Sweet Justice, the Eat Real Festival, ending the veg vs. omnivore wars, dairy cow tragedy, shark fin soup in the city AND MORE: the Link-o-rama!
Tonight! is Sweet Justice, “a benefit for the AETA 4.” A reminder lesson: The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Actwas introduced in 2006 by California’s own evil betrayer, Senator Dianne “fuck your civil rights” Feinstein. The AETA 4 are activists who were allegedly involved in protests against the University of California’s animal-testing policies; in February, the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI arrested them on charges of “terrorist activities” under the new terms of the AETA. You know, people have taken loaded guns—semi-automatic weapons, even!—to presidential appearances this summer; what kind of agenda do the JTTF/FBI have here, bringing vague “terrorism” charges against animal rights activists? Obviously you must go to the benefit. Our pals Sugar Beat Sweets and Violet Sweet Shoppe will be there with their delicious baked goods! Go to 1884 Market St. at 8 p.m.; entry/donation is on a $5 to $20 sliding scale.
Also starting tonight at Jack London Square in Oakland is the second annual Eat Real Festival. Admission is free (hooray!), and they have all kinds of entertainment planned, as well as a full-on farmers’ market and a beer “shed,” which somehow sounds less tacky than a garden despite the icky connotations of the word “shed.” Admission to that shed costs extra. Don your finest eating clothes—ladies, maternity dresses provide a lot of extra room for stomach expansion!—and don’t miss this opportunity to dine outdoors on the cheap. Do avoid the butchery contest on Saturday though because, puke. Go go go, eat eat eat! Fight that nasty “unnaturally thin and anemic vegan” image! Fun times through Sunday, Aug. 30.
Serious Eats has a great piece on calling a truce between omnivore foodies and vegans/vegetarians. Obviously, we all know that loving food and being vegetarian/vegan are not mutually exclusive, but many people still don’t quite get it.
If you have $80, you can order Japanese-invented molds for growing heart- or star-shaped cucumbers! Hooray! It works like this. Simple, right? Seems like you could grow other tubular fruits and vegetables—zucchini!—in these molds too, and eat a meal comprising nothing but hearts and stars, and die of kawaii. If you don’t want to buy them for $80, you can visit Tokyo and buy them for ¥300, which while more expensive would definitely be more fun. (source: Geekologie)
Dairy cows in Switzerland are falling, or throwing themselves off the Alpine cliffs they live on, and no one knows why. It sounds like they live in paradise in comparison to the way dairy cows in the U.S. suffer, but who knows? All we can say for sure is that this is tragic, and we hope the cows’ caretakers (exploiters) solve the problem soon. Animals are not here for people to use as they like, no matter how delicious the food you can make from them may be. When was “it tastes good” ever a legitimate excuse for animal cruelty?
Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! Michael Bauer is quite fond of the new Plant Cafe, saying that “at times it feels as if meat is a reluctant interloper.” Agreed, Michael Bauer. More importantly, he praises “the way the restaurant incorporates vegan, raw and meat-based cuisines into a single menu,” meaning for vegans it is probably an excellent place for a compromise meal. Final selling point: the executive chef used to be the executive pastry chef at Millennium!
According to AnimalTourism.com, of 69 restaurants in San Francisco offering shark fin soup, only four are vegetarian. What the fuck, San Francisco? You can click here to send a message to your senators about how vile shark-finning is, and how according to AnimalTourism’s research San Francisco has the highest number of restaurants sering shark fin soup in the country, which is beyond appalling. Is this city’s reputation for veg-friendliness overrated?
These baked Thai corn fritters over at Vegan Dad seem like the perfect way to use up some of that (ORGANIC PLEASE GOD DON’T GIVE MONEY TO THOSE EVIL EVIL PEOPLE) corn!
To get you excited, here is this weekend’s deeeeelicious Brassica menu:
Salad - Mexican Caesar with Romaine Hearts, Creamy Cilantro Dressing, Cornbread Croutons, Pickled Radish and Fried Capers
Soup - Pozole Rojo with Hominy and Fresh Corn, Avocado, Shredded Cabbage, and Lime
Entree - Mexican Millet Pilaf and Pioppini Picadillo Stuffed Peppers, over Braised Collards, with Smoky Pinto Beans, and Mole Rojo Sencillo
Dessert - Deep Fried Vanilla-Blackberry Ice Cream, with Chocolate Cinnamon Sauce, and Mexican Wedding Cookies
You’re gonna eat (something like) all that FOR FREE CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE IT?! Neither can we! You totally don’t deserve it!
All you have to do to is type a number between 1 and 500 in the comment section below and whoever has the number closest to the one that random.org generates, wins. EASY PEASY, right? Here at Vegansaurus, we don’t believe in thought. In fact, you’re now ten times stupider than when you began reading! Let’s get drunk and break some shit! WOO!!
(we’ll choose the winner in like a week or less so you know, hurry. Kinda.)
¡Buenas tardes! Welcome to a vegan’s guide to eating in Mexico City—with no Spanish!
First thing to learn, you are the only one who calls Mexico City “Mexico City;” everyone else calls it D.F., which is pronounced “day-effay” and stands for distrito federal, or, federal district. In order to get you used to this, so that when you go you too can be mistaken for some other nationality (or at least sound like you know a thing), henceforth we shall also be using this abbreviation.
D.F. street food, while generally delicious-looking and -smelling, can be a tricky business if you don’t speak Spanish—like me! The control you have to give up when you’re speaking through a translator, for people who are using to asking about every ingredient in every “vegetarian” dish in a new restaurant, it’s dismaying. Do not despair; not everything is scary and foreign and dangerous and GOD TAKE ME HOME NOW. Some things are vegan by default!
I love vegan-by-default foods; they’re usually noncontroversial, meaning you can suggest them to, say, your uncle who refuses on principle (I know) to eat tofu without ever saying the word “vegan,” and everyone can partake and enjoy, and there’s no SURPRISE IT’S VEGAN at the end, which apparently some people don’t like. Look, there are people in the world who hate fun, you can’t change them.
In D.F., one of these vegan-by-default items is the agua fresca, which is essentially like drinking fruit; no, not like juice, exactly. You choose one or more fruits that you would like to drink, and the person throws them into a blender with some cold water, blends until everything is evenly textured, pours it into a Styrofoam cup the size of your (my) (read: enormous) head, and there you are, the best fruit drink you’ve ever had. Yes, you can get them here in the city, but do they make them fresh? NO, they ladle them out of plastic tubs, and you don’t get to choose from a multitude of fruits that won’t even be cut until you ask for them. Oh Mexico, your fruit is outrageous.
My introduction to a proper agua fresca was strawberry-lime; first the man blended the strawberries with water, and while the blender was still moving, he threw an entire lime in as well. Entire, as in, skin and seeds and pulp and pith and all, the whole little round green thing, he popped it right in and covered the blender again. When it reached the proper texture—maybe 90 seconds—he poured the entire contents of the blender through a metal strainer and into one of the aforementioned gigantic cups, and gave it to me. I don’t think it cost more than 20 pesos, i.e., less
than $2, and it tasted like heaven. Light and tart and fruity and so, so good; if only I had a larger stomach, that I could’ve finished it before it got warm; it took me a whole hour to drink. Good hydration is especially important in D.F., where the elevation makes the atmosphere thin and in combination with the pollution can turn your mouth and eyes into individual deserts. Don’t let this happen; drink aguas frescas. Drink them with cantalope, with pineapple, with mango or papaya (if you can taste it properly); drink them as often as you need. You can’t drink the tap water so you’ll have to buy something whenever you’re thirsty, so you might as well get a drink that is both unique to your location and a magical taste bud wonderland.
For reference, here is a list of Spanish words for fruits. Remember, the accent indicates the stressed syllable!
Being vegan, most of the time it’s easy to make decisions at restaurants. Usually at most there’s two or three vegan or veganizable items on a menu. With years of practice, it takes about three seconds to flip through a menu and zero in on what I can eat with pinpoint accuracy. (It also “helps” if your parents are there: “Look honey, they have tofu!”)
It can be a little daunting to eat someplace with a really big vegan menu. Cha-Ya's menu is about six pages long and everything on it (over 50 items) is vegan. I’ve eaten some meals here that were oddly disappointing, and others that were “fuck yes” amazing.
My advice for navigating Cha-Ya is this: only get things you’ve heard of before at other Japanese restaurants. Simpler is better. Their tempura is awesome. Their gyoza is amazing. The miso soup and sushi are really good, too. Things like cold soba salad are OKAY, but wouldn’t you rather have something fried? They also have something called “Moon Garden.” Don’t get that. Just don’t. And though you might have heard of natto before, don’t get that unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. Do enjoy some warm sake with your meal. Do get the ice cream sundae for dessert: it’s vanilla So Delicious with green tea sauce, adzuki bean sauce, pineapple chunks, and toasted nuts. Um, yes.
