I just finished watching the most disgusting video (I didn’t embed it it’s so violent) regarding the treatment of pigs and piglets on a large factory farm in Pennsylvania, seriously don’t watch it if you aren’t ready to make a lifestyle change. Suddenly I don’t miss bacon anymore. Which then made me again question why it is I’m NOT vegan. All I can come back to is cheese, which is lame because I can find a sub for that.
Today I decided it’s time to embrace faux cheese and gradually veganize my kitchen, and make a bigger attempt at exempting animal products one at a time. Recently I stopped in at Saffrons-A Gluten Free Marketplace which is a local (to West Michigan) place and to my surprise ended up speaking with the owner for a while. In addition to the ENTIRE store being Gluten Free, he has a delightful array of vegan food products. I bought some Daiya which I’ve had before and liked as far as faux cheese goes; I also got some coconut milk, coconut milk ice cream (which frankly tastes better than regular ice cream to me), quinoa pasta, “chicken less” vegan cubes of lower sodium bouillon for soups (it’s not soup season but it’s hard to find this stuff in the winter), an egg replacement (to see how it tastes) and Vegenaise. The owner and I had a conversation about the varying Vegenaise types (he carries the hard-to-find Soy Free variety ), I settled on the reduced fat variety. He mentioned how excited he was to attend a food show recently, and had the opportunity to sample a new Follow Your Heart product: block cheese. We talked fake cheese for a while and I mentioned he should carry Teese, from Chicago Soy Dairy our neighbors to the West, it’s amazing and used widely in even the most traditional deep dish pizza joints to help their vegan customers stay loyal. He noted the name brand and said he’d try to get some in soon. Talk about a delightful shopping experience. Not only did I get to meet the OWNER, but he is going to look into one of my suggestions for a product to carry in his store? Nice.
So what’s the point Adrienne? Oh, yes…the point is today, I veganized my pancake recipe using coconut milk, earth balance, and ground flax seeds in place of cow milk, butter and eggs, and here it is for your animal-cruelty free enjoyment.
Vegan Pancake Batter
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose whole grain flour
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 T sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- 1 1/4 C reduced calorie coconut milk
- 1T ground flax seed and 2T hot water, mixed together and let set for about a minute or longer
- 3 T melted Earth Balance spread
Very nice! I cannot even tell you how much more I enjoy cooking now that I’m vegan. I find the challenge of “veganizing” recipes to be so much fun, even better when they turn out just like (or close) to the original.
For example, last night I whipped together Michigan sauce with TVP that had been soaked in “beef” broth. For breakfast I made vegan biscuits and gravy. They’re certainly not as rich and creamy as they would be with real dairy, but still incredibly delicious and totally cruelty free!
As far as bacon goes, when I met a pig in real life four years ago, giving up bacon was the easiest decision ever. They’re a lot like dogs – some would say smarter – and it really makes you wonder about the arbitrary lines we’ve drawn in the sand over what animals are OK to eat, and which are not.
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