Hey U.S. readers! Send us your vegan Thanksgiving photos!
Are you celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday? Your Vegansaurus wants to know all about it! Whether you’re the only vegan in a huge family or having a all-vegan Thanksgiving, whether you’re cooking at home or going out, we want to see what your Thanksgiving plate looks like this year!
Since we’re so lazy this year (AND SINCE IT’S MEAVE’S BIRTHDAY TODAY AND SHE IS TAKING THE YEAR OFF FROM POSTING EVERYONE SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY), we’d love for you to just submit via Tumblr.
It’s really easy, just enter a little text about the food, click on the picture icon to add a picture URL (you can quickly get upload your photo and get a free URL from sites like TinyPic), and then click submit! If you don’t have a tumblr and don’t want to set one up (it takes two seconds! and so fun!), then go ahead and email your pic and quick description to us!
We’ll be posting them on Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday, as well as pictures of our own Thanksgiving foods, of course. The more participants, the better it’ll be, so take minute to submit pretty please, it’ll be the greatest!
If your prep looks fantastic, we’ll take those photos too; just be sure to include an explanation!
Pretty much my favorite thing about New York City, Stogo Gourmet Dairy-Free Ice Cream in the East Village, is shutting forever as of Sunday. Goddamn Hurricane Sandy, ruining everything in my life. (Actually, I’m in Colorado where the weather is always perfect, so Sandy didn’t ruin anything in my life. UNTIL NOW.)
"The business had been battling high rent all year. Eight days without income during the post-hurricane blackout, combined with the upcoming wintertime slowdown in sales, led Stogo’s owners to make the call to close."
Stogo is the best vegan ice cream parlor I ever experienced. If you live near New York, get to the store this weekend and bid them farewell. If not, wish on a Tofurkey that the owners will decide to reopen somewhere. What is there to dream of anymore if not a creamy scoop from Stogo? Nothing. Nothing at all. I’m literally crying into an apple pie as I type. It’s messy. Go try to have a good day.
"Vegan" graffiti on a McDonald's mural: Pro or con?
On the one hand, McDonald’s is disgusting.
On the other:
The mural was painted in 1987 by Iranian-born artist Saeed Danosian, who worked at the restaurant while developing his art career. Danosian passed away in 2008, and [restaurant manager John] Patterson plans to recreate the mural in the artist’s honor.
And finally, this could be a double-bluff by someone who hates vegans and wants to make us look like a bunch of mural-hating brats.
Thanksgiving Recipe AND Cookbook Review: Vegan A La Mode
Overall Rating: A Creativity: A+ Level of Difficulty: Intermediate Best for: Anyone who owns an ice cream maker. Bonus if you have adventurous taste in dessert.
Why review an ice cream cookbook in November?
You should make the Easy As Pumpkin Pie recipe (below) for your Thanksgiving feast.
We like to keep you guessing.
I know a thing or two about vegan ice cream recipes. For our wedding in summer 2011, my husband and I made 18 flavors in place of having a wedding cake. I sure wish Ms. Hannah had gotten around to publishing this gem of a book in time for our wedding guests to benefit.
This is hands-down the finest collection of vegan ice cream recipes ever made. Hannah Kaminsky is to vegan ice cream what Terry and Isa are to vegan cupcakes or Miyoko Schinner is to vegan cheese. Her creativity with flavors is unparalleled, but so are her solutions for richness and texture.
Making the Buttery Popcorn flavor. Seriously.
The book started as a blog, so you can check out some recipes there. At least a third of the flavors are what I’d call “highly experimental”: beet marmalade, wasabi-ginger-sesame-chocolate, buttered popcorn. Others are easy crowd-pleasers: peanut-butter Oreo, French vanilla, maple-pecan. Some are pretty ambitious (Birthday Cake requires that you cook cupcakes, then put them in the blender). Some are super-simple (see Easy As Pumpkin Pie, below). All that I’ve made have been delectable and worth the work.
Each recipe appears on its own spread, which makes the logistics of cooking easy, and most have a sexy glamour shot to make you drool. Some of the thickeners and texturizers might be unfamiliar (guar gum, anyone?), but Rainbow Grocery sells them in bulk, so buy a tablespoonful and experiment. The Banana Pudding ice cream, which includes a hit of guar, is the only vegan flavor I’ve ever made that scooped soft straight out of the freezer.
Final verdict: If you have an ice cream maker, you owe it to yourself and that little machine to buy this book. (If you don’t have one, you should get one. They’re great. I’ve got this one by Cuisinart.)
AND AS PROMISED, A RECIPE!
Easy as Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Ingredients 1 cup canned pumpkin purée 1 14-ounce can regular coconut milk 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1/4 cup grade-B maple syrup 2 Tbsp. bourbon 1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon 3/4 tsp. ground ginger 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves Pinch freshly cracked black pepper 1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions 1. Mix everything together in a bowl until smooth.
It’s almost Thanksgiving…Wondering how most turkeys are treated? Check out the newly-released Mercy For Animals investigation documenting appalling abuse of turkeys raised for Butterball.
(You may also want to take a look at this week’s NY Times’ major feature on vegetarian Thanksgvings.)
On that note, Los Angeles became the biggest city in the country to official start promoting Meatless Mondays. (Even the Today Show covered it!)
Finally, if you’ve got some time and want a fascinating read, here’s Washington Monthly’s new feature, “Obama’s Game of Chicken.” As they bill the story: “The untold story of how the administration tried to stand up to big agricultural companies on behalf of independent farmers, and lost.”
Video of the week: Not quite the lion and lamb laying down, but at least the dog and the fawn…
This post has all of your Thanksgiving takeout/delivery options! Here’s a list of places you can go out to eat on the big day, so if you’re more of a “have enough strength and patience to leave your bed” person. Also, if you know of any places we missed, please let us know! (And if you’d rather dine out because eating at home is for suckers, check out this list!)
Andronico’s. We’re really into them lately, they’ve been really reaching out to the vegans! Support them! All items may be ordered in-stores or at their online Holiday Meal Store, for in-store pickup, through Wednesday, November 21st. Phone orders will still be possible Thanksgiving Day through 1pm. The Vegan Dinner is fully cooked and featuresaField Roast en croute, fresh green beans with shallots, vegan mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, vegan mushroom gravy, cranberry-apple chutney, dinner rolls and vegan pumpkin pie. Serves 2, $34.99.
Philip Gelb, an Oakland-based vegan chef, says that he’s available for deliveries in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. If you want to hear all about what he’s offering or perhaps work out a special request with him, send an email!
Now, for the more important part of the day: Desserts!
Picnic Bakery will be selling dutch apple cream cheese coffeecakes for Thanksgiving by pre-order only. People can pick up their cakes at Kitchener Oakland (372 24th Street, Oakland) on Nov 20 between 6 and 9 pm OR at 1727 Haight St in SF on Nov 21 from 11am-noon. They will also coordinate delivery and drop-offs in San Francisco by request. We’ve tried this cake and HOLY SHIT IT IS AMAZING. I cannot recommend enough, this can make a holiday! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order, and I think you only have a couple days, so do it to it NOW if you want it!
Berkeley’sCinnaholic has holiday flavors! Pumpkin spice and eggnog frostings, pumpkin butter, and toppings like gingersnaps, marshmallows, and apples. ORDER TODAY!
Oakland-based vegan bakeries Fat Bottom Bakery and Idle Hands Bakery will have special holiday treats! Look for pumpkin cupcakes with vegan cream cheese frosting from the ladies of FBB, and Idle Hands is offering spice cake (gluten-free option available) or pumpkin chocolate chip cake.
San Francisco’s Mission Pie is doing a $20 apple-cranberry crumb-top pie for pick-up! DEADLINE FOR ALL ORDERS IS SUNDAY NOVEMBER 18 at 10 PM. PLEASE CALL 415-282-1500 or 415-282-4PIE(4743) to order.
Want to bring some stellar raw treats to the table? Don’t DIY it—unless you’re a pro/glutton for punishment (wrong kind of glutton on Thanksgiving!)—go for the large selection of Cafe Gratitude holiday pies, OR support a smaller local venture that’s equally delicious (if not more so!) and pick up a Side Saddle Kitchen Thanksgiving pies! They’ve got maple pecan, pumpkin, and a chili chocolate torte! SO DELICIOUS. [Please note: BOTH OF THESE ARE NOT CONFIRMED BUT LET US KNOW IF YOU FIND OUT!]
If you’re last minute-ish, Whole Foods and Rainbow will both have pies up until the day before/of. Get your scrumptious dessert on, Last-Minute Lazy!
How to make an Unturkey! (Seriously, do this for Thanksgiving)
OK, so Thanksgiving is almost here. I think. It’s next week, right? To prepare for the main event, your Vegansaurus took one for the team and made a motherfucking UNTURKEY. I made it the original Unturkey way and I made one the new Miyoko Schinner one (she’s the original creator of the Unturkey and has made some alterations since the recipe was originally printed).
