Saturday, January 15, 2011

VeganSexual's Favesies Vegan Blogs

Y'ALL. It's only a few more days before the semester begins and I'll probably be blogging more, as I get inspired to write for pleasure when I'm procrastinating on my schoolwork. Prepare yourself for Spinach-Potato Croquettes, Japanese Golden Curry with Tempeh and Red Peppers,  and Snickerdoodles. The Roomie and I are planning on a giant (platonic) vegansexual cook-a-thon on Monday and you won't be able to HANDLE the cupcakes I'm making.

Until that day, I thought I'd post some of my favorite vegan blogs around the interwebs so you can take a peek at where I've found amazing recipes, theoretical frameworks, and living tips for vegans. Some of these blogs don't necessarily agree with each other when it comes to how they approach veganism, so peruse at your will. You'll probably find something you can get behind if interested.

Vegan Good Things
Go Vegan Meow!
Hipster Food
Vegan YumYum

Vegan Ideal
Unpopular Vegan Essays
My Face Is On Fire

The Vegan RD
Your Daily Vegan

Besos, everyone.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Queering the Kitchen

Unapologetic theory-talk:

I've really been digging Chaia Heller for a while now; eco-feminism without all the essentialism/racism common in other related work. She promotes an erotic relationship with nature, one based on mutuality and love. She critiques our typical romanticization of the environment/rural life/animals, which alienates human and non-human animal subjectivities from discourse and behavior surrounding the planet's well-being. She sees the erotic orientation to life as the one that radically transforms relationships one has with one's environment and its inhabitants.

I see this as the perfect platform to bring together my vegan and queer identity. Our typical food narrative demands we use animals in every aspect of the meal. They are categorized as lesser beings, incapable of thought or creativity or suffering so can therefore be slaughtered for the convenience and pleasure of the dinner table. Now I am all about pleasure (see: blog title) but one cannot experience mutual desire and pleasure at the expense of other sentient beings. To do so creates a fissure in the kitchen between the lived experiences of non-human animals and the carcasses we consume; we've renamed and reconstructed the identity of these creatures and turned them into "chicken nuggets" and "pork" or "beef tips" instead of recognizing their former, complex lives (thank you, Carol Adams).

Becoming vegan means opting out of this violence. It means not using anthropocentric standards to judge worthiness of life. It means knowing that for the dairy cow and the layer hen, even if allowed access to pasture and not tortured, end up in the same slaughterhouses as their fellow animals do for flesh when they've outlived their reproductive ("useful") lives. Being vegan queers the notion of the dinner plate, of the healthy life, of the identity of "human". It's a refusal to romanticize the "caveman" diet or the animal products from "the farm", which not only harms the non-human animals in those concepts but also the human animals subject to the pain of racism and ruralism. It means rejecting the heterocentric meat-and-potatoes narrative of the acceptable meal and reminds us that we can live well without living recklessly toward other creatures.

We can queer our diets and queer our cooking spaces. Queering the kitchen is a radical act: when we cook for others without trying to impress, when we co-create love and side dishes to rockin' tunes, when we make do with whatever we have in the pantry and indulge in a self-pleasure, single-person show, we queer the notion of what the kitchen feels like. The kitchen is the room in the house where fruits of the earth are transformed into cultural goods; this act of transition provides the space to fuck with food, fuck with the housewife as the queen of the dinner table, fuck with our silly ideas that we aren't good cooks and have to rely on corporate grown/marketed food just to survive. We can become gastrosexuals, seeking mutual pleasure in nourishing our bodies and satisfying those persistent cravings. Choosing to eat vegan at these moments provides another method for uprooting any non-erotic tendencies we've accumulated over the years.

Desire cannot be captured in a measuring cup but runs through the sifter and the strainer, un-containable and powerfully real. We desire tastes and scents and experiences but true desire requires consideration of the Other; non-human animals are not our beloved, they are their own creatures of self-driven existence.

For more information about veganism, check out the Boston Vegan Association.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Update: No Rest For The Wicked

Hey y'all,

Don't abandon me just yet! I've had a kookoo bananas holiday break but that does not mean I haven't been getting vegansexual in the kitchen. If you like what you've seen so far, you won't regret sticking around. I received a tofu press, TWO food processors (one miniature for small projects), and an immersion blender for Christmas, a good haul indeed. I have been cooking with the new roomie and we've got lots of fabulous food porn to feast your eyes on. Here's what's coming in the next week:

Queering the Kitchen (or, How I Theorize About Everything I Do)
Baked Pumpkin Ziti with Sage Breadcrumbs (Veganomicon is my bible)
Seitan Buffalo Wingz (Party Vegan)
Potato Croquettes (Vegan Good Things)

So stay tuned! Recipes and food erotica forthcoming.

Dinner for a Date

When I became vegan I just accepted that I would have to let my attachment to cheese go. I had tried soy cheeses and they were fine, but nothing quite like the original. After releasing my addiction I stumbled upon a new, supposedly life-changing brand called Daiya. SO TRUE.

I bought a bag of "cheddar shreds" and recreated a sandwich from my favorite veggie place in town, The Earth Cafe and Deli. Their Groovy Grilled Cheese has been my favorite for a long time (minus icky pickles, of course)

Above is a gem of a meal I made one night for myself and a lover. Grilled daiya + tempeh bacon with stone ground mustard, french fries from a local restaurant (leftover), and Ginger Kale. 

I think I make Ginger Kale something like once a week. It's crisp/salty/ginger-y green fabulousness is good and good for you. It also takes maybe 5 minutes to make. The perfect quickie.

Ginger Kale (enough for 2)

One bunch kale, de-stemmed and ripped into bite size pieces
2 tbsp canola oil
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and diced
Soy sauce or tamari

Saute oil and ginger in pan until ginger is fragrant (about 2 mins). Add kale pieces and drizzle with soy sauce. Stir constantly until kale is cooked down slightly but still bright green. Take it off the heat just before you think it's ready, it becomes small and mushy quite fast!

Gives a whole new dimension to the word "easy".