Cha-Ya has sort of a weird ambience, though. It’s bright and clean and sterile in there, like a cafeteria in the future. This is the case at all three locations so it must be what they’re going for. Japanese people are crazy! I can say that because I once dated someone Japanese, that’s how it works. They only accept cash so be sure to bring some. At the Mission location, they were kind enough to install an ATM inside, but that also makes it feel like you’re eating in a liquor store. The other two locations have ATMs nearby. In other news, ACCEPT A FUCKING CREDIT CARD WHY DON’T YOU IT’S 2009 GODDAMN.
Last night’s Top Chef was bad. The challenge was so contrived: a “battle of the sexes” in which teams were separated by gender and had to cook for a bachelor and bacholorette party. The latter would have been fine (I GUESS) had there not been several lesbian chefs complaining about having to cater a wedding-related event when they themselves could not get married. I get it, but it was irrelevant. This is a cooking show, not your platform.
To make matters worse, the challenge was to create dishes based on shots. Of alcohol. No, the wedding was not fraternity themed. I’m sure it was some producer’s idea, but how dreadful. However, vegan dearies, the bride specified that she had one vegan friend, and that she wanted that person to be able to eat.
Unfortunately, it would appear only one chef made that vegan an actual dish—Hector Santiago created a tofu ceviche (to go with a shot of tequila), which looks super-refreshing and amazing. I could see it being very comfortable on Millenium’s menu. This dish got high raves from the judges, proving they can deal with proteins that are not meat-based [ed: SHOCKING].
It’s too bad the vegan lady was not around for the Quickfire, because the winner of that challenge ended up being a vegan dish! This time it was a gazpacho made with liquid nitrogen. Laurine Wickett, the lady who made bacon donuts last week, also made a vegan asparagus lemon soup.
The other non-meat-tastic dishes were all sides: apple sorbet (also made with liquid nitrogen!), watermelon carpaccio that would have to be modified to get rid of the cheese, ginger carrot soup (minus the sour cream for “garnish”), and someone snuck some arugula in somewhere.
A dish that I would love to see veganized was the winner of the Elimination Challenge, Bryan Voltaggio’s sweet & sour macaroon[ed: actually a meringue; thanks, Bravo] with guacamole, corn nuts and corn puree. It’s meant to be a take on chips and guacamole, and looks like a unique taste sensation. Surely, one of our brilliant, enterprising, resourceful readers could create something similar? Please let us know if you do!
SF Vegan Drinks is tomorrow (Aug. 27th), from 6 to 8 p.m. at Martuni’s! Yes! AND they’ll be selling raffle tickets for $1 each. The prize is a gift certificate to a delicious SF veg restaurant (this month it’s Golden Era! CARAMELIZED CHICKEN I WILL EAT YOU) and the proceeds go to charity; both the restaurant and charity will vary monthly. The charity this month is San Francisco Vegetarian Society! See you there, party people! Ow!
The fancy-fancy: The mainstream magazine and the fashion-conscious vegan
After a close inspection of the September 2009 Elle magazine—September is traditionally the largest issue in a fashion magazine’s publication schedule—I compiled a list of every vegan item featured in the issue. All information (price, designer, manufacturer, etc.) was printed in Elle, unless otherwise mentioned. I am not counting jewelry, as Vegansaurus focuses on animal exploitation (though of course we have OPINIONS on the state of the jewels and precious metals mining industries. We always have opinions, and of humanity they are usually negative.)
page 132: Organic clothing manufacturer Hessnatur and designer Miguel Adrover in concert with Planet Green are holding a contest to promote organic cotton. Submit your t-shirt design through Aug. 31, and the winner’s will be printed on a line of 3,000 shirts. More information here. This is pretty all right of Elle, but the magazine’s lifestyle editor is also one of the contest’s judges, so it’s not like they’re writing about this only out of the goodness of their eco-friendly hearts.
page 206: A one-page feature on the new jeans designs at Gap, which apparently has dropped its “the.” The article doesn’t say anything about the jeans being made of anything but vegan materials (read: denim and man-made), but it’s stillGap, so you can’t completely trust them. Plus, what does this mean, the company “hired an outside consultant who conducted experiments in a lab in Mexico [to find] the best temperature to bake jeans for a good dark wash”? An “outside consultant” experimenting in “a lab in Mexico”? That sounds highly suspicious.
page 270: The inspiration for this article, faux-patent-leather pumps by Guess, $90 per pair (style: Carrie 9). They are neon colors with silver stiletto heels, and I want the hot pink ones really a lot. A LOT.
page 276: A knit dress by New York & Company; its $55 price makes me
comfortable assuming it is a cotton and/or man-made knit. Then again, below it are two dresses by BCBGMAXAZRIA one in polyester for $318, and one in nylon for $248, so what do I know, anyway. That nylon dress is really sweet. Best of all, though, is the vegetable-leather sandal by Pour la Victoire for $350 (style: Paley), which Elle of course places next to a neon orange Michael Kors “feathered” fox fur vest. It is shit like this that makes me really hate Joe Zee.
page 280: An Organic by John Patrick organic (naturally) cotton blouse, $265. It is white. Below, a striped cotton Juicy Couture dress for $178.
page 292: Nylon and spandex riding pants by LNA for $102. I don’t understand the appeal of these, they are super-ugly and silly, you guys. If you want riding pants, go for the gusto and wear riding pants. There are also $50 “faux-leather booties” by Alice + Olivia for Payless but it’s just the “upper” that’s man-made; the sole is still leather. Cute.
page 294: Amid a (presumably) smelly array of leather jackets lies one in purple coated bouclé, by Stella McCartney and priced at an eye-popping $1,645. It makes my eyes pop, anyway. Below, a Guess by Marciano rayon and spandex dress for $158.
page 302: An $85 cotton tank top by 3.1 Phillip Lim.
page 308: A $34 cotton t-shirt by Democracy of Nevermind.
page 348: O.P.I. matte nail lacquer (O.P.I. is a vegan nail polish); Clarins Pro Palette eyebrow kit (no ingredients given, but Clarins is on the non-testing list in the Caring Consumer database, just like the other beauty products noted here). page 350: Urban Decay deluxe eyeshadow; M.A.C. Pro Paint Stick; Smashbox Doubletake lip color; Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick; Clinique Superbalanced powder makeup; Paul Mitchell Fast Form Cream gel.
pages 408-10: In the photos accompanying the Jennifer Aniston profile, she wears a $130 denim shirt by Diesel, and $78 vintage denim shorts and $135 custom vintage jeans from What Goes Around Comes Around in NYC.
pages 424-5 (“Some Kind of Wonderful” spread): A cotton t-shirt for $15 from (the) Gap; a cotton tuxedo jacket for $3,415 by Balmain and a cotton t-shirt by Boss Orange for $425.
pages 426-7 (“SKoW”): a $20 cotton t-shirt from Mango; on the male model, a $50 Gap hoodie, one Calvin Klein Underwear cotton crewneck shirt that sells at $30 for three, and $200 Diesel jeans. The baby’s $35 cotton button-down shirt and $30 jeans are both from babyGap. Interesting how much Gap product is featured in these pages, when just 220 pages ago (essentially the beginning of the magazine) (the) Gap itself was featured. A PERSON MIGHT WONDER.
page 435 (“Age of Enlightenment” spread): Cotton harem pants by Comme des Garçons for $420. The model is also wearing a patent-leather and nandu-feather hat that appears to be a good 12 inches high (the nandu, also known as the rhea, is a flightless bird native to South America)
pages 441-2 (“AoE”): A Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci jersey top, priced at $2,450; Chanel muslin blouse, “price upon request.” Good old “price upon request,” that charming fashion mag canard. Nice to see the standard even applies to cotton blouses!
pages 444-5 (“Ciao, Manhattan” spread, featuring Tommy Hilfiger): Tommy Hilfiger cotton turtleneck for $198 and cotton pants for $128; on the male model, a $348 cotton car coat, $148 cotton turtleneck, and $150 white jeans, also by Tommy Hilfiger. This promises to be one bland set of photos, you guys, everything all navy and white and khaki and blahhhh. All the vegan (read: cotton) clothing I’m listing here is Tommy Hilfiger.
pages 446-51 (“C, M”): Now the man has on a $598 cotton coat. It is still khaki; now, he’s wearing the $148 white cotton turtleneck and $150 white jeans from page 445 again. Never mind what the woman is wearing, animals and insects died to make her clothes and shoes; finally, our man is wearing a $98 poplin button-down shirt.
pages 458-9 (“Away We Go” spread): An Albertus Swanepoel velour hat for $350 sits on the head of a model, who is also wearing a $645 lace bra by Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière; In front of a mobile home, a model is partly covered by a $2,260 viscose twill blazer by Chloé by Hannah MacGibbon. Karl Lagerfeld used to design for Chloé. He left for Chanel at the beginning of his fat days, before he started his anorexia-style diet, subsisting on “homeopathic granules” because he is motherfuckinginsane.
