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 their 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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Humanity’s Self-Taught, Eagerly Learned, Yet Forever Denied Sociopathy

[UPDATED August 1, 2017, two links added]

By Kevin Dooley on Flickr – “Corporate Bully”

I’m currently reading “Guilty by Reason of Insanity” by Dorothy Otnow Lewis, MD, and it’s an exercise in fascination as well as irritation. She’s an engaging writer and the knowledge one can gain from her cases is intense, as long as you can overlook her personal boasting and liberal bias. Her accounts are inconsistent. She once again proved to me that even a highly trained psychiatrist is subject to a form of mental illness, and denial of such. Yet I still love reading this book…it is that well written and the cases are that interesting, if highly disturbing, and often left unfinished by her.

For just one example…

She’s proud to be the last woman who kissed Ted Bundy, and survived, as one who did extensive interviews with him on Death Row. Maddeningly, she does not delve into her discussions with Bundy except for brief excerpts that reveal nothing about him except for his great rapport with her, of which she seems proud. Bundy of course was the world famous sadistic rapist and serial killer who years ago was executed for his crimes. He of course tortured animals in his past.

Further, Lewis, who occasionally and briefly mentions the abuse of animals as a disturbing foreteller of violence and murder of humans, fails to make the connection in her own life and habits such as her enjoyment of hearty meat/egg/dairy filled breakfasts and such. She describes a knife used in a heinous murder as one normally used to cut meat, as if human flesh is not also meat.

Also, she apparently approves of animal vivisection. She writes of an example of brain injuries causing extreme violence, citing sadistic experiments on “decorticate” cats where the cat’s cortex is separated surgically from the rest of the brain. That is extreme madness in itself, subhumanly sadistic behavior. The fact that Lewis blithely cites it tells me the woman is unhinged in her own special way. No excuse justifies such things. Human brain research exists proving the effects of brain damage in humans.

But one chapter of Lewis’s book especially got to me…

And that’s the main subject of this piece. It’s the story of Roger, a Death Row inmate there for the brutal murder of a woman, her small child and their sheepdog. Roger could not remember anything about the murders nor about his and his three brothers’ childhood full of torture and rape. Their tortures occurred on an animal farm in Seattle, Washington, the home of “Mother Carry,” a crazed religious zealot, and her 20-year-old son, Hyram. Annoyingly, again, Lewis doesn’t state a timeframe for this case, but I deduced that the farm episode was likely in the 1960s…

Roger and his three brothers had been placed in foster “care” on that farm due to abuse and neglect in their own home. The four brothers were so traumatized by their time on that farm that they all pretty much blocked it out and drank and/or drugged themselves into oblivion regularly if the memories threatened to invade their minds once again. Following is an excerpt from Lewis’s book that details the tortures those four boys endured as well as what those animals endured, on pages 134–135, but Roger’s story starts on page 131:

https://books.google.com/books?id=_JSPxFzNpQEC&pg=PA134&dq=mother+carry+and+son+hyram#v=snippet&q=134

By Stacie on Flickr – “baby lambs”

So, after reading that, among all the other past and current accounts of horrendous tortures occurring in animal “farms,” does anyone still think animal farming and slaughter do not attract, nurture the sickness in, fuel and propagate, as well as create, violent criminals and sadistic psychopaths? If you’re still of that mindset, then you’re horribly mistaken, to put it mildly. Violent human-on-human crime rates including torture, rape and murder are far higher among animal farm and slaughter workers (and other animal abuse industries) than among any other group or among the general population.

Interesting article here: https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2010/05/14/probing_the_link_between_slaughterhouses_and_violent_crime.html. Please realize, it’s not only the workers who are mentally/emotionally damaged by these violent, ruthless practices…all of us human beings, collectively and individually, are badly affected as well.

“Oh, but I know a guy who works in slaughter and he’s nice”

No, the fact that “most” slaughter workers aren’t violent or murderous against humans proves nothing. A few are decent people doing an ugly job out of desperation (while they could be making plant foods instead, if we were all vegan). One of their stories is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anna-pippus/meet-the-former-slaughter_b_10199262.html. The rest, so well trained in brutality and killing, restrain themselves from violent/sadistic acts upon people, for self-preservation, and others simply avoid culpability by not getting caught. The rest are the ones we hear about in the news.

What are slaughter workers to think when people’s abuse of animals is known as fact to be a disturbing, cowardly, creepy crime committed by those without a conscience, and yet society at large happily (yet quietly and in denial) approves of their daily torture and bloody slaughter of innocent, docile animals? Can people even register the level of sickness and evil that’s been allowed to fester among our species? And for these frivolous desires (like burgers) that have nothing to do with real need and are even damaging to our physical health, aside from the mental.

So if you’re not vegan…

Please rethink what you’re eating and supporting…get honest…then be vegan, for sane ethics and for life. And be smart about it, don’t allow yourself to become an example of “failure” because you only eat pasta and lettuce, or sugary junk foods, or whatever. Study nutrition a bit, using objective sources, not industry propaganda, and eat right and get enough exercise. It’s not so hard.

Anyhow, I’m just sick after reading about “Mother Carry” and her deranged Hyram and that dismal “farm” of theirs. Baby animals tortured mercilessly, that was all vile enough, then there were the boys. There was no followup about them in Lewis’s book (another irritation) and I can find nothing about those two on the web. Apparently they went off scot-free and likely tortured thousands more animals and many kids over the years, as a “foster home” regularly used by the state. Hopefully they died long ago and are in Hell where they belong, despite the mother’s “devotion to Jesus.”

These people lacking conscience have got to stop being used for food production or anything else. They belong in intensive mental health care for life and could be phased out if our species ended its collective dementia, exorcised it at its roots. Then the child abuse, torture, rape behind all violent crime could stop being fed by society’s tacit approval in the form of the psychopathy required for us all to be fed by sadistic people who prey upon the helpless.

First, the denials and glaring hypocrisy have got to be brought into full light, and ended.

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