Tag: vegan

My First Turkey Hug

Lydia was my first turkey hug — and she was proof that you don’t need arms to do so. 

She pressed her body so close against mine, I couldn’t tell where my heartbeat ended and hers began. I had been vegetarian for several years by then but vegan only a couple. I had had my share of kitty snuggles, cow kisses, and goat nuzzles, but I hadn’t been loved by a turkey.

22 years later, Lydia is no longer with us — she died naturally and peacefully, not from the blade of a cold knife — but to me, she will always be the ambassador for all her turkey brethren. 

It was Joseph Stalin who said that we treat one death as a tragedy but one million as a statistic, and of course he would know. And, that’s what we’re facing here.

Over 30 years an animal advocate, and I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we bring into this world and kill almost 10 billion land animals every year in the U.S. for human consumption. We can’t fathom that number, but we CAN connect with one. One ambassador.

One individual whose life has been spared, one individual whose body has healed, one individual who represents not only the violence that countless animals endure every moment but also the hope and healing that’s possible when other individuals intervene: the human individuals. 

If you can connect people with the value of one individual animal, you can connect them with the value of an entire species. And so I give you Lydia: curious, affectionate, playful, vocal, brave, social, protective, and sassy. Like all her turkey friends. The only difference is…you can see her. ⠀

I hope. 

Why We Make Vows

You don’t have to get married or be in a romantic relationship to create intentions for how and who you want to be in relationship.  A vow is a promise and a pledge, but more than that, it’s a blueprint and a framework toward a higher end.

Ethical Tourism and Elephants

What Ethical Tourism Is Not

I’ve had the privilege and honor of being in the presence of elephants in:

  • Thailand
  • California
  • Texas
  • Rwanda
  • Botswana

In the first three, they were in sanctuaries. In the last two, they were in the wild.

But not despite what they call themselves, not animal outfits are ethical.

As I discuss in my Food for Thought podcast episode Ethical Tourism: Avoiding Animal Cruelty While Traveling, please remember (and remind your friends and family) to avoid any outfit — both domestically and internationally — that involves / sells / promotes any of the following experiences: 

  • Elephant Rides
  • Elephant Paintings
  • Elephants in Zoos
  • Elephants in Circuses 

…or the use of elephants in any form of entertainment. 

The Red Flags of Green Washing

  • Chains
  • Ropes
  • Hooks / Bull-hooks
  • Baby elephants without their mothers
  • A place that calls itself a “sanctuary” but has elephants chained in any way or allows riding or sells paintings by elephants

Just as ivory belongs to elephants, elephants belong in the wild.

See Animals (Ethically) on a Joyful Vegan Trip!

In September 2023 on our Joyful Vegan Trip to the Loire Valley and Dordogne Valley, we will see these magnificent beings in France at Europe’s first sanctuary for elephants rescued from circuses and zoos. (Check out Elephant Haven.)

Visit JoyfulVeganTrips.com, and join us to experience the joy, abundance, camaraderie, and compassion that characterize our trips around the world with moi my amazing husband, and my incredible travel partners, World Vegan Travel

HAVE YOU BEEN TO AN ELEPHANT SANCTUARY? Please let me know in the comments below!

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Sometimes you want a delicious loaf of bread last-minute, and you don’t have time to let the dough rise. Or you don’t have live yeast. Or you’ve never made yeasted bread before! (Sometimes you’re just looking for St. Patrick’s Day recipes!) The solution: traditional Irish soda bread!

Background and Recipe

Enter soda bread, a type of quick bread that dates to approximately 1840, when bicarbonate of soda was introduced to Ireland and replaced yeast as the leavening agent. It eventually became a staple of the Irish diet and is still used as an accompaniment to a meal. 

There are several theories as to the significance of the cross in soda bread. Some believe that the cross was placed in the bread to ward off evil, but it is more likely that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread or to serve as a guideline for even slices.

One of the things I love about traditional recipes such as this Irish soda bread ( featured in The Joy of Vegan Baking among 150 others), is that they rarely need to be “veganized,” because they just happen to be vegan already.  The lactic acid in buttermilk is what activates the carbon dioxide, but adding vinegar, which is acidic, to our nondairy milk creates the same effect. 

Irish soda bread is a perfect, delicious bread that anyone can make, regardless of your skill level — and whether or not it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Pair it with a hearty stew, and you’re all set!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups nondairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted nondairy butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly grease a round 9- or 10-inch cake pan.

In a small bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Essentially, by adding an acidic agent, you just created “buttermilk.” 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk and vinegar mixture, plus the oil or butter, and combine until you have a sticky dough. Knead the dough in the bowl or on a floured surface for about 10 to 12 strokes. 

Place the dough in the prepared pan, and cut a cross on the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bottom has a hollow sound when thumped. Cool slightly before serving. 

Soda bread can dry out quickly and is typically good for two to three days; it is best served warm or toasted with nondairy butter.

Yield: One round loaf

Serving Suggestions and Variations 

Add

  • 1-1/2 cups of raisins
  • 1 cup of various nuts

This recipe was reprinted from The Joy of Vegan Baking. Get your copy today!

