Thursday, September 17, 2009

A day for the animals, a hearty Indian-ish dinner, an attempt at homemade vegan cheese

A day for the animals

Photos by my coworker, Jeanette Mactal

So I finally got to visit the PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center in Quezon City 2 Saturdays ago with a couple of coworkers, bringing gifts of food for the shelter dogs and cats. After the feeding activity, Anna Cabrera, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society Program Director, gave us an orientation and tour of the facilities. Let me just tell you, WOW. It's really amazing what PAWS does to help the plight of Pinoy dogs and cats, also known as askals (street dogs) and puskals (street cats). The place was brimming with 36 dogs and 184 cats (as of September 5), all looking for their forever homes. The feline quarantine area was full of days and weeks old kittens. The canine quarantine area had its own fair share of sadness. The guy up there was rescued from the dog meat trade. A lot of them were abused and abandoned by their former owners. The rehabilitation PARC gives them is amazing. It's really different when you're sitting pretty at work and at home with theoretical veganism, and when you see animal cruelty staring at you literally in the face. Hearing their rescue and rehab stories truly is a testament to the philosophy of living compassion and non-violence in one's life.

Anyway, the day-for-the-animals was made complete when my vegan brother (who tagged along at this office volunteer activity) and I stopped for awesome practically-fast food veggie burgers at Good Burger in Pasig, across Tiendesitas. It's sooo nice to be able to eat vegan fast food! Good Burger sells veggie burgers with the option to remove non-vegan items, such as mayo and cheese. They also sell chicken burgers, which is insane... I mean, I would think meat eaters would go for beef rather than chicken when it comes to burgers. I seriously doubt their chicken burgers were any good... Oh, and after the Good Burger lunch, my brother and I spent the afternoon making:

vegan Italian sausages
Julie Hasson's Spicy Italian Sausages, recipe here.

Excellent excellent day. We hung out with the shelter dogs and cats, scarfed down veggie burgers, and made a ton of veggie sausages.

Indian-ish dinner
On the Tuesday after the PARC visit (2 Tuesdays ago), it was so nice to sit down and have a hot hearty meal after a grueling day at the office. I was supposed to ride home with my brother on that day but it was pretty traffic from his office to mine -- he ended up arriving at my workplace at around 7:30. So we headed to the nearby mall, specifically Powerplant, for a satisfying dinner at a restaurant, particularly Wild Ginger.

Asian tomato soupdal and spinach chapati sandwich

Wild Ginger is one of the few restaurants in Powerplant that has good vegan options, and I'm not even talking about tomato sauce + noodles. They have legumes! I've eaten there several times but it was my first time to try their dal and spinach chapati sandwich, which was really good. I call it an Indian-ish dinner because I'm not certain Indians would use 2 chapatis to make a sandwich. It looked more like a no-cheese quesadilla. It usually comes with a yogurt dip which is easily do-withoutable. It was topped with basil, but I think it would've been better if topped with cilantro. The cumin and (I think) coriander really shone, and the dal wasn't dry at all.

I also had the Asian tomato soup -- awesome as well. It was flavored with lemongrass, a pleasant surprise, chili, and cilantro.

Soup and sandwich -- such a Western meal, yet it was Indian.

An attempt at homemade vegan cheese

homemade vegan mozzarella
Eek, I know, what a crap looking photo.

With the success at making vegan sausages under my belt, I decided to venture out and make my first vegan cheese. "Mostarella", to be exact, from the pages of The Uncheese Cookbook. I'm glad that it doesn't taste like dairy cheese. It has cheese-like qualities -- it's savoury, slightly sour, and it melts. The sourness can be attributed to my addition of tahini and a combination of lemon and calamansi juice. I'm glad I finally experimented, although the results were just alright. I guess I don't miss cheese that much that I'd want to scarf down the fake stuff. It is a nice alternative topping on toast, which I usually have it on in accompaniment to a bowl of beans for breakfast. It actually does spectularly in vegan lasagna, together with Veganomicon's tofu ricotta. By the way, that tofu ricotta is pretty good stuff in Italian-inspired dishes.


Traveller said...

Hey there,

please take a sec and sign my petition, which is linked at my blog, asking the government of Canada to include animal rights in the constitution, and ask others to sign too:)


Anonymous said...

i visited your site n was good enough then othere site that i visited last month

work and study

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