Pancake Day

Hello, hello and Happy Pancake Day! I didn’t have anything prepared for this because I just found out. But I couldn’t refrain from writing a post about this because there is a pancake recipe that I have tried a couple of weeks ago and I need to share with you in case you didn’t know about it. You must try it!

So, the recipe is for Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Pancakes by The Viet Vegan: I stumbled upon the video where she makes these pancakes and not only she makes a recipe that is easy (I don’t know if you got it from the past posts, but I like simple yet satisfying recipes) but also she sends some good, positive vibes (she also has a blog where she shares a ton of brilliant recipes, and also some more deep thoughts so go and have a look!), which is what everyone needs.

Here’s the video. Enjoy!

Vegan Valentine’s Day Menu Ideas

Valentine’s Day is here. And you’ll want to surprise your partner with some good homecooked meal that is both delicious and plant-based. Then you are on the right page! Here, I will list some of the recipes that are perfect for celebrating love, while also being obviously vegan.

I have tried a couple of these and I can assure you they are deliscious and will pleasantly make your partner happy.

Let’s start with some Vegan Bruschetta, which is also gluten-free and my own perfected recipe!

Plate of bruschettas.

Ingredients:

  • 10 oatcakes
  • 5 big garlic cloves, minced
  • 25 plum or cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • salt, a pinch
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 basil leaves

In a bowl assemble garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, oil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes. Take one spoonful of the garlic-tomatoes, put on one oatcake and place on a serving plate. Repeat for all the oatcakes. Garnish with basil leaves.

Note: If you or your partner are not too much of a garlic fan, you can always reduce the number of garlic cloves to 1 or even not put it at all and you’ll still have a great result because the tomatoes have already a decisive taste which is enhanced by the olive oil.

Another appetiser can be hummus served with warm pitta. A delicious recipe is for a Roasted Sweet Potato Hummous by Nourish Plate. And if you feel adventurous, you can make your own pitta following the My Greek Dish recipe.

Then the Gnocchi Bake by The Lazy Cat Kitchen: this is so beautifully easy and full of taste you’ll want to double the recipe! And you can try making your own gnocchi thanks to the recipe of The Curious Chickpea.

Gnocchi Bake by The Lazy Cat Kitchen

You also have the option of some Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Garlicky Mushrooms. This recipe is From My Bowl, and she makes tasty, easy dishes.

Why not venture in a good, warm Goulash? The Forkful of Plants’ recipe is the one you want to look for!

Goulash by Forkful of Plants

Another easy recipe is the Grilled Tofu Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

I would also add the Tofu Katsu Curry following the recipe by Vegan Huggs.

Tofu Katsu Curry by Vegan Huggs

In the desserts section, my number one choice is for the Magical Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding by The Full Helping: I love a good toffee pudding and hers is an easy yet luscious recipe.

Magical Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding by The Full Helping

If you don’t like the idea of the toffee pudding, then go for a classic Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes of My Goodness Kitchen: another chocolatey and luscious recipe.

A third delicious option are the Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies, recipe of From My Bowl. Trust me, these little guys are extra tasty, and the work behind them is almost non-existent.

Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies by From My Bowl

Whatever you decide, I hope you’ll have a day full of love with your special one.

Happy Lunar (Chinese) New Year

Today is the Lunar New Year, more commonly known as Chinese New Year.

Fu meaning “good fortune”, is the symbol used during these celebrations (source: Macau Photo Agency)

It is mainly known as Chinese New Year, because China is famous for the big celebrations that they do during this day. However, this day is also observed in the rest of Asia, from the Middle East with the Islamic New Year to Vietnam, to Nepal and Indonesia.

Lunar New Year is the first day of the lunisolar calendar which is

A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures whose date indicates both the Moon phase and the time of the solar year. If the solar year is defined as a tropical year, then a lunisolar calendar will give an indication of the season; if it is taken as a sidereal year, then the calendar will predict the constellation near which the full moon may occur. As with all calendars which divide the year into months there is an additional requirement that the year have a whole number of months. In this case ordinary years consist of twelve months but every second or third year is an embolismic year, which adds a thirteenth intercalary, embolismic, or leap month.

Their months are based on the regular cycle of the Moon‘s phases. So lunisolar calendars are lunar calendars with – in contrast to them – additional intercalation rules being used to bring them into a rough agreement with the solar year and thus with the seasons.

The main other type of calendar is a solar calendar.

Lunisolar calendar, Wikipedia

Now that you know a bit more about why there is another New Year, let’s go and see what is the most traditional food consumed during this day: we have dumplings, sweet&savoury tofu, spring rolls, longevity noodles, etc. I selected some recipes that I have personally tried and can confirm are delicious, easy and quick to make: all pros and no cons.

I’d start with a Vegan Fried Rice, recipe by FoodPassionical. Already since the first time I tried it, I fell in love with it: super easy, using easy-to-find ingredients, and it takes less than 30 minutes to make.

How To Make Vegan Egg Fried Rice | 全素蛋炒饭, Food Passionical

Then I would go for some Vegan Gyoza. They are great both steamed or fried. The only con is the making of the wrappers: I still need to find the right way of making them (I know that it would be easier to buy them, but I always try to make them – You only have yourself to blame, I am aware), but with this recipe they come out very decently. The recipe is by Bianca Zapatka

Followed by some Hotteok by Maangchi. They are nice, and fluffy and rich with nutricious veggies. I made them not long ago, it’s a recipe that doesn’t take too long and with a delicious result.

Hotteok filled with vegetables & noodles (Yachae hotteok: 야채호떡) by Maangchi

This is another recipe by Maangchi: Vegetable Pancake. I make them quite often, because are very easy to prepare, between preparation and cooking time it’s no more than 20 minutes.

Vegetable Pancake (Yachaejeon: 야채전) by Maangchi

To these beauties, I would add some Sweet and crunchy tofu. Every time I make it, I can’t even wait until it’s cooled down: it’s too good! Trust me: you’ll thank me later.

Sweet and crunchy tofu (Dubu-ganjeong: 두부강정) by Maangchi

I hope that you’ll enjoy this day and if you made any of this recipes, please let me know.

Happy Lunar New Year!

LGBT+ Month and Black History Month

I just found out that February is a wonderful month: in the U.K. is the month celebrating (appreciating?) LGBTQ+ people, while in North America is the month dedicated to commemorate and celebrate Black History.*

What a lovely month is this, right? A month where people celebrate these minorities by reading meaningful books about said minorities, listening to podcasts by LGBTQ+ or Black people, going to events of appreciation of these fringes of society, etc. For a whole month, we pretend that everything is fine and we feel like we’ve done something to promote these cultures and come March 1st we’ll have a good feeling about ourselves. – Actually, no, because March is Women’s History Month. But at least on this U.K. and U.S.A. are agreeing on this month –

Well, it doesn’t work that way. Yes, it is good to have a time when you should think about the issues that afflict these communities, broadening your perspective. But it is not enough. If there is a month to commemorate or celebrate such minorities, it means that they are not well integrated into the community. So we should do something about it. I’ve seen around a lot of posts, promoting Black-Owned businesses or promoting LGBTQ+ rights.

But the problem is much deeper. And we all know it.

The problem is with a system that has allowed this to happen. I don’t want to throw the “rich white patriarchy” here: but I’ll just say that there is a fucked up system operating, and this system has oppressed all those not “fitting in”. And this system goes quite well along with monotheistic religions, as they have very similar core principles: there is only one God, (meaning that the other religions are, basically, wrong); men have superiority over women; the precepts delineated in the respective sacred texts are law; the one religion they profess is the only real one and everybody will have to convert (do you see the problem, that if all those professing a religion start saying to another: “you need to convert” and the other says: “no, you need to convert”. It can’t go forever and then you either have wars or torture.)

This doesn’t want to be a religious post: far from it. What I want to say is that we have to be careful and I wish that people would be less crappy. But clearly, this system is benefitting some, while oppressing (ok, if you don’t like this word, let’s say exploiting) others.

There is a Black History Month, an LGBTQ+ Month, a Women’s History Month: I mean, obviously, there is an issue here. Because okay, you are a terf or you are a racist woman or a racist gay, so maybe in your view of things the first two make sense and you buy into the narrative because those two are just minorities, you maybe don’t see many POCs or LGBTQ+ around, nor you do know what they ask, hence kind of makes sense that February (or October) are set to be a celebration for them. But I am sure that you see women around. So how come that there is a month to celebrate them? Aren’t women equal to men? Wait, when did they suffer? What?! They still do? And they are still fighting for some basic rights?! Women in “first-world countries” that are being raped and abused or slut-shamed? Oh no, I can’t believe it

This is what a fucked up system. We don’t want to set months to make people feel better about themselves. We just want human rights.

As vegans, we don’t want oppression for any living being. On a deeper level, veganism means being against persecution, abuse, repression etc and we mean it for the animals, all animals: humans and non-humans. So let’s join hands in the fight for a fairer world: united we can change things.

Unity makes strength.

*Also fucked up: in October U.K. and North America do switch, so that it will be Black History Month in Great Britain and LGBTQ+ Month in North America.

More on Non-Vegan Companies

As I was saying in this post, a lot of companies producing plant-based products are actually non-vegan.

There is obviously no judgement if you are buying such products, especially without knowing this information. And you might also have a conception of veganism where you consider these products as vegan.

However, remember that these companies are not vegan, their policies are as far away as possible from the vegan philosophy: it is not only the fact that they use ingredients from animals, they are also responsible for deforestation (you might also want to check this website and this one) and they have been found using questionable working standards (you can read more here about some of the most recent Unilever controversies, herehere, and here; examples from another big company – Coca Cola – are this and thisthis and this). Again, I am not saying don’t buy from them, but now you know a little bit of what these big companies do and I hope I can give you the tools to make conscious buying decisions.

If you recall, in this post I told you how the great majority of these big companies are related to Monsanto and how Monsanto tests on animals. I would also like to add that it also has many controversies around the world because many of its chemical products are deemed unsafe to use or have been found to have long-term side effects on people and the land (I’ll leave you this articlethis and this, but please let me know if you would like me to found some more articles on the topic).

I’ll leave you with this very useful pie of all the brands connected to these big companies (source: World Politics News

Delicious vegan spinach and cheese pouches (vegan gozleme)

These spinach and cheese gozleme are just great for a light but tasty dinner or for an afternoon snack. I am following the recipe by the Lazy Cat Kitchen and I have now made them three times, each time better than the other!

This is a recipe that I like to make usually on a Saturday night when I feel like wanting something tasty, but that wouldn’t take as long as making a pizza (from scratch). They are an easy recipe that can be made also after work because it takes less than an hour between prep and cooking time (30 minutes being the resting time for the dough).

I have tried both with homemade feta, like from Ania’s recipe and with store-bought cheese (Violife): both ways will leave your tastebuds extremely satisfied. However, I never used the soy yoghurt (simply because I never keep yoghurt in the fridge and I should think ahead of making these to remember buying it, which I can’t be bothered doing given the level of laziness that my mind can reach).

Just make them, you’ll thank me later.

De-li-ci-ous!