Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tofu Scramble

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Good morning everyone!

It’s Friday! To celebrate, I actually COOKED this morning! Woohoo!

In my pre-vegan days, eggs always just creeped me out. They were either runny or spongy – sometimes even pushing the line to plastic. And I could never really ditch feeling just a little sketched out that I was essentially eating an amniotic sac.

Um, ew.

Anyway. I’m vegan now. Tofu to the rescue! I decided to throw some ingredients together this morning to create my own make-shift VEGAN version of scrambled eggs. The tofu scramble I made this morning has more protein, less fat, zip cholesterol, and is waaaay farther from plastic than the usual two-egg scramble. And it’s just flat-out delicious ๐Ÿ™‚


Tofu Scramble Recipe

Ingredients

3 oz extra-firm, high-protein tofu (I got mine from Trader Joe’s. Of course. ;))

1/4 c oats

2 Tb nutritional yeast

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

~ 1/3 c water (or plant milk)

Directions

Super simple, y’all. Just crumble your tofu into a bowl – you can attack it with a fork if your morning is in need of some more fun ๐Ÿ™‚ – pour your EVOO on top, add in the nooch, oats, and water, and then stir!

Next, pour your mixture into a frying pan (or a sauce pan, if you live in a college dorm and none of the frying pans are clean!) and cook on medium to medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. Once some of the water has cooked off and the mixture’s thickened, it’s done!

I added in two dashes of pepper and a blink’s worth of salt (that’s aย very very veryย small dash, y’all). You could also add a dash of cumin and ketchup/hot sauce to taste. Let me tell you, looking through communal dorm fridges for one of those last two was fun. There was definitely some impromptu fridge cleaning.

Hope you all enjoy a healthy start to your morning!

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The Three Little Pigs…

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There’s a disconnect in the way Americans think about animals. Just look at our fairy tales.

Take the story of the three little pigs. They each try to build a home (and two out of the three suck at it) in order to keep themselves safe from the big bad wolf and all of his “I’ll HUFF and PUFF and BLOW your house down!” (and then presumably eat you) business. As kids, we unquestioningly side with the pigs. Children automatically register that the wolf is the villain because he’s big and bad and wants to eat the three little pigs, and that would just be wrong.

The wolf is the villain because it’s wrong to eat pigs.

Uh, wait a second…

See the disconnect?

For some reason, most of the kids who well up with childish indignation at the thought of the wolf eating the three little pigs somehow turn into adults who salivate at the words “baby back ribs.”

Something’s up here.

How is it that a premise that seems so unshakably true to children somehow becomes murky and controversial to adults?

The three little pigs of the fairy tale are very clear-cut characters. The pigs don’t get buried under the adult jargon of “livestock,” “loin” or “bacon.” The whole point of the story (other than that it’s really dumb to build a wimpy house) is that the pigs very clearly belong on no one’s dinner plate. I mean, rewriting the story as “the three little pork chops” would just be morbid! No, the pigs in the story are not creatures of pork flesh to be pulled and roasted. They are members of a family, or at the least friends. They are laborers working to create a place for themselves in the world. They are thinking, feeling creatures capable of experiencing emotions ranging from pride to fear. And the thing is, those qualities aren’t just for the fantasy animal. Turns out they’re actually a part of the real animal, too.

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And yet while we don’t even blink while graciously bestowing a (correctly) high level of sentience to the pigs of our fairy tales, carnists refuse to bestow it to the pig on their plate. Somewhere along the way, American carnists learn to forget that by their own childhood standards, they have become the villain. In fact, they even learn to justify it. And the pigs lose out. The dynamic, 3D fact behind the fairy tale is lost as adults swap it for a flatter, more convenient 2D fiction.

But that’s not even close to what happens to the wolf.

Part 2: … and the Big Bad Wolf?

New Finds

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Trader Joe’s is wonderful.

Vanilla Soy Yogurt

A few days ago, I was about to grab my normal strawberry and peach yogurt cartons when OH MY GOODNESS THERE’S NOW VANILLA SOY YOGURT.

Yes, everyone. I was actually that excited.

Trader Joe’s has consistently been my favorite brand of soy yogurt. Before I became vegan and was only on the search for gelatin-free yogurt, I ended up opting for TJ’s soy anyways because I just liked it better than all the other vegetarian dairy yogurts. Since becoming vegan, I’ve found that I still prefer Trader Joe’s to the other soy yogurt brands.

However, until recently, there was no TJ vanilla flavor. So, for quite a while, I’ve been on the hunt for a soy yogurt that could fill that void in my plate’s life. Bowl’s life. Whatever. But across the board, the soy yogurts I’ve tried just haven’t quite hit it. Other brands were usually much too sugary or couldn’t hide the fact from my tastebuds that no, this wasn’t really vanilla yogurt and that why yes, that was fake flavor I was detecting.

Needless to say, after going through that experience time and time again, I was wary when it came to Trader Joe’s new attempt at a vanilla flavor. But when I peeled back the quality control seal, the yogurt underneath was creamy andย white (instead of the yellowish off-white I was usually confronted with). This looked promising. So I went for a taste.

AMAZING! The soy vanilla managed to capture the sweet vanilla tasteย and the tanginess of yogurt that I had enjoyed in my pre-vegan days. Real taste, oh-so-helpful live active cultures, chock full of calcium and protein – LOVED IT!

Vegan Crumpets

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I was also super stoked to find that my local Trader Joe’s now carries a second type of crumpet – and it’sย vegan! The new Harvest Whole Wheat crumpets are animal product-free, the ingredient list doesn’t sport the words “bleached” or “refined” before the word “flour,” AND they’re amazingly delicious.

Tea and crumpets, anyone?

Love Sucks

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Or at least, that’s what Southern California’s a Capella groups seem to think.

After an AMAZING morning practice (*cough cough* 12 pm – 2 pm totally counts as morning when you’re in college world, right?) for “Mr. Pinstripe Suit,” a piece for the upcoming Caltech dance show, I was back in my dorm all ready to be a good college student and do some homework when I suddenly collided with a friend of mine who was barreling down the hallway. Simultaneously, I got tackle-hugged by another friend from behind, had a bright red flier shoved into my hand by a third person I didn’t even know, and was enthusiastically informed by one of them, “You’re going to Love Sucks, right!”

I know. You’d think that would be a question. It wasn’t.

And then I spent the next two hours at Love Sucks, Caltech’s fifteenth annual (my first!) Valentine’s Day a Capella concert. Because blowing off homework for a while to hang out with friends and watch stellar vocal groups… and every so often watch Paddy the Hot Math TA watch the groups from the row in front of me ๐Ÿ˜‰ … is totally what makes life worth it.

I got to hear Awaken, the group Sarah Bareilles was in when she was at UCLA!

Caltech, UCLA, UCSD, CSUN – all had groups who made an appearance! I was reminded how integral a part music is of my life. There’s something different, hearing music being made right there, straight out of people’s mouths, instead of being played through my laptop speakers after having been processed multiple times for “sound quality.” There’s a power to music when it’s raw, happening right there in front of you. It’s got an ability to capture you, to pull you right along with it, to hold you and not release until the final note ends.

I never sit still. Ever. My mother’s seriously concerned about whether I might have restless leg syndrome. But during an absolutely gorgeous rendition of Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” by the UCLA all-girl group Signature, I suddenly noticed that I wasn’t moving. I was sitting still. My foot wasn’t shaking, my crossed leg wasn’t kicking, not even one toe was tapping. I was absolutely captured.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t shamelessly dancing in my seat during the faster songs. Caltech’s Out of Context threw themselves into the Killer’s “All the Things I’ve Done” with so much sheer energy it was impossible not to! Though at one point my friend Leslie did start to actually worry that the main vocalist, who was managing to somehow head bob with his entire body at an impressive frequency, was going to start seizing…

But hey, that’s passion for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beating Murphy’s Law

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You know Murphy’s Law? The saying that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong? Well, that just about sums up yesterday. Wildlife Waystation was the highlight of a HUGE event at Celebrity Centre International, a Scientology center in Hollywood. We brought the largest number of animals to an event, possibly in our entire history, but because of strict rules, also had the fewest number of volunteers accompanying them. Talk about hectic.

The day began with me sleeping through my ringing alarm for FORTY MINUTES. I might need a better alarm, y’all. Waking up late meant I had no time to shower, no time for breakfast, not even time to pick up coffee. I had to book it.

When I finally arrived at the Waystation, a whole new slew of problems ensued. People were late, there was a problem with the goat-and-llama-transporting horse trailer, there was a problem with plan B for the horse trailer, there was a problem with the van key (i.e. we couldn’t find it), there was a problem with the van (i.e. it wouldn’t start), there was another problem with the van (i.e. it stalled and wouldn’t start AGAIN) – and on and on!

Yup. That's right. I travelled in the pig van. Oreo probably had the most room.

Yesterday could be summed up as problem after problem. However, it could also be summed up as solution after solution. People’s strengths came out in full force. Shorthanded and having little to work with, volunteers didn’t discriminate in how they helped. Phone calls were made, errands were run, stepping in was facilitated. Which team you were on, what department you worked with – categories like that stopped mattering and all that did matter was that if you could do it, you did do it.

The astounding show of teamwork pulled it off! And then I handled goats for the next six hours ๐Ÿ™‚

Adrian chillin' with Pepper the goat

Oh! There, um, was also that moment when I was looking for a waste bin to throw away trash for someone and thought that oh hey, this big grey trash bin next to the reptiles is probably for waste, right? So I just opened up the lid and OH MY GOODNESS NOT A TRASH CAN!

Turns out the boa constrictor was inside. That lid got shoved back on pretty darn quickly. Banana’s gorgeous but, uh, not quite what I was expecting. At least Murphy’s Law has a sense of humor.

Though might I mention that Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri came through on a VIP tour? THAT was pretty cool! But no, I decided to NOT be one of the gagillion annoying people the two have to put up with who take pictures of every waking moment of their lives. Sorry, guys. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did take lots of pictures of our animals, though! Be on the lookout for upcoming pics of ME with the goats ๐Ÿ™‚

Mungar the tiger. Or "the handsome boy" ๐Ÿ™‚

Rowdy the black-capped capuchin reeling up a bucket for the prize inside

Wendy with Dakota the wolf

How have you made the best of a rough situation?