They were both DELICIOUS, with the original way being slightly juicier, and the Miyoko way being easier to make and work with. However, you really can’t lose, especially with that tasty-ass, crispy yuba skin that takes so much like actual turkey skin, WHICH I KNOW GROSS RIGHT, but also: YUMMMM. Let’s not front, most of us don’t eat meat because it tastes disgusting, most of us don’t eat meat because that shit is a DEAD ANIMAL, and a tortured dead animal, at that, and that shit is hella sad.
Just a few notes:
It’s much easier than it looks, so don’t be intimidated by either recipe. Just read through so you get the gist, and just have fun with it! (I’m saying that with a flip of the hair, it’s very sassy!)
If you can afford it, get the Hodo Soy Beanery yuba! It’s perfection when crispy-fied, and realllllly easy to work with! I bought it at Berkeley Bowl West, where they also have the dried yuba, which is much cheaper, but not organic and harder to work with. So, depending on budget, your call!
If you don’t want to make the “Light Nutritional Yeast Flavoring,” 1) YOU REALLY SHOULD, it’s not hard! and 2) You can use a vegan chicken broth in its place (they sell it in bulk at places like Rainbow and Berkeley Bowl)
This is outrageously tasty times, but if you have omnis who are dead set on eating actual dead turkey (WHY? EVERYONE KNOWS IT’S THE LEAST DELICIOUS OF ALL MEATS) and will complain about anything “fake,” then you might want to also have some non-traditional vegan centerpiece dishes too, the VegNews newsletter has mad ideas for this! But srsly, the Unturkey might switch ‘em, so force them to eat some of it, too!
Okay, so here’s what the inside looks like:
Here’s before I baked a massive one:
Here’s after I baked a massive one (THAT SHIT LOOKS LIKE TURKEY RIGHT? TASTES LIKE IT TOO):
Here are some other photos for your enjoyment, as well. Jonas made unturkey noodle soup! That shit was bananas! Or, that soup was hella tasty!
We love cooking! But maybe you don’t! Or you find a huge Thanksgiving dinner way too much work. That’s OK! Here is a list of places you can celebrate your Thanksgiving, at restaurants or homes. You can volunteer to work and eat for free, or bring a dish to a potluck, or just show up, eat yourself silly, and roll on home. So many options! We’ll add to this list as we get more information, so please, send us tips! (And if you’d rather DINE IN, check out our resource guide for all your Thanksgiving roast, pie, etc., needs!)
Check out the Source Thanksgiving feast last year!
THIS YEAR: We are serving a “Gobble Platter” all day on Thursday and Friday. It includes “Gobble” and gravy, creamed spinach, stuffing, candied yams, orange cranberry sauce and truffled bread for $19.95. Pumpkin spice snowballs and cheesecake will be available as well, though not included in the platter price. We are also going BYOB for Thanksgiving night, with a small corkage fee.
This hasn’t been confirmed but we think it’s on! If you call, let us know in the comments?Two $60 prix fixe menus, one “traditional” with turkey, and one vegan! Contact Plant Cafe for details via email, or call (415) 984.1973. Reservations required. 3 to 9 p.m.
If you call, can you please confirm for us! Sorry, I know, very helpful, but it’s been a crazy year for your Vegansaurus!
Oh, also! Some potlucks you can attend:
San Francisco Vegetarian/Vegan Thanksgiving Day Potluck (Sponsored by SFVS & SDA)
Thursday, November 22, 3:00 p.m. The Loughborough Center, 1184 Broderick, near California Street, San Francisco RSVP g-voice mail: 415-498-0385. Please speak slowly & clearly. $1 door donation with food. $10 without food. Vegan dishes preferred.
East Bay Vegan Thanksgiving Day Potluck (Sponsored by East Bay Veg*ns and SFVS) Thursday, November 22, 4:00 p.m., UU Fellowship Church, 2nd Floor, Fire Place Room with a fireplace. (1606 Bonita Street, off Cedar Street, Berkeley —not too far from the North Berkeley BART) $2 door donation with vegan cooked or raw food. $12 without food. Please bring your own plates and utensils to minimize trash and landfill impact on the Earth. Contact Howard Dykoff email@example.com or 510-562-9934 for reservations, details, or directions.
Babycakes NYC has a new app; Sally Draper makes gluten-free waffles!
Babycakes NYC has a new app out and it looks like a lot of fun. I love her recipe book; I actually use it to make the gluten-free snowballs at Source (Jenny-fied of course), so I’m really excited about this app.
It features all my favorite things: gluten-free, vegan baking, cute uniforms, hipster music, lipstick AND CELEBRITIES talking about vegan, gluten-free baked goods! The feature everyone seems to be the most jazzed about (including myself) is Mad Men’s own Kiernan Shipka making gluten-free waffles with Ms. Babycakes herself, Erin McKenna! Sally Draper has most definitely become my favorite character on that show, and remember — I haven’t yet seen Season 5 so no spoilers or I will find you, and I will gouge your eyes out. Just kidding! That wouldn’t be very vegan of me, now would it? (I’m not kidding.)
SF SPCA's holiday window display of adoptable animals debuts Friday at Macy's!
Catch the unveiling of the SF SPCA’s annual holiday window display of adorable, adoptable animals at Macy’s Union Square on Friday! Beat back your case of Seasonal Affective Disorder with an eyeful of baby animals who want to be your best friend!
Last year this display led to more than 325 animals finding forever homes, and almost $80,000 for the SF SPCA! Awesome. Also of note:
The SF SPCA needs volunteers to help spread the holiday cheer at Windows by greeting the public, collecting donations, and directing visitors to the SF SPCA pop-up adoption center inside Macy’s. The 2-hour shifts do not require special training. Groups are welcome, and children are invited to volunteer alongside their parents. For details or to sign up, visit sfspca.org/holiday-volunteer or call (415) 554-3008.
Each holiday window will be equipped with a video camera that streams images to sfspca.org/holiday, so you can watch the kittens and puppies from your computer.
For those who can’t make it to Macy’s, the SF SPCA will be waiving the adoption fee on adult animals adopted from the permanent SF SPCA Adoption Center at 250 Florida St. [from] Nov. 16 to Jan. 1, 2013.
Check out the window unveiling at 5 p.m. on Friday at Macy’s Union Square, at the corner of Stockton and O’Farrell streets in San Francisco. Yes, the darkness encroaches as the winter solstice draws nearer, but an animal companion warms your heart (and lap) even on the coldest nights.
Things your Vegansaurus advises you do: Foster some bunnies for Harvest Home!
As our pal Anne Martin says, “Opening your home to a single or bonded pair of bunnies for the holidays is a great way for them to get special TLC, and help them get ready to find their forever homes!”
We ask for a fostering commitment of at least one month. You can specify a fostering end date, but we are particularly appreciative of foster homes that can keep their foster rabbit until they are adopted, which can be anywhere from two to nine months.
Harvest Home needs fosters for lots of different bunnies, in the following four categories:
Adoptable Rabbit Fosters: These rabbits have no special needs, they just need a foster home where they can get daily hop time, fresh salads, and love! These fosters will take their foster bunny to a monthly adoption event.
Special Foster: Rabbit Behavior: These fosters specialize in rabbits that need extra TLC because of their personality or past experiences that have left them shy, fearful, or protective. We would love fosters who have time to spend some one-on-one time with their foster bunny each day, to help them become more comfortable in a home environment. … These fosters will take their foster bunny to a monthly adoption event.
Special Foster: Rabbit Medical Care: These fosters have experience with rabbits, would like to specialize in special needs bunnies, and would be happy to foster a bunny with limited mobility (like a healed, formerly broken leg), congenital problems (like splay-leg), a rabbit that needs a daily oral medication, or a rabbit that needs to visit our vet occasionally for conditions like overgrown teeth, or a weepy eye. Harvest Home pays for all approved vet care, including medications. These rabbits would not be shown at adoption events until they receive a clean bill of health from the vet—they could be returned to Harvest Home at that time. We can match the medical care foster rabbit to your level of experience.
Special Foster: Sanctuary Foster: These fosters take home a single or pair of rabbits who are in sanctuary care. Similar to adopting, these rabbits can live out the rest of their lives in their foster home, however, Harvest Home will pay all approved medical expenses for the life of the rabbits. People interested in becoming sanctuary fosters can meet the available sanctuary singles & pairs and select the rabbits that best fit their lifestyle. We have many older bunnies who would love to spend their golden years in a home.
Harvest Home provides all the startup materials necessary for keeping a happy, healthy bun in your home, including a pen or cage, litterbox, dishes, and initial food. You feed your foster rabbit, and give him or her daily out-of-cage fun time.