page 464 (“AWG”): A pair of Shaneen Huxham hand-crocheted cotton gloves for $55 on the model’s outstretched hands, while her leather-shod feet stomp on a $4,000 LV trunk resting in the gravel. If I were a cow, I’d be kind of insulted.
page 468 (“Electric Company” spread): A $350 cheetah-print velour hat by Eric Javits and a $59 stretch cotton turtleneck by Liz Claiborne New York, hooray. The hat is fucking ugly, though not as obscene as the one made of rabbit hair on the opposite page.
page 476 (“EC”): Here’s that $59 Liz Claiborne turtleneck again, this time in purple. Still nothing much.
page 485-6: A four-page feature on Justin Timberlake’s fashion line, William Rast. Mostly it’s denim, like a $276 grommet-trimmed skirt, two pairs of $249 patchwork jeans, and a studded-sleeve jacket for $838. There’s leather too, which obviously we will not address (except to say: “fringe-trim unitard”). We’re also treated to several “price upon request” items, including a lace top and a pair of grommet-detail jeans. Justin Timberlake is really into grommets. Imagine the marks the grommets all over your tight jeans would leave on your skin! Ugh no thank you.
That’s all Elle has to offer vegans this month. Well, it also has a lot of clothing and accessories made with fur and/or feathers. I don’t get it, you guys, what is it going to take for these people to stop using fur, at the very least?
Still, good on Elle for featuring almost three vegan shoes—is it the thought that counts? Or was the idea “cheap” before “ethical”—and for dressing Jennifer Aniston in recycled denim. And Tommy Hilfiger works mostly in cotton. I guess, let me know when he starts using organic cotton, and Elle has done its last SKINS SKINS SKINS! layout.
Brought to you by the 496 pages of Elle September 2009. Inspired by Glossed Over, where Wendy in her infinite patience deconstructs fashion magazines.
MILK: "nature's wellness drink!" or, How propaganda becomes fact
We are superfans of Sociological Images blog, and today they call our attention to more deviousness by every vegan’s favorite single-entendre ad campaign, good old Got Milk? Apparently 2009 marks 12 years of famous people hawking the “benefits” of milk, as though anyone needed reminding that cows milk is the nectar of the gods, and abstaining from it condemns you to a brief, miserable life of being short and weak, ending in a painful, osteoporosis-related death. Not to mention how happy producing all that milk makes the cows, and their little male calves, lifelong members of the Future Veal of America club. Cows milk is SO FUCKING AWESOME, why aren’t you drinking some (from the carton, like a real man) RIGHT NOW?
Chicago’s ABC affiliate would certainly like to know! After all, according to the Got Milk Campaign representative (a.k.a., an employee of the California Milk Processor Board), cows milk is “nature’s wellness drink!” It helps you grow, it helps you play, it helps you be the best goddamn human you can be! Eschew it, and you’ll be fat, weak, and morally decrepit before some apple-cheeked seven-year-old can fish his Oreo-brand cookie out of the big glass of icy cold vitamin-D-enriched milk he dropped it in. Don’t believe her? It’s on the news, for heaven’s sake! If it weren’t true, they wouldn’t air it on the news, would they? Enjoy these informative three-and-a-half minutes:
When was the last time you heard soy milk presented in such a positive light on the local news? Never, right? The most recent nonsense I can recall was all that braying about “too much soy” causing little heterosexual boys to become homosexual, because of the evil hormones in soybeans or something. As though anyone supporting the consumption of cows milk products can talk about the dangers of hormone ingestion.
The treatment this news anchor provides this dairy industry spokesperson is something we’d expect from a morning show host interviewing some actor about a film about happy puppies—no real questions, no discussion of issues, just, “Tell me what’s great about your product!” and three minutes of shilling. I can’t say I’m surprised, being of the “all TV news is a bunch of bullshit” school of civic cynicism, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed. Twelve years later and they’re still demanding that we Get more torture-Milk, and still no one is questioning them except loopy health nuts and vegans. Ugh.
The LA Times ran a nice little feature on “vegan fashion” on Sunday. Inside, a number of young designers and boutique owners explain why they run cruelty-free businesses, and it touches on reasons that consumers would want to buy vegan clothing, shoes, and accessories. Seriously, it’s decent, and only a little bit giggle-at-the-loonies. The designers—including Elizabeth Olsen of OlsenHaus, Inder Bendi of Matt & Nat, and Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of VauteCouture—are all middle-priced brands, less dear than Stella McCartney,* but of higher quality than “polyurethane flats from Payless.” Ew, Payless, que naco. Nothing stylish ever came out of that place.
If you’ve wished you could buy more clothes only to be stymied by all the death and destruction found in even a simple pair of underpants, do not despair: there is more out there for us than cotton and plastics. Today, Vegansaurus introduces a new feature: The Fancy-Fancy, in which we discuss fashion! Because 100 percent of us love clothes a lot, and 100 percent of us take a lot of care to ensure that what we wear reflects our beliefs as much as what we eat. Also, because this is a “living guide” as well as an “eating guide,” and you can’t say you’re really living if you don’t look good.
*Problematic, this one. She’s the only major designer I can think of who doesn’t use any leather, and of course she doesn’t use fur, but she does use wool and silk. Presumably from well cared-for sheep and goats, like those of the Hudson Valley Fiber Farm, but I can’t find confirmation.
You know how banks are fucking awful? Well, they still are. But Chase is handing out free meals at Herbivore (any of the three locations—GET THE STROGRANOFF) but the catch is, you gotta print out the coupon before all the other greedy motherfuckers do. GET TO IT!
(thanks to reader Britney H. for the hot tip. You can also submit hot vegan tips, pitch guest posts, or just tells us how cute we are (hint: very!) by emailing laura at vegansaurus)
Vegan White Russians & baked goods in San Francisco TONIGHT (Monday, August 24th)! Ow!
Tonight the Hemlock Tavern will be hosting another(!!) vegan bake sale and punk rock show starting at 7 p.m.! Come see Pins of Light (whatevs), The Lybians (whoevs), and snack on some sweet stuff from Violet Sweet Shoppe (YAY!!!). They’ll be mixing up some VEGAN WHITE RUSSIANS (what what! in the butt!) and other awesome drinks. Let’s all meet there tonight and get fatter, drunker and more amazing together, okay? The Hemlock Tavern is at 1131 Polk St., between Post and Sutter.
Herbivore adds Soy "Beef" Menu Items! And they're not gross!
Herbivore has added a few soy beef menu items! Woo! It appears they are using Gardein, which was a good decisision. Now, I’ve gone apeshit for the vegan beef stroganoff at Ananda Fuara, and this shit is JUST AS GOOD. Just look at it, it’s beautiful, right? It’s straight delicious and available every day. THANK YOU GOOD LORD. We also got the “Cheese” Steak Sandwich which used Follow Your Heart mozzarella and was also very delicious. It would be nice if they cooked the cheese with the meat more to make it more of a gooey cheesy meaty mess on a bun, but it was still pretty damn delicious, and way better than pretty much anything else on the menu. I might actually crave Herbivore now?? They are truly, how do you say, stepping it up. Mama like.
That is just such a gross expression, I’m truly sorry.
Dan Barber's feet of clay, Ra-Ra-Rasputin, your fucked-up Manolo boots, a falafel truck, stupid scientists, and a busy Bay Area weekend in the Link-o-rama!
If you have ever called yourself an activist, even if only in the mirror with post-shower anger-hair, you must get yourself to the a.Muse Gallery tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. for the School Lunch Sound-Off! Make Vegansaur Laura’s tireless work on behalf of the nation’s wee vegan and vegetarian children worth all the missed sleep (GET IT?).
Also among your obligations, locals: visiting Jonas and Minty Lewis at SF Zine Fest, the only Vegansaurus-endorsed fest in the country!
Circus protests continue through the weekend! That is an exclamation mark of outrage, by the way.
Don’t forget, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. is the first-ever San Francisco Street Food Festival! Admission is free, and there will be food and cocktails, with no item over $8, all on Folsom Street between 25th and 26th Streets. The vendors list appears to have a decent number of veg dishes, but not too many, so get there as early as possible, lest the omnivores devour all of everything like a cloud of unethical locusts.
Captain Paul Wilson of Whale Wars (unintentionally?) gives the best quotes ever, explaining his decision to make the Sea Shepherd a “vegan vessel.” To wit: “About 70 million tons of tuna goes into cats everyday. In fact, in a natural world, if a cat ever came face to face with one of those fish, the fish would eat the cat.” He’s right—have you seen how big tuna fish are?
