Chickpea Spring 2013 Issue

Photo courtesy of Chickpea Magazine

Photo courtesy of Chickpea Magazine

Happy Spring everyone! Although it’s still been slightly chilly here in New Jersey, the days have turned longer, and the sky has been clearer than usual lately. Spring is definitely finding its way here, slowly, but I definitely see signs!

And as New Jersey itself still thaws, I’m happy to share that an article of mine will be appearing in the Spring 2013 issue of Chickpea Magazine. Chickpea is an independent magazine, run by Cara Livermore and Bob Lawton. It is a gorgeous magazine, with details in everything from the photo designs and lighting, to the hand written text designs. Chickpea is a great magazine not just because of its gorgeous, vintage looking photos either. They are amazing because their aim is to foster a publication for vegans to share their own experiences, like an open forum, which really adds to a sense of community for vegan photographers, writers, and just about anyone artistically inclined. Which is why I reached at the chance to contribute.

My article is written as a travelogue for New Jersey, which in the past year, has become to me a stand out as a place to live as a vegan. With such wonderful things as The Cinnamon Snail food truck, the For The Animals Sanctuary, and a host of great restaurants all over the state, New Jersey is a great little vegan state. It often gets overlooked, its meek and tiny and most people think of NJ as a giant oil refinery, when in fact it has plenty of gorgeous nature landscapes tucked away in all corners of the state, from North, to South, to Central Jersey.  I can definitely say sometimes you ignore something around you for so long, that at some point you open your eyes, look around you, and feel a sudden rebirth in perception, like you’ve breathed in new, fresh air. Photos for my article were taken by Steve, who went on some day trip adventures with me to take these photos in the freezing cold, we we tried to capture New Jersey when its on the cusp of waking up to Spring once more.

You can preview the Spring issue of Chickpea here.  The nature of the magazine is so intricate, I would recommend picking up a print copy to see how beautiful it is, and just to support a hard working group of people working on a great project. Right now the pre-sale price is $16, so be sure to pre-order before it goes back to its retail price. And if you don’t want to order online, they will be sold at Anthropologie stores across the country this month! Chickpea is also carried in some independent book stores across the country, so check their stockist page for more information. Help foster the vegan community by taking a look at this project. Perhaps you’ll want to take a trip to New Jersey sometime because of it!

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Recipe (Revisited): Irish Soda Bread

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Back when I started this blog and it was called “Baboo Bakery,” my very first post was  of my mom’s grandma’s Irish Soda Bread recipe. This recipe has been a big part of my life, its one of the oldest things I know, and of course its become a really special, comforting thing to me. That’s why it was odd coming around to this time of year, and realizing as a vegan, I wouldn’t be reaching for that same recipe anymore.

I was determined, anyway, to try and veganize this exact recipe. Exact, with every item being swapped with a replacement that would hopefully be faithful to the original. I’m unsure if this is as good as it gets, but for my first attempt I think it’s fantastic, and tastes just as good. It’s a bit fluffier, and lighter in texture, but its delicious, especially warm with some butter & jam.

So I hope you enjoy this, an old favorite recipe of mine!

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Veggie Bunny in London and Paris

 

Some kind of tree

 

Picture seeing your all time favorite musician or singer in Paris, but instead of performing in a typical concert venue, the show is in a circus tent, and that circus tent is on an island, and as you watch the show, outside its snowing. This is what we saw February 24, when we went to see Björk perform during her Biophilia residency.  Of course, it was extremely odd going from a spontaneous idea to physically being there, but I still look back in shock that I actually did this, and that what I saw was as beautiful as I had hoped. This was the fifth time I had seen her, and she’ll never know how far I traveled, how strangely and personally important that specific journey was for me.

But this trip I went on became more than just this Björk show. It became a small but wonderful trip with my boyfriend, Steve. We had never been Europe together, and more importantly, never went on a totally short-notice trip, so there was a level of excitement that pushed the trip. We also tried to approach the trip from a relaxed perspective, and to see where streets and our instincts took us.

Since this is Veggie Bunny, this post will focus on the aspect I know everyone cares about: the awesome vegan stuff! London and Paris were both perfect spots for a veg-couple (that’s right, veg-couple, ’cause while I am vegan, Steve’s been doing vegetarian since Labor Day and hasn’t looked back since). In terms of easy access, London was incredible. You could walk a few blocks and eventually find yourself by a vegetarian restaurant, and if you went to a regular restaurant, there were many, many vegetarian options.

Paris, while a bit difficult to navigate in terms of veg stuff, had just as much stuff as London, if you looked hard enough. And once you kept an eye open, you’d find just what you were looking for. We stayed in the 10 arrondisement, by the Canal St. Martin, in a room off of AirBNB. This area is up and coming, and completely charming and lively and full of great veg options, including two vegan restaurants (Soya and Sol Semilla),  an organic supermarket (Naturalia), a juice bar (Bob’s Juice), a farmers market on Sundays, and the best bakery in Paris (according to our host).

I owe a lot of my vegan-Paris discoveries to a recent issue of VegNews, but more importantly, a wonderful eBook on Amazon titled Vegan Paris. For only 3 dollars, the book was an incredible resource, written by a long-time resident of Paris. I highly recommend this guide if you are a vegan in Paris!