If you’re interesting in fostering one (or more!) bunnies for Harvest Home, contact Anne. To see some of the bunnies available for adoption right now, including the three cutiepies in this post (Bugsy, Flower, and Dudley), check out Harvest Home’s Petfinder.
Robin Robertson has got vegan Thanksgiving help for you!
You guys know that Vegansaurus loves Thanksgiving. Eatin’ and loved ones and time off work and more eatin’—no gifts, no religion, just good food and better company (or vice versa!).
Unfortunately, preparing a big, multi-dish meal for often mixed-diet company often causes loads of stress, which can put even the best-dispositioned of us entirely off Thanksgiving. But don’t fret! Vegan chef and author Robin Robertson is here for us! On Monday, she announced the opening of her holiday hotline, a series of posts full of her (very valuable!) holiday success advice. She also announced a contest to win a copy of Party Vegan, which you should totally enter.
Yesterday, she posted three example holiday menus, all the recipes on the first of which are available here! For more immediate help, VegNews is hosting a vegan Holiday Hotline on Twitter tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 6 PST/9 EST. The participants will include Robin, and her esteemed vegan food colleagues Nava Atlas, Ayinde Howell, Hannah Kaminsky, and Allyson Kramer. Check it out tonight at hashtag #vegnewschat. With their help, you could make Thanksgiving 2012 the fanciest ever! Or the least stressful! Whichever is more appealing/realistic!
Cerruti Cellars is a kid-friendly, dog-friendly Tudal Family winery/tasting room located at 100 Webster Street in Oakland. Cerruti Cellars produces award-winning wines from grapes grown in Napa Valley. All wines are vegan and some wines are biodynamic and/or organic.
El Taco Bike will be serving dinner. It will have vegan chips and guacamole and $2 vegan veggie tacos.
Jade Chocolates will be selling amazing vegan (and non-vegan) chocolates.
Cerruti Cellars will be offering exclusive cash mob holiday wine sets at special prices.
Spend $20 on wine and enter to win one of many great raffle prizes from other businesses in the Jack London District.
Hooray! Tacos and wiiiiiiine and supporting local businesses! Get yourself set up for Thanksgiving and winter holiday celebrations in one fell swoop! For more information, get in touch with JLD Cash Mob via Facebook or Twitter.
Los Angeles City Council passes Meatless Monday resolution!
Good job, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry and Councilman Ed Reyes! With the support of your colleagues, you made L.A. the largest U.S. city to lend its support to Meatless Mondays. Which is great! We are proud of your initiative.
Of course, we see this as ascending one more rung on the meatless ladder, eventually achieving such heights as Ghent’s civic Vegetarian Thursdays, and one day going full veg, once we become a totally socialist nation of bread lines and communes omg—but for now, it is a good step, a non-binding resolution, and we applaud it. As does our Meatless Monday spokesbeing, we’re sure.
Everyone, I’m in love! Don’t worry, it’s not with a person—my emotional wall is still intact. I’m in love with these super-lovable vegan purses from CoraLlei! From Irish designer Lorna Burton, these bags aren’t just beautiful, they are also environmentally friendly:
Conscious of the environmental and social impact of her designs, Lorna Burton’s CoraLlei collection places paramount importance on ethics and sustainability. She uses only sustainable fabrics, packaging, textiles and manufacturing techniques where possible.
Ranging from €220 to €390, I won’t be owning one of these anytime soon (dang U.S. dollar!), but it’s nice to dream. Which is your favorite? Tell me!
I know you guys like winning stuff, because you’re a bunch of winners! So I thought this might interest you. It’s easy to enter, you just have to fill out a little thing on the site before the 18th. Enter here. You should win and trick your grumpy old grandpa into eating Tofurky!
Bogs footwear keeps you warm and dry in the slush!
It’s been kind of a weather nightmare in New York as of late. I’m sure you all heard about Sandy, but then this past week we had a dang snowstorm. Seriously? Seriously. And as usual, I was completely ill-prepared for snow. I had some cheap boots on that immediately let icy cold water seep in and they have no traction so I pretty much almost slipped and died 80 times. I thought, “omg I should’ve word those boots Bogs sent me!” They sent these boots to me for free last year but the weather wasn’t that cray back then. Now, the weather is CRAY with a capital JEEZ LOUISE. Basically, it’s perfect Bogs weather.
