Vegan fashion show (sort of) and Crockpot Black Beans

Last night my first three-session Beyond Meatless Mondays class concluded.  What a joy! I loved meeting my students and connecting with vegans, vegetarians and veg-curious! The final session, Bunny-Friendly Living, focused on veganism beyond the plate. While we had a conversation around the horrors of violence against animals for fashion, I chose to share an upbeat, incredibly positive video on vegan fashion, courtesy of  Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture.

After we watched the video I took the students to another classroom to show them vegan items from my own closet and home.

JL goes Vegan Bunny-Friendly Fashion

I made a point to bring items that spanned price ranges.  I showed my $36 pea coat from Alternative Outfitters, a id="mce_marker"00-ish poncho from HoodLab, and my $400+ coat from Vaute Couture (in eggplant, which I got for only $237 because I’m on “the list” – you can be, too, just sign up here.) I had shoes ranging from $30 to boots over id="mce_marker"00 as well has plant-fiber winter has and scarves and a few skin care items.  It was a non-fashion-show show and it was fun!

Now that the March class has concluded I’m gearing up for the two-session class in April (only two spaces left!) and  May cooking demonstration classes.  (By the way, you don’t have to be in Colorado Springs to work with me!  The curriculum I use for my small group coaching-style classes is based on material I use for one on one coachingvia phone or Skype with clients everywhere – if you’re interested in coaching, read about it here.) I am also getting ready to take on my new clients for Kitchen Coaching and my Weekly Home Cooked Meal service. I want to thank SouthSideBusiness.com for announcing these services on their site and Matthew Schniper, Arts Editor of the Colorado Springs Independent, for sharing it on Twitter. I’m so grateful for the community support!

Have I mentioned how much I love my job?! 

Speaking of that, Sunday I asked for your questions about professionalizing your passions – please leave those questions in the comments here!

Moving on to food, I have a confession. I cheated on my pressure cooker.  I was crazed last weekend and didn’t have the time to babysit the pressure cooker so, finally, I made dry beans in the crockpot. It was pretty liberating to toss everything in the crockpot and leave for the day and to come home to perfectly cooked beans.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I soaked 1 and 1/2 cup dry black beans overnight (they turned into 4 cups of soaked beans!).
  2. I rinsed and drained the beans before adding them to the crockpot.
  3. I added 6 cups of water, 4 cloves of diced garlic, and two bay leaves.
  4. I covered and cooked on high for 5 hours.

I don’t use salt when cooking dry beans because they may not cooking evenly and/or the skins on the bean may split.  In this case I didn’t even salt the beans after I cooked them – I decided to season the beans based on how I used them.

Sunday night, my omnivore husband made us a quick meal by sautéing the beans in a bit of extra virgin olive oil with yellow peppers, cumin, red pepper flakes and sea salt.  He served the beans over a baked potato and topped it off with Sriracha. [click to continue…]

JL Fields is co-author of the forthcoming Vegan for Her: The Women’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet and writes the blog JL goes Vegan.

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