As spring unfolds and summer approaches we thought it would be a good time to do another Dusty and Otter Vegan Challenge! As you may know, we are a vegan family, which means we don't eat anything that comes from an animal (meat, dairy, eggs, honey) and we don't wear leather, wool, down, or fur; basically we make an effort to live peacefully with the animals we share this planet with. It just makes sense to do so. We went vegan 10 years ago after becoming aware of the horrors of the meat and dairy industries. A few years later we became aware of the nightmare that is the egg industry as well. Most have seen birds crammed into tiny cages, languishing in filthy warehouses, and just dying for someone to save them. "Saving them" isn't as hard as you might think. Every day we have the chance to make an impact on our own lives and the lives of others. You can essentially save a suffering bird by refusing to eat the eggs her worn out body has been forced to produce. Seems counter-intuitive but it's true. If we refuse to buy eggs, farmers will breed fewer and fewer hens to meet demand. And fewer and fewer birds will suffer the same fate.
What about free range and backyard birds you might ask? The truth is, humans have come to believe that hens lay eggs at the rate that we consume them naturally, so it's just like picking up a little parcel of food that she would have produced anyway. But that's far from true. Before chickens and ducks were domesticated by humans for their eggs and meat, they usually laid a single clutch of 10-20 eggs per year. Nowadays birds are bred to lay 200-300 eggs per year and it takes a devastating toll on their little bodies. They get reproductive infections, reproductive cancers, and become egg bound (when eggs are too big, too hard, or too soft to push out and they get stuck inside their bodies). Billions of birds die painful deaths every year so that humans can eat eggs whenever they want. Factory farmed, free range, or backyard bird, their lot in life is the same. Additionally, for every single female bird born to lay eggs, a baby boy was also born but killed right after hatching; usually by suffocation, gassing, or being ground up alive. This is not an exaggeration. Boys just aren't useful when your entire industry is based on female's reproductive organs.
But alas, it's not all sadness and suffering. You can make the choice to stop the cycle of violence against animals by giving vegan life a try for 30 days. Start anytime between now and May 1st. Send us an email when you start and we will add your name into our giveaway raffle and send you 3 new vegan recipes to try your hand at. We are Dusty and Otter's parents but also the creators of a popular vegan cooking school, which means we have some of the best original vegan recipes out there to share with you. At the end of May we will check in to see how you're doing and give away a coveted Dusty and Otter tote bag designed by LA based artist Abel Macias. The winner will be picked at random and we will mail the tote to you along with a card signed by the girls.
If you'd like to take Dusty and Otter's vegan challenge to see what life is like without consuming animals or their eggs or milk, all you have to do is give it an honest shot for 30 days. Make a list of what you normally might eat in a week, then make another list of vegan substitute meals and ingredients. If you are new to this you may be surprised that almost every dish and ingredient can be easily veganized. There are plant based milks, vegan cheese, vegan meats, vegan mayo, and vegan yogurt. There are even vegan egg mixes now, but we are going to start you off with our own tried and tested vegan omelette recipe. It's made from simple, natural ingredients and literally comes together in less than 5 minutes, the same time it would take you to crack and cook an egg. Super tasty and nutritious but no birds are harmed. Try putting a piece of vegan cheese inside to melt, adding veggies like mushrooms, onions or spinach, and/or topping with sliced avocado. Yum! In the photo below we served it in sandwich form on homemade bagels which made for a very filling breakfast. The kala namak (black salt) is a type of salt mined from sulphorous regions so it has a very strong eggy taste. It's available online, in Indian grocery stores, and in many specialty spice stores. If you don't have it, just add a bit extra sea salt and proceed with the recipe.
Fire and Earth Kitchen's Vegan Omelette (Naturally gluten and soy free)
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp kala namak (black salt/sulphurous salt), leave out if you don’t have it.
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp avocado oil or sunflower oil
1/2 cup water
Heat skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp oil to warm. In a small bowl whisk together all remaining ingredients, flour, salts, spices, b. powder, oil and water. Pour into hot skillet swirling to coat bottom of pan with thin even layer. Let cook over medium heat for 1 minute until dry on edges and bubbling on top, and browning underneath. Flip. Add vegan cheese if using or any other pre-cooked veggies and fold over. Let cheese melt and serve hot.
Please let us know if you give the omelette a try and what you think! The girls and all of their friends THANK YOU from the bottom of their sweet hearts for giving vegan eating a try. We can't wait to pick a winner for our tote bag giveaway! Any questions just get in touch <3
xoxo, Renee, Nick, Dusty and Otter