Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vegan 101 Class

On September 7th, a Vegan 101 class was given by several New Leaf Vegan members, and held at my home. Tanya and Mark came early, bringing plant and nut milks to sample, taco filling ( for a dip ) homemade Hickory Bits ( where's the recipe, Tanya ?? ), chips, plates and bowls ( that are awaiting their entrance into the compost heap ) and some good ideas on setting up the event. We had 12 great "students" attend who spanned the range from committed vegan mothers raising their children vegan to a certain mother-in-law who gamely came along to "see what it's all about". It was really nice to see so much enthusiasm, curiosity and a willingness to try new ways with food !
We made a very simple seitan,tossing it into the oven to bake ( wrapped in foil )while I demonstrated making Eggless Egg Salad and Chickpea Of The Sea ( recipe to follow ! ) We also sampled 2 other types of I had made the day before ( a 'chicken' type)and J brought some fantastic chewy BBQ seitan that she had made at home. All 3 seitans had different textures, flavors and nutrition...and all very cheap to make at home. Good news when a little tub of it costs close to $4.00 in a grocery store, if you can find it! Homemade seitan is can slice it up for sandwiches ( hot or cold ) brown it up and use it as you would ground beef ( before you went vegan :>) in any number of ways. maybe we should have a seitan contest at some point...just to get the creativity going !
The plant and nut milk table was a hit...rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, soy, oat were standing in for cow's milk. All were offered chilled with chocolate syrup on the side for those who wanted it. Hemp is my current's got lots of protein, calcium and some omega-3's. Oh, and it tastes great, too !
Gina brought some fantastic brownies and the recipe for them, and we made ( with the help of 17 year old V )and baked some Oatmeal Chocolate chip cookies to demonstrate that beaten ground flax seed can replace a hen's egg very nicely, adding fiber and omega-3's.
We talked about beans and grains (and sampled some Quinoa and Blackbean salad )and I wish we could have covered more nuts and seeds...nut butters, too ! So much to cover, because there is so much food that is just have to look beyond what's being pressed on us through clever advertising. The following is from Appetite For Profit
.." the food industry spends upwards of $36 billion annually to market its products.." and " corporations spend roughly $12 billion a year directly targeting children with junk food marketing. If parents are supposed to be the ones making decisions for their children, then why are companies bypassing parents altogether and marketing directly to kids? Because corporations such as McDonald’s aim to undermine parental authority by getting children to nag their parents. And it’s not only marketing for junk food that parents must contend with, but also for toys, video games, clothing, CDs, cell phones, computers, you name it."


OK, here's the Chickpea recipe. It's lifted and altered from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's fabulous cookbook : Vegan With A Vengeance. In her book it's called Chickpea-Hijiki Salad Sammiches. You'll be amazed how much it tastes like tuna !

I call it : Chickpea Of The Sea.
1 tablespoon dried hijiki, dulse or wakame granules, or other finely ground sea veggie
1 can ( 15-ounce) chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons Fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons finely minced onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast ( Red Star Vegetarian Support )
salt and pepper, seasoning salt to taste.   I like a little ground cumin, too.
3-4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
Stir the lemon juice or vinegar into the celery ,sea veggies, onion, nutritional yeast,salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside for a few minutes to soak.
Then mash the drained chickpeas into the stuff with either a fork or potato masher  until no whole chickpeas remain. Add the mayo, and mix it all up.
Use in sandwiches, wraps, lettuce cups or as a dip.

No comments: