Being Vegan In College
There are thousands of students who are just like you; they’re out on their own for the first time and they want to eat healthy, but they don’t have time, energy, or the tools to be able to do heavy cooking. There’s a reason why people always joke about Ramen noodles and spaghetti O’s as the diet of college students.
When I was in college, I did cook for myself, even though I had really limited kitchenspace. I did not cook all the time, and I did rely quite heavily on noodles and other cheap things like that, but I also didn’t really know better. Looking back, I did some things right and other things wrong. Here are my best suggestions and tips for vegan college students I used and those I wish I knew at the time:
Connect with other vegans. Seek out your college’s animal rights or vegan club. Don’t have one? Well, now you have an opportunity to make a huge impact on your college campus. Yup, you know what you need to do—what the animals need you to do: start a club! Also look for grassroots organizations that are active in your community. Try searching ” “vegan,” and “animal rights” on meetup.com to see what’s in your area.
Canned beans are the new best friend you met on your dorm floor. They are very cheap and give you a nice shot of protein for a few meals. They also keep forever, so you don’t have to worry about using them right away.
If you do have access to a hot pot or a stovetop, dried beans are your BFF. They are even cheaper than canned beans and you can make a massive quantity that you store in the fridge and freezer and it saves you a ton of time.
Whole Grains are your second BFF. In that same pot as you cooked your dried beans, you can make a plethora of whole grains that will keep you stuffed throughout the day and leftovers can be stored in tupperware in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.
If you have a freezer, I highly recommend buying frozen vegetables. Second to fresh vegetables, frozen ones retain the most nutrients and flavors, and they’re the easiest to store without worrying about spoilage
1+2+3= The quickest, most filling, tasty meal for college students. Take a big scoop of your quinoa, brown rice, barley, or whatever grain you have in the fridge, add a scoop of beans, and then load it up with a bunch of your vegetables. Reheat the whole thing and top it off with your favorite spices or sauce and it’s an instant, healthy meal. Get creative by trying different beans, grains, and vegetables for a completely different meal every time.
Opt for whole grain pastas. Though they might cost a few more pennies than regular white pasta, they keep you full longer, which means you don’t need to binge eat on a bunch of junk.
Always carry vegan granola bars or energy bars with you everywhere.. Keep some form of energy bar that you don’t plan on eating in your backpack at all times. Because eventually you will be stuck on campus for longer than expected, and you will start feeling your stomach growl, and you will be tempted by those grimy vending machines conveniently located in every building. But not to worry, you know that if you dig deep enough in your bag you will find an energy bar waiting for you. Not only will this keep you safely on the vegan track, but it will also save you from eating fatty chips and candy bars.
I love dried fruit and nuts for snacks. I know packages of nuts and dried fruit seems like it’s expensive, but you don’t need more than a small handful to regain any lost energy, so that snack actually lasts much longer and is cheaper than a bag of chips, candy bar, or any soda.
Stock up on packaged vegan snack food! Yes, they deserve their own spot on this list. There are zillions of delicious vegan snacks that will make you love being vegan and turn you off from vending machines for life. Stock up on delicious vegan snacks and treats so anytime you’re tempted by ice cream or cookies you’ve got your own vegan (somewhat healthier) versions on hand to turn to.
Do a quick internet search for the closest farmers markets to your school. My senior year I actually found a Saturday market that was right down the street from my house and could get fresh vegetables and fruit much cheaper than anywhere else on campus.
Sandwiches. Buy a loaf of whole grain bread, already baked & seasoned tofu that you thinly slice, and shredded raw carrots or other veggie of choice. Spread your bread with Vegenaise or mustard and pile on the tofu and veggies. Great protein and fiber-rich sandwich. Place sandwich in a baggie and throw it in your backpack to eat later while out on campus.
College campuses always have cheap food nearby, and often you can actually find really good vegan food as well. I used to go to a place with huge burritos that were stuffed with beans and veggies and wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla, and it fed me twice. At probably $5-6 for the burrito, each meal was $2.50 or $3. Not bad. Keep your eyes open for coupons, student discounts, and specials.
Veganize your cafeteria. Get chummy with the dining hall director. It is the dining director’s job to make sure the dining options are suitable to all students, so let him know it’s important to students that school cafeterias offer delicious vegan options!
