Vegan news you can use (1/22/12) + Lunch at Garden Cafe in Woodstock, NY

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by JL Fields on January 22, 2012

Happy Sunday morning!  I love sharing news bites and links with you each week and have some fun ones that I will get to in a moment. Promise!

First, I wanted to quickly wrap up my weekend.  I shared my snowy morning on the farm with you yesterday.

View from The Guesthouse kitchen at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

After volunteering for a few hours at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary I headed out to see the animals. They were so cozy, warm and happy in their barns!  I got to meet Curly, one of the new pigs. She’s a doll.

What’s she doing?  Well, five minutes prior we enjoyed a serious petting session in which she rolled over and gave me her belly, and left glute, and subtly (ahem) requested a deep massage. I was there to serve so I rubbed her like the princess that she is.  I stepped outside of the barn for a few minutes and when I came back she started to lick and chew my boots.  Ah, she wanted to eat the snow on them! So here she is finishing off a nice pile of fresh, yummy snow from my boots.  Last night I shared this on Facebook:

Have you rubbed a pig belly? 

It was time to head home but I couldn’t resist a late lunch at Garden Cafe in Woodstock.  This was a return visit — you may recall that I dined there the first time I visited WFAS (my first VLOG post!)–and it was just as fabulous this time.

My toes were still a little cold from my playtime with the animals so I was immediately drawn to the special soup of the day.

Onion Soup

Wow. This was my first onion soup as a vegan. I was so pleased that the chef realized there was no need to cover this soup up with vegan “cheeze.”  The soup was packed with delicious onion, croutons and herbs and spices.  Simply perfect. This was actually the cup size, which was incredibly substantial. A bowl would have absolutely been a meal.

I’m glad I ordered the cup, though, because I wanted this meal, one of the “bowl” specials of the day.

Cashew Quinoa Bowl

The plate/bowl was filled with everything that warms a vegan’s heart, soul and belly! The quinoa was prepared with cashews and carrots; the grilled tofu was covered in a delightfully warming ginger sauce; the kale made my heart sing!  Garden Cafe offers generous portions.  Since this was a late lunch, and I wanted to get on the road for my drive home, I split it to enjoy half for lunch and to take half home (lunch today).

You know I want you to make a point to visit WFAS this spring and I encourage you to plan on lunch or dinner at Garden Cafe. You will be so pleased that you did.

Okay, I know you came here for some news, so let’s do it!

Did you see this Martha Stewart video about factory farming?


Speaking of factory farming, I’m scratching my head trying to figure out just what the FDA is actually up to after listening to this: The FDA’s Confusing Message On Antibiotic Use On Farms.

I know this has to be done, because it’s “news.” Paula Deen. Oy.  If you have been avoiding all television, news and internet this week it’s possible that you don’t know that Food Network “chef” Paula Deen announced she has Type II diabetes.  She also announced she’s been taking a drug (and is now the spokesperson for it) and barely mentioned a change to her diet. Moderation, y’all.  There’s been lots and lots of commentary on this topic so I’ll just share my absolute favorite, from Christina Pirello: An open letter to Paula Deen…

I was sorry, although not surprised, to hear of your diagnosis of diabetes. Having watched your cooking show for years, I guess it was just a matter of time before your style of cooking caught up with you, so to speak.

Now, in interviews, you say that you always preached “all things in moderation” but in all my experience of you, I have seen nothing remotely close to moderate. Instead, I saw a homespun talent delighting in wrapping macaroni and cheese in bacon before frying it. There was no mention of moderation. I watched as you constructed a sandwich of Thanksgiving leftovers that included mayonnaise, mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and bacon. No mention of moderation there either.

Now that you have pulled back the curtain on your struggle with the disease… (continue reading)

Could not have said it better myself!

If Paula decides to try a plant-based diet she could get some great tips here:  Eating Vegan: A Complete Guide to Vegan Cooking for Beginners.  Deen aside, I know some of my readers are vegetarian or vegan-curious and I think you’ll find the topics in the guide very helpful:

  • Vegan Basics: Knowledge is Power
  • Vegan Grocery Shopping
  • Vegan Yum No One Told You About
  • Eggless Baking and Scrambling
  • Cream of the Crop
  • Tools and Tricks for Easy Vegan Cooking
  • Embrace Vegploration
  • Hola, Herbivorous Habits!

If you are not yet vegan, but considering it, I would love to hear what you think of the guide.

Moving on to vegan fashion, which I posted about this week, I offer you high- and low-end tidbits:

On the blog this week: 

On Stop Chasing Skinny:

Stop Chasing Skinny is now accepting February submissions: Pursuing Health.  I hope you will consider sharing!

As always, thank you for reading.  I hope you have a terrific Sunday!

Garden Cafe on Urbanspoon

  • Elizabeth

    Martha Stewart’s video is very powerful indeed.  I cried watching it, and I already know the horrors of factory farming.  I also enjoyed reading Pirello’s letter to Paula Deen.  Pirello says it so well.  Thanks for sharing those.  And thanks for sharing your trip to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary with us!  That pig sounds just like my “baby”, Sneakers.

    • JL

      I know! I had to turn my head away from the computer while watching the video!  You need to come up here and rub some pig bellies! So good for the soul!

  • Great post and links and quote on Paula Deen. I’ve never watched her shows, but I was shocked after browsing through her recipes – so much meat and dairy products crammed into small dishes. It’s sad she has the disease, but I hope it brings better awareness on how to avoid it.

    • JL

      I hope so, too, Christine! I wish no one ill will/health but I do think she should step up and be honest about her illness.

  • I love pigs!! I volunteer once a week at Pigs Peace Sanctuary in Washington and the pigs are amazing. One of my best friends there is a three-legged pig who hops out to say hello and plunks down on her side for some belly scratches. Pure heaven!

    • JL

      I love that, Katie!

  • OMG.  I want to live at Woodstock, even though I have never been there!! Seriously, think we should start buying up property there and make a vegan commune, except that we all own our houses & land, just a vegan neighborhood by the pigs.  Would love to be taking care of the pigs & cows each day…..I LOVE doing the dog rescue, but the pigs & cows need SO much work to get people to even care about them……Especially here in the midwest, where people don’t really hear much of ANYTHING about farm animal rescue.

    • JL

      Love the commune! 🙂   You are doing very important work with dog rescue!

  • Taylor Trash

    I was kinda sickened by Paula Deen’s admission.  I never really liked her show – the food was always too heavy and her personality was too over the top, especially her laugh.  But my opinion is that if Mario Batali can change his diet in order to lose weight and be healthier (last I heard, he was doing the “vegan before dinner” thing) then she can, without losing fans and face.  Alton Brown also changed his diet drastically to improve his health.  While not vegan or vegetarian, he did cut out a lot of crap from his diet, and lost a lot of weight for it as well.

  • Ahhhh, Paula Deen. Oh vey.

  • Veganlinda

    I spent several years rubbing big bellies (and mucking out the barns) at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Maryland. Nothing like it! I miss it every single day. So glad to see Martha Stewart is speaking out against factory farming and I wish Paula Dean would get a clue.

  • WFAS looks so nice in the snow. I’ve only ever been in the spring and summer months.

    That Martha PSA was pretty great – I wasn’t expecting it from her.

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