Lemon Frankenberry Muffins

Friday, February 19th, 2016

2016-02-15 - Mashup Muffins - 0001 [flickr]

Over the weekend I was hit with an inexplicable, overwhelming urge for muffins. Not just any muffins, either, but blueberry muffins. This is unusual not because muffins aren’t awesome – they are! – but on account of my baked sweets cravings are mostly directed at cookies. They don’t call me Jelly Belly Kelly/Cookie Monster for nothing.

I reviewed Kris Holecheck’s The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes ages ago, and remembered that it had a pretty rad blueberry streusel muffin recipe. But alas! It calls for vegan yogurt, which is something I rarely have on hand. And the nearest Whole Foods is like 45 minutes away. One way! Ugh right?

But my longing would not be brushed off so easily, and so I found myself searching through my massive cookbook collection for a substitute. The Joy of Vegan Baking had a lemon blueberry recipe that looked serviceable enough, just without Holecheck’s decadent streusel topping. So I decided to have them both!: Colleen’s muffins + Kris’s topping.

2016-02-15 - Mashup Muffins - 0002 [flickr]

The verdict? UNGH. Pillowy soft in the middle, with a sweet crunchy topping. This whole post is basically just a reminder to self to make this again and again and again. So, so good.

(I almost called this post “mashup muffins,” but that sounds gross. Instead I went with Lemon Frankenberry Muffins, named after a cereal I loved in my omni days. RIP Count Chocula! Goodbye Booberry Crunch! Farewell to all the marshmallow-stuffed, candy-for-breakfast cereals! Until we come up with a vegan version, you will forever be the ones that got away. That and circus peanuts. I’m pretty sure I was their last/only fan.)

(P.P.S. So I made a batch of pumpkin muffins for our foster snuffaluffagus, as a hiding place for his post-dinner glucosamine pills. Now he thinks he can haz ALL THE MUFFINS. You should see how excited he gets when I crack one of these bad girls out. I almost feel guilty eating it in front of him. Almost but not quite.)

2016-02-15 - Mashup Muffins - 0004 [flickr]

Book Review: Vegan’s Daily Companion, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (2011)

Friday, May 8th, 2015

“…vegan is what I was meant to be.”

four out of five stars

My hope is that we can navigate through this world and our lives with the grace and integrity of those who need our protection. May we have the sense of humor and liveliness of the goats; may we have the maternal instincts and protective nature of the hens and the sassiness of the roosters. May we have the gentleness and strength of the cattle, and the wisdom, humility, and serenity of the donkeys. May we appreciate the need for community as do the sheep and choose our companions as carefully as do the rabbits. May we have the faithfulness and commitment to family as the geese, and adaptability and affability of the ducks. May we have the intelligence, loyalty, and affection of the pigs and the inquisitiveness, sensitivity, and playfulness of the turkeys.

My hope is that we learn from the animals what it is we need to become better people.

With no fewer than four cookbooks under her belt – The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, and The Joy of Vegan Baking, which is destined to become a classic – many of you may know Colleen Patrick-Goudreau as an accomplished vegan chef. But she’s also got a master’s degree in English Literature, which she puts to use as a writer and public speaker, educating the public about compassionate living and animal rights. Her exploration of the intersections between human and animal exploitation, both on the Food for Thought podcast and various short videos released on YouTube, are among my favorites.

In Vegan’s Daily Companion, the self-described Joyful Vegan brings all her talents and avenues of interest together to create a book as unique as it is informative. Part cookbook, part self-help book, part pop culture guide, Vegan’s Daily Companion offers 365 days of inspiration, knowledge, and celebration to vegans, both new and experienced. From Monday through Sunday (with the weekends sharing a recipe), each day you’ll find a short discussion or series of tips, each tailored to a specific theme:

(More below the fold…)

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

2015-03-20 - VDC Cream of Mushroom Soup - 0003 [flickr]

This is another recipe from Vegan’s Daily Companion, by way of Compassionate Cooks member Melissa Phillips. Considering how much a loved the Creamy Mushroom Pasta from Simple Recipes for Joy, I totally expected to fall head over heels for this dish, too. I wasn’t as crazy about mushrooms in drinkable soup form though. It’s not a bad recipe, just not one of my favorites. On the other hand, Shane is a huge fan.

Cha-cha-cha-changes: I couldn’t find any oyster mushrooms, so I left them out. Also, the soup tasted a little on the bland side to me, so I doubled up on the thyme. I left half of it chunky, too, which was a nice variation, I think.

On another, completely unrelated note, here’s a picture of Mags waving ’em in the air like she just don’t care. Because Mags.

2015-03-16 - Rennie, Mags, Finnick - 0012 [flickr]

Lentil Bolognese

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

2015-03-18 - VDC Lentil Bolognese - 0004 [flickr]

This little gem of a recipe is from Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. While not a cookbook proper – it features 365 days of vegan inspiration, including but not limited to cooking tips and recipes – each weekend is all about recipes, so. Many of them are reprints from the author’s previous cookbooks, but this one’s an original sent in by Barbara Lyons. Barb, you rock, and so does your Lentil Bolognese. Packed with veggies and a whopping cup o’ red lentils, it makes me feel a little better about eating a carb-loaded meal. I almost didn’t have to nap after polishing off a plate!

I added more spices than the recommended amount (2 teaspoons oregano as opposed to 1, and 2 tablespoons basil, vs. the suggested garnish). I also swapped out the black olives for Kalamata, because hello? There’s just no comparison.

Book Review: The Daily Vegan: A Guided Journal, adapted from Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (2015)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

A Guided Journal for Joyful (and Occasionally Not!) Vegans

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Journaling can help you to organize your thoughts, sort through powerful emotions, even relieve stress and anxiety. Specialty journals run the gamut, from question-a-day mini-journals to those started – but never finished – by your favorite Amazon princess. (Eep, how cool is that?)

