VegNews does not deserve our support!

UPDATE: VegNews issued a second statement on Monday, April 18th. You can read it here. While I am not entirely pleased with their second response (and the fact that it took five days), I believe it is a step in the right direction. I'm pleased to discover their new photo policy will include actual photographs of the recipes they publish, and that all stock images used in the magazine and on the website will be vegan. This is what should have been issued on day one. There will never be any excuse for the unethical practices conducted by this publication, and no amount of 'apologies' will change what they have been doing for (presumably) a decade. However, my acceptance of their apology is accompanied by a great big "finally," rather than a "thank you."

I cannot stop thinking about THIS atrocity. On Thursday morning, Quarry Girl exposed me to one of the biggest blows veganism has seen: VegNews magazine/website have been passing off photos of MEAT/MURDER as vegan. They've been using stock photography of meat-laden dishes all over their magazine and website. They've been knowingly publishing photos of MEAT in a VEGAN magazine. And they don't feel they've done anything wrong, nor do they plan to change their actions or offer an apology to anyone. There are so many things wrong with this, I'm at a loss for where to begin. I'm saddened, infuriated and disgusted that a team of vegans so determined and committed to making veganism mainstream could even fathom that this would be OK.

Moreover, I'm utterly flabbergasted by their response to this. VegNews is not the victim here, yet they coyly try to explain otherwise. According to that press release, they've outlived most other independently published magazines by nearly a decade, have won major magazine rewards, are revered alongside Oprah and Martha Stewart AND reach more than one million viewers monthly...but they cannot afford to print/shoot/buy VEGAN food photography?! Excuse me, but there is no excuse for what they have been doing, and there is no excuse for continuing it. Just like their is no excuse for me to continue to support this organization. They've cheated us, lied to us, and have preyed/profited on our ethics and convictions. Please do yourself a favor and stop supporting an organization that is more concerned with profits, deadlines and "sit[ting] on the newsstand next to titles such as O, The Oprah Magazine and Martha Stewart Living."

If you care at all about honest journalism, upholding yours and others ethical convictions or veganism please write to vegnews@pcspublink.com or call 706-291-1546 (VegNews customer service) to express your disgust with their lies. They deserve to know that  they screwed up royally and that their actions and lack of self & customer respect will not be tolerated! Here is a tidbit of what I had to say:

Dear VegNews,

I wanted to inform you that I'm canceling my subscription to your magazine, news letters and recipes immediately. What you have done and your excuses for doing so are unacceptable to say the least, and utterly disgusting and unethical to say the most. Your preoccupation with profit and fame clearly outweigh providing an honest and dignified publication. You've compromised your journalistic integrity and editorial ethics. Almost every single recipe you've ever published has lost its credibility. I wanted to be sympathetic; I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. I trusted you. But your unapologetic, apathetic attitude and excuse has infuriated me to no end. I’m through with you and will no longer support your magazine or website. 


Cookbook Challenge II - Viva Vegan!

Viva Vegan!

Growing up in south Florida, I've always had a penchant for Latin American food. Whether it was a crispy pressed Cubano eaten in a friend's car on the way home from school, a warm pot of Arroz con Pollo or a steaming cup of cafĂ© con leche to get my morning (or evening) started Latin American food permeated my childhood. When I went vegan (and left south Florida), I found it really difficult to find the same flavors, textures and tastes I had grown up loving, as Latin-American cuisine relies heavily on animal products, especially meat. Dinning out provided only slim pickings, as many obvious "vegetarian" dishes actually contained animal products - chicken stock in the rice, lard or pork in the beans, sour cream in the guacamole (now, that one is just an abomination!), etc. I sort of forgot about all the foods of my youth...that is, until Terry Hope Romero, co-author of Veganomicon & more, came out with Viva Vegan!

Curdito (Salvadorian Marinated Slaw), Yellow Rice with Garlic, Quick Red Posole with Beans

I'm a one-pot meal kind of gal, so the fact that I decided to make three separate dishes proves something about how exciting Viva Vegan! is. Earlier in the day I made Terry's Annatto-Infused Oil (aciete de achiote) which went into the Yellow Rice with Garlic. Like most cooking oils, the annatto oil will last forever, so don't worry about using it all right away. The Yellow Rice with Garlic brought back so many memories of the Vigo-brand bags of yellow rice my mom makes, and the oil lent such a bright and beautiful color! I topped the rice with a Quick Red Posole with Beans - which is actually a ritually significant and traditional stew in pre-Columbian Mexico. It mainly consists of stewed tomatoes, beans and hominy and was really comforting. I'm not crazy about tomato based things - soups, stews, sauces, etc. - but this was really nice over rice and with a few garnishments. To lighten things up, I made Curdito, a Salvadorian slaw. I loved this! It was super fresh, crisp and light. Dressed merely in vinegar (I used apple cider) and oregano, there is little to mask the sweetness of cabbage and carrots or heat from the jalapeno.


Empanadas are so wonderful! Who wouldn't love a warm, flaky hand pie full of savory goodies? These were ridiculously easy to make, as the dough was brought together using a food processor. After letting the dough rest for several hours, I made Terry's Creamy Corn-Filled Empanadas which were (unsurprisingly) awesome. My filling did appear to sink, or my dough rose too much while baking, hence the large gap in the photo below. When I make these again, I'll be sure to poke a few holes in the dough to allow all that steam an escape route.

Empanadas Humitas (Creamy Corn-Filled Empanadas)

Yellow Rice with Garlic, Caraotas (Venezuelan-style Black Beans), Latin Shredded Seitan

I think I made yellow rice about three times this week. Above it's topped with Caraotas (Venezuelan-style black beans) and Latin Shredded Seitan. The beans were wonderful with the addition of brown sugar - something I've never tried before, but will definitely add on a regular occasion. The Latin Shredded Seitan was made using Terry's Steamed Red Seitan recipe, red bell peppers and spices and completed the meal perfectly. Some of my seitan was a little undercooked to start, but it crisped up nicely in this recipe.

more Caraotas!

More Caraotas! Matt and I ate the leftover beans with two, yes TWO, green vegetables.

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Capers

Upfront we've got some Swiss Chard with Raisins and Capers. I wasn't sure whether I was going to love this dish, or hate it. I love raisins, capers and swiss chard, but would they all get along for my sake? They sure did! Sweet, tangy and earthy are a winning combination in my book. This recipe was also some of the prettiest greens I've eaten. In the background is a scoop of Brazilian Braised Collards (subbed in for kale). I liked the bitterness of the collards mixed with onion, garlic and a few splashed of liquid smoke, but next time I'll try this with kale.

We're coming to the end of the cookbook challenge! This was actually the last week of meals, as all that's left is a dessert cookbook - Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar! I'm  not sure if I'll  be thoroughly participating, but it's worth a shot!