It’s gonna be a tapas bar or something. Bummer it’s not all vegan but not surprised, Eric Tucker isn’t vegan and blarg. I mean, I’m excited for a new veg restaurant but I’m bummed that someone coming from one of the world’s best vegan restaurants, one that basically re-invented vegan cooking and made it so amazing, is falling back on eggs and cheese. Disappointing.
That said, call us! We want to come to the soft opening and eat all your vegan food and throw the vegetarian bullshit in the bay. You’ll love it.
Two important announcements about SF Vegan Bakesale!
1) There will be adoptable cats AND KITTENS (!!!) from Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue will be OTS to cuddle and love on and possibly bring home with you. I SAID, KITTENS GODDAMMIT.
2) The awesome TJ Basa from San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (SFCHRP) will be joining us to collect money and relief goods to send to communities in the Philippines devastated by recent typhoons and floods. As you may have heard, Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) battered the Philippines on September 26, 2009, causing flood levels to reach record highs. Over 300 people are dead, with more still missing. Over 500,000 people lost their homes and livelihoods and are crowded in makeshift evacuation centers. Government response has been criminally inadequate and that is why progressive groups and individuals in the Bay Area are working closely with grassroots organizations in the Philippines to distribute medicine, food, clothing, toiletries, and other necessities to those most in need. It’s beyond devastating and we can help. Please bring what you can, every little bit is appreciated and yeah, it will make you feel like you can at least help with something during the collapse of this pitiful world. Signed, Sunshine McSeesTheBrightSideOfThings.
Fall is here! It's roasted pumpkin time and I am inappropriately excited about it!
This past week/weekend, it seemed pumpkins were taking over the city! They were suddenly available everywhere as if by magic! In reality, it’s probably years of ingrained production process and distribution channel timing that brings a mass crop of pumpkins to urban markets during a precise week in early October, but it is much more fun to anthropomorphize adorable pumpkins than to think about agribusiness. Vegans do enough worrying about agribusiness already. So, to bring it back to the bounty of the harvest and the magic of autumn, I got my pumpkin at my local farmer’s market. I’m not too good for Trader Joe’s though; the pumpkins there look totally fine.
The pumpkin I got is smaller and sweeter than the monstrous ‘roid rage kind typically reserved for Jack O’Lanterns. Our hero is cutely named “pie” pumpkin, because that is what most of America is planning to use it for. And, at the end of the roasting described here, you’re welcome to puree it and use it for pumpkin pie, although I don’t know why you would when there’s a whole wide world of pancakes, curries, and just eating it out of the rind with a spoon covered in Earth Balance, but we’ll get to that.
First, you need to rinse it, pop off the stem, and cut it in half with a big knife. A serrated knife is best, and so is a saw-like motion. When you get it halved, scoop out the seeds. If you have a fancy ice cream scoop or melon baller, bully for you. I used a regular spoon. Turn the oven on to about 400-450F.
Pro tip: don’t throw away the seeds!
Lay them out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and stick them in the (now hot) oven for about 15 minutes for a tasty, zinc-filled snack!
Now you want to grab a Pyrex baking dish, big enough to hold both halves of the pumpkin, so like the kind you’d make brownies in. Put about an inch of water in the bottom. This supposedly helps to keep the flesh moist while roasting.
Next, get out a tub of Earth Balance and rub a lot of it on each exposed half. This is actually what keeps the flesh moist while roasting. This is also what makes it delicious when it comes out of the oven, and you will probably just want to scoop out bites with a spoon, which is what we did. But if you are feeling industrious, you can do something else with the flesh when it cools, like the aforementioned puree with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices, or something hip like pumpkin curry. Or if you really want to be cool, use Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for apple-pumpkin risotto in this month’s Bust Magazine, which we can’t link you directly to but you really ought to go buy a copy; it contains much useful and entertaining shit in addition to said vegan risotto and a candy corn recipe from SF’s own Melisser!
In conclusion, stick the buttered pumpkin skin side down (butter side up) in the pan of water and roast in the 400-450 oven for an hour-ish. Let cool and enjoy autumn!
Opinions needed: Help Design a Bay Area Vegetarian Restaurant
GreenBar is a vegetarian “fast casual restaurant” coming soon to the Bay Area. Apparently they haven’t even settled on which city they’ll be in yet, so the actual physical eating establishment is obviously a long ways off. But they are testing the waters right now to see what we want to eat. And leave your contact info for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card — as if you needed any incentive!
"If you could create your ideal fast casual vegetarian restaurant, what kinds of food would you want most to be on its menu?"
"Do you have any suggestions to improve the current vegetarian restaurants in the Bay Area?"
It’s too much all at once. I’ve got the shakes. SO MUCH TO SAY.
What’s on your vegan restaurant wish list? Biscuits and gravy? Waffles? Tempeh reuben? Chili cheese fries on top of pizza and deep fried? I know you have some opinions, it’s time to weigh in! For the good of our city!
East Bay Vegan Drinks is at Lake Chalet in Oakland tonight from 6:30p-8:30p. Meet on The Dock so you can mingle outdoors (although this might change as it’s currently raining like a motherfucker (no idea what that means but GIIIIIRRRRRRLLLL, it is scurry out there).
Looks like there are a couple vegan options on the menu (a vegan pot pie!?) but I can’t link it here because they put their menu in PDF and homie don’t play that. I’d be prepared to come on an empty stomach and leave on an empty stomach, sloshed.
You are welcome (and encouraged) to bring announcements, event flyers, business cards and any anything else you can think of to optimize your networking experience. Girl, you better work it.
Also, if anyone is going, can you puh-leaz make an announcement about SF Vegan Bakesale? It’s THIS SATURDAY!!!
I just noticed the Los Angeles Times food blog is participating in VeganMofo2009. This is very cool of them! They’ll be trying out an Isa Moskowitz recipe once a day in their test kitchen and blogging about the results. Today’s recipe: romesco sauce
HEY GUYS! Get to Mission Pie this Sunday, Oct. 11 for the third annual Pie Contest! Last year Vegansaurus’ own Laura was awarded Best Vegan Pie for her shoofly pie, and won a sweet Mission Pie gift certificate. And this was before they had made one vegan pie—think of how much more valuable such a prize is this year!
The competition is bound to be fiercer this year, as far as pie goes, so get over there on Sunday with your best dish!—we expect big things from you, friends and neighbors. They’ll receive entries between 1 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, with judging (and tasting!) to occur from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tasting is free!
The Metreontheater is probably my favorite place in San Francisco to see a (non-indie*) movie because it’s in close proximity to the new Island Earth Farmers’ Market deliciousness (um, in the same building). You can grab some vegan snackities and sneak them into the theater (oh and check out VegNews list of vegan friendly movie theater fare…red vines, holla!) and then get ready for the show of your life because this theater can get <3 GHETTO <3.
Seeing a movie here makes me so thankful that i have safe and legal access to RU-486. I mean, what kind of a human being brings their child to see Saw XL: SERIAL KILLERS EATING BABY FACES?! That’s some straight Britney Spears shit there. That woman should be imprisoned for life and I should be given her kid to raise on an island with only tree bark for food and sea shells for reading material. Believe me, the child would be far better off. And by far better off, I mean famished, dehydrated and dumb as dirt. So as I was saying, far better off.
PRO TIP! When the box office line is out of control, go UPSTAIRS and buy your ticket from the automated machines by the snack bar. There’s never a wait. YOU’RE WELCOME.
*oh like you never jerked it to Hilary Duff, LIAR.
Newspapers: not entirely useless! Today’s Contra Costa Times (newspaper to the stars! of the East Bay! kill me!) features a few soup recipes that sound delicious and can be easily veganized. Really, there’s no reason why they aren’t vegetarian; no one needs to use chicken broth when vegetable stock is just as easily made/obtained and doesn’t involve animal death. That cruelty-free isn’t the default is stupid and careless. We’ve got a long way to go, vegans.
Still, the soups—butternut squash chipotle bisque, roasted tomato with garlic croutons, and carrot with cumin and lime—look tasty, uncomplicated, and pretty perfect for early fall in the Bay Area, when the nights are growing longer and colder but the last of the tomatoes are still lingering on the vine.
Butternut Squash Chipotle Bisque (serves six to eight) Ingredients 1 medium butternut squash 3 Tbsp. olive oil 1½ cups chopped onion ½ cup chopped celery ½ cup chopped carrot 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 to 6 cups stock or broth 3 tsp. minced, canned chipotle in adobo Salt, fresh ground pepper optional: ½ cup vegan sour cream
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds, discarding the stringy pulp. Put the seeds in a sieve and rinse. Set aside. 2. Grease a glass baking dish with 1 Tbsp. oil, then place the squash in the dish, cut side down. Pierce all over with a fork and roast 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool. 3. Heat remaining oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more. 4. Scoop the flesh of the squash into the pot and stir. Add 4 cups broth and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender. 5. Meanwhile, toast the reserved squash seeds in a small pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crunchy, about 30 minutes. Season heavily with salt and set aside. 6. Puree the soup in batches in a blender, adding more broth to get the desired consistency. 7. Stir the remaining 2 tsp. chipotle into the bisque and ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a dollop of vegan sour cream, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of seeds.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons (serves six) Ingredients Soup 18 plum tomatoes 2¼ tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. kosher salt ¾ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary 3 large garlic cloves, minced ½ cup olive oil plus extra 3½ cups stock, divided 2 Tbsp. fresh basil Garlic Croutons 1½ Tbsp. olive oil 1½ Tbsp. nondairy butter 2 cups bread cubes (half-inch dice), made from French bread, crusts included 1½ tsp. minced garlic
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a large baking sheet generously. 2. Halve tomatoes lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Let drain. 3. In a large bowl, mix pepper, salt, rosemary, garlic and ½ cup olive oil and whisk to blend. Add tomatoes and toss well. Marinate for 15 minutes. 4. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture over them. Roast until tomatoes are softened and browned around the edges, about 50 to 60 minutes. 5. Place half the tomatoes in a food processor. Pour in 1 cup stock and pulse until pureed. 6. Coarsely chop remaining tomatoes. In a soup pot, combine the chopped and pureed tomatoes and remaining stock and bring just to a simmer. Season with salt. 7. For the croutons, melt the oil and nondairy butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread cubes and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes until bread is golden and crisp. 8. Garnish each serving with basil and croutons.
Carrot Soup with Cumin and Lime (serves 6) Ingredients 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped 2 cups chopped leeks 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic 3½ tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 6½ cups stock 2 Tbsp. lime juice Kosher salt, pepper Garnish: chopped cilantro and grated lime zest optional: 8 Tbsp. vegan sour cream, divided
Directions 1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot and leeks and saute until leeks begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add cumin and red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds more. 2. Add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, about 35 minutes. 3. Puree the soup in batches and return soup to the pot. Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime juice stirred into each bowl. Or cool the soup, whisk in 6 tablespoons of sour cream and refrigerate for three hours or overnight. When ready to serve, stir in lime juice, season to taste and serve topped with a sprinkling of cilantro and lime zest, and a dollop of vegan sour cream if desired.
Hey everyone! What are you doing on Saturday, Oct. 10? Yeah I didn’t think it was anything good. Thankfully your Vegansaurus knows: You’re going to a party at El Rio for Rocket Dog Rescue! SO MANY exclamation points!! There will be live music, and dogs, and you need to be there! They’ll take donations at the door, it’ll be super-awesome fantastic, see you on Saturday! Woo!
You’re putting this on your calendar right now, aren’t you? Call your out-of-town friends and demand they join you for fun and excitement and the sweetest, most deserving dogs you’ll ever meet. Also El Rio’s backyard, come on—so great.
Susie Cagle’s new comic book, Nine Gallons, details her experiences—equal parts hilarious and bewildering—as a volunteer for Food Not Bombs. She also writes for lots of awesome publications, including The Daily Cross Hatch. In addition to all that, Susie is SUPER FUCKING FUNNY. If you don’t follow her on twitter, you’re missing out on one of the most charming, funny, smart, and fantastic things on the entire internet. THE ENTIRE INTERNET, PEOPLE. THAT INCLUDES R.KELLY VIDEOS AND KEYBOARD CAT (he’s a cat! playing a keyboard! HILARIOUS!). Susie recently moved back to the bay area so let’s welcome her by saying all sort of nice things in the comments section, okay!?
How long have you been vegan? Four years..? Before that I was vegetarian for… six years? something like that. But I’ve had some cheegan moments, I admit—it hasn’t really been easy going, especially on long road trips. (Yes, please, bring on the hate comments.)
Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination? I guess it’s a combination, but primarily environmental and animal rights reasons. I’ve always liked to call myself a Reluctant Vegan, because of and despite many different factors; I don’t think food politics are black and white, I don’t think it’s healthy to look at anything that way, especially issues so complicated. I mean, veganism isn’t sustainable on a worldwide scale; I wish vegans were more willing to talk about things like that. And I’m still pretty freaked out by the vegan cult and anyone talking about “cleansing.” I think vegan outreach kind of sucks for these reasons—food choices are very personal, deeply ingrained in culture and upbringing, and they won’t be easily changed, even when people are presented with facts. As a journalist, I should know that presenting people with facts doesn’t do much good. I think if you want to make real strides, they should be presented with tiramisu cupcakes. But I guess I got a little off-topic there.
Vegetarianism (or some may say near-vegetarianism) is sustainable worldwide, as it uses resources that exist; if cows, goats and chickens were no longer factory farmed but just roamed the countryside, it would be better for the planet for us to use their extra milk and eggs (eggs especially since chickens produce lots). Same for wool, or things like ahimsa silk (from abandoned silk worm nests). But if you’re an abolitionist vegan, it would still be completely wrong to you on moral, animal rights grounds. This is where my whole Reluctant Vegan thing sort of comes into play—I think it’s the best answer to the current situation we’re in, but I don’t think it’s necessarily the best answer ever for all circumstances and for all times. I mean, is living on a diet of prepackaged vegan treats that’ve been shipped across the country better for the planet than drinking the milk from your well-treated cow on your own farm? That might not be the most fair comparison, I’m just playing devil’s advocate. (This is why I often wear used leather instead of buying new PVC products that often degrade faster and require more new purchases.) Then it gets into cultural differences, like what about native tribes in Brazil? Should they not fish in their rivers? Should they survive on rice and grass and import tofu and seitan at a great cost to themselves and the planet? The logical extensions of these arguments become problematic. Plus then this gets into the fact that a lot of prominent vegans I know whose names I really can’t use have told me they would or do eat eggs from their friends’ chickens…
I’d love to spark some debate on these things though since I think it’s important to constantly reevaluate your political beliefs. And maybe that’s the difference for me: I see veganism as a political choice, whereas I know some other people see it as closer to a moral or even spiritual choice. Maybe, though, that’s because I identify more closely with environmental concerns than just with animal rights.
In “Nine Gallons,” you volunteer with Food Not Bombs and the experience was…interesting. Has anyone from FNB seen the comic? What do you think of them now? Would you encourage people to volunteer there? Is the soup really edible? A couple of volunteers have seen the book, but no one who’s actually in it has seen it yet, as far as I know. (Though I’ve been told that they were portrayed very true-to-life… Yikes.) I think Food Not Bombs is great, and I would absolutely encourage everyone to volunteer with them. Why go to a government-run food bank when you could volunteer with wacky anarchists and salvage food that will otherwise be thrown away? I hope when the story is completed people will see that there’s a lot of good to be done there, especially if you’re also a person in need and if you already know where the good dumpsters are. And yes, the soup is really edible, though some batches are certainly better than others.
How has being vegan influenced your comics? I’ve done a fair number of vegan comics, like this one about the FBI infiltrating vegan potlucks that no one believes is based on this story about FBI agents in Minneapolis trying to infiltrate the radical community. I think sometimes people think I’m just making this shit up, even when I say “true stories.” There’s also some conversation about veganism later on in “Nine Gallons.” I’ve written a lot more comics about industrial food production, factory farming and modern food science I’d like to do in the future too.
Who is your favorite cartoonist, vegan or not? it’s okay to say Jonas. In fact, it’s best if you do. KIDDING! Aw man, I have lots of favorite cartoonists… I’m going to suggest some people that maybe your readers are less likely to have heard of already. I think Hellen Jo is a watercoloring force to be reckoned with. Ken Dahl draws like a motherfucker. Eleanor Davis is completely underrated. In terms of storytelling specifically, I really like Chester Brown, and Guy Delisle and Joe Sacco’s reportage stuff. There are a lot more, but I’m on deadline… And if you’re looking for more vegan comics, J.T. Yost is really great. You guys should interview him too! [Ed.: Forthcoming!]
What is your favorite animal? Otters holding hands; runners-up: kittens in a tissue box.
Favorite vegan food to make? Apricot almond cupcakes from VCTOTW. Dreena Burton’s chocolate chip cookies, because they’re done in 15 minutes, start to finish. And seitan riblets, easiest seitan dish I’ve ever made.
Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant/favorite vegan restaurant? Crispy nuggets at Vegetarian Palate in Brooklyn, hands down. (Ed.: FUCK YEAH DELICIOUS CRISPY NUGGETS FROM VEGETARIAN PALATE!!)
Based on food options alone, which is your favorite comics show to travel to? Well, I’ve never been to the vegan hipster mecca that is Portland, Oregon so I’m not sure I can give a complete answer. But I think New York offers an astonishingly wide range of foods.
Any eating tips for traveling cartoonists? Primal Strips (Ed.: FUCK YEAH DELICIOUS PRIMAL STRIPS!!!)are a great thing to have on hand. They’re like 10 grams of protein for $1 or something, maybe $1.50 with inflation. And just do your research — consult the hive mind. Lots of places that don’t seem veg friendly totally are. I used to manage the restaurant database for SuperVegan when I lived in New York and I was always running across random vegan treats at unexpected spots.
Do you have one drawing tip to share? Just keep doing it—you’ll get better, and the more you do it, the faster you’ll get better.
Do you have a day job, or do you draw comics full-time? Well, neither. I’m currently a victim of the economic downturn and its particular wrath on journalism. I’m freelancing for a few different places, but this has given me a lot of time to be drawing comics.
I have to ask you about your dad. What influence did his career have on your own path as a cartoonist? Wait, does that mean you’re going to post that picture of me in the bath? Please don’t! (My father is an editorial cartoonist; before that he was a commercial illustrator for many years, including a long stint with the Henson company drawing, as he puts it, “pigs and frogs.”) I think my father has been a big influence on me in terms of his ambitiousness and his determination to do his own projects; I definitely have that headstrong perspective, sometimes to a fault. One of my most vivid memories as a kid was his always reminding me that he’s never had a real job; of course, one my other most vivid memories as a kid was thinking that we were always one Zillions cover from economic ruin. But I think just being around so many cartoonists growing up gave me the bug—our annual family vacation was to the National Cartoonists Society Convention, after all.
Do you guys ever get together and draw comics? What feedback has he given you on your work? When I was little my father would give me drawing lessons all the time; I have some of these old gouache paintings from when I was eight or nine, and they’re kind of amazing. But he really cracked the whip, and I stopped drawing for a good 10 years because I felt like I just wasn’t good enough at it. The guy is a harsh critic, which can be a double-edged sword—he has a lot of really great points, but he’s not so cognizant of his delivery. To be fair, he’s very critical of his own work too, and he often asks for my input on gags.
You have a cat, right? Tell us about her! Any other cute pets? Hannah! My cat followed my friend home a year and a half ago in Brooklyn, and my roommate and I had originally meant to just foster her. I was never really a cat person, I thought they were kind of boring and I was afraid of their claws. But then one night I woke up to her spooning me, and it was all over. She is three years old, her favorite game is fetch and her favorite treat is tomato paste. I still don’t think I’m a cat person, though, because I think Hannah thinks she is a dog.
What exciting upcoming projects can we look forward to? Because we do look forward to them. I’m going to be the cartoonist in residence at the Charles Schulz museum on Saturday Oct. 10, I will have a new “This is What Concerns Me” minicomic for APE about recession woes, Nine Gallons the graphic novel will, if all goes according to plan knock on wood oh my god please please please, be out next June. AND THEN I can start on this monster of a book that I’ve been writing for the last six months about California history—cults, Manifest Destiny, serial killers, natural disasters—you know, the fun stuff.
Any questions for Vegansaurus? Anything! How do you guys get all that sweet free shit?!
A: Begging, naturally! Thanks, Susie!
Susie’s comics are available for purchase at her website. GO BUY THEM ALL NOW.
Dude. We have over 40 BAKERS for the SF Vegan Bakesale! FORTY VEGAN BAKERS.
Like Kanye, our shit is so amazing. Alternately, THAT’S ALOTTA CANOLLI! Yes, there will be vegan canolli. And vegan whoopie pies. And vegan cinnamon rolls. And vegan cheesecake squares. And vegan gluten free brownies and cookies. And vegan non-gluten free brownies and cookies. And vegan pie. And vegan bike basket pies. AND HOLY CRAP, my pants just split! You hang on to that sexy, sexy image all day, perv.
So check out the adorbs poster and follow the SF Vegan Bakesale on twitter and you know, come to the damn event. And if you want to bake, volunteer, hang posters around your gayberhood, whatevs, you know who to do. I mean, what to do I HAVE A BOYFRIEND GOD.
“It stank at the bank. It smelled at the law office. It reeked at the cafe. Even the jewelry store wasn’t immune. Everyone in this tiny town could smell it, everywhere they went. A putrid odor so downright nasty the cleaners sent to mop up the gooey mess of liquefied meat—topped by a blanket of swarming white maggots and buzzed by a legion of flies—gave up after two days.”—
The saga of the smell: 44 tons of rotting bison meat wreaks havoc on a small South Dakota town, thanks to Bridgewater Quality Meats. Hold your nose, this story has it all.
Even more info and an interview with the building owner here.
World Veg Fest, Cupcake Camp, secret vegan pizza, uncute animals, stupid lists, idiots on the radio AND MORE in this Friday's link-o-rama!!
Get busy this weekend! It’s the 10th AnnualWorld Veg Fest, as always at the County Fair Building on 9th Avenue at Lincoln in Golden Gate Park. It runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 3rd and 4th, with a $6 “suggested” (strongly encouraged) donation. Come for the free samples, stay forHoward Lyman and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Or vice-versa, whatever.
Also this weekend: Cupcake Camp 2k9! Happening on Saturday, Oct. 3rd from 2 to 5 p.m. at Auttomatic (Pier 38, next to AT&T Park at Embarcadero and Brannon Street). Free to show up and eat! RSVP here.
Popbitch directs our attention to Uncharismatic Minor-Fauna, a.k.a., endangered species that don’t get the love and aid that the big adorables do, “just because they look like frightful abominations of nature.” We can’t all be pandas and tigers and pygmy hippos, after all.
After three years, a 12-country, 16-institution team of scientists called the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium succeeded in their big goal: mapping (or sequencing, if you will) the potato genome! The potato has 12 chromosomes with 840 base pairs (in comparison, the human genome has 23 chromosomal pairs, with 3 billion base pairs). Coincidentally, just two weeks earlier another scientific team announced it had sequenced the potato blight pathogen. Vegansaurus firmly believes that what we need more of is science (and potatoes)—congratulations, potato mappers!
Farm Fresh to You was featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition” this week! Turns out you may already be eating produce from the Capay Valley at your favorite restaurant, which we assume is not Nettie’s Crab Shack, because, ew. (thanks for the link, CSA Delivery!)
KPFA hates vegetarians! No, seriously: Listen to the ridiculous nonsense they aired last week about the “destructiveness” of a vegetarian diet. I KNOW. This is by Lierre Keith, an ex-vegan and author of The Vegetarian Myth, which is just the sort of book omnivores love because it allows them to eat animals and feel morally superior—they’re the ones who’re really saving the environment, not we selfish sissypants vegans and our foolish soft-hearted misguided ways. SHUT UP FOREVER, LIERRE KEITH. Everyone knows you’re wrong.
You know how much Vegansaurus loves Animal Place—here is a chance for you to show them that you love them, too: Art for the Animals! It’s a super-cool project, and artist Sheila Tajima has a few paintings up now of different residents of Animal Place for you to purchase. All the proceeds go to the sanctuary!
Look, it’s Vegansaurus’ favorite congressional representative, Dennis Kucinich! He’s discussing health care! Needless to say, everything out of his mouth is Real Talk. If every elected official were as dedicated as him, we might actually have a functional government that served THE PEOPLE. Or at least, people with fucking sense.
Wildcare’s little Northern Pacific Rattlesnake needs a name! Already taken: Cupcake; Buttercup. Sorry everyone, Vegansaurus is just too terribly creative. Can’t hurt to enter anyway!
Well well, Delfina, isn’t this cute: “Vegan Option: Though they’re loath to mention it, the pizzaiolo will come up with a special vegan pie using whatever is around the kitchen. Definitely cooler than ordering a salsiccia sans sausage and cheese.” Thanks, Hidden Menu! You guys rock!
The Chronicle’s 2009 Bargain Bites is out! Here’s the full list. The criterion: “the majority of a restaurant’s entrees have to be $12 or less.” And delicious, one hopes. Opinions?
Ooh another list: Eater’s “Essential 38 San Francisco Restaurants.” Let’s see, anything veg? No? Shocking! But Blue Bottle and Magnolia, yes, fucking essential. You guys are the best.
Heads up! Next week Friday, Oct. 9, Papalote will donate 30 percent of all sales to disaster relief in the Philippines, which is desperate for aid in the wake of Tropical Storm Ketsana/Hurricane Ondoy. Two burritos each, everyone, it’s for charity!
“Animal Care and Control is San Francisco’s most hardcore pound. They often receive lizards, rattlesnakes, flying squirrels, and not long ago they brought in an alligator found in Lake Merced. Today I received a tour from Rebecca Katz, who is not only the director of the ACC, but she can charm snakes and is rumored to have dated Crocodile Dundee in her early teens.”—
So the forces behind San Francisco’s new vegan bakery (complete with upcoming store-front CHALLAH!) are the same folks behind Sugar Beat Sweets! Shoulda known, shoulda known. Well, their vegan baked goods are the shiz and so you know we’ll be tracking this story like a hawk. A hawk who loves cookies. Like a fat person. A hawk who loves cookies in the same way that a really fat person loves cookies. That’s how we’ll be tracking them. WHAT? That’s right.
We got a tip that there was some vegan food on Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show yesterday afternoon! Ellen had her personal chef Roberto Martin make some vegan tacos with Yves Ground Round and Daiya Vegan Cheese, a product we some of us are fanatical about.
Even better, the comments on the recipe on Ellen’s website are actually positive.
In case you were wondering, Ellen is a long-time vegetarian (here’s a video of her speaking at a PETA gala) and her and wife Portia de Rossi went vegan this year.
I stopped into Bi-Rite Market the other night, mostly to soak in some of their adorableness mojo but also to pick up supplies for this new no-wheat-no-alcohol-no-fun-kill-me-now allergy diet I’m on. I had no idea it would be a pivotal mission of new discoveries and I would become a changed woman. (I did know I’d be eating half an avocado covered in salt & pepper later on, because Bi-Rite always has excellent avocados. IN YOUR FACE, DIET!)
As I get up to the checkout counter with my yams and avocados, the typically super-nice cashier lady starts waxing enthusiastic about “kiwi berries.” I don’t think it was related to anything I was buying, I think she was just legitimately really stoked on these berries. “They are just like a kiwi,” she tells me, “but they are miniature and you eat them whole, like berries. We just got them in.” I am (of course) immediately skeptical. “Well what are they, genetically I mean,” I demand to know, “like, a kiwi? or a berry?” She isn’t sure but she thinks, a close relation to the kiwi because it looks and tastes exactly like a kiwi, but miniature, and without the unsightly brown hairy skin.
As it turns out, kiwi berries are pretty exciting. I found I couldn’t stop thinking about them, so I went back to Bi-Rite at lunch the next day and picked myself up a pack of these adorable, packed-with-vitamins, “cocktail” kiwis. At $3.99, they are about the same price as other organic berries. And I guess these are grown in Oregon, not flown in from Siberia where they are native. Not as cool, but I feel better about the carbon footprint.
According to the experts* kiwi berries are a “nutritional powerhouse,” containing vitamins E & C, more potassium than bananas, and lots of folic acid (which is really important for you if you’re a youngish woman of childbearing age who drinks too much but may someday want to have a defect-free child, not that I know anybody like that.)
Also they are ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL. Everything that is pleasant to eat about both kiwis and berries! They are sweet, bite-size, and juicy. I would highly recommend you go get you some on the double! You fools better leave some for me!
Man, the wide world of fruits and vegetables is so exciting.
Masturgardening: cheap, easy, and fun things to do with your hands and your seeds!
OK, Vegan gardeners. I know it has been a long time since I’ve written any articles for you, and no doubt you are crying into your broccoli right now wondering how you can bear to go on without my wisdom. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can do it! Yes, my articles are the best, I know, but there are other places to learn the secret skills of the garden and I am here today to reveal a pretty neat looking one to you.
