"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men." Alice Walker, American author

Monday, January 30, 2012

Baking without Eggs or Dairy

Countryside Animal Friends is hosting a Vegan Bake Sale on March 25, 2012, at Countryside Church in Palatine IL. 
If you'd like to bake something for the sale - or simply are curious about vegan baking, and would like to try some recipes - I really like this site, VeganBaking.net.

Not only are there lots of yummy-sounding recipes for cookies, cakes, brownies, bars, breads, muffins, and more - but also helpful tips and tricks if you're new to vegan baking. 

Check it out - and if you get really good at vegan baking - bring something out to the sale on March 25!  Contact Belinda Robinson at Countryside Church in Palatine; or Kathy Jones through Suburban Chicago Vegetarian Meetup in Palatine, which is coordinating the sale for us. 

National Wildlife Federation Donation Event

If you donate at least $30 to National Wildlife Federation, they'll send you a cute mini-backpack.

And the money goes toward a great cause.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Take Action to Save Wolves in Northern Idaho

Please consider taking action to spare the wolves in Idaho's Lolo National Forest (public lands paid for by taxpayers like you and I) from being shot from overhead aircraft.

Click on the link below; then click "Take Action" to sign this very timely petition.


I recommend you read through the rest of the website as well, for timely information about the status of wolves on our public lands in the Western states, and throughout the U.S.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Morningstar Farms joins the Meatless Monday Movement!

(Okay, so that five times really fast...) :)

This yummy-looking chili-mac skillet is featured for today's recipe.


Morningstar Farms has joined the Meatless Monday movement!  You can find MF products in most mainstream groceries, in the freezer aisle.
Check out their page (link below) to enter a weekly drawing fro freebies, and for more easy, convenient meatless recipes.


Monday, January 16, 2012

DECIDEDLY VEGAN Recipes today...

Normally, I try to post "omnivore-friendly" recipes on this blog and our FB page for Meatless Monday. Today's recipes, however, are decidedly vegan. Some may find them "weird" - but believe me, if you gather the ingredients, follow the recipe exactly, you will NOT be disappointed. Because of the expense of cashews and agar flakes, I usually make the nut cheeses only for holiday gatherings or potlucks where I know there will be other vegans, who I know will appreciate them - although I've received compliments from omnivores on these, too! The "sausages" are a nice holiday/potluck appetizer as well. Next week, I'll post more "omni-friendly" recipes again, but for this week - come over and take a walk on the vegan side of the street - we have savory sausages and creamy nut cheese!!!

Here are the recipes: Cashew Nut Cheese and Apple-Sage Sausage/ Pumpkin Sausage
Cashew Nut Cheese (from 500 VEGAN RECIPES by JoniMarie Newman and Celine Steen)

Nonstick cooking spray
1 oz, Agar flakes or powder (find at Whole Foods or any Health Food Store, such as Fruitful Yield, etc.)
3 cups water
2 cups RAW unsalted cashews (can use cashew pieces) finely ground into a powder in food processor or chopper
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, or sesame oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (again, find at Whole Foods or HFS)
2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
OPTIONAL ADD-INS: Pepper-Jack Cheese - add 1/4 cup jalapeno slices and 1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper
Olive Cheese - add 1/2 cup WHOLE green pimento-stuffed olives

Lightly spray a loaf pan (or other deep rectangular container) with cooking spray. Place agar in the water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, whisking all the while. Reduce heat to low; add cashew powder, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, oil, salt, onion and garlic powder. Whisk until creamy and smooth. (If adding olives or peppers, etc. do so now.) Turn off heat. Quickly pour into the loaf pan and refrigerate until firm and set (usually 2-3 hours). Slice to serve. This can also be grated on top of pizza/enchilads, etc. and will "melt" in the oven.

PUMPKIN FAUXSAGE (from 500 VEGAN RECIPES by Joni-Marie Newman and Celine Steen)
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour (I use Arrowhead Mills brand, I think it works the best)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. paprika       2 tsp. dried sage         1 tsp. dried oregano    
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper, or black        1 tsp. onion powder                      1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup                      3/4 cup vegetable broth                       1/4 cup pumpkin puree 2 Tbsp. walnut or canola oil

Preheat the oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, mix the wheat gluten, yeast flakes, sage, paprika, oregano, pepper. In a separate medium bowl, mix the broth, syrup, pumpkin, and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir with a wooden spoon at first, then use your hands to mix completely. Knead for a couple of minutes with your hands. (Little strings of protein will begin to form.) Let rest for around 5 minutes. Roll into a log on a clean dry counter or board. Wrap in foil, twisting the nds closed (tight but NOT too tight!) Bake for 90 minutes, Flip sausage over halfway through baking. When done, carefully remove the foil and let cool to room temp. For best results, refrigerate and chill for a few hours or overnight. Slice thinly to serve.


1 cup vital wheat gluten flour              1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes              1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. dried ground sage                 1 tsp. onion powder                          1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 ground cinnamon                       2 Tbsp. canola or walnut oil              1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup 1/2 cup apple juice                       4 oz. unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, mix together wheat gluten, yeast flakes, salt, sage, onion powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Ina medium bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, juice, and syrup. Pour wet ingredients into the dry. Mix with a spoon at first, then use your hands to incorporate completely. Knead for a couple of minutes. Let rest for around 5 minutes. Roll into a log. Wrap in foil, twisting the ends closed. Bake for 90 minutes. Flip over halfway through baking time. When done baking, carefully remove the foil and let cool to room temp. For best results, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Slice thinly on crackers/bread, or alone, to serve. Enjoy!!