By now I’m sure it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Marisa Miller Wolfson and everything she does for the vegan (and non-vegan, and animal, and environmentalist) community. I first heard of Marisa when she a guest speaker at my law school for my animal law course (a life-changing class, indeed). My peers and I were honored with the privilege of being able to watch clips of her new documentary, Vegucated, years (OK, a year and half, to be sort of exact) prior to its initial release. As militant as I may have become over the course of my own “vegucation” (and inherent transformation), it’s always refreshing to see a film or read a book that is informative without being preachy; disturbingly real while still providing comic relief. Vegucated is just that and more.*
Well, it’s been over a year and a half since I watched my first clips from Vegucated, and since then I’ve gone vegan and gotten my parents on board as well (they saw Vegucated at the Vegetarian Summerfest in July and were big fans). I am noting all of this because today marks the official launch of the Vegucated DVD. Whoo!
In honor of its launch, I’m doing a giveaway with two prizes. One will be a copy of the DVD, of course. The other will be an amazing “Get Vegucated” t-shirt**, as I was so proud to model after getting one myself (my newly vegucated parents couldn’t resist the Vegfest souvenir).
To enter: simply leave a comment below. I’m sure fellow vegan commenters could share their thoughts on going vegan — ideas and inspiration on the topic are welcome. Of course, you can always just say hi, too. I will close the contest on Saturday January 14th, noon EST. Winners will be chosen at random. 1/10 Update: I’ve decided to give away 2 DVDs: the “1st prize” winner will get a DVD and t-shirt (mens or womens available) and the “2nd prize” winner will receive a copy of the DVD.
Speaking of going vegan…Since doing so, I’ve discovered something I may have never cared to glance at before: Trader Joe’s soy chorizo. Sure, it’s not the healthiest vegan option available. And sure, it’s “fake meat.” Both of which may make it a less appealing option for some. But can I just offer my two cents? This stuff is AWESOME. It’s versatile. It’s spicy. It’s flavorful. And if that’s not good enough for some of you skeptics, I’ll offer this: my brother, who is a trained cook and enrolling in culinary school, thought that it was meat. He was appalled that something so yummy could wear the vegan label.
Naturally, this chili gets much of its flavor from TJ’s chorizo. I also added some salsa for an extra flavor kick, along with lots of vegetables for health purposes (hey, I try). Bonus: you can get everything for this dish at Trader Joe’s. Bonus #2: it’s easy and fast! Bonus #3 (well, for some): Spicy!
* Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals should get an honorable mention in that department.
**Not only is this a cool shirt, but studies show that wearing Einstein shirts make you smarter, as well.
Vegan Chorizo Chili:
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
7 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 package Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, casing removed (or any other vegan chorizo)
1 jar Trader Joe’s double roasted salsa (or salsa of choice)
1/2 cup water
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1. In a large pot, saute onion, pepper and carrot in oil, over medium heat, until onions become translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Add mushrooms and chorizo and saute another minute, breaking up chorizo with back of spoon.
2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer on low for approximately 5 minutes to heat through.