Giving Thanks to Animals
It is officially November which means its World Vegan Month!
What's World Vegan Month? you may be asking. Since 1994, World Vegan Month has kicked off on November 1st, also known as World Vegan Day, which is an annual celebration worldwide by vegans and animal rights advocates to raise awareness of the vegan lifestyle.
Many vegans commemorate the day by fasting for farm animals to symbolize the treacherous hours - sometimes days - farm animals are forced to starve while being transported on trucks from the farm to the slaughterhouse. Others hold vigils at slaughterhouses to give the animals a moment of compassion before they are inevitably killed.
Ironically, World Vegan Month takes place the same month as Thanksgiving in America. In America, many of the staple foods for Thanksgiving involve the use of animal products - turkey, milk in mash potatoes, sausage in stuffing, and beef or chicken broth in gravy. Food is often seen as a form of comfort or tradition, especially during the holidays, which can make this time of year difficult for those who are veg-curious. Many people think that when you go vegan you have to "give up" your favorite food, but that's not the case. Rather than giving up food you can simply replace animal products with vegan and cruelty-free alternatives, even for holiday classics!
Green-Bean Casserole (makes 4-6 servings)
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 3/4 cup chopped button mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1.5 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 1 vegan bouillon cube
- 2 Tbsp. cold water
- 2.5 Tbsp. corn starch
- 1 28 oz can cut green beans
- 1 6 oz can french-fried onions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Saute onions and mushrooms in vegetable oil in skillet. season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the soy milk and bouillon cube in a saucepan, stirring until the cube dissolves. Do not allow to boil. Mix cornstarch and water together and add to the pan, stirring well.
- Quickly add the green beans, the sauteed vegetables, and about half of the french-fried onions and stir well.
- Pour into a casserole dish and top with the remaining french-fried onions. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until onions begin to brown.
Garlicky Mashed Potatoes (makes 4-5 servings)
- 5 large potatoes, washed, peeled, and diced
- 14-15 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp. vegan margarine
- 3/4 to 1 cup of soy milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place potatoes and whole cloves of garlic in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.
- Drain, place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, and mash until smooth.
- Serve hot.
Pumpkin Pie (makes 8 servings)
- 1 15oz can pumpkin
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 12oz package extra firm silken tofu
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 9inch unbaked pie shell
- vegan whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Blend pumpkin and brown sugar in blender or food processor. Add the tofu, spices, and salt and blend until smooth. Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 60 minutes, or until filling sets.
- Chill and serve topped with vegan whipped cream.
Stuffing (makes 4-6 servings)
- 1 Tbsp vegan margarine
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups vegan broth
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 1/2 cup diced apple (optional)
- 1/4 cup diced pine nuts (optional)
- 1 12oz bag herb-seasoned, cubed stuffing (try Pepperidge Farm brand, which is available almost everywhere)
- Melt margarine in a big pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove fro heat.
- Add the broth, cranberries, apples, and pine nuts.
- Add the stuffing and mix lightly.
- Spoon into greased casserole dish.
- Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes.