Body image. It's a topic that conjures up plenty of ideas and opinions within the vegan community, and others as well. But, as vegans, are we helping or hindering the movement toward a better world for all sizes? As the focus of this issue, a number of contributors tackle this question from their personal experience, and give us some direction on where things should go from here. Along with this, issue seven contains plenty of recipes, DIY, activist, and life articles to keep you warm on a rainy day. Or busy on a long train ride. Or distracted during another "where do you get your protein?" conversation.
Contents Spring 2013 FOCUS RECIPES When body image and veganism intersect Vegan treats and tasties The Negative Path to a Positive Goal Monica Giomo Reframing What Beauty Means Maduhmoizel Stew Carol Smolinski Brown Sugar and Chili Oil Roasted Peanuts JL Fields Jess Scone The Perfectly Average Vegan Baked Stew Michele Truty Unconditional Compassion Chelsea Lincoln Flesh and Blood Whitney Metz Miriam Sorrell Clandestinaâ€™s Aguacate Salad Diana Aversa Butternut Squash Cranberry Muffins Lee Reese Spicy Lentil and Carrot Dahl Dianne Wenz SPOTLIGHT Learn more about fellow vegans Gimme Shelter: Starting an Animal Refuge in North Carolina Lynn Crothers Saffron Pickled Cauliflower and Carrots Jess Scone Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bars Jen Ford Heartichokeâ€™s Green Curry Sauce Jess Scone ACTIVISM LIFE Bringing veganism to the masses Living and breathing vegan Hitting The Road With A Glimpse Of The Hidden 10 Billion Kathryn Asher Vegans in the (Occupy) Kitchen Jamie J. Hagen Unicorns in the Italian Boonies Christina Vani Being Vegan in Omni Restaurants Lisa Febre DIY Making your own vegan world A Vegan Supper Club How-To Guide Maeve Connor & Jess SconĂŠ Starting a Veg Fest Ashley Flitter Canning Jen Ford Click on an article to get to where you want to be. Also, be on the lookout for clickable links for ads, websites, references, contact info, and more. Issue Seven is best viewed as a two-page spread. Credits Totally and Obviously Fucked Up is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Editor-in-Chief Ryan Patey firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Director Amanda Rogers Contributors Michele Truty, Jess Scone, Miriam Sorrell, Kathryn Asher, JL Fields, Chelsea Lincoln, Whitney Metz, Monica Giomo, Christina Vani, Lisa Febre, Jen Ford, Ashley Flitter, Carol Smolinski, Dianne Wenz, Diana Aversa, Deann MacLean, Lynn Crothers, and Jamie J. Hagen. Cover Design Ryan Patey, Devon Crosby, and Emily Christy Cover Photography Heartfelt Thanks To Devon Crosby, for his knowledge of code and a camera, and the fact that he can still speak my language. Devon Crosby Amanda Rogers, for remaining my friend, even when Iâ€™m a terrible client. Layout and Design Emily Christy, for giving her time to make some wooden dolls stand out. Ryan Patey and Amanda Rogers Advertising email@example.com Online Presence tofumagazine.com Facebook | Twitter | tumblr | Instagram Our advertisers, who support the mag while staying ethical and paying their own bills. You, for caring enough to check this out. About the Cover With the topic of body image, I wanted to reflect the idea of different sizes, all while having a common connection. So, Russian nesting, or Matryoshka, dolls seemed a perfect fit. Throw in a non-offensive paint job, and you have the cover for issue seven! From the Editor The beet goes on. Yes, I meant to write it that way. About a week ago at this time, I was at the bottom of the cycle that I’ve run for most issues of this magazine, and, as some of my friends can attest to, it wasn’t pretty. The truth is, I don’t know what my life would be like without this magazine in the back of my mind, and I can’t imagine really stopping it, even when things are at their worst. The main reason for this low? I wasn’t sure Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like why I was putting myself through making there are no perks to this job! Even though another issue again. I’m sitting in my hotel room working, Fast forward a week and I’m sitting in a I’ve already turned down two offers for hotel room in downtown Portland trying to doughnuts and other treats to be delivered get this thing out the door so I can really to my room from wonderful people who I start to experience the amazing conference would never have known if it wasn’t for this that three long-time T.O.F.U. supporters magazine, and that alone can make it worth it. The friendships, not the donuts. started a few years ago: Vida Vegan Con. So, if you’re willing to accept the delays and the excuses between issues, I’m willing to keep spending some weird hours fussing over page margins, poking my friends to do work for free and then asking them for For whatever reason you chose to become dozens of changes, and so many other things (or maybe you’re thinking about becoming) that I’ve come to see as normal during an vegan, and to whatever degree you are involved issue cycle. in the community, you have made a choice to do something different, and that choice often Now, about those donuts... comes with moments of doubt. Whether or not they’re a split second or something that until next time, knocks you on your ass and possibly shifts your whole world, they happen. I have no doubt in my mind that those three lovely ladies have had similar moments to me, and I know plenty of other people who have as well. Luckily, some of us have these moments countered with the question of “why not?” focus The way the vegan lifestyle is being portrayed as a ‘get skinny quick’ diet is not the way it should be. It’s not all that there is to it. The reasons I’m vegan now, is not for the same reasons I began with, although staying fit does play a big role in my lifestyle today. The way the vegan lifestyle is being portrayed as a ‘get skinny quick’ diet is not the way it should be. It’s not all that there is to it. Is better health a benefit? Definitely, when you do it correctly. There are numerous articles, forums, blogs, and even if he/she doesn’t 100% agree with your choices, your doctor will have information. This is where I skipped a step. I didn’t consult a physician and I also didn’t read up on anything. I will admit that in the beginning I didn’t start off the healthiest. It took some adjustment, and a lot of criticism from friends and family. Mostly friends. A lot of them were sceptical, and didn’t believe I would last very long. This time however it was different. I was desperate to make a change, or else it was all down hill. I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to have the fortune of a teenager’s metabolism, health, and activity level. “That’s great Monica, but you’re too skinny. Go eat something”, “But wouldn’t you just feel better if you had a steak?!”, “You need meat with that meal!”. There is always a catch. In the real world, when you are flying high, people are waiting in the wings to knock you down a few pegs, and to tell you that you are WRONG. Such was the case for me. I was called a lot of names, the main ones being ; anorexic, unhealthy, too skinny, bone rack, you get the idea. I didn’t appreciate it and I thought the majority of the people saying these things were supposed to be my friends. Friends who never bothered to say anything to me when I was at my highest weight and extremely unhealthy, so why were they making such a stink when I was actually doing something to improve my health? To me this made no sense! I pleaded my case, saying that I felt great, I had more energy, I was cooking healthier, I had a great outlook on life. No, no dice. “That’s great Monica, but you’re too skinny. Go eat something”, 3 I first became vegan with the intent to lose weight. I was tired of being overweight, and going vegan was my ticket to freedom, sweet, skinnier freedom. For the first time in a long time, I was happy. I was losing weight, eating right, exercising weekly, and I was really enjoying healthy, delicious food again. I, unlike many, did not have the welfare of the animal or the ecosystem in mind to begin with. I just wanted to be thin. Well thinner than I was. Needing a change in my life I decided overnight to go vegan. Skipping vegetarianism altogether, having tried it earlier in my life I found I gained more weight filling the ‘meat void’ with more dairy. I was tired of dieting, especially diets that focused on fatty meals, and not enough fruits and vegetables. It worked! Since going vegan four years ago, I’ve dropped 75 lbs and have managed to keep it off. “But wouldn’t you just feel better if you hold an opinion on my own body, because had a steak?!”, “You need meat with that it’s obviously not my body. Clearly that is a meal!”. major downside. 4 At the end of the day it’s really your choice to make changes to your own diet. There is always going to be that one person that tells you not to do it, you’re wrong, it’s not healthy, etc… There is also going to be the one person who wants to persuade you to try new things. After losing the weight, like everyone else on the face of the earth, I plateaued. I wasn’t that bothered by it. Others were quick to notice, chiming in “I thought going vegan meant you kept the weight off. Apparently not”. Okay, if I’m getting this right, I’m supposed to not lose any weight. Then when I don’t lose weight, I’m supposed to answer to someone about said weight gain, but I’m also not allowed to ‘Fat Shaming’ people into going vegan is the worst way to try and promote vegan-ism. By no means is there any guarantee of weight loss, as well I don’t think that any dietary choice should start with blatant bullying. This is where being vegan, in my opinion, gets the bad rep. I’ve noticed in the past four years as being vegan, that people tend to revolve around the idea that if it’s vegan, it’s healthy. Hold it friends, such is not the case. In a world where you can get basically When it all comes down to it, no one should go into a ‘diet’ or ‘lifestyle’ by being attacked. I take an approach with my friends and family to teach instead of preach. The upside now that I have come to realize is that I feel great. I feel great in the entirety of it all. I get to help animals out, I get to cook amazing, healthy, fresh food, and I get to be healthier because of it. When it all comes down to it, no one should go into a ‘diet’ or ‘lifestyle’ by being attacked. I take an approach with my friends and family to teach instead of preach. People are more willing to try new things, vegan or not, if you show them how, instead of yelling in their faces about what is right and what is wrong. By doing this, I hope that we can all encourage people to make healthier choices and substitutions in their lives, without judgement and negativity. Make simple suggestions, and swap recipes. Vegan or not, your friends will appreciate the mellow side to an ethical, healthy lifestyle. 5 everything vegan, you really have to know your products. Do your research. Don’t be quick to jump the gun. If you’ve ever heard of the term ‘fat shaming’ you’ll realize now, if you already haven’t, how horrible it is. ‘Fat Shaming’ people into going vegan is the worst way to try and promote veganism. By no means is there any guarantee of weight loss, as well I don’t think that any dietary choice should start with blatant bullying. It’s a vicious cycle that begins with misinformation and unhealthy eating habits. With there being so many replacement products in the market these days, if you love cheese, you’ll look for a cheese ‘replacement’ and if you like meat you will look for a meat ‘replacement’. These products are in no way promoting a healthy lifestyle. They promote an ethical lifestyle sure, but if you decide to eat pound for pound the amount of cheese to ‘replacement’ cheese, chances are you won’t see much in the way of smaller numbers on the scale. activism Hitting The Road With A Glimpse Of The Hidden 10 Billion Kathryn Asher 6 Unpacking the process, purpose, and impact of video outreach. Through the 10 Billion Lives North American Tour, a group of advocates travel across the U.S.—with a few Canadian stops along the way—to conduct video outreach to inspire the adoption of a vegan diet (or steps in that direction). The name references the nearly 10 billion land animals that are used every year for food in the U.S. Their tour, which operates full-time with an average of five events per week, uses a truck that serves as an office space, sleeping quarters, and most importantly an outreach tool. The custom-built vehicle uses eight screens to host up to 32 simultaneous viewers. The tour is staffed by a coordinator who rounds out the crew by bringing on a handful of interns, and adds volunteer capacity when possible. Since launching in Portland, Oregon in the spring of 2012, the tour has made 99 stops in 63 different locations, covering close to 30 states and has reached more than 39,000 individuals, including a record 1,105 in one day. The Audience The tour is directed at busy public spaces, particularly concerts, festivals, and college campuses, and took in nearly all 40 dates of last summer’s Vans Warped Tour. Michael Weber—the Executive Director of the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), The Medium The 10 Billion Lives Tour makes use of the Pay Per View (PPV) outreach model, developed by Holly Sternberg, a long-time advocate who co-founded Compassion for Animals and serves as an advisor to VegFund. Sternberg believes that sharing undercover footage from factory farms and slaughterhouses is so transformative that it warranted using an incentive to both attract individuals and circumvent their initial reaction to turn away. This approach has since been adopted by a variety of organizations, including FARM, who uses PPV in its most common form: paying individuals a dollar apiece to watch a short video clip. FARM engaged in PPV for about a year before launching the national tour —a decision prompted by positive findings on the evaluation front and a realization that individuals, not feeling coerced, engaged more readily. This consent-based technique, says Weber, “has revolutionized FARM’s approach to advocacy.” As PPV took on an increasingly more prominent role in FARM’s work, they began to develop the protocols and tools to increase its efficacy (follow-up mechanism, a pledge, touchscreens, etc.), many of which were influenced by the work of Nick Cooney, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and Melanie Joy. “With these additions,” explains Weber, “we believe it is the most effective public outreach tactic in the movement.” The Human Research Council (HRC) and VegFund’s Video Comparison Study: Youth Response to Four Vegetarian/Vegan Outreach Videos also points to the benefits of PPV. The study compared intentions for dietary change stemming from four differently themed videos: touching on compassion, graphic content, health, and the environmental messages. It found that an attentive audience (as is the case with PPV) was on the whole more significant than the content itself. The Message FARM employs what they refer to as 7 the organization behind the tour—explains that these venues were carefully selected because, “young people who are educated or see themselves as counterculture seem to be most open to a vegan diet.” FARM is a Maryland-based national nonprofit that employs public education and grassroots activism to further their mission of ending the use of animals for food. Operational now for over three decades, FARM has been behind a number of grassroots campaigns including World Farm Animals Day and Meatout Mondays, and has also served as the organizer for the long-running Animal Rights National Conference. 