In this vein, The Daily Vegan is a (semi-)guided journal for vegans. Based on Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Vegan’s Daily Companion – which features 365 days of vegan inspiration, trivia, recipes, cooking tips, rescue stories, and more – and featuring artwork by Dayna Safferstein, The Daily Vegan offers vegans a safe and compassionate space to share their innermost thoughts and feelings. The journal includes a nice balance of writing prompts and blank pages for more free form journaling, and the drawings and quotations help set the mood.

2015-03-12 - The Daily Vegan - 0004 [flickr]

As you might expect, the prompts are written with vegans in mind: activism, nutrition, compassion, burnout, and gratitude are just a few of the issues addressed. If you’re read Vegan’s Daily Companion, you might recognize some of the topics from the “Optimum Health” and “Compassionate Communication” sections. Should you find yourself stuck and not knowing what to write about, the prompts can help to nudge you in the right direction.

(More below the fold…)

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, "Wake up, bacon breath!"

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

(I’m paraphrasing, of course!)

It’s been a few months since last I wrote about Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s series of short videos addressing the issues of veganism and intersectionality. (Dear Mozilla: It’s 2010, and yet you still do not recognize the word “veganism.” For reals!? Get with it, mkay?!) In the interim, she’s released three additional segments.

Thus far, she has covered a number of topics, including:
gender-based exploitation;
the universality of the maternal instinct;
violence in the animal agriculture industry;
raising compassionate children;
the agricultural revolution and animal ownership;
forming connections with nonhumans; and
the impact of slaughterhouse work on the human spirit. (Wheh!)

(As an aside, does the cute green top she sports throughout the series make you terribly nostalgic for summer or what?)

In “Growing Food for People,” Patrick-Goudreau touches upon the intersection of “meat” consumption, hunger and poverty, noting that we have the resources (land, water, technology) to feed the world’s population – if only we stop using so much of our existing food supply to fatten up the “farmed” animals birthed, raised and destined for slaughter. “Meat,” dairy and egg production are terribly inefficient – and increasingly inadequate, given our burgeoning population.

In “Becoming Empowered and Making a Difference,” she notes that each of our actions represents a choice made, whether consciously or not. Continuing on one’s present path of “meat” consumption is as much of a decision as is the adoption of a vegetarian or vegan diet. Because our society is centered around animal exploitation, however, only the latter is recognized as a belief system, while the former remains unnamed and invisible – a given. (For more on this, see Carnism: Meat, Deconstructed.)

(More below the fold…)

From ownership and exploitation to connection and compassion – for all.

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Last month, I wrote about a series of videos in which Compassionate Cook Colleen Patrick-Goudreau examines the intersecting threads of human and animal exploitation. Specifically, we looked at four segments in the series: Female Exploitation; Maternal Instincts; Inherent Violence; and A Return to Compassion. Well, several weeks have passed, bringing with them three new videos to discuss!

In Domesticating Animals: From Reverence to Ownership, Patrick-Goudreau points to the agricultural revolution – in which humans transitioned from a foraging to farming lifestyle – as the beginning of the end of our harmonious relationship with nature and other animals. With the domestication of plants, nonhuman animals and land came human ownership of these “things”; living beings became property to be hoarded, protected and defended. This rush to affluence – to gather and own as much as possible – also triggered conflict between humans, including the human exploitation of other humans.

Patrick-Goudreau emphasizes the deleterious effects of reducing animals to property – essentially, commodities to be bought and sold – throughout this short video. Historically, marginalized groups of humans – women, people of color, those belonging to lower socioeconomic classes – have also been treated as the property of more privileged humans. I’m especially interested in how closely these two phenomenon are linked; did they occur almost simultaneously? Did the fall of women come close on the heels of the devaluation of nonhuman animals? Are humans doomed as long as we continue to exploit nonhuman animals?

I think y’all know my answer to these questions: No one is free while others are oppressed.

(More below the fold…)

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau on human/animal exploitation.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

In this video series, author, activist and vegan cooking instructor Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (of Compassionate Cooks) discusses the impact of animal exploitation in the “meat” and “dairy” industries on animals, human and nonhuman alike. In particular, intersectionality is a thread that binds each brief video in the series to the others.

Take, for example, the segment titled “Female Exploitation,” in which Patrick-Goudreau explains the gendered nature of animal exploitation on farms – including smaller, “traditional,” “family” farms as well as large-scale, industrialized factory farms. While all farmed animals suffer under this system, the females of the exploited species – pigs, cows, chickens, etc. – experience especially torturous and prolonged abuse. To their owners, sows, heifers, laying hens and the like are nothing but walking wombs, baby machines, good only for perpetuating the farmers’ product line. Their reproductive systems are hijacked and turned against them; what should be a natural, joyful process for these mothers is instead perverted into a never-ending cycle of rape, forced pregnancy, birth, and kidnapping – until the mothers, spent, suffer the same fate as their offspring: slaughter, dismemberment, consumption. Precious few females find sanctuary, mother their children, grow old and predecease the generations that follow them; the generations they gave life to.

This is the female’s fate.

In “Maternal Instincts,” Patrick-Goudreau identifies the maternal instinct as a primal urge, one shared by all living beings; an instinct that cannot be stifled or bred away. She also touches upon the similar ways in which human and nonhuman animals have been – continue to be – devalued, possessed, mechanized. Treated as property. Units of production.

First comes dehumanization, then objectification. Only by doing away with each – by taking a hammer to every last rung on the hierarchy – can we foster respect and compassion for all beings. No one is free while others are oppressed.

(More below the fold…)