My Bogs, picture above, are called the Charlot and they are completely vegan (obvi). Not all the boots are vegan, some have leather. But the insoles are vegan so you don’t have to worry about that. These boots are bulkier than I expected so don’t think you’ll be wearing them to the club, but they sure are rugged. And I got compliments from the girls at work, so that is always a good sign. I walked around in the slush and didn’t slip once and my feet stayed totally dry and toasty.
Here’s some nice background from Bogs:
Bogs are made with 100% natural rubber sourced fairly from Malaysia and non-toxic glue. The materials we use are die-cut to minimize waste. Our shoe boxes are made from recycled materials and are shipped from the manufacturing plants by sea to reduce our environmental impact.
They also sell a line of camouflage ”hunting” boots but I like to think of them as “wildlife photography” boots. There are a lot of other styles and colors to choose from. Bogs are great for snowy/slushy/icy/rainy days or super for you farmer/gardener types. And if you like to jump around in mud, get some Bogs and you’re good to go.
UPDATE: I got official word on which Bogs are vegan and which aren’t (because I’m the best!):
All Bogs are Vegan except the following styles (which have leather on them):
McKenna, Mason, Seymour, Hudson Buckle, Jamison Leather and Bridgeport Leather.
Everything else we make is using a mix of natural and synthetic rubber (about 80% natural) and are vegan-friendly.
And they are working on manufacturing Bogs without glue (through a new heating process) and making their antimicrobial lining on the insoles 100% organic. Look out for that next year. I’m very excited for this!
Here’s another bittersweet, heartstring-tugging video from Hope for Paws. It’s a few years old but it’s new to me. I could watch videos from this site all day. If I wanted to have puffy cry-y eyes at work! Really though this makes me so sad. I understand that a lot of dogs have to be euthanized, because what the hell do we want people to do with them? There’s just too many to take care of. But the idea that a dog like Chase could be euthanized after years of abuse, never knowing what it’s like to be loved or even treated nicely? Heartbreaking. It’s like, were they born just to be abused and die? And so many of the dogs in these videos are the kinds of dogs people pay thousands of dollars for, when dogs like Chase are waiting, scared and alone in shelters. So senseless.
Pork Magazine editorialized this week about what a “tough year” HSUS created in the US with its “laser focus on pork production.” Pork’s editor concludes: “Now, HSUS won’t go away; in fact it has gained strength. It has the formula down and will replicate its strategies within the pork sector as well as across the agriculture sector.”
Related: Metz Culinary Management is the latest major pork buyer to demand that its pork suppliers end their use of gestation crates…
On the other side of the world, Forbes has a sobering yet hopeful look at the challenges the animal movement faces in China and how Humane Society International is working to move the ball forward there. This interview is really worth the read.
Finally, check out this interesting new article on how the rise in demand for vegetarian food is largely coming from meat-eaters who are reducing the number of animals they’re eating.
Six years ago this week, Arizona voters made their state the first in the US to ban veal crates, and second to ban gestation crates. And four years ago this week, Californians banned both of those practices, as well as cramped cages for laying hens. Congratulations and happy anniversary to the thousands of awesome animal advocates who labored so tirelessly on those campaigns!
Video of the week: Ever feel like someone else is freeloading off your hard work? This cat may feel the same!
MeWOW: Hank the Cat comes in third in the Virginia Senate race!
I don’t know if that headline worked at all and I already wrote about this over at Jezebel but it’s just too awesome not to talk about more! He’s a cat! And he got 6,000 votes! It’s just too good.
Hank the Cat ran on a pro-feline, job-creation, unlimited access to Fancy Feast (salmon supreme flavor) platform. This is not a joke, this is our reality. Well, maybe it’s both, but CATS 4 PREZ IN 2016.
Do you think he’s also available for marriage? Because I want to date a cat who’s going somewhere, these lazy-ass dogs in my life DON’T EVEN HAVE JOBS. Jesus.
Oh, and of course Tuxedo Stan, who did not win his mayoral race in Halifax because of a ridiculous technicality. All the cats for president of all the countries!!
Beyond Clif: Five more vegan energy bars, reviewed!
This soon-to-be legendary post began as an attempt to review The Simply Bar, which the Canadians at Wellness Foods were nice enough to send me a case of. But as a person who gets to try a SHIT TON (that’s a metric measurement) of bars in my capacity as an editor at Backpacker magazine, it felt strange to talk about this one vegan bar-shaped food product and not mention any of the zillion others I’ve tasted in the last year or so. Y’all should know about all the many, many options of pocket foods that have popped up recently. Buckle your seat belts, because HERE WE GO!
These gluten-free babies were invented by a guy with Crohn’s disease, with the idea that they’d be easy to digest. They’re unusual in that they’re relatively low-cal (160 ish per bar), with more fiber than sugar and a whole lot of protein (16 grams). They’re kind of like grainy Rice Krispy treats in texture, with a subtle flavor (I usually have to look at the label to remember what kind I’m eating, so I’m not going to bother to endorse one). If you’re the kind of person who wants to chow down on a protein shake after exercising, these would be good. If you secretly want a bar that is like cookies, stay away.
Watch out: Not only are these freakin’ delicious, but they also pack nearly 400 calories each. That means you are at serious risk of eating an entire meal’s worth of yumminess in a moment of afternoon weakness if, for instance, you leave these in your desk. But if you’re really exercising hard or are deprived of genuine meals for awhile, these will make your day. They’re each about the size of a deck of cards and the texture of one of those soft granola bars. All three flavors are studded with yummy morsels like berries or chocolate, but my favorite is the Chocolate Hazelnut. I officially endorse these bars. I kinda love them.
Let’s be honest: These bad boys are weird. Around my office, they’ve been a very contentious topic. But I like ‘em. The schtick is that they’re savory instead of sweet, which is genuinely different than your regular bar. Only 3/5 of the flavors are vegan, alas, but they’re loaded with neat grains like amaranth. So trendy! My personal fav is the coconut curry, which reminds me of eating Indian snack mix. Main problem with these bars: Sometimes they’re soft, like Nutri-Grain bars without the filling, but other bars in the same box will be like very thick crackers. Which actually works pretty well for the Rosemary flavor. Anyway, I say try them; they’re a nice snack.
Whole food bars. That’s how Pro likes to market its product. And it’s true: Eating these bars is kind of like eating a smushed-up handful of nuts and dried fruit. They’re much less like dessert than Mazama bars, but also meal-replacement. Pro’s also got another type call Fruition, which is more like a Lara bar, but full of chia seeds. Anyway, I don’t swoon over these, but they’re solid nutrition.
OK so these are a kind of Clif bar, but I couldn’t resist mentioning them because I’m so excited about them. Remember gooey, fruit-filled breakfast bars? Remember how they’re not vegan? Let’s thank Luna for restoring that particular joy to us. I haven’t tasted all the flavors, but my main comment is YUM. Partake! Partake!
Honorable Mentions Clif Crunch: Some flavors have honey so read ingredients, but these are like Nature Valley but way tastier. Crunchy! And they have vegan white chocolate in them.
Justin’s Nut Butter squeeze packs: not bars, but portable and YUM! Chocolate hazelnut is basically Nutella.
Surprise: Bender's in San Francisco serves top-notch vegan bar food!
How could you guys not tell me how delicious the vegan food is at Bender’s? Or maybe you did and I wasn’t listening? No matter, I’m disappointed in everyone all the same.
It was Allan of Mission Mission's urging that I go and try the vegan menu there, and he's not even a vegan! Though I was not expecting too much, I ended up so stoked with my seitan taco I went again the next week! Melissa of Food and Loathing was in town, and I was like “GIRL, after you eat at Source, we have to go to Bender’s!” So I rallied the vegan troops, including the platonic love of my life, Sarah M. Smart.
Let’s feast our eyes, shall we? I’m sorry about the flash—taking pictures in dark bars never goes very well.
Yes, those are tater tots and vegan ranch in the background!
The seitan Philly cheesesteak might be my new favorite sandwich in the city! I was never a Philly cheesesteak fan when I ate meat, so I usually shy away from these bad boys. Bender’s, you’ve stolen my heart and tested everything I thought I knew.
Sarah got the fried pickles and OMG that ranch is blinding!
Let’s not forget the seitan taco; this baby started it all! It is HUGE in real life, and scrumptious.
I totally forgive you for not letting me in on Bender’s vegan menu. I see how you would want to keep it to yourself, but now the world shall know it’s greatness! I think it’s really actually my fault because I just could not keep up with what was going on in that kitchen. Sorry about the misplaced blame there, friends.
[Bender’s signage photo via Facebook; taco photo by Britney Roque.]
Turkeys! Fall! Harvest Home! What isn’t there to like about Toast to the Turkeys? Our pals at Harvest Home warn us that tickets are going like hotcakes, so get yours today! They cost $40 for adults, $15 for children under 17, and for $55 you can get an adult ticket and sponsor a turkey for a year!
