Caterers in England have invented a dish called Colombian Asparagus. You snort it; the powder smells just like cooked asparagus, which makes sense because it’s made of cooked asparagus (plus some other secret magical stuff). It costs $2,240 an ounce (or £50 GB a gram[me]—that took some MATH, people). I want my money back if it doesn’t make my pee smell funny.
This new dish has some obvious problems, primarily that it’s stupid. Why would I want to snort my food? That’s not going to get me full at all.
British anti-drug advocates are freaking out about the “message” this stupid food-product for the wealthy sends. Lucy Dawe of Cannabis Skunk Sense (WTF’s up with that name? I’m not even touching that) tells the Daily Mail:
'Personally, I think it's very irresponsible. People might think it's a huge joke but to me it's a very dangerous precedent to set.
'It's extremely provocative, I can see no reason to turn this into something you can sniff—I'm sure there's lots of other ways they could have turned it into something you can eat.*
'It does risk bring more and more people into contact with drugs, a world where there's nothing but misery waiting for them.'”
Um, seriously? I snorted Pixy Stix back when I was 12 and all I learned was that it hurts to get stuff up your nose; I never moved on to snorting actually intoxicating substances. Does this person think popping Advil is a gateway to ecstasy—same delivery method!
I think you should do what you want with your own money and asparagus. I guess that makes me an asparagus-libertarian. Asparatarian! This isn’t even the worst use of asparagus I’ve ever seen; that prize goes to the Asparagus Juice I tried in Taiwan back in 2006:
I recommend roasting your asparagus at about 450 F until the smoke alarm goes off/it’s tasty and crispy, then drizzling it with a little balsamic vinegar. That’s how it’s done in America, biatches.
*Like by just EATING it? It started as a food, lady.
Late-night vegan pizza slices available in SF! Also, DANCING!
PUT FOUR SLICES OF THIS IN MY FACE!
Can I get a “hell yeah”? I love DNA Lounge in San Francisco for its killer dance nights (Death Guild and Bootie, to name only two) and burlesque-friendliness. However, the cafe inside leaves a bit to be desired when I want some drunk food. However, DNA apparently took over the old pizza joint next door to the club and pumped out a menu with pimpin’ vegan options: Daiya cheese, VEGAN SLICES (I dare you to find such a thing elsewhere), sandwiches with Tofurky products, salads, and things like French fries and fried zucchini. They’re open every day from noon to 3 a.m., so after you get your dance on, refuel here! I’m going to gain a million pounds, which is awesome.
How great is that? MacFarlane and Heaven on Earth Society for Animals have joined forces to create “Perry’s Place: The Perry MacFarlane Sanctuary at Heaven on Earth” in honor of MarFarlane’s mom. She was a big cat-lover and cat-rescuer so Perry’s Place will be a cage-free cat sanctuary.
Family Guy is the best shit on the planet so I’m so happy to hear this. You can donate here, though MacFarlane doesn’t strike me as lacking in funds. But don’t you love when someone you love does something you love?! It’s lovely!
Indeed, this is a problem not of individual proclivities or of agricultural biology that supposedly makes nutrition naturally unaffordable — it is a problem of rigged economics and corrupt policymaking.
Because you have to reframe the argument. Vegans will never, ever win the elitism fight (until the day we’ve all turned into disabled queer people of color through the power of white-cis-guilt/will), but we can point out that the relatively higher price of eating vegetables is a national problem with deep, ugly roots that’s bad for everybody except big agriculture executives. Who are mostly grody white dudes who don’t give a fuck about your need for more than corn-syrup-covered Potato Buds.
Fuck the man. Eat a vegetable and yell at your representatives and tell corporate agriculture to fuck right off. Food stamps at farmers’ markets forever. Food accessibility is a vegan issue.
Kettle Brand Salsa Picante Tias = JUST LIKE DORITOS BUT EVEN MORE DELICIOUS!
I totally thought I was original in being like THESE KETTLE BRAND TIAS CHIPS IN SALSA PICANTE ARE VEGAN DORITOS but I’m not. DAMMIT ALL, QUARRYGIRL! WAY TO SCOOP MY LAZY ASS YET AGAIN!