8 “sustained vegan advocacy,” a continued effort to follow up the “why vegan” with the “how.” After the video, viewers are presented with a pledge to eat fewer animal products and handed a brochure—100 Lives You Can Save—with their dollar bill tucked inside. This handout has recipes, tips on adopting a vegan diet, and a coupon for discounted plant-based meats from Gardein. FARM also continues to engage with those who pledge through weekly emails. “We are taking the same type of cohesive approach that targeted institutional campaigns have and bringing it to outreach campaigns,” notes Weber. An approach that he says is unique to FARM and enabled by the PPV strategy. After the first three months of the tour, FARM stopped showing solely wall-to-wall graphic footage and instead switched to their 10 Billion Lives video, a four-minute in-house documentary that weaves together a variety of messages. Its opener prompts viewers to extend a position they likely already hold (an objection to animal abuse) beyond companion animals to farmed animals, to align their food choices with their existing values. With a sanctuary scene as the backdrop, the introduction touches on farmed animals’ emotional, intellectual, and social lives, and makes an effort to demystify the abstract nature of “10 billion” by providing a numerical comparison to cats and dogs. The bulk of the video is undercover footage—which as a side note is increasingly being threatened by “Ag-Gag” laws. It gives a visceral depiction of the experiences of chickens, turkeys, cows, and pigs on farms and in slaughterhouses, with scenes of confinement, illness, mutilations, violent handling, and killing. 10 Billion Lives addresses common questions about this type of footage: whether it depicts atypical circumstances and if humane alternatives to factory farming exist. It does this by emphasizing standard agricultural practices, presenting statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture, and spending time on free range conditions. The video also covers the plight of fish, and has moved away from grainy footage in favour of HD video. “The new content,” says Weber, “has reduced the amount of predictable and repetitive questions we receive, enabling us to have more meaningful conversations.” 10 Billion Lives closes by explaining that those who consume a vegan diet spare 100 farmed animals from such circumstances annually and asks viewers to pledge to adopt a vegan diet. Following the video presentation, a crew member thanks the individual for watching and asks for their impressions, which commonly include genuine surprise and horror about the goings-on in animal agriculture. The Results Is this move away from solely wall-to-wall graphic content wise? There’s a movement afoot to find out. A study conducted last year by Chris Monteiro—a social psychology student at the University of Massachusetts and researcher in their Psychology Department—lays the groundwork for this debate by examining graphic imagery’s effect on attitudes towards animal rights. The study found images low in graphic detail produced the greatest improvements in these attitudes. HRC and VegFund’s Video Comparison Study (discussed above) found that while all four of the study’s test videos had some level of success, the one with graphic content came out slightly on top. However, this video also had a 10% lower engagement rate, a discovery consistent with FARM’s finding that their walkaway rate has dropped from 10% to 2% since opting for a video with a mix of messages. The missing piece is what combination of graphic and non-graphic themes are most likely to see intentions translate into actual dietary behaviour change. And for that, we’ll have to wait for another study. FARM conducts a follow-up survey after one to two months to determine the extent of follow-through on change, and gathers data on further impressions of the video and whether individuals shared it with family and friends. Weber reports that results to date suggest that at follow-up more than 60% of respondents consume fewer animal products. The response rate is roughly 10%, which he believes is fairly representative given that respondents’ pledge/non-pledge ratio remained steady. The big question is of course whether dietary change is maintained over time, and Weber says FARM is very interested in conducting a more longitudinal evaluation of their work. The cost-effectiveness of other online video advocacy efforts has prompted FARM to launch, “a robust online viewing program, aimed at replicating the PPV success,” Weber explains. The incentive in this case is a 1-in-25 chance at a pair of movie tickets in exchange for viewing 10 Billion Lives in its entirety. Some 45% of individuals watch most or all of the video (double the rate FARM expected). FARM also intends to measure the impact on diet with this population in the future. 9 In the meantime, FARM has some very encouraging data about the impact of the tour. Prior to viewing the video, individuals are asked to use the touchscreens to indicate the number of viewers per screen along with their first names and email addresses. After the video comes a pledge where viewers indicate their intentions for dietary change (if any), as measured by the number of days per week they intend to eat solely plantbased. Findings indicate that 84% of viewers commit to consuming fewer animal products. Weber believes those who opt not to pledge act defensively as a coping mechanism, or having seen a lot of similar footage, are numb to the images. “Or,” adds Weber, “they refuse to accept any responsibility for what they just witnessed.” 10 The Future in touch well in advance.” Using media reporting as a barometer, external reception for the tour has generally been positive, with the exception of the media downplaying its effectiveness, “by airing more quotes from those who don’t plan to change their diets,” says Weber. The operation is a smooth one, with the biggest challenge on the logistics side of things: “Making sure our tour routes include banks willing to give us hundreds of $1 bills, dealing with repairs, getting all the scanned receipts from an amazing and overworked crew who, after a long day of outreach are not really thinking about how many times they got gas that week!” explains Weber. Looking ahead, the truck will keep touring so long as it remains effective. The tour may even expand its reach. “We are exploring the possibility of building kiosk carts to roll onto college campuses,” says Weber, “so that we can have smaller regional tours in addition to the prominent North American tour.” Thus far things are cooperating on the funding side too: an anonymous donor foots the bill—covering staff, vehicle maintenance, tabling fees, gas, etc.