Vegan Cooking

Recipe: Chickpea Scramble with mushrooms and baby spinach

I have been meaning to try this recipe I found online for a long time and finally today I gave it a go. The original recipe, Chickpea Scramble with Swiss Chard, is a little different to the one I did today, as I didn’t have Swiss chard (or silver beet, as we call it here in Australia) or a fresh lemon, but it still worked out ok, even if I did improvise a little!

For future recipes, I will probably add less salt, or none at all, as I don’t always cook with salt and it didn’t quite suit my taste buds. Also, I will probably add less lemon juice or try fresh juice and see if this changes the taste at all. I love adding capsicum, tomatoes and corn to meals as well, because I love the colours and for some reason, having more colours makes it feel healthier for me, so I’ll probably do this too. Feel free to comment any adjustments you made and tell me all about it!

For information on nutrition and the original recipe, go to My Darling Vegan.

Chickpea Scramble with Mushrooms and Baby Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1 run of drained chickpeas
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 large, flat mushroom, or 6-8 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or similar

Method:

  1. Heat oil in pan until melted and cook onion, mushroom and garlic over medium heat until onion is soft and clear (or to personal taste).
  2. While this is cooking, combine chickpeas, turmeric, lemon juice, salt and nutritional yeast in a bowl and mix. Soften the chickpeas a little, but don’t mash them completely. Add to pan when onions are cooked.
  3. Cook together for about 5 minutes, stirring through together. The chickpeas will have a saucy consistency due to the lemon and nutritional yeast, so make sure to cover the onion and mushrooms well.
  4. Add baby spinach and continue to cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until spinach is slightly wilted. You do not want to cook the spinach for too long, as prolonged exposure to heat can reduce the iron content of the spinach (Dr Greger).
  5. Serve immediately. Add any extra salt, pepper, chia seeds, almonds, or any topper you desire. This can also be eaten on toast or in a wrap.
  6. Enjoy!
Veganism

Why I’m Choosing Activism

I never wanted to be that person who held up the posters at Rodeos. Or that person who went to slaughterhouses to film the appalling conditions of the animals.

I always wanted to be the quiet vegan, the one that shared their knowledge with those close to them in the hopes of helping them to make the change.

I would share what I had learned and hope they joined me, comfortable with the fact that I had helped a little.

They would then share their knowledge and it would spread, quietly and efficiently across the globe. Word of mouth works right? Also, I can just lead by example, right??

This view has now changed after an enlightening conversation with an activist friend.

She was talking to another friend of hers about activism and trying to understand why her friend wasn’t an activist. Her friend answered basically the same as I would: I don’t want to be one of those pushy vegans. She too was quite happy just doing her own thing, confident in the knowledge that she was part for change.

Then my friend said something that would change my mind. Quite simply and lovingly, and for that I love her.

Her argument went something like this: if it wasn’t for all of those women getting out of their lounge rooms and fighting for what they believed in, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we have today.

The truth of this statement struck me, like a mallet to the chest.

In the past, I have connected with this energy, the collective of strong women who came before me, and it’s real and still exists inside of us today. I have had moments of intense gratitude for the women who came before, who fought for their rights so I could enjoy mine.

I just know my friend is right – if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have what I have. If they had all sat on their bums in the safety of their own happy marriages, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

And the dichotomy is real. I have one grandmother who was treated with respect and love, allowed to do what she wanted when she wanted, who had control of the money and the house, who was effectively the boss of her home. I also have another grandmother who was raped and beaten on a regular basis by a drunken husband and had to watch as her kids were beaten as well. This grandmother is now completely deaf in one ear because of the abuse she suffered. I know all too well the extremes of the patriarchy.

If it wasn’t for the women who had the courage to stand up, I probably would not be here today, as at least one grandparent could have been beaten to death. If she didn’t have the courage to fight for her own right to be safe and those of her children, to stand up for her beliefs, my life would be totally different.

So I made a choice. If not for the animals themselves, then for all of the activists that came before me, for women’s rights, against racism, to end Apartheid, against slavery. If these people didn’t stand up for what they believed in and had the courage and strength to make this world what they believed it should be, our world would be much different and I have nothing but respect and gratitude for them.

I believe we do not need animal products to be healthy.

I believe that to subjugate and exploit any being, to do things to them without consent and against their clearly visible will is wrong.

I believe that we need to stop animal abuse, because for me, all life is sacred.

So I’m going to start on my activist path. I’m not one to jump right in the deep end, I’m going to test the waters of some groups and see which one is the best fit. I’m going to give my time the best way I know how to promoting Veganism and helping to end animal abuse. This might mean simply volunteering at vegan events or it might mean holding banners outside of rodeos, who knows?

I am going to devote more time to being active in what I believe in.

For the animals and in the memory of all of those people who came before me and helped shape the world we live in.

I am also thinking I will include women’s rights to this list, but I’ll see what the universe sends my way. 😁

Spiritual Awakening

Veganism and Spiritual Awakening

I have recently celebrated my first vegan anniversary, my Veganniversary. It has and continues to be an interesting journey.

There were a few things I expected to change. I expected to shed kilos. I expected my palette to change over time. I expected to have more energy, although this last has been sporadic for reasons that will become clear shortly. I expected to experience better overall health.

Other things happened that I wasn’t expecting. The negative reactions to my choice. The amount of ‘assumptions’ I had about diet. That people continue to accept these assumptions, despite my best efforts to the contrary. The judgement both inside and outside of the vegan community.

Most of all I wasn’t expecting the spiritual side of me to gain momentum. I have been on a spiritual journey for at least 5 years, intentionally cultivating my skills and growing as a person. Not in all that time have I had such profound and fast changes inside of myself and with my skills.

These are some areas in my spiritual life that have changed in the last 12 months:

  1. Becoming more sensitive to energies and emotions: I have always been highly sensitive, an empath. I had just learned, through years of bullying and being told I’m too sensitive, to shut it down. Now, since removing animal products from my diet, it’s all flooding back to the surface. I am way more sensitive than I ever knew, which certainly brings its own challenges. Despite this, I feel that now I am filling my body with high energy foods, my channels have opened up further and I am becoming way more aware and sensitive to energies.
  2. Quicker Manifestation: Along with this comes the other amazing characteristics of a spiritually awakened life – manifestation. I am manifesting things so much quicker these days! Obviously the smaller the desire, the easier it is to come to you, but I am manifesting sometimes within hours! I am vibrating at a higher rate, which is allowing all the positive things I always wanted to come to me. They are now attracted to me, rather than being repelled.
  3. Accelerated Personal Growth: This is perhaps the negative or lesser known side of manifestation – manifesting situations that trigger your crap to be healed! When events or situations occur now though, I am getting the lessons quicker. This is allowing me to move forward at a much faster pace, which means the lessons also come quicker. My brain is not foggy anymore, so I can see my own patterns and behaviours much clearer. I have released so much this last 12 months, and as I continue to delve deeper into the onion of my inner self, I become stronger and stronger, able to deal with the really deep, traumatic stuff. This has lead to me being sick for most of the last 12 months and experiencing bouts of low motivation and fatigue. As I release the emotions, trauma or patterns there is a physiological reaction as the energy leaves, usually cold or flu like symptoms, headaches and general lethargy. Then I get a nice break for a few weeks where I am walking tall!
  4. Increased Intuition: My intuition has really kicked in, stronger than ever before. It is not being dampened by negative or lower energy foods, so it is able to get my attention more. I am still working on the habit of rationalising my nudges and learning to trust it, but I am able to hear it clearer in the first place and that’s a huge step for me.
  5. Deeper Meditations: I have been meditating for a few years now and have had some amazing experiences. None of them prepared me for what most often happens now. I don’t go anywhere or see anything much anymore, I used to go on some amazing adventures with dinosaurs and fairies and the like. Now, I mostly just sit in the energy and listen to the music. What is deeper is the change after I meditate. I immediately notice the change in my own energy, even after a short 15 minute meditation. Now that I am not clogging my body with low energy or processed foods, my meditations have a more profound effect on my energy, clearing away negativity and promoting higher increases in my vibration than ever before. I feel so much more calm and at peace after a meditation and I am totally grateful and happily surprised by this change.

I hope I have explained this last one effectively. All of these changes have lead me to a deeper connection to myself and Spirit, whether it be my guides, angels, deity or whatever the reality of Source actually is. I feel way more connected in general and I can only attribute it to the change in diet. Doreen Virtue talked years ago, in a book I can no longer remember the title to, about the negative effect of meat on your vibration, I just didn’t think it could be this amazing.

Please, if you have experienced similar or different changes, I would love to hear about them. 😁

Good luck and happy vibration raising!!

Veganism

Happy Veganniversary: what I’ve learnt about the world

Today marks my first anniversary of deciding to commit to ‘this vegan thing’.

I’d done Veganuary and felt confident that I was on the right track. My reasons started out based on health, but over January 2017 had evolved into ethical and environmental ones.

My eyes were open and there was no going back.

Little did I realise that the next 12 months would be some of the most challenging of my entire life. They would also be some of the most rewarding.

To mark my 1st Veganniversary I thought I’d share my new found truths.

What I’ve learned along my Veganism Journey

  1. A lot of my general knowledge was actually unsupported assumptions. Surely they just put a cow and a bull in a paddock and let em work it out for themselves? No. A million times no. Artificial insemination makes perfect sense from a business perspective – why leave something so important to chance? But the cows will need to be milked anyway, or they’ll get mastitis, right? No. A trillion times no. No other mammal continues to produce milk after a certain time after birth, why do we think cows are any different?
  2. Free range doesn’t necessarily guarantee humane. In a dark barn with barely enough room to move isn’t the free range they show you on the packets!
  3. Protein is not as important as the meat industry wants us to believe. Most of my sources (books, nutrition courses, websites and documentaries) tell us we only need around 80mg of protein in a day. Anything more than this will be eliminated from our bodies as waste. This we can get through a variety of plant foods, such as beans, almonds and sunflower seeds, in abundance. Plus, we can plan to get exactly what we need, rather than overdosing and using vital energy eliminating the excess from our bodies. Seems like simple math to me!!
  4. No matter what facts you give people, admitting they were mislead is very difficult. And I’ll say ‘mislead’ as opposed to wrong, because wrong would indicate a conscious decision was made. This is rarely the case in society. Maybe it’s a pride thing, who knows! There have been less than a handful of people I’ve spoken to about the impacts of animal agriculture, backed up by statistics, who don’t choose to ignore or forget what they heard and continue to do what they always did. Health of the planet, be damned!
  5. No amount of ‘shorter showers’ will come close to the amount of water I’ve saved. Using the stats given in Cowspiracy, converted to the metric system, for each kilogram of meat I don’t consume, I’m saving over 5000 litres of water. That’s 500 “shorter showers” a week! A WEEK!!! Why doesn’t the Australian Waterboard give us those statistics??
  6. Being vegan doesn’t guarantee compassion. This one breaks my heart. To profess so much compassion for animals and then not show it to your fellow species is not only sad, but hypocritical as well. Under this heading comes tolerance as well, but in the form of a lack of tolerance for people doing their best and living by their rules. Vegans can be among the most judgemental people I have ever come across. I thought indoctrination was only for the religious? Apparently I was wrong.
  7. People think they are being funny when they show you pictures of dead animals. This has really mostly been from teenagers, but I’ve had adults make jokes about me eating their chicken salad for lunch. We don’t go around showing them pictures of things that offend and upset them, like dead babies or decapitated human heads, so why do they do this to us? It’s blatant disrespect and, done enough, bullying and harassment.
  8. Sometimes you are surprised by the least likeliest of people. Some family and friends have been ultra supportive of my choice, even choosing to eat with me when they have other options. I know it is highly unlikely these people will ever become vegan, but I can appreciate when they support my choice and show it with their forks! It’s even better when you can have a decent conversation with them where they listen to your reasons and engage in a positive way!
  9. There is a such thing as a fat vegan and I’m fast becoming one! I am only a little bit sad to say the clincher for my choice was discovering that French Fries were vegan! Oh, happy day!! And this was before So Good and Over the Moo released their dairy free ice cream…
  10. Sometimes it seems animal products are in literally everything! From hot chocolate powder to plastic bags, animal agriculture seems to have its claws in all our commonly used products! Luckily for us, most things can be easily replaced. Equally lucky is that most restaurants always have hot chips on the menu!

I am sure there is plenty more that could and should go on this list, but these are the stand out lessons for me!

Let me know what you’ve learned on your journey and let’s see if we can’t spread the word together!!

And for whenever yours is…

Happy Veganniversary!!