12 of My Childhood Favorites—Veganized

First, a primer on my past love-hate thing with food, and a bit of personal nostalgia and other rambling.

I was big into food as a kid, even before my dad owned a popular Italian restaurant just outside of Los Angeles in the 1960s. We always had lots of tasty foods in our life and even more so from the restaurant which we all spent a lot of time at, along with our friends. See the 🍝 items below for those favorites inspired by my dad’s restaurant fare. All recipes were invented by him and his brother, and they certainly had a way with the food!

Here is the only mention of the restaurant I can find online; search David B.’s comment and his mention of “Reggio’s”: http://maps.latimes.com/neighborhoods/neighborhood/monterey-park/comments/. Note that our restaurant wasn’t actually in Monterey Park but was on the Montebello side of its border, and David B. says it’s a Chinese restaurant now but actually it’s a Chinese laundromat and boba/smoothie bar.

Here’s an old pic of the restaurant’s namesake, the region of half my roots, where my dad was born and lived for a short time before the family immigrated to the USA’s east coast:

Reggio Calabria, Italy, 4 years before my dad was born.

So, as a result of all that tasty food and more, I had a chronic weight problem starting mildly at about age six; obviously the love for good food didn’t quite jibe with my raging fat genes. Two aunts and both their parents on my dad’s side were very obese and had hearty appetites, and the aunts loved to cook and have family gatherings. Well, yours truly was often an eager guest at those family food fests, then it would carry over to my home life since I and my mom liked to cook and eat, and she had developed a weight problem too, after having children.

Food was a main expression of love and thus a comforting “drug” in our rather lost and dysfunctional family, a drug with quite the destructive aspects. Thus the love-hate. I had a serious struggle (mostly on the losing end) with being very fat for much of my life, as did my younger brother. The family’s judgement and condemnation were further destructive…but they later came to regret the way they’d been, and were forgiven, at least by me.

Veganism at last came to my rescue, as well as that of all those animals I’d have downed…

Since going all the way and ending the dairy/egg cheating, and being strictly vegan starting in 2009, I got down to merely “chubby”—about the middle category in following illustration as opposed to the far leftI’d like to be the one just to the right of middle. But for the first time ever, I’m pretty comfortable with my weight and it’s been stable for years, no longer fluctuates hugely due to going from bingeing to starvation diets.

I’m no longer a target for mean, nasty, rude PsOS out there like I once was either. “Hey fatty!” and “Jenny Craig!” and other such sweet things would occasionally be hollered at me from nasty faces in cars rolling past, and other such sickening incidents. I’ve seen this happen to other people and always have to wonder what sort of creeps find it necessary to embarrass people like that. I’d rather be 200+ lbs than be that sort of creep.

Too late for a tangent alert? Well, here’s more…

Anyhow, I only love veganized versions of old favorites, no more hate. I’ve pretty much learned how to avoid the temptation to overeat, mainly by not having the more decadent foods regularly on hand at home, instead concentrating on healthier, non-fattening stuff. On top of that, I simply don’t have the huge appetite I once had, probably because what I do eat is mostly nutritious and satisfying…all plant foods. Where before I would remain hungry and keep on eating rich treats, more and more and more until sickly full, badly bloated, sluggish, and guilty about gaining ever more weight.

There was no “shutoff” on the appetite except for no more room for any more food. It wasn’t pretty, a miserable cycle of self destruction. But good tasting. First-World problems, I know, but no less real.

Casein, the mild opiate and appetite stimulant—for infants.

I believe dairy foods’ casein is behind much of the obesity out there and is only one more reason to quit dairy products, aside from the horrible animal cruelty involved, which should be the primary motivator.

My eating and weight problems were partly hormonal, since after “the change of life” my food & weight problems lessened significantly, as opposed to most women (mostly non-vegans) who have the opposite going on. But I do believe a big part of my lifelong problem was the casein in dairy products and its appetite stimulating and slight opiate effects. Cheese, sweet yogurt, ice cream, etc., were always a big part of bingeing. (I say “bingeing,” but I’ve always been a slow eater, so my “binges” weren’t the fast & furious things most bingers are known for.)

On a side note, meats are said to be nutritionally dense and satisfying (by advertisers and the well-programmed public), but I always found meats to be a catalyst for gorging on decadent desserts and things afterwards, aside from lots of other refined carbs like white biscuits and such that accompanied meaty meals. All in all, a high-calorie, obesity causing nightmare, for those many of us with “bad” genes.

So there’s my thing with tasty food, I love the stuff. Who wouldn’t?

But these twelve, in random order, are extra special because they’re compassionate versions of nostalgic childhood treats. These are all homemade, mostly from scratch, so are for those of us with time and patience to make some complicated recipes. But these all seem guaranteed to be worth the fuss. Just click on the links for full recipes and if you make them, enjoy!