— except for the one dollar incentive. And it’s unlikely that the powers that be will stand in their way. Despite having to shut down a few street-side events (the truck takes up two parking spaces) and having a few For more on this initiative as well as ways colleges attempt to revoke their permits, to get involved and support the tour’s work, Weber notes that, “most venues have been visit www.10billiontour.org. very accommodating since we usually get R ecipe Maduhmoizel Stew You know, once you get the drift of cooking and baking, it becomes such a deep and rich part of life that you can hardly wait ‘til your next dance in the kitchen. It’s important to become one with all your pots, pans, cutting boards, knives, and all else in that wonderful haven d’ cuisine. One day I got it that I wanted to make a stew, and this is what poured out of my psyche... 1. Prepare 4 cups veggie broth (I use good vegan cubes), and set aside. 4 cups of veggie broth 2 cups quartered crimini and white button mushrooms 2 medium-sized red potatoes, quartered lengthwise, then sliced 2 medium to large parsnips, chopped into fat coins 6 Brussels Sprouts, quartered 1 large zucchini, sliced into fat coins 1 1/2 cups Hubbard squash, chunked 2-3 Tbsp Corn oil 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 2 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves 1/3 to 1/2 cup of freshly chopped parsley 1 tsp rubbed sage 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/4 to 1/2 tsp paprika salt and pepper to taste 1.5 to 2 Tbsp Earth Balance 1/4 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tsp of Vegan Worcestershire sauce 2. Place all the veggies in big bowl and set aside ‘til I tell you otherwise. 3. On medium heat, heat the corn oil a bit, then saute the garlic, onion, rosemary, parsley, sage, nutmeg, paprika, and salt and pepper. Toss it all until the onions are transparent. 4. Add the chopped veggies and blend well. Pour 3 cups of broth into pot, bring to gentle near boil then simmer. 5. Make a roux from the Earth Balance, unbleached all-porpoise flour, a pinch of salt, and possibly the Vegan Worchestershire sauce - I love that stuff. (You know how to roux right?). It’ll thicken fast so have the remaining cup of broth nearby to thin it until it’s like a sauce - you may have a little broth left over. Add this “roux sauce” into the soup & stir with unbridled confidence and simmer for as long as you wish. Carol Smolinski Double or triple this recipe for company. Play with it, have fun. 11 Ingredients life Unicorns in the Italian Boonies 12 C h r i s t i n a Va n i To say that I live in the boonies would be an understatement. This morning, my auditory wake-up call was the clonking of horses’ bells in the field beneath the window of my room, located in a mostly vacant conventturned-hotel. Once I opened my eyes, I was greeted by the rolling verdant landscape. This panorama of greenery remains perpetually unchanged, save for a veil of morning fog—the floating, thick snowy drapery that the hills wear at varying altitudes, from the valley in the early morning to the peaks before noon, through which sunlight filters lazily in gracious rays. that compose the Rieti Valley. And, as we draw deeper into the fall months, the buds of pomegranate flowers that have taunted us for weeks have burst into full-grown, ready-toeat pomegranates that are so heavy that they cause the branches of the trees that tenderly shelter them to dip towards the earth. And, just as, on any given morning, I am more likely to hear the bells of horses, the calls of roosters, and the roar of tractors instead of the city’s soundtrack of honking car horns and the wailing siren of emergency vehicles, in rural Italy, vegans might as well be frakking unicorns. Welcome to Labro, cari amici. This has been my life for the past four months, and the only part of it that will change over the next two will be the red-and-orange (and, occasionally, breathtaking burgundy) Vegetarian Plus replacing green-and-yellow landscape—and Maybe I’m exaggerating. You see, when I maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to witness enter a restaurant in Italy, or in any foreign white atop these beauteous mountain peaks country, to be fair, I never say, “I am vegan” This summer was my fifth in Italy in my past six visits over as many years, and things were much different from my first visit. When attending the enogastronomic (food and wine) art festival Calici Sotto Le Stelle in Labro, I was delighted when the wondrously talented and creative cook said the word “vegana” back to me when I described to her, before ordering my meal, what I omit from my diet. Even in the tiniest of villages—Labro boasts a population of three or four dozen outside of the touristy summer season—veganism is gaining a somewhat more mainstream status, even if people may not understand the reasons for making such a choice. Maybe I’m not a unicorn after all. I feel that I should introduce myself, so here goes nothing: My name’s Christina, and I am a Canadian of Italian origin. Despite this fact, I’d never been to Italy—or met the countless relatives that still inhabit this bootshaped peninsula—until 2006. And now, since 2006, I’ve been to Italy six times. My first time was part of a backpacking trip with an Italian cousin and a close friend of mine. I was nineteen and had gone vegan three years prior. I’d done a fair bit of research regarding the possibilities of finding vegan options in the countries we planned to visit: Holland, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. When I say “research,” though, it was mostly on the existence of vegan or veganfriendly restaurants; the most promising item that appeared in my search results was the ubiquitous maoz. Their crispy, luscious falafel wraps proved to be lifesavers at 13 in the local tongue, because I assume that the listener will hear “I am [insert Gibberish word here]” and frown at me. Since everyone knows what a vegetarian is, I tend to politely exclaim that I am vegetarian and then, almost tripping over the words, qualify it with, “and-I-don’t-consume-dairy-milkor-eggs.” Whether this statement is greeted by incredulity or sober comprehension, questions about my consumption of fish or chicken will inevitably follow—and that’s great, because, if I’m ordering a cheeseless pizza, anchovies are certainly not welcome on my pie. 14 least thrice on my trip, specifically in Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. Nevertheless, before embarking on this trip, I’d told myself that, being on a tight budget and not knowing what to expect, I’d allow myself to be simply vegetarian in order to prevent starvation (what a silly teenager I was). For this reason, when I’d ordered a meal described to be cheeseless in Madrid and all of the vegetables of the dish arrived under a thick layer of melted cheese, I didn’t send it back but, with a twisted visage, peeled it back and ate until I was satisfied, since I didn’t know exactly when, or what, my next meal would be. In a similar vein, when I arrived late at night at my dear friend’s in Cologne, Germany, and her warm, hospitable mother welcomed us with a simple piece of toast on which were a sliced tomato and a thin slice of cheese, I very gratefully ate it. It’s Not All Cheese Six years later, with more experience not just with travelling, but also with, you know, life, I have learned how to avoid such awkward situations by stating in advance to restaurateurs as well as hosts what my eating habits (and, covertly, my ethics) are. Still, six years later, people insist that being vegan in Italy must be hard. Of all the countries I have visited, in terms of the selection of foods in grocery stores and items of menus in restaurants, many of which, admittedly, must be tweaked but still remain delicious, I must say that Italy is, by far, the easiest Western European country in which to be vegan. Let’s come back to the belief, though, that it must be hard to be vegan in Cheese Country. I believe that this has more to do with the dishes that have become most popular outside of Italy, namely in North America, where cheese tends to be a default in most restaurants whose cuisine originates outside of Asia or Africa. Everyone seems to have agreed on the notion that, “Everything tastes better with cheese on it.” Know What You Eat Another issue is that many individuals are not familiar with the ingredients in the foods that they eat daily, many of which are preprepared and purchased (say that three times fast). A guest of ours, here at my current place of employment, who passed through Italy recently—and a cook, no less!—thought that he’d caught me indulging in a nonvegan delight, when he said, “I don’t mean to be a jerk, but doesn’t pasta have eggs in it?” Well, not all pasta, I assured him. And that’s just it: fresh pasta tends to be eggladen, while dry pasta, of the store-bought variety (but, as we know, no less delicious), is most often just a splendid combination of durum semolina and water. Just check the ingredients or label for the words “uovo” (egg) or “uova” (eggs). I often tell friends, Italian and Canadian alike, “Pizza dough is egg-free.” Yet, at a tourist spot in Rome, just once, I inquired about the contents of the pizza dough and, to both my surprise and my dismay, the waiter confirmed that there were eggs in their frozen dough. I have never, however, on any other occasion had to turn down pizza because of the presence of eggs in the dough. All that said, then, one’s best bet is to ask (and to avoid tourist spots. Woops!). 15 Speaking of which, after a few years of travel to Italy, I’ve discovered that mozzarella (a type of cheese) and formaggio (cheese) are often not considered to be part of the same category; so, when ordering a cheeseless pizza, it may not suffice to say “senza formaggio” (without cheese). Accompanying one’s specifications with “senza mozzarella” is a safe bet, even if The same goes with pizza: it tends to be seemingly redundant. (I believe that this thought of as a write-off for vegans, given confusion may stem from the fact that many that it’s typically topped with cheese and types of mozzarella, specifically those made contains eggs in the—what? “No, no,” in the southern regions of Italy, are made 16 from goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk… taste. My great aunt recently whipped up but don’t quote me on it.) vegan cornetti (croissants) after watching A welcome difference between Italian and a cook on television make a non-vegan North American cultures is that, because version. She had thought, “I can make those food is, in a sense, the nucleus of Italian without eggs and milk for Christina” (isn’t culture—stores close at noon or one for she hardcore?). And that she did, filling lunch and re-open at four or five—those who these delightful baked concoctions with jam cook, whether they be Italian chefs or Italian instead of Nutella. (Unsurprisingly, a vegan grandmothers, are intimately connected to equivalent to Nutella exists, created by the the ingredients that go into every meal. As I Italian company Valsoia. The company’s have discovered firsthand from having spent values are questionable, so this may be a an abundance of time in kitchens with my guilty indulgence in more ways than one. own grandmothers and in those diminutive Trust me, though, when I say that this stuff Italian kitchens of countless female tastes and smells exactly like Nutella.) relatives (alas, the gendered stereotype of the Italian mamma as opposed to the papà Got Tofu? in the kitchen persists), I can say that these women know how to rock their ingredients So, it’s easy being green in Italy and having and make substitutions without sacrificing a balanced diet (good luck finding wholewheat pasta, though) if you ask questions and state your disdain for all types of cheeses in restaurants, but especially if you cook for yourself, soak your beans, and chow down on cicoria (dandelion greens). But what about, well, the namesake of this very magazine? Where can one find tofu and other vegan staple items, like non-dairy milks, nut butters, tamari, nutritional yeast, granola, natural sweeteners, and agar-agar? How about vegan comfort foods and veggie meats and cheeses? If you’re lucky to have a well-stocked supermarket in your neighbourhood, then you can find 25% of these items there; if you have an ethnic grocer in your ’hood, then you’ll find another 25%. Unless you live in Rome, though, chances are slim that you’ll ever be within even twenty kilometres of the beloved soy or its curd. Peanut butter is sometimes available at certain fancy grocery stores, but it is expensive (€3 to €4 for a small jar) and most often contains trans fats. But, if you’re really craving it, at least you can find solace in knowing it’s there. Hang on a second, though: must one truly surrender to the idea of never slathering almond butter on one’s bread again? Is it really impossible to make homemade pizza with vegan cheese and peperoni strewn artfully across it? (Side note: “peperoni”, in Italian, designates the plural of peperone— that is, bell pepper—and not sausage. There you have it, dear friends: you need not abstain from pizzas in restaurants that boast peperoni amongst their toppings!) I come equipped with hope and assurance: one must neither surrender nor accept the impossibility of homemade vegan delights. Depending on where you live in Italy and the length of your stay, you’ll have access Coming this Summer! sages 3 Artisan Sau •Andouille to •Spinach Pes pple •Chick’N & A 3 Pockets, Quiche & Pot Pie 18 to two very special resources: NaturaSì and Vegusto. NaturaSì (literally, “Yes to nature”) is a chain of stores sprinkled around Italy that specialises in the sale of health foods and natural products. They sell vegetarian and vegan meats; a large variety of nut butters, natural sweeteners, and non-dairy milks; grains and granola; a small selection of hygienic products and cosmetics; and, yes, vegan chocolates, desserts, and our beloved tofu. (Here’s a tip: a friend of mine discovered that tofu was sold for cheaper at a Japanese restaurant that was around the corner from our local NaturaSì.) They even sell maple syrup, though I recommend saving up a few paycheques in order to pay for it (we Canadians are spoiled!). This Canadian rejoiced at that sight, even though my one-can stash, sent from Toronto one month before I’d even arrived here in May, has since been replenished two-fold by my mother and cousin. The Defeat of Daiya? Speaking of spoiled, I have a news flash for North American vegans, but allow me to prelude this