Cows, Pigs, and Vegan Pizza… Oh My!
Though farm sanctuaries have been around for a few decades, they weren’t on my radar until I watched a Gene Baur interview on the Daily Show. Early on in the interview Jon Stewart made a remark that would stick with me:
“It’s harder to eat meat when you know the animal’s name…”
His quote proved true for me… after visiting Pasado’s Safe Haven, an animal sanctuary located in a small Washington town near Seattle, I decided never again could I eat these beautiful creatures that I had stood so close to and had fed. Each of the animals at Pasado’s has a name and a backstory. So yeah… it’s harder to eat meat when you know the animal’s name!
Pasado’s Safe Haven is an amazing place. It’s the largest animal sanctuary in the Pacific Northwest, providing a home for 200-250 animals at any given time. Not only a sanctuary, Pasado’s also investigates animal cruelty crimes, provides animal rehabilitation, offers free and reduced-cost spay/neuter services, advocates for better laws to protect animals, has an adoption program, and educates the public on how they can help to end animal suffering. Yeah, they’re pretty busy over there!!
Since they are not open to the public on a daily basis, I like to keep an eye on any events that they’ll be hosting. This past weekend was such an event: Anatomy of the Perfect Vegan Pizza Cooking Class and Sanctuary Tour.
A tour of the sanctuary and vegan pizza?! Woohoo, yes please!
The event started with a tour, where we once again got up close and personal with farm animals. For me the highlight was our time spent amongst the pigs. Before hanging out with pigs, I never realized what a fun spirit they have. That and they LOVE food, perhaps more than I do.
After the tour, the group gathered around the Pasado’s open kitchen area and watched a wonderful presentation by Renee Press, owner of Fire and Earth Kitchen. Renee, with the help of her husband Nicholas Van Strander, not only demonstrated the how-tos of making the perfect vegan pizza, but they also answered any question we could come up with and imparted many tips that I’d never heard of before. For example, did you know that adding black pepper to turmeric enhances the properties of turmeric by 1,000 times?! I didn’t know that little tidbit but I do now! Another thing I didn’t know is that you are not limited to only pine nuts when making pesto. One of her pizza creations that she demonstrated used sunflower seeds instead! (It tasted AMAZING!)
There were three pizzas on the menu: Handmade Spinach Pizza Rolls, Indian Pizza Bites, and a Flat-Bread Pizza with Sunflower Pesto. If only I could keep one of these pizzas in my pocket at all times to pull out and present to “vegan pizzas can’t taste good” naysayers, I would be able to change a lot of minds!
I was excited to hear that Renee and her husband are working on a cookbook and that it will feature two of these fabulous recipes: the Pizza Rolls & Indian Pizza Bites. While you’ll have to wait for the cookbook to come out to enjoy those recipes, you can try out the yummy Sunflower Pesto and Cheese Pizza recipe right now.
If you live in the Seattle area, I encourage you to check into any upcoming events at Pasado’s Safe Haven. You’ll have a great time! Also, if you have a chance to take a class offered by Fire and Earth Kitchen, DOOOOO it! Your stomach will thank you, as well as anybody else you cook for using Renee’s recipes!