Monday

Veg-It by Grant Nash... and Vegan Marshmallows

I've been watching Grant Nash's Veg-It videos since he started posting them and they are very rad. Some of them will tell you what many of you already know, but I love his approach to promoting Veganism and awareness in South Africa. Nash is a well known figure due to his radio show on 5fm, so he seems to draw quite a crowd and he understands how to communicate with people. I just thought it was worth giving him a mention, considering he also found VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS. Vegan s'mores time! Woo!


Subscribe to his videos, he won't spam you. Promise. You can pick up Yotti Mellows Vegan Marshmallows from Flowerspot in Woodmead Johannesburg –  or call their Johannesburg office on 011 440 2015.

Vegan Shoes from Revolution

Revolution Online stocks Vegan shoes from Fallen. They've also got some on sale at the moment, so have a look!

Fallen Vegan Shoes from RevolutionOnline.co.za

Captain Vegan - Multilingual Recipe Site - Chocolate Banana Peanutbutter Smoothies

Captain Vegan is a multilingual Vegan recipe site that seems to have some pretty cool recipes. I especially liked this one which is so similar to a recipe we make for breakfast every morning.

Our recipe is a little simpler - and I prefer it:

CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIES

Makes 3 to 4 cups of milkshake

Ingredients:

4 or 5 organic bananas depending on size
two cups of cold organic rice milk
one large, heaped spoon of smooth organic peanut butter
Two tablespoons of cocoa powder

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients together.

Our smoothies are a much darker brown, and we drink them as our breakfast. We usually end up with a little more than a glass each, and I generally only get hungry again by around midday! It's way more filling than cereal, and technically healthy albeit heavy on the carbs.

Photo by arismenu.com
Here is the Arismenu recipe that Captain Vegan refers to:

Ingredients:

3 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
whipped coconut cream and sprinkles for serving, optional

Instructions:

Combine bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips, vanilla and 1/2 cup of your almond milk in a high-quality blender. Blend until smooth (you will likely need to stop and stir--it will be very thick). Slowly, add more milk until milkshake has reached your desired consistency. Serve immediately. Top with whipped cream/whipped coconut cream and sprinkles if desired.

The Big Count

Please fill out this very short survey counting how many Vegans there are in the world. Great initiative!


Tuesday

Hot Knives - Salad Daze - Vegetarian Cookbook


I'm beyond excited about this book that I found at the Sandton Exclusive books today called Hot Knives Vegetarian Cookbook - Salad Daze. EB Sandton don't have anything else that's interesting and Vegan - except for two reasonably boring Slow Cooking books - so don't bother going there immediately. Rather get your branch to order this for you. It's AMAZING. Or get it here at AK Press or Amazon. The recipes aren't all Vegan, but most of them are. These guys also run a blog called Hot Knives which is fabulous. They've been running it for years and their second book is going to print as I type this, it seems. I hope you can all get your hands on a copy of it! But enjoy their blog in the mean time! Yay for awesome Vegan recipes in Veggie cookbooks!

They have phenomenal recipes - like their Hot Squash Ice Cream on page 118 - or their Winter Seitan and Spiced Carrots... or every other Vegan recipe (and I'm sure the others too).

The Hot Squash Ice Cream is literally roasted butternut with Mulled Maple Syrup, Stout Beer, salt and a little oil on a bed of pecan nuts, sugar and spices.

I know what I'll be making first!

Thursday

Vegan Valentine - Episode VII - My Valentine

very happy me at the gallery - Photo by Eloise Ello
I had the most wonderful Valentine's Day. Ryan spoiled me all day! We had lunch at the Greenside Cafe, got to watch some West Wing at home during the afternoon (so naughty) and then he treated me to a surprise dinner and art gallery visit in the evening! It was magnificent. I even got love letters. Tiny little love letters that I keep close to my heart at all times. I felt like a princess.

