GUEST BLOGGER MEG BROWN- PART II!

Happy Friday folks!!

I'm sure everyone is ready for the nice holiday weekend! I know I am!  I hope you enjoyed reading Part I of Meg's guest post yesterday.  If you missed it, please click here!  Now let's get into Meg's tips and yummy recipe!!

I do have some tidbits of advice for new vegans, especially those in smaller towns. Learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others...



Do not force your beliefs on anyone. It just makes them hostile and even more defensive about their eating habits. You'll end up alienating potential allies. This one comes from others' mistakes. I've seen it happen again and again and it's quite sad.


Win over the skeptics with vegan cookies and baked goods. Don't use the carob chips instead of chocolate chips, no one likes them. I'm not even sure any vegans like them. I think they're awful. Use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. They're delicious and "accidentally vegan." Scroll down for my ultra-famous Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies. They win over the biggest omnis.

Always bring snacks to family and friend events because they won't often think to take your food habits into consideration. Don't be mad, just take it with a grain of salt and laugh it off. Better yet, offer to bring a dish to pass and don't tell anyone it's vegan. If you tell them, they won't eat it. Okay, that's not always true, but many folks will not touch it if they know that. You sometimes have to trick them initially, then they will be more open to trying your dishes in the future.
You don't have to buy the super expensive ingredients in the cookbooks. Around here, they are very hard to find and cost a small (sometimes large) fortune. You can find substitutions online for those ingredients. My nearest WholeFoods is an hour away, so I learned to make do without a lot of the specialty items.

 
Take a B-12 supplement. You can find them at any drugstore. Lots of vegans don't realize how important B-12 is for brain and memory function. I like the kind that dissolves under your tongue. They taste like candy :)


Eat your greens. I know, it's hard sometimes. I'm pretty picky and don't like most greens, but I've learned to LOVE green smoothies. I don't feel right if I don't have one at least 4-5 times a week. Another good thing to do is to sneak shredded spinach into other dishes. I shred some small and cook it with stuff like marinara sauce and tacos. In smallish quantities, you can't even taste it. I know this from experience. I sneak it into all kinds of dishes because the Mr. doesn't like it.


Don't be mad when people ask annoying questions. Answer with grace. If they keep it up, then you can be snarky. Some people are genuinely interested where we get protein because they think that protein comes solely from flesh. They're wrong, they just don't know it yet. In case you yourself are wondering, even veggies have protein! Take that, meat!

 
There are TONS of blogs and websites that are chock full of vegan recipes, so you don't really even have to buy any cookbooks. Though I absolutely love these 3: Vegan Brunch, Appetite for Reduction, and The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. You can always hit my blog for recipes, too: www.TheSnarkyChickpea.com


Here's my famous Double Chocolate Pecan Cookie recipe:

This recipe is for 18-25 cookies, depending on the size you make them.

 
Ingredients:

 
1/2 cup plus 2 TB Earth Balance butter, don't melt, but soften for a bit


1/2 cup sugar


1/2 cup packed brown sugar


1 egg replacement (I use Ener-G)


1 tsp vanilla extract


1 cup all-purpose flour


1/4 cup plus 2 TB unsweetened cocoa


1/2 tsp baking soda


1/2 tsp salt


1/2 bag semisweet vegan chocolate chips


1 cup of toasted, chopped pecans


Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Depending on the size of the cookie sheet, you may need to use two.


In mixing bowl, cream together butter and both sugars with an electric hand mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg replacement and vanilla, then beat well.


In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Then, slowly blend the dry ingredients into the moist using the hand mixer until just combined (no visible dry spots).


Gently fold the chocolate chips and the toasted pecans into the mix with a wooden spoon.


Scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet, leaving the scoops at least 1 inch apart. You'll need more space if you've decided to add more butter, as they will spread out more. Cook 10-14 minutes, depending on the size. I use the toothpick test to determine doneness. The cookies puff while cooking, then flatten somewhat after you remove them from the oven.


Let cool about 5 minutes on an cooling rack...if you can. I dare you to wait the full 5 minutes.

This sounds SOOO good.  Thanks again Meg for such a wonderful and thoughful post! Everyone please be sure to support Meg on her blog and continue to watch her journey!

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