rocket ship go!

May 3, 2008

VwaV choco chips: emissaries of veganism

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 8:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

So this past Wednesday, one of my little bros turned 17, and I wanted to make him something nice that I had all the ingredients for: cookies! I asked what kind (I threw gigantoid peanut butter oatmeal ones out there first, hoping he’d jump on that bait because I really wanna try those, also suggesting double chocolate chip and regular chocolate chip). Since he’s not a big pb fan (I am now doubting if we are blood sibs), he selected the double chocs. Not a bad choice, though.

In the end, I still decided to make a half-batch of double chocolate and of regular choco chip, simply because I’ve wanted to make (and eat) the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. Boy I’m glad I did, cuz the recipe I used for the double chocs from the PPK yielded massively spread cookies the thickness of credit cards. This is probably all my fault, because I:

  • halved the recipe, which can lead to mistakes.
  • subbed 2 t. cornstarch whisked with 1/4 c. water, where 2 t. flax meal whisked with 1/4 c. soymilk should have been, and hoped for the best.

Feeling glad that I didn’t use all of what little sugar and chocolate chips I had on these crumbly, rinky-dink (but still delicious) cookies, I set about whipping up the chocolate chip cookies, which came out like a dream. They tasted just like my mommy used to make: buttery, chewy, loaded with chocolate, and really rich and satisfying. So, carefully lining the bottom of a cookie tin with the tasty unleavened double chocolate cookies, I placed the homestyle choco chips, heavenly little clouds, on top. When I brought them to my brother’s school*, he loved both of them. I think he’s kinda new to the vegan lifestyle, so I was happy to give him a good intro to it. Really good cookies (and cakes and other sweet things) are the way to bring someone to veganism, for sure.

The recipe for the wonderful VwaV chocolate chip cookies:

1 c. vegan margarine, at room temp
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 T. molasses
2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil a couple baking sheets.
Cream the margarine and sugar (I did it with a whisk) until fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla and incorporate.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir in choco chips.
Add this to the sugar-marg mixture and mix until a dough forms.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on the baking sheets, about an inch apart. Flatten slightly; they don’t spread much.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until mildly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then transfer to cooling racks.

(Originally from Vegan with a Vengeance, reposted at Yeah, That Vegan Shit.)

*Side note: When I went to see my bro at school, I waited for something like 15 minutes in the office trying to get a visitor’s pass. I came early to the school, but this kid’s lunch only lasts 30 minutes and I didn’t really want to deal with the hierarchical bs, so I went on to the cafeteria and found him. Nobody gave me a hard time, but apparently after I left he got called to the office, where the teachers told him I was “no longer welcome” at his school. I felt like such a bad-ass!

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November 4, 2007

coming out

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 2:24 am
Tags: ,

I kind of dreaded telling my family about going vegan. Nobody likes to cause a ruckus (down south we call it a-feudin’).  I was afraid that they would be frustrated, would be worried, but worst of all, I was afraid that they wouldn’t take it seriously. I’ve handled all that before, but that stuff brings out some serious insecurity in me. For realz.

I tried going vegan a few years ago. I blame its failure mainly on personal ignorance; also on doubt and concern from the people around me, on the lack of support and not knowing a single vegan; but also a lot on chocolate cake and an absence of vegan baking knowledge. I had no idea what to eat or where to get it; I’m pretty sure I was too new to vegetarianism in general to be able to do vegan right.

Then, several months ago, after a lot of reading, I tried becoming a raw foodist, straight from vegetarianism. I don’t know if you would call it a success: the longest time I could go 100% raw was for a couple of days. A lot of times I would break raw by having a total late-night binge on highly processed foods like sweets and ice cream. All those glorious refined carbs felt great at the time I was eating them. They felt horrible the next day.

It’s not to say that I don’t have faith in the raw foods diet; on the contrary, I think it’s really great. When I stayed on it I felt really fresh and clean inside, and raw foods are absolutely wonderful for your body. I think it is possible to be happily committed to it. But I missed cooking, especially baking (by that time I had acquired sufficient knowledge of vegan baking to know that it rocks).

So pretty recently, I changed my mind. I literally had a mental shift. Eating fresh should be a priority, but cooked food can be healthy, too. That’s an idea that I’m actually still working with.

So, as I addressed an email about coming out of the vegan closet to several family members, I was afraid they would see my return to cooked foods as back-tracking and also remember my failed attempt from a couple years back. In short, they wouldn’t take me seriously. But I believe that if something is worthy, jump in with both feet and get really wet and splash everyone around you.

My parents’ reactions surprised me. My dad asked me about it in passing over the phone; I was afraid he was going to interrogate me, but he was so light-hearted about it. It was amazing. My mom sent me a really thoughtful email reply, saying that she knows I’m a healthy person and believes that I’ve put a lot of thought into this decision.

And what a relief that was. What a beautiful thing it is to be accepted (even supported). Maybe I’m jumping the gun and by Thanksgiving they’ll be all up in my grill. But I don’t care. I’m basking in how good right now feels.

mystery ingredients
Ingredients for the vegan potluck tomorrow.

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