Food Friday: Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagna

By Megan Vick

Nava, over at VegKitchen has a great vegan lasagna recipe for you! You can find the original on VegKitchen, but here it is for you! Butternut squash replaces tomato in this Italian comfort food. Yummy nummy.

Butternut Squash & Mushroom Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash – 2lbs
  • 1lb mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced (I used crimini, shiitake, and portabello)
  • 1/4 dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup freshly minced parsley (I used 2 tbsp dried)
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • Wheat germ for topping

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I used 2 smaller onions which were sweeter)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I pressed mine)
  • Two 12.3 oz packages of firm silken tofu
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. To bake the squash, halve it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves cut side up in a shallow, foil-lined baking dish and cover with more foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife  but still firm. This step can be done ahead of time.
  2. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then peel and cut each slice again so that it is 1/4 inch thick. Don’t worry if the slices break apart. If the squash has been microwaved, remove the seeds from it as you slice that section.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor and process until very smooth.
  5. Combine the mushrooms and wine in a wide skillet and cook over medium heat, covered, until the mushrooms are wilted, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
  6. Spread just enough sauce to coat the bottom of a shallow 9- by 13-inch casserole dish. Arrange one layer of 3 lasagna noodles over it crosswise. Follow with a layer of half of the mushrooms, half of the squash slices, and half of the remaining sauce. Then place another layer of 3 noodles, the remaining mushrooms and squash, and the remaining noodles. Finish with a layer of the remaining sauce, sprinkled with some wheat germ.
  7. Cover the lasagna loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

Butternut squash vegan lasagna

Enjoy!

Save BU Wrestling!

By Megan Vick

It’s no secret we support the Save BU Wrestling cause. What’s this cause, you ask? In 2013, Boston University announced they were dropping the wrestling program. Wrestlers, parents, BU faculty, and other BU athletes were outraged and the movement began. Now, athletes across the country are joining together to support the wrestlers and protest against those who made this decision. You can read more about why we support Save BU Wrestling on our post, The Value of a Team.

Here’s the History:

In 2012, New Balance (yeah, the shoe company) donated $3 million to Boston University for a proposed $24 million lacrosse field – before BU had a lacrosse team. New Balance just entered the growing market of lacrosse apparel – convenient, n’est pas? It’s mighty suspicious that a university with no lacrosse team gets a donation from a company who makes lacrosse apparel. The rest of the $21 million was fronted by members of the Board of Trustees.

Well, smack my booty and call me Judy… wouldn’t you guess that BU announced shortly thereafter they were adding a men’s lacrosse team (oh yeah, and a women’s crew team). And the new lacrosse field would be aptly named, New Balance Field. Luckily, the athletic department had a meeting with all sport coaches and the Athletic Director said no sports would be cut to accommodate the 2 new sports. A year later – BU announced they were dropping wrestling after the 2013 – 2014 season.

Title 9  Shenanigans

Don’t you love the word “Shenanigans?” It’s the best word to describe what happened when BU decided to add 2 new sports. A Title 9 expert reviewed the sports program at BU and found it was ridiculously out of compliance, which could cause a pretty hefty lawsuit against BU. Men’s Lacrosse would add 40 men to the program and Women’s Crew would add 15 women. This leaves an excess of 25 men throwing off Title 9 compliance. What’s a university to do? Add a women’s team? No, no – the university drops wrestling. That makes a lot of sense except for the fact that Boston University denied Title 9 was a factor when they decided to drop wrestling. The real conundrum occurred when the Athletic Director was quoted in multiple BU press sources and on a radio interview saying, “Title 9 is always a factor when expanding an athletic program and [BU] had to consider Title 9 in order to add lacrosse.”

Suspicious Ostrich

Suspicious Ostrich is Suspicious

The Future of BU Wrestling

As of right now, BU is starting to sweat the efforts of the Save BU Wrestling group. Not only are they vocal, but they have also created the Boycott New Balance movement opposing New Balance’s role in events leading up to the discontinuation of Terriers Wrestling. While the movements are strong on campus and through the friends and family of unhappy BU students, it’s important to encourage this effort in the vegan community. Two members of the Board of Trustees, David D’Allessandro and Kenneth Feld, are involved with SeaWorld and Barnum & Bailey Circus, respectively.

By all accounts, both SeaWorld and all animal-based circuses have a track record for animal cruelty (have you seen Blackfish?) and now these two organizations have members who are directly involved with the discontinuation of one of the world’s oldest sports at the country’s most expensive university (yes, more expensive than Duke!). There have been rumors in the BU camp to start a boycott of SeaWorld and Feld Entertainment, owner of Barnum & Bailey Circus. Knowing how long vegans have been actively boycotting these two groups, it only makes sense to join forces to show how powerful this pairing can be.

Be sure to check out the Save BU Wrestling facebook & twitter pages as well as the Boycott New Balance movement.

Share this – reblog it, Facebook it, Tweet it, whatever it is you want to do, share this with the world. Both wrestlers and vegans share the same mentality – Never Give In.

Never. Give. In.

Wrestling and Veganism

By Megan Vick

 

As a vegan, I like animals – it’s why I don’t eat them or stuff that comes from them. Because I like animals and believe they should be loved and cared for and protected, I don’t like SeaWorld and I don’t like any organization, like Barnum & Bailey Circus, using animals for entertainment. It’s wrong, cruel, and wildly unnecessary.

 

You’re with me on this, right? Here’s where two things in my life merge together in a way I never expected.

 

My father, Art Donahoe, is a Boston University alumni, wrestler, and wrestling coach. I grew up with wrestling, with wrestlers, and understanding the power a sport like wrestling can have on people and families of all backgrounds. In 2013, BU announced they were dropping their wrestling program. Heartbroken, the Save BU Wrestling movement was born. Recently, in a conversation with good ole pops, he mentioned that a member of the Board of Trustees was a chairman for SeaWorld and another member owns Feld Entertainment – parent company of Barnum & Bailey Circus. Dad mentioned this because he thought it would be powerful for people to boycott SeaWorld and Barnum & Bailey Circus due to the role these trustees had in wrestling being dropped from Boston University.

 

If only there were a group of people who actively protested against SeaWorld and Barnum & Bailey… If only these same people stood up for diversity, for teamwork and togetherness, for hard work and doing the right thing… oh, wait – vegans are EXACTLY the right people to help spread this message.

 

Perhaps an unlikely match up of the Save BU Wrestling movement and animal-rights activists, but here we are. By joining together to expose the (dare I say) corruption of BU Trustees and the blatant mistreatment of animals under their reign, we have the ability to make a powerful statement which benefits both people and animals.

 

Vegan friends, friends of vegans, animal- lovers, wrestling- lovers, I call on you to unite. Tweet this, Facebook this, do whatever other social media sharing you choose to help spread the word about Save BU Wrestling. Be sure to check out the Save BU Wrestling facebook & twitter pages as well as the Boycott New Balance movement.

 

Save BU Wrestling

 

 

Never. Give. In.

GMOs: Trust No One

By Megan Vick

 

Okay, okay – the title might be a little dramatic, but it’s true. Whether you’re working an X-files case, or shopping for food, you must gather your own evidence and draw your own conclusions with the information at hand.

 

GMO Corn

 

I recently met a farmer who grows conventional produce and during the conversation, I asked him if he grew any genetically modified corn. He told me, in great detail, about the two corn varieties he grows. He shared with me that nearly all bi-color sweet corn (both yellow and white kernels) are genetically engineered. He’s very proud of his farming practices because he manages weeds and pests as naturally as possible, grows in greenhouses, and keeps bees to help pollinate his crops. He absolutely should be proud of what he’s doing.

 

 

 

Here’s where my eyebrows started to arch: he told me that the customers who come to his farmstand have started asking about the safety of the GE corn. He said, “well, the company I get the seeds from said they weren’t harmful, so that’s what I tell my customers.” He also told me how he lost about 40 beehives in the 2013 season for no apparent reason and was still trying to figure it out. 

 

 

Urban farm stand

 

Regardless of what you believe, what one study says over another, talk to your local farmers and do the research for yourself. If you’ve done some research on GMOs  and GE foods and you’re comfortable eating them – excellent. If you’ve done the research and are not comfortable eating those foods – make sure you buy local and really talk to your farmers. If they seem cagey about giving away information, explain why you’re asking. If they still seem sketchy, they might be trying to hide something or might feel uncomfortable with the questions. If living a GE/GM free life is important to you, ask the questions and don’t purchase food you’re not 100% comfortable with. Remember, you vote with your dollars every day and if you shop locally, that purchase goes even farther by telling local farmers what you want to see on your table.

 

Namaste.

CVS and Cigarettes

By Megan Vick

 

Last week, CVS announced it will stop selling tobacco products by October 2014. We couldn’t be more thrilled with this because it’s one step closer to helping more and more people choose a healthy lifestyle.

 

Unfortunately, many people were outraged (and continue to be outraged) because CVS decided to wait until October instead of stopping sales immediately. But, just as quick reminder, both tobacco companies and CVS stores are businesses. It’s highly likely October was chosen because that’s when they predict they’d run out of an already-paid-for purchase order, or when existing contracts run out.

 

Even though sales won’t stop until October, it’s an admirable step by a major company. We can only hope other retailers will follow suit.

 

Namaste.

Food Friday: Lavender Lemon Vegan Cheesecake

By Megan Vick

 

This recipe for Lavender Lemon Vegan Cheesecake by Emily von Euw featured One Green Planet looks and sounds delicious! I know what I’ll be doing with my Saturday night! I wonder how it will pair with my Lavender Lemon Lip Balm (shameless plug).

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1.5 cups nuts (soaked walnuts  and almonds)

 

Cheesecake:

  • 3 cups cashews (soaked 3-4 hours)
  • 3/4 cups lemon juice
  • 2/3 cups agave or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-3 tsp dried lavender (depending on how much you like lavender)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract OR seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod

 

Preparation:

Crust:

  1. Surround the inside of a cake pan with wax paper or plastic wrap
  2. Process dates and nuts together until you get a rough, sticky mixture that you can pat down with your hands into the bottom of the cake ban. Do so. Set in fridge.

 

Cheesecake:

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy
  2. Pour onto crust in cake pan and set in freezer or fridge until it has desired hardness (probably 3-5 hours or overnight)
  3. Take out of cake pan holding the wax paper or plastic wrap and put on your favorite plate
  4. Slice and enjoy

 

We cannot wait to try this cheesecake! Here’s Emily’s Rawsome Vegan Baking cookbook for you to check out too!

We’re Back, Baby!

By Megan Vick

While we may have been absent from The South Durham Farmers Market since just before the Christmas holiday, we are returning this Saturday (cue high fives and cheers).

 

High Five Bunnies

 

If you didn’t already know, we moved over the holiday and we’ve been taking this time to reorganize and reprioritize Shorganics. Fear not, faithful friends, nothing changes on your end! We’ve simply laid out our office differently and made difficult decisions – like where the printer should go. All in all, it’s been a long process, but we are THRILLED to return to The South Durham Farmers Market – rain or shine – on Saturday.

 

We’ve missed you, so come on out and pick up some Hand and Foot Creams to soothe your skin in this crazy winter weather we’re having. Namaste