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Enchilada Sauce, Soft Vegan Ginger Cookies, and A Sad Observance

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:52pm
I thought I’d start this entry with that last little bit in my title, the ‘sad observance’, ‘cause, well, I don’t want to end the post on a depressing note. Yesterday, here in Columbia, many got out to observe the 5th anniversary of our invasion and occupation of Iraq. The actual anniversary is this Wednesday, March 19th, but weekdays aren’t the best for large gatherings. There was an anti-war rally and march through downtown Columbia, culminated by some very moving speeches and music. I don’t generally go to demonstrations as I feel that they, at least in the case of anti-war demonstrations, are pretty useless and sometimes just stand to perpetuate stereotypes. But there are times, such as the anniversary of this sad calamity, that I feel the need to get out with like minded people, and tell my fellow citizens and the rest of the world that not everything can be done in my name. I am sorry to the rest of the world – especially Iraq and Afghanistan (and also a lot of Central and South America, Mexico, Africa, East Timor, Chagos Islanders, and so on), I am sorry for what we do to you out of ignorance, incompetence, greed and arrogance. It’s times like these when I know I’m not alone in my sadness and anger.

There was a very good turnout to the event as well, over 1,000 people. That might not seem like a lot to some, but Columbia is not a huge town, and this is Missouri, a very conservative state. We had a wonderful speaker from the local chapter of the NAACP, a local representative, an Iraqi transplanted to the US, and a conscientious objector from the US military. His being there was a true act of bravery - he is putting himself at great risk, what he is doing for his principles, some might call it ‘deserting his country’, I call it ‘not wanting to kill people for their ‘freedom’’. It also reminds us that we cannot turn our backs on the veterans who return from this tragedy, it is not their fault that they are being used as a weapon of hate and greed, many enlisted only did so because they felt like they had no other opportunity in life, we must care for them with respect and treat them with dignity.
With that, I will share a few pictures, then move on to the much less depressing matter of food (including a recipe for yummy cookies!).

Students from the University of Missouri - Columbia holding banners.

Brett (who really needs a haircut and thus really fit the 'hippie' stereotype at the anti-war rally) signing the banner, and some guy who appears to be wearing a top hat.

Part of the crowd.

More crowd (I like that world flag).

The Iraqi speaker.

So anyways, thanks as always for listening to my crazy rambling, and now I'll get on to the food.

I made roasted veggie enchiladas again the other night, they are so good, but I get tired of using premade enchilada sauce. I started to wonder how difficult it would be to make my own and found out it wasn't too hard at all. I had an extra can of tomato sauce on hand, so I thought I'd give it a whirl, and if all else failed, I still had the premade sauce. Well, let's just say, I tossed a few spices into some tomato sauce, a splash of vinegar, and suddenly, I had excellent enchilada sauce. I doubt I'll ever buy the premade stuff again.

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
chili powder
garlic powder
onion powder
Mexican oregano

Season sauce as you like it. Add a tablespoon or two of water if you like a thinner sauce. Heat thoroughly and enjoy!

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but one of my favorite things to do, cooking wise, is to successfully veganize a recipe. Well, I found a recipe for very non-vegan, and also very non-healthy soft ginger cookies. Now, in my opinion, cookies shouldn't be healthy, they are cookies dammit, indulge yourself once in awhile, don't make them all the time, and leave some of the fat in so they are still enjoyable!!!! Enough of the tirade. I 'healthified' these to an extent, I switched the flours, sugars, cut down the amount of margarine use, and I also didn't have a couple of the ingredients, so I subbed in what I had. This is what I came up with and they were delish! I ate four last night, and Brett ate a bunch as welll. Four might not seem like too many cookies, but these bad boys are big!

Soft and Chewy Vegan Ginger Cookies
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup raw vegan sugar
replacement for one egg (I used Ener-G)
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp raw vegan sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt.

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, Earth Balance, and applesauce until well combined. Stir in the 'egg', water and molasses. Mix well.

Add sugar mixture to flour mixture in small batches.

Drop by heaping spoonfuls on a cookie sheet.

Flatten slightly and sprinkle vegan sugar on top.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Allow to cool on sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Makes 20 large cookies.

And finally, Cookiemouse, from the blog bearing the same name, so kindly asked me to write a guest blogging piece for his blog. I wrote about the environmental argument for vegetarianism and veganism. If anyone wants to check it out (our just check out his blog), you can find the entry here . Thanks again for asking me to do this Cookiemouse, I really enjoyed it.

Whew! This is a long post! Well, I took the day off of work today to give myself a three day weekend, so I'm off to enjoy it!

'Til next time!
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