vegansaurus!

04/16/2014

Lulu’s chocolate: organic, raw, vegan, and chocolaty!  »

imageMaca Buttercups. 

Lulu’s is an organic raw chocolate company with not only super exciting wrapping design, but lots of yummy flavors! They are on the Food Empowerment Project’s recommended chocolates list, wrapped in vegetable-dyed, environmentally-conscious packaging, made with fair-trade cocoa, and sweetened with low-glycemic coconut sugar. Basically: EAT WITH RECKLESS ABANDON! Lulu’s sent me a bunch of free chocolate to try and now I will tell you all about it.

imageSexy packaging! Rococo, mother-lovers!

Overall: LOVE. And I don’t know if I’m just gassed from their write-ups, but I felt like I was totally eating something that is good for my body! Chocolate is good for you now, right? Especially raw chocolate!

My very favorite was the smoked sea salt almond bar. Salt and chocolate is the best combination and Lulu’s pulls it off perfectly! I shared all the bars with my coworkers (because I am so nice to them) and they liked everything, but this bar was especially popular with them as well. 

My other favorite was the coffee crunch bar. I also love coffee with chocolate and once again, Lulu’s does it right!

imageSmoked sea salt almond bar.

At the top, you can see the maca Buttercups. Maca is supposed to be super good for you, I think? At least it’s supposed to be an aphrodisiac. Below is the chocolate maca chunk. 

imageChocolate maca chunk bar. 

I have to be honest, I wasn’t that into the maca flavored chocolates. They are fine but just kind of not that flavorful and not as good as the straight chocolate bars. But the Buttercups were pretty good actually! Besides the Buttercups though, I would mostly get the maca chocolates for the interest-factor. I.e. APHRODISIAC SEXY TIMES!

imageLove truffles. 

The love truffles are pretty exciting. They have hazelnut Rawmio! They were a little too rich for me, all truffles are, but my coworkers really liked them. So if you are a truffle person, these are for you. They have a hint of salt too! Yum.

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So clearly I am a Lulu’s fan! If you want delicious chocolate that’s actually good for you, Lulu’s is where it’s at. 

In other Lulu’s news, they currently have an Indiegogo campaign! They want to open a “chocolate lounge” but they need your help. There’s less than a week left and they still have a ways to go! So let’s help them out! I love when we get together and support vegan, socially and environmentally-conscious businesses! And you don’t have to be in Arizona to donate, the perks include LOTS of chocolate! So if you are thinking of buying any of their chocolate to try, think about doing so through the campaign so you get yummy raw chocolate AND you help out a vegan business. Let’s do this!

04/15/2014

Bee Free Honee introduces FOUR new flavors! Vegan honey options abound!  »

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Before we get started here, I just want to say that Bee Free Honee has seriously blown my mind. When I first read about it, I was like, “It’s made with apples and lemon, so it’s probably like a fruity, sugar syrup. That’s cool. At least no bees were harmed.” And yes, Bee Free Honee is made out of apples and lemon, but it is also so legit, it can’t quit. It tastes exactly how I remember honey tasting! The consistency is there too! But you already knew that, because we’ve talked about it here before.

I was never the biggest fan of honey, but I’ve had a special place in my heart for it because my grandpa would eat it with his oatmeal and I just thought he was the coolest! He also ate his shredded wheat with apple juice instead of milk, which was something I just couldn’t get into. Believe me I tried, once, with cornflakes. I like to think he would dig Bee Free Honee, and you know why? BECAUSE IT TASTES JUST LIKE HONEY! No joke!

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Katie Sanchez, the innovator behind Bee Free Honee, sent me not only her Original Honee, but all of the new ones as well: Chocolate, Mint, Slippery Elm and Ancho chile! They are all so good. The flavors are really subtle and herbal. I wish I enjoyed drinking tea more, because any of these would be so great in a hot afternoon beverage! OR A HOT TODDY? I don’t know, I don’t like whiskey either [Ed. note: SQUARE!]. I used the chocolate and mint Honees to make brownies! While you can definitely use these cup for cup in place of sugar when baking, the brownies were a little too floral and herbal for me. I should have consulted the recipe page before proceeding! Oh well, we learn from our mistakes [Not me! -Megan Rascal]

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My two favorites were the Original and the Slippery Elm, because they had the most classic tastes. It’s not because I’m boring, it’s because my favorite thing to make with honey used to be baklava! And by make, I mean what my mom would make and I would eat. I knew when these Honees were on their way that baklava was going down. My mom and I made a batch, and it was WONDERFUL! So, thank you Bee Free Honee, because being able to eat my mom’s baklava again was a fantastic experience! I didn’t think it was going to be a possibility to enjoy it again, so I am beyond stoked. 

