SO cute! Look at her, her head is smaller than the cookie!
Sorry, there’s a super annoying commercial in the beginning of this video. But it’s worth it to see that little pup!:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
OMG, right? Ridic. Goddang baby animals, you guys just get me.
I like tempeh all right. The first time I ever had it, my friend Krystle made TLTs—tempeh, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches with Veganaise. I wasn’t vegan yet, but after eating her sandwich, I decided it was time to seriously try. I have often told Krystle her TLT was what finally made it me go vegan. It was a gateway sandwich!
When I have tackled the TLT on my own, I noticed that the tempeh soaks up so much of the oil and soy sauce I sauté it in to make bacon. I decided one night, last year, to try steaming my tempeh first. I had skimmed many a recipe that suggested steaming, and it was time to try it.
Turns out it’s easy to do. Seriously, once I started steaming my tempeh first, I began enjoying it so much more. I’ve heard steaming takes some of the bitterness out, but I’ve never noticed a bitter bite to begin with. Plus, when steamed, it soaks up less oil when preparing it afterward.
Yes, steaming does add one extra step, but I’m doing it as I write this post! You can steam anything (vegetables, fermented soy), and do other stuff at the same time! Multitasking!
A steam basket
A pot with a lid
Cut up your tempeh into sizes that are desirable for you. Place your steam basket into your pot, and fill pot with water just until it reaches the bottom of the steam basket. Bring water to a boil, place tempeh in steam basket.
To boil the water, I set the stove burner to high, but once the tempeh is in the pot, with the lid on, I turn down the temperature to medium high/medium. Then I let it do its thing for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Lift the cover; your tempeh should be tender and ready for however you like to prepare it!
Once you’ve steam your tempeh, you can then sautee it or bake it—whatever you usually do. I still like to make myself TLTs, with homemade mayo, of course! I am steaming tempeh today, because I am getting ready to write a battered tempeh taco recipe for you! With a gluten-free version included, of course.
My desire to play around with tempeh was brought on by a recent dinner at Millennium with my roommate, Crystal. We decided to share the Maple-Black Pepper Smoked Tempeh, as neither of us has been the biggest fans of tempeh. We were like, “If we are ever going to have tempeh at its most delectable, it’s going to be here.” We were not mistaken.
Lime Crime makeup is so pretty! And all their products but the eyelid primer are vegan (the primer contains beeswax)! So nice to have a high-fashion vegan line, right? I love my earthy, crunchy brands too but I can’t help but fawn over a super stylish brand like Lime Crime. The company sent me some gratis products to try and now I will tell you all about them!
First of all: everything smells like cake! Really. OK the first product I tried was their opaque lipstick in Retrofuturist—a nice, bright red. I really like the color—not too dark, not too orange—just red! And it went on nicely. I’m not super skilled with lipstick but it was easy to apply. Then I applied the glitter lip gloss in Cherry on Top over the lipstick. Very fun! I was expecting it to be more glittery (though it is more glittery than it appears in the picture) but I suppose it’s a lot more wearable the way it is. As you can see though, it really makes the color POP! It’s like a lipstick energizer!
Now for the eyeshadow! They sent me the “Chinadoll” palette. What do you think about the name? It seems messed up.* The palette, however, is awesome. Such pretty colors and so rich. I messed around with a few of the colors, you can see below:
Thank you for indulging my attempts at beauty blog pictures! It was hard. As you can see, I put the colors I used in each “look” (beauty talk!) next to the pic. If you need a little help figuring out how to apply the shadow and you want to do it like I did, my sister has a great tutorial video you can use.
The Jade-O-Lade is beautiful. Love it. And the black worked really well as a liner, as you can see over the red. I’m also really into red around the eyes; I used to buy red lipliner and apply it as eyeliner. Everybody was totes into it. I think it brings out my eyes! My eyes love to be brought out.
To sum it up: Lime Crime smells like cake and is super pretty! And very easy to use. And fun and stylish. I’m a fan! Oh also, their logo is a unicorn and I think she should be the MMU’s new girlfriend.
*I’ve been reading more about it. The campaign is seriously wrong. The palette is beautiful but they really need to apologize and change the name. Lime Crime’s founder has made a statement about the controversy, you can read it and decide for yourself what you think about the matter.
The Wild Bird Fund is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for the city’s first wildlife rehabilitation and education center! There’s going to be cool stuff you can read about below but I should tell you first: THERE’S GOING TO BE BABY BIRDS AND SQUIRRELS! BABY ANIMALS OMG WTF! And an owl—I have never met an owl. That’s a damn shame. This will not stand! We must go and meet squirrels and owls.
The Wild Bird Fund is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charity located at 558 Columbus Ave. (inside the Animal General clinic), New York City. In 2011, the WBF rehabilitated over 1,400 birds and mammals and responded to over 4,000 calls. While the fund usually deals with mostly pigeons (as they seem to be the most common bird brought in), some of the other other types of animals treated are gulls, sparrows, hawks, owls, and squirrels.
The gala will take place at the beautiful and historic “Birdie” Vanderbilt Mansion, and will feature a speech by best-selling author Jonathan Franzen and a performance by Dzul Dance. Wine and vegetarian hors d’oeuvres will be served, and guests will be able to meet a few of the feathered rescues from the previous year.
In conclusion, baby squirrel from the Wild Bird Fund’s FB page:
Hey you sexy San Francisco beasts! It’s time for Vegan Drinks! Silly me, I forgot to post last month, which also means I forgot to go. Easy solution — I’ll just make up for lost time this month! Problem solved; let’s do this!
I can’t wait to see all of your fancy rain gear. Maybe you can give me tips on how to dress for rainy weather? I own an umbrella and that is it—no rainboots or slicker—what is wrong with me? I’m just miserable and wet, all the time! Seeing your faces will cheer me right up, and also I need to forget that I am sad about missing Grey’s Anatomy (all the best shows are on Thursday nights!). No one said being a social butterfly was easy.
You know the drill by now, right?
When: Thursday, March 29, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, 2323 Mission St. at 19th
Drinks: $3 bottled beer, $4 well drinks, and $5 vegan white Russians!
Let’s take a look at the menu! Food is so exciting!
Last time I went, I ate the sliders and half of a vegan sampler basket, which caused me to not feel like a sexy beast the rest of the night. So I’ll just delicately nibble off of all of your plates, I hope that is okay.
See you tonight!
Back in December, when I posted about making your own nog, I recommended you use Navitas Naturals brand for the lucuma! Well, Navitas saw it, and sent me a very generous box of samples as a thank you—Christmas came early for me! Included was a bag of their blueberry hemp bars, which hadn’t hit the market yet. That makes me feel very special, like a VIV (very important vegan)!
I haven’t been feeling all that great lately. Being everywhere at once and the life of the party is tiresome. To compensate, I’ve been eating much more raw food. It helps keep my energy up, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy! The downside of raw foods is that they can be expensive, especially the prepackaged stuff, and time-consuming to prep at home. So if you have to pick and choose, I definitely recommend these blueberry hemp bars. They are similar to Lara Bars, but a little drier. That’s not a bad thing! The dates in Lara Bars keep them very moist.
These would be great as a snack while traveling, for a healthy breakfast on the go, or a snack to keep you going until dinner. This bag has lasted me since December, because they are so good, I want to make them last! They are dense and filling, so I don’t crave very many at once. That’s what I like about raw foods—they are so flavorful, I eat less, because my tastebuds are satisfied quickly.
Now let’s talk nutrition! This power snacks contain hemp, blueberries, date paste, chia seeds, cashews, plus the superfood powders lucuma, maqui, camu and maca. They are gluten-free, soy-free and contain NO refined sugar. All of these ingredients are very good for you.
These tasty little snacks are now available in stores all over the U.S., including Whole Foods, Wegmans, and HEB, or you can buy them online at NativasNaturals and Amazon!
One morning my roommate Dan made us spinach, almond milk, and banana smoothies. I suggested we add a little Maqui powder for added nutrients, and it was delicious! I honestly believe raw food is the best food!
You guys, spring break is over for another year. I spent all of last week working on things that I didn’t have time for and then recovering for three days because Allen and I chose to go see The Hunger Games at the midnight opening instead of waiting a couple of days to see it at a reasonable hour.
That shit was off the hook (pardon my French!), and I am delighted to tell you that Allen and I loved it! (I know, it wasn’t word-for-word, but I have all the books and can re-read them whenever I want.) Allen was incredibly embarrassed the entire time (as usual) as I insisted on making conversation with the other people in line, and then screaming “Every man for himself!” as I pushed past groups of schoolgirls to get good seats. One young lady got confused, ran into a pole, and rolled into the entrance. In the spirit of the event, I shouted “Stop slowing me down!” as I jumped over her, but was later chastised by Allen for not being nice to children…at a movie about children killing children. However, when I brought this up to him, he just shook his head and went to buy popcorn, leaving me to contemplate my own horridness.
Due to this movie (and all the dystopian fiction I read), I do not have a positive view of the future. I think the fact that the Denver Zoo has come up with a car that runs on poop is an omen that we are only years away from sending our children into an arena to bludgeon each other with bricks. A car that runs on poop, you guys. How does that even happen? More importantly, why am I so upset and worried that it is only a short time before Allen is forcing me into a high-fiber diet so that he can drive me around. Can you imagine the smell? Why does the article not mention the smell? Do you think there might be a smell? Can you imagine hipsters pooping into buckets in order to ride motorized bikes? Why am I so obsessed with poop? Why can’t I stop?
Here’s a question: How do snakes poop? I have never considered this before, but then I read about this dude who had 400 snakes in his house, and I started thinking about whether snakes produce pellets or, uh, goo. Also: Why are snakes so scary? I am sure they do not want to eat me, but I remember my second grade teacher reading us a book about a boa constrictor eating a kid, and I didn’t know English too well and didn’t understand that it was fiction. That was a horrible year for me.
Something that isn’t poop but is super-gross anyway is Alicia Silverstone feeding her baby like a bird and then posting the video online in (I assume) a desperate attempt to stay relevant past the mess that was Excess Baggage. That was her worst movie—until this monstrosity. Listen, do whatever it is that you like with your obviously distressed kid, but do not post it online. That means you too, Jennifer Coburn, and that one mom who starved her seven-year-old and wrote about it for Vogue.
That’s it for this week! Please send me links for next week and have a Wednesday not fraught with thoughts about poop!
[photo by Eric Bégin via Flickr]
We had a post the other day about veggies being cheaper than people acknowledged, and it garnered some responses that called it insensitive to greater structures of food politics. We know the cost of food isn’t the sole determiner in the diet of many people, but the fact remains that many people think veganism is expensive because fruits and veggies are more expensive than non-vegan food.
That post brings to light studies that have shown that veggies are actually not expensive when compared to other foods. It didn’t say that everyone can walk to the corner and buy vegetables. The studies simply show that veggies are actually more affordable then they are made out to be. If we don’t have that information, we can’t move on to discuss what does make vegetables unaffordable or inaccessible.
When someone writes in response to that post that “this is (a big part of) why I am done with vegansaurus and the main(er)stream veg* activism framework,” it troubles us. It makes us think that you’re not reading the site very closely. Which is fair, there are about 10,000 posts a day. However, this isn’t the first post we’ve ever had about food accessibility. We’ve written about food accessibility on Vegansaurus many times, and about healthy school lunches—which affects children with limited options and resources—on multiple occasions. We understand the difference between poverty and college-educated living-on-a-tight-budget.
It bothers us that people consistently use “privilege” as an attack against veganism. Yes, being able to make decisions about your food is a privilege—for this very reason, many people with little options are in fact vegetarian or vegan, by default. But food decisions aren’t the only privilege; caring about and fighting an issue that doesn’t directly affect you is a privilege. Any animal rights activist has the privilege of time and energy to dedicate to helping animals. That, really, is beyond privilege. It’s a responsibility. If you are able to, you should be helping others. If you are able to, you should be vegan.
Honestly, we’ve never had a genuinely poor person say tell us that “being vegan is expensive;” it’s always people in our socio-economic group. We’re not swimming in riches, and maybe even paying rent is hard sometimes, but if you are wealthy enough to live on your own, or even with a few roommates, you are wealthy enough to be vegan. How many times have we heard the argument “WHAT ABOUT KIDS IN AFRICA WHO DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO EAT? ARE YOU GOING TO FORCE THEM TO BE VEGAN?” To which we say A) you totally think Africa is a country, don’t you?; and B) NO, We’re talking about your privileged ass, you cask-ale-drinking jerk.
We recognize that having food choices is privileged; we also realize that having internet access and tumblr accounts and time to write about the things we care about is privileged. Having time to read about the things you care about is a privilege. That’s how we know most people who are reading this post right now have the ability to go vegan—right now.
While you’re at it, you can also work on food sovereignty, and preaching to other liberals who fully understand food deserts about how they’re not liberal enough to understand food deserts in the same complex way that you do. Now get out there and start baking vegan fair-trade organic cupcakes and delivering them on bike to your West Oakland neighbors. We’ll do the same.
This Vegansaurus editorial was brought to you by Meave, Megan and Laura! xoxoxo!
Dan Barber courted some veg-rage back in December 2010 when he asserted that “You have blood on your hands when you eat vegetarian,” and last week Slate interviewed him about it. It’s on video, above, and watching it made me feel the same head-against-the-wall frustration that I do when Michael Pollan opens his yap to opine about how meat-abstainers are wrong, and eating animals is noble. Here are my responses to three of his particularly obnoxious points.
1. He points to the “iconic New England pasture that was built by the dairy industry” as a reason for keeping animals for food. What did the landscape look like before the dairy industry brought their milk-and-death business to the area, Dan? How did it look before the Industrial Revolution? How did it look before the Dutch and English and Spanish came and murdered all the native people? How did it look during Pangea?
2. He condemns a vegetable-based diet as much heavier in “food miles” than his local produce/animal product diet. Man, let’s address food deserts before you insist the nation go full locavore. Of course we should strive to eat more sustainably grown food! But when the choice is between dead cow from a feedlot and mixed vegetables from factory farms, choose the vegetables. They aren’t cutting down the rainforest to grow soybeans for my tofu, they’re doing it to feed the cows that the majority of the U.S. eats. Factory farms are bad for us ecologically, socially, ethically, morally—why go after the vegetarians when there is a much bigger bad to attack? I can’t tell if he’s advocating we all go full backyard chicken, or turn factory farms into small-scale, ecologically friendly farm collectives, or what.
3. The New England landscape “doesn’t want” you to grow vegetables, so that means it does want you to grow animals for killing? And oh no, Michael Pollan is worried about the extinction of farm animals? There is a major difference between “keeping some animals on your farm as farming tools” (eating grass, fertilizing with their waste, pest control) and “keeping animals en masse for slaughter.” You acknowledge that what you want is to “use the resources of animals on a farm in an intelligent way,” which is something I agree with—until you jump from keeping animals to eating them. Why? Isn’t barbarism like killing living creatures for our gustatory pleasure a thing of the past?
You know what? I do agree that vegetarians have blood on their hands. All the male chicks that are killed because they can’t produce eggs? All the male calves born to the perma-pregnant dairy cows, that are sent to veal farms? The treatment of the layer hens and dairy cows themelves? So much blood. That’s one of the reasons I observe a vegan diet: To keep the blood-as-byproduct off my hands.
[Please visit Adam Merberg’s Say what, Michael Pollan? blog for much more extensively documented reasons why this argument is nonsense.]
Overall Rating: A-
Level of Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Best for: Anyone looking for no-fuss ways to veganize their family celebrations.
You know how they call that time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s “the holiday season”? There are holidays all year round, it turns out. (Flag Day: June 14). What would fill the “seasonal” aisle of the grocery stores otherwise? So while you might think a cookbook called Vegan Holiday Kitchen should get reviewed in like, November (which happens to be when everyone else reviewed it), it’s with an eye to strategy and not simply a result of laziness that I bring you this late March report. This cookbook covers not only Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah, but Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, and Independence Day. Plus brunch, which I guess is its own holiday.
PSA: Passover starts after sundown Friday, April 6. Easter is Sunday, April 8. Holidays approacheth! Do you have a plan?
Nava Atlas had a clear purpose with this photo-heavy offering: honor tradition, add the vegan element, and create special-occasion meals that are fun, not stressful. To that end, her recipes tend to the simple and don’t shy away from shortcuts (canned lentils?!). But the lack of elaborate preparation or unusual ingredients makes this a really awesome resource when you’re looking to cook in someone else’s kitchen (like I did for Thanksgiving), or if you’re short on time, or if you just think complicated recipes are scary.
I’ve made a lot of stuff from this book over the last six months (though it’s not an everyday go-to), but somehow I failed to photograph most of it. Here’s the Red Wine-Roasted Brussel Sprouts everyone loved in November (pre-roasting):
And here’s a sandwich I made on the Vegan Challah, which came out really delicious, if not quite as flaky as the original (secret ingredient: squash!):
While some of the recipes are restricted to particular holidays or seasons (Passover = lots of matzoh, July 4th = grilling), it’s also fun to mix and match. At Christmas, we brought Moroccan-Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives, in theory a Rosh Hashanah offering, to a friends’ house for fancy dinner; it got devoured with compliments.
Atlas is a good communicator: The recipes are written clearly and are easy to follow, and each is labeled at the top if it is or could be soy-, gluten-, or nut-free. I’ve wanted to tweak some of her instructions (less sweetener in the Agave and Mustard-Glazed Green Beans, for example), but haven’t had any disasters or failures, praise be.
My only major complaint is that, especially in the Thanksgiving and Christmas chapters, Atlas shies away from star-of-the-show, protein-heavy, centerpiece dishes that I think are pretty key to a vegan celebration. Stuffings and pilafs abound; hearty stews and tofus do not. Perhaps this is a rebellion against Tofurky, but I want my protein, dammit.
Anyway, this book will be my #1 go-to for figuring out what to cook in my mother’s kitchen to bring to a seder next month. I’d wanted to try the matzoh balls before writing my review, but I’ll just have to post about it later.
Final verdict: Solid, crowd-pleasing recipes designed for simplicity. Especially valuable for the wealth of Jewish recipes, more than I’ve seen collected anywhere else.