NEWSFLASH: Eating loads of “fatty foods” negatively affects one’s cognitive abilities, i.e., makes you fucking stupid. Ha ha, McDonald’s, we knew you were the devil—except, wait, the data from which the researchers drew their conclusions were gathered from ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS? Whoops! Maybe certain biologists need their cognitive abilities checked; Vegansaurus is enrolling you in our next Animal Torturers’ Reeducation Camp right now.
Hey Golden Gate Restaurant Association: your eternal nemesis, Healthy San Francisco, hasn’t ruined your business forever and ever EAT THE POOR. Perhaps this is linked to the flat-tax/fee some restaurants began charging patrons to compensate for all the money they expected to hemorrhage; perhaps helping the uninsured is a good idea after all. Keep on keepin’ on with that lawsuit, GGRA, you totally don’t look like cheap heartless bastards.
"No, it’s not ocelot fur, it’s, um, ‘cava’! Cava fur! Totally not endangered in their native, um, Spain! Yes, northeastern Spain; this boot is such a fresh look at Mr. Blahnik’s classical Spanish style, DON’T YOU THINK?”
Remember how Dan Barber swore that if he couldn’t convince his geese to enlarge their livers naturally, like his hero Eduardo Sousa, he wouldn’t prepare or eat foie gras ever again? Yeah, turns out he didn’t exactly mean it like that, and Sr. Sousa was not pleased. Sousa, keeper of the freest-range foie-gras-producing geese in the world, also found certain other “cruelty-free” foie gras bird farms to be literally nightmarish.
Next weekend, Aug. 28 to 30 at Jack London Square in Oakland, is the second annual Eat Real Festival. Admission is free, and they have all kinds of entertainment planned, as well as a full-on farmers’ market and a beer “shed.” The list of vendors looks pretty impressive, too. Don your finest eating-wear and join Vegansaurus—it is rare we miss an opportunity to eat on the cheap—though we will of course be missing the butchery contest on Saturday, Aug. 29, because, puke. Go go go, eat eat eat! Fight that nasty "unnaturally thin and anemic vegan" image!
Also happening next Friday, Aug. 28, is Sweet Justice, “a benefit for the AETA 4.” What, and who? The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is an ugly piece of legislation introduced in 2006 by one of Vegansaurus’ own elected representatives, evil betrayer Senator Dianne “fuck your civil rights” Feinstein. The AETA 4 are four activists who were arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI in February of this year because of their alleged terrorist activities related to protests against the University of California’s animal-testing policies. In light of the behavior of the protesters against members of Congress, especially the violent, hateful messages those protesters boldly espouse—going to a presidential appearance with loaded guns!—one wonders exactly what kind of agenda the JTTF/FBI have here. Less depressingly, Violet Sweet Shoppe baked goods will be at this benefit, so, that’s all right.
On my (Meave’s) last night in Mexico, while I was enjoying some bean-and-chile tamales, the most amazing song with the most amazing video appeared on the televisions mounted on various walls of the restaurant. Its brilliance was marred by the decision of the members of the group, Boney M., to all wear various furs throughout the video—that shit was grotesque. I believe the flaunting of these nasty, ghoulish items of clothing is why the song, “Rasputin,” never attained the fame in the U.S. it otherwise deserved because seriously, never was I more surprised and delighted by a music video than by this one. Let’s boogie:
Jonas isn’t only a (ed.: the cutest) member of Vegansaurus, he’s also a brilliant (award-winning!) artist and one of the organizer’s behind the annual SF Zine Fest. Believe it. Here’s a sneak peak at his newest work, Ochre Ellipse 3. It’s super fucking good. You should come to SF Zine Fest and be the first people to get it. Oh and buy his other fantastic comics too. Support your Vegansaurus because you love us so and we’d never lead you astray! Also, if you don’t support us, we’ll be hella homeless and have to sell our MacBooks for vegan donuts because that’s the kind of dumbshit financial move we would make (ed: true!).
Also, we hear that Fat Bottom Bakery will be on hand with delicious vegan treats. Holler at your girl, Fat Bottom Bakery! And by holler at your girl, I mean give me free vegan snacks when I hunt your asses down.
Minty Lewis will be there too! And we already know she’s the best so yeah. There are a million and one reasons to to the SF Zine Fest this year and we just gave you three of the best ones. The other 999,997 are hella good too, we’re just lazy. SO LAZY.
WAIT ONE MORE, and this is totally not vegan-related, but Fuck Yeah YouTube Comments will be there selling these amazing shirts. It says, “Someone get this bitch a job or a dick to suck or something.” People who leave YouTube comments are so magical. GET ‘EM WHILE THEY LAST AND ARE HOT ETC.
The School Lunch Sound Off is an event for students, parents, teachers, and concerned citizens to meet up, enjoy delicious snacks, and talk about the future of the National School Lunch Program and the push to get some healthy, non-dairy vegetarian (read: radio-friendly way to say vegan) options instated.
There will be an interactive segment where students (and anyone else who wants to!) can write letters, draw pictures, plant seeds, and enjoy other fun projects to get closer to where our food comes from. In addition, there will be a contest for students (ages 4 to 18) to create drawings, paintings, songs, poems, or skits and submit them for a chance to win an iPod! Woohoo! Contest entries can be submitted at the event or before the event by e-mailing email@example.com.
There will be tons of free food provided by SF Vegan Tamales, Brassica Supperclub, and Sugar Beat Sweets! You will also have the chance to win some sweet door prizes, and the event itself is free! Please come and pass on the info to everyone you know, in particular students who want to start the school year off with a new iPod!
Oh, and did we mention that Marilu Henner will be there? Yes, the star of Taxi and writer of numerousbooks on nutrition. There will also be health and education experts on hand to give short presentations and answer all your questions.
The Shout Out takes place at a.Muse Gallery (614 Alabama Street in the Mission) from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 22. More info here! But what else do you need to know? Be there or be a traitor to your cause.
Seitan Equals Downfall For First Eliminated Top Chef Contestant
On last night’s Top Chef season 6 premiere, cheftestant Jennifer Zavala was told to pack her knives and go for a chile relleno dish stuffed with seitan. It was incredibly ballsy of her to start the show off using seitan; Top Chef is completely obsessed with their use of “proteins” and it would have been a great coup if she’d been able to pull it off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
At judges table when asked why she used seitan, Jennifer defended her choice saying she wanted to stand out amongst all the other contestants. Judge Gail Simmons (our favorite!) said it just wasn’t very good. On Tom Colicchio's blog, he mentioned it wasn't the fault of the seitan: “In Jen’s dish, it wasn’t the seitan that did her in, underwhelmed by that protein as we were. The dish was poorly done: the breading was falling off because it wasn’t breaded properly, whatever was thrown on the side of it was just a mess…”
Here’s the recipe on BravoTV; it’s not vegan, but could easily be altered by using egg replacer and whatever vegan cheddar cheese you like. I’m perplexed by the use of honey in the tomatillo salsa, so I’m just going to pretend that’s yet another error on the part of Bravo’s copy editors. The dish actually looks pretty good on its own. If anyone wants to try it at home, let us know how it went!
Yes, Fellini is the kind of place that feels the need to append “Ristorante” to their name. You know, so you can tell they’re Italian. They also describe themselves as “fun and funky” and a “bistro.” Wait, come back.
They have a really wonderful brunch menu, which is, ahem, not Italian in any way I can discern. Is this an Italian restaurant or not? I can’t tell. Maybe if the waiters wore overalls and broke bricks with their heads, then we could know for sure. Nevertheless, it does have a pretty large selection of vegan stuff. My recommendations are either the vegan benedict, or the breakfast sausage scramble. Also, it says right on the menu, “All vegan dishes are prepared in VEGAN-ONLY pans,” which is too cool because it means no cross contamination with funk nasty meat, eggs or dairy. I guess you could have gotten that from the VEGAN-ONLY sentence but I felt the need to type it again because it’s cool and I might be autistic? Who knows! Only a doctor, probably.
Fellini has a pizza called “smiling cow” (cute, right?) which is like the vegan version of a Meat Lover’s Supreme. Made with vegan bacon, sausage, and pepperoni, it’s truly, ridiculously delicious, and that’s all you need to know about that. I like this pizza, I give it four Marios!
Thank you, Mr. Fellini! Whoever you are! For bringing fantastic vegan food to the masses at brunch, lunch and dinner. Please open up a second location in my mouth and then we can be BFF. UNTIL THEN WE ARE ONLY JUST REGULAR FRIENDS BUT NOT BFF.
Joel's Moderately Fancy Meal: Savory Bacon-Cheddar Waffles and Another Waffle That Will Not Get as Many Hits as One with Bacon!
