Wednesday, 17 October 2012

CALL FOR HELP

I received an email from Humane Research Australia, asking for help on an issue regarding innocent lambs being sent to slaughter, after being subject to university testing. I have copy and pasted the information below - we need as much support as possible to save these poor lambs!! It’s outrageous that even with the offer from Edgar’s Mission; the university is still planning on shipping these lambs off to the abattoir.

So please write an email to the people listed – I did, it took me 2 minutes!!

Background

LaTrobe University students have been using lambs in a study to determine the effect of different feeds on wool growth. (Animal Nutrition AGR2AN)
Humane Research Australia has concern for the wellbeing of these animals. We have been informed that the lambs are kept indoors with limited space and on grated floors. It appears from the photos that one lamb is biting on the pen bar suggesting they are displaying stereotypic behaviour. Such housing, together with handling procedures, including weighing and ultrasound measurement of weight gain, is likely to have caused distress to these animals and it would be highly questionable whether any potential benefit from this research will have outweighed the harm caused.

One of the lambs in the study

The lambs are due to be sent to slaughter any day now, so time is fleeting. Edgar's Mission have volunteered to adopt the lambs and pay for transport, but this is not being received well by the university as they are still considering sending them to an abattoir for slaughter.

"We asked nicely, we organised everything, we wrote petitions, we argued at meetings - but this wasn't good enough for La Trobe! There is NO reason why these animals should not be given a home at Edgar's Mission, or indeed any of the MANY places that volunteered homes to these sheep.

And even after all our reasonable arguments, the University still refuses to even improve the experimental conditions for future years! This is appalling and insulting coming from a University that 'cares for animal welfare' and 'respects the views of students'. Come one and all - help us tell the University that we MUST be taken seriously!" - Allison Drinkwater, NAPS executive.

Timmy & friends at Edgar's Mission - these lambs could join them

Please email the following to voice your objection and to urge them to surrender the lambs to Edgar’s Mission.

Prof. Andrew Brennan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research) A.Brennan@latrobe.edu.au

Ms Leia Demtschyna, Senior Coordinator, Ethics L.Demtschyna@latrobe.edu.au

Chancellor, Prof Adrienne Clarke  Adrienne.Clarke@latrobe.edu.au 



UPDATE!!

I received an email with good news this morning! Looks like the email campaign and protesting worked! So thank you if you emailed, passed on the details etc - we can make a change!!

Further to our recent emails calling on assistance to save lambs used in LaTrobe University research, the university has listened to your concerns and have agreed to provide the lambs to one of three parties who have expreseed interest in taking them.

Whilst we do not know who they are at this stage, the university has stated they have "made inquiries to ensure that the three offers it received are from credible agents, and that none of them intends killing the lambs or sending them to slaughter."

Thank you to everyone who has contacted the uni to express their concern, but most importantly thank you to Allison Drinkwater who alerted us to the problem and for fighting to save their lives.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Food Porn Friday – October 5

Wow. Last night I was one of the lucky few who secured tickets to see P!nk at an exclusive one off gig at The Forum last night (thanks to the lovely Litha). I will post more details next week, but we had such a blast!! I took my gorgeous friend Madi with me, and we rocked out. A lot of people are not fans of P!nk (L-whack is one of them!) but she really is a true entertainer, and puts on an amazing show – she’s awesome!!

Here’s just one pic that I took last night.

This was taken during the song 'Try', P!nk's new single

Now onto the food porn!

SAVOURY

Thai red curry

Who doesn’t love a Thai curry? When I was there, I would have a different coloured curry every night – I couldn’t get enough of them!

Well this is Vegie Head’s own recipe. She recently came back from a holiday over there (lucky duck!) and she did a cooking class, so she’s sharing some of her wisdom by creating a vegan-friendly version!

Photo: Vegie Head

SWEET

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 30. A lot of people say itis stressful turning 30 – I don’t agree. I’m welcoming my 30’s with arms open wide, looking forward to the challenges and adventures ahead!

So one of my requests for my family birthday celebration (which we’re having tonight) was a vegan birthday cake! My mum was happy to bake one, but she’s been busy with clients lately so I asked for a Mister Nice Guy cake! So we’re going to enjoy a ‘Betty White’ cake for dessert tonight (not Betty Crocker as my mum called it when she was double checking what I wanted… haha!). I ummed and ahhed over which flavour to get.

A few weeks ago, they posted a picture of one of their cakes on Stalkbook Facebook, and I am sharing the love. Behold the Double layer Berry Boom cake!

Rich dark chocolate cake filled with blueberries and covered with creamy vanilla bean frostingPhoto: Mister Nice Guy

I cannot wait. Bring. On. Cake!!


And lastly, this week is World Animal Week.  I came across this story about an orang-utan and a dog that became best friends (scroll down to the second story). It’s a heart-warming, and lovely story – with some hilarious pictures!!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Today is different.

Normally on a Friday, I have started the tradition of #FoodPornFriday. But today I’ve decided not to.

This week in Melbourne, there has been a disturbing and chilling case of a young woman who mysteriously disappeared off a busy street (less than 700m from home). Sadly, we woke to the news this morning that her body was found overnight, and that a man has been arrested and charged with her abduction, rape and murder.

For me, the thing that hit hard was that it was so close. The innocent victim, Jill, was a 29 year old with her whole life ahead of her. She was going home after a few drinks with friends and colleagues, and had probably done that walk countless times before. She refused an offer from a friend to walk her home because she thought she was safe.

