Month: June 2014

The Chicken in the Mirror

She never knew her mother. She hasn’t had a flock. She is afraid of other chickens, and isn’t always certain of our good intentions, but we’re trying hard to ease Nutmeg into her new life at Triangle Chance for All. So much has been taken from her and all other rescued animals in our care that providing a high quality of life is our highest priority, and we must recognize and accommodate the individual needs and desires of each.

Nutmeg is spending her quarantine time at the home of board members, Alan Nelson and Linda Rapp Nelson where they are pulling out all the stops to put her at ease.

Alan remembered how much his family’s parakeets had enjoyed access to a mirror. Though they were never caged against their will, they had access to a cage full of toys and mirrors, and they would often spend hours singing, talking, and feeding their friend in the mirror. It was worth a try to see if this would be a source of comfort and enrichment for Nutmeg.

She likes who she sees! When she first saw her face, she just stared, but before too long, she began to softly vocalize. She looked over the top, and on either side to find the new chicken. Though she had been picked on by more dominant Coriander and Beatrice, this hen is as gentle as Nutmeg! She settled down, and accepted stroking with more ease than before.

It can’t make up for all she has lost, but it might prove helpful to Nutmeg in creating a new and happy life as an honored member of our TCA family.

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Crunchy Creamy Coffee Cheesecake

If you’re looking for an easily transportable dessert for upcoming July 4th celebrations or summer potlucks, this recipe may be for you. Spooned into 4 ounce canning jars, this creamy, crunchy dessert is ready to go with a twist of the lid. It has the added advantage of being fast and no bake so no one needs to suffer from the heat of the oven.

If you don’t like coffee flavored cream, feel free to change this up. Use your imagination to come up with your favorites. I did get inspiration from Vegan Desserts in Jars by Kris Holechek Peters but I changed things around to suit myself. Just use your imagination! I once made this cream using my favorite rosewater extract. It was fragrant and wonderful!

– Linda Nelson

Crunchy Creamy Coffee Cheesecake

Ingredients:
3 cups crumbled salted pretzels
1 (12.3 oz.) package silken tofu – it must be silken, folks!
1 (8 oz.) container vegan cream cheese – Trader Joe’s makes a palm oil free brand.
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar – depending on just how sweet your tooth is
1 teaspoon coffee extract
1 tablespoon Kahlua or to taste

Ganache recipe
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil or vegan butter
2 tablespoons non dairy milk or Kahlua

Coarsely crush the pretzels, and distribute them into the bottom of six 4oz. canning jars.

Make the ganache by putting all ingredients into the microwave or a double boiler. If using the microwave, heat in small increments (25 seconds) until the chips are melted. Stir to make it smooth. If using a double boiler remember to leave a gap between the simmering water and the pan container the ingredients to allow the steam to melt the chocolate.

Spoon the ganache over the pretzels, and place the jars in the refrigerator. As the ganache cools it will form a seal to keep the cream from seeping into the pretzels. We want them to keep their crunch!

Place all ingredients for the cheesecake cream in a food processor or blender, and process or blend until smooth. Spoon the cream over the firm ganache, seal the jars with the lids, and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy. I topped mine with some vegan dark chocolate covered coffee beans.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

I realize this is hard for some people to believe, but I don’t like chocolate–though I often make chocolate desserts to make my friends and family happy. I’m a designated driver of sorts.

For the chocolate lovers in your life, I give you this quick and easy recipe. Of course, it is vegan, so the dough is perfectly safe to eat while being kind to chickens and cows.

– Linda Nelson

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Ingredients for the cookie dough:

1/2 cup vegan butter, at room temp. (see our website for an easy recipe)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed, light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy creamer or soy milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips for dipping, melted

Directions:

In a large bowl, cream the vegan butter and sugars until light. Mix in the creamer or milk and the vanilla. Stir in the flour and salt until all is mixed in. Add the chocolate chips. Cover and chill the dough until it is easily to shape.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, and place them on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. While the balls are in the freezer, melt 1 1/2 cups of vegan chocolate chips (I use Equal Exchange brand). I melt the chips in a double boiler though you can do it in small increments of time in the microwave. Dip the balls of dough in the melted chocolate, place them back on the cookie sheet, allow them to set, and eat or refrigerate in an airtight container.