A couple days after the family vacation that gave rise to that freaking awesome black bean and peach soup HAVE YOU TRIED IT YET I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT, I found myself trapped in the limbo between CSA deliveries. Not a lot of fresh veggies in the house, but the bread I was getting ready to bake wouldn’t be done until the next day*, and a man’s gotta eat. One thing I always have is various forms of carbohydrates—flour, rice, big spoonfuls of sugar in a pinch—so carbs it would be. I took stock of what little I had in my fridge, took a look out the window at my planter garden, and made today’s recipes based on two principles: (1) breakfast for dinner is perfectly acceptable, and (2) why settle for “perfectly acceptable” when you can fancy shit up, Moderately Fancy Style.
Please to note, you don’t have to be some kind of crazy sourdough-bakin’ fool to follow these recipes!** I made them by modifying my stock sourdough waffle recipe, but you can just as easily add the extra ingredients to a plain old baking powder waffle recipe and it will be almost exactly as delicious. You won’t have that tang of sourdough, so you may want to add a little vinegar (which will also help your waffles get big and fluffy), but that’s up to you and the flavor you’re looking for!
Savory Waffles Two Ways (serves 4) Ingredients Waffle batter 1 cup unfed sourdough starter 2 cups soy milk (you can sub any other non-dairy milk or even water, in which case omit the vinegar) 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar 1 tsp. sugar 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp. salt
Savory additions 2 large onions 1/2 cup shredded bacon-cheddar Cheezly 1 tsp smoked paprika 1/4 tsp. cayenne 1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp. sea salt
As with everything sourdough, the waffle batter is a long process (though nearly all of it is waiting). The morning of the day you’d like this for dinner, combine the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and let sit for a few minutes to form an ersatz buttermilk. Then add the starter and sugar, stir well, and stir in the flour. Loosely cover the bowl (I use a kitchen towel), and let rise until bubbly. This should take about eight hours.
When the batter is ready, add the oil and salt. Stir to combine. Then heat a little olive oil in a pan on low. While it warms, dice the onions. Add them to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent and starting to brown. Add them to the waffle batter and stir again.
Now we’re in the final steps. Begin to heat your waffle iron. (What? You don’t have one? That’s ok, this can also be pancakes!) Divide the batter into two equal portions (or more, if you’re making more varieties. Don’t divide more than four ways without increasing the recipe, or you won’t have enough of each). Add the Cheezly, the spices, and the Tabasco to one, and the basil, nutritional yeast, and sea salt to the other. Stir them both to combine (but not with each other). Then make waffles as usual.
To serve, dress the basil waffles with flavorful olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The cheddar waffles are flavorful enough that they should be eaten on their own, hot off the iron.
Variations The largest omission in this recipe is that the basil waffles should clearly have a fresh tomato diced and tossed into the batter. I didn’t have one on hand, but if you do, go for it. If you don’t, add some tomato paste to the onions shortly before they’re done, and sauté it all together for a few minutes. Also, consider using balsamic instead of apple cider vinegar when making the batter.
I hope it’s clear that this is more a template with two examples than it is a set-in-stone recipe. There are hundreds of delicious variations on the savory waffle theme; I hope you’ll come up with some of your own. Here are some more suggestions:
mozzarella and marinara sautéed wild mushroom corn and jalapeño black bean and peach (what, it is a very good flavor combination!!) pepperoni and green olives feta and thyme
* Sourdough takes a long time, but you can’t rush perfection! ** Although if you want to be and don’t know how, leave a comment! More sourdough recipes could be arranged!
This has been an installment of Joel’s Moderately Fancy Meal, brought to you by Joel, of Joel and Nibbler.
There is a lot of piein our lives right now. But that doesn’t make any of the pie less special, and certainely doesn’t eliminate the need for more pie because you ALWAYS NEED MORE PIE. The newest contender in the pie olympics is Alameda Pie, and this one comes packing heat. I’ve mixed like five metaphors in this post already. I’ll keep going. Alameda Pie makes and delivers pies to your home. You order at the beginning of the week and that Friday (or Saturday!) delicious fresh pie is DELIVERED to your DOOR. We ordered the 10” apple pie and the 5” coconut curry pie. The apple pie was super-duper tasty (both playing solo and à la mode!) BUT THE COCONUT CURRY PIE. Giiiirrrrrl, it was off
the hooooook! Potatoes, onion and carrots coated with perfect, rich yellow curry. It was seriously ridiculous. My only regret is that it was only 5”, we could have easily taken down a 10”. or a 60”. Whatevs. Bring it, Alameda Pie. IN FACT, I propose we have one of those contests where they make the biggest pie they can possibly make (100”?) and if I can eat it, it’s free. Who is in!? I AM! Alameda Pie, your turn. WILL YOU MAN UP TO THE CHALLENGE? You have two days to accept at which time, we will breathe collective sighs of relief that you are less batshit crazy than I am. Man, I’m so sleepy and so full of pie this review is done GOODNIGHT, SIR!
ZPizza featuring Daiya vegan cheese to open in San Francisco!
ZPizza is opening SOMETIME IN 2009 (that’s THIS year, fools!) at 833 Mission Street (at 4th Street). Yes, THE ZPizza of serving Daiya cheese fame (it’s vegan! it melts! it stretches! It’s AMAZING!) fame. Quarrygirl reports on ZPizza being super fucking delicious and according to our sources, this is absolutely correct. You can get a super-fancy organic pizza with Daiya vegan cheese DELIVERD TO YOUR DOOR WE CANNOT FUCKING WAIT WE WILL BE BRINGING YOU TO-THE-MINUTE UPDATES ON THIS BITCH LADY.
If you live farther out in the boonies, you can currently get ZPizza in Danville, Fremont, Livermore (opening soon!), Moutain View and San Ramon! (Update: We just called the Mountain View location, and it appears they won’t be getting Daiya for about two weeks, so be sure to ask!)
You can DOWNLOAD (ugh WHY) the PDF menu (ugh WHY) here.
*So that’s SOMA. Why not in the Mission!? Fuck all our current pizza places, burn them to the ground and put up ZPizza, plz! CALM DOWN, I’m kidding! Serrano’s can stay.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan (or anyone) in San Francisco and you haven’t been to Ubuntu in Napa you are living life in 2D and you need to BE HERE NOW (aka GO THERE NOW.)
If you have been to Ubuntu, or you’re one of the million minions in the Oprah Army
you’ve no doubt experienced the wonder of the chickpea fries with romesco sauce. I have (been there, not the Oprah thing), and it’s something I’ve thought about day in and day out for months on end. DELICIOUS FRIES AND ROMESCO COME TO ME. But something else I’ve been thinking about since my last visit is, what the hell is Romesco sauce? My curiosity was again sparked by a recent encounter with it in another (unrelated) delicious dish, and I got to researching. Which is to say, I checked out Wikipedia.
Of course it’s from Catalonia in Spain, where everything delicious and awesome lives (have you ever been to Barcelona!? You will never want to come back!) Also, “Tarragona”!? What is more delicious than fresh tarragon? Practically nothing. Also it turns out Romesco is naturally vegan. Originally made by fishermen as a fish accompaniment (or so says the internet), it pairs well with a variety of things (I like it over couscous.) So I got to work making my own, and I suggest you do the same. Speaking of work, it’s kind of a big project, so settle in.
I synthesized this ingredient list from a couple different recipes, and altered it along the way. But basically you need:
1/4 cup almonds (I used the tamari-roasted ones from Rainbow; yum!)
1/4 cup hazelnuts (I couldn’t find these so I used Brazil nuts. It worked, but I’d go for the hazelnuts if you can find them.)
1 head garlic
1 slice stale bread (you can lightly toast it to approximate the staleness, if it’s not. I used a French bread; Italian loaf would work well too, like a pugliese?)
2 ripe small/medium tomatoes
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (or less, depending on your taste)
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 tsp. or so chopped fresh tarragon. No, the recipes didn’t call for it but it makes everything better, trust me. How wrong can it be if the sauce is from “Tarragona”
pinch smoked paprika
Also, you need a food processor of a decent size. (What did old Spanish fishermen do without food processors, I would like to know?) First, you need to roast the garlic. Cut off the pointy top, remove some outer skin, rub olive oil on the head (see how you are, pervert!?), and stick in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes until the inside is mushy. While that’s happening, place both kinds of nuts (hehe nuts) (ed.: slut!) into the food processor and process until grainy (fine is okay too.)
Heat some olive oil in a pan. However much oil you want, I don’t care. Do you think the Catalonians care? They are too busy living out loud, probably bathing in olive oil. They laugh in the face of your few teaspoons!
Anyway, fry the stale bread in the olive oil for a few minutes, then put it aside. Then put the tomatoes in the same pan with the bready oil. These should be chopped up already. Sorry I forgot to tell you that. You might need to add some more oil to the pan for the tomatoes. Do it up, skinny!