These fuckers deserve a wider audience because DAMN THEY TASTE JUST LIKE DORITOS. Only classier and even more delicious, IF THAT WAS POSSIBLE. I missed Doritos like I miss Costco birthday cakes (you know what’s up! It’s just sugary lard and I gotta have it! Or had to have it, really my arteries thank me, and so do my taste buds, but memories are a powerful thing!) so this shit is heaven-sent. Bust out a bag, some beer, and the season premiere of Breaking Bad (SO GOOD GOD I HATE WALTER WHITE WHAT IS HIS WHITE-ASS PROBLEM) and let all your troubles ease away! Or increase, that show is fucking stressful.
Good news, you guys! Down from 20 million in the 1970s, fewer than 4 million unwanted cats and dogs will be euthanized this year, and many animal advocates believe that spaying and neutering has played the biggest role in the decrease. Four million is still 4 million too many, right?
Though we still have a long way to go, spaying and neutering has become the law in many states, counties and cities—some even require all shelter animals to be sterilized. Not only does this practice eliminate unnecessary killing, but it also makes pets easier to manage, less aggressive and healthier overall. A win-win-win! Spaying and neutering has definitely become safer and more affordable over the years; most low-cost shelters charging around $50 to neuter a male cat and $60 to spay a female cat, and about $150 for a female dog, and between $150 and $250 (depending on size) to neuter a male. In the long run, and for the lives of the animals, it’s totally worth it. So remember, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!” Thanks, Bob!
[Bob Barker image via scenestirz on Flickr; kitten image via jamesm.00001 on Flickr]
Reader Jessi made up this recipe and says that she “had to share it right away! It’s so good, and so pretty, and super-easy to increase or decrease for more or less people.”
Ingredients 6 small artichokes 1 cup vegetable broth 2 carrots 1/2 cup cashews 2 medium jalapeños 2 yellow or orange bell peppers 1 large lemon 6 large broccoli florets celery seed 2 cloves garlic onion powder 3 pieces of bread, oven-dried and crumbled, or one cup of pre-packaged crumbs olive oil
Instructions Pre-boil the artichokes for 15 minutes to soften the leaves. While boiling artichokes, in a bowl mix bread crumbs, juice and some pulp of the lemon, vegetable broth (save a little for the food processor), one tsp. of celery seed, and onion powder to taste.
In food processor blend jalapeño, broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, garlic, cashews, some broth, some lemon juice, 2 cap fulls of olive oil. Fold this into the bread crumbs mixture.
Note: This mix is SO good we just decided to put some on some quinoa and eat it right away because we couldn’t wait. Luckily it made enough to have one serving each of that, and still have PLENTY to put on the artichokes. This is super delicious raw and chilled with quinoa, I am thinking it would be a GREAT refreshing cold meal on a 105-degree day! Don’t forget to eat the artichoke stems!
Oil a cookie sheet. Break off artichokes stems and place them, leaves up, onto cookie sheet. Spoon some of the mixture onto each leaf on each artichoke. Drizzle each with a bit more olive oil, and bake for around 30 minutes at 350 F. As you pull the leaves off it will have some baked delicious on each one; eat as you normally would an artichoke, sans nasty-ass mayonnaise!
From 6:30 to 8 p.m. they’ll host a casual, picnic-style hangout complete with vegan appetizers and “mocktails,” which I assume are fancy cocktails without the booze (if that’s a problem, I’ve got one word for you: flask). Feel free to bring eats to share, and take along a blanket to stay for “a family-friendly movie in the park, TBD, which will begin after dark.”
No lie, the goal is to seduce you into signing up for their Beet Box CSA, but that’s for your own good.
Here’s why Phat Beets is special:
Their CSA box is super user-friendly. Back in March, when a certain other produce box was giving me more greens and kiwi than I could fathom eating, Phat Beets gave me really useful stuff, like lemons, potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, oranges, and strawberries. Their mission is to encourage healthy eating, so it makes sense that you don’t need to be an expert to handle their farm box. I love me some six pounds of kohlrabi for three weeks straight, but even more I love me a CSA provider who makes it easy to eat vegetables.
They have a stellar mission. Phat Beets is a “food justice collective” that started with a guerilla produce stand and now runs two small farmer’s markets and an urban garden. “Healthy Food is a Human Right,” says they. “What is lacking is not food, but the political will to fairly distribute food regardless of the recipient’s ability to pay.”
Their farmer’s markets have attitude, are cheap, and in underserved locations. Learn things like bike maintenance and how to make jam at the workshops they hold at one of their little scrappy markets every weekend!
They support small and minority farmers. Instead of sourcing from a single farm, like many CSAs, Phat Beets works with a bunch of farmers, especially those of color or those with tiny little operations, to connect them to a market for their food.