Ryan surprised me for our evening excursion. I got so excited that I started hiccuping and couldn't stop during the whole car ride! He made reservations for us at Sai Thai in Cyrildene, it was a delicious dinner. We drank Coconut and Watermelon slushies, sharing sips over the little table for two. The Watermelon drink is fantastic. It's probably got some sugar in it - but aside from that, it's just watermelon and ice. It reminded me of a little restaurant in Hong Kong I go to in Hollywood Road every time I'm in town. I ate the Tom Kha soup for a starter - it's a dish that blows my mind every time I eat it! Ryan had the veggie spring rolls - they're not as good as the soup. I would recommend trying something else instead. I ate the sweet and sour tofu for my main - it was so good. Their sweet and sour sauce is so well balanced. Ryan had the Green Curry - something I might have next time. They have a huge Vegan menu, which is fun - but frustrating, as I just want to eat all of it!

illustration by Eloise Ello
After dinner we went to an art exhibition closing night in Braamfontein. Friends of mine are running a pop up gallery called the Kalashnikovv at 70 Juta Street. It's rad. They are exhibiting young artists, illustrators and designers - something that isn't happening in the mainstream galleries in Joburg, so it's a breath of fresh air.

I hope you all had a lovely day. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. I am truly so fortunate in having found such a fantastic partner to share my time with. And it doesn't take Valentine's day for Ryan to make me feel special, it happens every day. Thank you, my darling. I adore you.

Kalashnikovv Gallery, Braamfontein


Tuesday

Vegan Valentine - Episode VI - JHB Art Galleries

There are so many beautiful art galleries in Johannesburg, and the rest of South Africa. Go visit some Art Galleries on Valentine's Day, or this weekend. Show your significant other just how cultured you can be! If you're in Cape Town, there are plenty of great shows on at these galleries CT venues. There is also What if the world gallery, and several others that are Cape Town specific. If you're in Stellenbosch, SMAC Gallery will have something great on. If you're in Knysna, there's Knysna Fine Art for a treat.

The Everard Read Gallery has an opening on Thursday 14th February opening at 18:00. Go see some beautiful art and drink a glass of wine. Sadly, and suddenly, Keith Joubert passed away this month. This opening will also be a celebration of his life and his work.


The Goodman Gallery in Rosebank has Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin / To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light on until the 16th of February.

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
I.D. 20 , 2012
Unique Polaroid
107mm x 86mm

The Standard Bank Gallery has a contemporary art exhibition until the end of March. MAKING WAY: Contemporary Art from South Africa & China exhibition is promising. Worth a visit this week!

Athi-Patra Ruga, Performance Obscura, 2012. Photo: Ruth Simbao
The University of Johannesburg Art Gallery has Michael Meyersfeld: DISCORDANCE on at the moment. The fine art photographic show is moving, with a magnificent use of light in the images. There is also a walkabout with the artist on Saturday 16th of February at 10:30.

'Ponte Worshippers', 2012, Archival Print on Innova FibaPrint Photo Paper, 280gsm
Stevenson in Braamfontein currently has the Loom of the Land group exhibition curated by Anton Kannemeyer on its walls.

BRETT MURRAY
Rainbow Over Nkandla
From the Made in China series
2012/2013
Oil on canvas
105 x 150cm
The WITS Art Museum, also known as WAM, usually has something interesting in their galleries. Worth checking that out too.

Vegan Valentine - Episode V - Fun

Valentine's doesn't have to be dinner and a movie. It can also be an adventure! An adventure for couples, friends, or a whole family!

Computicket has tons of events all around South Africa on Valentine's day. Some in Johannesburg include a hypnotist, a mentalist, tap dancingtrips to the cradle of humankind and the most interesting: sky dining where one is suspended from a crane at the Indaba Hotel. Sounds pretty scary. I wonder if they cater for Vegans?



The Bioscope at Main Street Life in the Johannesburg Maboneng precinct is hosting an open air movie screening on Valentine's day. They're screening True Romance. Looks pretty good! Love some 80s romance! There aren't really many Vegan meals you can get around there, so eat before you go.


