Why Vegan isn’t Good Enough

Since we started Shorganics way back in 2011, the trend and popularity in veganism has only increased. There are blogs and websites dedicated to all things vegan and even vegan skincare.

But to us, vegan isn’t good enough. It’s not good enough to just be “cruelty-free” and “vegan” on your label. Have your ingredients ever been tested on animals? What about processed on equipment?

Even answering “no” to those questions isn’t good enough for us. Bottom line, is there a bunch of synthetic, processed junk in your finished product, food or cosmetics?

Short answer: Probably.

There is a growing trend in skincare to have cruelty-free and vegan skincare, but the level of synthetic, lab-created chemicals is off the charts. Too many of my favorite vegans are turning toward large brands (typically owned by one of the over-arching corporate conglomerate) that are “vegan” but have so little to do with plants and botanicals.

Many companies put “botanicals” and “plant oils” in the product, but they are so far down the list of ingredients that they serve no purpose in healing or helping your skin. And don’t get me started on “anti-aging” anything. The FDA is fining companies of all sizes who claim anti-aging because it’s a lie. You simply cannot reverse aging.

So, the question is: if people are willing to eat a minimally processed, reduced meat/dairy diet for their health, why are people still slathering themselves with rubbish lotions and face creams?

Check the ingredients. If you have questions, ask the manufacturer. If you don’t want to ask the manufacturer, email us. We won’t lie to you. We’re happy to sort out The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.

Ringling Bros to End Live Elephant Show

Wow! What a win for elephants & for all those who boycotted, protested, petitioned, and spoke out against the cruel and abusive treatment of elephants at the circus. Ringling Bros is expected to end their elephant shows by 2018, but what happens then?

 

While we are thrilled that the elephant acts are ending, it brings up an interesting question: Will people have as much exposure to elephants? For many people, their love of elephants stemmed from a childhood experience at the circus. Many kids take field trips to the circus in school, not as a fun activity, but as a type of cultural exposure.

 

After time, will people fail to recognize the majesty of the elephant?

 

Probably not – thanks to the good ole internet.

 

Luckily, elephants will no longer be subjected to cruel circus practices. Now… to work on the poaching and ivory trade….

 

Baby elephant & mom

Feature Friday: Vegan Cuts November Beauty Box

The time has come. The time to release the Kraken!!! No, not really. Krakens are scary, but I bet they make great snugglers… I digress.

Over the last 2 months, we’ve been hard at work making 3000 bars of soap for the beautiful and wonderful subscribers of the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box. Yes, you read that correctly – 3000 bars of soap

We were approached by Vegan Cuts earlier in the year and at first we were apprehensive to commit to such a large undertaking. After all, we’re just 2 people and 3000 is a big, BIG, number. But how do we say no to Vegan Cuts and deprive our fellow vegans of our awesome & ethically vegan soap? Well… clearly, we didn’t say no.

So, for the last 2 months, Matt and I have had numerous hot dates: in our kitchen or dining room making, prepping, wrapping, and packing soap. Being the superstitious Irish girl that I am, I didn’t want to share this super exciting news until it was a done deal & out the door to the Vegan Cuts subscribers. Here are a few pictures from the process:

vegan cuts soap

Freshly cut soap ready to cure

Soap Curing

Soap curing on the rack

vegan soap

Heat Shrinking is a go!

vegan soap

Ready to label!

Nestled in together ready for packing

Nestled in together ready for packing

vegan cuts

Ready to send to Vegan Cuts! We did this 15 more times!

vegan cuts

Handcrafted vegan soap made by just 2 people for all the Vegan Cuts subscribers!

After all that, we’re going to take a nap. Much love & peace to Vegan Cuts – some of the most awesome folks we’ve worked with.

 

 

Veganly Yours,

Megan

Shorganics Shenanigans

By Megan Vick

 

Vegan Shenanigans

 

You may not know this, but “Shenanigans” is one of my all-time favorite words. According to Google, Shenanigans means: “secret activity or maneuvering. silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief”

 

Thanks sounds exactly like what’s been going on at Shorganics. We definitely have some secret, and not-so-secret, stuff happening – and it’s all the shenanigans that have caused me to be delinquent in posting. Apologies, my dears.

 

You may have noticed we’re working on updating our website! This is very exciting and our new site is SOOOOO much more powerful and more awesome than our last site. Be sure you check it out as soon as it’s up!

 

The secret stuff is still secret – sorry. It’s the reason we’ve been so busy and so MIA in many respects. We can give you hints…

 

We hope you’re subscribed to the best vegan beauty box which is delivered to your door monthly!!

 

and the final hint:

Hint hint - coming soon!

 

That’s all for now! Namaste

Food Friday Feature: The Fiction Kitchen – Raleigh, NC

By Megan Vick

 

On Thursday, July 24, Matt and I made time to treat ourselves to dinner – a fancy dinner. Despite the encroaching rain, we headed to beautiful downtown Raleigh to the all-vegan restaurant, The Fiction Kitchen. The Fiction Kitchen opened a couple of years ago and we went shortly after it opened. It was great back then, but we lived about a 40 minute drive away. Now, we’re a quick 10 minutes from the restaurant – and believe me, we’ll be there a lot more often.

 

We were greeted and seated right away and we had water on the table before I could blink my eyes. After much debating about what we would have, we decided to get the vegan tasting plate as an appetizer and some house-made root beer. Then, Matt ordered the chicken and waffles while I ordered the evening’s special, the tomato pie.

 

Tasting Plate: local crackers, spiced pecans, blueberries, peach jam, smoked cashew cream, tempeh pate, and cashew cream.

Tasting Plate: local crackers, spiced pecans, blueberries, peach jam, smoked cashew cream, tempeh pate, and cashew cream.

 

Let’s talk about this tasting plate for a minute… wait, sorry… I’m drooling. Anyway, the smoked cashew cream was maybe the greatest thing I’ve ever had. Matt and I had a great time mixing and matching different combinations. The tempeh pate with the smoked cashew cream was exquisite and the cashew cream with a little peach jam topped with spiced pecans was divine. We even ordered extra crackers so we could savor the cashew cream combinations and before our wonderfully attentive waitress took our plate, she let me scrape up the extra goodness with my finger. Oh yeah, I was that girl. Poor Matt – he just can’t take me anywhere.

 

Vegan Food

Matt’s Chicken & Waffle

 

What you’re seeing there is The Fiction Kitchen’s house made “chicken” breaded and fried better than the Colonel himself could do it. He’s also got a light and fluffy Belgian waffle under all that chicken along with blueberries and arugula. There were pros & cons with this dish. Pro: It was so good, Matt devoured it. Con: It was so good, Matt devoured it and I didn’t get any.

 

raleigh vegan food

Nightly Special – Farmers Market Tomato Pie with Fried Chicken

 

My picture of my meal did not do it justice. I didn’t turn on my flash because I didn’t want to disturb the other guests at the restaurant. I have an heirloom tomato pie with cashew creamed corn topped with fried chicken. The chicken was an additional suggestion by our waitress (did I mention how awesome she was? I think her name was Taylor…). Even though we already had an appetizer, I went for adding the vegan protein to the meal because why the hell not?! It’s North Carolina – how often do you get deliciously wonderful vegan fried chicken??

Not to mention, I had seen it coming out of the kitchen for several minutes while we ate our tasting plate and it looked so good, I couldn’t say no. I have no self-control when it comes to food. 

The tomato pie itself was delicious and the tomatoes were some of the sweetest I’ve ever had. It was quiche-like, minus the eggs, of course. And that cashew-creamed corn… Holy Southern-Style Vegan Food Batman! I could seriously eat that ALL.DAY.LONG. It was sweet and creamy, like creamed corn should be, but had a little bit of an extra kick to it too.