Two of their founding members are vegan caterers.
There are more reasons I love this organization, but don’t take it from me, just GO to the event. You’re welcome.
Discount at Ethical Ocean for Vegansaurus readers!
Hey everybody! Have I got a deal for you. Ethical Ocean is this shopping site where you can search by issue, one option being vegan! AND from now until August 1st, we can all get 15% off anything in the store with the coupon code “VEGANSAURUS” (doesn’t have to be in caps).
They have some really cute vegan shoes and lots of body products. As you can see on stage left here, they have these little icons to indicate what ethics the product aligns with and lots of times it’ll be multiple like organic AND vegan. So I like that. They also have this super intense visual search that I’ve never seen before.
This is poor Tinkerbell who was set on fire and severely burned. The Houston Herald has the full story. They think some jerky kids probably did it but no one will come forward so the shelter caring for Tinkerbell is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whatever terrible person did this. WTF is wrong with people? Why would you do that? I hope they get them. Whatever horrible person did this, they need some serious help. People make me so angry sometimes!
You can donate to the shelter here. Beyond that, raise your kids right, so they don’t do stuff like this.
[photo by The Animal Shelter of Texas County via the Houston Herald]
Ivory poaching, elephant murder on the increase in Africa
Vanity Fair has a great big article about the increase in illegal ivory trade in Africa. It’s horrible. You should read it; I’m not going to recap the whole thing here. You can have some low-lights* first, though.
Across Africa, “roughly 100 elephants are being killed each day.” Profits from ivory sales fund terrifying rebel groups, just like jewel- and ore-mining. The biggest markets for ivory right now is in East Asia, in particular China, and the Middle East. When smuggled ivory is seized, its DNA is sequenced so authorities can tell where its elephant came from. From this, we’ve learned that the ivory trade has increased everywhere in Africa that Chinese workers are.
The best paragraph:
Obviously, no ivory should be sold, legally or illegally. It has to be taken off the table completely. You can’t keep feeding the demand and providing incentives to poor Africans to continue killing their elephants. That—and educating the Chinese—is the only hope for the remaining ones in the wild. All of Africa needs to follow the lead of Kenya, which burned its ivory stock in 1989. As he ignited the 12 tons of tusks, thus depriving the government of millions of dollars of revenue, in a huge conflagration that remains the single most important event in the history of the battle for the elephants, then president Daniel arap Moi declared, “To stop the poacher, the trader must also be stopped, and to stop the trader, the final buyer must be convinced not to buy ivory. I appeal to people all over the world to stop buying ivory.”
Zimbabwe wants to feed prisoners elephant. People go on safari to shoot elephants. Most elephants, though, are killed because drought and poverty combined with the big ivory market have made killing them one of the only ways to earn money. Elephants are goddamn mystical, and murdering them is a terrible act of inhumanity. Read this entire article, cry your eyes out, be glad you’re not so poor that you resort to ruining the world to feed yourself. Jesus.
Commercial Street: Does veganism mean you can trust NOTHING?!
So this is neat but also depressing: Your Daily Vegan has a new interactive tool called Commercial Street, which shows you more truthful versions of labels on the stuff we buy. Imagine how many people would buy a carpet if they first had to read a colorful description about the making of the product, including the number of animals abused and killed each year to make it. The economy would collapse! More than it already has, I mean!
Take a virtual stroll down Commercial Street, and click on things you might buy, like duck (because that’s what I get every day at the Safeway):
I realize I’m coming off a bit snooty. However, Commercial Street could be a useful tool for the vegan-curious who might not know that, say, cheese and cashmere are not vegan. Plus it will get folks in the habit of doing more research. But since it is unlikely non-vegans will be casually perusing a site called “Your Daily Vegan,” people like us need to send them there!
On the other hand, reading these labels also makes veganism seem ever more daunting. It’s definitely important to consider the effects of all the choices you make, but when you see a visual representation of how you’ll never be a perfect vegan, it’s enough for some to throw up their hands in defeat. In my opinion, we need to make veganism more accessible, not less. What do you think of this feature?
You guys, last week was a long week. I can’t believe I’m saying that, as I had Monday and most of Wednesday off, but you can’t really count the Fourth of July as a day off because it is exhausting. If you’re not hopelessly trying to avoid all the drunk and disorderly people on the highway, you’re waking up from the sound sleep you fell into at the reasonable hour of 9 p.m. and screaming, “It’s the apocalypse!”
True story: I hate fireworks. I only go to Disneyland when I know they’re not going to happen, and if I have to see fireworks up close and personal, I am always the person huddled on the ground praying that I’m not accidentally ignited by the flames. Once, when I was living on my own, I was enjoying a movie on my laptop when I started hearing these horrifying sonic booms. Because I am a completely rational human being, I was immediately certain that San Francisco was under attack. No idea who would be attacking us at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, just certain it was happening. In my haste to save humanity, I immediately called my mother and told her to hide, and ran outside (smart, right?) to see if there were any other survivors. What I found was a block full of people standing outside and smiling up at the sky. Continuing my logic, I was sure that these people were either trapped by some mind-ray I was immune to or in hysterics, and I cautiously approached my next door neighbor.”I heard it, but we seem to be fine. Is anyone hurt?” I said. My neighbor, to his credit, just pointed at the sky and said “Mark, those are fireworks,” in a slow and nonthreatening manner. God, I hate fireworks. You know what? Fireworks are assholes. Corgis, according to the internet, are also assholes.
I didn’t know this because I generally think they’re pretty cute, but then Allen pointed out that Corgis are not only assholes but out to ruin this awesome new streak of marriage equality. Why you gotta do that Corgis? What gays ever do to you? You know what, Corgis? Only gays and rich people adopt you, and the rich people who adopt you are usually gays. I have to be honest, this website is really making me look at Corgis in a different light. I am usually not a hater of any breed, but I cannot get down with any animals that are not down with marriage equality. Or animals that pee in pools. Or animals that bring wine to AA meetings. And I can definitely not get behind dogs that dress as KKK members. You guys, I didn’t even know this was happening. This is why I mainly stick with hamsters, who would never discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or sexual orientation.
Apparently, Moths don’t discriminate either, choosing to now spend their time not only scaring people when they float out of closets like evil harbingers of doom, but also crawling into the ears of children in order to cause them stress, fear, and a glimpse of mortality. Let me be clear with you on one point: if a moth, or any other bug for that matter, crawls into your ear, go immediately to the emergency room. Do not pass go. Do not try to flood your ear with water in order to drown the moth in your cavern of earwax. Moths are stubborn, and as a 12-year-old in Denver learned, they cannot be killed with water. When the boy’s mother finally took him to the emergency room, the doctors had to pull the moth, still alive mind you, from his ear where it had decoded that it would take up permanent residence. Doesn’t this remind you of that horrible story we all heard as kids about spiders laying eggs inside people’s faces? Thanks, internet, now I will never be able to sleep again.
That’s it for this week! Please send me links for next week and have a safe and bug-free Wednesday!
Are "conscientious carnivores" only fooling themselves?
Of course it’s better for animals to live in comfort on a nice farm instead of a hideous feedlot before they’re slaughtered for food. However, James McWilliams notes in the Atlantic, the outcome is still the same: the animals are killed, and people eat them. That’s the contradiction inherent in “conscientious carnvorism”—your conscientiousness is limited by the violence of your diet. McWilliams’ essay is interesting; he asserts that focus on "happy meat" “narrow[s] our moral vision,” which is the same point abolitionists make when arguing against so-called humane regulations to meat industry practices.
It’s a valid argument, too. What do you think? Are you pro- or anti-conscientious carnivorism? What do you think of the Humane Society’s and United Egg Producers’ proposed legislation that would improve conditions for layer hens? Would it be more profitable for us animal advocates to work toward a vegan world, or making small changes to a system to which we are morally opposed?
The Bahamas are known not only as the shark-diving capital of the world but also for a local seafood company that had plans to export shark meat and fins to Hong Kong last year. Gross! Luckily, the Bahamas has just banned commercial shark fishing! More than 40 species of sharks can breathe (not really, they have gills) easy now. Pick up a Bahama Mama or pina colada, sharks, and toast to your new protection! I just love the thought of a shark just hanging out, wearing sunglasses and somehow holding a frosty drink in his or her fin, kinda like this:
Yesterday was a rare occasion: I ventured away from my home in the East Bay to take a leisurely stroll through San Francisco with my partner. The sun was out; no one had mindlessly shoved past me on the sidewalk. I naively thought that nothing could ruin this perfect day.
Then the dairy industry swooped in and took a giant, sexist shit on my day with their new ad campaign that is plastered all over the city.
As if “Got Milk” ads and posters weren’t disgusting enough with their trademark milk mustache, the Milk Board has decided to also explain that women are horrible, moody and unreasonable because of our menstrual cycles. To broadcast their views, they’ve created the Everything I Do is Wrong campaign, claiming that milk can ease symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), based on a “recent” (1998) study. This isn’t the first time they’ve cited such studies and used depictions of panicked, fearful and powerless men frantically purchasing milk for their untamable female partners.
Let’s look at all the things that are obviously wrong with this campaign:
The Milk Board doesn’t say how much milk ladies would have to consume to have an effect on their PMS symptoms. According to the 1998 study, women would have to drink at least four glasses of milk per day, every day, to show some ease of PMS symptoms (fatigue and insomnia were not affected). On top of that, noticeable changes wouldn’t even begin until after three months of your daily milky medicine.
According to the World Health Organization, the amount of calcium absorbed into your system decreases the more of it you consume.
Milk and dairy products aren’t the only available sources of calcium, but are the unhealthiest! Leafy greens, soy, grains, beans and some fruits are incredibly high in calcium. In order to meet the daily recommendation, you’d only need to consume one cup of tofu, or two cups of cooked spinach, or a feast of figs! And don’t even get me started on quinoa and kale.
Oh, Milk Board? None of the above foods have cholesterol or the saturated fats that are associated with milk! Actually, while I’m at it, let’s also mention that consuming excess fats is actually bad for your menstrual cycle, too. Speaking of excess crap, the “Got Milk?” website claims that drinking milk will make you prettier and “less frumpy.”
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Milk Board Executive Director Steve James says that they went into the ad campaign with “a little trepidation” because PMS is a “sensitive subject.” Other members of the Milk Board claim that the ads are “tasteful,” “fun,” and “effective.” Sure, effective in pissing us off and insulting our intelligence! Hey dudes, maybe it’s a sensitive subject because the media continues to play on blatantly sexist stereotypes that all women are blood-hungry bitches during their periods?
James’ interview ends on a high note: “We did it in the past, but the women just didn’t drink enough milk. If they’d only drink enough, we wouldn’t come back.” Instead of encouraging women to exercise regularly, drink enough water, and eat a balanced diet, the Milk Board wants ladies to consume 1,460 glasses of cholesterol-loaded and cruelty-derived milk a year with the weak promise that it might help you not be a huge bitch all the time, and that it will save your heterosexual relationship from the mighty curse of monthly menstruation.
This new store, Ivy Garden, opened in Park Slope (Gowanus?) and it’s my new favorite place on earth. They have so much vegan food! AND it’s right off my subway stop (stop stalking me!). One thing they have that I hadn’t tried before is Rising Moon Stuffed Shells. Jeez louise, guys! These are SO GOOD! I love them. The ricotta is totally great. I don’t remember if it’s exactly like dairy ricotta but it’s hella good.
That’s kind of all I wanted to say. If you see this stuff somewhere, totally try it.
This is Rasine! How cute is she? I love that name! She’s four-and-three-quarters and has been vegan since birth. She’s a Virginian! I’ve spent some time there, good town. You can check out her dad’s blog here! Take it away, Rasine!
What is your favorite food? Rasine: Chocolate.
What is your favorite kind of birthday cake? Rasine: Chocolate triceratops.
Why are you vegan? Rasine: Because we don’t want to hurt the animals!
Do you like being vegan? [Dad note: The first time we asked her this question, she decided it was the time to tell us she wanted to know what meat tasted like. What timing! After a discussion and moving past that phase, we approached the answer and she said…]
Why? Rasine: Eating chocolate.
Is it ever hard to be vegan? Rasine: Always! [Dad note: at least she’s honest!]
What do your friends think about you being vegan? Rasine: I didn’t ask them yet.
What is your favorite animal? Why? Rasine: Pigs. Because they roll around to get suntan lotion [mud]. [Ed. note: haaaaa]
Do you like pink dinosaurs? Rasine: Green!
Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
[Dad note: Note the writing - she sounded out “Triceratops.” She also wanted to draw a green t-rex for you, so I attached that, too.] [Ed. note: AWESOME! Thanks!]
Get fancy, bitches: Millennium's Farmers' Market Dinner
It’s the 12th annual Farmers’ Market Dinner at Millennium! That’s tradition in California, we’re a young-ass state! Take it from a bitch who’s been in Greece where their young shit is our old shit, know what I’m sayin’? Great, neither do I! Anyway, these dinners are amazing and you want to go, trust.
Here’s the juice straight from Millennium’s mouth:
Each year, we take a moment to recognize the efforts of our contributing local farmers. We will take the time to celebrate and recognize their immeasurable contribution to the organic movement on Wednesday, July 27, by hosting our 12th annual Farmers’ Market Dinner. Chef Eric Tucker will present a menu featuring four courses, highlighting ingredients from each of our local farms. Our local farmers will be present throughout the evening to answer any questions you may have. Peruse their wares at our fresh-from-the-farm produce table—there may even be a few goodies to take home at the end of your meal!
Farmers’ Market Dinner Wednesday, July 27 Reservations available from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Four-course prix fixe menu $50 per person; $25 wine pairing Please call our host for a reservation at (415) 345.3900, ext. 10
Here’s some delicious Millennium stuffed squash blossoms photographed by the talented digiyesica!
Hey San Francisco, how are your teeth? Get 'em cleaned by a vegan dental student!
That was a lot of hed, I know. It’s important to get information across, though. The facts here are that dental student and vegan Nichole McKenna wants to work on your teeth, and if you want cut-price dental care (50 to 60 percent off private practice costs), she’s the future dentist for you.
Presumably. Your Vegansaurus, while fanatical about flossing and brushing, hasn’t had insurance since 2008 and therefore hasn’t seen a dentist in three-plus years. America is the best country ever, you guys, no job + no insurance = joy forever.
Nichole’s school, University of the Pacific, does accept insurance, however, if you are a fancy person with a job that cares about you. And if not, 50-to-60 percent off standard prices is a good deal! Check them out here, email Nichole here, or call her at 415.484.6744. She says that as there are nearly 280 students who are taking appointments, no one is obligated to see her, but how many of those student-dentists are vegans? This being Vegansaurus and all, we want to support our fellow vegans! So maybe contact Nichole here and get your damn teeth cleaned. Cavities are preventable/easily treatable, and gum disease leads to heart disease, and uncared-for teeth are totally gross. No one wants to kiss a dirty mouth, and your Vegansaurus is all about kissing! And clean teeth!
Vegan dental hygiene: it’s wonderful.
[amigurumi tooth photo by leiapico_art via Flickr]
A few months back, my brother was diagnosed with celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder that makes one unable to process gluten and also be incredibly annoying about it to others. I don’t know whether this is true of all persons suffering from celiac disease or peculiar to my brother,* but after hearing about how celiac disease was the worst thing that could happen to anyone, and phone calls about how I should give up doing therapy because any and all clients I would ever see would not be suffering from depression and anxiety but undiagnosed gluten allergies, I thought that I would appease him by going on a gluten-free diet for a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, being gluten-free is really hard: everything delicious has gluten in it. My brother is also an omnivore, so what he gave up in eating bread and pasta, he made up for eating five to 10 whole chickens a day. I, on the other hand, would have to give up all manner of veggie burgers, delicious Gardein, and sugary breakfast cereals. This, I was sure, would kill me faster in the long-term than celiac disease.
My biggest problem was snacks, because often what was gluten-free was not cruelty-free and I was refusing to spend my 10-minute breaks at work chomping on carrots day after day. That really killed the gluten-free diet for me, and after three weeks of suffering my way through, I inhaled an entire bag of salt-and-pepper chips and never looked back. That is, until the Good Bean emailed Vegansaurus to inform us of a new vegan and gluten-free snack made of chickpeas. Hell yes! I love chickpeas with the passion of a thousand burning suns (and 15 women scorned).
I received the package from the Good Bean on a Saturday afternoon and was delighted to have a chance to try the different flavors immediately (only partly because I can stretch a tasting session into about four hours while watching old episodes of Bones when I should really be writing a paper). Fortunately, Allen had a friend over and I invited them to join me in the tasting process (only partly because if I hadn’t Allen would ask me why I was watching reruns of a show about forensic anthropology instead of writing the important paper I’d been moaning about for weeks), so we sat around the dining room table and discussed how we felt about roasted chickpeas.
We were all very excited about the fact that the snacks that the Good Bean produces are not only vegan and completely gluten-free but also low in fat and high in protein. And they come in stylish little packages that are easy to open (no scissors required) and carry-friendly! When we opened the packages, however, our excitement waned a little.