What is Toast to the Turkeys? It is an autumnal celebration of Harvest Home, its wonderful rescued animals, and a chance to eat delicious vegan food and hang out with other great people who love Harvest Home. There’ll be a buffet, a silent auction, a food drive, a turkey sponsorship drive, and you can tour the sanctuary, which is home to so many lovely, deserving animals who are living their best lives.
Plus, have we stressed enough how wonderful it is to feed a cranberry to a turkey? It is so wonderful.
Toast to the Turkeys happens on Saturday, Nov. 10, from noon to 4 p.m. at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary in Stockton. There are very few tickets left; purchase yours here. For more adorable animal photos (and information about the sanctuary and how you can help support their good work), follow Harvest Home’s Tumblr.
[Photo from the 2011 Toast to the Turkeys by Cordelia Naumann via Flickr]
Adopt NY needs your help to bring Hurricane Sandy relief to the animals!
Awesome reader Jen tipped us to a really great way to help out New York’s needy animal shelters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy: Donate to Adopt NY!
Adopt NY is an organization that connects shelters around New York to make it as easy as possible for people to adopt animals. It’s terrific. And right now they are having a hell of a time coordinating between their 44 rescue groups to get relief to all those groups, shelters, and animals. Let’s block-quote from Facebook:
This has been a terrible week for New York—for all its people and animals. For New York City’s animals, the shelter system has been deafeningly silent. Without any First Alerts (lists sent out to rescues of all incoming animals) or Kill Lists for the past week at Animal Care & Control, the prospect of them having to kill large numbers is very real. Rescue groups have found it often close to impossible to pull animals from AC&C, as email is down, and no clear direction has been given about the true needs of the shelter system after the largest hurricane to ever hit New York. Add to that the fact that many rescue groups and NY shelters have sustained extensive damage to their facilities, as well as many fosters becoming homeless themselves.
Together with your help, we want to provide the assistance all our rescue groups so desperately need. We will keep you posted every step of the way. Please go here to donate to the Adopt NY Relief Fund, hosted through one of our founding groups, Dog Habitat Rescue. Thank you on behalf of all Adopt NY’s rescue groups for your generosity.
For New York locals, Adopt NY has a huge list of needed supplies at Facebook. Check it out and see what you can donate, New York Vegansaurs. The rest of us can donate at Dog Habitat, per Adopt NY. Give what you can to help the shelter animals, they desperately need it.
Funny name, yummy blend. SooFoo, a San Francisco-based, U.S.-grown blend of grains and pulses, is the perfect mix of new-and-exciting with simple-and-nutritious. It’s a great substitute for bland white rice or, in my household, basic, tasteless brown rice. SooFoo is completely organic and it has nine ingredients. Seems like a lot for “rice” type of food until you read them: long grain brown rice, brown lentils, wheat berries, oats, barley, black lentils, rye berries, green lentils, and buckwheat. The folks at SooFoo must’ve been big proponents of Raffi’s “Oats and Beans and Barely.”
Certified organic, Kosher, and vegan, SooFoo is one of the most guiltless products on the market. Their packaging gives some super basic, alliteration-filled suggestions on what to do with the food, such as “sprinkle in a salad,” “stir into soups,” “chuck in chili,” and “toss with tofu” among others. My personal fave is “shower the bride and groom.” I’m totally going to do that next summer. “The vegan from California brought his own hippie rice”—I can hear the in-laws already.
I threw 3/4 cup of SooFoo, 2 cups of water, and 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil into my rice-cooker. Forty-five aromatic minutes later, I had four to six servings of SooFoo, piping hot. My ladyfriend and I decided to serve it with a stir-fry of red onion, purple bell pepper, green beans, and chickpeas with a gluttony of spices. In my attempt to rid the world of all gluten products by digesting them myself, I threw my portions in a whole wheat tortilla.
I gotta say, as a faux-meat and potatoes guy, I didn’t have the highest hopes for SooFoo. But I was blown away. Seriously. Add that to the fact it also has 6 grams of protein per serving (BUT WHERE DO VEGANS GET THEIR PROTEIN?!) and 3 grams of fiber per serving, you can easily justify the chocolate-covered pretzels you also bought.
All in all, SooFoo is pretty freaking awesome. Before I throw the rest of the bag during friends and family nuptials, I think I’ll and “toss it with tofu" next. But I’m open to suggestions!
Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to 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.