flash with a disclaimer. I, like every other vegan walking the streets of Montreal, New York City, Vancouver, or Seattle, praise the makers of Daiya and all of their progeny into the unforeseeable future. And, I confess, I haven’t tried the blocks of Daiya cheese yet; I praise Daiya cheese for its melty goodness and not for the taste of the unmelted, “raw” shreds (bear with me for a minute. How many of you have, in your pizza-decorating elation, had your judgment blurred and ingested a small handful of Daiya shreds? Was it… pleasurable? I mean, it probably wasn’t unpleasant, but did you go for a second handful? I didn’t think so). Daiya may be the be-all and end-all of decadent oozy-cheese goodness, but let’s go back to the news flash: Daiya is not the be-all and end-all of vegan cheese per se. There’s a new kid in town, and its genderless name is Vegusto. I’ll allow the judges of the Free-From Food Awards in London, England, who declared Vegusto the winner of several awards including “Best of Show Overall,” to explain just why Vegusto should soon be a household name: “Swiss vegan manufacturers, Vegusto, have created a range of ‘cheeses’ based on coconut, rapeseed, and sunflower oils; almonds and cashew nuts that really do taste like cheese! Not a vintage cheddar, but a very pleasant, tasty cheese which had our dairy-free judges whooping with excitement!” They continue to exclaim that, “these cheeses are not only dairy free, but gluten free, soya free, and egg free, too.” I discovered this company by chance while browsing my Twitter feed, and my life was changed. I’ve been vegan for close to ten years now and have yet to discover a cheese that I could slice and stomach to eat just like that and not in a sandwich, for example, where its texture and taste would be appreciated as a condiment’s would—and no one wants to eat mayonnaise or mustard on its own. Dear vegans, Vegusto has mastered the art of creating vegan blocks of cheese that are not merely tolerable, but absolutely delicious. So, if you find yourself in Italy for more than one or two weeks, do yourself a favour and order a few blocks of their wide assortment of cheeses. The product will arrive at your doorstep within days and you’ll be lucky enough to experience their impeccable customer service along the way. 19 as hunting or truffle-picking areas; or you’re settling into a town as ancient, populated, sleepless, and chaotic as Rome; or you’re nestling into the magnificent charm of a And though I am not one to encourage medieval shoreside town like Vico del replacing one addiction with a new one Gargano, you needn’t make a fuss about (I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has your veganism. People may not get it, but read that dairy cheese can be addictive), I they’ll get it. dare you to try to not finish an entire block And, of course, you surely needn’t take the in two days. Oh, and I forgot to mention: silly route that I did when I came here for the each omnivore with whom I (warily) shared first time: you needn’t forsake ethics, even if a slice exclaimed, surprised, “Hey! This is just for a few weeks, for the sake of taste or good!”—at which point I hid the cheese. even survival. In Italy, a plethora of options (Fine, I won’t hoard it all; here’s the web site abound when diners stay loyal to dishes that where you can order some: www.vegusto.it. are naturally vegan: dishes using cicoria, Note that Vegusto has a site for the UK and beans, eggplant, truffles, wild asparagus, for Switzerland, too.) and polenta, amongst the more decadent options of focaccia and risotto, are part of the country’s culinary fabric and, thus, have No Need to Be a Unicorn been mastered. Eat with the seasons and eat As it turns out, Cheese Country isn’t so with the locals; they are bound to guide you vegan-unfriendly after all. Whether you in unexpectedly wonderful directions. And find yourself in the midst of the Italian don’t worry—your unicorn horn will fade countryside, fielding cow-crossing signs, into ancient scenery. farm tractors, and signs designating zones focus When I close my eyes I see an image in my head. I am light, thin, waif-like. I have long, wavy hair. I am glowing. I am youthful. I am a size two. half-marathons and 10 or so triathlons later I was entering my 45th year and on yet another January diet because, it turns out, no matter how much I ran or trained, I ended every year less skinny. Then I open my eyes, peer into the mirror and see me. I do glow. I’m forty-something (oh, who am I kidding, I’m knocking on I did something radical. I didn’t 50 years old). I have short, grey hair. I am go on a diet. I simply bought definitely not a size two. bigger clothes and kept living I used to be. When I was vegetarian. Now I am vegan, and I am not skinny. my life. This diet was a little different. I did a twoweek nutritional cleanse, and, at the end of it, I realized I have not consumed dairy or eggs for 16 days. I went vegan. I was entering my 45th year and on yet another January diet because, it turns out, no matter how much I ran or trained, I That first year vegan was life altering. After ended every year less skinny. years of avoiding the kitchen I became a What? The wonder vegan diet didn’t make me skinny? Nope. I did something radical. I didn’t go on a diet. I simply bought bigger clothes and kept living my life. I continued to eat fabulous vegan foods (veggies, fruit, beans, grains) and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, and plant oils). I don’t avoid added salt (eat your iodine!) and, though I don’t really have a sweet tooth, I don’t oppose added sugar because I’ve never met a vegan cupcake I didn’t want to eat. 21 I never experienced an eating disorder, but, for most of my adult life, I bought into the notion that skinny is ideal, preferred, better. In my twenties I was skinny. I called it high metabolism, but the truth of the matter is that I smoked a lot of cigarettes and skipped a lot of meals, opting for Budweiser while hanging out with my local dart team. In my thirties I settled down a bit, choosing food over beer, but cigarettes kept coming in and out of my life. By my late thirties that high metabolism was a distant memory and I was at my heaviest. I went on a diet – the first of many – lost a lot of weight, shimmied my hips into size two jeans and decided to give up smoking. Fearful that I would gain all that weight back, I bought some running shoes and jumped on a treadmill. A month after turning forty I ran a marathon. Six months later I ran another one. Seventeen cook. I experimented with recipes, took great joy in food, and after years of avoiding “carbs” I finally and fully enjoyed eating once-taboo foods. Whole grain breads and pastas, sweet vegan treats, and more. During that year I became less obsessed with racing and more interested in living a balanced life. At the end of the year I found myself back in the same place: not skinny. I weigh about 20 pounds more than my skinny days. I am in excellent health, gaining most of my nutrients from my plant-based diet and supplementing where necessary (B-12 and Vitamin D these days). I have reframed what beauty means to me. I think I make people nervous. I’m not a skinny vegan because I’m not on a diet. In fact, I make a point to avoid “selling veganism.” I want to encourage veganism as a path to a more compassionate life. There There are no guarantees when are no guarantees when it comes to health, it comes to health, weight, and weight, and size when we go vegan but, as size when we go vegan but, my friend Ginny Messina says, veganism as my friend Ginny Messina for the animals “never disappoints.” says, veganism for the animals I consider myself as an ambassador of joyful “never disappoints.” vegan eating, as the opposite of deprivation, as a necessary fuller figure in a room of thinner vegans. I consider myself a living, I am not today’s poster-child for veganism. breathing example that compassion toward I’m not skinny, I’m not a waif, and I eat oil. animals can lead to compassion to oneself. R ecipe Brown Sugar and Chili Oil Roasted Red Peanuts These sweetly roasted nuts can add heat and crunch on top of stir fries, salads, vermicelli bowls, and even desserts. They were created as a component of Heartichoke Supper Club’s lime and mint-dressed baby bok choi salad. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups whole red peanuts, with skins on 2 tablespoons roasted chili oil generous pinch of sea salt - either fine or coarse is usable 2 tablespoons of brown sugar 1. Stir together ingredients on a flat baking sheet. Parchment paper is recommended. 2. Roast, stirring very frequently, at 325F for 20-25 minutes, until golden. 3. Let cool, and use as-is or crush and add to dishes, such as our local choi salad. Jess Scone Join the Snack Party! $ 19.95 PER MONTH We Ship Worldw ide! Sign up for a monthly delivery of vegan goodies at VeganSnackBox.com. Connect with Vegan Cuts /vegancuts | @vegancuts | @vegancuts DIY A Vegan Supper Club How-To-Guide Maeve Connor & Jess Sconé Behind the scenes with advice from Portland’s Heartichoke Supper Club. 24 Why Host a Supper Club? Having your own restaurant is a fun fantasy, but it’s also, from what we hear, a whole lot of work. Coming up with a name and a concept and a menu sounds like so much fun, but securing financing, hiring employees, working crazy hours, and quite likely having the business fail in the first year is less our speed. We love potlucks, but we also love being in control of the entire dining experience. For a while we just channeled our love of cooking elaborate meals into cooking at casual gatherings for our friends, and we still love to do that, but then one day it occurred to us...why not do that, but fancy it up, make several courses, branch outside our social circle...and maybe come out ahead? We started Heartichoke Supper Club because we love creative plant-based cuisine and we’re always looking for new challenges. Running our private supper club has become an incredibly satisfying hobby. When you’re cooking for paying guests, you can spend more on quality ingredients (assuming you’re not wealthy and fancy dinner parties can be a struggle when you’re doing them for free), no one shows up with a tub of grocery store hummus and you’re not cooking for anyone who would honestly rather be eating tater tots. It’s great practice if you do want to have your own restaurant or be a chef someday, but it’s also pretty fun if you want to keep your day job. Planning Your Menu Each of our dinners so far has been loosely based on a cuisine of a different country, but instead of trying to recreate “authentic” vegan versions of foods, we have taken advantage of local ingredients and used our creativity to create original dishes inspired by those cuisines. We live in Portland, Oregon, which is a great place for produce, and we try to incorporate as many local ingredients as possible in our dishes. Purple cauliflower? Brussel sprout raab? Heirloom tomatoes? Opal basil? Red garlic? Check! So how do we get started planning our menu? One of our best resources has been our local libraries. Once we decide on a country, we check out cook books of that country’s cuisine and start to think about how we can interpret it in a vegan way using local ingredients. When we did a Thai dinner, it was largely inspired by Jess’s travels in Thailand and her new-found obsession with veganizing every curry paste recipe ever, while our French and Spanish dinners were mostly inspired by books and what was in season at the time. Most likely, if you’re planning on hosting a supper club, you’re familiar with developing your own creative recipes, so we shouldn’t have to give you much guidance there. Do you have a soft spot for waffles? Consider a savoury meets sweet waffle feast, or better yet, make it Belgian-cuisine focused. Our first two dinners had five full courses. It was very ambitious, and everyone seemed uncomfortably full by the end. When we hosted our third, we decided to just do three, plus a very simple starter, and we will probably continue to do so. While five courses was doable, it was a lot crazier in our kitchen, we spent a lot more money, and we don’t really think anyone was that much more impressed. We had to remind ourselves that this wasn’t the time to be a vegan potluck nerd. Don’t make it harder for yourself than necessary. Impress with flavors, ingredients, and presentation, not quantity. 25 Of course, you don’t have to base your dinner on one country’s cuisine. You can use whatever inspiration comes to you to plan your menu. Assuming you don’t want to lose money on your supper club, it is important to think about how much your ingredients will cost. Come up with a budget. You don’t need saffron in every dish, as we learned when we did our Spanish dinner. Remember, small portions are fancy, and rice is cheap. Getting Guests So how do you get people to pay you to eat your food? Start with people you know. Talk to your friends and get them to talk to their friends. We promote our supper club through Facebook and Tumblr, and have an email list of all past guests. Don’t necessarily expect a bunch of strangers to come to your first event —you might have to build a positive reputation first. Offer your friends a discount, get them to get their friends to come, and convince them to spread the word. Obviously, if you have a blog that’s read by vegans in your area, that will help. You can also contact people through local 26 vegan and vegetarian groups, like ones that go through Meetup.com. Make sure to figure out how many people you can reasonably serve before you start selling tickets. We collect payment through Paypal before the event, though collecting money at the actual meal could also be an option. Of course, if people don’t show up, you may end up losing a lot of money on ingredients. We charged less for our first dinner, figuring that we should build a name for ourselves before asking for more money. Know what people in your city will be willing to pay. Maybe in New York and San Francisco you could charge quite a bit, but in Portland it can be difficult to get people to part with more than $30. Setting or you have the finances to rent something legitimate, you’re going to be hosting your dinner on the down-low...you know, secretly. It’s in the name, after-all. Try to get a location with room for a family-style seating, it’ll really make things easier in terms of serving, plus, you get good old-fashioned mingling. Your guests are vegan or veganfriendly and about to behold a truly unique, in-the-know dining experience, so they have something to talk about. Be sure to keep the location under wraps until confirmation (or payments - that’s up to you, but cash will probably work best) has been made. Let folks know if there are allergens present, and