The Master Gardeners are a secretive, elite organization associated with elite higher education (in this case, the University of California system) and dedicated to witchcraft, sorcery, ninja skills, and gardening. Just like the Freemasons and the Skull and Bones, except with plants! These powerful individuals devote their lives to disseminating gardening know-how to those in their communities. They offer seminars and classes on a variety of gardening subjects, and they also publish useful information on their websites. If you think you have what it takes, you can also apply to become one of these mystical agrarian do-gooders — if you’re accepted, you’ll receive some pretty awesome training.
Due to their secretive nature, they are divided into sleeper cells along California county lines. San Francisco and San Mateo County readers go here. Alameda County readers go here. You can find other California county chapters here. Those living out of state, well, good luck with that whole thing.
Gardening columnist Ben Pearson is back with a little more sexual innuendo to enrich your existence. He has a lot of degrees so he can be as lewd as he wants and still be an “intellectual.”
First, enter to win (the most delicious) Sticky FingersBakery treats over at VegNews! It’s a contest for World Vegetarian Day and so it’s TODAY ONLY SO DO IT TO IT!
Also, there is a Mission Minis deal on Joffer. You gotta sign up soon and there has to be 20 people. Or something. I’m not exactly sure how it works, to be honest. The point is, a dozen mini cupcakes for 10 bucks (33 percent savings on regular price! I LOVE A DEAL!) and although they have but one vegan cupcake, it is a dream. In fact, our sources tell us it is far superior to the “regular” ones. SO TAKE THAT, EGGS AND OTHER NON-VEGAN BULLSHIT. Anyway, be one of the first to order and order ‘em vegan so they know vegans be serious about our vegan baked goods and then they make and sell more vegan stuff and you get the idea. Oh also, they DELIVER!!! Party time! Excellent!
Here are the rules: hug a vegetarian, make sweet love* to a vegan! That’s how it works, folks! NOW GET ON IT.
Also, it’s the official start of Vegan Mofo! Basically, you just agree to post about vegan food every day in October. We signed up and it’s not too late for you to do it, either! Just check out the details on the site and go forth to make and eat delicious vegan food and then write about it and then tell us about it so we can write about you writing about it and steal your content and everyone’s happy, win-win!
*I can say make sweet love and it’s not gross but you can’t because “making love”? Puke!
Have You Heard the Good News? Vegans in a Missionary Position...
You’ve tackled the OMFGGGWHHYYYY, that decision every girl has got to make for herself—and you’re converted. Here’s your Big Book of Seitan, thanks for joining us. As we saw in the comments last time, people are pretty passionate about their own personal whys—and are ready to wear it loud and proud.
When you’re feeling great, healthy and happy with your choice, the lifestyle, the good you’re accomplishing, and gripped with the Vegenaise fever (honest to God, I’m not a vegan—I’m a Vegenaisan) it’s only natural that you start to talk about being saved. Spreading the word. Getting others to accept tofu as the Lamb of…not lamb. You want others to feel as good as you do.
That’s natural too.
It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive plea: strong and silent.
In the book of Matthew (that’s the one with all the “begats”) you see how a little movement like Christianity is born, grows, and spreads. Religions grow with a little help from their friends. Mormons know this. They’re the name-badge-wearing kids sent to your door in the hopes that if it shows up on your WELCOME mat, you’ll welcome it into your life—and tons of people do. While numbers are tricky, surveys report the Mormon Church has grown significantly and despite being less than 200 years old, the number of Mormons in the United States is roughly equal to the number of Jews. That’s some hustle.
Of course Mormons—or any religion, John Travolta/Tom Cruise and the stress tests included—have no monopoly on proselytizing. Companies like Amway, Pampered Chef, and Mary Kay recruit on the basis of enthusiasm, as does everyone’s favorite uncle, Sam. Yeah, the military recruits too.
So. As enthusiasts of a group, do we as vegans have a responsibility to be fruitful and multiply? Not by breeding baby vegans (necessarily) but by convincing others to join us. Where does veg-proselytizing fit in to your life? If you do it, what’s your approach?
Do Unto Others: You don’t want anyone coming after you with the “it’s only an egg, what’s the big deal?” argument. So you keep your choice to yourself, and let others live and let live—if they so choose.
Be Holy As I am Holy: You lead by living. You entice people to go veg by showing them it’s easy, it’s rewarding, and goldurnit, it’s the right thing to do. You’re a quiet crusader, convincing and converting by example.
Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show: You’ve seen the light, you’ve been saved, and you’re mounting a revival tent show—you don’t hesitate to tell anyone, anytime how they could better serve themselves, animals, and the planet. You preach the gospel of putting down the cheeseburger—loudly.
As for the pitch, you can make your “sell” just like tofu—ranging from silken to extra firm. Similarly, there’s a right time to use each kind: the boss at lunch might rate a silken, while the roommate gets the full-blown, Tempur-Pedic extra firm. And yes. Survey says it’s a continuum of proselytizing and chances are you fall somewhere in betwixt these—but where? Have you ever convinced anyone to veg out—and is being a missionary a required part of being a good vegan?
This is the second article in a recurring series, The Vegan Diplomat; The Art and Politics of Being Vegan in any Situation Society Throws on Your Plate, brought to us by the lovely Zoë Stagg. Zoë writes about politics, pop culture, and social media. She went cold-tofurkey—total omnivore to vegan on April 26, 2006 and never looked back. Despite her rural upbringing and the fact that her dad may have wanted her to enter the Dairy Princess pageant in high school, she firmly believes in the conservative nature of veganism. Her last non-vegan meal was a Turkey Lean Pocket. Ew.
“Lygomme™ACH Optimum functional system removes this instability by offering manufacturers a cost-effective cheese alternative for pizza which can be used to completely replace highly volatile dairy proteins. Furthermore, its appearance, taste and texture perfectly match those of processed cheese based on dairy proteins and are similar to those of traditional hard cheeses, such as gouda, cheddar or gruyere, thereby ensuring equal enjoyment and satisfaction for consumers.”—From Cargill (big evil dairy fools) via Paul Shapiro. Man, this could be amazing…NO MORE DAIRY FROM COWS. I mean, dang. Fingers and toes and even my legs are crossed. EVEN MY LEGS. That’s how bad I want this, people.
Pi Bar, take 52! OH AND SCREW YOU BEFORE YOU SAY SHIT I'll WRITE ABOUT WHAT I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT
I am in an ornery way today. A cocktail of vicodin, theraflu, and percocet (HA I WISH) will do that to a girl. I love my life, I’m alive, someone get me down from here, I think I need to go to the hospital. There, we’ve run the gamut of my emotions. I cycle those about every 15 minutes. Right now, I’m riding the high so let’s do the damn thing!
So, from our hot field reporter/disqus commenter, Kim, we learn that our BFFs at Pi Bar are responding to emails. Here is what she received:
Kim rightfully points out that calling veganism a hardship is bullshit and I’ll also note that if you were vegan at one point in your life then you were never actually vegan because you, Sir, DID NOT GET IT. Anyway, cheers to them for responding to a vegan and although they are clearly not the brightest (LAURA! What?? They’re not rocket scientists so really, it’s not an insult, is it?), I look forward to sampling their wares/giving them all my money, as they are right across the street and I am SO HELLA SUPER LAZY, you have no idea. Let’s do this, Pi Bar.
Update: Pi Bar is apparently open now, and at the moment has no explicitly vegan options on its menu. Hoping that changes! For both our sakes, you get me? Have you guys heard of Daiya yet? Also, they have a MANIFESTO? I kinda want to beat them for that.
This is Laura. I am back from the edge. I mean, I literally almost threw myself off a cliff because I’ve been SO FUCKING SICK AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS DIE. AND EAT. I don’t know what’s up with that? Why can’t I be like a fucking normal person and not want to gorge myself when I’m sick?? I swear, I might have a glandular disorder. Only cure? MORE FOOD! Okay so. This weekend, it’s the 10th Annual World Veg Fest in San Francisco. It’s co-sponsored by the extra-awesome VegNews magazine, and our friends at Sugar Beat Sweets will be on the scene with mad vegan treats and so I think that’s reason enough to go, right? If not, tons of awesome speakers (and um, not so awesome speakers but I’m a total player hater. I WILL JUST SAY THIS: Please stop having totally irrelevant octogenarians babbling crazy talk at these things. Vegans already look crazytown enough and then we have to compete with that? It’s enough to make me start gnawing on my own arm BECAUSE THEN I’LL LOOK AS BATSHIT AS MOST PEOPLE THINK VEGANS ARE. In other news, I’m starving.)
I definitely won’t be missing Howard Lyman because he’s the total shit (READ THIS) and he’s all super nice in a grandpa type-way and you’re not sure if he’s hitting on you or just being super nice but really he’s just being super nice and you have a weirdly inflated sense of how good looking you are. Also, maybe he’s hitting on you. Mystery! Intrigue! Suspense! It can all be yours this weekend for only $6 suggested donation at the door!
Also, there is reportedly going to be vegan speed dating happening as well. So just in case Howard Lyman is totally on the level, you can go get your creepy vibe fix in there. Shudder. OR MAYBE YOU’LL FIND TRUE LOVE WHO KNOWS I MET MY BOYFRIEND ONLINE ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME OKAY?
[Note: I have been cross-posting my Top Chef recaps with my blog, BravoFan. So now you get to read these amazing masterpieces twice!]
On last night’s Top Chef, every one wore red scarves in honor of Mattin’s departure. I hope those were clean before he gave them away to everyone. Or was he like: “Here’s a parting gift, guys! My sweaty scarves! Au revoir!” The quickfire challenge was to make food that represented their “devil” side and their “angel” side.
All of the chefs essentially made non-fatty food and fatty food. Robin, the little cancer patient that could, ended up winning the challenge and winning immunity. All the other cheftestants were visibly annoyed, including Eli, who said it was her cancer story that made Michelle Bernstein pick her as the winner. I was annoyed. We were all annoyed. But hey, apple crisp is an easy way into anyone’s heart. And a sad story about cancer.
Penn & Teller then showed up as the episode’s celebrity guests. This makes me wonder, why wasn’t Carrot Top, who also has a long-standing show in Las Vegas, not invited as a celebrity judge? He gets no respect and he works so hard, you guys! There is no justice in this world. The challenge was to deconstruct a set of classic dishes, each assigned via knife. Cue all contestants complaining that this is “not the food they do.” Great, but not the point, chefs!
Mike Isabella didn’t know what eggs Florentine were; this isn’t surprising, they don’t serve that at Denny’s or IHOP. Ron totally struggled with his paella. I knew he was a goner when he said that they serve paella at his restaurant and he would know what to do, especially when it was apparent that he had no idea how to handle the assignment. Robin, with her handy little immunity, made a completely disgusting sounding “clam flan.” No one seems to like her presence in the kitchen and her habit of narrating everything she’s doing.
Toby Young returned to judges table and was actually not that bad. They tried to make it seem like the contestants were scared of him by calling him a “food critic” but I think everyone knows what role Toby truly fulfills on the show. It’s not like he’s Frank Bruni or Michael Bauer or any of the big name food critics. I totally loved Michelle Bernstein correcting him that she pronounced paella the correct way because she’s Latina.
Kevin won the challenge with his deconstructed mole, which looks like it was such an awesome combination of flavors, including something called PUMPKIN ROMESCO, YOU GUYS. We love romesco sauce here and that just sounds fantastic. Ashley also redeemed herself with her deconstructed pot roast. Her fetish for purees is annoying me. No more baby food! On the bottom: Laurine , Ron and Ash. None of those people surprises me, Ash has been sucking lately (he didn’t even complete the quickfire) and Laurine just couldn’t handle the deconstructed fish & chips. It was sad to see Ron go, but I think his cooking style just doesn’t fit in with the competition.
