Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Enchilada Sauce, Soft Vegan Ginger Cookies, and A Sad Observance

Monday, March 17, 2008

Enchilada Sauce, Soft Vegan Ginger Cookies, and A Sad Observance

I thought I’d start this entry with that last little bit in my title, the ‘sad observance’, ‘cause, well, I don’t want to end the post on a depressing note. Yesterday, here in Columbia, many got out to observe the 5th anniversary of our invasion and occupation of Iraq. The actual anniversary is this Wednesday, March 19th, but weekdays aren’t the best for large gatherings. There was an anti-war rally and march through downtown Columbia, culminated by some very moving speeches and music. I don’t generally go to demonstrations as I feel that they, at least in the case of anti-war demonstrations, are pretty useless and sometimes just stand to perpetuate stereotypes. But there are times, such as the anniversary of this sad calamity, that I feel the need to get out with like minded people, and tell my fellow citizens and the rest of the world that not everything can be done in my name. I am sorry to the rest of the world – especially Iraq and Afghanistan (and also a lot of Central and South America, Mexico, Africa, East Timor, Chagos Islanders, and so on), I am sorry for what we do to you out of ignorance, incompetence, greed and arrogance. It’s times like these when I know I’m not alone in my sadness and anger.

There was a very good turnout to the event as well, over 1,000 people. That might not seem like a lot to some, but Columbia is not a huge town, and this is Missouri, a very conservative state. We had a wonderful speaker from the local chapter of the NAACP, a local representative, an Iraqi transplanted to the US, and a conscientious objector from the US military. His being there was a true act of bravery - he is putting himself at great risk, what he is doing for his principles, some might call it ‘deserting his country’, I call it ‘not wanting to kill people for their ‘freedom’’. It also reminds us that we cannot turn our backs on the veterans who return from this tragedy, it is not their fault that they are being used as a weapon of hate and greed, many enlisted only did so because they felt like they had no other opportunity in life, we must care for them with respect and treat them with dignity.
With that, I will share a few pictures, then move on to the much less depressing matter of food (including a recipe for yummy cookies!).

Students from the University of Missouri - Columbia holding banners.

Brett (who really needs a haircut and thus really fit the 'hippie' stereotype at the anti-war rally) signing the banner, and some guy who appears to be wearing a top hat.

Part of the crowd.

More crowd (I like that world flag).

The Iraqi speaker.

So anyways, thanks as always for listening to my crazy rambling, and now I'll get on to the food.

I made roasted veggie enchiladas again the other night, they are so good, but I get tired of using premade enchilada sauce. I started to wonder how difficult it would be to make my own and found out it wasn't too hard at all. I had an extra can of tomato sauce on hand, so I thought I'd give it a whirl, and if all else failed, I still had the premade sauce. Well, let's just say, I tossed a few spices into some tomato sauce, a splash of vinegar, and suddenly, I had excellent enchilada sauce. I doubt I'll ever buy the premade stuff again.

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
chili powder
garlic powder
onion powder
Mexican oregano

Season sauce as you like it. Add a tablespoon or two of water if you like a thinner sauce. Heat thoroughly and enjoy!

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but one of my favorite things to do, cooking wise, is to successfully veganize a recipe. Well, I found a recipe for very non-vegan, and also very non-healthy soft ginger cookies. Now, in my opinion, cookies shouldn't be healthy, they are cookies dammit, indulge yourself once in awhile, don't make them all the time, and leave some of the fat in so they are still enjoyable!!!! Enough of the tirade. I 'healthified' these to an extent, I switched the flours, sugars, cut down the amount of margarine use, and I also didn't have a couple of the ingredients, so I subbed in what I had. This is what I came up with and they were delish! I ate four last night, and Brett ate a bunch as welll. Four might not seem like too many cookies, but these bad boys are big!

Soft and Chewy Vegan Ginger Cookies
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup raw vegan sugar
replacement for one egg (I used Ener-G)
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp raw vegan sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt.