Take the tomato pan off the heat before they burn. Tear up (or cut up) the fried bread and throw it in the food processor with the nuts and start it going, kinda slow. Proceed to add the tomatoes and keep it going. Then take the roasted garlic (oh shit is that still in the oven!? you need to get it out before it turns all gross and crispy!) and squeeze the mushy garlic into the processor with the other stuff. Finally, start feeding the drained roasted red peppers into the processor and puree it all together. While it’s running, finish it off with the vinegar, spices, some salt and pepper. Probably more salt than you just put in.
Mine came out more orange than red, like a thick tikka masala sauce but with a completely different (and delicious) taste. Refrigerates and reheats well too.
Pour over chickpea fries, couscous, your body (ed.: slut!), etc. Enjoy!
Megan Allison is visiting us from Guerrilla Curatorship, where she has been too despondent to post much about urban policy miscellany given the sad state of domestic affairs, and is instead turning to food for comfort. Don’t be surprised if she expatriates to Barcelona.
Plane Trip Friday: Oryana Natural Foods Market in Traverse City, Michigan!
I recently had the privilege of spending a summery week in Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula. This was fun for me because it’s like a beautiful summer camp of Americana and wine and cherries and cherry festivals (it’s the Cherry Capital of the World, if you didn’t know), but it probably would not be so fun for you because it is also a place where the local cuisine centers around pieces of prime rib bigger than your head, fried lake perch, and a thing that is like a casserole of whitefish, cheese and cream, with crackers. However, do not let this dissuade you, vegan, from visiting this most beautiful and adorable part of the country (in the summer months!) You are covered in the delicious food department!
Oryana, the lovely and full-service 35-year old (!) health food co-op at the corner of E. 10th and Lake Streets in (did I mention adorable?) downtown Traverse City!
Those visiting from San Francisco will probably draw comparisons with Rainbow Grocery, our own 30-plus-year-old health co-op. Oryana is a bit smaller, but much lighter and airier, and they have a more robust prepared foods/takeout/coffee bar attached (the Lake Street Kitchen. More on that in a minute.) If you’re visiting from another major city (a lot of people in these parts seem to be from Chicago), I think you’ll find it comparable to your favorite local health food store (if your favorite health food store is like paradise!) It’s kind of like a mini Whole Foods, without the faux-liberal asshole hypocrisy.Which is to say, it’s bright, cheery, clean, and sells Tofurky Sausages, Dr. Bronner’s Crazy Soap, bulk grains et alia, good produce, kombucha and fancy sodas, NEWMAN O’S! and whatever else you need to subsist in your adorable lake house (or whatever other adorable business purpose might have landed you the Grand Traverse Bay region.)
If you’re not in need of a full grocery shop and just need a snack made for you by someone else, Lake Street Kitchen has got you covered! It’s the same building as Oryana, but you can enter on the Lake Street side to be closest to the Thai peanut wrap, which is what I would highly recommend you order. It’s a whole wheat wrap full of tofu, peanut sauce and a glass noodle salad thing full of veggies and goodness. If they have the noodles (ask first, because once or twice they had run out.) After a week in Michigan, you will want a tofu wrap hella bad! Now you know where to get one. You may also wish to try the tempeh reuben (it’s vegan without the swiss cheese; I’m not sure if they can sub a vegan cheese but they do sell them in the store) because it is out of control. The bread it comes on is baked fresh locally and it’s perfect. I had two for breakfast one day. Take your wrap or sandwich out to this awesome patio!
Lake Street Kitchen also has great espresso (maybe the best in town?), and their iced drinks are just the perfect start to your summer day of biking around lakes and antique shopping and lying under birch trees and acting like Nancy Drew. MAN NORTHERN MICHIGAN IS SO BEAUTIFUL. Bonus free soy milk and agave nectar on the coffee bar!
This post comes to us from Megan Allison of Guerrilla Curatorship, who occasionally journeys afar to return with tidbits such as this.
Marilu Henner, Michael Bauer, Dan Barber, AWESOMENESS, Millennium, Animal Place, Michael Vick, INSANITY, Recipes, Street Food AND MORE: Friday link-o-rama!
Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! Michael Bauer writes up Wexler’s, a fancypants barbecue place in the FiDi; was there anything pertinent to the cruelty-free set? “The kitchen doesn’t ignore vegetarians, either, offering a lunchtime smoked carrot plate with collards ($10) and a “farmer’s cookout” ($14) for dinner, with smoked eggplant chili, corn on the cob and Texas toast with smoked garlic butter.” WELL THEN.
You know that activism aphorism, “think globally, act locally”? Apparently this year it extra-applies to tomato production, and chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill is pretty pissed about it. His tips to home gardeners: Don’t fear science; grow more than one variety of tomato at a time; and eradicate your late-blight-afflicted tomatoes as soon as possible. Practice biodiversity, Victory Gardeners!
Millennium’s Heirloom Tomato Dinner may be the last time you taste those fruits of the vine this year, should Dan Barber’s predictions come true. Perhaps attending the feast on Aug. 26th between 5:30 and 9 p.m. for $60, with an extra $12 bloody mary flight, is the wise tomato-lover’s choice.
Are you aware of the excellent work The Marine Mammal Center does? That place is amazing. A friend of Vegansaurus is a longtime volunteer there, and it’s been in the national news recently, rescuing California sea lion pups—pups!—that have been washing ashore in “record numbers,” tiny and starved and very ill. If you love dolphins and otters and seals and all their brethren, this is the place you want to support.
On Saturday, Aug. 22nd, you can hit up the School Lunch Sound Off! Come by and bring all the students that you know! They can WIN AN IPOD just by being awesome and creative. Free snacks and drinks, activities and great speakers. OH AND MARILU HENNER. We’ll be there so you should too! After you hit up this event, head over TO (read below, just go with me):
The last two weekends of August the streets will run with food. First, on Saturday Aug. 22nd from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. is the first-ever San Francisco Street Food Festival! Admission is free, and there will be food and cocktails, with no item over $8, all on Folsom Street between 25th and 26th Streets. This is ridiculously close to Vegansaurus H.Q., so you better believe we will be there in our eatin’ dresses (and pants!), as the vendors list appears to have a decent number of veg dishes.
Second, Aug. 28 to 30 at Jack London Square in Oakland is the second annual Eat Real Festival. Admission is free, and they have all kinds of entertainment planned, as well as a full-on farmers’ market and a beer “shed.” The list of vendors looks pretty impressive, too. Don your finest eating-wear and join Vegansaurus—it is rare we miss an opportunity to eat on the cheap—though we will of course be missing the butchery contest on Saturday, Aug. 29, because, puke.
You know how you’re always saying that someday you want to live on a farm and have a million animal friends? Well, here’s your chance! Animal Place is hiring a rescue ranch manager who will live onsite with hundreds of awesome rescue animals. You can cuddle pigs and snuffle bunnies to your hearts content! You’ll also be responsible for scooping literal TONS of shit and have to live in BFE with little human companionship, but fuck people, we’re the worst; chickens rule, humans drool. I KNOW there is a Vegansaurus reader or two who are interested in this. If so, email Marji at Animal Place for more details!
And finally, Susan over at FatFree Vegan Kitchen has posted some bomb-looking recipe for oven-fried green tomatoes. I would like it noted that I only typed “oven-friend” twice before getting it right. Man, I love fried food.
All riled up about the truly staggering amount of bullshit in this world; brimming over with excess rage? Protest the motherfucking circus! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey are in Oakland through Sunday, Aug. 16 and San Jose from Wednesday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 23rd, and Citizens for Cruelty-Free Entertainment has organized daily protests at both locations. Circus animals are subjected to the cruelest, most disgusting abuse of any animals involved in the entertainment industry—unlike those in films, whose safety isn’t even always guaranteed despite international exposure and serious oversight; circus animals do not get the help they so badly need.
Here at Vegansaurus, we encourage daily culinary activism by way of eating all the vegan food in the world but this is a way to do really effective direct action TODAY. People forget about circus animals, but they suffer for something so stupid as (REALLY REALLY BAD) entertainment. Honestly, if I’m going to the circus, I want to see ten human beings spelling out entertainment! preferably with their legs! while hanging from a high wire! YOU DIG!? What those Cirque du Soleil foolios can do with their bodies makes me feel grossly inadequate in the sack. THAT’S the kind of shiz kids should be seeing. If they want to see ANIMALS from the JUNGLES and SAVANNAS of AFRICA, pick up a BOOK. You don’t want your kids’ first exposure to these animals to be when they are drugged up, tied down and beaten. That’s not how you teach kids about animals. I mean, unless you want them to be a serial killer or something, then I guess the circus is great.
