February 2015 INVSOC Potluck

 The Invercargill Vegan Society had a stellar second potluck for 2015.  Close on the heels of our SIT Orientation Week Market Day stall, vegan fun was in the air.

Invercargill Vegan Society members celebrated February with an SIT O Week stall, an “Easy Vegan” book giveaway.  Ours was a potluck packed with new vegans from Queenstown to Otautau.

Cuisine ranged from “Muyaddara” (lentils and rice) with spiced coconut yoghurt, to fried bread.   “Easy Vegan” Shepherd’s Pie, spicy curry, Oh She Glows “Banana Date Muffin Tops” and Hell Pizza, we had a grand time.

With many of our regulars away – we joked they were away secretly working in slaughterhouses! #veganscandal  – we had a big influx of first-timers!  Suzi and Grant from Otautau, Michelle, visiting filmmakers Lyn and Jay from Queenstown, Channelle – wow!

 We also had a giveaway prize, new plant based diet cookbook “Easy Vegan” by Sue Quinn.  The Invercargill Vegan Society was sent a review copy, and we were delighted to award it to a deserving winner.  It’s not vegan to “feather your own nest”, feathers being animal products! :-P

Our review as follows:

“Easy Vegan” targets the trend of people trying plant based diets for health reasons.  The book doesn’t mention animal rights, or that someone has a vegan lifestyle because you love animals and don’t want to use them as mere property.  Author Sue Quinn has written several cookbooks but this is her first aimed at plant based dieters.  Unfortunately she left what I assume is standard fine print text from her other, Non-Vegan cookbooks in her latest work. The warning reads; “IMPORTANT: Those who might be at risk from the effects of salmonella poisoning (the elderly, pregnant women, young children, and those suffering from immune deficiency diseases) should consult their doctor with any concerns about eating raw eggs.”  Erghhh!  None of the recipes inside “Easy Vegan” suggest eating eggs though :-)

Scrambled disclaimer aside, Quinn says she has opened her mind to meals without using animal products.   “Before I started writing this book, I feared that eating a vegan diet equated to deprivation.  But once I began to explore plant-based recipes, I realised that it’s not about missing out at all.”   This cookbook suggests that vegan food is both easy to prepare and delicious.

“Easy Vegan” features beautiful illustrations and there are lots of options for brunches, salads, soups, mains and desserts.  I thought the sections on vegan-izing recipes were particularly useful – making butter, cheese, cream, yoghurt, plant milks, pastry, and burgers.   There is also plenty to choose from if you are looking for winter comfort food or meals with which to win the hearts of non-vegan friends.  I’m looking forward to trying more recipes – most of all the quinoa bircher breakfast bowl, mushroom and avocado panini, spinach and mushroom quiche along with (vegan!) cheeses and burgers.  We look forward to sharing “Easy Vegan” recipes at our next Invercargill Vegan Society potluck :-)

“Easy Vegan” by Sue Quinn
On sale Feb 2 where all good books are sold.
RRP – $49.99″

We asked Invercargill Vegan Society to share what they like most about having a vegan lifestyle, about not wanting to wear, use, hurt or eat animals.  We had many entries, but our independent judge picked……Suzi and Grant!  Living in Otautau, they’re new to veganism and have a fantastic garden.  They’re trying to grow everything they can, from soybeans to elderberries!

Suzi wrote:I really dislike the idea of using animals for human food and other needs (due to the terrible torture they often suffer all their lives just so they can be killed and eaten or used to satisfy humans), so we have decided to go Vegan at last!. We have been organic only and also strict free-range only for years now and I have been personally nearly totally vegetarian for the last 2 years, but its time to take the next step, as a lot of what I was eating was already vegan anyway. And, it feels so good!! Initially I did the vegetarian thing for health reasons, but along the way I became more and more uncomfortable with the way humans exploited animals for their own purposes. Also, being a follower of The Way, I did not believe this was what humans or animals were created for. So, this is the next step in the journey, my walk back to the Garden of Eden!”

To test out “Easy Vegan”, we picked the (sea) Shepherd’s Pie recipe to share at our potluck.  Boy, it was so good, those shepherds should give up the sheep business and cook vegan food :-)


Serving out at the February 2015 INVSOC Potluck

“World’s Fire-iest Indian”? :-)  Visiting filmmakers Lyn and Jay brought a HOT curry, with beautiful colour.

They sagely brought emergency mango yoghurt, to simmer the sizzle :-)

Another new friend at the potluck, Michelle is actually quitting her dayjob to really sell food at markets!  Her “Frybread” is reminiscent of a doughnut – she indeed sells them with jam and cream.  We’re excited to know Michelle, and that she is selling her treats in vegan versions, for the growing vegan consumer market throughout Southland :-)

A little healthier, “Steamed rice and Chia”

Hell Pizza, “Sinister”.  Served fresh, our library potlucks are just a few doors north from Hell!


Suzi and Grant brought “Muyaddara”, with spiced coconut yoghurt they also made themselves :-)


Willy is an expert with flavoured curry combinations        

 “Easy Vegan” Shepherd’s Pie, spicy curries, “Sinister” pizza literally from Hell, Frybread

 Polished off with Channelle’s “Oh She Glows Banana Date Muffin Tops”


What a potluck!  Congratulations to “Easy Vegan” winners Suzi and Grant, and to all our new vegan friends.  Thank you for a lovely evening of garden tips, curry and conversation :-)