Friday, August 21, 2015

Vegan Movie Night: Speciesism

I'm so excited to be able to offer some free events through the Vegan Health and Wellness Meetup I recently formed.  In just two months we already have over 160 members, and I can feel the momentum growing after our initial meeting with 17 people, followed by a potluck with 23 people, and a movie screening last night with 36 very enthusiastic attendees.  This fills me with such hope that a vegan community is growing here in Connecticut. 

We had a fantastic event screening the groundbreaking film, "Speciesism:  The Movie" to a packed house which was followed by a lively discussion that continued into the parking lot after we got kicked out of the library as it was closing.  

Sometimes when you go to see a movie, people sneak out during the credits, or when there's a Q&A more people charge for the door. That was not the case last night: everyone stayed. There was such positive energy in the room that I hope everyone else left feeling as inspired as I did. I look forward to continuing the conversation at future events.

The positive comments flooded my Facebook event page and Meetup group when I got home:
"Wonderful event--thought-provoking film & discussion. Nice to meet so many vegans."
"This was my first vegan meetup and I am extremely happy I went! Feels amazing being in a room with like minded people. I look forward to getting to know all of you." 
"Thank you so much for putting it together! It was a great experience and it was great to be around people who feel the same way I do, when usually I'm surrounded by people who do not open their eyes to truth. I look forward to future get togethers as well!" 
"Insightful and useful." 
"Very powerful."
"Great movie, great event!"
And on and on.... The message was clear.  Films like this are so needed for people to come together and create a community of compassion, to feel connected, to be inspired to take action for the animals, and most of all, to spread the vegan message in everything that we do by being an everyday activist. 

Thank you to Mark Devries for this thought-provoking film and for asking some great questions.  I'm glad to have had the opportunity to screen it.  Thank you also to Tofurky for the generous donation of delicious products, coupons and recipe books, and to PETA, Compassion Over Killing and Vegan Outreach for the literature and DVDs.  Everything got gobbled up, and I'm sure word will spread far and wide about this experience! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Recipe: RAW "Zoodles" with Sundried Tomato Marinara and Cashew Parm

This is the perfect recipe for summer when you don't feel like heating up the kitchen but are still craving comfort food.  The flavors of the sauce will make you think you've been slaving away for hours, and yet it comes together in just seconds.

Instead of traditional pasta, the base of this dish is zucchini noodles, or "Zoodles," made with a spiralizer.  It's a fun little gadget that's great for kids or even the kid at heart.  You'll enjoy making these!

See how to make zoodles with sundried tomato marinara!

Raw “Zoodles” with Sundried Tomato Marinara and Cashew Parm 
Zucchini noodles or “zoodles” are made with a spiralizer and they’re a fun way to get kids involved in meal prep. The sauce can be whisked up in mere minutes with a food processor so you can have dinner on the table in no time.

Ingredients:1 zucchini
2 campari tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 8)
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Directions:Cut ends off zucchini, slice into pieces that will fit easily into spiralizer, and spiralize on thin setting to make “zoodles” Pulse tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and garlic 5-6 times in a food processor or until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse 1-2 times to combine. Use as topping for spiraled zucchini spaghetti.

Cashew ParmIngredients:1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked, drained & rinsed, then dried)
2-3 Tbl nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:Pulse together all ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and well blended.