 

Vegan Food Raleigh

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Pretzel Crust

 

Ah yes, the piece de resistance – Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake. It’s so good, it deserves to have all the words capitalized. It was light and fluffy with a crisp, but not crispy, pretzel crust. Best of all, it was topped with soy whip. Matt suggested we share a piece and I (reluctantly) agreed. I was ridiculously full, so I am glad we shared the cheesecake. Despite the sharing, I still want to cradle the cheesecake in my arms and whisper, “My Precious,” over and over. Because it was that good.

 

Long story short – go to The Fiction Kitchen in Raleigh. If you’re a local – visit often! If you’re not a local, make time to grab some food during your visit. And if you’re travelling alone – let me know because Matt & I won’t even hesitate to join you.

 

Thanks to The Fiction Kitchen for being awesome and letting us linger in the restaurant for damn near 3 hours while we ate, talked, laughed, took pictures of food, ate some more, and drank the best root beer ever. Y’all rock. ❤

Food Friday: Vegan, No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

By Megan Vick

 

Holy vegan dessert, Batman! This vegan peanut butter chocolate cheesecake will KNOCK your socks off. It’s easy to make and can be eaten right away – that’s correct! No line, no waiting! The original recipe can be found here and let me tell you – this is just as mouth-watering as it sounds!

 

VEGAN PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

 

INGREDIENTS

For the crust

  • 1 ¼ cup gluten-free pretzels
  • 6-8 tbsp. vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar

For the pie

  • ½ cup vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup raw sugar
  • ½ cup vegan whipped cream
  • 2 cup vegan chocolate whipped cream

PREPARATION

For the crust

  1. Put the pretzels in a food processor and grind them into crumbs.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, the raw sugar and the melted vegan butter.
  3. Mix with your hands until it is all combined and sticking together. If it doesn’t feel sticky, add more melted butter. Press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate including the sides.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the pie

  1. In a bowl, combine the vegan cream cheese, the peanut butter and the raw sugar. Beat with the electric hand mixer until it is smooth. Fold in the whipped cream gently. Spoon the filling into the pie shell, cover and return to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. When the pie and filling have chilled, cover the pie with the chocolate whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings, pretzels or your favorite topping. You can refrigerate the pie longer to let it set more or you can serve it right away.

 

Enjoy!!

Food Friday: Creamy Chocolate Torte

By Megan Vick

 

While it may sound “normal,” this lovely little torte is anything but! It’s smooth, creamy, delicious, and perfect for any chocolate lover in your life. It’s also super easy to make! The original recipe hails from OneGreenPlanet here.

 

INGREDIENTS

Cake

  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mousse

  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 tbsp agar flakes
  • 1 cup coconut cream*
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

PREPARATION

Cake

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, nondairy milk and vanilla and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the coconut oil melts.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir just to combine. It will be a very thin batter.
  4. Pour the batter into a lightly oiled 6-inch springform pan and tap the bottom of the pan on your counter to loosen any air bubbles.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the crust comes out clean.
  6. Allow to completely cool in the pan.

Mousse

  1. Pour the nondairy milk in a medium saucepan, sprinkle the agar flakes on top and swirl the pan lightly. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the agar flakes to soften.
  2. Add the coconut cream and chocolate to the pan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream and chocolate are melted.
  3. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth and bubbly.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the top of the crust in the springform pan and tap the pan on your counter to loosen any air bubbles.
  5. Put the pan in the freezer to set, about 2 hours. Garnish with peanut butter and chopped peanuts, if desired.

NOTES

  • If storing overnight, wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap and tin foil. To serve, remove from the freezer, unwrap and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • Coconut cream is merely the cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (look for brands with at least 20% fat content). You should get about 1 cup of cream from one can. The remaining water at the bottom can be reserved for other uses.

 

Enjoy!