20 February 2015

Palak (Spinach) Rice Recipe: A Better Way To Eat Rice


Palak Rice is a simple recipe that promises a remarkable taste, a taste that would want you to make it again and again plus you are not eating rice alone!

It took me two try outs to make this recipe better. The first one was watery though it turned out fine but not good enough. So I was determined to make it again taking some modifications into consideration. This is the second one which turned out pretty good! And there has been a deal to make it at least once in 10 days.

Here's how!

Ingredients:

  • Cumin seeds (1 tsp.)
  • Turmeric powder (1 tsp.)
  • Coriander powder (1 tsp.) 
  • Red chilli powder (a pinch)
  • Green chilli (1 piece, cut into half)-optional
  • Garlic (2 or more heads, chopped into fine pieces)
  • Ginger (an inch, chopped into small pieces)
  • Onion (2 or more mdium size, chopped into small cubes)
  • Spinach (around 200gm.)
  • Peanuts (Dry roasted, a handful or two)
  • Carrots (small, chopped into small pieces)
  • Coriander leaves or spring onion for garnish
  • Rice (1 cup, boiled)
  • Oil (2 tbsp.)
  • Salt to taste


Procedures:

Pre-cooking
1.  Boil 1 cup of rice. Set aside. Make sure that the rice isn't too boiled or wet-cooked.
2. Dry roast peanuts for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep mixing to avoid scorching!
3. Wash palak (spinach) properly in running water. Cut in half if needed then blanch. Set aside. When cool, blend to make palak puree. 
4. Since the puree is watery, cook it for few more minutes till much of the water is gone. Watery makes palak rice wettish.

Final Cooking
1. In a deep pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
2. Add ginger and garlic. Sautee till brown. 
3. Add onion and green chilli, sautee till transluscent.
4. Add carrots. Mix together and sautee for 1 minute. Do not over cook!
5. Add red chilli, salt, turmeric, and coriander powder. Sautee for 20 seconds.
6. Add palak puree. Add a little water to fully remove the entire puree. Mix together and sautee the mixture till the mixture is neither dry nor watery.
7. Then add rice and roasted peanuts. Let it cook for 1 minute.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves or spring onion. Serve hot.

We love palak and this is just one of the few palak recipes that I have been making. And I always look forward to making it again, as long as spinach is available in the market.

Do try it yourself. You'll not regret it! Enjoy a healthy meal!


17 February 2015

If Going Vegan Means...



I will lose my friends, I don't mind! 
I'd rather be surrounded by like-minded people than people who never wished to understand what values I really stand for. I firmly believe that a great friendship is built when two or more people share similar values and outlook in life, when they try to understand and discuss ideas, thoughts, and issues in life together with open-mindedness, even though it would mean letting go of an old belief and accepting an entirely new one that is universally true and right,
because great friends stand for what is right, not who is right! 
If I lose them now, it means I never had them at all.

I will be ostracized/ex-communicated by my meat-eating family members 
and relatives, I am not worried! 
To ostracize without even trying to discuss with me the kind of change I am going through means they don't want to be part of what I have become. Not wanting to hear and listen the arguments behind veganism or taking meat and dairy off their plates means they are not interested to question the lifestyle that they have been following. A close-knitted family talks and discusses important issues that really matter in life. To practice traditions and the usual ways of life we call "normal living" but are wrong is never acceptable thus needs questioning, needs changing even if it would mean starting a new and different tradition altogether.
A real family looks upon every member's well-being,
after all that's what family is for!
Well, at least this is what I realized now and I am going to stick with it.

But why am I not worried?

Because it is time to really ponder what does family and friends really mean. Losing them means it is time to make new ones. I am not afraid to make new friends. I am not scared not to find any either. 

To continue eating meat and consuming milk and milk products is wrong. Morally wrong! With what we now know about animals and their lives, there is no debate about it.

And I know, they-my family and friends, too, see it as wrong that needs to be righted. But the big question is will they want to right it?

Doing the wrong thing is not the one that is reprehensible. What's deplorable is when you know, when you are told or shown, that you are doing something wrong, and yet you are not doing anything about it or not even ready to change it.

I am going to be alone, it's fine with me!
But I am quite sure I will never be alone. What I am doing is just righting the wrong! And the good thing about the change I embraced is that my family got extended. It is no longer an exclusive human family but a family with non-human animals who have been exploited for centuries just because they can't do anything about it, and all by one species -humans!

But there is one thing that is sure though.
There is always time to contemplate and room for change.
And a change for the right thing is always welcome and must be supported!


16 February 2015

Why Am I Vegan?


Before I start ranting about my personal thoughts on the above title, I would like to clarify two things about veganism.

First, veganism is not about health. A man can eat veggie burgers, pizzas, cakes, pastries, noodles & pastas, or drink sodas & concentrated juices every day of his life and still be a vegan but definitely not a healthy vegan.. This is also the main reason why there are vegans who are fat, obese, or overweight because Veganism is not about health.

