Cookbook Review: Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook: Skinny Dish!
There are few places other than my day job and apartment that I grace with my presence on a weekly basis. Trader Joe’s is one such place. With close proximity, agreeable prices, and a good face-tattoo-to-geriatric ratio when it comes to employees, it offers all my grocery store must-haves. More importantly, they have a good (not great) grasp of veganism and they know a large portion of their customer base looks for that small “V” on their products. There hasn’t been a week that’s gone by where at least one jar of Reduced Sugar Preserves isn’t in my fridge.
Jennifer K. Reilly, RD, also saw the bountiful vegan goodness T.J.’s has to offer, yet instead of living off gourmet peanut butter and jelly preserve sandwiches, she decided to create a cookbook with nothing but Trader Joe’s originated ingredients. Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Skinny Dish! may be long in the title department but it’s also long in the recipe department, which gives us lames-in-the-kitchen plenty of options to whip up some vegan goodness.
The word “vegan” only appears a handful of times, which I’m 100 percent on board with. The weight the “V” carries sometimes becomes quite negative for the non-Vs. Carrying around Vs hasn’t been this hard since high school. My one slight gripe with the wording, however, is it seems Reilly, upon finishing, hit CTRL+F to search for the word “healthy” and replaced it with the word “skinny.” For one, skinny does not equate with healthy, and two, in a world with constant fat-shaming, perhaps we should be stressing health over skinny now more than ever.
Reilly takes her time before getting into the recipes, but they come in droves. Smoothies, appetizers, breakfasts, baked goods, soups, salads, wraps, burgers, and one of my all-time favorite categories, 8-minute meals! You know that person in the office who tries to combat your veganism with “yeah but it takes you guys so long to prepare your food.” Now you can make some 8-minute meals and teach them a lesson in 8 minutes of delicousness. Cruelty-free deliciousness.
I’m being 100 percent honest when I say not a single recipe doesn’t look and sound amazing. The photography in this book is impeccable as well. The two I’ll wax poetic on worked perfectly together as a meal for two. The Pesto Pasta paired with The Big Tofu. For someone who was relegated to sous chef for these dishes, it’s hard to take my word for it, but they were both incredibly easy. Especially the tofu. The pasta was three steps and one of the steps is “Prepare [pasta] according to package instructions.” DONE! Then you blend garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, followed by avocado, basil (a whole cup of it!), water, salt and pepper until creamy. Then you toss the pasta in your newly created mixture. We used spaghetti initially, then tried a second meal with penne.
The tofu is more complex, but only by association. It requires two blocks of tofu, sliced into 10 slivers upon being pressed. Then they’re browned on one side in a skillet with olive oil, then after flipping to other side you sprinkle either soy sauce or tamari on them. The tofu will keep in your fridge for a few days, but the pasta you’re better off eating as much as possible for dinner, then again at midnight when you can’t sleep, because it doesn’t really keep that well, thanks to the abundance of avocado. Both dishes worked well together and both would work equally as well on their own with a big side salad.
This cookbook is laid out so well, with the wording, the recipe creation, the photography, the tips, and even the index which tells you where every Trader Joe’s is located. You could take it cross-country when you visit your parents! Ahhh! Speaking of those silver hairs, just like I said in my last cookbook review, this book is perfect for our elder statesmen and -women in our families. There are no newfangled terms like “vegan” or “The Facebook” or “sexting” to confuse them—just straightforward recipes with a dash of humor, a sprinkle of bright colors, and a heavy dollop of healthy recipes designed to make us eat to live, but to also enjoy the process.
Discussion: Failed vegan experiments don't have to be total failures
I know, I know, we’ve already asked this a million times, but reading the banally sad summary of Grist’s four-writer, 30-day vegan challenge, I have to conclude that either a vegan diet isn’t for everyone. Why it isn’t for everyone is debatable—not knowing the benefits? Not caring? (Not able?)
Regardless, it seems pretty clear that until global warming forces the rest of the world to go animal-product-free because we no longer have the resources to keep animals for food, vegan diets will be the domain of we few. But the way I think of it is, for every “How do you know if someone is vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you” joke, there’s another tofu scramble option at a café. People may not be going vegan forever, but they’re trying it out for a meal, or a month. And that’s not nothing. People know we’re here and that we want almond milk in our coffee, and we’re going to keep asking for it until we get it—or patronize the places that have it. Bring on the vegan challenges; maybe they won’t turn most participants vegan, but most of them will learn something.
Unless you’d rather not see them at all, because “I didn’t want to be rude” is the stupidest answer when the question is “Do you want this hunk of dead animal (whose entire life and death is a testament to humanity’s utter disregard for the earth and its inhabitants)?”
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
Ever wonder what’s going on in the heads of animal factory operators? Perhaps some rocks in there? I offer some thoughts in a new piece this week. (And so does the CEO foodservice company Bon Appetit Management Co.)
Speaking of, Tim Horton’s is the latest food industry giant to denounce gestation crates and commit to eliminating them.
Seen ag giant Perdue’s “humane” claims on their chicken packaging? So did we. The result? A judge this week denied Perdue’s motion to dismiss the subsequent false advertising lawsuit.
Voice of America has a compelling story out this week noting that “for the first time on record, U.S. per-capita meat consumption has declined for four consecutive years.” In the same vein, BBC News predicts that by 2050, all meat will be bioprinted rather than coming from live animals and has a one-minute 2050 futuristic news segment about it.
For the time being though, if you’d like to get some vegan fast food, Mark Bittman has a good tour in the NY Times of some of the finest.
P.S. Video of the week: Can your dog do the tricks these rats are doing? (Diving for peas is my favorite.)
P.P.S. Okay, it may not be strictly animal-related but let me abuse my editorial power and encourage you to vote for Radiolab, and if you aren’t yet a fan, you should be.
Dog travels 10 miles to find his shelter sweetheart
This is Jade and Ben. They were surviving as strays in Indiana when Jade got preggers and the Humane Society brought the pair into the shelter. Jade had her puppies and they were soon adopted. But Jade and Ben spent several months in the shelter, even sharing the same pen. Then one day, a young family came in and adopted Ben. They had a three year old child and didn’t think they could handle more than one dog.
But Ben didn’t forget Jade! Three weeks into his new life, he escaped and ran into the night! Ben traveled 10 miles in the freezing cold, over busy streets and train-tracks, until he got back to the shelter! "He came out of nowhere and started licking her through the fence, like they were kissing," the news was told.
Well, what was Ben’s new family to do? Of course they adopted Jade and took them home together!
"They want to be together," said Debbie Floyd, president of the Humane Society board. "There hasn’t been a lot of human love in their lives. They found love with each other and that what’s make them happy. … Hopefully, they will live their lives happily ever after.”
You know we at Vegansaurus loves boxes of surprises! So far, the subscription boxes we’ve come across have been mostly about food, but Ethical Ocean has a new subscription box of vegan beauty products! I’ve been assured that the True Beauty box is always all-vegan.
I’m kind of a beauty product fanatic so I’m pretty stoked! It’s $30/month but you get mostly full-size stuff instead of all samples. And besides being vegan, they also say, “Your beauty box will NEVER include synthetic preservatives, emulsifiers, fragrances or colors. Our products are phthalate and paraben-free.” So that’s nice.
A night of vegan celebrities: Farm Sanctuary throws mega-swanky poker benefit in L.A.
March 16, I happened to be in L.A. for an unrelated work event and got a chance to stop by Fun For Farm Animals: Celebrity Poker Tournament & Cocktail party to benefit the work of Farm Sanctuary!
I had never thought about gambling as a gateway drug to vegan activism, but now that I’ve experienced it firsthand I’ll say this: It works! There were SO many famous people who aren’t reported vegetarians/vegans who came out to get photographed in classy outfits help support the animals!
In the penthouse of the Petersen Automotive Museum, celebs and normies willing to pay $200 for tickets descended on hella cocktails and amazing All Hail Kale salad from Veggie Grill, vegan buffalo wings, and other treats! Performances from Grammy winner Colbie Caillat and others took place on this really cute stage they had over near the snacks and open bar, and there were magicians and psychics and, again, loads of FAMOUS people—Michael Vartan! Jennifer Coolidge! So many more!—whom I don’t think are vegan but who opened their hearts and wallets for the animals! It was beautiful.
Images courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.
More than a few of the attendees I talked to planned to gamble for the animals and then run the L.A. Marathon the next morning. Talk about dedication! I also ran into my current favorite vegan celeb, Mercy For Animals’ Ari Soloman, who was super cute in person and grounded me while surrounded by a bunch of people I’m used to seeing on television shelling out for farm animals. If this is the future of vegan activism, deal me in!
What is it, Mole, you adorable German Shepard mix? There’s a homeless man trapped under those rocks here on Mt. Rubidoux, near Riverside, CA? He’s totally dehydrated and has been there for a week or more? You need me to come help him and call rescuers? Is that why you’re pulling on my pant leg? It better be, because this is getting annoying. Good thing I brought you hiking with me, Mole! Dogs are the best!
I kind of hate April Fools Day. Some stuff is fun, like when Google or whatever plans something elaborate. But I hate when you are working on a deadline and you get “zany” “emergency” emails and it’s like, OK, can you just tell me if this is real or not so I can get back to work? Yes. I’m a ball of fun. But! I have to admit, some of these animal-centered April Fools are funny. Come on, admit it.
In crappy April Fools attemps, Whole Foods disappoints with a joke about a cam that promises to let you “watch what your meat eats,” because all animals are “your meat” and isn’t that funny. Um, fuck you. And it appears even the Army has a sense of humor? Too bad they do actually send dogs off to get PTSD or die (the Army may have a sense of humor, but I still don’t!). And wait, is this Ostrich pillow from Fab real? Ug, I hate April Fools Day.
Meave reported on Kite Hill cheese rumors last month, and we’re back with an update. The rumors are a reality, and the fabled cheese has arrived OTS at Northern California Whole Foods.
We took to the streets to report on the new vegan product that has all the vegans (and omni food-lovers!) dropping their edible panties (and checkbooks!) for. Here’s our HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM:
I learned the following from the Whole Foods in Los Gatos cheese people:
1. Kite Hill has an exclusive contract with WFs and will only be available at Whole Food stores for a year — after that, the rest of the world can have at it.
2. It’s currently only at Los Altos, Palo Alto, and Oakland Whole Foods, but it’ll expand to either 9 or 11 more Northern California WFs “very soon”. They weren’t sure which stores, but they THINK Redwood City and Berkeley are in. Los Angeles folks can try the cheeses at Crossroads, Tal Ronnen’s new vegan restaurant on Melrose, and I think there’s a cheese shop opening up next door or inside the restaurant or something CONFIRM OR DENY PLZ.
3. As of last Friday, all No Cal WF stores were sold out, but the’re supposed to get shipments this week. If you call in advance, make sure the employees look in the dairy case, and not with the vegan cheese!
Costanoa, a semi soft dusted with a piquant blend of paprika and fennel pollen; and White Alder, a soft ripened cheese with a delicate white rind, pungent aroma and velvety texture.
There’s one more flavor — Casuccio, a soft fresh with a supple, silky texture — but they didn’t have it at Whole Foods.
The people working the cheese section at Whole Foods were crazy about both cheeses, but particularly loved the White Alder. They were all genuinely excited about it, and impressed by it.
I sampled it with a professional food critic (an omnivore!) and she thought it was good, if a bit salty. My vegetarian sister liked it a lot, but said it didn’t “trick her” into thinking it was cheese. She mentioned that it was crumbly like tofu, and not creamy like cheese — which was also my experience eating it. However, if the critic or my sister didn’t know it was vegan to begin with, who knows if they would’ve been able to tell.
Costanoa: Costanoa is a semi-soft cheese encrusted with a piquant crust of paprika and fennel pollen. Its texture is smooth and compact, making this cheese excellent for slicing and serving on crackers or fresh baguette rounds. We love to offset Costanoa’s buttery, earthy, peppery flavors with a pairing of fresh or caramelized figs.
Suggested wine pairing: A crisp, zesty dry white wine with citrus or floral notes.
White Alder: White Alder is a soft ripened velvety cheese with a white, fluffy rind. It has a tangy mushroomy flavor profile with a rich, silky texture and pungent aromatics. This cheese is best served straight from the refrigerator and pairs well with white grapes.
Suggested wine pairing: A dry white wine such as a Chardonnay with fruit or citrus notes or even Champagne.
I did think both flavors were a little salty, but mainly delicious. I preferred the White Alder because the rind was extra fun and reminded me of brie; I would be excited to eat this as part of a cheese plate at a fancy restaurant.
That said, I’m not sure if it’s as revolutionary as all that, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing — the more good vegan cheeses on the market, the better. Plus, the fact that the Whole Foods cheese people were SO excited about it, got me excited, too. Because if they say it tastes like cheese, it must taste (at least kinda) like cheese, right? And if the rich people are willing to switch from their cow cheese to this vegan cheese, that’s a good thing. And, uh, it’s gonna have to be rich people because this shiz is NOT cheap: White Alder is $14.99, Costonoa was $13.99 for six ounces.
So, what’s up? Have any of you tried it? What did you think??
From San Francisco Magazine, here’s the list of Whole Foods the cheeses will be available at (and when!):
The brand will debut today (March 25) in Whole Foods Los Altos and Palo Alto; Tuesday in Oakland, Berkeley, Noe Valley, Franklin, and Potrero Hill; Wednesday in Mill Valley, San Rafael, and Sebastopol; and Thursday in San Jose, Cupertino, and Capitola. The cheeses are all exclusive to the Bay Area until they go national later this summer.
Super Vegan tweets that Crossroads is out of Kite HIll and won’t have it back for “awhile”. DEMAND IS HIGH, MY FRIENDS.
Product Review: Dr. Alkaitis Skin Care Is Posh For Your Pores
Growing up I’ve been pretty lucky in the skin department. I’ve been vegetarian since age 12 and vegan since age 18, so there haven’t been disgusting meat or animal product residue seeping out of my pores in a long time, thank goodness.
Still, as I grow older (I’m 25, almost 26! How did this happen?!) I am increasingly discovering the importance of treating my largest organ right. Wrinkles may or may not come in a few years, and these freckles I’ve always been fine with could lead to melanoma, so I’m determined at quarter-life to ramp up my efforts to wear sunscreen and skin brush and administer semi-regular facials. A person’s gotta do what a person’s gotta do!
These days I’m always on the lookout for good skin swag, and was thrilled when Dr. Alkaitis Organic Skin Care sent me samples of their latest line, which contains the finest blend of nutrients your epidermis can handle.
Dr. Alkaitis is designed by a PhD so you know it’s legit (am I right?!) and isn’t tested on animals and contains all-organic plant-based ingredients. According to their website, “Alkaitis is the only rational approach to timeless beauty.” That sounds good to me!
My favorite Dr. Alkaitis product is hands-down the organic universal mask. My darling and I put them on, waited 30 minutes, and became awesome. My skin feels so, so smooth and smells like the bottom of a redwood forest. I also love the organic nourishing treatment oil, which I slather on myself whenever possible, and put on just after doing this mask. It’s even great on my face, which the bottle said was an acceptable use, and hasn’t lead to breakouts. Go figure!
The only weird thing about Dr. Alkaitis products is their website recommends mixing goat milk yogurt with their otherwise vegan facial mask (umm…) but there is no goat milk in the product itself, so just don’t go crazy following all the instructions on their site and you should be good. Cool? All of their containers are 100% recyclable! Score another one for the plants! Get Dr. Alkaitis products online and at fine health food stores nationwide.
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk caused enough of a scene outside British retailer Fortnum & Mason to make Britons drop their brollies in a colourful protest for PETA UK.
Showing what geese on Fortnum & Mason’s foie gras farms endure, a man bound Ingrid with ropes and pretended to shove a pipe down her throat. The pipe was attached to a funnel packed with grain, and fake blood oozed down her face to represent the mouth and neck wounds that geese sustain when they are gouged by the pipes.
In order to fully replicate how foie gras is produced, Ingrid would have had to be force-fed several times a day for weeks, until her liver had swelled to up to 10 times its normal size, when it would then be sold as a “delicacy.”
Until Fortnum & Mason stops the goose abuse, PETA UK vows not to stop the grotesque protests.
Newspaper editorial pages haven’t been kind this week to the meat industry’s legislative efforts to suppress animal cruelty whistleblowers. The SF Chronicle called the effort “the worst PR gaffe since New Coke.” The LA Times said “it should be put out of its misery and killed quickly in committee.” And a columnist for the Indianapolis Star notes that “an unnecessary bill like this one sends a loud and clear message to the worst of the worst in the agriculture business. And that message is this: Come to Indiana. We don’t care what you do.” Want to see HSUS’s full-page ad running in several Indiana papers on the same topic? Here you go.
The FDA just released results of retail meat sampling, finding that 12% of retail chicken contained salmonella, 74% of which were antibiotic-resistant to one or more antibiotics. More than three-quarters of turkey samples contained E. coli, 75% of it antibiotics-resistant.