Faturdayians have a way with discovering new, delicious, predominantly unhealthy (read: good for the soul/streed cred) methods of combining already awesome foods to produce new superfoods. Not these superfoods—BORING! Let us put this in an easy-to-understand equation:
Seriously. FatBelly about lost it when partaking in his nightly ritual of shoveling spoonfuls of PB into his face, he haphazardly tossed a Dandie into the mix. The results caused temporary apartment mayhem, followed by sugar-infused ecstasy, and of course more makeshift vegan Reese’s love.
What are you waiting for? Get some Dandies and get going.
We found this bit of genius on itsfaturday and let me just say, they Speak Truth to (the) Power (of Deliciousness). I don’t know what I’m saying (clearly) but HOT DAMN, that is one tasty treat.
“It’s true that in-vitro meat isn’t natural. Nor for that matter are hydroponic vegetables, or bread, or cheese, or wine. Raising 10,000 chickens indoors and pumping them full of drugs isn’t natural, either, and it isn’t healthy or safe. The more we learn about how meat is produced now, the more in-vitro meat looks like a better alternative.”—Lots of good quotes from Jason Matheny of New Harvest in this piece on vat-grown meat from CNN.com
Omnivore pie-baking contest, let's get a vegan to win this bitch!
So Omnivore Bookstore in Breeder Noe Valley is having a Pie Baking Contest. The details are a little sketchy since they seem to be releasing them only over their twitter but so far we know, it’s on Thursday, September 10th, from 6-7 pm. Any kind of pie - cut into small pieces! Prize money is simply described as: $$$. I’m guessing that’s roughly $3 million? Entrance is free to bakers bringing their pies, and $5 for folks just coming to eat and judge the pies. Door money will go to winner—easy! Let’s get all that
delicious “door money” straight into a vegan’s pocket.
WHO IS IN!?
I think the main question is whether or not to reveal your pie as vegan before the contest? Your thoughts on this? I think what would be really interesting is for someone who makes both non-vegan and vegan pies, to enter both and see which one gets a better reception. Don’t mention that either of them are vegan. I’m curious. Because I had the cherry-pluot pie from Bike Basket Pies yesterday and let me just say, I won a whole nother kind of pie contest and this one involved me becoming fatter and more awesome.
Hey you guys! Did you know: Lisa Jervis, who founded Bitch Magazine, wrote a vegan cookbook. It is called Cook Food and it sounds pretty great. Honestly though I can’t imagine Lisa Jervis not doing something great, but that is more a testament to her knowledge and skills than any feelings of hero-worship.
Tonight from 7 to 8:30 at Modern Times (888 Valencia at 20th Streets), Lisa Jervis will give a reading from her cookbook, as well as a demonstration of how to make a corn, tomato and basil salad. Fancy!
In case you’re not convinced you should go (and you’re a fool if you’re not convinced), I will give you a few more reasons why Lisa Jervis is super: 1. She went to Oberlin, just like your own Maria! 2. She gave an interview recently during which she was asked, “How she could reconcile being a feminist and having a book that encourages women to get back in the kitchen,” her reaction to which the interviewer describes as “facile.” Because, really. 3. Bitch is really a fantastic magazine, and she created it! 4. The recipes are all about tasty ingredients, prepared simply and deliciously.
Now, remember: Cook Food, Modern Times, 7 to 8:30 p.m., and tell us all about it in the comments afterward, please!
Please welcome back guest writer Ben Pearson. Between acquiring master’s degrees, Ben tends to his parents’ garden. Ben’s first post on gardening is here.
Vegans aren’t the only animals that love to eat plants; if you garden, lots of critters will be competing with you for your tasty crops. These visitors usually won’t eat too much, and losing a leaf of lettuce is usually a small price to pay for getting to see some urban wildlife in your own back yard. In fact, some studies suggest that plants might even be more nutrient-filled when they have to use their own natural defenses to fend off critters.
But occasionally, these little critters can make themselves a little too comfortable in your veggie patch. When they invite their friends and extended families over for a big garden-devouring party, most gardeners resort to spraying the sky with toxins or setting up deadly traps. Even those cute little cups of beer your grandma set out in her tomato patch are basically death-by-waterboarding for slugs and snails. What’s a vegan gardener to do?
While there’s no one magic solution for critter prevention, with a little knowledge and planning, you can keep harmful critters away from your plants in the first place, thus making sprays and deadly traps unnecessary.
CONDOMS FOR PLANTS The best solution to critters in your garden, like most things in life, is: effective contraception. Yes, folks, making sure squiggly little creatures don’t creep their way into places they’re not supposed to be is the solution to almost everything in life. Don’t want everyone in Africa to die of AIDS? Provide safe sex education and condoms! Want to reduce the number of abortions and teen pregnancies in the US? Provide safe sex education and condoms! Don’t want to get pregnant? Have anal sex! But seriously, just go with the metaphor. Don’t want critters eating your broccoli? “Wrap” that nice “head” of broccoli up so that the critters can’t get to it and make it “sick”!
Yup, the easiest way to make sure your plants don’t get eaten is to use physical barriers to keep bugs and other hungry critters away.
Once mature, most plants are quite resistant to bugs, but fragile young seedlings can be wiped out by a hungry snail or a few whiteflies. If you’re only worried about snails and slugs, protecting seedlings is a cinch. Just slice a plastic bottle up to make rings a few inches high to encircle each seedling — it’s uncomfortable for slugs and snails to climb over the jagged top with their soft bellies. Alternately, you can line planter boxes with strips of copper wire, which gives snails and slugs a little jolt, telling them to stay away.
If you’re worried about more than ground insects, you can cover entire rows of young crops with transparent plastic or fine mesh supported by a frame. These hanging row covers are available at most garden stores, but be sure to remove them once the crops start to bloom to let in beneficial pollinators like bees, flies, and wasps — if you keep that shit wrapped up when it’s (plant) baby-making time, your plants aren’t going to produce anything!
THE BUDDY SYSTEM It’s no secret that plants are social creatures. Remember that site Friendster.com that neither you nor anybody else you know is on anymore? Know how it stays in business now? Nearly every tomato plant and like half of all marigolds have profiles — they are on there all the time! Plants like other plants for a lot of reason — for friendship, for love, for sex, and also to better fend off tough gangs of hungry critters!
A lot of conventional produce is grown in vast commercial tracts of a single variety of plant, kind of like the state of Iowa. Without their diverse plant friends (plants aren’t racist like we are), the crops in this monocultural environment get depressed, and are too busy crying to fight off bugs. Growing a variety of plants in your garden, however, not only keeps your plants happy and strong, but also makes it unlikely that any one kind of critter will find an overabundance of its preferred food.
Plants are pretty friendly, but they all have standards. It’s helpful to do a little research into “companion planting” to see what plants go well together – it’s the agricultural equivalent of assigning dinner seats at a wedding, and the social dynamics are just as fun and complex. Some plant combinations may simply encourage one another to grow. For instance, beans add nitrogen to the soil, which is great for spinach, lettuces, strawberries, and other nitrogen-loving crops. And pumpkins and petunias are totally BFFs.
Other plants can act as “decoys” or “traps” that attract harmful insects so that they don’t bug (haha, get it?!) your more precious plants, or attract and shelter beneficial insects. Some plants, like nasturtiums, do both — providing hiding places for beneficial spiders while luring harmful caterpillars away from your other plants — while looking cute and providing edible flowers for your salads, too.
Finally, certain plants just straight up drive bugs away. These dudes are tough-as-nails. Borage and yarrow repel various insects while also looking purdy and giving you something to eat. And marigolds scare away virtually every plant-hurting bug — they may look bouquet-worthy, but those little dudes are the Crips of the plant world, complete with red flair. Just don’t plant blue borage and reddish marigolds side-by-side, or you’ll have a 1990s-style LA gang war on your hands!
My parents have digital cable. It goes with their digital internet. It gives them access to hundreds of channels, and the DVR can record multiple programs simultaneously, while you watch something different at the same time! Basically, it is amazing.
It still doesn’t make television good, though, and that was the problem with the San Francisco episode of Anthony “Pig” Bourdain’s show No Reservations: it just wasn’t very interesting. At the end of the show, I learned that Bourdain is either under the impression that martinis aren’t vegan, or that vegans don’t drink, the way he kept yelling about how a city known for meat-abstainers could have so many places to get a good drink. While, of course, the largest and most regular meeting of our kind occurs at a martini bar, but it’s probably not fair to expect grandpa Lipitor to learn so much about new and different things. Like I don’t talk to my grandparents about progressive political issues!
Later on there’ll be a better write-up, with violence-inducing transcripts! For now, the highlights. I especially like the part where Bourdain races in his Mister Steve McQueen big penis Bullitt car across the Bay Bridge to teach us about how The Other Side in Oakland Lives, and how we should “remind [ourselves] that maybe not everybody lives like [us], or can afford the best, or has time to grow vegetables in the yard they don’t even have.” There’s nothing I appreciate more than a pedantic lecture about social strata from a non-local. Also really cool was when we learned that Bourdain’s cuisine “line absolute” is monkey brains: he will not eat them. This just after a long close-up of two shiny red kidneys lying on a white cutting board, but before the paper cones of “Iberico ham crystals fried in duck fat,” it makes tons of sense. An absolute line, what kind of hypocritical bullshit is that? Without trying one single piece of vegan food?