You can also just choose to eat the cookie dough without dipping, if you just can’t wait.

Vegan Night Out: Vegan Dining + The Ghosts in Our Machine Screening

VNO logo_white

Vegan Night Out comes to Chapel Hill, NC!

Featuring delicious vegan fare, a thought-provoking film and community fellowship, Vegan Night Out is for *anyone* who cares about food systems, people, the planet, or animals. Join us on Tuesday, September 16 in downtown Chapel Hill!

First, enjoy special discounts and offerings of vegan fare at local restaurants from 4-7 PM. (More details on participating restaurants will be forthcoming.)

Then, join us for the FREE North Carolina premiere of the film The Ghosts in Our Machine.

Where: Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill.
Time: Film starts at 7 PM; lobby opens at 6:30 PM for free vegan food, door prizes, literature, and more!
Cost: FREE

RSVP on Facebook!

 

Wherever you are on your journey towards a vegan lifestyle, Vegan Night Out will help you experience the power of vegan community and positive energy.

E-mail us at trianglechanceforall@gmail.com if you have any questions, to volunteer, or for additional information.

Edamame and Corn Salad with Sesame


Edamame and Corn Salad with Sesame

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen or and shelled edamame
2 cups frozen (I used frozen roasted corn)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (I toasted them in my wok stirring and watching very carefully since they go from toasted to burned very quickly)
salt to taste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

Directions:
Mix the last three ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil frozen edamame for three minutes, add the frozen corn, and boil for two more minutes. Drain in a colander, and run under cold water. Place the edamame/corn mixture in a medium bowl, and pour the dressing over and mix it in. Add the sesame seeds, and mix again. Chill for 15 minutes or so, if you can wait. We couldn’t so we just dug in!

Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

– Linda Nelson

Every Death Is a Tragedy

Humans have a hard time comprehending massive quantities. Our predominant evolutionary experience has left us good at small, easily graspable numbers, distances, amounts, volumes. We humans are just NOT good at scaling up.

Joseph Stalin was speaking a biological truism, then, when he said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” (Granted, he was a mass murderer and so could speak from experience…but still.)

It is even harder for us big-brained humans to handle both massive scales and species boundaries. However hard to really feel it sometimes, we can generally recognize the horror of a million human deaths. But ten billion annual deaths of chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, and other non-human land animals is, according to legal protocols, “standard industry practice.” (To account for sea animals, you have to multiply that number by about five to ten…)

Statistics, when it comes to animals raised and slaughtered for food in the United States, can never shake the trail of blood that extends behind them for hundreds, indeed thousands of years. While the Industrial Revolution has as one of its children modern industrial (“factory”) farming, the beginning of this tragic tale lies further back, at the dawn of agriculture—indeed in the first clumsy moments in which humans realized their ability to influence other creatures.

Much of the United States is still agricultural land. The number of farmers has plunged precipitously, but the amount of land and number of animals “under production” are still vast. Vast beyond human comprehension.

Despite the big numbers, the awfulness of statistics is a matter of flesh and blood—an inescapable onslaught of pain, suffering, and thoughtlessness. The statistics become terrible every single day, whether we are standing in the midst of a slaughterhouse, or walking down a grocery store aisle, or watching a fast-food commercial on television.

They become terrible by becoming individuated. By becoming personal.

Business as usual relies on hatcheries, farms, feedlots, battery cages, calf hutches, gestation crates, transport trucks, processing plants, and distribution networks, all before the stolen, hacked up, and packaged parts and pieces of living beings are placed on the grocery store shelves or set out on a farmers market table. Each stage on the assembly line involves statistics, be they pounds of flesh or dollars and cents.

But each and every one of these points of production and consumption is also a tragedy.

The reason—and this is what Stalin was never able to grasp—is that those million deaths in a statistic are made up of individuals. There is no other way.

Those individual beings each had a personality, with individual thoughts, feelings, experiences, desires, instincts, and hardships. No matter how many living beings are packed into the cages, the trucks, or the machinery, their individuality is never eradicated. Not by humans’ mad, insatiable hunger for flesh, nor by humans’ transference of the act of slaughter to a small minority, nor by humans’ mechanization of the process of birth, growth, and death.

These one million deaths, ten billion deaths, or one death are all needless tragedies, for they are the forced deaths of individuals for our consumption. Whether on an assembly line or on the family farm next door, the deaths are needless and selfish.

Statistics can never change that fact.

When we face down those statistics, it is both unfathomable and unconscionable to respond in any other way than to stop eating and using and abusing non-human animals.

There is no other ethical or defensible response than to go vegan, and to advocate for the end of exploitation, consumption, and commodification of every single individual creature.

There is nowhere to hide from this fact, no matter how great the statistics.

– Justin Van Kleeck

vegan-jewel

(Top image credit: ben via Wikimedia Commons.)

Rosewater Lemonade

Summer is on its way, and nothing quenches a summertime thirst like a nice cold glass of lemonade. I like to add some interest to my homemade beverage by adding rosewater. Of course, you can just go buy a can of concentrate and add some rosewater to it, but everything tastes better when you make it yourself! This is ready in minutes.

– Linda Nelson

Rosewater Lemonade

Ingredients:
6 cups chilled water
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar or 1 tablespoon stevia, or to taste
1 tablespoon rosewater or to taste (I always add more, but start with 1 T until you know what you like)

Directions:

I added about 1/4 cup brewed hibiscus tea to get the nice, rosy color. Stir everything in the chilled water, add ice, if you like, and cool down with a big glass.

An adopted kitty to sit with while you drink your lemonade is optional, but we highly recommend one or six!

Lemony Pound Cake

For all those friends who have been asking for a vegan pound cake recipe, here you go! No, it doesn’t call for a pound of vegan butter, but it is delicious and easy, and who doesn’t like that!

– Linda Nelson

Lemony Pound Cake

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
the zest of two lemons
the juice of two lemons
3/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
4 ounces vegan cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil and flour a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.

Zest the lemons, and then juice them. Add the lemon zest, juice, soy milk and vanilla together in a small bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes to curdle.

In a larger bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In your largest bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. You can do this by hand or with a hand mixer. Add the sugar, and mix to incorporate. Add the milk/lemon mixture to the butter/sugar mixture until well combined.

Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Repeat with the other half. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack in the pan before serving.

I like to serve this with homemade lemon lavender curd, but fresh blueberries or strawberries would be nice, too.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

I grew up with that ubiquitous green shaker can of parmesan cheese at my family’s table. Now that Alan and I are vegan, and seek always to lessen all harm, we’ve kicked the can and replaced it with my own homemade Italian sprinkles.

Nothing could be easier to make, and we put it on everything from popcorn to pasta. Stayed turned for my twice baked potato recipe featuring this nutritious and delicious topping.

– Linda Nelson

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients:
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cashews (you may use roasted and salted though I use raw)
1 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup panko (it can be tricky to find a palm oil free panko though it can be done. All vegans read labels; right?)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt to taste

Directions:
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor, and process until the nuts have been ground down. The degree of fineness of the grind is up to you.

Store in air tight containers. Sprinkle it on a salad tonight!

For Liberation…

liberation

While Triangle Chance for All works to rescue and care for individual farmed animals, we also are working for the ultimate goal of liberation.

Liberation for all animals, human and non-human: caring for those who are here and bringing no more into the world merely to live and die as objects.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We recognize that all forms of oppression and exploitation must end if we are to achieve a society based on respect and compassion. Racism, sexism, homophobia, speciesism … we must fight against these and other harmful mindsets and institutions, in whatever form they take.

You, too, can join us in being a force for liberation. Start by going vegan today.