DID YOU MAKE IT? HOW DID IT TURN OUT?

What more fantastic vegan recipes?

Check out my on-demand and online classes!

World Vegan Travel (In Conversation)

Listen to my conversation with World Vegan Travel founder Brighde Reed about how joyful and abundant it is to travel when compassion is your compass. We discuss vegan travel to Italy, Rwanda, Vietnam, Cambodia, Botswana, South Africa, France, Japan, and more. Join us on a Joyful Vegan Trip!  

In this special bonus episode, Brighde and I answer such questions as:

  • How do you choose the vegan trips you do?
  • How do you vet the places you go and know that no animals are being harmed or exploited by human presence?
  • Is there such a thing as eco-tourism?
  • What are some of the mishaps you’ve experienced on your trips?
  • Why are they called CPG Trips?
  • What are the advantages of group travel?
  • How does Brighde spoil every New Year’s Eve, according to Colleen? 
  • What countries do you really want to visit? 

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

Zero Waste: Rain Tanks and Grey Water

In today’s episode, I share my experience setting up 1,000-gallon rain catchment tanks and diverting the grey water from our sinks and showers to our gardens — instead of the sewer. A must-listen if you are looking to save water, conserve water, and use water that would otherwise go to waste!

To Take or Not to Take Supplements

In today’s episode, I answer such questions as, “Are vitamin/mineral supplements necessary?” “Are there any risks to taking supplements?” “Are supplements just a waste of money?” “Is it necessary/wise to take a daily multivitamin?” “What zero-waste, vegan supplements do you take?” 

As always, you can find lots of resources for living compassionately and healthfully at joyfulvegan.com, you can find my books wherever books are sold, and you can join me in my online cooking classes or in an upcoming vegan trip.

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

Aphrodisiac Foods and Love Potions

Derived from the name of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, aphrodisiac foods and beverages are said to have qualities that provide amorous inspiration for bewitching and beguiling your beloved. In this episode, I cover them all — for Valentine’s Day or any romantic occasion.

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

Zero-Waste, Eco-Friendly, Cruelty-Free Gifts for Valentine’s Day

That’s a mouthful!! In this episode, I offer some thoughts and suggestions for sustainable, animal-free, zero-waste gifts — whether they’re for your romantic partner or platonic pal. Whether we’re talking about flowers or chocolate or cards, there are some things to consider before purchasing if you want to make the most conscious choice.  

AFFILIATE PARTNERS

Nama Juicer — Use this link and coupon code COLLEEN10 and get 10% off my favorite juicer.

Plaine Products — Use this link and coupon code “compassion” for 15% off my favorite zero waste bath and body products.

Complement — Use this link and coupon code “joyfulvegan” and get 10% off my favorite supplements.

Cooking with Herbs and Spices

Are you cooking with herbs and spices? Or are they sitting and collecting dust on the lids of those cute little jars, unused for six months or more?

If so, I get it. You’re not alone.

Herbs and spices are the most underused ingredients in cooking

I often quip that people who say they “could never be vegan” because the food is “too bland” haven’t stopped to think about the fact that they flavor their meat with plants: ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, relish, vinegars, oils, horseradish, hot sauces, chutneys, jellies, jams, salsa, soy sauce, wasabi, curries, tahini, pickles, garlic, ginger, onions, lemons, limes, and an endless array of spices and herbs.

But truly, aside from the most widely used commercially prepared condiments, even vegetarians and vegans are not taking advantage of the thousands of herbs and spices available that add flavor, color, texture, warmth, and excitement to their dishes.

And that’s what I covered in my class: EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT HERBS AND SPICES. I addressed the most commonly asked questions: 

  • What’s the best way to store herbs and spices?
  • Should I use ground spices or whole?
  • I have a small kitchen but love to cook, so if you could choose only 5 spices and 5 herbs to have on hand, which would you choose?
  • I tend to stick with typical spices and herbs (cumin, coriander, turmeric) but would love to know what to do with less familiar ones such as sumac, fenugreek, and tarragon.
  • How do I substitute herbs and spices? For instance, if a recipe calls for cumin and thyme, but I don’t have either, what can I use instead?
  • Which herbs/spices go best with which foods?
  • Can I freeze leafy herbs like basil, parsley, and sage? How?
  • In terms of nutrition and flavor, which are best: fresh or dried?
  • If a recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh herbs and you have only dried, what would the measurement be?
  • What cuisines are specific herbs and spices associated with?

I also provided recipes to help boost your use of some common (and not-so-common) spices and herbs:

  • Turmeric “Golden” Milk
  • Hibiscus-Infused Water
  • Za’atar
  • “Poultry” Seasoning
  • Herb-Infused Simple Syrup

Join Me in a Class

I packed a LOT into this class, and I’m so pleased by the response to it. You will feel soooo empowered and soooo excited by the end. GET YOUR ON-DEMAND VIDEO, RECIPES, AND RESOURCES

And tell me what else you’d like to know regarding cooking with herbs and spices in the comments.  

GET YOUR FREE JOYFUL VEGAN GUIDE

Includes delicious plant-based recipes and a meal plan!




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