Plant-based / Vegan eating.

Having a plant-based (or largely plant-based) diet means that your carbon footprint will be very much smaller.

A great deal of deforestation is going on which means cutting down many thousands of trees; trees which would otherwise mitigate climate change. It often takes place to make space for growing soy in South America. Most soy goes to feed animals for the meat and dairy industry – a sector that contributes more climate change emissions than all the cars, planes and lorries on the planet.
Growing soy products for people to eat directly needs much less land.
Also cows produce methane (mostly by burping), which is a very powerful greenhouse gas.
Making plant based /vegan meals is pretty easy these days – almost all the supermarkets sell “plant-based” meat alternatives. And many foods which you may not think of as vegan are – For example; fruit, bread (mostly), vegetables, most cereals, plain chocolate (though you need to check, as some brands still have milk in), peas, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, rice, pasta (without egg), most cooking oils, soya milk, coconut milk, tea, coffee.etc.
So for most people a significant proportion of their diet is plant–based already. Upping that proportion will make a difference.
Vegan/ plant-based recipes
Search the net, for example, for “vegan meal mushrooms”, or “plant-based cakes” (to make or buy) and you will get millions of suggestions.

******* September vegan suggestions ********

Weird breakfast sandwich!!

This is what our friend, Jamie, loves to have for breakfast - (and he's not even vegan...)

Take two pieces of bread. Put your preferred spread on them, then on one slice put a layer of peanut butter followed by layer of marmalade, then slices of banana. Put the other slice on top and squash together a bit. 

Then eat.

If you enjoy it thank Jamie...

 

And here's a recipe for no-churn vegan cherry and marzipan ice cream from The Guardian's inestimable Meera Sodha. Ian has just put it in the freezer. We'll let you know how it works out. Many more delicious vegan recipes recipes from Meera Sodah here and here.

******* August vegan suggestion ********
Luscious "Milk"-shake (non-dairy)  
 
Ingredients - 
 
Judge the quantities according to how many you are making this for.
 
Fruit, strawberries, bananas, raspberries or other soft fruit - or chocolate powder
 
Vegan vanilla ice cream (widely available from supermarkets).
 
Plain or vanilla vegan yogurts (widely available from supermarkets). 
 
Plant milk; oat, soya, whatever you like (widely available from supermarkets). 
 
Perhaps some powdered cinnamon or grated nutmeg or whatever you like
 
Whatever proportions you fancy - I suggest the same quantity each of the yogurt, "milk" and Ice-cream.
 
Put it all in a bowl, or a food processor ,and whizz it all together till smooth.
 
Pour into glasses. 
 
If you fancy it sprinkle a little chocolate, or cinnamon powder or grated nutmeg on top.
 
Drink. 
 
Enjoy!
 
If you use a plastic straw remember that you can wash them and use them time and time again. (or you can use paper straws, or straws made of grass, like these).

******* July vegan suggestion ********

Hello Folks 
This recipe is from the Tofoo website which has lots of Tofoo recipes , many of them vegan. Tofoo is a commercial company but we (Ian and Pam) like it a lot and recommend it. It is in a lot of supermarkets, these days.

https://staging.tofoo.pragmaticdigital.net/recipes/spicy-tofoo-couscous-with-sweet-potato-kale-and-peas/

Pam Laurance

******* June vegan suggestions ********

Hello All,

Here is a vegan meal suggestion that will produce a meal familiar to most of us.

ALL the main ingredients are readily available at all the local supermarkets as well as at specialist shops. Some vegan foods are marked “Plant – based” in large letters and vegan in small letters – so as not to discourage people who think vegan might be strange….

Sausage and Mash etc and salad. Plus fruit and “ice-cream”. 

I’ll leave it to you to determine the right quantities.

Fry a chopped / sliced onion and some vegan sausages and some halved tomatoes.

Add some tinned beans (any sort) if you feel like it. 

Perhaps add some herbs.

Leave to keep warm in a lidded frying pan if possible.

You might want to serve it with Vegan mustard

Prepare mashed potatoes by softening the potatoes by steaming, boiling or in a microwave.

Then mash with either vegan margarine (there are a number – we usually use Vitalite) or the lovely Vegan Block (an awful name but it is lovely – tastes like butter but it is not so widely available.

And any of the widely available plant “milks” that you like – Soya, Oat etc…and whatever seasoning pleases you.

Prepare any vegetable that you like however you like …frozen peas? Tinned artichoke hearts? Broccoli? Whatever is available and you fancy.

ALSO

Make a salad from whatever salad stuff you have handy. It is almost bound to be vegan. You might like to throw in some nuts. Salad dressing is vegan but most mayonnaise is not. But you can buy vegan mayonnaise in a lot of supermarkets etc.

Then for DESSERT –

Vegan “Ice-cream”. Swedish Glace is widely available and delicious but there are also others. 

Fruit. Tinned, fresh, chopped, fruit salad whatever you like. 

*******

+Sally's Burgers 

We have also had a recipe for bean/lentil burgers that you can make from scratch, plus some salsa and (non-vegan) mayonnaise sauce (this could easily be adapted to be vegan by using non-dairy mayonnaise and soft cheese, or there is a recipe for vegan quark here).

Enjoy the video from our member/chef Sally here.

 

+Pickled Watermelon Rind

(emailed in By Orleen)

Pickled Watermelon Rind.

EQUIPMENT

·       saucepan

·       2 (16-ounce) glass jars with lids

INGREDIENTS

  

·       1 cup white vinegar

·       ½ cup rice vinegar (see note)

·       1 ½ cups water

·       ½ cup sugar

·       3- inch piece of ginger, broken

·       2 cinnamon sticks, broken

·       1 tablespoon pickling salt (see note)

·       1 teaspoon black peppercorns

·       1 teaspoon cloves

·       3 cups watermelon rinds, green skin removed and chopped into 2-inch pieces

·       1 jalapeño pepper, sliced (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

1.              Stir white vinegar, rice vinegar, water, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, salt, peppercorns, and cloves and bring to a boil. Add watermelon rinds and simmer 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and allow too cool for 30 minutes.

2.     Divide jalapeño slices (if using) between 2 (16-ounce) glass jars with lids. Once cooled 30 minutes, divide watermelon rinds and pickling liquid between the jars. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For the best flavor, chill at least 24 hours before serving.

NOTES

Substitute additional white vinegar for the rice vinegar if desired. 

 

Pickling salt is an additive-free salt made with fine granules that dissolve easily in brine. Substitute kosher salt if desired.

 

 

Lovely.


 

Suggestion of the month (May) https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-banana-bread. It is as delicious as it looks - Ian (our website manager) has made it many times - but there is a slight mistake in this recipe. The ingredients list says you should use 75ml of oil, but then in the method description it says 75 grams of oil. To tell the truth, there's not much difference between those two amounts, but Ian found 75ml worked best...  

Banana bread
Banana Bread

 

Latest Brent FoE news below (not recipes)

 

Bunting stall in Queens Park

Submitted by ian on Mon, 18/10/2021 - 10:22

The final of our stalls making bunting with messages to send to COP26 took place outside the Queens Park Farmers' Market on October 17th.

It was a lively event, with adults and children joining in enthusiastically to decorate bunting pennants which will stay up outside Salusbury School for a while.

Below are some photos from the event, as well as a short video compiled by Martin Francis.

 

 

Bunting from Tulip Siddiq MP
Bunting from Tulip Siddiq MP

Demonstrate on 3rd and 6th November!

Submitted by ian on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 20:10

The culmination of our actions leading up to COP26 in Glasgow will be two national Friends of the Earth events – one to support divestment (including Divest Brent) on Wednesday, 3 November and the big Day of Action on Saturday, 6 November.

We would be very pleased if you could make it to one or both events.

November 3rd 

Brent FoE Flood and Nature Walk 26th September - report and pics

Submitted by ian on Tue, 28/09/2021 - 11:10

Nineteen people turned up for our walk along the Wealdstone Brook and River Brent, looking at the way this natural feature had been built upon and hidden, and highlighting the possible danger of flooding as climate change continues.

Martin Francis pointed out the route of the waterways, sometimes hidden under high tower blocks, with further development ongoing. Some parts of the walk took us through harsh concrete landscapes, some through much more pleasant environments, with well-used open spaces and some attractive meadowland (though in some places it was apparent that the invasive Japanese Knotweed still posed a threat).

The group paused at the pleasant shingle riverbank, where people made paper boats, which were adorned with messages about climate change, and launched into the water. Martin was also on hand to catch the boats downstream in his nets. Other boats made by Cllr Janice Long and Ruth Kitching, will be sent to Glasgow to be incorporated into an installation to be erected outside the COP26 meetings.

A more detailed account of the walk and issues behind it can be found on Martin's blog here.

Photos below are by Barney Laurance:

 

Martin talking

Our bunting stalls in Harlesden and Wembley

Submitted by ian on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 19:31

Here are some pictures from our stall in Harlesden on 10th September and Wembley on 25th September. Lots of engagement with people of all  ages - children were particularly keen to send a message about what should be done to stop climate change. More reporting and pictures at https://wembleymatters.blogspot.com/2021/09/harlesden-sends-resounding-….

 Next stall on October 17th in Queens Park. Details on front page.

 

Harlesden:

bunting8   bunting3

Activities in the run-up to COP26

Submitted by ian on Sun, 22/08/2021 - 17:46

In the run -up to COP26 (Conference of the Parties - an International Government Level Conference about Climate Change) Climate Action groups all over the country have been asked to be very active demanding much stronger action to combat Climate Change. Brent FoE has a number of activities plans. (see below OR click 'Read more' at bottom right) 

Can you help?

Hands holding earth