Only one truly vegan-friendly dish this week: underdog Robin’s raw salad of apple and fennel. There was also Ron’s yucca and corn mash, but Bravo’s editors aren’t evolved enough yet to figure out that the side dish could be labeled vegetarian.
The East Coast branch of Vegansaurus had the privelege of attending Veggie Conquest, a new amateur vegan cooking competition in New York City. It’s described as an event for “vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, raw foodists, fruitarians, and whatever-other-tarians with a love for food.”
Here’s how it works: a secret ingredient is picked a week before the event and is emailed to those who’ve signed up as chefs. No recipes are allowed! Each competing dish is evaluated by three judges, who score on taste, originality and presentation. There’s also an opportunity to win a “taster’s choice” award.
In person, the event is run really well. I’ve been to other open food events and have never left as well-fed as I was here. The competing dishes are served to each taster by volunteers followed by a buffet-style presentation for main dishes and dessert. This time around, the desserts were provided by Sweet & Sara, vegan marshmellow queen.
The secret ingredient this time was squash. Up for prizes were Butter-Nutty Squash Dip, Squash Chips With Watermelon salsa, Squash-Stuffed Mushrooms, and Smoked Chili Buttercup-Squash-Filled Zucchini Blossoms. My personal favorite were the stuffed mushrooms, which won second place. The winner of both the taster’s choice and judge’s choice was the very unique smoked chili buttercup squash. Rather than describe dishes to you, I took a video of all the chefs describing their process and attempted to get a little competitive, which kind of failed. These are all very nice people!
Thanks to Jessica of Veggie Conquest for letting us into the event and letting me harass her chefs!
“Animals do not want to die. They can feel pain and fear, and, just like us, will struggle to breathe for even one single more second. If you’re about to run 250 volts through a pig, do not look it in the eyes. It is not going to absolve you.”—
This is an interesting essay on “a course focused on the slaughtering and processing of meat animals” by a food science grad student. The author was and remains an omnivore.
What do you think, vegans? One of the commenters on The Ethicurean argues that “a short happy life” that ends in “a humane death” is preferable to living in the wild and “dying of starvation or cold in the winter,” or “at the claws and teeth of a [predator].” I would say, That’s a lot of assumptions you make there, commenter “Walter Jeffries,” that 1) we can and do give domesticated animals happier lives and more humane deaths in slaughterhouses than they’d otherwise have; and 2) the only alternatives to slaughterhouse murder are bad-but-natural deaths in the wild. What about sheep and goats kept just for wool? What about horses? There are plenty of farm animals that have long and happy lives that don’t end in terror or pain.
But omnivores—and this is a point that Jake Lahne, the author, makes in his essay—are willfully myopic about such options; their desire to eat meat will trump all other considerations. When hasn’t it? When was the last time your closest animal-eating friends/relations refused to eat meat because the animal was raised on a factory farm? When did they last turn down cheese because it came from dairy cows, producers of veal calves? Anyone?
Hey vegans! Who already knew all seven of the animal ingredients? Who didn’t? The anal glands business was (disgusting, awful) news to me. Also, natural L-cysteine/cystine. Nastier living through chemistry!
SF Vegan Drinks are tonight (Sep. 24th), from 6 to 8 p.m. at Martuni’s! Yes! AND this month there will be FREE BAKED GOODS from Violet Sweet Shoppe on hand! If you haven’t tried the VEGAN WHOOPIE PIES, now would be your chance! See you there, party people! Ow!
I have no excuse for the Top Chef recap being this late this week, except perfection takes sweet time. Besides, don’t you need a fresh reminder for tomorrow’s episode? So much has happened in the past week. There was the Emmys on Sunday, which unless you are an obsessive pop culture aficioniado (or someone posessing an actual life, which I most certainly don’t have) you probably didn’t watch. Top Chef was up for two awards, both of which they lost to two programs that have been on for a really long time and proved that the Academy voters don’t actually watch reality tv.
Anyway, whatever, who even watches Survivor anymore? Moving on to last week’s episode, they had another “high-stakes” quickfire, this time involving cactus. Every one was very confused, which was surprising in this crowd of supposed food experts. Any one who’s ever been to El Balazo on Haight knows that cactus, or nopales, are a standard of Mexican cuisine. So Mattin, San Francisco resident, should have known what to create. Jon Gosselin wannabe Mike Isabella won this challenge with his cactus and tuna ceviche.
Ceviche, or Sa-veeeech as Jen Carroll calls it, is the unofficial recipe of this gang, much like scallops were the fall-back last season. These fools love to sa-veech everything. Bryan and Michael also made sa-veeeches; Michael’s red cactus coulis was vegan and looked interesting, especially with the side of veggie chips. But I’ll eat anything in “chip” form. The most confusing was Ashley Merriman’s cactus jelly donuts, which seems like the kind of item that you would only order as a dare.
Speaking of Ashley, she sure did get the loser edit this time! Whenever they pull out that product placed phone and they mention some illness or event they are missing in exchange for C-list reality stardom, you know they are headed for elmination. Fortunately, Megan Allison’s future girlfriend remains in the running.
Instead, it was Mattin, wearer of scarves and liar about asparagus who got sent home. He made a “ceviche" that was basically a Costco party tray. Actually, a Costco party tray probably would have been a better idea. The challenge was to make food for ranchers on an open grill, why so many of them picked fish was beyond understanding. As pathetic as Mattin’s dish was, Robin should have been sent home. The minute I heard her say grilled romaine salad, I knew she was doomed. If she makes it past tomorrow’s episode, I’m expecting to watch the chefs stage a mutiny.
The winner of the episode was Bryan, who made a bunch of meat with some vegetables on the side. He’s one of the brothers who’s sibling rivalry storyline gets shoved down our throats. I want them to keep all siblings contained to the Amazing Race or Biggest Loser.
The vegetarian report on this episode is that there was no vegetarian food. Nothing, except for Mike’s cactus dish during the quickfire. The rest is meat, meat, and more meat. What veg dish would you have made for an open fire grill challenge?