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Recipe coming soon! Maybe, someday.  

You find where to purchase Bee Free Honee here! I’ve seen it at Sprouts and Viva La Vegan in southern California. You can also follow Bee Free Honee on Facebook and Twitter

Full Disclosure: Bee Free Honee sent me their product free of charge to review; all of the opinions stated above are my own. 

Vegan Chocolate Online Fundraising Auction TOMORROW!   »

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Guys! Tomorrow from 9am-8pm PDT (so that’s noon to 11pm for us East Coasters), there’s an online vegan CHOCOLATE auction to benefit Food Empowerment Project!

You know we love FEP here so I hope you will support this fundraiser. PLUS AUCTIONS ARE THE FUNNEST! And chocolate is the chocolatiest. So it’s perfect. 

It’d be super fun if you get stuff and tell me in the comments what you got! I just want to know. And I barely ever ask you for anything so jeez just do me this one favor gawd!

Help Asbury Park, New Jersey get its very own all-vegan chocolate shop!  »

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Cinnamon Chocolate Covered Toasted Macadamia Nut Truffles! Yum!

Kristina Swenson learned to make chocolate as a child in Hawaii, now she wants to bring her skills to New Jersey! A natural progression. But Kristina needs your help to get her chocolate shop, The Chocolate Rabbit, started. 

I haven’t tried these chocolates but they sure look nice! And I am excited to have an all-vegan chocolate shop to force my family to stop at when we drive the NYC-Philly route. 

I know, another day, another vegan kickstarter, but I happen to love that our community can come together to fund the vegan endeavors of our brethren. We are mighty! Plus you KNOW I love kickstarter perks. Imma get some chocolate!

You can learn more and donate here. Good luck, Kristina!

04/14/2014

Curry Up Now in San Francisco’s Mission District hits the spot!   »

imageI love drinks in mason jars! It feels so Portland, Oregon

One of my last afternoons in San Francisco, I found myself in the Mission District’s Curry Up Now restaurant. I had been meaning to go for a while, and was in the mood for a light snack. Samosas and beer it was! 

I enjoyed my afternoon pit stop. My only regret is that I was not more hungry, because many of their menu items sounded pretty good! Curry Up has a nice beer selection, along with special vegan and gluten-free menus. The prices were fair, dare I say, even on the inexpensive side? Inexpensive for San Francisco, that is. I thought this would be a good place to grab a bite to eat and a drink with co-workers, when everyone is different levels of hungry and spend-happy! It’s also open late (midnight) on Fridays and Saturdays, which is great because I get HUNGRY when I go out. I don’t always want a burrito; I like variety! 

imageI pretended to be enthralled by the decor (which is actually quite nice) while I eavesdropped on the young, hipster girls at the table next to me discuss Taylor Swift at length. It was a little slice of heaven. 

Curry Up Now has three locations in the Bay Area, including 659 Valencia in San Francisco, 321 Hamilton Ave in Palo Alto, and 129 South B Street in San Mateo! 

Blossom Du Jour goodies now available at NYC Whole Foods!  »

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Check it out! Whole Foods and Blossom Du Jour have teamed up to bring you Blossom goodies on the go. They will be rolling out a lot of products over the next year but the first out are Almond Biscotti Chips, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Double Choco Brownie Bites, Oatmeal Cookies & Pot Pies. POT PIES?! YES!

The line debuted at the Chelsea Whole Foods last Friday. I haven’t tried anything yet but best believe I’m getting pot pies as soon as I can get my chunky hands on them. And if they box up the vegan cronuts OMG!!!

