Vegan

People power and chocolate loans

Everywhere I look all I see are good places to start an organic vegan restaurant/cafe/drinks/ice cream bar. One is even right next to an organic grocery store in a high end food market (aka building filled with only restaurants, cafes, ice cream and a grocery store – all slightly expensive). I’d do it if I had the know-how. Instead I found a similar minded person and helped fund them instead.

Choquiero is an impressive vegan chocolate store that has popped up recently in Cali, USA. By store I mean a zealous vegan chocolatier named Ariel who has successfully sold chocolates for the past few months and has the intent to make it brick n mortar (shopfront) style. He needs a kiva-loan. Currently at 30% funded he has 5 days to go before his loan expires. Looking at the pics of his chocolates, and knowing first hand kiva lenders pay you back, I’m down with giving him some moolah. Check him out: https://zip.kiva.org/loans/4751, and if you get some of his chocolates eat one for me. I’ll try to get over there sometime myself but in the meantime let me live vicariously through you, oh taster of chocolates. 

For those who don’t know kiva is a web based loans system allowing everyday persons to lend money to each other interest free, removing the need for a banking institutions involvement. This process has been highly successful as people from all over the world can be lender and/or lendee to anyone else anywhere in the world. To me, knowing the name and face and business my money is being lent to, knowing that they know my name and face, and personally loaning a person money (with the assistance of the internet) feels good. A bank impersonally lending my money along with countless others (or creating money out of thin air) to any cause it determines profitable for itself with heavy interest charges and unpleasant tactics for money retrieval is on the way out thanks to websites like Kiva. I like that.   

I wonder if Ariel could and would mail his chocolates to Australia.  

To empowering the people and to chocolate,

Summer Tay.

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Chocolate Mug Cake – a (semi-healthy) recipe

Hello taste perfectioners! Today I bring to you the easiest cake I have yet to make: the Chocolate Mug Cake.

The cake that takes only 8 ingredients to make and about 3 minutes to create this recipe is fantastic for the lazy time restricted chocolate lover. The kitchy bit is that you make it in a mug – the perfect hiding place for your yum-noms from your partner, children, flatmates, co-workers and other prying eyes and hungry mouths. Who looks for chocolate cake in a mug?

Ingredients:
2 tbs Cocoa powder
3 tbs white flour
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
1tbs + 2tsp sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
1 mashed banana
4 tbs oat or almond milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:
1. Mix the first 5 ingredients thoroughly together in a large bowl. Sift as required.
2. Mash that banana!
3. Add the last 3 ingredients together mixing really well.
4. Pour the ingredients into your favourite mug.
5. Cook her up for 30seconds – 2 minutes (depending on consistency of cake) in the microwave.
6. Grab a teaspoon and eat your cake like a boss.

I tried this cake with coconut oil subbed for mashed banana. It was nice, but banana was nicer. The original recipe, sourced from avid baker-blogger Chocolate Covered Katie included an optional peanut butter icing. My version came out like peanut butter with an intense sugar content. If you have the extra few minutes give it a try though, or just smear peanut butter straight up all over your cake. It could work.

I would give you a pic of the cake but each one I made came out looking disgusting, which is the exact opposite of the taste, there-for for your viewing pleasure I have opted to not add the obligatory finished product pic.

Tip: Be careful when selecting your mug. Do not use a mug that increases in size as it goes up but rather a straight up and down one as this will affect your cakes cooking time requirements. That is, the bottom will cook faster than the top. Eating it was something like a trial in earth excavation, with each bite taking you further down into a whole new consistency and slight changes in taste. It was an interesting experience.

Bana-nana-nana-nana choc cake!

Summer Tay.

“Meat is healthy” says meat industry.

TLDR: Meat industry tells governments to change scientific research paper findings from meat is unfit for human consumption to eat meat regularly – because the industry would die otherwise.

Good morning! How have you been? I have been splendid! Well, in truth I’ve been wondering where on earth the juicing part of my juicer went, wondering how the waitress cross cook got vegan mixed up with please put beef mince and cheese on my pizza, indefinitely borrowing a spare juicer part from some friends (oh how I love my friends right now *drinks fresh orange juice for the first time in over a month*),  and wondering why God is so cruel as to give watermelon an off season.

These thoughts were put aside as a full scale hunt (google search) was made for intelligent nutrition youtube channels. It took a minute to find a list that wasn’t purely about celebrities and how to lose weight – mostly lose weight. Then I found nutrition.org.

Hosted by Dr. Michael Gregor, the channel takes on scientific research and journal entries relating or relevant to health, nutrition and the food industry. The video that got my attention was titled The Funding Effect. The video makes use of several published research papers that discuss the correlation of scientific paper results and the desired result of the person or corporation funding said paper.

What the video found was that a research paper into the meat industry found animal to be unsuitable for human consumption. This did not go down well with the animal consumption (meat, dairy, eggs) industry. If people were advised by their government not to eat any meat, eggs or dairy, then they would do so. The industry pressured the government to change the wording. The government met them half way: eat less meat, eggs and dairy. This was still not good enough. If people are advised to eat less, they will want to know why. The meat/animal consumption industry believes so strongly that if you knew what meat and egg and dairy is really doing to your health you would not eat that. Their industry would go out of business you would be that adverse to it. Therefor the wording must advise the population to eat meat, eggs and dairy on a regular basis for a healthy diet. Otherwise the economy, the animal industry argues, will suffer.

Of course in reality the agriculture and other industries would absorb the economic effect and employees of the animal industry would have found jobs quickly in agriculture and other positively affected industries.

Some would still say that human health should not be placed before corporate profit and the industry should still survive because the economy, and to them I say ok, then go brush your teeth with radium in an asbestos house with lead pipes. No?

Suggestion@Google: If you’re really not going to stop posting ridiculous lose weight adverts everywhere at least have the decency to link us some sexy flowery muumuus as well.

Suggestion@science: If you’re going to allow corporations to fund scientific research then insist all contributing corporations be identified on the paper in an easily accessible, easy to read fashion.
Ultimately, research papers such as this will always have money involved, because even if an industry doesn’t pay for the research, they can pay or lobby the government to keep research from the public. Never-the-less, I’d still like to know if my research was brought to me by a person or company with a vested interest in the research findings.

Stay profitable compadres,

Summer Tay.

*If you’re interested in learning more on the funding effect then here is a link to a free paper of Sheldon Krimskys work similar to that mentioned in the video linked above. The one mentioned would cost $30 and as much as I like you, I don’t spend $30 and break a (albeit terrible) law for you like you.

*fun fact: according to scientific studies, soft drink coca cola is good for you and has 0 negative health affects, yay! …

Day 151: 3.14 For Brunch (Because I’m Aussie)

So it’s been a while. I promised I would be back the moment I had something intelligent to say, and unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be happening, so here I am, babbling. I’m still going to write a post though, so if you’re down for some mind numbingly unintelligent chatter to get you through another work day then here goes:

Do you remember the first time you bought a blender, or that first kitchen appliance you bought and people said “pah, you’ll use it once or twice, then it’ll sit there collecting dust”? But you knew better. Such excitement and dedication as yours never dwindles or dies. Cut to present day and dang if they were not at least half right.

I have not used the blender in weeks, not counting yesterday’s milkshake. The blender I confess, it makes a lot of mess. Especially when I make my beloved avo pesto. There is a lot of sticky stuck avo pesto on the blender base and blades every time. The amount of wastage brings tears to the eyes, figuratively speaking. I honestly thought people who complained about cleaning the appliances where just lazy, non-enthusiastic people who like to whinge about doing anything. To all of those people, I still think that way, however I acknowledge that I am also right there with you. Anything that takes more than 2 seconds to clean well is indeed slightly annoying.

I have yet to unpack the juicer since the move 3 months ago. This is because at first it took a while to find my official juicer cleaner, the cleaner thingy dedicated purely to cleaning my juicer immediately after each use and nothing else. Once that was found, I had to find the juicer. Once that was found, I had to go out. When I came home, poof! juicer had disappeared again. Apparently the spot I had put it in was a mess, it was in the way and it had to be moved to a non-memorised location. Ah, the joys of housemates. Probably easily findable, but I’m not sure where my official juicer cleaner has gotten to now. Not sure I want to know…

I love vegan pies. The only vegan pie to my knowledge is this:

becauseimaussie

Buying them from Coles costs about the same as a regular pie from a moderately priced bakery, but you get to cook it yourself. Knowing my cooking prowess, many are probably chuckling “burn it yourself you mean”. But no, I have cooked 2 of them thus far and can honestly say that burning them seems almost as impossible as a Tom Cruise movie being good. Massive props to the company for this please pass your pie making knowledge to the rest of the world.
The inside is mushroom and weird gravy stuffs. Now with 10% more mushy gravy stuffs! Considering how much they have now, they really didn’t make much of a 3.14 before. Huzzah for perfectly timed new product trying!

My best friend, who I visit often, is now eating the exact same cereal I was eating. Key word: was. The whole point of a best friend is to have different foods when you get sick of your own kitchen without the hassle of busy restaurants and expensive menus. Does he not know his purpose in (my) life? He is ruining my brunch!

Now back to the juice. The saddest part in all this is that packaged juice now tastes like coke did after not drinking it for ages. It tasted like why the hell would anyone drink this? I had spoiled myself with my fresh juices of yester-days. So be warned, once you try fresh juice, it will be very difficult to go back. And I’m not just talking the cheap, on the warm shelf juice either, I’m talking the supposed 100% fresh juice on the cold shelf with the pulp still in it and the $5+/2L price tag.. So if the fancy branded fresh grocery store juice is supposed to be good for you, why does it taste so bleh in comparison? Hmmmm…

Well I hope you enjoyed my random rant for today. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with something more substantial to say but for now, hooray! Rejoice for I am back (again and hopefully for good).

Summer Tay.

Day 94: I am a dragon

:O…

I am Grima.

Grima is… is me.

Well that explains the love of raw bear meat. I am a mother flippin’, fire breathin’, Fell Dragon. Or at least I was, in the future. Perhaps this new development will convince my character to go vegan?

In other developments: recommitting to no energy drinks (ever) and no coffee (except for when I make an exception…) – but not to no caffeine. Got to keep it realistic.

For some reason the desire for coke lives on. The longer I go without it, the stronger it gets. It’s like a craving that doesn’t have a pass point. You know, that point where you go without something for so long you stop wanting it? Yeah, coke doesn’t have one of those.

I don’t care how hypocritical it is, if I have kids, they are not getting soft drink of any kind. Ever. Way too addictive.

Summer Tay.

Day 80: Raw Dessert Indulgence

Today started with a  long sleep in as I nursed a cold that I suspect has cost me my job (it was a work day after all). It continued with a meal that accidentally consisted 50% of brown rice to 49% vegie and 1% vegan chicken schnitzel cut into medium sized pieces. I suspect brown rice in large amounts has  a weird affect on me. The last few times I had it my mouth and lips went slightly numb. I then went to view an apartment that included a pool, spa, sauna, gym and balcony view of the ocean & some city from my room for my original max price (before seeing how terrible most other places are for this price and crying tears of poordom into my pillow whilst raising the maximum price on my apartment searches). This will followed by sushi train for dinner (naturally) and then Mandala, for dessert.

Today was a good day.Just no-one tell that I’m slightly just a hint of unemployed okay?

They had 3 cake options: Pineapple & Lime, Chocolate, or Blueberry Coconut – all raw. My friend picked chocolate, and i went with the one I felt least likely to ever make myself at home: Pineapple and Lime. We each got a scoop of coconut ice cream – both vanilla, since we already had other chocolate things.

RAWchocolateandPinelimecake_mandala_HVS

It was frickin’ amazing.

The cake for me was a surprise success. What I thought would be once off to try turned out to be a very pleasing cake. The chocolate, ate by the carnivorous close friend, was enjoyed even faster than mine. As described by her, the vegan choc cake tasted different to regular choc cake, but it was equal in tastyness and merriment. Such yum.

HotCHocMAndala_HVS

The hot chocolate was so strong I don’t think I could have swallowed it any stronger. They really make an amazingly full on taste for your mouthbuds. I’ll be coming back for this.

The cakes change every day, though the chocolate is virtually every day, being so popular and all. I’m glad I got the one I got, since the blueberry probably gets repeated more often, since it is the more popular fruit dessert-wise. Too bad a cake with ice cream costs about the same as a full meal at many places.

To super expensive vegan indulgences,

Summer Tay

Day 71: Hipster Vegan Hangout

I’m writing on my phone for the first time so this post is going to be short. Today I was taken to a trendy hipster type place I never knew existed.  It consists almost entirely of food. The exceptions are a clothing store and a live band. They weren’t too shabby. But back to the food.

They had everything! All the kinds of food including wood fire pizza, Korean, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Vegan. The vegan one had a whole bunch if different fresh salads, a hot pot, falafel, some weird and tasty seaweed roll thingy and a couple of desserts to choose from.  I had a massive craving for potato so went with a potato salad.

Where to find this?  Every Saturday from 4pm you’ll find this place of awesome and wonderment at the industrial estate in Miami, QLD (Australia). The Miami Marketta.

I want to add a picture, but the phone is being a b-hole.

To the next step: becoming hipster! (But not really if I do that please just shoot me).

Summer Tay.

Day 53: Future Plans / Restaurant Ridiculousness

Today was yet another sushi train day. The options are reasonable: some weird pumpkin and carrot thing that tasted good, some random thing that we think was grilled eggplant, vegetable goyza thingies minus the goyza sauce because alcohol, and then the tiniest slice of ginger which I was trying for the very first and last time tonight. The face I made had my friend falling off of her seat (at least one of us found it humourous). The only other options I remember in the pre-made vegetable area were inari (a fried tofu stuffed with rice), the standard avo in rice, cucumber in rice, and some weird thing that freaked me the hey out. It looks like it’s vegetables wrapped in a thin white sheet of rice, but first the eyes think it looks like a tiny, white, bumpy man part / evil alien egg about to pop (depending which one of us you ask). I literally jumped back when I saw it.

UGLYvegetarian_Suhshi_HVS

Do you see it? Do you see what I mean?

We came up with the perfect plan. After we move in together, we will purchase a sushi making kit. Once we have mastered the art there-of, we are buying a fully functioning moving model train set. Much sushi will be made, then placed on plates that will then be balanced on the train. Then we sit in the middle of the train set and grab whichever sushi we feel like eating as watch low budget Japanese horror films (the best kind). Ok that last bit about the horror movies I came up with by myself – but it is going to happen. Huzzah home made sushi train!

SUSHItrainforthelounge_HVS
It will look a little something like this, but in the lounge room. If successful further tracks might be built to have the train reach the kitchen (a sensible next step) followed by the bedrooms and maybe the bath tub and then, if we have one, the balcony (gotta make the neighbourhood jealous).

In semi-related news, I came up with a new name (and a theme) for my/our/the vegan pizza store. PJ Pizzas. Can be spelt Pjzzas. You can set it up like a regular pizza restaurant, but the catch is everyone has to come in PJs or bedtime attire including restaurant staff. Appropriate ones. If you don’t have any, or don’t have any on because you’re a walk in or something like that, then you can rent/buy a onesie from the restaurant to wear over your clothes. The restaurant will have an assortment of styles and sizes for the young and the older – dinosaurs, chickens, even Pikachus and Stitches if we can. Point is, no PJ = no pizza. Feel free to steal this idea if you’re thinking of opening a restaurant of any kind, just remember me if/when your restaurant become super famous and they ask you where you got the PJ idea. You got it from me 😀

In completely other news La Brana was (presumably) lactose intolerant. In case you missed the news this morning, La Brana is the 7000 year old guy found in La Brana region of Spain. His DNA was perfectly preserved and has been tested. He also was very dark skinned yet had peircing blue eyes – making him one of the first of human kind to have mixed african and european features. He ate meat, wore fur, and died with his hunting utensils around him. He died at 30 years old. It has been added to my to-do list to research the average life span and the common diet and lifestyle of cultures back in the day, before modern medicine and modern science told us things and kept us alive. Back when all we had was food and lifestyle to determine our lifespan and the only knowledge and culture we knew was our own, grown from those directly around us. This idea is either really boring, or really brilliant (or really done before by ever other “genius” who has just gone vegan/health conscious and is researching it). Will let you know how that goes. Eventually.

To eating pizza in pikachu pjs in the middle of a public place,

Summer Tay.

P.S. If you were interested in seeing more of the model train set shown above, you can view the full article here.

P.S.S. If you happened to be at sushi train tonight and noticed 2 girls singing and seat dancing to Spice Girls Wannabe followed by Britney Spears Hit Me One More Time, that totally was not my friend and I.  We definitely did not go on a nostalgia trip of our 90’s childhoods in a busy sushi restaurant. You are thinking of some other people.

Day 51: Soya Milkshake Consequences

Soya is evil.

I have had 3 soy milkshakes in 2 days then hit red. Cravings for chicken are now being replaced for things that look like chicken (vegan subs). It seems to be working.  All I want now is freshly juiced oj and someone else to make it for me. Its 1.30am. Everyone is asleep. Plus they are not my minions (damn them).

Now I kinda want a tall glass if soy milk and try to get some sleep. Damn you cravings. This time there will be no caving in. No more soy! Until this is over…

To sleeplessness,

Summer Tay.

Day 5 : Impulsivity

Forget diet planning, I hate diet planning, I am going to buy a juicer instead. Yeah, a nice one.

Specs: must be cheap and easy to use (*like ya mum), hard to break, easy to fix and get spare parts for if required, have a good warranty and be quiet as a mouse. I want to be able to use this thing at 3am and not incur the wrath of my beloved house-mates of whom are not related to me and there-for not obliged to put up with any bullony. According to the web cold pressed slow juicing increases the length of time the juice is fresh and nutrient-full. I want this.

-later in the day-

Looking at ebay, customer reviews and company websites, I’m noticing some issues. Some juicer review sites seem to have been attacked by automated bots. I do not trust the positive ones, and on several juicers those that do give a negative say the same thing: the warranty is useless. If the product breaks in anyway, the company will not get back to you, you will not get a replacement part nor machine, not even a refund. And these are several hundred dollar machines. With pursed lips I continue my search for the perfect juicer.

-later still-

I honestly have not found a single juicer that I could genuinely get behind and recommend to anyone. That is disappointing, I was expecting this to end with a woohoo new juicer, I shall recommend it to all the populus! But no. Call me over-cautious, but when it comes to spending money I want to be sure of my purchase. A loud and proud juicer owner and good friend has been giving me plenty of juicer purchase horror stories to go with my search. Broke easily, wasn’t very powerful, hard to clean, etc etc. None happened to him of course just his friends, his juicer is the cats pajamas. Perfect in every way. Except for the part where it sounds like a lawn mower somehow got into the house and is running a rampage, like a microphone held up to a 17 year old males car engine, like your ear drums begging for death. And his wife, also a friend, just found it on ebay, auction ending in 15 minutes. Dang.

-not much later-

Personally tested the juicer. It rocks. I want it. I bid on it.

-a few seconds later-

It is mine. Now to wait for it via the snail mail. OH my gosh I just thought, I hope it doesn’t get broken in the mail… Dangit. Well I hope this end wells, that the juicer works, that the juice tastes good, that it doesn’t become a fad, that I find a way to make juice any time I want without becoming a victim of accidental death at 3.15am.

So excited, cannot wait for my juicer 😀

Pfft, diet planning.

Summer Tay.

*I’m sorry, but the joke was right there, I had to do it.