Vegan Action #87

    Flexitarian? There’s a fine line between being flexible and losing sight of a conviction.  Eating flexitarian can be a slippery slope.  I realize, as well as a lot of other folks, that once you alter your mindset it can be hard to remember where you started.  What I mean is that once you decide not to be the super-anal-hardcore-vegan, things can get blurry.  I’ve written before about not sweating the details and how important it is to keep the big picture in mind and not spend too much time on the minutiae.  Being vegan for ethical reasons is not about being perfect or pure, it’s about doing the right thing, it’s about doing the best you can for the animals and the environment.  It’s not about obsessing whether or not the sterol lactylate in the bread is dairy derived or not.  Being vegan is about being happy with being vegan and setting a good example for other people who might consider being vegan.  Again, obsessing over the details doesn’t tend to draw the people in.  But I also have to note that the more flexible one is, the more slack one tends to become.  I think a lot of it really is in the mind.  Once you make the decision to “cheat” it gets easier and easier to make exceptions.  I’m no longer the hardcore vegankrissi that I once was but it is by choice, not laziness.  I realized that people relaxed when I relaxed and a lot more folks opened up to becoming vegan.  In the process though, I can’t help but wonder, have I gone astray?  More worrisome, I question, have I supported other folks in going astray?  I realized how relaxed things were when my mom stopped reading labels before she would get me something from the store when I went up to visit her.  She used to boast about how she read the package twice and asked the clerk at the store.  Now she hands me something that she grabbed and hopes I will like it.  So, I’m asking myself, where is the middle ground?  It is a lot harder than I would have guessed to be flexible about veganism but still be understood and respected about being vegan.   I keep myself on track with mental reminders.  Seriously, I literally envision factory farm video footage to remind myself why I’m not going to make an exception for a little cheese or just an egg or two.  Although, you can argue that a little here and there is not that significant, I just know that I can’t open up that option.  I recognize how easy it can be to justify and excuse this and that and I also believe that every little bit does make a difference.  All in all, it is a personal decision and one that each of us makes on our own.  We have to define how flexible we are willing to be and we also have to be honest with ourselves about how strong we are with self-control. We need to be clear with ourselves where to draw the line and be dedicated in not crossing it.  I know the most important thing about all of this is how I feel about myself.  I remind myself that as long as I am comfortable about the decisions I make, it’s cool, since I’m the one who has to live with them.  In the long run, I realize that I just have to do a little more talking and explaining than I had to do before.  We just need to stay strong and remember what made us vegan in the first place.
xoxo- krissi p.o. box 4288 richmond, va 23220 or krissi@vegan.org

    Baking Without Eggs: When baking sweets, there are several options for replacing eggs.  You can use 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, & 1/2 tsp baking power, 2 tbsp mashed banana, 1 1/2 tasp mashed tofu, 2 tasp water mixed with 1 tbsp corn starch or 1 tbsp Egg Replacer and water to replace each egg in a recipe.
    When baking savory items, you can use mashed potatoes, oats, brown rice, tahini, or breakcrumbs as a binder. 
Killer Vegan Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes (really get rid of every other chocolate cake recipe because this one is incredible and so easy.  3 cups all-purpose white flour, 1 cup cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons baking soda. Sift these dry ingredients together.  Then in a separate bowl whisk 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup water, and 1/4 oil together.  To this wet mix, add 2 cups soymilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Third, fold in dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 cake pans with Pam or prepare several cupcake pans.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 25 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on cake rack until room temperature. 
Then ice them with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Icing.  1 bag of non-dairy chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter.  1/3 cup soymilk and 3/4 cup water.  Melt the chocolate chips by double boiling a bowl over steaming water.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir over heat until well mixed and smooth.  Let it cool several minutes before icing cooled cake layers or cupcakes.  Lastly, have some fun and get crafty while you are waiting for the cupcakes.  Remember how easy this is? Making paper mache: Stir three parts water into one part flour until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Next make strips of paper - newspaper works well! You can use chicken wire or a balloon as a frame for your craft. Dip each piece of paper in the liquid mixture and apply it one piece at a time to form your shapes.  I just made Day of the Dead skulls and they rule.