In Betty Goes Vegan, Annie and Dan Shannon have set an admirable goal for themselves and their readers: to create a vegan cookbook full of recipes inspired by the 1950s edition of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book. Betty Crocker, who was created in 1921 by all-male staff of Gold Medal Flour, has come to represent the all-American wife and mother: a woman who could cook any dish impeccably, with a smile on her face. Maybe it’s a smile of pride for caring for her family; maybe it’s gratitude for her lithium prescription. Yes, Betty Crocker is dated—a white, heteronormative, middle class token of America—but she was the gold standard for cooking and homemaking for many women for decades.
The giant room was carved up into booths and filled with folding tables. Vegan chefs were selling snacks to enjoy now and to take home for later, and people snaked through the room, clutching their food tickets, ready to order. I was at Chicago Vegan Mania, an annual festival here in Chicago of food, music, merchandise and entertainment that celebrates the vegan community. I wandered over to a table full of stickers and buttons and looked for something I could buy that would encapsulate my veganism—a choice that felt both personal and political—without seeming too preachy, and this bearded guy in a t-shirt that read, “Only Kale Can Save Us Now”, handed me this sticker. It was perfect. Lovers, I thought. I’d had some trouble wearing the vegan label for a while, but this sticker was sweet and tender and still got the point (of compassion and consciousness) across.
It’s been about a year since I went vegan, and in these twelve months I’ve learned a lot. I took this step paranoid about what it meant to slap that vegan label on my forehead: I feared—with my self-righteousness and loud mouth—that I was going to become the kind of person who thought nothing of picking fights with meat eaters, who spat statistics at people with vitriol and contempt. Was I never going to get invites to dinner parties because cooking for me would simply be too difficult for anyone to attempt? A year later, I haven’t figured it all out, but there are some lessons that have dawned on me about veganism that make the journey easier.
You Don’t Need to Have a Green Thumb to Make Your Own Healthy, Delicious Sprouts
Sprouts, the tasty, crunchy garnish of many a sandwich, salad or stir-fry, are not only bright and refreshing, they’re also nutritional super foods, bursting with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and enzymes that are all kicked into turbo gear during the sprouting process.
Sprouts are not only higher in nutrients than their matured counterparts, but they are also easier to digest and incredibly cheap and easy to make from seeds, grains, and legumes that you may already have on hand. And what’s even better: you can reap the benefits of your sprout harvest in as quickly as three days, and they can be grown any time of year – even in gloomy winter.
Making fresh sprouts at home is so easy that there is absolutely no reason to buy a bag of slimy sprouts with zero shelf-life from the grocery store. Follow these simple instructions, and you’ll be harvesting your own fresh sprouts in no time!