vegan Archive

Happy National Spaghetti Day!

Posted January 4, 2013 By Steve

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” — Sophia Loren

Flying Spaghetti Monster
January 4th is a very exciting day, both because it’s my Mom’s birthday and also, of course, because according to the Internet, it’s National Spaghetti Day! This is the sort of food where it’s easy to eat too much of it, but in moderation it’s perfectly good. When I make spaghetti, I usually make it with my “Fauxlonese Sauce”, which is ideal for vegans and also for meat eaters, who in this case might not even notice you’ve changed out ground beef for something healthier, kinder, and better for the environment.

(And happy birthday, Mom!)


Fauxlonese Sauce

  • One package of Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs
  • One to one and a half jars of Trader Joe’s Organic No-Salt-Added Marinara Sauce
  • One onion, chopped up
  • A big handful of fresh spinach
  • Minced garlic, as much or as little as you like

The directions are pretty simple. Saute the onion, garlic, and spinach at medium heat in a large pan, then turn heat to low and add the marinara sauce. (The spinach is optional, but it’s a good combination with marinara sauce because tomatoes help you absorb the iron in the spinach.) If you like, you can pour a little red wine into the jar of sauce you’re emptying, swish it around, and add it — you get everything out of the jar that way, and besides, hey, it’s wine.

Meanwhile, heat up the meatless meatballs by microwaving for five minutes on high. Once they’re warmed up, mash them up and stir them into the marinara sauce. TJ’s meatless meatballs are really good, but they have enough sodium that there’s no reason the sauce needs it as well, hence the suggestion for the marinara with no salt added.

That’s about it. You can add this on top of any pasta, usually I go with a bag of Trader Joe’s organic whole wheat rotelle, but today spaghetti is the way to go.

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Steve’s Pressure Cooked Vegan Stew

Posted September 16, 2012 By Steve

My friend Randall and I eat this whenever he comes over, and finally he asked me how to make it. Since I was typing out the recipe, I thought I’d post it here.

  • 1 package of Tofurky Italian Sausage
  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 16 oz. bag of dry pearl onions (or frozen, if necessary)
  • 1 16 oz. bag of green split peas
  • 1 32 oz. box of vegetable stock1
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

1Preferably Medford Farms brand, because every other brand has outrageous sodium, even the ones mislabeled “low sodium”.

In large pressure cooker, add pearl onions, split peas, stock, and the same amount of water as there is stock. Stir, let sit for a while so that onions warn up a little and peas start to soften slightly so they don’t stick together.

Chop up carrots, potatoes, and sausage, and drop them in. Add curry powder and cayenne pepper and stir.

Close pressure cooker, place on medium-high heat. Allow pressure to reach level one, then cook at that level for exactly thirteen minutes.

Depressurize, stir (peas should turn to mush but not have burned on the bottom), let sit for twenty minutes, stir again.

Makes about six bowls of stew.

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Palin Missing The Point On Childhood Obesity

Posted January 5, 2011 By Steve

“Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.” — William Shakespeare, Julius Caeser, Act 1, Scene 2


obesity parody poster

A friend of mine pointed me to an article in the Christian Science Monitor in which Mario Rizzo defends Sarah Palin’s criticism of Michelle Obama for having spoken out on childhood obesity. It made me realize how much commentary I’ve seen on this seemingly trivial issue in the last few weeks.

Some Republicans have come out in disagreeing with Palin, saying that Obama is simply speaking her mind about a societally important issue. Many of these seem delighted to have an opportunity to knock Palin down a peg or two going into the 2012 presidential election season, but surely that’s merely a coincidence. Others are agreeing with Palin, basically saying that as First Lady, Obama is close enough to being a government official that her campaign is an unwelcome social engineering effort on the part of the federal government.

Initially, I saw all this as a good barometer of hysteria. I find that those who’ve said Palin’s gone overboard with this are on the right side of the hysteria threshold. I mean, at this point the technical term for the size of the average American kid is “ginormous”. So what if Obama’s a quasi-politician, the message in this particular case is correct, right? But then I realized that if you’re really in favor of tackling obesity in government that focusing on what Sarah Palin is saying is pretty stupid, because it’s a lost opportunity to respond more directly to Obama’s approach to the issue.

What I mean is that if Michelle Obama really believes that childhood obesity is an important problem, then why doesn’t she come out in public opposition to government policies that encourage it? For example, shouldn’t she hold a press conference to trumpet her support for an end to government subsidies for sugar, corn, meat, and dairy?

But of course she isn’t going to do that. And the meanstream media isn’t going to call her on it. Agribusiness is big business, after all, and nothing, not even the health of America’s children, can be allowed to interfere with the ménage à trois of government, corporations, and the media. That’s why these sorts of subsidies weren’t even mentioned during the debates on the cost of healthcare last year, and they won’t be mentioned this year even as the federal debt continues to expand like, well, like an American waistline.

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