When the Police released the CCTV footage of her final sighting (a brief interaction with her now confirmed killer), it was chilling and upsetting to see. She was clearly uncomfortable being stopped by this man, and unsure of what to do, she did what most of us has done at one time or another – called her brother, tried to look busy, and when she thought she was ok, she kept on walking.

The agony and pain that her family and friends have gone through this week, not knowing where she was, dealing with the media intrusion – and now the unimaginable horror to discover that she was so brutally violated.

Now that Jill has been found, her family can begin the grief process. There is closure to some degree, but so many questions remain unanswered.

It’s a reminder to us all that we need to be aware of ourselves and our surrounds at all times, that sadly there are antisocial people out there with no respect for others.

May Jill now rest in peace; my thoughts are with her family and friends.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Cheesecake heaven

Prior to becoming vegan, I didn’t really eat much cheesecake. I had a cheese allergy, but I would occasionally indulge in a piece on a special occasion.

My mum used to make cheesecake’s for the local cafĂ©, who would serve them and sell them (we’re talking a looooong time ago, before food/hygiene laws changed!) so I knew she likes cheesecake (and she was well known for making yummy ones!). So with her birthday approaching, I started looking into what to make her for the celebration!!

I knew I wanted to make her a vegan cake (that was a no brainer!) but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go safe vegan (easy chocolate cake) or ‘scary’ vegan (cheesecake).

I settled on scary vegan.

**cue scary music**

I decided to make Vegie Head’s Better than Reece’s Peanut Butter ‘Cheesecake’ – knowing it was a VH recipe, I was in safe hands and it was less scary.

Getting the ingredients proved to be a bit more of a nightmare than I thought! I already had most of them, but I needed some Tofutti cream cheese, vegan biscuits, more agave syrup and silken tofu (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!).

I went to 3 supermarkets to get the 4 ingredients!! By the time I got to the last supermarket, I was ready to have a small breakdown. But I guess if these places are sold out, it means there are people out there buying vegan products, so that’s a win!!

I set out making the cheesecake, making one helluva mess along the way!!

I’m not going to post the recipe, because you can find it in Vegie Heads e-book, a genuine bargain at only $7 for almost 30 delicious recipes!!

I brought the cheesecake out of the fridge, stuck a candle in it, we all sang happy birthday then served it up. At this point, no one was any the wiser. I waited until everyone had enjoyed a mouthful, before I gleefully announced – it’s made of tofu!!! L-whack looked a little freaked out initially, but then dug back into his piece (we’re both very sceptical of tofu)!

Sorry about the lack of focus...

This ‘cheesecake’ is so rich, creamy and delectable – and oh so easy. You could even just serve the filling as a mousse or something.

I absolutely cannot wait to make this again, and freak out some more unsuspecting people – who knew tofu could taste so freaking good?!!

Thank you Miss Vegie Head for your inspiring, delicious and non-scary recipe. You helped mum’s birthday to be a great one xx

Friday, 21 September 2012

Food Porn Friday – September 21

I found out some devastating news last night.

My hairdresser is pregnant…

Who is going to cut my hair now?!! It took me years and years of terrible hairdressers and shocking haircuts to find Rebecca… I’m convinced it’s because of her cut/styling that I was pulled out of the audience for ‘Hey Hey it’s Saturday’… (Hahaha, long story!)

I got my hair cut last night (looooooong overdue) and Rebecca mentioned how different and healthier my hair seemed. I told her about my change in diet (and I have also started using Desert Essence coconut shampoo/conditioner in the last 6 weeks) and she was impressed!!

I mean, I’m happy for her being knocked up by her hubby and all that, but…

I need some food porn now to cheer me up.

SAVOURY
Roasted tomato tortilla pizza with basil cashew cheeze

Photo: Oh She Glows
Ingredients
Roasted tomatoes
0.90 kg/2 lb. tomatoes (I used mixed cherry tomatoes)
1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Fine grain sea salt & pepper
For the basil cashew cheeze
2 garlic cloves
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/4 cup roasted tomatoes
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
Crust
Large tortillas
Method
Place 1 cup raw cashews in a bowl of water and soak for at least 1 hour. Rinse and drain before use.
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop tomatoes and place in a bowl and mix with olive oil, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on prepared pan and roast for about 30 minutes or so. Remove and reduce heat to 350F.
For the sauce
In a food processor drop in garlic cloves and mince.
Now drop in the basil followed by the roasted tomatoes and drained and rinsed cashews. Stop to scrape down the side of the bowl.
Now add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until super smooth. Season with fine grain sea salt to taste. Add more oil or lemon juice if preferred.
Place your desired amount of tortillas on baking sheet. Spread sauce on each tortilla followed by a generous amount of roasted tomatoes.
Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes (watch closely) at 350F or until crisp and golden. Serve immediately. Store leftover sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge. It should keep for a week or longer.


SWEET

Pumpkin chocolate-chip pizookie

Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie
Ingredients
2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (500g total, once drained)
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin (or butternut squash or sweet potato)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp. vegetable oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
Method
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a food processor (NOT a blender). Blend until it’s super smooth.
Mix in chips, and pour into a pan. (I used a 10-inch spring form pan, but you can use a smaller pan if you want a really deep-dish pie.)
Cook at 350F for 35 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.