First of all, I have to warn you that roasted chickpeas are not as crunchy as you may believe they are. These chickpeas do not have the same texture and consistency as other roasted bean snacks that I’ve tried (the ones you may find at Mexican supermarkets, for instance) and are less firm than one would expect. The first bite, too, is a little bit of a shock; the chickpeas are very chalky in texture. Once you’ve had a couple, however, the texture is not only tolerable but welcome. In fact, I found that biting in became more and more pleasurable as I continued eating and became somewhat addictive. Allen and his friend did not warm to the texture, however, and while they enjoyed trying the different flavors, they both suggested that the roasted chickpeas might be more delicious if they were firmer.
We received four different flavors: sea salt, cracked pepper, smoky chili and lime, and sweet cinnamon. I am a huge fan of anything that features cracked pepper as a main ingredient and immediately downed a handful of that flavor, while Allen and Sunny both tried sea salt.
Our responses were mixed. While we all agreed that the snacks were pleasant, the texture took us by surprise and as mentioned, took a little getting used to before we could comment on the flavors. As for the flavors themselves, these too were a mixed bag. The flavor of the cracked pepper was strong and a little bit spicy, leaving a nice aftertaste that lasted perhaps a bit too long. The flavor of the sea salt snacks varied between too much and too little, making it harder to enjoy a balanced taste. Allen and I also agreed that the cracked pepper went much better with the texture and that the sea salt, while good, was not as congruous (I cannot believe I just used that word. Thanks, geometry!).
The other two were more of the same. Allen and I both enjoyed the smoky chili and lime flavor, but wished that the chickpeas were more firm, and we both agreed that the sweet cinnamon seemed like an unusual choice. However, as I am writing about it, I think that it would be nice to try sweet cinnamon chickpeas in a bowl of soy milk as a breakfast food, or sprinkled on top of a bowl of oatmeal. Let me know if any of you try that, because in my mind it is delicious and I wish I had some of that flavor left to try it with.
This brings me to an important point: I finished all of the snacks. No matter how unusual the flavors and the textures may have been, I enjoyed these snacks well enough to finish all four 2.5-oz. packages, and would eat more if I had them. As a fairly new snack, the Good Bean still has a ways to go, but is not unpleasant by any means. I would happily eat these snacks at a party or if offered to me by a friend, and I will definitely be interested in new flavors and improvements, but at this time I cannot guarantee that these snacks would be a permanent fixture in my shopping cart.
My sister, a vegetarian of more than five years, is researching the correlation between ethical food choices and intelligence. If you are between the ages of 18 and 24 [Ed.—not your editors! We old], and have taken the SAT and know your score, please take a few minutes to fill out her survey.
Remember to fill out ALL the questions, or your answers won’t be usable and you won’t be entered into the drawing to win $50!
Say hello to six-year-old Sam from Massachusetts. From his mom: “Sam is six now, as of a couple of weeks ago, and has been a self-declared vegetarian since he was four, when we were reading a book about who uses forks, who uses chopsticks, etc. It showed hunting in it and he made the connection between animals and meat and has not eaten one bite of meat since. He’s even converted his younger brother (Nate, three) for the past few months, which was no easy feat.” Yeah! Awesome, Sam! And congrats, Nate! Way to be, fellas.
What is your favorite food? Sam: Cheerios and macaroni and cheese.
What is your favorite kind of birthday cake? Sam: The one that I had when I was six [AWESOME]:
Why are you vegetarian? Sam: Because I found out that meat was animals and I didn’t want to hurt animals
Do you like being vegetarian? Sam: I do. That was an easy question. Why? Sam: Because then I don’t hurt animals, and I don’t like to hurt them.
Is it ever hard to be vegetarian? Sam: No.
What do your friends think about you being vegetarian? Sam: I haven’t told them. I think they think it’s fine.
What is your favorite animal? Why? Sam: Cats, all cats. Because they’re cool. I learn from cats, from Chewy (our cat) and sometimes from Molly (our other, shyer cat).
Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
East Bay Vegan Bakesale is COMING! You're baking for it, remember?
Yeah, you remember! Good job, you! Just hit up the fly honeys of EBVB and let them know how damn well you can bake from scratch/follow directions on a box/Buy cupcakes from Rainbow. Details for the Saturday Sunday, July 24th sale are on the flyer below and also here (RSVP! Invite friends! Only via Facebook! Can Google+ do that yet! No, that’s why it’s better!)!
See your fellow vegan fat-asses there!
Oh, and as usual, all the money goes to charity because VEGANS ARE SO SELFLESS. This month’s sale is benefiting Bay Areas Girls Rock Camp (HELL YES. You’re creating little Animal’s!) and Save KUSF (that radio station we all care about now!).
Treewool: new vegan clothing line made by rad vegan lady!
Yes! More vegans to support and get something awesome out of it! Treewool, brought to us by the lovely Kristin Blackmore, is making its debut on Etsy! Bringing an organic, ethically sourced, adorable line of knitwear to the people! We’re particularly enamored with EVERYTHING but are loving this vest (and the model! hot stuff!!):
And that’s just the beginning! There’s so much more cuteness and we’re sure that Kristen, being an adorable design-and-textile vegan, will continue to bring the adorability and functionality and radness and yeah, everything good! And when she continues to bring it, there will be a plus-sized line and I will be the model because I’m really cute and LOVE FASHION and don’t want to be relegated to shopping exclusively at the Hefty Hideaway. Or maybe I do, HELLO FRINGE!
Never Felt Better, the adorable all-vegan store in Sacramento that we all love, has a Kickstarter to raise money to put in a !!!!VEGAN NACHO CHEESE BAR!!!! If you’re reading this blog then I’m assuming you love nacho cheese. If you’re reading this blog and you don’t love nacho cheese then don’t be reading this blog, you feel me? JK PLEASE DON’T LEAVE WE NEED THE HITS TO VALIDATE OUR EXISTENCE/LOVE YOU.
Anyway, the money you’re donating is going to support the ONLY all-vegan store in California and nacho cheese and the vegan economy. If you’re a vegan with a little extra change in your pockets, do a solid and kick them some. Also, please see our coverage of vegan cheese because it’s pretty great, if not poorly tagged. FUCKING TUMBLR. Now, some nachos one time for your mind:
Last week I upset everyone by posting the above picture without the recipe. To make it up to you, I got the recipe from Alexis:
The recipe is easy, and I don’t have a mixer. Making it jumbo-size allows the cake to be intensely moist.
The cupcakes Ingredients 1 1/2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour 1 Tbps. baking soda 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Valrhona) 1 cup sugar (I use half-white and half-brown, or caster sugar) 1/2 tsp. salt 1/3 cup vegan chocolate morsels 1 cup coconut milk 3 Tbsp. espresso powder 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 Tbs. organic white wine vinegar
Instructions Preheat oven to 350 F. Line jumbo cupcake pans with liners—this will make six.
Sift all of the dry ingredients and whisk together. In a separate small bowl combine coconut milk, espresso powder, and vegetable oil; after mixing, add the vinegar. Add wet to dry and mix with a spatula. Add chocolate morsels.
Fill the cupcake pans a little above halfway. Bake 15 minutes, or use toothpick to check.
The frosting Ingredients 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips 3 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 cups organic powdered sugar 1/4 cup hot water Vanilla bean extract to taste.
Instructions Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave, and stir. Add the powdered sugar, then the hot water and more powdered sugar if needed. Stir to get rid of lumps, and add the vanilla extract. It will be a little runny, but it pours really well and hardens perfectly. I frost when the cupcakes are still warm, about three minutes out of the oven.
Did you ever see this horrible video? It’s a Peta video of lab workers at a research facility in North Carolina totally abusing poor animals. It’s horrible. But guess what! Four of the former employees have been charged with animal cruelty! Yay! This is a big deal because normally research facility workers never get in real trouble. I hope they get totally fucked by justice! See? Regardless of how you feel about them, you have to admit that Peta does some rad stuff.
Let’s all hope these jerks get the chair! JK, I don’t believe in the death penalty (because it’s racist and classist and irrational and awful!). But still, I hope they get fucked.
If you live in San Francisco and think you know anything about food then you are most likely obsessed with Tartine. If you aren’t, congratulations and let’s be friends and eat donuts and drink Folgers and leave this place PLEASE I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
Anyway, they’ve got a vegan carrot cake now! Hooray! Now us vegans can wait in line for three days to eat a delicious 10,000-calorie sugar-and-fat-bomb with the rest of you assholes! High five! SO LET’S DISH. Has anyone tried it? Thoughts? I haven’t (photo via awesome reader Shelley!) but my initial feelings go thusly:
1) Excited! Foodie assholes everywhere will have to see a vegan pastry in their butter case! 2) Confused! KAMUT FLOUR? FOR REALLY? Why? The vegan product needs the funky flour, too? Okay, whatever. 3) Excited! I LOVE TO EAT FOOD.
So, there you have it! If you’ve tried it, let us know. If not, I GUESS I’LL TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM GOD.