There are some movies at the cinemas that look like they could be interesting, including some romance. Klein Karoo, Playing for Keeps, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Movie 43, Argo, Quartet, Here comes the boom, Lincoln, Anna Karenina, The Words, Intouchables, Les Infedeles... there seems to be no end to the list of potentially awesome movies.


However you end up spending Valentine's day - I hope you have a great time. I was told to stop asking questions about what's happening on Thursday, so I don't even know what I'm doing yet! I love surprises though, so I don't mind what happens.

Read Vegan Valentine - Episode I - Valentine's Day
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode II - Romantic JHB Vegan Friendly Restaurants
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode III - Chocolate
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode IV - Heart
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode VI - Art Galleries

Monday

Animal Testing Ban in the EU - Victory for Animal Rights

Finally the European Union has banned the sale of products that have been tested on animals. It's a great victory for Animal Rights. Read about it on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine blog as well as on the Peta site. Here is another article highlighting the Israeli ban on cosmetics tested on animals as well as some more information on animal testing bans and what is happening to set them in motion elsewhere.

Sites such as AVAAZ.org actually make a difference. It's a way to be an armchair activist and make a real contribution to causes. These petitions really work, and there are people taking these petitions to decision-makers. Every voice counts. Just take a look at what it achieved for Animal Testing in the EU! There are lots of emails that come through from them every week and many petitions to sign, but most of them only take five seconds of your time.

Vegan Valentine - Episode IV - Heart


Leonardo da Vinci sketches of the human heart

So valentine's is full of Heart symbol related paraphernalia pertaining, amongst other meanings, to the arcane idea that love was a feeling emanating from one's heart. We now know is really the brain's department.

I wanted to be nothing but a Cardiologist when I was a kid. I learned all about the heart - about it's different chambers, its functions and its diseases. I was insatiable. I had access to my father's medical textbooks, so I spent hours poring over the text and images. I even got to dissect a cow's heart at a 'witch' themed party, which was one of my most exciting childhood party moments. (Could I seem any less Vegan). While the other kids were telling the class they wanted to be ballerinas, lawyers like mommy, what-have-you, I was saying, "cardiologist." My father eventually allowed us to choose to study whatever we wanted to, as long as it wasn't medicine. Go figure.

The real heart that matters on Valentine's day, and every day, is your organ - the heart. That little pump that keeps your body going, your ticker, your clock that shouldn't miss beats. Unless it's on Valentine's day - that's alright. But furthermore, you should be looking after it, because its condition determines not only your longevity, but your quality of life.

This article by Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine explores the negative effects of eating meat on your heart. The coincidence of the surname Barnard and his subject were not lost on me, it's pretty rad. I wonder if they are in any way related, considering the last 200 years or so - not in the extended "we are all from the same mitochondrial mix" way.

Human Heart
Dr. Neal Barnard states that "Unlike foods from plants that enhance our health, meat and dairy products have the same hazards as cigarette smoking, including increased risks of strokes, heart disease and cancer." That's a tough pill to swallow for carnists. In another article on the PCRM site, it is stated that "The vegetarians were also slimmer and had lower total cholesterol and blood pressure. These findings are consistent with other large population studies showing vegetarians have less incidence of and death from heart disease." These findings won't be new to many of you, and I may sound like I'm preaching to the choir, but you wouldn't let your children or loved ones smoke - because you know it will shorten their life expectancy and increase their chance of chronic disease. It's time everyone sees meat consumption in the same way they perceive cigarette smoking. I know that we're not going to get everyone to stop smoking, or to stop eating meat - but this is a pretty good motivation to eat far less of it, if you cannot commit to none at all.



Valentine's is about pledging your love to someone. Pledge it to yourself, and your heart - the one in your chest. Also, take it for a run. Your heart will <3 you.

Read Vegan Valentine - Episode I
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode II
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode III
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode V