Hella Vegan Eats pop-ups this Saturday in S.F. and also, help them start a food truck!
We love Hella Vegan Eats a lot. Like, tons and tons. All the love! And anyone who enjoys super delicious food feels the same way and that’s a fact! So, we’re psyched to see the menus for their pop-up brunch and dinner this Saturday at Dear Mom in the Mission! Hooray, let’s go:
As anyone with one or two eyes can see, these menus are filled with insanely delicious sounding food so you better bust your butt over there and eat it all! And also, donate to Hella Vegan Eats Indiegogo campaign because we so sososososoooo want them to be successful and serve us mean dean doughnut burger supremes forever! Seriously, if we don’t support this amazing ladies-owned vegan business and they don’t get off the ground then the republicans have already won and we should all just donate our brains and vaginas to science* because honey, trust me, you will not want them in this new scary world. Support them if you don’t want to face a United States that’s basically the set of the alternate present in Back to the Future 2. You know what I’m talking about! Marty’s mom is an alcoholic hooker married to Biff who is the president of the world and biker gangs shoot grandmas in the street and there’s no longer a sun and Crispin Glover is dead or becomes a club kid or something. Point is, that’s our future if we don’t support Hella Vegan Eats. Do it. To it.
World Water Week advocates a meat-free future, for humanity's survival
We’ve talked about the ridiculous amount of waterneeded to sustain our national (and increasingly international) meat-heavy diet, and by “meat-heavy” I mean “20 percent meat-based.” Well, the scientists in charge of World Water Week, happening right now in Stockholm, are now predicting that a meat-heavy diet is an “impossible alternative” to our continued existence.
If you want to read this year’s WWW report, which is really long but also very interesting, here’s a pdf. If you don’t, definitely read the Guardian's analysis (and the internet is full of analyses), which tells you things like “Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world’s arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals.”
My main question is, why not just advocate a vegan diet? Those dairy cows don’t spring from the foreheads of their mothers, fully formed and ready to make milk.
People hate a smug vegan because people hate smug. So maybe this isn’t a reason to be smug so much as a reason to worry. Will our rich, privileged peers* change their diets to support the future of the planet? I hate selling veganism with the “lose weight, feel great” line, but if that’s what it takes to get people to stop eating so much goddamn meat, then fine. Maybe we should start lying to people. “I used to be 1,000 pounds before going vegan!” “I had a vestigial skull attached to my neck from the twin I absorbed in the womb before going vegan!” “I was a horrible selfish jerk who was almost incapable of empathy, and it showed on my hideous face, before going vegan!”
Because there is no reason to eat animals. Science is on our side. And it’s just disgusting that, in the face of facts like these, people continue to do it.
[Photo: ILRI/Dorine Adhoch via World Water Week]
*By which I mean, people who aren’t starving to death.
Ask a Vegansaur: Vol. 07: Where can you get a vegan tattoo in the Bay Area?
Me, getting my boogie on, with a number of tattoos
This is a one-question post, but it’s one I mulled over quite a bit and polled a number of artists, so I hope it is helpful. DOWN TO BUSINESS:
Jacinda asks: Do you know any vegan-friendly tattoo artists in the Bay Area? I’m having a problem finding people. I search on Google and can’t find valid info for current people. All the ones I find are all old info. Any help you might have would be appreciated.
There is a TON of misinformation out there with regard to tattoos and veganism. I spoke to my artist (who happens to be a vegetarian) and several others to get a better feel on the situation. If you don’t agree that they are the experts in their field, I advise you to skip this entry. Here’s what I learned:
What makes an ink non-vegan is its binder, or carrier. Basic colors, such as most blacks (obviously not bone black, which uses bone char as the pigment), greens, reds, and so forth, are likelier to use no animal products. Less common colors—things like lavender, turquoise, chartreuse—might use binders and mixers that are not animal-friendly, just because that’s what’s keeping the color together.
Specificallyvegan inks are available, so if you really want to use them, find an artist you like, and ask if he or she can use them. However, it seems to be a common opinion among tattoo artists that these inks don’t hold up as well. Remember, this is something you are putting on your body permanently, so you’d ideally like it to last forever.
Here’s my advice for anyone seeking a tattoo anywhere: Find a pool of artists whose work you like (on the internet, through a friend, etc.) and bring them your idea(s). A knowledgeable artist will be able to tell you what is feasible and keeps within animal-friendly parameters.
I hope that helps. The internet has yet to reach a consensus on this subject. If you are or know of a tattoo artist who specifically caters to vegans, now is the time to share.
Want to Ask a Vegansaur a question? Email me, and try not to be a jerk!
Growing up in Rhode Island for the better part of my existence, I’ve grown accustomed to having my local habitat being played as the second fiddle. The music and art industries, whether through concerts, shows, or just the available exposure itself to these, seemed to skip the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (yes, that’s our real, full name) altogether. Everyone assumed this was do to our close proximity to Boston and New York and no one from Lil’ Rhody (yes, that is our real “nickname”) wants to drive to New York or Boston because they’re “wicked fah!” San Diego, I find, kind of sees similar persecution. America’s Finest City is well-populated, and has its own vibe with plenty of culture. But we in the vegan community never seem to hear much about what St. Diego has to offer by way of animal-free food consumption—instead, we in SoCal hear much ado about L.A. More people, mainly us compassionate ones, should know of the mini-vegan food Mecca that is in San Diego.
San Diego was supposed to get the mother of all vegan restaurant chains, Native Foods Cafe, but that either fell through, is still being constructed, or Monsanto stepped in and bought the property. Having a world-renowned chain like Native in The 619 (or The 858 or The 760) would have been huge. Both for me and my friends who live there but also for the San Diego vegan community. However, there are equally as tasty treats deep within the cozy confines of the city. If fast food-themed is your bag, similar to Native Foods, there is Evolution Fast Food. E.F.F. is a must-see for me each and every time I’m in S.D. I have a “go-to” choice and “back-up” ready to order. A back-up is sometimes needed because they tend to sell out of their daily “specials.” Which leads me to believe they have a good sized customer base ready and willing to try new things. During my most recent visit just this past week, they had a new special available of which just the description alone made me weak in the knees and caused cold sweats. It was like I was back in high school when my man parts would do what they wished, when they wished. Male-hormonal rages aside, this is what the board read:
And all these fine basic descriptors were supposedly wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla. I say supposedly because that Bad Larry was sold out. Bummer. Upon learning the bad news I was back in flashback mode, this time elementary school when I learned Santa Claus didn’t actually check his list twice. Luckily, my standby order is impeccable and cured my sadness post haste. I’ve been a burger-and-fries type of guy since long before my vegan days. And the Bacon Cheeseburger at E.F.F. fits the bill to a T. They’ve recently started using Gardein for their patties on all their burgers, but if processed mock meats aren’t your thing, they also have a house-made bean patty option. I’m a fan of Gardein, so I recommend the O.G. version. The bean patty is too… beany.
Options are always awesome as a consumer, especially when you’re a vegan consumer when you’re about to consume vegan goods. It’s like little bits of Christmas morning each time someone behind the counter asks you a closed ended question regarding your order. In addition to the bean patty or Gardein patty, you can also choose between standard fries or the sweet potato version. I’m excessively sweet as it is, so I always opt for the regular spuds. I’m kidding. Sort of.
Evolution Fast Food isn’t really known in my circle of non-vegan compadres in San Diego. Most think it’s still called one of their previous names and others assume all they serve is wheat grass shots and tofu slabs. It’s a brilliant take on the prototypical fast food menu, just vegan’d out. But they also do soft serve ice cream, smoothies and desserts. Best of all, the entire restaurant is 100% vegan. So you’ll never have to worry about cross contamination or wondering if a bun or slice of bread is also fitting to your compassionate ways. There is also a “drive-thru” window, perfect if you’re feeling nostalgic and want to re-live the times the whole family went down to those golden arches. As far as convenience however, you’re better off parking and walking up.
Stay tuned for San Diego Part 2: Ranchos Cocina!
Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, California. He co-created and contributes to a Rhode Island based Hip-Hop website, The Echo Chamber Blog, under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.
As I announced on Twitter last night, look what I came upon at Union Market last night! Basilcotta: Regal Vegan’s basil cashew ricotta-style spread. You know I’m obsessed with their Faux Gras so I had to buy this immediately.
My official verdict: very yummy! It’s not as amazing and addictive as the Faux Gras, but really, what is? “Basilcotta” is pretty much the perfect name—that’s what it tastes like: ricotta mixed with basil. I just ate it on bread and it was creamy and good. I would love to have it in some pasta shells! I will try to get it together to do that and let you know how it turns out. Maybe I can mail some to Jenny and make her do it for us!
It’s not on their site yet but hopefully it will be soon and then hopefully you’ll be able to order it like you can the Faux Gras. Does anyone on the west coast carry Regal Vegan? They need to!
Clockwise from the left: Vanilla Chai, Sesame Crunch, and Sweet and Spicy Chipotle.
Hello, friends! Here I am with another product review! This time we have some healthy snack food: Nutty Bean Chick Pz. These are flavored roasted chickpeas. All flavors but the Honey Roasted are vegan. I tried the Chai Vanilla, Sesame Crunch, Sea Salt, and the Sweet and Spicy Chipotle (for those following along at home, that’s all but the Honey Roasted and BBQ). Nutty Bean sent me these flavors to try for free and now I will tell you all about them.
I’ve actually seen roasted chickpeas before; I used to go to the Italian festival in New Jersey every year (which I highly recommend—except for the cannoli eating contest; whatever you do, don’t watch the cannoli eating contest! You will vom!) and they had them in big burlap sacks. Haven’t seen them since then. I always thought it was a good idea though, seems like a healthy snack idea.
So, in brief: they are a bit weird…AND I love them. The weird part is the texture. They are crunchy at first—kind of like wasabi peas or something—but then when you bite into them, they have a kind of dusty texture? I think dusty is the best description. But I think you get used to it and then you can enjoy them with reckless abandon!
The really cool thing is that these are super healthy. If they were bad for you and had the unfamiliar texture, I might not be into them. But I think the health factor makes it a good gamble. There are two servings per package (a good size!) and each serving has 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and only 1.5 grams of fat. It also has 10% of your daily iron, so that’s nice. And a little shot of calcium to boot.
My favorite-favorite flavor is the Sweet and Spicy Chipotle. Yummy! It rules. I’m kind of a nancy about spice so these are a little too hot for me. My solution was to eat like four, then eat a handful of sea salt ones to relieve the spice. Funny Megan! But it worked great.
I didn’t like the Sesame Crunch that much; I think you would definitely like that flavor if you like those little sesame sticks they always sell in bulk candy sections. You know the ones? My mom used to buy those for us when we were hippies. I was never that into them. But if you were, this is your flavor.
As for the Vanilla Chai, I thought I wouldn’t like them because sometimes chai is über-sweet. But to my surprise, this was my second favorite flavor! Not too sweet but nice and cinnamon-clovey. Definitely yum and a nice sweet treat that’s not too sweet.
That’s the other good thing besides the health: these hit the spot. If you want a little touch of sweetness, you got it; if you want something salty, boom. And you can feel like you are doing something good for your body because of the iron, fiber, and protein! So it’s really a great snack option. I officially recommend!
In news that is not actually new and still very depressing, seafood is terrible for human consumption and the environment. These studies serve as such crucial reminders for me, as seafood has been the hardest non-vegan food for me to stop dreaming about. I loved the stuff. I won’t bore you with the gory details of my obsession with raw oysters, but an obsession it was.
Lately, however, I’ve been noticing a plethora of vegan “seafood” around me. I couldn’t be more excited about this! (Maybe with more veggie seafood options, we can lobby for this whole “pescatarian” thing to go away. Every time I check, seafood is still considered meat.) Let’s go over some options, shall we? In pictures, because we all love looking at pictures of food! Isn’t this why we’re all on Pinterest, styling our future parties, houses, and weddings? Yes it is.
Ocean Basket from Loving Hut. Those seaweed patties are my favorite!
You can add soy shrimp to any entree at Thai Idea. Don’t forget about those scrumptious and completely necessary Firecracker balls—they are the best appetizer in San Francisco! Have you been to the new location in the Mission yet?
Fish and chips from Weird Fish in the Mission. Not actually fishy-tasting, yet the batter is perfect, and just what I remember being the best part of traditional fish and chips!
Sea Cake from Real Food Daily in L.A. I don’t know what it’s made out of, but I want it!
What is that, amid all the brunch food at Mohawk Bend in L.A.? HEARTS OF PALM CRAB CAKES. Get me on the next plane to SoCal, I’m sold.
Where else can I get my fix, beautiful readers? What else is out there? I must know! And when do we get a creamy soup in a bread bowl here in San Francisco? Preferably one that rivals clam chowder and is served at Pier 39.
[Photos from Real Food Daily and Mohawk Bend are by my girl Marie Ferrier. Follow her on Instagram @kweenmahreeh!
At first glance, Barcelona doesn’t seem like the vegan-friendliest city. This is bull-fighting country, after all. You see butcher shops everywhere, tempting though completely NOT vegan pastries in bakery windows, and smell not-so-pleasant wafts of seafood in the air. But frankly, I was surprised with how many vegan choices I’ve stumbled upon during my various visits to this city. Barcelona is not only full of amazing buildings, museums, and churches—it is quite progressive when it comes to food. I’ve been lucky enough to travel here three times (for work, mind you, but yeah, I know) and I always discover new vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants.
I found the awesomely named Cat Bar on my last trip to Barcelona. An all-vegan bar named after my favorite animal!? Oh my, I think this could work. Owned by U.K. ex-pats, Cat Bar is a cozy little joint in El Born (the best neighborhood!). Weirdly, it is located right next to a cycling shop that sells San Francisco’s Chrome Bags, so I felt very much at home. I was super-hungry from a morning trip to Park Güell, so I ordered a veggie burger and a pint of BrewDog, a vegan beer brewed in Scotland. They have an eclectic, ever-changing menu with options like quiche, sushi, hummus plates, goulash, and gluten-free chocolate balls, as well as local beers from Barcelona and the Catalunya region. Cat Bar’s website is terrible, so just check out their Facebook for more information. They also have this handy map to navigating Barcelona’s vegan scene.
Juicy Jones is another favorite when I’m visiting BCN. They have a large, sit-down restaurant in the Raval neighborhood (which, to me, is the most intriguing and mysterious of all the Barcelona neighborhoods) as well as a smaller spot with counter-only seating near the Barcelona Cathedral. Juicy Jones is crunchy. This is dreadlock zone, folks. But having living in Santa Cruz for many years, it’s not a big deal to me. As the name implies, you can get various kinds of freshly-made juices and smoothies. They have rotating specials, including an Indian-inspired thali rice plate. My favorite, however, is the tofu bocadilla. A bocadilla is a sandwich on a hard roll, and in Spain, they loooove them bocadillas. The roll at Juicy Jones is fantastic; crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. My bocadilla was garnished with sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and some sort of vegan pâté. The hummus plate is also quite good, though it has nothing on Maoz.
Oh yeah—they have Maoz here! Vegansaurus has already sung the praises of the mind-blowing all-veg falafel joint that is Maoz. There is one location in Barcelona close to La Rambla on Carrer de Ferran. Another great “para llevar” (takeout) place is Wok 2 Walk, which is just up Carrer de Ferran from Maoz. When I’m working, I live off this place. You pick a noodle or rice (stay away from the egg noodles, obviously), your favorite ingredients (vegetables, tofu, pineapple, etc.), and a sauce (I like the curry coconut). A dude whisks it all up in a wok and in minutes, you have a giant to-go container of stir-fry. While it might be tempting, don’t grab an Estrella Damm beer with your dinner. Sadly, Spain’s ubiquitous cheap beer is not vegan.
La Bascula is a rustic restaurant in a defunct chocolate factory tucked away in an alley in El Born. The old-school European ambience alone is enough to visit at least for a café sin leche, but the food is pretty good too. It is mostly vegetarian, but there are a few solid vegan options. I went there for lunch and had a satisfying seitan bocadilla, but when I went back for dinner on another visit I had a fantastic zucchini, tofu, and lentil dish served with basmati rice. Sesamo is a little fancier, and perhaps more “autentico” than some of the other restaurants listed here. They have vegan and vegetarian tapas (small plates), and the standout is a dish of roasted vegetables with vegan goat cheese. The rocket salad with pear (pictured) is not only beautifully presented, but also damn tasty. They also serve ENORMOUS cocktails.
Cruising around La Rambla and need a pick-me-up? The open-air market off the Rambla, La Boqueria, sells fresh juices for just 1 euro. Gelaati! has both soy and rice milk-based gelat,o as well as fruit sorbetto, which is a must if you’re visiting Barcelona in the summer. I ate it in February, however, because a little rain can’t keep me away from my gelato. If you run out of cruelty-free toiletries on your travels, the chain Natura is a good bet for picking up soap, shampoo and more. They’re everywhere—even in the Barcelona airport!
If you’ve tried all of these places (I salute you!) and want to find something else, Barcelona has its very own guide to vegan/vegetarian restaurants and shops, aptly called Sin Carne. ¡Felices viajes!
Ginny Mies is a lifelong Northern Californian who loves long -istance running, metal, margaritas, and is way too amused by her cats. She’s also Mission Mission’s vegan correspondent.
[Photos: Top, the author; second, Niklas Pivic via Flickr; third, David Boudreau via Flickr; fourth, Emilie Hardman via Flickr]
Guest Post: Rosie O'Donnell Announces She's Vegan On Twitter!
For those of you living in the middle of nowhere Arizona eating raw vegan food, meditating and not checking Twitter on your phone every ten minutes, I feel you: I lived that way for a couple years! I assume your main source of information is Vegansaurus, so we’ll just break it down for you: the awe-inspiring Rosie O’Donnell recently suffered a heart attack and has since gone vegan!
Some debate ensued as to whether she really was outing herself as vegan. I tweeted the news that she was vegan and a few people chirped that she’s not. I apologized for the misinformation, and, lo and behold, @Rosie tweeted me:
The vegan-lesbian tribe is getting so full these days! Yay! Since coming out as vegan, Rosie has received a barrage of vegan-positive tweets, Facebook posts, and messages across the far reaches of the Internets. Let’s keep spreading the veggie love and supporting her heart-healthy journey to an ethical, plant-based diet!
Suggested donation of $20, you’ll get two bird shows, snack on vegan tasty treats, get great deals on cool auction and raffle items and learn more about these beautiful birds and why they make such fantastic pets. Please visit http://mickacoo.eventbrite.com/ to learn more and RSVP (free raffle ticket to first 50, no prepayment required).
Eating vegan at chain restaurants: BJ's Brewhouse has vegan options! Vegan pizza options!
I love hanging out with my family and getting away from the city for a few days. The only bummer can be going out to eat with everyone, as I usually end up getting a side of vegetables and a salad with half the ingredients taken out (cheese). I’ve made my peace with the Cheesecake Factory, but that is not the place to go every time I’m visiting. I mean, you gotta wait at least, AT LEAST, a half-hour to get a table, and it’s kinda fancy. What about casual? I just want to eat lunch with my mom somewhere, where we’ll both enjoy our food. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
No it is not! BJ’s Brewhouse just opened up near my parents’ house and guess what? They have a few vegan options! Not only vegan, but some gluten-free options too! Plus tons of beer, including a gluten-free one (shudder), and delicious cocktails (I’m thinking of you, margarita). When my mom mentioned BJ’s for lunch, I figured I’d be eating a salad, yandet took to the internet to see what the vegan word was. You know what? QUARRYGIRL LOVES BJ’S BREWHOUSE.
Now, I do too! When Quarrygirl said BJ’s pizza was one of her all-time faves, I was excited, but skeptical. Silly me. That Quarrygirl knows her pizza! It is pretty epic stuff.
I got their Portobello Mushroom pizza, with caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, oven-roasted mushrooms, and fresh herbs. I just left off the cheese, obviously! They let me get my pizza on a gluten-free crust instead of deep dish, too. I’m one of those people who tells themselves gluten-free is healthier for me, because I love lying to myself! The gluten-free crust was spectacular, by far the best I’ve ever had. It was light and flaky, with herbs baked into it. As for the toppings—taste party! They were the perfect balance of sweet and savory! I saved half my pizza, just so I could enjoy it when my mom and I got back home too. I told her I want to go to BJ’s every time I come visit!
Oh, Portobello mushroom pizza, I wish I could eat you again today (accompanied by another refreshing Piranha pale ale).
Also, this week New Jersey’s largest paper officially endorsed the state’s bill to ban gestation crates for pigs, even citing in its endorsement the op-ed referenced in last week’s email. Boom.
Speaking of pigs, food service giant Aramark announced with HSUS that it will require its pork suppliers to end their use of gestation crates. Bring it.
Finally, five years in a row, VegNews readers have voted HSUS their favorite animal protection group. You can help make it six by voting for us in this year’s Veggie Awards! [Ed.: Vote for Vegansaurus for favorite blog and Ask Laura for favorite column, too, if you want xoxoxoxoxo!]
Oakland's Beer Revolution opening a veg eatery next door?!
SUCH VERY EXCITING NEWS. We love Beer Revolution because we love beer and sitting outside in the sun and drinking beer while sitting outside in the sun, and so we were VERY EXCITED when we heard that they’re opening an all-veg eatery next door.
All the info we could gather from our thorough investigation (phone call) is that It’s going to be called Old Depot Public House, they’ll serve “European food,” and it’ll open sometime in the early fall. Obviously, you can now enjoy Beer Revolution with a side of next-door’s tasty Souley Vegan, but now you can enjoy appetizers at Souley Vegan and then move to Old Depot Public House< for main course and then back to Souley Vegan for dessert and then back to Old Depot Public House for second dessert. If this sounds like too much eating to you then you’re not a real vegan and need to rethink your priorities in ALL of your life, and maybe just jump off the Bay Bridge jk jk be cool.
Man, Oakland, you are really, truly the BEST lately—you know that, right? Yeah, you do. Come here, Oakland. (I’m making out with Oakland, you can go now.)
Please don't hurt the beef industry's feelings by suggesting people stop eating animals during a drought!
Last week, Heather Moore posted 561 words in North Dakota’s Inforum on the benefits of adopting a vegan diet during a drought. It’s expensive to raise animals for food during a drought, she says; why not just eat the grain products, which are always less expensive to grow?
Naturally, this about broke the heart of BEEF Daily Blog’s Amanda Radke, who cannot believe “that a reporter in the heart of a city that is home to an agricultural college would suggest these things.” Not eating meat? In North Dakota? When you could be cutting out your daily coffee and using that money to pay for pork chops?
Never mind that Moore isn’t a “Fargo, ND, news reporter” but a blogger for PETA Prime, and her piece, “Go vegan during drought,” was posted in Inforum’s Opinions section. Radke seems to take Moore’s suggestion personally, as though by advocating an animal-free diet she is slapping everyone who’s ever commercially raised an animal for consumption in their weather-beaten, Midwestern faces. Be cool, Amanda! This is one of the least aggressive or obnoxious op-eds I’ve ever read from PETA—it’s downright reasonable and measured in tone. Really, Heather Moore deserves a cookie.
And Amanda Radke could use a big bowl of cucumber soup. It’s as refreshing as a calm discussion about the economic benefits of eating fewer animal products during a drought!
[Photo of “prairie and wheat field fire north of Richardton, N.D.,” by Darla Hueske via Flickr]
US First Lady Michelle Obama hugs her introducer, 12-year-old Marshall Reid from North Carolina and author of “Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthier Family,” during a Kids’ “State Dinner” in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on Aug. 20. This first time event includes 54 children, ages 8-12, from all US states, three territories and Washington, DC, to a luncheon in support of the Let’s Move campaign, featuring healthy recipes and a performance by Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush.
Remember last month, when we talked about Michelle Obama and Epicurious’ Healthy Lunchtime Challenge? Remember, kids from across the country submitted healthy recipes, and one from each state (plus three “territories” and poor old D.C.) won inclusion in the recipe book and a trip to attend a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House? And we got really excited because one of the recipes, by Nevadan Alexea Wagner, was explicitly vegan? Time to get excited again, Kinder Krunchies, because the free e-cookbook is available!
The winning recipe-writers and their parents were feted on Monday at the White House, by the First Lady (and the President), where they served a few of the kids’ recipes, including Arizonan Haile Thomas’ vegan-by-default quinoa, black bean, and corn salad. Haile, by the way, is ridiculously precocious, particularly in the kitchen. Basically she’s a ringer, and we hope our hero Alexea got enough to eat at that omnivorous luncheon.
You can download the cookbook here [pdf], if you’re interested. As for the proud vegan: “I saw sloppy joes at school, but I wanted to make sure they were cruelty-free,” says Alexea, who serves this with kale salad that has shredded carrot, spicy pecans, and sliced strawberries, and a big glass of soy milk.
For your convenience, the following recipes are secretly vegan: Arizonan Haile Thomas’ quinoa, black bean, and corn salad; Coloradan Aiden Gould’s rainbow salad with black beans, mint, and lemon; Delawarean Jourdann Latney’s stuffed tomatoes; Marylander Samuel Hightower’s sizzling tofu with green onions and sugar snap peas; Michigander Avery McNew’s apple oat balls!; Utahan Lahav Ardi’s lentil veggie soup; and West Virginian Alexis Nelson’s golden Moroccan butternut stew (less the honey I KNOW).
There are also a good number of vegan-except-for-cheese recipes, or easy veg-protein-for-meat substitutions. I realize I sound like I’m trying to sell you on this book, which is predicated on the idea that there is a CHILDHOOD OBESITY EPIDEMIC OH NO THE CHILDREN ARE FATTENING, which we at Vegansaurus find generally gross. But getting kids cooking is great! Especially if it’s vegan food! If nothing else, you don’t have to worry about them accidentally contracting a terrifying food-borne illness if you don’t bring illness-bearing foods into your kitchen.
You can see more utterly charming photos from the Kids’ State Dinner at NBC News, and download the cookbook [pdf] at Epicurious. Invite some Happy Veggie Kids into your kitchen!
[Photo by Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images via NBC News]
Discussion question: Printable meat? What the heck?
As a disclaimer, I don’t really understand three-dimensional printing, like, at all. How does it work? Why does it work? Just the idea of it hurts my brain.
That said, what do we think about Modern Meadow’s 3D printable meat? It’s an idea that was born of this other crazytown scientific project, printing human organs; apparently, printing meat would be easier than printing organs, because the meat is “a post-mortem tissue,” which is less complicated a process than printing living tissue.
I have read a couple articles about this project and I still really don’t understand. Like, they’re going to start by “fabricat[ing] 3D cellular sheets composed of porcine cells.” How? If they succeed, will they be eligible for that $1 million from PETA, since technically they have to grown the cells in order to bioprint them? (Though with Peter Thiel money, they probably won’t need it.) What would a tissue-bioprinter even look like?
Most importantly, though, what do you all think? This falls under the same heading as “lab-grown meat,” right, so those of you who would eat test-tube meat would also eat printed meat? And on the ethics tip, would you accept a printed organ, should you ever need a transplant? I totally would, presuming it wasn’t being created unethically. About the meat, as always, I feel ambivalent. Divorcing “meat” from “living animal” is something we vegans work so hard to stop doing, but lab-grown meat legitimately would lack connection to that living animal, so presumably we would be able to uncouple them in our brains again. I just don’t know how to conceive of it, which is maybe what causes my ambivalence. What about you all?
Get more information about Modern Meadow’s meat-printing project at its website.
Did you have broccoli with cheddar cheese sauce growing up? I did, and I miss it. So, I had the brilliant idea to bake broccoli with Nacheez! I used the spicy Nacheez sauce, but if I were making this for a crowd, I’d probably use mild. I made this dish twice in one week, I liked it so much!
This dish is super easy to make, and would make a great side, or meal (eaten over the sink at your parent’s house while watching cable, for example). First, I blanched my broccoli, which was about two small crowns. I used a small amount of broccoli, because I wanted each piece covered in as much Nacheez as possible. Oh yeah, and you can cut up your broccoli before or after you blanch it. Personally, I cut mine before. Next, you want to drain your broccoli! Really well, because extra water will make the cheese sauce thin and runny after you bake it. Put your broccoli and a jar of Nacheez in a baking pan, and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees! I added some pepper and garlic salt to mine. The second time I baked this, I also added some bacon bits and that really took this dish over the egde!
Blissoma by Irie Star is an all-natural certified vegan skincare line. So, remember I went to Shelter Island for a week? I thought it would be a great time to try the free Blissoma products I got. I didn’t bring any other face stuff so I could really dive into these products. Because I am such a scientist! OK, let’s talk skincare!
Clean: Smooth and Sensitive Facial Cleansing Bar: This bar was great. The base of the soap is oatmilk and I like the idea of that because I know oatmeal is great for irritated skin—prob good for all skin! Left my face feeling clean and nice.
Fresh: Mild Rice Cleanser: This cleanser gave me pause because it was like I couldn’t really wash it off. It left a bit of a greasy feeling behind. But then it did absorb and it was actually nice that for once my skin didn’t feel all tight, screaming for moisturizer immediately after I wash it. And my skin wasn’t any more oily throughout the day.
Restore: Deep Moisture Oil Serum: This I only used once. Seemed like a good intense moisturizer. No adverse effects and didn’t make my skin more oily than it already is.
Smooth: A+ Moisture Serum: This is my favorite product! It’s for “troubled skin” but very gentle, unlike most stuff for pimple-faces. It absorbs well and my skin seemed very clear by the end of the week. I had one pimple before I started using the Blissoma products and I don’t know if it sped healing time (it’s always so hard to tell when something works, right? Just when it doesn’t!) but I think it dried it out and it definitely didn’t make it worse. Yay!
Refine: Clay Renewal Treatment: I liked this mask. It was a little weird because like the rice cleanser, it felt like I couldn’t completely wash it off. But I asked my sis-in-law (who rules, btdubs) if my skin felt greasy and she said it just seemed super moisturized. And like the rice cleanser, it was nice not to have that crazy tight skin feeling I usually get after a mask.
I asked the creator Julie Longyear some questions about her line and natural skincare in general and she had some interesting points.
When I sent these questions, I had just heard that some products claiming to be vegan actually have ingredients that were tested on animals, like preservatives and whatnot. Her response:
Funny enough the first thing the Vegan.org folks asked was to make sure we didn’t have to test preservation on animals. No, we are entirely free of animal testing. The testing process just involves making batches of product with various levels of the preservation ingredients in it and letting them age. Then periodically we send a sample to our microbiology lab and they just take a swab of it and put it on a growth medium plate, incubate for a week and count the fungal/yeast/bacterial colonies that grow. That’s all.
Sounds good! On creating products:
It is a long process creating recipes from scratch. A lot of small lines don’t even create their own recipes. They often purchase a base recipe from a co-packer/private label manufacturer and maybe customize with their own scent or a different herb or whatever and then just stick their own label on it. So much product in the skincare industry is just slightly varied copies of the same old recipes. We don’t work that way at all and my personal opinion is that the private label model is part of the reason customers are often so confused about what to purchase. They think they are trying a different product but often it is just the same stuff under a different label.
This is the stuff we need to know! I found this next part especially interesting, as when I tried the products I really was like, hmmm, these aren’t white…is that OK?:
Some of the challenges of dealing with our botanical ingredients are the smells and colors. As we use mostly unrefined botanical ingredients each herb extract and oil has a color and smell all its own. Interesting things can happen when you blend them, and part of a good finished product is creating an aroma profile that folks will enjoy using as well as something that functionally works on skin. A lot of formulators also just don’t want to deal with this which is why “water white” ingredients are so prevalent in the personal care industry. People assume white lotion = pure. Unfortunately it really often means that the nutrients have been completely stripped out from heavy refining.
Interesting! Am I dumb because I pretty much thought white meant pure? I guess it’s like white paper though, right? “Natural” is brownish. Where did this white=pure thing come from?
Final verdict!: After a week of using the products, I must say my skin looked great! I officially declare these products awesome. And it makes me feel nice putting all those special serums and natural oils on my skin—makes me feel wholesome. And I so rarely feel wholesome.
Another Bay Area kitty needs a home! Check out the details:
Super-affectionate kitty is looking for her forever home. “Junebug” is negative for feline leukemia and feline HIV. She’s spayed, has all shots and vaccines, microchipped and is ready to love you! Junebug is almost three years old and adores sitting on the sink while you wash your face and to be as near to you as possible. She’ll put up both paws to hold your hand close as you pet her. She’ll rub against your legs with her fluffy tail held high and sit on your foot because touching you is most important to little Junebug. A quiet home is best. Indoor home only, please. Small adoption fee.
Holler! My pals at Compassion Couture are having a big clearance sample sale! I want all the Beyond Skin stuff as you know that’s my most favorite stuff ever. I especially want these fancy lace heels so I can be totally elegant while I stomp a hole in some jerk’s foot.
Guest Product Review: Good Greens: Superfood Nutrition Bars That Taste Like Candy!
Good Greens low-glycemic gluten-free vegan bars, which boast 40 antioxidants, 10g protein, Omega 3’s, are low-glycemic, and are free from animal products, could taste like chalk and still get a nod of favor in my direction, because I love supplements so hard. These bars boast some of the fanciest and hyped ingredients in the natural health/vegan world, including mesquite, nori, mangosteen, probiotics, flax, aloe vera, chia seed, mulberry, bilberry, broccoli sprout powder, Nova Scotia Dulse (can we please make this the trendy new lox substitute? Yay Jewish vegan pride!), golden berries, alfalfa sprout powder, beet juice powder, wheat sprout powder, cha de Bugre, Siberian Eleuthero Root Extract, DHA, green tea extract, camu powder, pine bark extract, macs, lucuma, chlorella, and spirulina all grace each label of these superfood-packed bars.
With such a crazy A-list of superfoods, there’s very high risk for flavor failure. It’s like those star-studded ensemble cast movies which have such glorious talent but as a whole miss the mark: Paris Je T’aime, New York, I Love You, New Year’s Eve, etc. (Note: These films certainly had redeeming qualities, so if you love them please excuse this analogy!)
Taste may not be the primary concern for vegan health freaks (myself included!) but Good Greens bars unabashedly shoot for mass appeal. They even have a code to scan with your smartphone to learn more about the products! Can you just imagine a bunch of people scanning these on BART? I (s)can!
While a lot of so-called nutrition bars fail badly when they try to cram so many insanely powerful nutriceuticals (or else are seriously effing unethical and won’t disclose whether they source their cacao from places that use child slavery—F you, CLIF!), Good Greens decided to rise above and make bars that are completely ethical and INSANELY DELICIOUS. I shit you not, these are like CANDY! So how do Good Bars orchestrate a symphony of superfoods without creating sheer mouth cococphany?
Actually, it’s pretty simple: chocolate! Nearly every flavor of these bars includes dairy free dark chocolate as the first ingredient. It turns out, dark chocolate is the great equalizer when it comes to flavor-balancing. These bars are sweetened with healthful ingredients but you’d swear otherwise. The chocolate peanut butter, chocolate raspberry, and chocolate coconut flavors will inspire you to break dance in your “Pigs are Friends Not Food” underwear until you hit your target heart rate!
Good Greens, which sent me free samples of each flavor, are available in health food stores and online.
Late summer (and early fall, and early summer, and late spring) is HOT HOT HOT in my part of Northern California, and all I want are cold foods. Just giant salads and oceans of vegan ice cream.
That’s why I recommend you make this cashew-milk salted caramel ice cream as soon as possible. The author, Jennifer Barckley, took two years to perfect her recipe, which probably means it is amazing. What was the last thing you spent two years on?
I admit, both desserts seem a bit more labor-intensive than I like (I am a lazy, sweaty lump), but if you want to impress people and cool them off, serve them one of these beautiful dishes. They will be offering to have your babies by bite three, guaranteed. BRILLIANT IDEA: What if you made cashew-milk salted caramel ice cream and served it with fresh peaches and a balsamic reduction? Serve it to your neighborhood and watch them worship you as a kitchen deity!
If you want to go the easy route, though, vegan Miriam Krule and some of her family members did a six-brand taste-test of grocery store vegan ice creams over at Slate. Unsurprisingly, So Delicious was their favorite, and nobody liked weird old Tempt.
Hello! Remember the above video we posted last week (which is now full of commercials)? Well it may not be telling the whole story. An anonymous source has alerted me to these points:
The following comments were sent to the producers—who’ve apparently seen fit to take no action.
The video says: “Livestock are a major contributor to greenhouse gas pollution. Right up there with cars, trains, and planes.” But the authors of that livestock-transport comparison have retracted it.
The video says: “Livestock use 30 percent of the earth’s entire land area.” But the true figure is 45 percent, according to the International Livestock Research Institute.
The video says: “Methane has 21 times more climate-changing power than CO2.” But the true figure is apparently higher—as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change uses a figure of 25 in a 100-year timeframe and 72 in a 20-year timeframe, while others use figures even higher than 72.
The video says: “Grass-fed beef does less damage to the environment.” But the lead author and a co-author of Livestock’s Long Shadow, a key source for the video, specify that grass-fed beef does more damage than corn-fed beef—as grass-fed cows emit up to 400% more methane, according to Gidon Eshel, another source for the video.
In fact, after the FAO tried for years to correct the misperception that Livestock’s Long Shadow prescribed less factory farming (when it actually prescribed more), it announced last month that it will lead a new partnership with the meat industry, to be chaired by Frank Mitloehner, perhaps best known for his criticism of Livestock’s Long Shadow.
Yet Livestock’s Long Shadow was written by livestock specialists employed by just one of 19 UN specialized agencies.
Conversely, environmental specialists employed by two other UN specialized agencies, the World Bank and IFC, have authored analysis that better supports the video’s general direction. Not even all of the FAO supports Livestock’s Long Shadow, apparently, as the FAO invited those environmental specialists to deliver presentations at their headquarters in Rome and later in Berlin. Those presentations are on the Chomping Climate Change website along with links to numerous citations of those environmental specialists’ analysis.
Sometimes it seems impossible to get the figures right with the environmental damage of meat. At this point I’m generally just like, “I don’t know which figure is right but they’re all super-terrible enough.” But when you have something like that methane figure, jeez louise! That’s crazy! People are happily chomping down on their “happy beef” all piously while those “happy cows” are farting the planet to hell. Sorry, bros, factory-farmed or free-range, beef spells disaster for the environment.
Restaurant review: Fairfield's Vegan Paradice is exactly what you want, suburban vegans!
Solano County is a million times greater now, thanks to Kimberly and Gerald Brown’s delightful cafe, Vegan Paradice. It’s in downtown Fairfield, which I didn’t know was so adorable. Faithful reader Allison tipped us off to it a couple months ago, but it’s only open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and I have three jobs, so when am I free? But I made it this week for lunch, because I am dedicated to you, suburban vegans. Also it’s hot as all get-out and I wanted soft-serve.
My ma ordered the all veggie sandwich ($6.95), with lettuce, tomato, red onions, olives, sprouts, and tons of avocado, on sprouted whole wheat bread with mayo, ketchup, and housemade cucumber relish and must-have sauce. It was so full the avocado fell out in great green pieces, covered in that tangy sauce.
I got the terrific tofu burger ($7.75), with lettuce, tomato, grilled red onion, and sprouts, with the same ketchup, mayo, and housemade must-have sauce and cucumber relish on a sprouted whole wheat bun. It really was terrific! Gerald compared it to a Wildwood tofu patty; it’s housemade, with diced vegetables (including kale!) and cooked to a crispy outside and a sort of scrambley-textured inside. So good, dripping with sauces and that relish, just tremendous.
We were both pretty full, but because we were there for Vegansaurus, I insisted we order the soft-serve as well. It comes in vanilla, carob, and swirl; obviously we ordered swirl, though I was dubious about the carob.
But I was wrong! It was delicious! They make it with a combination of soy and coconut milks, and it’s sweet and creamy, just as soft-serve should be, with a slightly salty finish that makes the flavor more complex than your standard soft-serve. I think. I haven’t had soft-serve yogurt since 2008, and soft-serve ice cream since 2005. Bless you, vegan geniuses, for bringing us the technical and culinary triumph that is vegan soft-serve. This is a small cup ($3.75), by the way, and it’s huge and we couldn’t finish them.
You can read more about Vegan Paradice in this article in the Fairfield Daily Republic; it’s been open all summer, and they are working on expanding their menu and staff—right now it’s just the Browns. They make a lot of their stuff in-house, including almond roca and caramel for the soft-serve. ALMOND ROCA AND CARAMEL FOR THE SOFT-SERVE.
If you live anywhere near Fairfield, or drive past it on your commute, you have got to stop in at Vegan Paradice. It’s going to be hot through September; come for the soft-serve, stay for the burgers. They have vegan meat-and-cheese combinations we didn’t even try! I’ll definitely be back the next time their hours and my time off coincide. Suburban vegans in Northern California finally have a cafe! Let’s help it flourish.
Check out this handy dandy list of why pigs rule from Animal Freedom Day! I think I missed Animal Freedom Day this year but apparently I’ll be able to make up for it in July of next year. Which is perfect because I love freeing animals!
What up, thugs! Welcome to the vegan pâté throw-down! If you recall, once upon a time I sang the praises of Faux Gras; well recently I noticed that the Carroll Gardens Union Market had a new vegan faux-pâté, Nanny’s Vegetarian Chopped Liver. Obviously I had to try it! I’d also seen this Vegan Terrine stuff by Trois Petits Cochons and thought I ought to try that too—so here we are! Throw-down.
From left to right: Faux Gras, Vegan Terrine, and Vegetarian Chopped Liver.
The Faux Gras was as good as ever. I truly love the stuff. It’s sweet and savory and yummy! The veggie chopped liver looks very similar, and it actually tastes pretty similar, but it’s more meaty-flavored. With the Faux Gras, it’s awesome but I don’t think it’s trying very hard to taste like meat. I don’t mind that at all (actually I prefer it) but if you really loved meat pâté in your omni days, you may enjoy the chopped liver more. But for some reason the chopped liver is like $2 more than the Faux Gras. Not sure why.
The vegan terrine is…not so great. It tastes like pickled green beans maybe? Kind of? Or mashed peas mixed with olives? Maybe that’s what terrine is supposed to be like but I just really didn’t like it. But if you want something low in fat and calories, this is your best option. The Faux Gras and chopped liver are both pretty high in fat but it’s totes that healthy fat from walnuts and whatnot.
So the winner is Faux Gras! Nanny’s is a close second and Trois Petits Cochons falls last. Those are the breaks, my friends. Throw-downs aren’t pretty! But they are so very tasty.
“Although we like to torture the human fans who willingly come to our shows, we don’t want to be a part of making innocent animals’ lives hellish. I’ve learned from my friends at PETA that these marine animals are very sensitive to sound, as they communicate by sonar, and loud noises mess with their most basic instincts and drive them more nuts than they already are when trapped in your tanks.”—This was Tommy Lee’s response when SeaWorld asked to use a Motley Crew song in “Shamu Rocks.” That’s what I’m talking about! This almost makes up for that sex tape I accidentally watched through no fault of my own.
Hello, pals! I’ve been on vacation! Your friend Megan Rascal went to Shelter Island, N.Y., for an entire week with my bro and my sister-in-law. What a time I had! I saw a turtle and these cool turkeys above and like 80 million bunnies. And deer too! Not kidding.
Mostly we grilled food at the house we rented but a few times we did go out to eat. One place we hit was Sunset Beach, a pseudo-Euro hotel. It’s overpriced but they had this great tofu curry dish that I totally loved. It wasn’t super-special but it sure was good. And what’s not overpriced is the view! Check it out:
The first few days we were there, I was starving for coffee. I don’t like regular coffee, just froufrou lattes and whatnot, so I didn’t want what we had in the house. But my brother was like, “We are not driving to town every morning just to get coffee!” That is, until he ran out of his coffee! Ha. Then suddenly we could go to town every morning to get coffee. The only two places where it seemed like you could get coffee were Stars Cafe and Reddings Market. To my surprise, both had soy milk! And Reddings has La Colombe coffee. Reddings also wins in the frothing soy milk department—Stars didn’t really know what they were doing. It’s a cute place, though, and a good spot to get something healthy to eat.
The one place I really wanted to try was 18 Bay. I read online that they were very accommodating to vegans. They just do a prix fixe menu and it changes frequently based on what’s good at the market that day or week. Very exciting! I called the day before our reservation to let them know that I would need a vegan meal and they were just like, “of course!” Very exciting!
Above is the appetizer course. Everything was really great. I was a little apprehensive because at least one item—the eggplant—they said they would make vegan just by taking the cheese off. I’ve never like that; it’s basically like you’re taking away half the flavor profile and serving me that … and for the same price, even. But this actually worked out very well. Some of the other items were tailored just for me, like the radish and melon salad, and others, like the pesto beans, were already vegan. This was probably my favorite part of the meal. So many things to try! So fun!
There was also a pasta course, and I got my own risotto and everyone was jealous! It wasn’t amazing but it was good. For the entree, I had a lovely squash and spinach creation. Good as well. And you won’t leave this place hungry—it was quite a bit of food!
The only disappointment was the dessert. It was a fruit plate. Mind you, a really great fruit plate, but a fruit plate all the same. I thought since I told them I’d be there ahead of time, they could come up with something more exciting. Alas. But it wasn’t some grapes and honeydew: It was delicious peaches and blackberries. So it was nice, just a bit of a let-down.
Another delight on the trip was the fresh veggies! We stopped at a farm stand on the way there and then there was this farm stand, Pete’s Produce, on the island that had great stuff too. The tomatoes were super amazing and I’m not usually into raw tomatoes. Here’s our meal from the first day! My brother turned out to be quite the grilling genius (ignore the cup of feta—your know those omnis are addicted):
Yes, a successful vacation indeed! And I got a tan. I decided that I love getting a tan because people act like it’s a real accomplishment. If I lay around my house, I’m lazy, but if I lay around in the sun, I’m productive! That’s awesome.
Well, more or less. This is a great video by Denis van Waerebeke sent to us by tipster Kat. It’s long but I was actually able to watch it! Even though I hate learning. JK, I like learning, I just like it to take 90 seconds or less. But this is very watchable and I feel like I actually understand shit! At least for the time being. It says it’s aimed at nine-to-14-year-olds. Sounds about right for me.
You have to wait until the end for the shot of veganism, but it’s there. Thanks, Kat!
The notes on the pig shirt say that’s Eric…is that THIS ERIC? He got so big!
At $40, the tees are not cheap. But 10% of the proceeds is going to Farm Sanctuary. I think the chicken one is my fave just for the sexual harassment I would invite. And I’d have to say, “actually it’s HEN not a ROOSTER, dummies!”
Tom's vegan shark shoes are summer-perfect! And benefit shark conservation!
Is there anything better than madras plaid shoes? Duh, no. Except maybe for madras plaid shoes that are both vegan and designed and sold to benefit the “protect[ion] of sharks and their environment.” Thanks, Toms!
Per Ecouterre, these shoes were designed in “collaboration with the University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program" and "inspired by TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie’s shark-diving experience" with that program. Proceeds from the sale of each pair "go to protect sharks and their environment." They’re not saying what percentage of the proceeds will be donated, or where the money will go, but Toms has been a trustworthy company so far, with its shoes-for-you, shoes-for-a-shoeless-child program (which is still in effect with this style, incidentally), right? So maybe you want a pair! If they had them in my size (stupid men’s sizing) I would have bought them before I even wrote this. Madras is my favorite plaid! And I am crazy about plaid.
Last weekend, I baked with Wholesome Chow’s chocolate bake mix and that’s it; I’m throwing in the towel on ever making my own mix from scratch again. There’s no point! This Wholesome Chow mix amazing. I can’t even tell it’s gluten-free! Love, love love!
As with the last time, I followed the instructions on the back, adding a non-dairy milk and oil. I used full-fat canned coconut milk, which I find gives my cakes and extra degree of moistness and also makes the baking process a little more forgiving. You see, I’m prone to over-baking. It’s a curse! But luckily, coconut milk and I have found each other, so all is well over here.
I don’t have much more to say—this is an exceptional product. I’ve actually bought out every SF store that stocks the chocolate mix. So, there’s that. Actions speak louder than words, and I’ve snatched all the convenience away from you, city-dwellers. But you can buy the mixes online! Then they’ll come straight to your doorstep! Win win! Also, because I bought Rainbow and Other Avenues out, I had the opportunity to try the lavender chocolate mix, which is also very tasty. Much like the vanilla lavender, there is only a hint of lavender flavor, which adds a fruitiness as a opposed to a potpourri-ness.
I made my frosting from scratch again, this time adding some instant espresso powder (instant coffee works too) to it. For the border and flowers, which are chocolate frosting, I added unsweetened cocoa powder. You can find my vanilla frosting recipe here!