Get witty. There’s one thing you can be sure about when you go veg. You will get nagged and pestered by friends about being vegan. Whether it’s the relentless “are you sure you’re getting enough protein?” question or people dangling dead flesh in your face as if it would make you want to eat it, be ready with a witty or intelligent comeback. You’re not only standing up for yourself, but you’re speaking out for the animals as well.
Get involved in Vegan Outreach. You can order free literature from Vegan Outreach to hand out at your college. I wholeheartedly believe that this is the most important and effective thing you can do to help animals. After all, inspiring just one person to go vegan can save as many animals as being vegan yourself for your entire life! So grab some leaflets, head to the busiest area of campus, and be the influential person the animals are counting on you to be!.
Veganize your wardrobe. There’s nothing more hypocritical than leafleting in a pair of Uggs (or sporting other clothing or accessory items made from leather, wool, down, or the like). If you can afford it, donate your non-vegan items to people who can’t afford clothes, and go shopping for some cruelty-free gear! If you can’t afford it, just make a vow never to buy another item that is made from animals. Also, when you’re shopping for your college dorm, remember that down pillows and comforters are not vegan!
Have fun! In between classes and serious study time, don’t forget to have as much fun as humanly possible. This should probably be number one on this list. This is the time of your life where you are creating memories and lifetime friendships. Plus, the best way to inspire others to go vegan is by showing how happy, healthy, vibrant and energetic it makes you! Embrace your vegan lifestyle and those around you may just follow your lead.
In Honor of National Dog Day, We Are Featuring Some Favorite Vegan Dog Treat Recipes Your Canine Companion Will Love
Dog’s Day Afternoon Birthday Cake
(Pawsatively delicious for man’s best friend)
1 cup Organic Brown Rice Flour (gluten-free!)
1 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree (tons of fiber!)
1 Tab. Ceylon cinnamon (anti-fungal, great for dogs with allergies and dogs prone to yeast infections)
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted (helps with skin and internal health)
3 Tabs. agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Water
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tab. Apple Cider Vinegar (very beneficial for poochie)
Optional: Carob Chips (do not use chocolate as this is harmful to dogs)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a pie pan with parchment paper Combine the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix in the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, agave, water, and vanilla. Stir in the apple cider vinegar last to team up with the baking soda for the rise!
Pour into an oiled pie pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Allow cake to cool.
2 Organic Bananas, mashed
1 Tab. All-Natural Peanut Butter
3/4 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Mash bananas in a large bowl Stir in peanut butter and coconut. Spread on top of the cake! Sprinkle with carob chips if you wish.
Canine Carrot Cookies
2 cups whole grain flour
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
½ cup wheat germ
6 Tab. organic canola oil
1 Tabs. ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tabs. water (see note below)
1 tsp. molasses
1 cup mashed cooked carrots
Combine all ingredients. Form dough into little balls. Place them on oiled cookie sheet. Flatten each with a fork. Bake 325 until crunchy.
6 cups oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tabs. carob powder (do not use cocoa powder)
3 Tabs. ground flaxseed mixed with 9 Tabs. water (see note below)
1/3 cup organic canola or corn oil
¾ cup molasses
1 cup rice milk
1 can pumpkin
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pat into a 9 X 13” pan and bake at 325 for approximately 1 hour. Cut into squares.
1/2 cup organic canola or corn oil
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tabs. ground flaxseed mixed with 6 Tabs. water (see note below)
3 ¾ cups white flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon
Mix vegetable oil, shortening, syrup and egg replacers. Beat well. Add flour, soda and cream of tartar. Knead dough until mixed well. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls. Mix the cornmeal and cinnamon together in a bowl and roll balls in mixture.
Place 2 inches apart on an oiled cookie sheet . Press the balls down with a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400. Cool on a rack. Store in airtight container.
Bow Wow Biscuits
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups cooked bulgur wheat
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup nutritional yeast
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. liquid smoke
Mix all ingredients. Stir until a stiff dough forms then knead in the bowl until smooth. Roll out on floured surface. Cut out with shaped cookie cutters (I like heart or carrot shape). Bake at 300 until crisp and browned. Store in a sealed air-tight container.
Peanut Butter Pooch Cookies
5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 cups rolled oats
2-1/4 cups water
5 large carrots, finely shredded
2/3 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup organic applesauce
In a bowl, combine flour and oats. Mix in water, carrots, peanut butter, and applesauce. Knead dough until people-cookie dough consistency. Roll out dough to desired thickness on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to create shapes. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly firm. Let cookies cool… and let pup enjoy!
NOTE ABOUT FLAXSEED:
Mixing ground flaxseed and water together creates a slurry that acts as a binder in recipes.
Ground flaxseed is excellent for dogs. It aides in making their coat soft and shiney with healthier skin underneath.
Not All Wine is Vegan
Here’s a wine factoid you may not know: not all wine is vegan. Some wine is clarified with “fining agents” that are made from animal products.
These fining agents help eliminate proteins, yeasts and other molecules that give wine a cloudy appearance. By collecting around the fining agent, the molecules form larger particles that are then easier to filter out of the wine.
Popular fining agents include, “blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).” Not only are these animal-based products used to filter the wine, they might also get absorbed into the wine in small quantities. There’s nothing vegan about that.
The good news for all you vegans out there is that alternative, non-animal-based fining agents exist. Animal-free options include carbon- and clay-based fining agents. As the natural wine industry picks up steam along with the natural food movement, unfiltered or unfined wine is becoming more popular. Without fining agents, wine will typically become less cloudy on its own; it simply takes a little more time. Fining simply speeds up the process that may otherwise take a few months.
It’s easy to distinguish unfiltered or unfined wine because labels usually advertise those characteristics as selling points. But you won’t necessarily see wines labeled as unfriendly to vegans. As of now, there are no laws mandating that a wine label advertise what kind of fining agents were used in the bottle.
So how’s a vegan to know? Check out www.barnivore.com for good lists of vegan wines, and ask your local wine store about vegan options.
– Adapted from an article in the Huffington Post, March 24, 2015
Substitutes for Honey
Substituting honey while following a vegan lifestyle is easy! In recipes and other uses, simply use the Bee Free Honee product, maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut nectar, barley malt syrup or brown rice syrup. Keep a selection of these items in your pantry for a variation of flavors.
For more information on why vegans don’t eat honey,
PlantPure Nation Film Coming to Bloomfield Township
See the film “PlantPure Nation” on July 30 and August 5 at 7:30 p.m. It’s showing at The Maple Theatre, 4135 Maple Road, Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
The documentary film PlantPure Nation tells the story of three people on a quest to spread the message of one of the most important health breakthroughs of all time – eating a plant-based diet. After renowned nutritional scientist and bestselling author T. Colin Campbell gives a stirring speech on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives, his son, Nelson, and Kentucky State Representative Tom Riner work together to propose a pilot program documenting the health benefits of going vegan.
VegMichigan Tables at the 2015 Ann Arbor Art Fair
VegMichigan is again tabling at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. The Fair will run July 15 – 18. Hours are: Wednesday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Check here for more information http://www.artfair.org/.
Come out and enjoy the art fair! While there, stop by and visit our VegMichigan booth on E. Liberty Street (State Street Art Fair) where all the other non-profit organizations are located.
We have lots of great hand-outs and literature to share.
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
June is strawberry month. Make this recipe and enjoy the taste of summer.
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup organic turbinado sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
2 tsps.Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup almond milk
2 tsps. vanilla
¼ cup organic canola oil
Vegan whipped topping (optional)
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add in the rest of ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over-stir as this makes for tough biscuits. Pour into an oiled 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When cooled, cut into squares; slice each square open to serve and ladle Strawberry Sauce on top followed with a dollop of vegan whipped topping, if desired.
4 cups fresh organic strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup organic turbinado sugar
Combine the sliced strawberries and sugar together. Chill overnight, then spoon over the shortcake biscuits.
A dollop of vegan whipped topping is optional but a nice addition. I would suggest using the So Delicious Dairy Free Coco Whip Original topping. It is a coconut milk frozen dessert topping.
Check Out This YouTube of Jane Velez-Mitchell at VegMichigan’s VegFest 2015
VegFest 2015 Was Another Success!
Recipes From VegMichigan VegFest 2015
We promised you recipes that were demonstrated at the cooking presentations at VegFest on April 19 and here they are! ENJOY!
I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Chocolate Cake (Avalon International Bakery)
2 cups organic pastry flour
1 1/2 cups Turbinado sugar
1 1/3 cups hot water
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 Tab. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 6-inch round cake pans. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together water, canola oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients slowly. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
Bake 30-34 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before removing from pans to cool completely.
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chunks
1/2 Tbsp. soy milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup soy Earth Balance margarine, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Melt the chocolate chunks and soy milk together. Add the powdered sugar to the soy margarine and mix. Finish by incorporating the melted chocolate mixture into the margarine. Stir in cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate and frost the top. Add the second cake layer and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.
AFRICAN PEANUT SOUP (serves 4-6)
1 ¾ cups of onions, chopped
1 ¾ cups sweet potato, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup tomato juice
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
Salt and Cayenne pepper to taste
Sauté onions in oil until translucent, add carrots and ginger, continuing to sauté about 5 minutes. Add sweet potato and stock; simmer until veggies are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat. Add tomato juice and peanut butter and whisk into soup. Process in a blender until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency with more stock or tomato juice if needed. Taste; if the natural sweetness of the veggies is not apparent, add a little sugar to enhance. Salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Serve topped with chopped scallions.
Creamy Wild Rice Soup
½ cup wild rice, uncooked
1 ½ cups water
1 cup sliced celery
½ cup coarsely shredded carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 Tab. flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
¼ cup fresh parsley
Cook wild rice in the water till done, about 30 minutes. In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, over medium heat, cook the celery, carrots, onion and pepper till the celery is tender. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper; add broth and plant milk. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir parsley into to the soup.
Baked Shells in a Creamy, Cheesy Cauliflower Sauce
1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped
4 medium shallots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. flour
4 cups soy milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
6 oz, “Daiya” brand cheese
½ pound medium whole wheat pasta shells, cooked
1 medium bunch broccoli, cut into florets
¼ lb. vegan pepperoni (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup toasted panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400. Heat a large pot misted with vegetable spray over medium heat. Add cauliflower, shallots, garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until softened but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add flour and mix. Stir in soymilk and bring to a boil, then simmer about 15 minutes till cauliflower is very soft. Add nutmeg and half of the cheese.
Puree with an immersion blender. Add the cooked shells, broccoli, and veggie pepperoni (if using). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Bake about 30 minutes
Pumpkin Black Bean Bake
1 14oz. pack “Gimme Lean”sausage style
4 cups diced butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn, canned or frozen
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
½ cup water
1 tsp. “Better Than Bouillon”
½ container 12-ounce container Tofutti vegan cream cheese
½ of an 8-ounce box “Organics” brand cornmeal muffin mix
1 Tab. ground flaxseeds
3 Tabs. water
½ – ¾ cup plant milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 400. In a large pot, sauté the “Gimme Lean”, broken into small pieces, butternut squash and onion till squash is tender and onions are browned. Stir in the black beans, corn chilies, salt, water and bouillon. Heat through, then stir in the cream cheese until well blended.
Transfer mixture to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseeds and water and let sit a few minutes. Add the plant milk and pumpkin puree, and mix well. Add the cornmeal muffin mix and blend till just combined. Spread over the mixture in the baking dish. Bake about 30 minutes till toothpick comes out clean. Serve with salsa.
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 Tbs. rum or apple juice
1 Tab. ground flaxseeds
3 Tab. water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
½ cup mashed ripe bananas
3 Tab. plant milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Splash of lemon juice
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tab. powdered sugar (to sprinkle on after baked)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine raisins and rum or juice in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat on high one minute and set aside. Combine flax seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, applesauce, banana, plant milk, lemon juice, flax seed mixture and vanilla.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Fold in the walnuts. Spread batter in a 8″ square pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes or till knife comes out clean. Cool on wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
This Can’t Be Healthy Carrot Cake
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds
6 Tbsp. water
1 cup grated carrots
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350. Combine applesauce, both sugars, flaxseeds, water, carrots and pineapple. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and walnuts together. Add to the wet ingredients and combine. Spray an 8″ round cake pan with baking spray. Spread into pan and bake 45 to 55 minutes, till toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely. Top with glaze if desired.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 Tbsp. Tofutti or Daiya cream cheese
3 Tbsp. Earth Balance buttery sticks
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 to 1/3 cup powdered sugar
Whisk together until creamy smooth.