1) 🍝 http://www.pastabased.com/spaghetti-and-meatballs/

Vegan Spaghetti & Meatballs by Pasta Based

2) http://blacksgoingvegan.com/crispy-spicy-popeyes-chicken-style-vegan-fried-chicken/

Vegan Fried Chicken by Blacks Going Vegan

3) http://namelymarly.com/vegan-drumsticks/

Vegan Drumsticks by Namely Marly

4) 🍝 http://ahouseinthehills.com/2014/12/04/chickpea-minestrone/

Chickpea Minestrone Soup by A House in the Hills

5) http://namelymarly.com/vegan-big-mac/

Vegan Big Mac by Namely Marly

6) http://www.theflamingvegan.com/view-post/Easy-Vegan-Black-Bean-Tamales

Easy Black Bean Tamales by The Flaming Vegan

7) http://www.forkandbeans.com/2015/01/15/vegan-chickpea-omelet/

Vegan Chickpea Omelet by Fork and Beans

8) https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/the-ultimate-vegan-chocolate-cake/

The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

9) 🍝 http://namelymarly.com/vegan-new-york-style-cheesecake/

Vegan New York Cheese Cake by Namely Marly

10) 🍝 https://www.exceedinglyvegan.com/vegan-recipes/mains/vegan-pizza-cashew-cheese

Pizza with Cashew Cheese by Exceedingly Vegan

11) http://namelymarly.com/vegan-lemon-meringue-pie/

Lemon Meringue Pie by Namely Marly

12) http://veganyumminess.com/creamy-vegan-mac-and-cheese/

Vegan Mac and Cheese by Vegan Yumminess

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You Know What? Veggie Burgers are AWESOME!

WARNING! The following images are graphic, not suitable for those who aggressively abhor “fake meat,” who turn their noses up at fantastic sandwiches simply because they contain no abused, slaughtered animal products. Those who call veggie burgers “processed” as if they cannot still be real, healthy food. Those who imply that they religiously shun actual processed, unhealthy foods (hah!). Well, those people will lack the maturity to handle the truth about good food.

So keep out, you! Do not scroll, just go away!

In case it’s not clear yet: That means you persnickety clowns who say “ew” to veggie burgers or to anything “soy,” but not to ground-up dead carcasses, blood, gristle, poop (yes there’s poop in virtually all ground meat: http://www.motherjones.com/food/2015/08/poop-ground-beef-superbugs-antibiotic-resistant/). Then there are the bone chips, cow hair, tumors, etc., all processed into a nice reddish slush. All that makes “real burger” lovers drool and their little faces light up, in obedience to all those creepy commercials.

Well, much to their horror, in came tasty, filling, compassionate burgers…

Most burgers are made delicious by the spices, condiments and veggie garnishes, so why not a patty made with beans, seeds, nuts, soy, grains, mushrooms and so on? With veggie burgers we have the added greatness of kindness, as well as their being delicious and healthy (more so than blood burgers anyways).

I enjoy the occasional fantastic veggie burger, sometimes even on sprouted whole-grain buns (no flour), imagine that…oh, the horror. A personal favorite is just about any good brand of vegan burger, grilled and topped with coleslaw (made with vegan mayo) and tomato & pickle slices on a sprouted-grain bun. A bit of hummus or melted vegan cheese makes it even richer and tastier.

Following are ten scrumptious looking veggie burgers that should silence all the nasty hype against the veganizing of popular foods…but of course slaughter lovers will keep on carping. So just ignore them, go and make you some great burgers, and enjoy…

1) 

Cheeze Stuffed Bella Burgers with Figs, Rocket, and Herbed Vegenaise | by Vegan Feast

2) 

Burger Made with Quinoa & Carrots, etc.

3) 

Vegan Fourth of July Feast! by Troy Tolley on flickr

4) 

Black Bean Burger with Home Fries

5) 

Vegan Burger by Shpernik088

6) 

Beyond Meat’s Vegan Cheeseburger

7) 

Sunshine Burger’s Quarter Pound Original

8) 

Hilary’s Eat Well Burger at Native Foods Cafe

9) 

Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries at Lodge NYC

10) 

Lentil Burgers – Great even all by themselves.

Then there’s this guy 🙂

Veggie Burger Speed Eating Contest

How Porn Harms You and Yours – 12 Points

Introduction:

Following are only my personal opinions, dealing only with porn targeting adult heterosexual sex because I have no personal knowledge of “LGBT” experiences, although surely there is some common ground. And child pornography and sexual abuse is a whole other, even darker, albeit related issue.

This also only refers to porn of the sexual “freak show” variety as opposed to simple nudity or far more tasteful erotic material which embarrasses no one, although the physical perfection of others can foster envy in those not so fortunate. And envy is the root of all hate, so there’s that problem.

But think of the difference this way: Who would be ashamed to have others find nude pictures of them from the past, the nude model for “artistic” pleasures, or the smutty spread-eagled model who’ll apparently do just about anything with any random person? I think the difference between respectful, friendly erotic material and destructive pornography is pretty clear.

1) What porn is presented as:

Adult fun times (even when pre-teen-looking schoolgirls are used). Whoopee! Porn’s a real hoot, nothing to be judgy about, don’t be a cock blocker! It’s an arousal tool, as ancient and natural as anything, so what’s all the fuss? It’s just us guys wanting to “bang” the hot chicks. (Um, explain “granny porn” then, etc. Right, never mind.)

Jimmy and Larry Flynt holding gold shovels at the ground breaking ceremony of Hustler Hollywood in Monroe Ohio in 2000.

2) What porn is:

A way for unprincipled people to make tons of money by selling explicit, deviant sexual material to a vast number of people, largely men, to feed, and further whet, the addictive hunger brought on by incessant biological urges. Addicted men often spend themselves into the poorhouse (or into homelessness and/or prison) buying porn material and patronizing strippers and prostitutes. Our prisons are filled with porn addicts, who where that way well before incarceration.

Porn is not friendly or loving, it far more emphasizes the mean, seedy side of sex…the side no one wants for their children to be involved in as they grow up. But the side so many people enjoy the use of other people’s grown (or adolescent) children in.

3) Unreality – The freak-show aspect:

People in porn are depicted as sex freaks who’ll do anything with just about anyone, the more bizarre the better. Giant rock-hard penises that never fail are the rule of the day, and women look at them in amazement or fear and a naughty sort of reverence…they simply must have them, in every way, and pain be damned. Women, especially, are shown enjoying things that are actually repulsive, frightening, degrading, painful, and/or endangering to them in real life. And more and more, women (and even men) in real life are expected to do and enjoy whatever is popular in porn, no matter how bizarre or repugnant.

Why the shady freak-show aspect? Ask the pornographers, they’ll tell you: Shock sells. It’s all about sales. Getting a substantial chunk of your needed money into their fat bank accounts.

4) The Backstory – Why the anger regarding sex?

People are biologically programmed to need sex during their reproductive years and even beyond. But they don’t like it, really, as it makes them foolish and “freaky” and they don’t understand this “need” to be that way. Thus, intercourse is used commonly as a vile insult: f*** you, f***face, f***ing this and that, the middle finger raised as a phallic symbol of rage and degradation, female genitalia or the “c” word being a most vile insult, etc.

People don’t actually like behaving the way sex causes them to behave, considering it a schizophrenic other personality that comes out when aroused. “Get your freak on” is a common phrase used to describe sexual activity.

Sex feels so good though, orgasm is pure ecstasy, greatest experience on Earth, when in that frame of mind anyway, so people crave it often, regularly, especially when looking at enticing people, naked or not. So people are torn between their two sides: the moaning, enraptured, writhing nasty sex freak…the embarrassment, versus the side they respect: the wholesome, decent, modest, studious, child-presentable person who’s certainly no naked and splayed-out-for-all-to-see butt-in-the-air embarrassment to anyone.

Interestingly, the “walk of shame” is said to be done by single women, after nights of debauchery when sneaking back home to clean up, get some sleep, and get presentable again. While married women don’t generally do the shame walk because they’re already home, mostly (those not out cheating anyhow).

So most people need sex, but they also resent it, and each other for the temptations. Why do you have to go and stir up these urges in me, I hate myself, I hate you, yet we call it making love. It’s a total mind f***. Thus, the anger with sex.

But when two people really do love each other (the forever kind) and are loyal, that sexual anger is lesser or non-existent, and sex can be a friendly and loving activity. Hopefully that’s the vast majority in real life. But that doesn’t sell like the freaky, mean stuff does. So you’ll rarely if ever see loving couples in big-selling porn. Porn capitalizes on the sordid side, the nasty, angry acts between those depicted pretty much as strangers.

5) Objectification – Seeing human beings as things and dirty jokes:

People become “it” rather than human beings with emotions or any value outside of “doability.”

Say you’re a man who respects and loves your daughter dearly, yet some strange man on the street hoots and hollers obscenities and graphic descriptions of what he’d do to her if he got the chance, and with that hateful gleam in his beady eyes. Would you like it? Or would you want to knock him out? Or more than want to?

Porn turns people like your own mother/sister/daughter/etc. (or the male counterparts) into nothing more than objects and dirty joke material, in the minds of crass, hateful people. Of which there are more than people like to acknowledge. The endless array of graphic, freaky sexual material only feeds into that crassness and hatred, and multiplies it. To put it mildly, this is not good for humanity.

6) More on Anger – The frustration:

There’s the (mostly male) fantasy of being able to “bang” any and every female he finds “doable,” right then and there, and leave her dazed, crumpled, but satiated, in some seedy restroom or other vile place, never to see her again; that is, unless her impressive beauty merits further contact. Maybe this one’s a keeper? Even marriage material? But no, you’re not quite her type in real life, so she’s just a nasty slut like all the rest.

For most men, that hot dream girl is never a reality. He can, however, rent a woman who’ll do most anything with anyone, for a price. Or he can go for an “ugly” woman who’ll try to make up for her unattractiveness by her willingness to go along and loudly enjoy any and every bizarre practice. Maybe he can settle for that.

All these ugly games. For a simple orgasm. For the need to love and be loved. The frustration and resulting anger at the other sex intensifies, and we get the man-hating brand of “feminism” and its counteraction: “men’s rights activism.” Everyone obsessed with how the “other” spoiled innocence and life for them. It’s all a nasty, vicious and complicated cycle. Only with humans could sex become so indescribably weird and hate-filled.

Why is that? one might ask. Well, back to the animal slaughterhouse and all the rest of our violent psychopathy and denials of such. People are largely damaged egotists living lies.

7) Perversion – The addiction and being jaded:

What’s shocking sells, then the shock dies down and more and different shocks are needed. Someone “just like one’s mom/sister/daughter” is shown enjoying degrading, dangerous activities simply for the sake of a showy orgasm for public viewing, which should instead be a private thing between two people, without all that risky behavior. WTF? the viewer thinks, is this what girls/women are really like? My MOM did these sorts of things to create me? Well, no, it’s not likely she did; it’s likely she simply made love with your father and that neither of them required outlandish, insane acts or complete degradation to achieve orgasms. But porn’s another story.

In porn, the old shocks become commonplace and “everyone’s already doing them,” so the common becomes boring and new shocks must always be invented and depicted, keeping that addiction strong. Gotta sell that material after all! Same as the effects of recreational drugs wearing off and more and more being needed to get the same high, until the overdose finally kills you. Well, there’s a sort of soul death among the porn addicted.

Porn can depict hordes of mean old men raping some captive terrified schoolgirl who ends up enjoying it all; “dignified” women are shown looking totally degraded with faces full of dribbling semen, and so forth, on and on it goes. The porn addict needs ever new material, and that appetite is insatiable. He loves to get other men hooked as well…brothers in the big mind f***. And there are ever more women damaged or desperate enough to do “anything” for the “easy” money in the business.

8) Young Minds – How porn influences them:

I won’t delve into this too much because, frankly, it’s too deep and disturbing. It’s quite the visceral topic that defies the intellect. Porn influences children the same way any meaningful first experiences influence young minds, and sexual experience is a most potent form of this. Think of everything porn depicts and then think of the effect it has on young, impressionable minds and emotions. It is often terrifying. It can compel young kids to act out sexually towards inappropriate others when they’re in no way ready for it. Child molesters use porn in that way, to sexualize kids who are way too young and to take advantage and use them. This all feeds into the confusion and anger surrounding sex and into the sickness in our civilization.

9) Rape – How porn often leads to it:

Those really hot girls in the videos all do it, they’re easily controlled by men and they love it all, are game for anything…and they squeal with delight. Why not you, you’re not so hot; and what, I’m not good enough for YOU? I’LL SHOW YOU, BITCH!

Further, see all of the above.

10) Murder – How porn often leads to it:

Research “sexual sadists and murder.” And note that 100% of sexual sadists grew up abusing/killing helpless innocent animals. Linked here is a good, thorough article, but be warned – dark and disturbing content, not for children: http://theviolenceofpornography.blogspot.in/2016/05/violent-pornography-normalises-and.html Further, see all of the above.

11) The Addiction – How to get it out of your life:

If you have the will, just do it, kick the habit, cold turkey, in whatever manner keeps the destructive stuff out of your life and no longer desired. Respect yourself and other good people. If you don’t have the will, there’s nothing I can say to that…and you will continue to hate and ridicule people like me for wanting to spoil your good times. Okay, I already know what you think of me. The question is: What do you think of yourself, and the “anything goes” pornographers and the people they use, including yourself? Honestly.

12) The Danger – How to deal with porn’s influence in society:

I wish I had something besides the following to write here, but I just don’t. First, simply love and respect life. Second, I try to be respectable and kind and stay out of harm’s way and keep those I love out of harm’s way. Any other positive suggestions from readers as to how to deal with this  would be appreciated.