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On the Vegan Trail

August 5, 2012 in Blog


One whole week of being vegan and I have to say it is much easier than I could have ever imagined! Although there is always the slight longing look when the rest of my family is eating cheese, being vegan has already made me make healthier choices and opened me up to a whole branch of foods that I have never really tried. The thing that has probably surprised me the most is vegan chocolate. Bought in a moment of desperation, with rice milk as a substitute for regular milk, it tastes just as good (if not better) than any normal chocolate I’ve ever tried.

Although in the beginning I was mainly going vegan for the Carbon Challenge, I have now started to look more into the environmental and ethical implications of this lifestyle choice. I decided to head on over to good old wikipedia where I found a whole lot about “animals should be treated like people” and “farming animals is like slave labor”. Underneath this was a layer that I have never even considered, that animals kept for the products they produce must live longer in unhappy environments and then end up heading off to the same slaughterhouses. Now, I’m not sure how much truth there is in this (it is only wikipedia after all), but in some ways it does make me feel better about my choice. I don’t know if I will be able to continue being vegan past the Carbon Challenge, but I will most definitely be able to last this out.

This next recipe is practically what I have been living off for this whole week: hummus. A little more on this before I put in the recipe, hummus is what is known as a “super food” because it is just so darn good for you. It contains protein, calcium and antioxidants and helps you to maintain good blood sugar levels while also assisting your immune system. Alright, here’s the recipe:
- 2 tins of chickpeas, drained (or you can go all natural and soak 250g of dried chickpeas over night then drain them)
- 2 tbs tahini
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (I often use a little more)
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or a little more if the hummus is too dry)
I also like to add some preserved lemon, a dash of tamari and a pinch of paprika. Another great addition to this is beetroot, 500g is a good amount, and you can use tinned or cook it in boiling water until tender, chopping it up before adding it to the blender.
1. Add all ingredients, except oil, to a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Slowly add oil while food processor is running, then continue processing until the mixture is thoroughly combined. If the hummus is too dry, some more lemon juice, a little water or some more oil can be added.
Serve with lebanese bread or your choice of vegetable matter. This recipe makes enough hummus to last a couple of days (at the very least), but it’s not good to keep it past the fourth day unless you like tummy bugs.

6 comments to 'On the Vegan Trail'

  1. Hi @Nisha_1, so happy to read your post! What a great ‘green’ step you’ve made, not just for the environment but also for animals, and even your health… as you’ve noted yourself. If you would like to do further reading on the implications of a vegan diet, http://www.unleashed.org.au is great interactive online space that my sister (who is a vegan) finds alot of useful information and inspiration at.

    I also love hommus… yum! Glad you’ve stumbled across such a gem already.

  2. @Nisha_1 Am enjoying reading your experiences! I love hummus too and will try your recipe next time I am making it.

  3. @Nisha_1 I also love to make my own hummus. It goes really well with home made falafel. You can use the instant packets you can find in the health section of the supermarket. Although I am not vegetarian my daughter is so we are all trying to cut down on our meat consumption. We now only have it once or twice a week. We have also found a great vegan alternative to cream cheese. It’s called tofuti. Most supermarkets have it. You can make great cheesecakes with it. Also can replace cream cheese for cake icings.

  4. @Nisha_1, @Anna21 & @Wombat01 – I love hommus too…

    And THIS IS MY FAVOURITE FALAFEL RECIPE (to go with the hommus):

    Ingredients (serves 10)
    1 tbs cumin seeds
    1 tbs coriander seeds
    2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    3/4 cup finely chopped coriander
    1/4 cup finely chopped mint
    1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 Spanish onion, coarsely grated
    1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
    1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup (75g) sesame seeds
    Sunflower oil, for shallow-frying
    Tarator sauce (see related recipe) and lemon wedges, to serve

    1. Place cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan and cook, stirring, over low-medium heat until fragrant. Cool. Place cooled seeds in a mortar and crush with a pestle to form a coarse powder. Using a food processor, process chickpeas until finely chopped and almost a paste. Transfer to a bowl. Add ground spices, garlic, herbs, onion and salt and pepper to taste, then mix well. Stir in flour, bicarbonate of soda and egg until well combined. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into walnut-sized balls then roll in sesame seeds to coat. Place on a tray. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight) to firm.

    2. Pour oil into a large, deep frying pan until 5cm-deep. Shallow-fry falafel in batches, turning until golden all over, then drain on paper towels.

    Serve with tarator sauce and lemon wedges.

  5. There is a 30-Day Vegan Challenge run by Animal Liberation that includes nutritional advice, daily recipes and even a mentor (if you so wish…). Check it out at http://veganeasy.org/Vegan-Easy-Challenge

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