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Sunday, December 19, 2010

‘Holy Cow!’, A Compelling Online Vegan Recipe Blog

For more recipe-related articles featured in this blog, you can click this link.

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

~Khalil Gibran, the great mystic poet and artist~ 

Her blog is a compelling read that combines aesthetics, beauty, exotics, compassion, food cravings, varieties, color, love… !

She unlearns, she re-learns, she experiments, she creates, she inspires, she challenges, she teaches, she entices, she leads you to the “threshold of your mind”, she has turned the world upside-down for many!

You may either sit back relaxed and let yourselves be lead by her or may argue and debate with her; but what you will not be able to do is avoid her! She speaks the truth and what is: she speaks candidly about the politics of food. She follows her talks with action.

She is Vaishali Honawar, a former journalist with the Times of India Group, The Telegraph – Calcutta (Mumbai Bureau), and The Washington Times; and who, as many in the vegan world know is the creator and writer of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes. You can click this link to get into this amazing space. Born in a non-veg eating family and an all-time animal lover, Vaishali explains:

I gave up meat and fish and all other animal products, including dairy, eggs and honey, because I finally made the connection between animal cruelty and the food we so thoughtlessly put on our plates. As someone who loves to cook, I have gained a lot by becoming a vegan. I've become more experimental in the kitchen, and I discover and eat new foods every day. I decided to write Holy Cow! because I wanted to record all the new recipes I was trying, and a blog seemed like a great place where I could not just go back to them myself but also share them with anyone out there who is interested in leading a compassionate lifestyle.

Thus Holy Cow! was launched in November 2007. Holy Cow! now contains more than 300 recipes from all over the world. One highlight of the blog is that Vaishali has veganized many common recipes rendering them healthy and delicious than what they were. Examples are the egg-less French Toast, “not mutton” Mushroom Curry, ghee-less Carrot Halwa, dairy crème-less Navratan Kurma, dairy butter-less Bombay Pav Bhaji, dairy cheese-less Pizza, egg-less Quiche, and many more! For the recipe index on Holy Cow!, you click this link.

What you are likely to find at Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes

•    How to make your vegan dish look alluringly beautiful, delicious, and healthy. All these gorgeous pictures you see here have been borrowed from Holy Cow! and they link to their respective articles when you click them! The person behind the lens is Desi, Vaishali’s husband, who as Vaishali describes, “patiently takes all the pictures before I will let him eat”. Desi definitely has a way with the camera which suitably captures the love and thoughtfulness that has gone into preparing each dish.

•   The vegan substitutes you can use for eggs and honey, and animal-derived milk, yoghurt, cheese, buttermilk, and butter.

•   How to cook some not-so-commonly cooked vegetables and grains, such as plantain, wheat berry, avocado, edamame, bitter gourd, and squash to name a few.

•  Where and how to use herbs such as rosemary, sage, marjoram, basil, mint, and so on. (did you know you can grow the herbs in your gardens or balcony pots to lend that super taste to your cooking?)

•    How to make unforgettable, luscious vegan desserts, especially on festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and so on.

•    How to effectively use nuts and seeds such as almond and cashew in your cooking for that extra ‘richness’ most associated with non-vegan food.

•    How to cook meat substitutes such as temph, seitan, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), and miso.

With each of her recipes, Vaishali dispels the various myths about vegan food and lifestyle. Get into the world of Holy Cow! and you will find that vegan food offers unlimited varieties, is sublimely delicious, and brimming with life-giving nutrition. The vegan diet does not cause chronic diseases rampant in today’s society because it helps feed our immune system rather than our disease-causing cells. A strong immune system protects us at all times from diseases. What’s more, vegan food keeps your mind stress-free because it is available minus the needless cruelty, chemicals, and hormones.

We wish more power to Vaishali!

“By replacing mindless eating with mindful compassionate eating, each of us can really make a positive difference that will benefit ourselves and future generations, our children and theirs, who depend on our goodwill, as they will inherit what we leave in our wake.” ~Dr. Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado and Author of, 'The Emotional Lives of Animals'~

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