For this Sunday recipe I bring to you something that is so tasty, quick and easy to make and will bring back so many memories of Spring lunches and pic-nics. Do you remember deviled eggs? Well, here we have the vegan version!
Perfect for a snack, lunch or pic-nic
I made it yesterday and really had to stop myself from eating them all in one go because they are way too good. And it will be perfect for your Easter lunch: it will be a hit with your family and friends (if you don’t have too many restrictions, pandemic-wise).
When I grew up, possibly like many of you, deviled eggs were something that would be brought to a pic-nic as tehy keep quite well and are easy to manage. But also they remind me of Easter lunch with my family, with quiches and dumpling soups as well as refreshing salads.
There are few versions around, but I tried this because it seemed the quickest and usually Sam’s recipes come out always great.
Without further ado. The recipe is the one by Sam from ItDoesn’tTasteLikeChicken: you probably are already familiar with her recipes. If not, go and have a look at her website because you’ll see so many easy, quick and delicious recipes for all the occasions.
You just need small potatoes, vegan mayonnaise, a bit of kala malak (black salt – this is fundamental to give the egg taste), bit of apple cider vinegar and turmeric. Boil the potatoes, half them, scoop a bit of the centre of the potatoes. Use the scooped bits of the potatoes as filling with the mayo and spices. You won’t believe they are not deviled eggs!
It is almost the end of March, so I am still on time to write about it, about Women’s History Month. What does this mean? As I hinted in a previous post, some months are dedicated to acknowledging, remembering, commemorating and observing important events in the history of the people to which such months are dedicated. March is the month dedicated to women’s history as well as having the International Women’s Day on the 8th of this month. This makes people think that now is all well, if there were problems, they were in the past and we can now celebrate each month something good. Unfortunately this is not the case. These are not the cases. And I will explain why.
What would you understand from these words? That there is the acknowledgement of what women have done from more or less recent history: that we recognise the hard-working women that have never stopped fighting for their rights, from better working conditions to the right to vote, to sexual rights, etc. That is the idea. That women have fought and they have won, that now we can look at the past and see what the fair sex has done and be grateful that it’s been done. There is nothing else to do, right? Mh.
But there is no “man’s history month” and men too have done quite a lot. So why is there a women’s month?
Similarly to Black History Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, etc., it means that there are actually unresolved things going on, that we still need to work on bettering the situation of these people in every aspect of their lives. So it has been decided to dedicate one month a year to say “Thank you for your contributions” or “Sorry, you still don’t have some basic rights because you are different”. And this brings us to…
Why Still Need a Month Dedicated to Women
Because there are still women that are beaten and raped daily;
Because women are denied basic rights;
Because little girls are forced into marrying much older men;
Because women are still not granted protection by the authorities;
Because there still is a pay gap;
Because it is the 21st Century and women are slut-shamed.
And I not talking (only) about those countries that are considered developing countries, but also those that are allegedly developed ones.
Why am I talking about these matters on a vegan blog? As I previously explained, I am a firm believer in veganism as a holistic social philosophy. Like many others, I went vegan for the animals and the environment, but soon I realised that one can’t do much in aid of these issues without integrating the issues concerning people, which are strictly connected to affairs of social justice: we can’t achieve total animal liberation and have a clean, healthy Earth without the eradication of racism, fair working conditions for everybody, equal rights for women and men, recognising the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, etc.
Be kind, be more empathic, stand up against abuse: this is the way to a better world for everybody and our beloved Earth.
Spring it’s here! After months of snow and cold, as nature intended, we are now officially into the new season: a time of rebirth, blossoming, the birds are chirping, the days are lighter and lighter and this is the time when we should do some detox to get ready to enter this new period. Hence, I am sharing this recipe with you, because it is packed with nutrients that will help you dealing with Springtime in an energising and refreshing way.
Now, I don’t know about you, but going from Winter to Spring for me it’s always devastating: it has been like this for more than 10 years (before I went vegan) and it’s the only change of season that brings with it, physical and mental issues: from brain fog to feeling physically depleted as well as gastrointestinal problems (I am going to talk about this Seasonal Affective Disorder soon because maybe there some of you who suffer from the same stuff and I can help you with the solutions that I am using for myself), leaving Winter is quite a challenge every year.
For this reason, I was absolutely delighted to read about a very quick and easy recipe for Chia Fresca by Choosing Chia. And it’s obviously vegan!
Mix all the ingredients in a glass or jar. Stir or shake it up to make sure the chia seeds don’t clump together.
Let sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before drinking.
It is easy, delicious, very quick. However, I have modified it a little bit: I have been using 1/2 cup of boiled water and 1 cup of cool water, no maple syrup nor cayenne. Instead, I have been adding 1 kiwi (peeled and sliced). I prepare this first thing in the morning, while I prepare breakfast and I drink it until lunchtime: it does provide a good kick and I have been able to focus a bit better at work while also calming my stomach.
But I would also like to show you the nutritional value of the ingredients used for this amazing recipe. And again, all this is vegan and superhealthy, so give it a try!
From Harvard T. H.. Chan School of Public Health: “Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28 grams) contain about 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA for calcium, and trace minerals including zinc and copper. They are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body.”
From Healthline.com we have another complete brakdown of all the nutrition facts of these little seeds. For example, what they might be lacking in vitamins, they’ll make up with minerals: Manganese, Phosphorus, Copper, Selenium, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium. They also contain many antioxidants (the good stuff that it’s supposed to be helping against cancer).
But lemon juice is not only a magnificent source of such vitamins: it is also your ally against kidney stones and anemia (amongst other benefits – read more here and here).
As I said, my version of the vegan Chia Fresca sees the use of kiwi. I have always been used to eating kiwis when I was little because my grandma loves them and this has been passed on to my mum. Now, I am not crazy about them like my grandma, but I like their taste: the combination of bitter and sweet and the juicy pulp, makes it a nice snack. Or also it can be used to take away a bit of the sweetness of some foods that sometimes are really too sweet, if you get what I mean. For example, I used to slice a kiwi to put in those yoghurts where cleary they used a bit too much sugar and/or sweetners. I am not trying to sell you some kiwis, but just to give you an idea one kiwi has
42 calories (cal)
215 milligrams (mg) of potassium, or 5 percent recommended daily value (DV)
It is just over a year and a month now, that this speech was made. So why am I writing about this just today? Well, first of all, this blog was born like three months ago, and unless we have a time machine available it would have not been possible to write this at the time. Second: I didn’t think about this speech until a couple of days ago, and I actually don’t even remember why I thought about it. Third: I don’t believe this speech has gained that much consideration, even at the time it was made, a year ago, while it is absolutely still relevant (despite this fast-running, speed-racing machine that is the contemporary world, where things become obsolete after few months). Hence I feel like this should be made more widespread.
The speech I am talking about is the one that Joaquin Phoenix gave when he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as Joker in the homonym movie (which is brilliant: if you haven’t watched it yet, do it, you won’t regret it! I leave you the trailer at the end).
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he took such an important opportunity, such as the Oscar’s acceptance speech, to raise awareness of animals rights. But in these 5 minutes, he managed to include themes of social justice, the fight against racism, gender rights and LGBTQ+ rights. Few moments, with very powerful words.
You might remember that Leonardo DiCaprio did something similar when he won his first Oscar (whoo-hoo! Well done Leo, you should have gotten one much earlier, but better late than never!). He said that “making The Revenant [the movie for which he won the award] was about man’s relationship to the Natural World, a world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating, we need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this Planet for granted, I do not take this night for granted.”
I find that Joaquin’s speech went beyond that: that through veganism people can not only live in a more compassionate way, but also that the vegan lifestyle can benefit non-humans and humans alike, helping in the fight against social injustice as well as for a better environment.
I leave you the video here (and the transcript below it):
“I’m full of so much gratitude right now. And I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room because we share the same love, the love of film and this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know what I’d be without it. But I think the greatest gift that it’s given me and many of us in this room is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively and I think at times that we feel, or were made to feel, that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality. I think whether we are talking about gender inequality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animals rights, we are talking about the fight against injustice, we are talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control, and use and exploit another with impunity. (applause) I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we are guilty of, is an egocentric worldview: the belief that we’re the centre of the universe; we go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources; we feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth, we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable and then we take her milk, that it’s intended for a calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. And I think, we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something, to give something up: but human beings at our best, are so inventive, so creative and ingenious and I think that when we use love and compassion as our dieting principles we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment. (cheers) Now, I’ve been a scoundrel in my life, I’ve been selfish, I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and ungrateful but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance, and I think that’s when we are at our best: when, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other towards redemption. That is the best of humanity. (applause) When he was 17, my brother [River Phoenix] wrote these lyrics, he said ‘run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow’. Thank you.”
It’s Sunday and despite being in March it is still quite cold. So it comes natural seeking some comfort food. And there is not comfort-er food than this vegan babka: a cake that will be perfect for your breakfast, but also for an afternoon snack (and why not, after dinner, while you’re watching your favourite TV show).
The first time I heard the word ‘babka’ was when a friend showed me the picture of a babka he made. Unfortunately, this was not vegan. But this was not a deterrent for me: the cake was way too beautiful and looked so darn tasty so I started researching for recipes of vegan babkas, that were reasonably doable without requiring the help of celestial being for overly complicated cooking and baking processes (something that happens when I see the list of ingredients for some recipes).
And there it was: after comparing some recipes, I found it! The Domestic Gothess shared the recipe for a beautiful Vegan Chocolate Babka and I didn’t hesitate to make it straight away (when I find something that I like I am like a dog with a bone). The ingredients are almost all vegan pantry-staples so you too can make this delicious treat right now. The process might seem lengthy, but trust me it is actually straightforward. Plus, you have the sensorial experience of working the vegan butter into the dough and I found it so fun! Very squishy and messy at the beginning, but I enjoyed it a lot. The only downside is that you have to be patient with the rising time because you’ll have to leave the dough to rise in the fridge overnight. But other than that, this recipe won’t take too long and all this work will be well worth the result: a luscious, delicious sweet treat for yourself (and all those that appreciate bread and chocolate).