Second, veganism is not about NOT eating meat. A vegan can eat meat but a meat of an animal that has lived a life of health & freedom and died a natural death. 

Someone said to me that the dead should be buried. No! Because there are other animals that would gladly have the dead as food. There are scavengers around, and even humans were once in such a situation. To bury, burn the dead or not has nothing to do with veganism but of a personal decision depending on one's cultural upbringing. I myself would allow my body, when dead, to be fed to the vultures. 

So is there such thing as ethical carnivore? Yes! They are vegans who fully understood the ethics and philosophy of veganism and accepted that contrary to what most people believe, veganism is a complex philosophy.

It is so complex that many don't even get it!

So, why am I vegan?

Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote says "The life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being". And I believe it applies to all beings, to all creatures that roam this planet.

I desire to live the life I was given and I am convinced that these animals we murder for food, clothing, or experiments desire the same. They surely wish to live a life that is free from any kinds of threats whether it is injury, torture, abuse, or death.

I have learned to value the lives of these animals NOT as food but as individuals who can feel pain, sorrow, happiness, or embarrassment. They sulk when their freedom is deprived yet they show affection when shown one. They recognize you as another animal that is kind and compassionate but would avoid you when you become a threat to them.

I realized that they too have families and friends whom they protect, play with, and care for. It has not passed my observation that they cry and mourn for a loss of a loved one. They call and look for a missing child.

And if given the opportunity, they can become the kind of friends you never had.

Yes, I learned to see and accept that they are no different than me. These animals we consider food are amazing creatures who deserve nothing else but love and affection. They, too, want to live in health and freedom!

These realizations brought me to investigate further to fully understand why you should become vegan, too! Killing or murdering innocent individuals is simply wrong. And I know that you know it, after all, a murder of the innocent can never be justified.  You just need to acknowledge it and extend its meaning towards these remarkable non-human animals.

So let's talk about....

Meat! Whether it's white or red, it's all the same. Meat means murder! There is no other way! 

Why murder? Because when you decide to have meat on your plate 
you become a willing participant in murdering the innocents. You have become the means of taking innocent lives -the lives of sentient animals, that, just like you and I, desire to live and express their natural behavior. You also acknowledge that the lives of others, especially the life of pigs, chickens, cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, or fishes have no value to you other than food or clothing. You become responsible for a crime that these innocent beings pay a priceless price -their life!

Milk! Cow's milk is for calves, human mother's milk is for babies. Cow's milk, or any other animal milk, is never for human babies and definitely not for adults. It's outrageous and shameful! 

When you drink dairy milk and/or eat any products of or with milk,
you become the means for murdering the newborn calves and sending the mother cows to a lifetime of misery, early and untimely death. 
Why? Because calves, right after they were born, are separated from their mothers for milk production, for human milk consumption. These calves, who have not tasted their mothers' milk, which is rightfully for them, are murdered for veal or just left to die.
Each mother cow, on the other hand, suffers from a loss of a child (If you haven't seen a video of how a mother cow would run after her baby, please do!)
All mother cows suffer from over-milking, from repeated artificial insemination so she keeps getting pregnant for more milk. And when the times comes that these mother cows' milk production decreases, they too, are butchered for your meat.
These practices are horrendous. The more you see and read about them the more it becomes clearer which species is savage, cruel, and evil.

Eggs! When you consume eggs you must be so impatient you cannot wait for these eggs to hatch, the chicks to grow, the adults to live a full life and die a natural death before you can have their meat. When you do this, you just willingly send hens into 2 weeks of starvation so that they would lay more eggs than usual. You allow them to be confined in a cage you yourself would never want to be in. You just let the male chicks macerated or ground alive or suffocated to death for they have no future use to the egg industries.

These exploitation and murder are happening every second of the day...all for human consumption. A kind of food that humans don't need to survive nor become healthy. In fact, the products of these exploitations are the unhealthiest diet you could ever provide for yourself or for your family.

So why am I vegan?

~Because these animals are now my friends and families that I would care for and protect to the best of my capabilities.
~Because they have the rights to inhabit and share this only home we have free from harm. Earth is their home, too, you know, and I acknowledge that with high respect!
~Because I finally disposed of, forever, the "selective compassion" that I learned at a young age. 
~Because I chose to live a life of peace, compassion, kindness, love, and affection that includes every living creature on this planet.
~Because I realized that the kindness, compassion, peace, or love that people talk about is meaningless until they realize that these words are meant for non-human animals, too.
~Because I don't want to be part of such atrocities anymore. I don't need to murder or be the means of their murder for my food, my clothing, my entertaiment, my well-being.

And I don't really need their meat or their milk or their eggs to survive and be healthy. You don't need them, too! 

The picture below displays just a portion of what humans need to survive!


I am vegan because it's the least thing I can do for the animals.

How about you? Given the ethical and health aspects of eating meat and dairy products, what would make you become vegan?