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, Earth Balance, and applesauce until well combined. Stir in the 'egg', water and molasses. Mix well.

Add sugar mixture to flour mixture in small batches.

Drop by heaping spoonfuls on a cookie sheet.

Flatten slightly and sprinkle vegan sugar on top.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Allow to cool on sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Makes 20 large cookies.

And finally, Cookiemouse, from the blog bearing the same name, so kindly asked me to write a guest blogging piece for his blog. I wrote about the environmental argument for vegetarianism and veganism. If anyone wants to check it out (our just check out his blog), you can find the entry here. Thanks again for asking me to do this Cookiemouse, I really enjoyed it.

Whew! This is a long post! Well, I took the day off of work today to give myself a three day weekend, so I'm off to enjoy it!

'Til next time!


Bianca said...

I love the feeling you get when you successfully veganize something! It's like, "I've veganized these cookies. Now I can conquer the world!" I'll have to try those....I love soft cookies, the kind that almost melt in your mouth with each bite...I'm drooling...

Leng said...


I truly appreciate your passion for the love of animals and humans across the world. We need more people like you to spread education to those who are not as well informed of the affects their actions may have on the world. I read your post on cookiemouse, although very general, I think that it's wonderful. Do you mind if I print it out to keep?

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Thanks for highlighting this issue in your post. I agree that it really IS a sad observance, especially when you look bck and see how little good has come out of the five years.

On a brighter note, the ginger cookies sound fabulous. I've been on a ginger kick lately, so they sound right up my alley!

Melody Polakow said...

Your cookies look delicious!.. also, I love that you made your own sauce.. it is such a great thing to do... and frees us up from bondage to the supermarket!

I share yours sentiments regarding the war.

pleasantly plump vegan said...

what a m=nice sized gathering. i can only imagine what it might have been like to be a aprt of that.
those cookies look great!

Jennifer said...

Bianca - Hahahaha! Glad I'm not the only one who enjoys doing that. :-)

Leng - Thank you so much! What you said means a lot to me.

I felt the same way about my post for Cookiemouse. I figured it was best to stay general, I could have gone on for probably a hundred pages. Of course you can print a copy out!

Chocolate Covered - No problem, I feel the same way.

These cookies will definitely satisfy your ginger cravings!

Melody - Thanks! Yes, I like making my own, well, whatever, whenever it's possible. Now all I have to do is learn how to make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes....

Vegans seem to know what's up in all respects, don't they? :-)

Pleasantly - It was very nice, I was surprised so many people came! It was a very nice feeling, sometimes one can begin to feel kind of outcast.

Thanks about the cookies too!

Billy said...

Thanks for the comment on my post about vegan waffles. Definitely look for them. They're so good!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Wow, sounds like a very powerful demonstration. That's an awesome turnout for a small conservative town. That is so wonderful that many people took the time to stand up for what is right. I honestly can't believe it's been five years.

And those cookies sound super yummy....

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it's already been 5 years since the war started. I remember the day they announced it on the news just like it was yesterday. I was so disappointed, even though in Canada I have no control over this, it's just disgusting to know that not even American citizens have been able to convince their own government to get out of Iraq. There's just so much apathy...

Your cookies look delicious, I really love ginger cookies so I'll have to try these. =)

missblueberry said...

Great post Jennifer. The war in Iraq and its connected consequences is remarkably removed from us and our privileged lives. It is important to be aware of the choices our politicians make on our behalf and the impact they have on other people's lives. I find North American and U.K media goes a long way in averting our eyes from these consequences. Just this morning I was reading about the reality of life for folks living in Iraq and the overwhelming poverty that is a direct impact of the war on iraq (and the financial/trading decisions made against the country as far back as 1989).

Thanks for your post. The cookies are on my recipe agenda before I leave for Slovenia on Sunday (I think they will be just what I need for the two hour flight).

Cookiemouse said...

Once again thanks for writing a great post! Those ginger cookies sound delicious. Today I'm busy with another anniversary of an uprising as things get worse from hour to hour in Tibet. Why can't everyone learn to live in peace?

Jennifer said...

Vegan_Noodle - It was a great demonstration. Columbia isn't necessarily a conservative town, it is pretty progressive for Missouri and the Midwest, but we are only 90,000 of the people who live in Missouri. It's really hard to believe it's been five years, I know. Can you believe that we are still in Afghanistan too? Most people seem to have forgotten about that war......

Thanks, the cookies were delish!

Romina - Canadians are allowed to have an opinion as much as anyone else, even if you can't 'do' anything (I think expressing your opinion IS doing something). I feel bad for Canadians, we have exported a lot of our bad political and economic structures to you guys. :-(

It's saddening how distracted most Americans are. Many are opposed to this war, but don't want to actually have to DO anything for it to stop. Well, how the hell else will it ever stop unless we do something?

Miss Blueberry - Thank you very much! You bring up so many good points. The media DOES play a vital role in the continuance of the status quo don't they? If people knew, REALLY KNEW, the consequences of the things we are doing to other peoples, the environment, and so on, I don't see how we could continue living our gluttonous lives. Maybe I have too much confidence in the goodness of the America people (I have been told that), but one has to maintain hope or whats the point.

Slovenia, eh? May I ask what is taking you to such an interesting location? I hope those cookies make your flight go faster, I hate planes! :-)

Cookiemouse - You are very welcome. Those cookies were very good, thanks.

Things in Tibet are looking pretty bleak at the moment. Do you ever feel overwhelmed at all the atrocities going on around the world? Sometimes I just fear that so long as there are even just one or two people in this world, willing to subjugate people for power or any other self interest, that there will always be struggle. Freedom is not something that is attained I guess, but rather maintained and struggled for. Once one is 'free' the fight doesn't end there. We must struggle to remain free as well, a part I think we Americans have forgotten. We see the ills of our gov't done in our names, all the while our freedom is being wrenched from our hands in the name of safety. I think US citizens AND the rest of the world need protection FROM the US gov't and US corporations/banks, not protection by them.

Bianca said...

Isn't it crazy how you can't put Skinny Bitch down? I did the same thing. I was in the middle of a pretty good novel, but I put it aside because I couldn't stop reading Skinny Bitch. I really needed that harsh treatment from the book to make me stop eating crap like white flour, soda, and beer.

Happy Herbivore! said...

end this war!

(p.s. your sauce looks awesome! and i want a ginger cookie)

Veghead said...

I loveee th elooks of those cookies! Holy moly. And thanks for your always sweet comments on my blog, you're the best <3

Veghead said...

and +1 to everything said about the war. I had forgotten it'd already been 5 years. That's such a long time... and so little was accomplished... *sigh*

Anke said...

it feels soooooo good to know that not all americans are endorsing the prevailing policies. sadly, the media only portray the picture the president would like to be communicated, but it's good to know that some people still have their own opinion on things. thank you for demonstrating!

VeggieGirl said...

thank you for highlighting this important event - it IS a very devastating occurrence.

a delectable enchilada sauce and veganized ginger cookies?? yes, please!! :0)

Lizzy said...

Ginger cookies, that sounds fantastic! Another to-do recipe ;)

Your homemade enchilada sauce sounds great, too. Homemade stuff is the best anyway (most of the time at least)!
Yesterday I asked my mom if I could have a jar of jam from her and it tasted so unfruity and was way too sugar loaden =( I'll have to buy berries and make my own jam again!

I will definitely give your piece a read!

T said...

Alas, I remember watching the invasion on tv with my college roomates- then going out that night with anti-war facepaint on! The first of weeks of protests. Let's just hope something better is coming- and soon!

Your enchilada sauce looks awesome- mine always turns out a tad too spicy. And as usual, I could say I'll make the cookies, but I probably won't- but they look totally delicious! Ginger is my favorite flavor.

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