keep the kitchen and premises as tidy as possible. We’re playing professional and are all grown ups here. Do a Test Run! Unless you have a friend with a restaurant Nervous about your ability to get dinner they’re letting you host a ‘pop up’ night in on the table in a timely fashion for a large group? You probably should be, it’s hard sometimes! Doing a test run for friends is a great way to practice. Before our first dinner, we prepared every course we would be doing for the actual dinner for our friends for free. After that dinner, we were much more confident about our abilities, and no longer felt the need to test every single dish. Instead, we usually have a gathering with our friends to test a few things, work on our plating, and see what problems we run into. At our most recent dinner, which was a benefit, we actually charged for the test run as well, and our friends had no problem helping out. Prepare as many things as possible beforehand. You should not be chopping vegetables or preparing sauces once guests have arrived. Just warming and plating things takes up enough time, we promise! Write a list of everything you need to get done and check it off as you go. Organization is key —you don’t want to be plating the entree and realize you’re missing a component. 27 So, you’re totally organized and ready to feed a ton of people a fancy dinner. What are you going to eat? Like, before dinner? Making sure you have food for yourself to eat throughout the day is important too, and it’s an easy thing to forget. Maybe it’s ironic, but if there was ever a good reason to have some frozen convenience meal that How to Get Ready doesn’t require any dishes handy, this is it. Since we like to keep our costs as low as Don’t assume you’ll have time to run out for possible, and we frequently seek out hard- take-out, because things could get crazy. to-find ingredients, we like to get shopping for non-perishable ingredients out of the way as soon as possible, preferably a few Getting Help weeks in advance. This gives us time to We cook as a team, but we need more help in track down ingredients that we thought we the kitchen than that. We recommend having would be able to find the first time around at least two helpers in the kitchen to help and couldn’t —your local Asian market will wash dishes and run last-minute errands. always be out of Thai tea if you shop for it Maybe you’ll be more prepared than us, but the day before you need it. We get as much we have needed people to run last-minute of our produce as possible from a farmer’s errands plenty of times, and have been so market the day of the dinner. Remember to grateful for the help. We conveniently hold be flexible! We frequently don’t decide what our supper club a block away from a grocery kind of greens or what kind of mushrooms store, but if you’re not so lucky, make sure we’re using until the day of the dinner, we you have someone available who has a car just see what looks best at the market. If you and can make a quick grocery run. Hopefully need something specific, have a back-up you’re lucky enough to have friends who plan. If lemongrass is critical to what you’re will help in exchange for some food odds making and there is none at the farmer’s and ends and access to the kitchen wine market, know where else you can go to get supply. it. 28 Dealing With the Public Are you cooking the whole time? Are you hosting? Timing is one of the biggest learning experiences of the supper club experience. You certainly have the opportunity to sneak away into the kitchen for the duration of your own dinner party, but will the guests ever see your face? We recommend greeting your guests, introducing yourself, and since you are likely the chefs here, spending a moment to describe the dishes as they’re being served. At least once. And hey - play some soft music, and don’t gossip in the Plating Unless you’re serving food family style, kitchen! make sure to pay attention to plating and make your food look nice! There are DIY Ethic and Love three parts of making a dish impressive: ingredients, taste, and presentation. We love making creative food, but we’re ok Obviously, you can have one or two of these with being a little rough around the edges. without the other, but if you want to really Our dishes don’t match and sometimes impress your guests, make all three happen. they’re disposable. Our small talk with the A supper club is not a buffet. Simply put: first guest is always ridiculously awkward. practice plating. Watch some Chopped, take But we live in Portland, where nine out a look at some food blogs and get creative. of ten people prefer to drink out of mason Take a deep breath before you even begin jars, and we think Heartichoke is charming. - and before each component is added - or No, it doesn’t feel like dining at a five star shall we say, adorned. And don’t forget restaurant. We think our food is five star, your garnish! Think about the herbs in your but it still feels like you’re eating in a living dishes - would some more add a nice punch? room at a table rented from a party store, Would a contrast of something else, such as and we think that’s perfectly ok. a speciality flaked salt, add that something For more information on Portland’s else? Heartichoke Supper Club, including menu Fancy pants plating, sauces (and drizzles ideas, future dinners, and the progress of and oils and purees, etc...) can take the our mixology project, visit our website. ingredients of a sloppy bowl and transform it into a fetching presentation. R ecipe Baked Stew Whenever winter is approaching, time is short and comfort is yearned for, and that is why I have created this dish – my mum used to make this for us all (not vegan though, I’m afraid). All I remember was the joy of the potatoes melting in my mouth, and crunchy bread and raw onion served alongside this dish – oh, a truly mouthwatering experience. Here it is – from my table to yours. You can use sweet potatoes, if you prefer. Ingredients: 4 Tbsp (60 mL) olive oil for frying 1 red medium sized onion, finely chopped 3 to 4 potatoes, peeled and cut 2 medium-sized carrots, cut 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped into slivers 2 tsp vegetable stock granules, or 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water 3 cups petit pois (baby peas) – the frozen type salt to taste 1. First heat your oil in an oven-proof saucepan (I used my cast iron Le Creuset), and fry your onion for a minute or so. Then add the rest of the veggies, and lower the heat – stirring every minute or so. 2. Now mix in the remaining ingredients, except for the water. Cover, and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. 3. At this point, add half the water, lower the temperature, and allow to cook for 30 minutes. 4. Add the remaining water, and place in a hot oven for an hour, or until the potatoes are totally soft. 3 Tbsp tomato paste 5. Serve with raw onion and hot bread. Enjoy! 2 cups (500 mL) water Miriam Sorrell a pinch of mint a pinch of paprika Serves 4 Miriam’s forthcoming book, Mouthwatering Vegan, is to be published by ‘Appetite’ a Random House Canada imprint, and is currently scheduled to be in the shops by June 2013. To download the full issue, which includes over 40 more pages of content, please visit: tofu.limitedrun.com Issue seven, and all other issues, are available as pay-what-you-can downloads in PDF format. Thanks for reading,