So my initial reaction: If you haven’t got anything new or even outrageous to say, just keep your yap shut.
First, the market has expanded! They’ve got new vendors, including Kingdom Cake, a cupcakery whose menu lists five vegan flavors: vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, coconut, and basil lemon blueberry; All Star Tamales, with a “vegi-vegan” tamale; Vn’V Momo, with a veggie momo (yes please); Soleil’s African Kitchen, where it would appear a vegan could eat chef Soleil Banguid’s fried plantains (maybe the beignet de banane? That life should be so fair); and El Porteño, where the humita Argentinian empanada appears to be animal-free.
Secondly—and this sounds pretty terrific—Island Earth has introduced what they’re calling “Curb to Your” service, which is basically just what it sounds like: you shop at the farmers market, leave your purchases there, go about the rest of your day/errands/whatever, and call when you’re ready to pick up your stuff. Apparently “they” will bring all your purchases out to you, “without the shopper having to leave their car”! AMAZING! That is some convenience, there. Is the produce worth it? Are the new foods? Vegansaurus will find out for you, though probably not in a car. I don’t suppose “they” would bring your bags to a bus stop or Muni/BART station—yet.
So watch that video and then all I have to say is A) what is up with the screeching car sound effect when he pulls up? Are we supposed to think, GOD HE IS SO BADASS? I’m confused, because what crossed my mind was that’s total midlife crisis, STOP EMBARRASSING ME WITH YOUR CHEESY CAR, DAD stuff right there; B) Do you still get hangovers when you’re 1,000 years old? And is it cool to play them up when you’re SO OLD WHY WERE YOU UP PAST 9 P.M. DRINKING ANYTHING BUT METAMUCIL?; C.) YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A METH LAB LOOKS LIKE, SO STOP ACTING LIKE YOU HAVE STREET CRED. Ugh obnoxious. The closest that white-bread motherfucker has ever been to a meth lab is watching an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent; C) Man, I am disappointed in St. George Spirits.
They have been nothing but awesome to me since way back when I lived near their old warehouse and they let me in for free tastings. It was just a couple of people then, including a really old awesome German dude with VERY rosy cheeks, if you know what I’m saying.*** I’d come in and we’d talk animals and sip port and there would be some awkward flirtation and I’d leave before it came the time when someone was about to Cross the Line. Anyway, they were always supportive of animal rescue things I’ve pitched at them, readily supplying delicious vodka to benefits and just being the raddest best. But now I see this video and firstly, where is my old German homie? And who is that roided-out, beanie-wearing d-bag and his friend, live-action Howard the Duck? Did they eat my old German bro when they warped in from 1997? I’m ascurred. And now they’re making FOIE GRAS VODKA? Did they do this just do this because they knew Bourd-lame would crap his ill-fitting pants when they saw their nasty-ass concoctions and therefore they’d definitely get on the show? I mean, that’s like the ultimate example of media whore-ery. Way to get famous for being the cocksuckers who impressed the king cocksucker. Man, just look at those three. I’m tempted to challenge you all to a game of fuck, marry, kill with those three champs but it’s like Sophie’s Choice: you can’t win. I guess I’d have to choose murder-suicide?
There is no real reason for this post except to say, man. Fuck the world. Nothing is good and pure and I hope they choke on that foie gras vodka. Ugh, back to Safeway Select vodka for me. Oh well, it’s cheaper and tastes the same(-ish). Plus, it soaks up infused flavors better SO THERE.
Also, Pirate Cat is having a viewing party tonight if you’re into that. Apparently they’re serving up bacon (of the pig and non-pig variety), if you’re into that. Which you might be. I’m not one to judge you, lovely reader.
*WARNING: WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO NEVER HAVE SEX AGAIN. OR EAT FOOD. OR HAVE EYES. **I know Meaverly and MD will be bringing you more insightful awesome scoop on the whole show but I just like to get angry and shiz. ***I’m saying he was a raging alcoholic.
Kitchenette SF is serving up a veganizable Korean taco tomorrow for lunch so I suggest y’all hop on the train and get your fat asses to the location with the mostest. Vegan Korean tacos, that is. What? I don’t even know I’m just SO PSYCHED TO EAT HELLA TACOS.
They’ll be serving from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. or until they sell out, so I suggest you get there early. It’s easy access on the T line and yeah, get there and eat hella tacos and show them your vegan tits! What I mean to say is that, show them that vegans will hella represent and eat hella tacos if given the opportunity. I don’t know where the tits thing came from, I’m just a perv.
Joel's moderately fancy meal: Chilled Black Bean and Peach Soup with a Caramelized Peach-Onion Relish!
I spent this past week on vacation with my family. We ended up in a little vacation-centric town by the side of Lake Michigan, where fresh fruit is plentiful (tis the season to u-pick blueberries!) but most everything else is in short supply.
Being the tight-knit clan of epicures that we are, and perhaps also because after some 30 years my mom has gotten tired of cooking for the entire family, we agreed beforehand to split up the meals: some made by my parents, some by my brother and sister-in-law, and some by little ol’ me. The catch: while everyone else was driving, and so brought all the kitchen staples they’d want, I was flying, and was therefore severely limited re: the explosive liquids, suspicious powders, and extremely sharp implements that mark my usual cooking experience.
In the end I used some of that lovely fresh Michigan fruit, in combination with the kitchen staples of others, to whip up (and please excuse me as I lapse into the vaguely smarmy language of Top Chef) a play on a black bean and citrus soup. The days were hot, so the soup was cold; and the oranges weren’t biting, so I went with peaches. Here is what I did.
Chilled Black Bean and Peach Soup with a Caramelized Peach-Onion Relish Serves 5
Ingredients for the soup 1 pound dried black beans (about 6 cups cooked) or equivalent canned 2 quarts bean cooking liquid or stock (or tap water if using canned beans) 2 large onions, chopped 2 medium fresh tomatoes (or equivalent canned), chopped (skins are fine) 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 large peaches, coarsely chopped red wine vinegar 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or to taste) salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste
Ingredients for the relish 3/4 cup olive oil, divided 2 large onions, sliiced into 1/2 inch thick rounds 3 large peaches, quartered 2 tsp red wine vinegar salt and plenty of black pepper
Cook the black beans your favorite way. Reserve the cooking water. If you’re using canned beans instead, you can use the time you’re saving to feel bad about yourself for using canned beans.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, add a couple tablespoons olive oil at medium heat. Cook the onions until translucent, then add the garlic, tomatoes, and a little cayenne. When the tomatoes start to wilt, add the beans and your chosen liquid. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, it’s relish time. In a small pan, heat 1/2 cup olive oil on high heat until it’s shimmering, just short of smoking. Carefully drop in the onion slices, spacing them out so that each makes maximum contact with the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until the bottom surface of the onion is deeply colored, verging on blackened. Flip the slices and repeat. Ideally, the outer surfaces of the onion are deeply caramelized but the inside is still raw. Take the onion out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat the same procedure with the quartered peaches. Finally, mince the onion and peach, and toss with the oil and fond from the pan. Season generously with salt and especially black pepper, and toss in the vinegar and remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil. Refrigerate.
At this point you should have a few minutes left before the 20 minutes for the soup are up. Add a little more oil to the pan, and caramelize the chopped peaches for the soup in the same way. When the 20 minutes end, add the peaches and cilantro to the soup, along with salt, pepper, and a little more cayenne. If your peaches are not particularly sour, add a little vinegar to bring out the rest of the flavors. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
If you have an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. If not (and I didn’t, and it sucked; every kitchen should have an immersion blender), either plunge the soup pot into an ice bath for 10 minutes, or wait several hours for it to cool. Then transfer to a blender and puree. Now that it’s room-temperature, taste for seasoning again. It may need more salt, but don’t add too much; remember that much of the flavor will come from the relish. Refrigerate.
Take the soup and relish out of the refrigerator at least 10 minutes before serving (or longer; a room-temperature service is fine). To serve, ladle the soup into shallow soup bowls. Either add a few tablespoons of relish to each bowl yourself, or pass the relish at the table. Finito!
Variations: Use red onions instead of white in the relish. Or use sweet onions, but don’t bother caramelizing them. Replace half the peaches (in both the soup and the relish) with uncooked cucumbers. Try it; you’ll be pleased. Replace half the black beans with small white beans, and use smoked paprika rather than cayenne.
This has been an installment of Joel’s Moderately Fancy Meal, brought to you by Joel, of Joel and Nibbler.