04/11/2014

MOTHEREFFING HIGH ALERT, Y’ALL:
MIYOKO SCHINNER IS STARTING A VEGAN CHEESE COMPANY. This is huge news because her vegan cheese is litereally the best vegan cheese in all the land. THE. GD. BEST. 
From her Facebook page:

Vegan cheese! I’ve kept it fairly quiet about my cheese company, and I’m not quite ready to blast all the details to the world, but here’s the initial scoop: Construction is well under way at our facility in Fairfax, California, and the package design is just about to start! I can’t announce yet what the brand name will be, but will do so soon enough. We will have a range of 5 to 10 cheeses available both online and in stores, and will eventually have our own retail store. For more news or to get updates, sign up at http://miyokoskitchen.com/wordpress2/

YES!!!!! I repeat: YES!!!! True story: I went to a holiday party that she catered and ate an entire brie wheel. And half of another entire brie wheel. Then I drank a carafe of fondue and fell asleep on a chunk of cheddar. It was digusting/the best night of my life. 
SO EXCITED.

MOTHEREFFING HIGH ALERT, Y’ALL:

MIYOKO SCHINNER IS STARTING A VEGAN CHEESE COMPANY. This is huge news because her vegan cheese is litereally the best vegan cheese in all the land. THE. GD. BEST. 

From her Facebook page:

Vegan cheese! I’ve kept it fairly quiet about my cheese company, and I’m not quite ready to blast all the details to the world, but here’s the initial scoop: Construction is well under way at our facility in Fairfax, California, and the package design is just about to start! I can’t announce yet what the brand name will be, but will do so soon enough. We will have a range of 5 to 10 cheeses available both online and in stores, and will eventually have our own retail store. For more news or to get updates, sign up at http://miyokoskitchen.com/wordpress2/

YES!!!!! I repeat: YES!!!! True story: I went to a holiday party that she catered and ate an entire brie wheel. And half of another entire brie wheel. Then I drank a carafe of fondue and fell asleep on a chunk of cheddar. It was digusting/the best night of my life. 

SO EXCITED.

LA!! FREE book release party this Sunday with FREE bands, FREE Pure Luck Pop-Up & FREE Clara Cakes!!   »

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I’m always on the hunt for fun FREE things to do here in the City of Angels, so you bet I’ll be showing up to this! (And, hello, FREE VEGAN FOOD!?! You’d be crazy not to come!) 

Farmhouse Publishing (vegan owned and operated) presents, SHOOT IT YOURSELF book release party and show. (Did I mention it’s FREE?!) Aaaaaand, if you pre-order the book, you get to jump the line (so DO IT)! 

Who doesn’t love looking at photos (aka why I’m obsessed with Instagram, and why you probably are, too!)? Now’s your chance to snazz up your boring ole coffee table with black and white photographer, Ignacio Galvez's book, Shoot It Yourself. Live shots of punk, hardcore, hip-hop (and more) musicians at shows. Get into it, people!!! 

FREE admission and FREE food!
Limited capacity
PRE-ORDER the book to jump the line!!! 

FREE Music by:
DANGERS
- Bouquet
- TUNA (dj)

FREE Food by:
Pure Luck Pop Up (Fingers crossed they’ll serve their infamous jackfruit tacos!) 
Clara Cakes (Have you see Quarrygirl’s video about Clara? Her cupcakes are legit good!) 

Space 15 Twenty
1520 Cahuenga Blvd
LA, CA 90028

For more info: farmhouse.co

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Hope to See You Soon!  »

You likely know about the progress being made for pigs in North America, with numerouscorporate and public policies to phase out gestation crates. Well, today Arcos Dorados’ (McDonald’s in Latin America) issued a new announcement restricting gestation crate use, the first of its kind in South America.

Speaking of other countries, I’m looking forward to being in Winnipeg (Canada, for those of you as geographically challenged as I am…) next week. Here’s The Manitoban’s story about it.

If you live in the U.S. though, you may be getting ready to pay your taxes. Business Week has aninteresting column on the idea of taxing meat.

In that vein, lots of members of Congress and state legislators are pledging to go meat-free for a week as part of the very cool US Veg Week campaign. Check ‘em out and share the link!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro


P.S. Video of the week: Could a chicken really outsmart a kid?

P.P.S. I hope to see you at the awesome Taking Action for Animals conference in DC June 27-30!

04/10/2014

Have fun, Oakland: S+M popup at Beer Revolution on Friday!   »

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Did you have plans for Friday, Bay Area? If they don’t include hitting up Beer Revolution in Oakland for the S + M vegan BBQ, cancel ‘em! Or modify them, I don’t know! Please, just make sure you check this out, and then tell me everything. I’ve been hearing amazing things about this new vegan popup in town! I want to see all the pictures too, because your vegan food, cats and cocktails are what I live for on Instagram. Could I be anymore of a cliche? Answer: no. 

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