Here’s some interesting commentary on NPR’s blog this week from a couple friends of mine about why animal advocates should be reasonable. Quite a notion! :- )
Finally, yet another major pork producer, Canada’s second-largest, announced it will end its gestation crate use, based on requests from its major customers.
Video of the week: Think cats are the only animals who like laser pointers? (Seriously, this is amazing.)
I don’t usually celebrate Easter, but this brilliant idea has me pondering a party. It’s apparently a THING in Europe: Sending your buddies all over the yard/park/house in search of pastel-painted delicious adult beverages. Not only is this much more vegan-friendly than hiding eggs (assuming you pick your beers well; barnivore.com), it’s also SO MUCH TASTIER. Beer, people! On a Sunday morning! With pastels!
You can get fancy and invent rules, winners, blind taste-tests, etc. Or you can be lazy and just hide cans of PBR in your roommate’s bathrobe. Whatever you do, tell us about it! Get the full scoop on Food Republic.
Thanks, Zagats, for pulling together this list of 8 vegan “diners, drive-ins and dives.” I was going to take issue with them putting Denver’s Watercourse on the list, since that place is damn classy, but the buffalo seitan wings are definitely junk food, so I’ll let it slide.
I think it’s probably not cool for me to just steal all their photos and paste them here, so go look at their site if you want to see pics, but here are their choices:
Chicago Diner, Chicago
Bender’s in SF
Sticky Fingers, DC
Blackbird Pizzeria, Philly
I’ll just throw some other nominations out there…you got any to add? Let us know!
Ike’s is the top spot in the Bay Area for serious business vegan sandwiches, and this very spring he’s opening a new shop in L.A. What’s more, he’s replacing a Subway! What? Per Scott James:
Ike’s secured the Westwood spot after a campaign on Facebook that encouraged fans to email the property owner, asking her to rent the space to Ike’s after Subway’s lease expired. It was a risky move that Shehadeh admits could have backfired. “If she was going to get mad, she wasn’t going to rent to us anyway,” he said.
Instead, Shehadeh said, the landlord was impressed when she was flooded with 1,000 emails in favor of Ike’s. Such passion…for a sandwich shop? Soon the deal was signed.
The rest of the article is mostly about James’s relationship with his reportage of the saga of Ike’s in San Francisco, which is significantly less interesting. The point is: Congratulations L.A., the king of vegan sandwiches is coming to you! Viva Ike’s!
Liza Eckert attempts to make vegan creme eggs chez elle for Persephone, with mixed results. Mainly because her electric mixer gave out before the ingredients of the creamy centers were fully combined, and then she ran into trouble with apportioning the chocolate shells … but, she says, “Nothing, not even weird consistency or uneven chocolate, will stand between me and my creme eggs.”
Have any of you attempted to make creme eggs? I loved the Cadbury’s original more than life itself as a kid, and had an excellent grown-up version at Timeless the other week—creamier centers with a sort of lemony finish to the vanilla, offset by darker chocolate—but I’ve never felt inclined to do them myself. There’s a recipe on VegWeb, though, for the brave!
Tonight: Vegan happy hour at Source in San Francisco!
The rumors are true—Source now carries organic, GMO-free wines and beers!
To celebrate, we’re hosting our own vegan beer and food fest on our patio, from 4 to 6:30 tonight, Wednesday, March 27. We’ll be serving all-you-can-drink beer and house wines, as well as some tasty bites including mac n’cheese, chocolate stout cake, salads, and bruschetta.
It costs $25, but if you picked up a Source pin on our anniversary, we’ll take $5 off. What a steal, right? Small bites, dessert, AND drinks for $20-$25? This shindig is my little brainchild, and if it’s a success, I’ll get the green light to keep it up, which I’d like to do probably once a month!
Let’s party, vegans—and be sure to bring your omni/vegetarian friends. What better way to show them the thrills of veganism than with cake and beer?
Source is located at 11 Division St. in San Francisco. Call us for more details at 864-9000. See you tonight!
Having trouble getting gorgeous, crispy tofu for your stir-fry? Let Isa help you with her simple guide. Turns out all you really need are a good pan and a good spatula. Then you practice till you get it right every time!
Your mail-order backyard chickens are giving you salmonella
Namely, chickens sold through one Ohio-based mail-order hatchery caused 195 cases of salmonella in humans between March and September of last year. Moreover, per the CDC:
This outbreak investigation identified the largest number of human illnesses ever linked to contact with live poultry during a single outbreak, and it underscores the ongoing risk for human salmonellosis linked to backyard flocks.
Because backyard chickens aren’t born on a scallop shell out of the sea foam, or a magical egg from the grocery store. People buy little chicks, which are sent through the mail, and even though the supplier works with the FDA to breed chickens without certain types of salmonella, chickens are basically salmonella machines. Mmm, eggs.
Celebrate vegan Passover with the Girlie Girl Army!
Vegan powerhouse Chloe Jo Davis does an annual guide to an animal-friendly Passover, and this year she’s got brand-new recipes for Passover Pizza, matzoh chocolate brittle, and Harriet’s charoset (recommended usage: ice cream topping!).
Are you observing Passover this year? If you are, surely you know it begins at sundown today and lasts seven nights. How vegan will your table be?
It’s time for the amazing and wonderful Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! YES!! And HAPPY FRIDAY YOU GLORIOUS FOOLS!! Let's take this weekend by the tits and make it something special!
Take it away, Paul!
Ready to have your mind blown? Check out Bill Gates’ new site promoting plant-based food companies like Hampton Creek Foods and Beyond Meat. Make sure to check out the videos, especially this one!
Did you miss this week’s ABC Nightline feature on how the meat industry wants to criminalize whistleblowers? Check out a video of the segment where the industry seriously makes fools of themselves. As well, Associated Press did a major national story on the same topic that’s really a must-read. Haven’t had enough? Then see what Raw Story says about it, too.
Okay, so you still want more on this topic? Well, editorial boards across the country have been slamming the animal ag industry for its attempt to suppress animal welfare whistleblowers. Just this week alone, papers in Indiana, California (and again in Calif.), and Tennessee have all taken the industry to task for supporting these bills.
You already know the pork industry supports locking pigs in tiny cages where they can’t turn around. Did you also know their main trade publication (Pork Magazine) is suppressing pro-animal viewpoints on the topic? Too bad for them that the New Jersey Assembly voted overwhelmingly yesterday to ban gestation crates. (The bill will now go to the governor.)
And to end your week on some promising news, USDA is granting HSUS’s petition to ban downed calves from the food chain. (This was based on HSUS’s undercover investigation of a calf slaughter plant.)
Video of the week: 12 seconds of pig and dog having as much fun as you wish you were right now!
The protest starts tonight at 6pm and goes until April 1st, at the Barclays Center (620 Atlantic Ave.). Please make it out to protest at least one show! Down with Ringling! Down with bullhooks! Up with eles!
Yes, your dogs is smiling: Humans can recognize emotions in other animals
"Classifying dogs’ (Canis familiaris) facial expressions from photographs," a study by Tina Bloom and Harris Friedman published in February in scientific journal Behavioural Processes, has shown that people can correctly identify emotions in dogs’ faces. It used a series of photographs of one dog’s face (meet Mal the Belgian shepherd!) and involved 50 human volunteers of varying degrees of experience with dogs, who were asked to identify the dog’s emotional state in each photo. The results?
Both groups [“people experienced and inexperienced with dogs”] were able to read the dog’s emotions. Paradoxically, experienced people were less accurate reading aggressiveness. Experienced people were better identifying behaviorally defined situations.
With only one dog and 50 volunteers, it wasn’t exactly a rigorous study, but … you totally know when your dog is happy or ashamed or surprised, right? And now science totally supports your claims.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has opened up a forum that the agency hopes will create an open conservation with the public about how to protect 60 species of imperiled animals.
The FWC invites the general public to visit their site to review their new draft action plans and to comment on them.
"We hope the public and stakeholders will comment on the draft species action plans and share their ideas on common themes or actions among plans," said Claire Sunquist Blunden, the stakeholder coordination for imperiled species management planning for the FWC.
Learn more about the 61 species targeted by Florida for new protection, and read and comment on the state’s plans at the FFWCC site.
[Eastern Chipmunk photo by Vicki DeLoach via Flickr]
Pittsburgh is a pierogi town. Pittsburghers seriously love sports, and not only are pierogies for sale at all sporting events, but at home Pirates games, people dressed as pierogies race each other around PNC Park. One might wonder whether pirates weren’t an exciting enough mascot; well, sure, but it’s Pittsburgh, dammit, and the people of Pittsburgh are proud of their Eastern European foodstuffs! Plus, the sandwich-with-french-fries-and-coleslaw-on-it costume is pretty confusing, and an Andy Warhol race just didn’t have the same mass appeal.
Sadly, though, most places stuff their pierogies full of non-vegan ingredients. We’re talking cheese, meat, lots of butter. Some places even put eggs in the dough. But hope is not lost for the vegan who wants to eat an enormous amount of authentic dough pockets stuffed with (preferably) greasy goodies like any real Pittsburgher!
Tomasz Skowronski has been holding Vegan Pierogie Night for over two years, using mostly word of mouth to spread the joy of vegan pierogies to Pittsburgh’s herbivores and omnivores alike. “People think that the pierogie recipe is some sacred thing, but that’s the biggest misstep,” he says. “A pierogie is just supposed to be chewy and simple. You don’t need sour cream or fake things. The less artificial stuff you put into it, the better.”
Tomasz preps and serves.
This more-or-less monthly event has been a true labor of love for him. “At first, we pressed all the pierogies by hand. That’s possible to do, but eventually your hands just wither and you do a lot of crying, so now we use hand presses.” As the event grew in popularity, his partner Kate Lasky signed on to split the enormous amount of cooking and prep, while helpful friends volunteer the day of, frying and flipping and running around. “I think they just appreciate what we’ve got going on and they want to be involved in it,” says Kate. “And they don’t mind us bossing them around for three hours.”
Kate works in the kitchen while Tomasz serves in front.
With fillings like potato and red bell pepper coulis with sauerkraut and mushroom, or spicy carrot with stewed cabbage and cooked Jonathan apples, it’s no surprise that the line for food goes out the door, but Tomasz and Kate are committed to keeping it all-you-can-eat. Vegan Pierogie Night is a social event, where you get some food, sit and eat and talk, then go get some more food and do it again, rather than a pop-up kitchen or food truck. And pierogies are not the only thing served; there is always a second, unrelated food. Past pierogie nights have paired the Pittsburgh classic with such unlikely plate-mates as tacos, falafel, Korean barbecue, pizza, sushi, and banh mi.
Pierogies, dipping sauces, and tacos from the Pierogies vs. Tacos night held in December 2012.
Although Tomasz and Kate love to eat at many ethnic restaurants in Pittsburgh, they do feel the lack of strictly vegan places. “It’s so easy to buy vegan food for yourself at the grocery stores in the states now, so we’re kind of done with the whole ‘one vegan option’ thing,” says Tomasz. He and Kate have plans in the (slow) works to open up what sounds like would instantly be Pittsburgh’s most rad place if it ever came to be, which it totally should. “It’d be like, a Pan-Eastern European place that always plays Depeche Mode and has a late-night drunk menu. And a bar! With disco and darkwave.”
The next event happens on Saturday, March 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s at the Stephen Foster Community Center, 286 Main St., in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. This time around, it’s Pierogies vs. Sushi, and entry costs $10. Details on Facebook!
Melissa Balick is a blogger originally from Pennsylvania who now lives in San Francisco. She writes about vegan cooking, type 1 diabetes, and preserving marine biodiversity on her blog, Food and Loathing. You can also follow her on Twitter if you have a short attention span.
WANTED: bakers and eaters for Marin County's Vegan Bake Sale!
There’s info directly from the source below, so all you need to do is pick up one of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale’s cute new shirts (actually, that’s optional — but they’re REALLY CUTE!), and we’ll see you at the bake sale to do all of the eating!
Where: Outside of Pet Food Express, Terra Linda, 280 Northgate One, San Rafael, CA 94903
When: April 27, 10a-2p
How: Bake and Eat! Eat or Bake!
Make sure to check out our host, Pet Food Express, too — we’ll be right outside and they are totally big-hearted and awesome.
Marin Friends of Feralsis a non-profit, tax exempt 501 (C)(3) volunteer organization dedicated to the humane care and management of feral and homeless cats. They are located in Marin County, California – north of San Francisco.
Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity (AHO) is a501 (c) (3) organization designed for youth, by youth, for the future of youth who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Since its inception in January 2005, AHO has been leading the way in addressing the growing trend of youth homelessness in Marin County, Greater Bay Area and Sacramento, CA.