when I bake something vegan to share, people first say, “This tastes like a real [insert baked good here]!”  Shocking, I know.  That, my friends, is because vegans eat…*gasp*… real food!  Let’s get something straight.  That [cookie/cake/doughnut] I baked tastes like a real [cookie/cake/doughnut] because it is a real [cookie/cake/doughnut]. Okay, moving on.

Next, they’ll ask me, “But what replaces the eggs/milk/dairy product?”  The answer is usually: nothing, really.  The truth is that all of the ingredients used for vegan baking are regular.

My Darling Vegan’s recipe for these Apple Cider Doughnuts is no exception.  Here is the ingredient breakdown: flour, baking powder, baking soda, maple syrup, apple cider, apple sauce, canola oil, vanilla extract,  salt, and then some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice).  For my version, I also added cinnamon, sugar, and pecans to the top before baking.  See…totally regular. Also, totally delicious. And free from animal excretions!

From the vegan lens: If you could bake absolutely delicious food without supporting the abhorrent egg and dairy industries, why wouldn’t you? It’s really actually super easy. Plus you can always eat the batter.

But until all restaurants recognize and appreciate the mouthwatering world of cruelty-free baked goods, you’ll probably need to invest in a doughnut pan. Or two.

 

 

 

ancho lentil tacos.

ancho lentil tacos.

This Ancho Lentil Tacos recipe is from one of the best vegan chef’s around, Isa Chandra Moskowitz of the Post Punk Kitchen.  Her book, Isa Does It, is truly amazing.

The breakdown: mildly spiced protein-packed lentils (Did you know they have about 17 grams of protein per cup?!), romaine, avocado slices, pico de gallo, and of course, two corn tortilla shells…one hard, one soft (crunchy & chewy FTW).

From the vegan lens: Whenever I eat cruelty-free taco meat, I always think, If people could have delicious, flavorful, protein-rich plant-based taco meat, instead of the oppressive, flesh-based alternative…why wouldn’t they? 

mateo.

mateo-photo

The following is a journal entry recounting my experience with a specific steer during an internship at Farm Sanctuary in Northern California. Reading it nearly six years later, it still gives me the chills.

Occasionally, humans assign cattle a number. Rarely a name. It is my guess that most humans try to avoid picturing the life of the cattle they consume, for fear of attaching value to the animal, and in turn, experiencing guilt at the thought of his or her death. And so, these cattle remain anonymous. Just cows. Raised for meals.

But they are individuals. Not an “it”, but a “who”. They are one among many, like humans, cats, or dogs. They have stories. Pick any cow, and she will have a story of a swollen udder and stolen babies. Pick any steer, and he will have a story of painful mutilations and a long-lost mother.

This is the story of one. His name is Mateo.

November 28, 2009

Last night was life changing in the most tragically beautiful way. One of the steers here, Mateo, had fallen during the day and was unable to get up. This usually means the end for cattle, as they are bred to be so big that when they age, they simply cannot hold their own weight. He was resting in an upright laying position when the day ended, and we were supposedly going to attempt to get him standing this morning. If not, he would need to be euthanized, as his quality of life would be quite low without the ability to walk.

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