Top of Eiffel Tower

At the top of the Eiffel Tower on a very, very cold day

To view some of our vegan discoveries (lots of photos), continue reading!

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Recipe (Revisited): Peanut Butter Cups

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When I announced this blog would be going vegan, I mentioned I would go back and try and re-create some of my previous non-vegan recipes. With Valentine’s Day a week away, I thought it’d be best to revisit a great one: peanut butter  cups! Everyone loves peanut butter cups, and these make great gifts. I recently veganized the recipe as a gift for my boss, and they were a hit.

Sadly I took no new photos of the vegan version, but they are extremely similar to the ones posted above. Plus, they’re already thematic!

I really love chocolate, especially vegan dark chocolate bars. I’ve found a few brands I like at the store, but I recently found out that I love chocolate from the company Rescue Chocolate. After trying them one time, they’ve become my go-to for chocolate all the time! Rescue Chocolate is amazing for a  number of reasons, the first being that 100% of their profits go towards organizations which help animals. Each month they also choose another organization to include in their donations.

Each chocolate flavor benefits a specific animal organization, ranging from shelters to educational programs. I highly recommend the Peanut Butter Pitbull (which goes towards helping  change the world’s perceptions of pit bulls), and Foster-ific Mint (which goes towards foster programs for shelters), and Forever Mocha (which goes towards behavioral training programs). Each bar  has some of the most unique chocolate flavors I’ve ever tried. The Foster-ific Mint is especially delicious, it tastes like a Thin Min cookie. They have other highly creative flavors as well, including a spicy pepper one, a ‘bacon’ one, and a fig one, as well as truffles and bonbons. For Valentine’s, they have adorable heart shaped truffles filled with raspberry cream. Overall, I think its a great way to receive some extremely well made chocolate while also helping out amazing organizations and a really wonderful company.

For the recipe for the peanut butter cups, click below. Next Recipe Revisited will most likely be my Soda Bread recipe!

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The Importance of Spaying Female Rabbits


Last Thursday, Steve and I took Bonnie to the animal hospital to be spayed. While we only take care of one female rabbit, it is incredibly important that she be spayed. Female rabbits run an  extremely high risk of getting cancer in their uterus and ovaries.

Someone with a rabbit or common sense may read this post and wonder why I am updating this blog to specifically talk about Bonnie’s operation. The truth of the matter is, there are a lot of people who just don’t know. I can’t blame them, I didn’t know either when we found Bonnie. However, for future owners, I think it’s imperative to remind them of how important it really is, as I’ve spoken to a lot of people who said to me, “Oh I had a rabbit when I was a kid, and she got a tumor…” in response to this information.

Some important reasons to spay your rabbit:

  • For a female, the number one reason is to prevent cancer in her ovaries or uterus. They can get cancer by as early as 5 years old, despite having expected life spans of 7-10 years or more. 
  • Unspayed rabbits are harder to train,  and manage. Often they can unlearn some habits over time when they hit maturity.
  • Spayed rabbits can live safely together. Bunny companions are a great idea, and down the road we may want Bonnie to have a friend to keep close by her side. Spayed rabbits are most likely to be friendly to one another.

Being already around 3, we knew we needed her to be spayed as soon as possible. With a lot of research, we found an animal hospital in Monroe, NJ, that not only had stellar reviews, but featured a doctor who specialized in “exotic” animals such as rabbits and other small companions.  Another tip we heard from a co-worker with two small boy rabbits told us that with a membership to the House Rabbit Society, you could get a steep discount on what is normally a costly surgery. We ended up saving well over 100 dollars. I believe this was specific to this hospital, so check with your own local animal hospital for the opportunity.

So we took Bonnie in the morning, and we were immediately greeted by Dr. Hornstein, who was beyond kind to Bonnie and helped us feel reassured that she was in good hands. He explained that the surgery would involved a laser incision, where he would then removed her ovaries and uterus and check for any signs of beginning stages of cancer, and seal up with sutures from the inside. We left her around 9 am, and picked her up in the evening.

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American Gothic: Bonnie with her buddy balloon

Taking care of Bonnie was both easy and hard post-surgery. We were given anti pain medication to give to her orally, which was fine at first, but by day 3, she was very hesitant to take her medicine and we struggled to give the medicine to her. A coworker recommended smearing the medicine on food your bunny may enjoy.

Some things to expect with a female bunny post surgery:

  • Rabbits cannot throw up, so they do not need to eat before taking anti-pain medication. 
  • However its extremely important that your rabbit does eat. If it doesn’t eat, that is a sign that something may be wrong.
  • A female bunny will heal by resting in the corner of her pen. She will probably not want to move much (nor should she), so be patient with her.

Bonnie is just starting to get back into her child-like groove in our apartment. The only problem is we miss some of her pre-spaying quirks, like her little honks. She also used to be obsessed with these red balloons, but she has been ignoring them since the surgery. She is still as bubbly and funny as ever, though. I’m just happy to know we will have the little lady for as long as  possible.

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